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News Items of Interest to Apologists and Counter-Cult Professionals
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Apologetics Index provides a database and glossary of information on cults, sects, new religious movements, apologetics and counter-cult organizations, and doctrines.  Issues addressed range from spiritual abuse to the teachings and practices found in current renewal and revival movements.  Apologetics Index also provides up-to-date religion news, articles on Christian life and ministry, and a variety of other features.

Religion Items In The News

News Items of Interest to Apologists and Counter-Cult Professionals

About Religion Items In The News      More Religion Items In The News

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Religion Items in the News - September 4, 1998 (Vol. 2, Issue 47)

===== Main
1. Church wins appeal in libel case (ICOC)
2. Swiss drop probe into suicide cult deaths (Solar Temple)
3. Court denies appeal by anti-cult group (CAN)
4. White Preachers Born Again on Black Network (Popoff, Tilton, Stewart)
5. An unsettling settlement (Scientology)
6. Scientology Report
7. (Scientology brings charges against the Basel state attorney's office)
8. Polygamy Dissenters To Get Payment
9. Colombian Priests Demand Look Into Link Between Suicides, Satanism
10. Young men's angst is grist to the satanic rumour mill
11. How Is the Church of Satan Getting Along? Not So Hot.
12. Million Youth March leader slams Giuliani over permit denial
13. Convict gets judge's OK to contact Chaney cult
14. CSU students cautioned about Brethren (Roberts Group)
15. Member: Life joyless before joining (Roberts Group)
16. Faith or Healing? (Followers of Christ)
17. California mother charged with starving kids
18. Ex-leader of apocalyptic sect killed (Edelweiss)
19. She's Got That Old-Time Religion: Witchcraft
20. Fledgling denomination moves here (WCC Offshoot)

===== Noted
21. Judge OKs Ohio's God motto, minus attribution
22. Science and religion can learn to coexist
23. ... break down walls of misunderstanding between Christians, Muslims
24. Church planter recruits the cutting-edge nomads and 'cultural creatives'

===== World Wide Web
25. The CESNUR case
26. The Secret Story of a Cult Apologist (Introvigne)

===== Main

1. Church wins appeal in libel case
Source: The Straits Times (Singapore), Sep 1, 1998
http://web3.asia1.com.sg/archive/st/2/pages/sinc1_0901.htmloffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

[NOTE: The Central Christian Church is part of the International Churches of Christ Apologetic Index Entry movement]

THE Court of Appeal has overturned a High Court ruling that two newspapers here had not defamed the Central Christian Church (CCC).

The newspapers are The New Paper (TNP) and the Chinese-language evening daily Lianhe Wanbao, which had been sued by the CCC and its founder, for calling the church "a cult" in reports published in 1991.

In a written judgment delivered last Friday, the Appeals Court overturned Justice Warren Khoo's ruling last November that the newspaper reports were written fairly and in the public interest, and therefore not defamatory. The Appeals Court - comprising Justices M. Karthigesu, L.P. Thean and Lai Kew Chai - ordered TNP and Wanbao to pay the church $20,000 each for libel.
(...snip...)

The church had asked for a total of $2.25 million from the editor of TNP, Mr P.N. Balji; the Wanbao editor, Mr Chen Cheng; and the newspapers' publishers, The Straits Times Press (1975) Ltd and Singapore Press Holdings.
(...snip...)

The church and its founder had also sued the bi-monthly Christian magazine Impact for $1 million, for calling it "a cult".

The Court of Appeal ruled that Justice Khoo was right in finding that Impact was protected by the legal defences of "fair comment" and "qualified privilege" in publishing its reports.

The appeal judges agreed with Justice Khoo that the reports in the magazine Impact were written fairly, and that the magazine had a duty to feature them, as it was a publication of the Christian community that was distributed among members of that community.
[...more...]

[Includes a background section called "About This Case"]
(...) The High Court ruled last November that the church was not a cult. Despite this, the CCC still failed in four out of five of its defamation suits as the court found that the news reports had been written fairly and in the public interest.

But the church succeeded in part in its suit against TNP because the court ruled that the prominent front-page headline "2 Cults Exposed" amounted to sensationalism. Both the newspapers' editors and the CCC appealed against this decision.

