Tag Archives | Religion

British Court Charges The Mormon Church With Fraud Over Its Teachings

mormon churhcIf organized religions solicit money from the public while propagating factually untrue claims, do they amount to illegal marketing scams? A British legal challenge is putting Mormonism to the test, the Telegraph reports:

A British magistrate has issued an extraordinary summons to the worldwide leader of the Mormon church alleging that its teachings about mankind amount to fraud.

Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been ordered to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London next month to defend the church’s doctrines including beliefs about Adam and Eve and Native Americans.

A formal summons signed by District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe warns Mr. Monson, who is recognised by Mormons as God’s prophet on Earth, that a warrant for his arrest could be issued if he fails to make the journey from Salt Lake City, Utah, for a hearing on March 14.

The summons suggests that asking members of the church to make contributions while promoting theological doctrines which “might be untrue or misleading” could be a breach of the Fraud Act 2006.

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Why Isn’t There a Popular Theory of Dark Mind in Psychology?

darkmindservitorThe more I’ve rocketed my personal microverse to the outer fringes with various Occult exploration techniques, the more I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re spiritually retarded as a species. And let me define what I mean by spirituality quite clearly here. Of the spirit. Dreams, visions, hallucinations, synchronicities, etc. The opposite of materialism essentially. Spirit. It’s right in the fucking word. All of our brains do this primal reality creating trick to a certain extent. And when I say that we’re spiritually retarded I’m not just using the term for insensitive comedic effect. I actually think it’s an apt metaphor. Those we derogatorily refer to as retarded are often defined by the more PC “developmentally disabled” and in a way, I think that’s what’s going on with us. On one hand we’ve developed the logical mathematic side of ourselves at a freakishly rapid clip, but on the other, we’re still starting wars based on interpretations of visions that supposedly happened thousands of years ago.… Read the rest

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New Mexico Woman Says Jesus Appeared On Her Bruised Toe

toeDoes the Lord manifest Himself in the form of bodily bruising? Albuquerque’s KRQE reports:

A couple says holy dirt from the northern New Mexico town has left a holy and healing mark.

Just last weekend, Paula Osuna says she fell down the stairs at her home causing painful bruises all over her foot. Eventually she asked her fiancé to rub some of the holy Chimayo dirt he had saved from a pilgrimage there a couple years back.

After putting the holy dirt on her foot and then bandaging it, she says the next day the bruise formed in the shape of Jesus on her second toe. Osuna says her family members first noticed the bruise. The bruise has since changed shape, but Osuna says she’s convinced of the holy sighting.

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Traditional Exorcists Lambast Skype Exorcisms As A Sham

scary computerIs a war brewing between old-guard exorcists and the new breed offering cheap and easy demonic removal over the internet? Vocativ writes:

“They just can’t be done that way,” says Reverend Isaac Kramer, director of the International Catholic Association of Exorcists. “If a person is fully possessed, the demon will not let them sit in front of the computer screen to be exorcised. They’re going to throw the computer screen across the room.”

Larson isn’t the first to champion the Skype exorcism. In 2010, famous Israeli Kabaalist Rabbi HaRav David Batzri attempted to exorcise a Brazilian man possessed by a “dybbuk,” a demon, over Skype.

The Internet-ization of exorcisms has made the ritual one that scam artists and “self-identified” exorcists have used to make fast cash. Websites such as ExorcismTraining.net offer online exorcisms to demon-ridden customers. Want to self-treat? They have a beginners’ training pack for $29.95 so you can teach yourself to exorcise in just four weeks.

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RSA Looks to Elevate the Discussion on Spirituality

PIc: Indrajit Chatterjee (CC)

PIc: Indrajit Chatterjee (CC)

“The capacious term ‘spirituality’ lacks clarity because it is not so much a unitary concept as a signpost for a range of touchstones; our search for meaning, our sense of the sacred, the value of compassion, the experience of transcendence, the hunger for transformation.

