Tag Archives | Cults

Paul Schaefer, Nazi Preacher Who Led Torture Cult In Chile, Dies

ARGENTINA-SCHAEFERDead at 89, Paul Schaefer sounds like a monster out of a horror movie, but he was terrifyingly real. Strangest detail: “He had a glass eye, having accidentally gouged out his right eye while trying to untie a shoelace knot with a fork.” The Washington Post reports:

Paul Schaefer, 89, a German-born evangelical preacher who was convicted of sexually abusing 25 children while leading one of the world’s most notorious anti-Semitic and apocalyptic sects, died April 24 of a heart ailment at a prison hospital in Chile.

His enclave in southern Chile, Colonia Dignidad…doubled during the 1970s and ’80s as a detention and torture center for opponents of right-wing dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

At the time of his death, Mr. Schaefer was still under investigation in the 1985 disappearance of mathematician Boris Weisfeiler, an American citizen who went missing while hiking near Colonia Dignidad.

Mr. Schaefer turned to preaching after serving in the German military during World War II.

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SittingNow – Cults, Conspiracies & Secret Societies with Arthur Goldwag

Listen to the episode at SittingNow

Our guest this week is Arthur Goldwag

This week I talk to one of my new favourite authors (and guests), Arthur Goldwag. Arthur is the author of the recently published ‘Cults, Conspiracies, & Secret Societies: The Straight Scoop on Freemasons, The Illuminati, Skull & Bones, Black Helicopters, The New World Order‘, a fantastic book that I recommend to anyone that wants to be introduced to these fascinating topics in a more logical, and non-bias fashion.

In this episode we discuss: The mindset of conspiracy theorists, why the Freemasons are blamed for everything evil in the world, how L. Ron Hubbard’s rise to power baffles us, some of the weirdest cults out there, and the age old question: is Lady Gaga a puppet of the Illuminati?

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Scientologists Sue Organization for $1 million for Slave Wages

From the Telegraph:

Two former Scientologists have shone a less than flattering spotlight on the controversial organization, which counts the actors John Travolta and Tom Cruise among its followers, in a landmark lawsuit.

In the test case against the US-based Church of Scientology, Marc Headley and his wife, Claire, have told how they were treated like slaves and forced to work 20-hour days almost continually through the year.

Mrs Headley claims she was coerced into having an abortion, while Mr Headley has spoken about how he was subjected to a strange mind-control practise by the actor Tom Cruise.

Both were members of Sea Org, the Scientologists’ “religious order” and a supposedly elite vanguard made up of its most dedicated recruits, and signed up to the religion when they were still teenagers.

Members of the order sign a billion-year pledge of loyalty, promise not to have children, and live and work communally.

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Is The Church Of The Subgenius A UFO Cult?

dobbsI never thought of Bob Dobbs’ Church Of The Subgenius as a UFO Cult, but that’s how it’s described in this news wire release:

CLEVELAND (Wireless Flash) — A Cleveland-based UFO cult claims Doomsday is finally coming after years of false alarms.

The Church of the Subgenius is a satirical “church” supposedly founded by a man named J.R. “Bob” Dobbs in 1953. Today, Rev. Ivan Stang runs the parody cult, which has thousands of members who pay $30 to get in and receive “important-looking documents filled with made-up words.”

On July 5, Subgenius will host “X-Day” in New York, a bizarre ceremony to celebrate the end
of the world. Each year, they predict that Armageddon will come on July 5 and members will be saved by flying saucers carrying “alien sex goddesses.” These aliens will pleasure members for eternity, or Stang says they get triple their Church dues back.

He calls the party one last hurrah among “nerdy boys” and “weirdos,” though he’d be surprised if UFOs actually came.

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Scientology On Its Last Legs?

Founding Church of Scientology in Washington DC. Photo: Ben Schumin (CC)There once was a time when the media were scared to report on the madness that is the "Church" of Scientology for fear of costly litigation. No more. While there have been occasional reports over the years, last year ABC News went hard after Scientology leader David Miscavige. Now the New York Times runs a front page story suggesting that the "Church" is losing members fast and may have as few as 25,000 members in the United States, versus the millions claimed by the organization:
Raised as Scientologists, Christie King Collbran and her husband, Chris, were recruited as teenagers to work for the elite corps of staff members who keep the Church of Scientology running, known as the Sea Organization, or Sea Org. They signed a contract for a billion years — in keeping with the church’s belief that Scientologists are immortal. They worked seven days a week, often on little sleep, for sporadic paychecks of $50 a week, at most. But after 13 years and growing disillusionment, the Collbrans decided to leave...
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Baby ‘Starved to Death’ Because He Did Not Say Amen

On the AP via the Sydney Morning Herald:

(Left) Ria Ramkissoon and her son Javon Thompson, (top right) Queen Antoinette and (bottom right) Trevia Williams.

