Apologetics Index
News Items of Interest to Apologists
and Counter-Cult Professionals
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Religion Items In The News

October 28, 1999 (Vol. 3, Issue 128)

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

Unlike the edition posted to the AR-talk list, items in the archived newsletters will, time-permitting, link back to entries in the A-Z Index.

As most of these items stay online for only a day or two, URLs to the original stories are provided here as inactive links. If you can not find a story online, Read this).

=== Falun Gong
1. China Vows No Mercy For Falun Gong
2. Falun Gong Devotees Converge on Beijing in Bid to End Government Ban
3. Adherents Of Banned China Sect Ask For Help
4. Adherent of banned China sect dies in custody
5. Chinese Sect Protests Spying Charges Against Leaders
6. U.S. criticizes latest steps against Falun Gong
7. Chinese skeptic crusades to debunk meditation mystics

=== Aum Shinrikyo
8. Woman faked AUM kidnap story
9. Aum abduction fake, says student
10. Drafts for Aum control bills unveiled

=== Scientology
11. Church members, critic spar over name
12. The Navy's Scientology Connection
13. Stoiber: Scientology is no longer a trans-Atlantic problem
14. Scientology alarm in Telekom
15. Building on Dom Street becomes "new home in the heart of Hamburg"
16. Outrage at Scientology recruitment in the city
17. In Hamburg, Scientology is advertising for tolerance of itself - and storms their critics' information booths
18. Only information helps against sect disorder

=== Breatharianism/Jasmuheen
19. Fresh-air dietician fails TV show's challenge
20. Fresh Air Diet Guru's Deadly Lies Exposed

=== Waco/Branch Davidians
21. Davidian Plaintiffs' Gun Test Nixed
22. Magazines: Getting at the truth about Waco

=== Cults - General
23. Are these successful Texas companies cults?

=== Wicca/Neo-Paganism
24. Witches spin some of their magic over young women
25. Pagan students: Halloween is a time to educate non-believers
26. Who drives Halloween worries? Could it be ... Satan?

=== Other News
27. Christians challenge Israel expulsion - officials
28. Detained 'end-time' Christians insist they are nonviolent
29. Israel Struggling to Tell Pious Pilgrims From Dangerous Cults
30. Westerners Drawn to Divine Light
31. Dalai Lama backs Pope
32. Renegade Orthodox group targets minority faiths in former Soviet republic
33. Georgian protestants targeted

=== Alternative Healing
34. James Colthurst, the homoeopath who was Princess Diana's confidant, is launching a radical device (Kosmed)
35. Sally Morris on the world's oldest medical system, Ayurveda

=== Noted
36. Poll indicates a haunted nation
37. Search for life beyond Earth: Many religions open to idea that God created other intelligent species
38. Interfaith peace conferences to explore role of religion in promoting peace in millennium
39. Millennium Madness

=== Religious Intolerance in the USA
40. Workplace greeting makes religion in the workplace an issue

=== Film
41. Deciphering the success of 'Omega Code'

=== The Believers Around The Corner
42. Shops get teeth into 'veg shui'
43. Children Confuse Prime Minister With God

=== Falun Gong

1. China Vows No Mercy For Falun Gong
[Story no longer online? Read this]
Excit4e/Reuters, Oct. 28, 1999
China declared the Falun Gong movement a cult Thursday and vowed to show no
mercy in crushing it, but members kept up their extraordinary campaign of
passive resistance in Tiananmen Square for a fourth day.

"No responsible government will allow a cult to harm people's lives and
security, destroy public order or social stability," Foreign Ministry
spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue told reporters. "No responsible government will
appease a cult. To be merciful or tolerant to a cult is to trample citizens'
human rights."

Members defied the announcement labeling Falun Gong a cult and set the stage
for an even tougher crackdown on it by gathering in the square, China's
political heart.

Cults are banned in China, which allows only religious organizations
sponsored by the government. Cult members face lengthy jail terms.

2. Falun Gong Devotees Converge on Beijing in Bid to End Government Ban
New York Times, Oct. 28, 1999
In a brazen act of civil disobedience, thousands of members of the banned
Falun Gong spiritual movement have descended on Beijing in recent days and
weeks, hoping, the members say, to press the Government to reverse its

But a far wider and more profound confrontation appears to be building
between clearly unnerved authorities and an uncrushed movement that with
astonishing speed drew in millions of ordinary, seemingly nonpolitical
Chinese, creating an unexpected challenge to Communist authority.