2. Swiss drop probe into suicide cult deaths
Source: Newspage/Reuters, Aug. 28, 1998 No URL. Found at Newspage (Religious Cults)
http://www.newspage.com/ (Free Registration)

A court in Switzerland has dropped its long-running investigation into a 1994 massacre of members of the Swiss suicide cult Solar Temple Apologetics Index Entry, a court spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The Fribourg contonal sourt in western Switzerland ruled that no charges would be laid because those suspected on perpetrating the killings in the western village of Cheiry had apparently themselves died in the mass suicide, the spokeswoman said.

The matter remains far from closed with several other inquiries into the deaths continuing both in Switzerland and in France, where 16 people died in a Solar Temple mass suicide killing in the Vercors region in December 1995.
[...more...]

3. Court denies appeal by anti-cult groupoffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
Jury awarded teen $1.09 million for deprogramming attempt
Source: Spokane.net, Aug 28, 1998
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

A federal appeals court has reaffirmed #1.09 million in damages against an anti-cult organization for its role in trying to "deprogram," a Washington state teenager, despite a warning from seven judges that free speech was under attack. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied reconsideration Wednesday of a panel's 2-1 decision in April upholding damages against the Cult Awareness Network Apologetics Index Entry. Without announcing the exact vote, the court said a request for a hearing had failed to gain a majority among its 21 active judges.

Writing for the seven dissenters, Judge Alex Kozinsky said, "We have taken a great leap backwards in the protection of First Amendment freedoms."

He said the Cult Awareness Network did not employ the deprogrammer or approve his actions and was bankrupted by the ruling. [Note: This is the real Cult Awareness Network - not the Scientology-operated CAN]

The ruling could be appealed to the Supreme Court.
[...more...]

4. White Preachers Born Again on Black Network - TV Evangelists Seek to Resurrect Ministries
Source: Washington Post, Sep 3, 1998
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1998-09/03/271l-090398-idx.htmloffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

TV evangelist and faith healer Peter Popoff Apologetic Index Entry is making a robust recovery. Disgraced and bankrupted in the 1980s, he is now back on television, and late night viewers across the country can watch him administer his own brand of medicine.
(...snip...)

His message hasn't changed, but the audience he is aiming for has. A white man who once preached mainly to southern whites, Popoff is seeking to jump-start his ministry by repackaging himself for an African American audience, buying time on the Black Entertainment Television network and highlighting testimonials from black supporters in his TV shows and fund-raising appeals.

In the quest to reinvent himself, Popoff has company. In the last year, evangelists Robert Tilton Apologetic Index Entry of Word Faith Church outside Dallas and Don Stewart of Phoenix, both of whom watched their followings all but disappear after investigations of their ministries by state and federal agencies, have joined dozens of other preachers to become fixtures on BET.
(...snip...)

But their decision to target blacks, and to use BET to do it, is beginning to draw criticism from those who say that preachers with a long trail of disillusioned followers have no place on a network that holds itself out as a model of entrepreneurship for the black community.
(...snip...)

None of the preachers was convicted of any charge, and no new allegations have been brought. But James Randi, a documentary filmmaker who investigated Popoff in the 1980s, says nothing has changed.
[...more...]

5. An unsettling settlement
Source: Nando.net, Aug 31, 1998
http://www2.nando.net/newsroom/ntn/voices/083198/voices12_10530_noframes.html

   (Story no longer online? Read this)

While the relationship between the city of Clearwater, Fla., and the Church of Scientology Apologetic Index Entry has grown less adversarial recently, city officials wouldn't consider themselves in league with the church to intimidate the public and press. Yet city commissioners could put themselves in that untenable position if they approve a proposed legal settlement.
(...snip...)

As the federal trial grew near, attorneys for both sides agreed to a settlement containing two provisions that should concern the commissioners:

If "a member of the public or the media" asks to see the public records on Scientology, the city "will advise the church of the request by providing immediate notice by phone and facsimile transmission" to the church's attorney, the settlement states.

By agreeing, the commission would be giving Scientologists a privilege not extended to any other group or individual, and that carries risk.
[...more...]