There is little doubt that spirituality can be interesting, but what needs to be made clearer by those who take that for granted is why it is also important. To be a fertile idea for those with terrestrial power or for those who seek it, we need a way of speaking of the spiritual that is intellectually robust and politically relevant.” - Jonathan Rowson

Between explaining it away as an artifact of the brain and militant rejection of it as leftover cultural/scientific ignorance, spirituality has long been anathema to academic circles (and many corners of the YAY SCIENCE! internet community).  If it’s discussed at all, it’s from the proposition of wishful fairy stories, peppered with a healthy amount of contempt and ridicule.Read the rest

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Republican Candidate For Senate Posts Video Of Herself Singing In Tongues In A Steam Room “To Confuse Satan”

In the United States, this is who leads us. Via the Christian Post:

Alaskan GOP candidate for the US Senate Kathleen Tonn recently published a video showing her delivering a message in “the Holy Ghost and tongues” to an unsaved woman in a local steam room in an effort to confuse Satan, and some critics are attacking her for it.

In the video published on YouTube Saturday, Tonn is shown singing and witnessing to the woman she identified as Suzie in the steam room at the Alaska Club West. “Suzie doesn’t know Jesus Christ as her savior…so she has allowed me to deliver a message in the Holy Ghost and tongues,” said Tonn in the video.

She then explained why she chose to deliver the message in tongues: “Speaking in tongues or singing in tongues is very valuable because the message cannot be understood by Satan.”

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Celebrity Reverend Bob Larson Offering Exorcisms Via Skype

larsonIf demons can be removed over the internet, can they be transmitted and enter the body that way as well? ABC15 in Phoenix reports:

Thanks to the age of technology a Scottsdale reverend says he is getting a chance to help people possessed by demons, all over the world. In the age of electronics, exorcisms are done over Skype.

“In simple terms, an exorcism is the process of expelling an evil spirit from an individual who has become somehow invaded and demonized by that being, and sending it back to hell and freeing the person,” Rev. Bob Larson said.

So what does Larson say to those people who see these dramatic exchanges as nothing more than a disturbing night club act? Larson says he’s done more than 20,000 exorcisms. “It’s real,” he says. “There would be no reason to theatrically stage this for any reason.”

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Authorities Seize 55 Diseased Poisonous Snakes From Tennessee Pastor

snakesShould we be concerned about charismatic religious leaders hoarding doomsday arsenals of deadly reptiles? Via WBIR-TV:

All of the snakes that were confiscated from a serpent-handling pastor in Campbell County have now been euthanized.

TWRA seized 55 poisonous snakes from Andrew Hamlin in November. He handled the snakes as part of worship services at the Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette. Hamlin was cited for having animal dangerous to humans, but a grand jury did not indict him on criminal charges.

The confiscated snakes were taken to the Knoxville Zoo, but were in such poor condition, they could not be saved. According to Michael Ogle, Curator of Herpetology at the Knoxville Zoo, “The 14 remaining snakes are highly suspected of being infected with the same pathogens that have proven fatal for the other snakes brought to us.”

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‘If Everything is Important, Then Nothing is Important’: The Cult of the White Panther

Pic: Image derived from public domain source.

Pic: Image derived from public domain source.

Here’s a great little piece from EsoterX on heirophany, religious revelation in the modern world, and the rise of the cult of the white panther:

Via EsoterX

Our modern, interconnected world is so saturated with significance that its seems highly unlikely that a new religion could find purchase, so we look upon the historical rise and fall of alternate theologies as quaint museum pieces, worthy of examination, but no more vested with cosmological import that the latest political scandal.  But all religions begin somewhere.  Nail a guy to a cross these days, and you better be ready to invoke “stand-your-ground” laws.  Renouncing your princely heritage and travelling South Asia as an ascetic philosopher seems like an exceptionally bad career move.  If you see a burning bush, you’d better call the fire department.  It’s not that these sorts of events go unremarked in the modern world, rather that absolutely everything is steeped in significance worthy of endless hours of commentary, social media exposure, and documentation for future generations.

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A Buddhist Perspective On Artificial Intelligence

buddhismIs Buddhism the only world religion that will be able to grapple with our emerging reality? Via Institute for Emerging Ethics & Technologies, Andrew Cvercko writes:

Emergent artificial intelligence poses a problem for many religions, especially those that ascribe a special place for humanity and for human consciousness in the cosmos. Buddhism may be the one system of religious thought that not only accepts but will actively embrace any AIs that we produce as a species.

Later [Buddhist] texts illustrate that animal life is just as capable of becoming enlightened as human life is, and recently many Buddhist thinkers have begun to include plant and microbial life as well. Buddhism may have in fact been the first philosophy to find personhood beyond the human. Would it accept artificial intelligence in the same way? The simple answer is that, from a Buddhist view of the mind and consciousness, all intelligence is artificial.

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