"There are practitioners all over Beijing now -- under the bridges, in the
alleyways, everywhere," said Qu Dehong, a farmer from Yongan Township in
northeastern Heilongjiang Province, who is now in Beijing.

"We plan to stay until Falun Gong is rehabilitated," he said. "We are here to
appeal to the central Government. The ban on Falun Gong will be regretted by

3. Adherents Of Banned China Sect Ask For Help
Excite/Reuters, Oct. 28, 1999
Adherents of China's oulawed Falun Gong spiritual movement stepped up their
defiance of a harsh government crackdown Thursday by appealing for
international help, saying they were being persecuted.

Almost 30 Falun Gong practitioners invited foreign journalists to a
clandestinely arranged news conference in suburban Beijing, itself an
extraordinary act of defiance in Communist-ruled China.

"We call on the United Nations, various governments, human rights groups,
Amnesty International and people with conscience at home and abroad to
condemn and stop the Chinese government's persecution of Falun Gong
practitioners," Jiang said.

Beijing has denied persecuting practitioners, saying China is a country ruled
by law. But it says the movement "seduces, brainwashes and blackmails."

4. Adherent of banned China sect dies in custody
Yahoo! UK, Oct. 27, 1999
An 18-year-old adherent of the Falun Gong spiritual movement banned by China
has died in custody, police said on Wednesday in the first official
confirmation of a death of a sect member in custody.

Chen Ying died from injuries sustained after jumping from a train bound for
the northeastern province of Heilongjiang in August, an officer said by
telephone from the provincial city of Jiamusi.

A U.S.-based spokesperson for Falun Gong -- a mishmash of Buddhism, Taoism,
meditation and breathing exercises -- said Chen jumped because police "abuse
apparently became so severe".

But the police officer denied the allegation. "She was not abused," the
officer said. "She was a stubborn element and jumped on her own to give her
life for Falun Gong."

5. Chinese Sect Protests Spying Charges Against Leaders
Washington Post, Oct. 27, 1999
Members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement gathered in Tiananmen
Square for the second straight day today in quiet civil disobedience meant to
show Chinese leaders, and others around the world, that they have no plans to
bend under a renewed campaign of government pressure.

The protest came in response to a government announcement that jailed leaders
of the exercise and meditation group will be prosecuted for the capital crime
of stealing state secrets. Dozens of followers were detained on the square
Monday while holding a separate sit-in against a proposed law that would ban
"heretic cults."

"I am absolutely not scared," said one practitioner who gave up her job as an
office clerk in a southern Chinese city to come to Beijing to protest. "We
believe that danger doesn't exist. If they arrest me, it's only on the
surface. Even prisoners have freedom."

6. U.S. criticizes latest steps against Falun Gong
[Story no longer online? Read this]
AOL/Reuters, Oct. 26, 1999
The United States criticized China Tuesday for its latest measures against
the Falun Gong spiritual movement and the China Democracy Party.

A State Department official said the detention of more Falun Gong
demonstrators Monday appeared to be a clear violation of their rights of
assembly and expression. The trial of four China Democracy Party leaders
Monday was also a matter for concern, the official added.

"According to reports, their trial fell far short of international standards
and we will continue to raise our deep concerns about the Chinese
government's crackdown on both the Falun Gong and the China Democracy Party
as well as the egregious lack of due process in political trials,'' he said.

7. Chinese skeptic crusades to debunk meditation mystics
Nando Times, Oct. 25, 1999
Sima Nan swings a bicycle around by his teeth, bashes bricks with his head
and lectures his audiences on the art of deception - all part of a crusade to
debunk the supernatural powers claimed by leaders of the outlawed Falun Gong
[Story no longer online? Read this]
movement and other meditation sects.

Sima's decade-long mission to expose the masters of qigong - a popular form
of exercise that draws from martial arts and traditions of mysticism - has
the blessing of the Chinese government, which banned Falun Gong for fear it
could precipitate unrest.

"At first, I saw some extraordinary masters and I really believed in them.
They seemed to do miraculous things," Sima said in an interview at his
Beijing office. "But after a while I realized that they were cheating
unsuspecting people and taking their money. From that time on, I became their
public and private enemy." he says.