6. Scientology Report
Source: Basler Zeitung (Switzerland), Sep 1, 1998
English Translation: German Scientology News
http://www.lermanet.com/cisar/g80831be.htmoffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this) [Four articles]

(...) Are the Scientologists a danger for state and society? Should the political police take the sect into their purview? A federal work group under the direction of Urs von Daeniken, Chief of the Federal Police researched this issue, and came to the following conclusion: "That there are no tangible references at hand which show that Scientology Apologetic Index Entry is trying to intrude into the Swiss state structure speaks for the postponement of preventive police surveillance." Nevertheless numerous members are under enormous pressure to attain new services, devices and books, and the organization exhibits a totalitarian structure, but "the authorities and consumer protection agencies will devote their attention to these aspects; they do not fall with the in the the legal purview of the state security organ."
[...more...]

7. GPK of the Greater Council is to clarify role of the state attorney
Source: News-Window (Switzerland), Aug 26, 1998
http://www.bluewin.ch/news/artikel/980826/980826c19.html
English Tranlation: German Scientology News
http://www.lermanet.com/cisar/g80826ae.htmoffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

Scientology Apologetic Index Entry brought serious charges against the Basel state attorney's office in connection with the failed espionage attempt in Basel. It demanded an "extensive investigation" by the Business Oversight Commission of the Greater Council's GPK.
[...more...]

8. Polygamy Dissenters To Get Payment
Source: Las Vegas Sun, Sep 2, 1998
http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/nat-gen/1998/sep/02/090200090.htmloffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

A polygamist leader in southern Utah cannot evict dissidents from his community without fair compensation for the homes the dissidents lived in, the Utah Supreme Court ruled.
[...more...]

9. Colombian Priests Demand Look Into Link Between Suicides, Satanism
Source: Ecumenical World Television Network, Aug 31, 1998
http://www.ewtn.com/ewtn/news/getstory.asp?number=9865offsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

Catholic priests of the Colombian town of Belen de Umbria said this week that at least six youths identified as members of a satanic Apologetic Index Entry cult have committed suicide since early this year.

The priests signed a collective letter asking authorities to investigate the deaths as well as the reason why 31 more teenagers - friends of the six who died - also attempted suicide but failed. None of the youths have come forward to explain the reasons for their attempts.
[...more...]

10. Young men's angst is grist to the satanic rumour mill
Source: Sydney Morning Herald, Aug 29, 1998
http://www.smh.com.au/news/9808/29/text/national2.htmloffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

"I do not "walk with Satan'. I am Satan," says Jeisman Rubicante, 24-year-old Wollongong arts student and head of the Satanic Church in Australia. "Every day I live my life naturally, as an animal." And soon he might want your vote.
(...snip...)

While this is the only formal satanic Apologetic Index Entry organisation here, the number of active satanists is growing. In the 1996 census, 2,093 Australians identified as satanists, double the 1991 figures. Eighty-five per cent of these are men and most are in their 20s.

In Melbourne, unemployed tradesman Wayne Aarons is setting up the Satanic Party and hopes to contest the next State election to "drive a spear right through the political scene".

Mr Aarons said his party is the "political arm of the Satanic Empire" and has "got plans" for expansion in the United States, New Zealand and Europe.
[...more...]

11. How Is the Church of Satan Getting Along? Not So Hot.
Source: Washington Post, Aug 30, 1998
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1998-08/30/058l-083098-idx.htmloffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

(...) But if Satan seems well represented in this trendy club, across the fog-shrouded city, in a Victorian home with black peeling paint, Lucifer's reign is in question. There, at the home of Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey, the organization he started in 1966 now stands at a fork in the tail, so to speak.

Ten months after LaVey died of heart failure at age 67, a protracted, nasty divorce settlement has left his scions little in the way of a legacy. LaVey's longtime lover and one of his daughters are wrestling in court over remnants of his estate. The infamous black house - the headquarters for world Satanism Apologetic Index Entry - is for sale, and could be demolished.

And down in the flaming bowels of the netherworld, having finally claimed the soul of Anton Szandor LaVey, Satan himself is no doubt wondering what in the hell happened to the first public church in history to bear his name.
[...more...]

12. Million Youth March leader slams Giuliani over permit denial
Source: CNN, Aug 28, 1998
http://cnn.com/US/9808/28/million.youth.march.ap/offsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

Calling him "an ordinary cracker with no power," the chief organizer of the planned Million Youth March scolded Mayor Rudolph Giuliani for trying to block the event and cautioned him to avoid a "police riot."
(...snip...)