For more than a week, Ria Ramkissoon watched passively as her one-year-old son wasted away, denied food and water because the older woman she lived with said it was God’s will. Javon Thompson was possessed by an evil spirit, Ramkissoon was told, because he didn’t say “Amen” during a mealtime prayer. Javon didn’t talk much, given his age, but he had said “Amen” before, Ramkissoon testified in a US court in Baltimore.

On the day Javon died, Ramkissoon was told to “nurture him back to life”. She mashed up some carrots and tried to feed the boy, but he was no longer able to swallow. Ramkissoon put her hands on his chest to confirm that his heart had stopped beating.

Ramkissoon and several other people knelt down and prayed that he would rise from the dead.

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Failed Prophecies, Good For Business? Everything You Know About God Is Wrong

The following is part of John Gorenfeld's article "'End of the World Prophet Found in Error, Not Insane': A Failed Prophet's Survival Handbook," one of over 40 articles in the Disinformation anthology, Everything You Know About God Is Wrong: The Disinformation Guide to Religion, edited by Russ Kick. For more on John Gorenfeld, check out www.gorenfeld.net.

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CrystalBallThought about becoming an end-of-the-world prophet? It's not the make-or-break enterprise you might think, as much as your gut feeling may be that mobs of angry parishioners await the fortune-teller who talks them into making room on the calendar for the final trumpets, the Rapture, World War III, the return of Jesus, global computer meltdowns, or post-game shows on life hosted by great messiahs stepping out of the pages of history — only for the poor dupes to find themselves paying bills the next week. Time and again, it hasn't worked that way. The beauty of blown prophecies is that failure is the beginning of success. That is, if you adopt the techniques of history's most successful faulty prophets. Through time-tested rebranding methods, they've reinvented failure as proof that they were righter than anyone could have imagined. The very glue holding your congregation together can be a mistaken prediction and what you've invested in it. Thousands of apostles of Shaini Goodwin of Tacoma, Washington, known to admirers as the "Dove of Oneness" and to the Tacoma News Tribune as a "cybercult queen," hold out for a Judgment Day that will justify all of her bad guesses.
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Everyone’s a Skeptic — About Other Religions… Merry Swik, Discordians!

The following article “Everyone’s a Skeptic — About Other Religions” is written by James A. Haught, one of over 40 articles in the Disinformation anthology, Everything You Know About God Is Wrong: The Disinformation Guide to Religion, edited by Russ Kick.

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RedPillBluePillReligion is an extremely touchy topic. Church members often become angry if anyone questions their supernatural dogmas. (Bertrand Russell said this is because they subconsciously sense that their beliefs are irrational.) So I try to avoid confrontations that can hurt feelings. Nearly everyone wants to be courteous.

But sometimes disputes can’t be avoided. If you think the spirit realm is imaginary, and if honesty makes you say so, you may find yourself under attack. It has happened to many doubters: Thomas Jefferson was called a “howling atheist.” Leo Tolstoy was labeled an “impious infidel.”

Well, if you wind up in a debate, my advice is: Try to be polite.… Read the rest

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Leave Churchill Out of Scientology, Says Family

From The Independent:

Fight them on the beaches if you will. But the descendants of Sir Winston Churchill have decided that a more effective way to prevent the Church of Scientology from hijacking the memory of Britain’s wartime leader involves stern cease-and-desist letters and the threat of a costly PR battle.

In an unlikely dispute that pits Sir Winston’s grandchildren against followers of the late L Ron Hubbard – the science-fiction writer who believed, among other things, that mankind descended from aliens who arrived on Earth via spaceships – the controversial church has been asked to remove Churchill’s image and quotations from its fundraising literature.

The literary agency Curtis Brown, which represents several members of the Churchill family, has written to the church’s London branch protesting at a range of advertising leaflets and posters that liken the Allied struggle against Nazi Germany to Scientology’s efforts to recruit new members.

[Read more at The Independent]

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How Right-Wing Cult Leader Sun Myung Moon Bought Washington

From Alternet:

With money, media and promotion of a conservative political agenda, a self-styled Messiah and convicted felon became a frequent guest at the White House.

“Moon looked on the media as almost the nervous system for a global empire. Moon was the brain, and the media are to be, or were to be, the communications vehicle for his body politic surrounding the globe.”

In January 1992, PBS Frontline broadcast a film I directed that documented the amazing rise, fall and subsequent resurrection of Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church movement. The documentary showed how, through an adroit combination of money, media and the consistent promotion of a conservative political agenda, a self-styled Messiah and convicted felon had rapidly reinvented himself and was soon hailed at the White House.

At the time, few Americans paid much attention to Reverend Moon – and those that did had bizarre recollections of him and the “Moonies,” as his followers once called themselves: mass weddings of complete strangers, flower-peddling in the street, and repeated allegations of mind control and brainwashing.

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