For years, Sima watched qigong masters perform. Then, in 1990, before an
audience of 200 top officials and journalists at Beijing's Friendship Hotel,
he gave a performance of his own. "I wanted to expose them," he says. "To
show that it's all fakery."

=== Aum Shinrikyo

8. Woman faked AUM kidnap story
Mainichi Daily News (Japan), Oct. 26, 1999
A girl who claimed to have been abducted by AUM Shinrikyo members in August
because her father is suing the doomsday cult's guru has told investigators
that she made up the story about being kidnapped, police said Monday.

However, when police started to question the girl about the allegations, her
story started to crumble. In addition, her statements were vague and
difficult to confirm. They questioned the girl once again and she apparently
admitted that she had been lying.

"The anniversary of my brother's death was approaching and I couldn't handle
the thought of AUM making a comeback," police quoted the girl as saying.

9. Aum abduction fake, says student
Asahi Daily News (Japan), Oct. 26, 1999
A 19-year-old woman has admitted her hatred of Aum Shinrikyo led her to
fabricate two stories about being abducted and threatened by cult members,
Chiba prefectural police said Monday.

The 19-year-old college student's brother died in a sarin nerve gas attack in
Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, in 1994, and her father is a plaintiff in a
lawsuit seeking damages from Aum for the attack.

In a separate incident, she told police a man accosted her in an elevator at
her college in June and warned her to have the family withdraw from the
lawsuit. She admitted Sunday that she was lying, after police had questioned
her a number of times on the case.

She told police she felt badly that while her parents were fighting against
Aum, she was unable to do anything for her deceased brother.

10. Drafts for Aum control bills unveiled
Japan Times (Japan), Oct. 27, 1999
The government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Wednesday unveiled
drafts of two bills designed to tighten control of Aum Shinrikyo and
facilitate redress to its victims.

The government plans to submit a bill that will enable the Public Security
Investigation Agency to regularly supervise and restrict Aum activities, the
Justice Ministry said. Once the legislation is in place, another bill, to be
submitted by the LDP-led ruling coalition, will enable victims of alleged Aum
crimes to receive more redress from the cult. The second bill is intended to
clarify Aum's total assets, believed to exceed figures claimed by the cult.

=== Scientology

11. Church members, critic spar over name
St. Petersburg Times, Oct. 26, 1999
What would Lisa McPherson have wanted? That question burns at the center of
yet another battle between the Church of Scientology and its critics. Both
sides say they have McPherson's best interests at heart, yet each is using
her name to oppose the other.

McPherson was a veteran Scientologist who died in 1995 while in the care of
church staffers in Clearwater.

On one side, Scientology's top critic said Monday he is financing a new
foundation that will reach out to disaffected members of the church and
educate the public about what he says are the harmful effects of Scientology.

Robert S. Minton, a retired investment banker from New England, said a
full-time staff is being assembled in Clearwater. They hope to find downtown
office space as close as possible to the Fort Harrison Hotel, a retreat that
Scientologists around the world consider their "mecca."

The new foundation would be a safe harbor, providing "exit counseling" for
people wanting to leave Scientology, said Minton, who has spent about
$2.5-million over the past three years fighting the church. Incorporation
papers for the Lisa McPherson Educational Foundation are expected to be filed
this week.

On the other side are local Scientologists who last week registered two
corporations bearing McPherson's name in an attempt to head off Minton's
effort. They acted after news of Minton's plan leaked out on the Internet.

The leader of the group is Bennetta Slaughter, a Clearwater businesswoman and
a Scientologist who was McPherson's boss and longtime friend. Slaughter said
Monday that her group -- either the Lisa Foundation Inc. or the Lisa
McPherson Foundation Inc. -- would work as a kind of Anti-Defamation League
to stand up against the "hate-mongering" and "religious intolerance" of
Minton and his allies.

* Lisa McPherson Memorial Page (operated by critics of the cult)

Why are these people dead, Scientology?

Regarding alleged "hate mongering," see how Scientology turned the
"new CAN" into a hate group
[Story no longer online? Read this]

12. The Navy's Scientology Connection
Washington Post, Oct. 27, 1999 [Column]
Did the U.S. Navy spend $25,000 in taxpayer money to teach Scientology to its
civilian employees? "It inadvertently did," says Roger Helbig, a retired Navy
purchasing manager who lives in Richmond, Calif. Helbig, 52, has filed a
complaint with the Navy's Inspector General over "team-building" management
training courses offered in the past year at a now-defunct Navy outfit called
the SSPORTS Environmental Detachment in Vallejo, Calif.