Muhammad, who was dismissed from the Nation of Islam after referring to Jews as "bloodsuckers" and insulting Pope John Paul II, gays and lesbians and whites, urged youths to be "courteous" and "polite" during the march.
[...more...]

13. Convict gets judge's OK to contact Chaney cult
Source: Deseret News, Aug 29, 1998
http://www.desnews.com/cit/xq1ccs95.htmoffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

A federal judge has agreed to modify his requirement that Gloria Ward, convicted of Social Security fraud, not have contact with members of the House of Chaney cult as a condition of her probation.
[...more...]

14. CSU students cautioned about Brethren
Source: Denver Post, Sep 3, 1998
http://www.denverpost.com/news/news0903b.htmoffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

Colorado State University, in response to the local recruiting efforts of a cult-like clan known as The Brethren Apologetic Index Entry, is urging students to be skeptical about any group that invites new members.

In a first-time campaign, CSU will print hundreds of brochures advising students to ask common-sense questions of groups they consider joining, said Keith Miser, vice president for student affairs.
(...snip...)

The information will apply to all groups, from sororities and fraternities to cultural and religious groups, Miser said.

But the campaign comes as four members of The Brethren circulate in Fort Collins asking young people to join their Bible-based group - a group that has alarmed parents and cult experts across the country. [...more...]

15. Member: Life joyless before joining
Source: Denver Post, Sep 3, 1998
http://www.denverpost.com/news/news0903c.htmoffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

Sitting in the Larimer County jail on Wednesday, Patrick Rooney assessed his life before he joined The Brethren Apologetic Index Entry and deemed it "empty."
(...snip...)

Echoing other group members interviewed, Rooney said he won't communicate with his family unless they accept his religious beliefs and his lifestyle.
(...snip...)

"The Roberts group is a cult, and they're a cult because they immediately destroy relationships to keep those kids in there. It's the glue that holds the cult together," said Larry Wilcox of Bozeman, Mont., who has been searching for his son, Bart, for more than seven years.
[...more...]

16. Faith Or Healing?
Why the law can't do a thing about the infant-mortality rate of an Oregon sect
Source: TIME, Aug 31, 1998
http://www.pathfinder.com/time/magazine/1998/dom/980831/religion.faith_or_healin18.htmloffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

(...) Recently the Portland exurb of Oregon City has been shaken by what appears to be an ongoing horror in its midst. In June, Oregon state medical examiner Larry Lewman stated suspicions about the cemetery's owners, the 1,200-member Followers of Christ Apologetic Index Entry church. Over 10 years, he alleges, the faith-healing Apologetic Index Entry congregation's avoidance of doctors and hospitals may have cost the lives of 25 children, some under excruciating circumstances. A series by the Oregonian newspaper announced that of 78 minors buried in the graveyard over 35 years, 21 "probably would have lived with medical intervention, often as simple as antibiotics." If so, the cemetery may represent one of the largest concentrations of faith-healing-related fatalities in decades.
[...more...]

[Note: Reported in the 5/26/98 issue of RITN:
http://www.oregonlive.com/todaysnews/9805/st051403.htmloffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
[The Oregonian on the "Followers of Christ Apologetic Index Entry" church. Includes links to related stories)]

17. California mother charged with starving kids
Source: Fox News, Sep 2, 1998
http://www.foxnews.com/js_index.sml?content=/news/national/0902/d_rt_0902_55.smloffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
A California mother, said to be an evangelical Christian, appeared in court Wednesday charged with trying to starve her two young daughters to death after receiving telephone "directions" from the Holy Spirit.
(...snip...)

Teixeira told investigators she moved the girls into an upstairs bedroom some three weeks ago and cut off all food for the family after receiving "direction" from a ringing telephone that the Holy Spirit was preparing to take them to Heaven.

"Teixeira was somewhat disjointed in her statements, as she also stated she did not actually answer the phone, only took direction from the way it was ringing," Petaluma police Sgt. DJ (eds: correct DJ) Phimister said in a statement.
(...snip...)

"Although Teixeira's justification appears to be religious in nature, there is no indication she is a member of any cult-type organization, or that any other religious organization knew or suggested this type of action," he said.
[...more...]