Helbig, a civilian, attended one of the classes taught by Sonoma, Calif.,
consultant Edward E. Morler, and says they borrowed heavily from the Church
of Scientology. For instance, Morler's course handouts describe a scale used
to measure "Characteristics Related to Emotional Levels"; Helbig says it is
"nearly identical" to Scientology's "Tone Scale," pointing out that, among
other similarities, both Morler's scale and the "Tone Scale" give
"enthusiasm" a 4.0 and "apathy" a .05.

Apparently, Morler was once a Scientologist. Janet Weiland, a Scientology
spokeswoman, told us that he was excommunicated from the church in the early
1980s but gave no further details.

Weiland said the church is worried that he has violated Scientology's
copyright. "This is very concerning to us. We are going to investigate this,"
she said. The Navy, too, is investigating, but a spokeswoman wouldn't comment
further. What's not in dispute is that the Navy paid Morler a cool $25,000.

13. Stoiber: Scientology is no longer a trans-Atlantic problem
AFP, Oct. 21, 1999
Translation: CISAR
The treatment of Scientology, in the opinion of Bavarian Minister President
Edmund Stoiber (CSU), is no longer a problem in trans-Atlantic relations. In
any case, the people he spoke with on his trip to Washington did not mention
it, said Stoiber on Wednesday (local time) in front of journalists in the
U.S. capitol. "I believe that our standpoint has been understood." In the
past, the complaints from Scientology about its treatment in Germany has led
to ill humor between the German government and U.S. officials. The foreign
affairs committee of the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to look
at a Scientology resolution on Thursday, which is critical of Germany. In the
scope of his trip to the USA, Stoiber has met in Washington with lead speaker
of the house, Dennis Hastert, and Secretary of Commerce William Daley.
Meetings were planned on Thursday with Senate Republican majority leader
Trent Lott, Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan and U.S. vice secretary of
the treasury Stuart Eizenstadt. loew/cs
[...entire item...]

14. Scientology alarm in Telekom
Kurier (Austria), Oct. 25, 1999
Translation: CISAR
Commotion in the Army and Ministry of the Interior about an EDP [electronic
data processing] technician who controls the Republic's secret telephone

When a catastrophe occurs, war breaks out, or an ambassador wants to conduct
diplomacy in secret, then secret telephone lines are activated. Right at the
"hottest" points of the secret state telephone network sits a Scientologist.
A member of an organization which German Constitutional Security as
categorized as hostile to the Constitution.

These journalists' discovery caused some concern, in the Ministry of the
Interior and in the national army, among other places. This is because the
man is a top technician at Telekom. He tends to the network equipment for the
Ministry of the Interior, federal police management and the gendarmerie. He
coordinates the "state ground network" for the federal chancellory office. A
secret telephone system for the event of an emergency.

Embassies and consulates also have telephone connections there. And if the
Justice Department were to order telephone surveillance, that instruction
would be routed through the Scientologist. The reason for the concern is a
report from the German Federal Office for Constitutional Security, which Dr.
Peter Prisch presented, "There are indications that the SO intends to obtain
leadership in society and in state through infiltration of the economy,
politics and the state apparatus."

Zaeuner: "It seems precarious to have a Scientologist sitting in a key

15. Building on Dom Street becomes "new home in the heart of Hamburg"
Hamburger Morningpost (Germany), Oct. 26, 1999
Translation: CISAR
Anybody who had hoped that the Scientologists would withdraw from Hamburg is
bound to be disappointed: the sect is moving into a new building on the
corner of Dom Street and Alter Fischmarkt. The opening is planned for the
27th of November. The location, only 100 meters from the Hamburg assembly
building, has the effect of a provocation - "the new home for the
Scientologists will be in the heart of Hamburg," announced its president,
Gisela Hackenjos.