18. Ex-leader of apocalyptic sect killed
Source: Excite/Reuters, Sep 2, 1998
http://my.excite.com/news/r/980902/11/odd-sectoffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

The former leader of an apocalyptic sect was killed on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza by a man who had once accused him of sexual abuse, Civil Guard officials said Wednesday.
(...snip...)

Gonzalez, leader of the Edelweiss Apologetic Index Entry sect, was condemned in 1991 to 168 years in prison for various crimes related to the abuse and corruption of minors.
(...snip...)

The sect promised children who became the "chosen ones" a trip to two planets after a nuclear catastrophe that leaders predicted for 1992. Gonzalez depicted himself as an extraterrestrial or as a prince who was sent to earth to teach the children how to survive the end of the world.

[...more...]

19. She's Got That Old-Time Religion: Witchcraft
A Premonition Led a Lawyer to Find Her Calling as a High Priestess of Witchcraft Apologetic Index Entryoffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
Source: Los Angeles Times, Sep 3, 1998
http://www.latimes.com/HOME/NEWS/LIFE/t000079976.htmloffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

A witch walks through the lobby of a Laguna Beach hotel and no one even notices. She looks too normal. Wiccan high priestess Phyllis Curott, a sleek blond with a full set of teeth, has none of the storybook traits.
(...snip...)

"The Book of Shadows" (Broadway Books), about her 20 years as a witch, will be in stores in October.
(...snip...)

Our long afternoon's conversation spins around potions, spells, trances, visions, caldrons and wands, and leads naturally to Curott's disclosure that she trains others to be wiccan high priestesses too.
(...snip...)

It sounds remote but not scary to J. Gordon Melton Apologetic Index Entry, director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara, who has studied wicca during the past 20 years. "Witches are a benign, nature-oriented group," he says. "Members tend to be urban dwellers with a lot of potted plants and a couple of pets."
(...snip...)

Witchcraft studies are now part of college courses on new, indigenous or goddess religions, he says. Melton places those studies closest to Native American and Hindu traditions that allow for many gods and hold a deep reverence for the earth.
(...snip...)

Curott's first book is one of three on the subject she plans to write, she says. Well before the next two are written, she will have cast a wicca circle in Los Angeles. She is planning one as part of her book-signing tour in October.

* Curott will be at Borders Books and Music in Santa Monica, Oct. 21 [1998] at 7:30 p.m., and at the Bodhi Tree Bookstore in West Hollywood on Oct. 24 at 2:30 p.m.
[...more...]

20. Fledgling denomination moves here
Source: The Cincinnati Post., Sep 3, 1998
http://www.cincypost.com/news/huba090398.htmloffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

Greater Cincinnati's growing reputation as a headquarters area includes religious groups. The United Church of God recently moved its international headquarters, including its editorial, financial and ministerial operations, from Arcadia, Calif., to Milford.

The United Church of God is an offshoot of Herbert W. Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God, which was a splinter off the Church of God (Seventh-Day) which ... well, you get the idea.
(...snip...)

Since the Worldwide Church of God made a formal break with Armstrong's teachings in 1995, a dizzying array of splinter groups have formed, all claiming to be the true preservers of Armstrongism.
[...more...]

===== Noted

21. Judge OKs Ohio's God motto, minus attribution
Source: Washington Post, Sep 3, 1998
http://www.washtimes.com/culture/culture2.htmloffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

The words of Jesus Christ are great enough to stay in the great state of Ohio. But Ohio just can't say who said the words.

Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that Ohio can keep the phrase "With God, all things are possible" as its official motto on state documents and publications and in public locations. The words are from Matthew 19:26 and are part of a dialogue between Jesus and his disciples. But there's a catch. U.S. District Judge James Graham ruled that the state is prohibited from citing the Bible as the source of the quotation.
[...more...]

22. Science Apologetic Index Entry and religion can learn to coexist - No need for tension between disciplines, British scholar says
Source: Detroit News, Sep 3, 1998
http://www.detnews.com/1998/metro/9809/03/09030115.htmoffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

As an atomic physicist, Matt Walhout spends hours trying to understand the structure of the world around him. But as a Christian, he's never felt the same desire to dissect his own faith, even the aspects that defy scientific explanation such as Jesus walking on water.