16. Outrage at Scientology recruitment in the city
Die Welt (Germany), Oct. 26, 1999
Translation: CISAR
(...) The Scientology Commissioner of the Hamburg Senate, Ursula Caberta,
warned about the "psycho[logical] concern's strategy." She said it had hidden
its goals behind formulations which sounded unobjectionable. The "Marathon
for Religious Freedom" in the central city was said to be an example of the
strategy. Scientology was not a church, but a psycho-concern which exploited
people. "The organization's goals and ideology are directed against our
liberal democratic basic order."

On the fringes of the activity, 15 members of the Youth Union (JU)
distributed leaflets entitled, "Stop Scientology!" It said that the goal of
the Scientology Organization was the achievement of a totalitarian
dictatorship and legal system. While the organization claimed, unjustifiably,
entitlements to the protection by Basic Law for religious freedom, it
simultaneously harassed and spied on its opponents with its own secret
service. It was said to use conspiratorial methods to infiltrate important
areas of state and society.

Sect marshals immediately tried to drive off the protesters. "Go someplace
else, we've rented this spot," is what Jan Foertsch of the JU repeated of the
short exchange of words.

The CDU citizens faction is appalled. "We will still check to see if the
permit had to have been granted on legal grounds," said faction chief Ole von
Beust. "We perceive this event in the middle of the city as a provocations of
the Hamburg citizenry." He said that Scientology exploited its members,
shamelessly exploited people in need, and wanted to bring its victims into a
state of dependency.

In the central district office, it is believed that the permit for three
small tents had to have been granted. "Under principle of equal treatment, we
had to allow Scientology to set up the tents," said spokeswoman Claudia
Eggers. "We cannot refuse to issue the permit at our whim."

17. In Hamburg, Scientology is advertising for tolerance of itself - and storms their critics' information booths
Taz (Germany), Oct. 26, 1999
Translation: CISAR
Scientology burst vehemently back into the public's eye yesterday in Hamburg.
Amidst a big name fanfare, the organization, which is under surveillance by
the Hamburg Constitutional Security Agency, celebrated the end of its
"European Marathon for Human Rights" on Alsteranleger. A "Torch of Freedom"
was carried over 4,500 kilometers and through seven countries from Athens to
Hamburg. About 1,500 adherents wanted to "make the public more aware of the
United Nations General Declaration of Human Rights, and to go on stage for
freedom of religion."

Caberta and her work group have been doing information work on Scientology in
Hamburg for seven years. Members of the organization responded at the booth
which the work group had erected yesterday. They tore information leaflets
from the book table, and one even spit at somebody who was distributing the
leaflets. "Anyone who behaves like that," commented Caberta, "has to be
nervous." The desolate condition of the organization in Hamburg is said to
have been managed through the work of her office.

* Scientology harassment campaigns documented
[Story no longer online? Read this]

18. Only information helps against sect disorder
Die Welt, Oct. 26, 1999
Translation: CISAR
Americans who stridently sneer at Germany because Scientologists are alleged
to be oppressed there should have been at the Hamburg Alster yesterday. There
they would have experienced just the opposite. As never before, the
controversial organization was out hunting for souls in the city - in a
publicity event disguised as a demonstration.

On the one side, the legal state's tolerance of this event shows how
seriously it takes the constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedom of
demonstration and freedom of religion. Anybody may profit from those
freedoms, no matter how obscure their opinions or how doubtful their
operating methods are. On the other side, it is clear how calmly the Hamburg
community presence reacted to the "Alster Vergnuegen" for Scientologists. No
trace of hysteria. That is because, in a state of Basic Law, anybody may be
happy according to his own - or unhappy. To be sure, tolerance should not go
so far as to avoid information and explanation of so-called "churches." Those
who work with such subtle methods, as continue to be reported by former
members from their own painful experiences, should not escape the public eye.

=== Breatharianism/Jasmuheen

19. Fresh-air dietician fails TV show's challenge
Yahoo! UK, Oct. 25, 1999
A dietician who claims it ispossible to live off fresh air has failed in a
television documentary to practise what she preaches.

An Australian programme, 60 Minutes, asked Jasmuheen, a former financial
adviser whose real name is Ellen Greve, to demonstrate that she could live
healthily without any nutrients other than air for one week.

Jasmuheen, who claims not to have eaten real food for years, agreed to be cut
off from the outside world for the test. But the programme-makers were forced
to call a halt to the trial after four days when she showed signs of becoming
seriously ill.