"I think there are deep mysteries in physics that no one understands, just like religion," says Walhout, a professor at Calvin College, a Christian school in Grand Rapids. "My world view allows me to accommodate both."

Walhout was one of more than a dozen scientists and theologians who attended a seminar on faith and science at Calvin College this summer. While the overlap between the two disciplines appears obvious to the seminar's participants, not everyone agrees.
[...more...]

23. It's time to break down walls of misunderstanding between Christians,
Muslims
Source: Star-Telegram, Aug 29, 1998
http://www.arlington.net/news/doc/1047/1:RELIGION71/1:RELIGION71082998.htmloffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

When bombs were set off earlier this month in Kenya and Tanzania, killing more than 250 people and injuring at least 5,500, terrorism and Islam were once again linked in the minds of many. Wrongly linked.
(...snip...)

To encourage such discussion, the Islamic Society mailed letters this week to more than 1,000 churches, other religious groups, colleges and schools in the Wichita area, asking to meet with anyone willing to discuss the religion of Islam Apologetic Index Entry.
(...snip...)

"I do think there is an openness among congregations to learn about other faiths and how God reacts and works in their lives," said the Rev. Sam Muyskens, executive director of Inter-Faith.

In November, Inter-Faith will host its fifth annual Festival of the Family at City Hall, and representatives of various religions will participate.
[...more...]

24. Postmodern apostle - Church planter recruits the cutting-edge nomads and 'cultural creatives'
Source: The Dallas Morning News, Aug 29, 1998
http://www.dallasnews.com/religion-nf/rel22.htmoffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
   (Story no longer online? Read this)

Andrew Jones is an evangelical Christian with a quirky mission. He collects hippies and goths, metal heads and technokids and helps them build church homes in the most peculiar places.
(...snip...)

"The traditional modern church isn't attractive to them. They don't have the same value system," Mr. Jones said. "But if you go back to Jesus' time, he found the same kinds of people - the tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers and sinners."

When these people want to form spiritual communities, he said, "We shouldn't make them jump through a bunch of cultural hoops. We can worship Jesus with their music and at their hours. God is willing to meet them where they are."
[...more...]

===== World Wide Web

25. The CESNUR case
http://xenu.com-it.net/cesnur/txt/ces2.htmoffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]

(...) To further this aim, CESNUR organises lectures and seminars, where there is no lack of direct attacks on the "anti-cult movements". It has repeatedly taken steps to defend such controversial cults, often accused of being of the "far right", as Scientology (for example alleging "religious discrimination" in the measures taken by certain German political parties - Introvigne and Melton, 1996) or the Japanese cult of Shoko Asahara (after the Sarin gas outrage in the Tokyo underground - Melton, 1995).

The stand taken by CESNUR, which clearly amounts to apology for such organisations, is firmly contrary to any hypothesis of psychological manipulation inside certain kinds of groups, and especially contrary to the State taking any steps to prevent abuse or exploitation.
[...more...]

Same site:

26. The Secret Story of a Cult Apologist
http://xenu.com-it.net/cesnur/storia/gb00.htmoffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]

Massimo Introvigne, CESNUR and the Brazilian right-wing organization, "Tradition, Family and Property" (T.F.P.)

The following document concerns the Italian based organization, CESNUR, supposedly an objective resource on cults established by the sociologist Massimo Introvigne. Actually, Introvigne does not have a degree in sociology, but is a patent lawyer; nor is CESNUR an objective resource: the organization is intimately linked to another organisation called "Alleanza Cattolica". The ideology of the latter is entirely based on the teachings of Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, a Brazilian extremist and self-styled "prophet", founder of a "crusade" against agrarian reform and "Communism" which openly calls for the implementation of a world-wide "Christian" regime based on Medieval hierarchy and repression. This "crusade" is called Tradition, Family and Property (TFP).

In the meantime, while waiting for the Kingdom to come, this organization is happy to work together with the US "New Right" around the world and around the clock.
[...more...]

[Written by Dr. Miguel Martinez, former member of "New Acropolis." Be sure to read the section titled "Background on this text."]

Compiled by Anton Heinoffsite
[Story no longer online? Read this]
Apologetics Index
http://www.apologeticsindex.org/offsite
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