Jasmuheen had initially been confined to a hotel room in Brisbane with teams
of female security guards in constant attendance. Her progress was checked by
a female doctor, Dr Berris Wink, president of the Queensland branch of the
Australian Medical Association.

The cult leader claimed that her confinement close to a busy main road meant
she could not get the nutrients she needed to survive as a Breatharian.

60 Minutes moved Jasmuheen on day three to a mountainside retreat about 15
miles away from the city , where she was filmed enjoying the fresh air she
said she could now live on happily. However, as the filming progressed, it
became obvious that Jasmuheen was becoming ill. Her speech was slow, her
pupils dilated and she had lost almost a stone. One doctor advising 60
Minutes urged Jasmuheen and the programme to stop the challenge.

Dr Wink told her: "You are now quite dehydrated, probably over 10 per cent,
getting up to 11 per cent." She also announced: "Her pulse is about double
what it was when she started. The risks if she goes any further are kidney
failure. 60 Minutes would be culpable if they encouraged her to continue. She
should stop now."

Jasmuheen challenged the decision, saying: "Look, 6,000 people have done this
around the world without any problem" She blamed 60 Minutes for putting her
beside a busy main road at the start of the experiment. "I asked for fresh
air. Seventy per cent of my nutrients come from fresh air. I couldn't even
breath," she said.

Next month an Australian doctor and his wife who say they are Breatharians
are due to go on trial charged with manslaughter after a woman died in their

20. Fresh Air Diet Guru's Deadly Lies Exposed
Yahoo! UK, Oct. 24, 1999
(...) Presenter Richard Carlton asked Jasmuheen: "Could you come to the
intelligent view that you can't survive on air?" She said: "No, because
I've done it for a long time. "Six thousand people have done this around the
world without any problem."

But the doctor said: "The vast majority of the people out there don't believe
for one second that Jasmuheen practises what she preaches. "It's quite
irresponsible for somebody to be trying to encourage others to do something
so detrimental to their health."

Carlton told viewers: "You might dismiss Jasmuheen as merely the latest in a
colourful line of New Age carpet baggers. Except her message is dangerous.
And she is deluded."

=== Waco/Branch Davidians

21. Davidian Plaintiffs' Gun Test Nixed
AOL/AP, Oct. 26, 1999
The Justice Department has brushed aside a challenge by lawyers for survivors
of the 1993 Branch Davidian siege to participate in a demonstration that the
lawyers contend would prove federal agents fired shots during the standoff's
final hours.

In rejecting the offer, a legal team representing the government in a massive
wrongful-death lawsuit headed to trial next May cited that litigation and
uncertainty over the validity of the demonstration.

Frustrated by the government's refusal to provide information about the
infrared videotaping performed at Waco, the plaintiffs last week invited
investigators for the government, Congress and the special counsel
investigating Waco to witness the proposed demonstration.

Caddell wrote Ms. Hagen on Tuesday that he was ``disappointed'' by the
Justice Department's refusal to join in the test. ``You and your superiors at
the Department of Justice continue to treat this matter as some sort of
game,'' he said.

22. Magazines: Getting at the truth about Waco
[Story no longer online? Read this]
Pitssburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 28, 1999
(...) In magazineland, New Yorker magazine has achieved Times-like status as
an agenda-setter and official purveyor of East Coast liberal-establishment
opinion. If it runs a big story critical of the Justice Department's handling
of events at Waco, as it does this week, it's a sign to the many journalists
who read it that it's now politically correct to hold such a position.

The Waco article in question, headlined "Burned," is a few months late in
arriving. But it catches up on the summer's Waco developments, namely that
the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Justice
Department have not been playing straight with the American public about what
happened April 19, 1993, when more than 80 people burned to death at the
Branch Davidian property.

"Burned" is only barely critical of the Justice Department. It's written with
careful understatement and without the slightest hint of bias by Peter J.
Boyer, who's known for his clear, bias-free reporting style.

The New Yorker is careful to make it absolutely clear that it has no sympathy
for or empathy with the armies of Waco critics beyond the Hudson. Waco is a
"case" and a "controversy," not a "cover-up," a "massacre" or a "holocaust,"
which is what Liberty magazine's editor R.W. Bradford frequently calls it in
his November cover story.

Bradford is as far away from the New Yorker as he can be, ideologically and
geographically. From his headquarters in Port Townsend, Wash., he argues that
killing the Davidians and covering up the details was not a government
conspiracy but, more ominously, "the work of ordinary law enforcement
bureaucrats doing their ordinary business."

For Bradford, the Waco episode "reveals an incredibly callous indifference to
human life on the part of the Republicans, the Democrats and the news media."

"Somehow," says Bradford, who's about 10,000 degrees too hot for readers of
the New Yorker, "the Republicans, the Democrats and the media have missed the
real story: federal agents, acting with the approval of their superiors,
murdered nearly a hundred innocent people."

Boyer, while not a liberal, is no right-wing Waco wacko.

Boyer also dismisses the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Waco: The Rules
of Engagement,"
as merely "an anti-government polemic." It is that, but
that's a little unfair.

Mike McNulty's Academy Award-nominated film is also a shocking, moving and
enraging exposé. And as the facts about what the FBI's rent-a-tanks,
pyrotechnic specialists and sharpshooters were really up to that day dribble
out, "Waco: Rules of Engagement" is becoming better known for its truths
than its polemics.

=== Cults - General

23. Are these successful Texas companies cults?
Northern Light/PRNewswire
The following was released today by Dr. Dave Arnott, author of "Corporate
Cults, The Insidious Lure of the All- Consuming Organization."

[Story no longer online? Read this]

Herb Kelleher's beloved Southwest Airlines has been called many names over
the years, but...a cult? The Dallas-based company has all the traits that
define a cult slavish devotion by employees, charismatic leadership, and
separation from the community. Those traits are transferred to the workplace
by some of today's most successful companies, charges Dr. Dave Arnott, a
professor of management at Dallas Baptist University and author of "Corporate
Cults, The Insidious Lure of the All-Consuming Organization." The book
provides a fascinating expose of the "Unhealthy, all-consuming power that
cultic organizations wield over their employees," according to the author.

Dr. Arnott further accuses CEOs of using the same techniques to gain employee
commitment and loyalty that are used by traditional cult leaders. At-work
daycare, exercise facilities, laundry services and travel clubs effectively
separate workers from their families and communities, thus making the
organization into a cult.

Dr. Dave Arnott is an author, business consultant, seminar leader and public
speaker who has made numerous presentations about the relationship between
employees and organizations. His speaking, writing and research have
established his reputation as a leading expert on corporate cults. Dr. Arnott
is on the faculty at Dallas Baptist University and lives in Rowlett, just
east of Dallas, with his two teenage children.

=== Wicca/Neo-Paganism

24. Witches spin some of their magic over young women
Journal Sentinel, Oct. 25, 1999
(...) Hollywood and book publishers have noted the interest in witchcraft
[Story no longer online? Read this]
among those between the ages of 11 and 23. Television shows such as "Buffy
the Vampire Slayer," "Charmed" and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" all feature
the exploits of witches - albeit fabulous babe witches with powers to fight
evil or get the best table in the school cafeteria.

What they see on television or at the movies has helped inspire droves of
teens to visit The Celtic Gypsey bookstore, 337 W. Broadway, Waukesha, says
owner Lynn Flancher.

"I've sold more of that 'Teen Witch' book than anything else," says Flancher,
who celebrates the second anniversary of her store on Halloween.

Some experts say teens are curious about witchcraft because they are seeking
spirituality in a vastly technological world. Nowhere is the combination of
the two more apparent than the Young Pagans of the World Page
At the Web site, teens are educated about spelling errors
(not the grammatical kind), and they send out requests for e-mail from others
who share their interest.

Not every teen who is studying witchcraft is willing to speak on the record.
Those contacted through the Young Pagans Page of the Witchvox Web site
responded to requests at their e-mail addresses but were hesitant to offer
real names. They say they find the Internet a way to stay in the broom closet
but still interact with others who share their beliefs.

25. Pagan students: Halloween is a time to educate non-believers
College Press Network, Oct. 25, 1999
(...) But Janney says the people in Purdue's Pagan Academic Network also know
how to have a good time. In preparation for Samhain, PAN is inviting the
public to an educational discussion about the religion. Afterwards members
will let loose and celebrate the occasion by throwing a party.

Like most major schools, Purdue has seen a resurgence in neo-pagan groups
over the last decade that mirrors the religion's growing acceptance. Many
universities now have pagan student groups that promote education, tolerance
and open discussion of religious beliefs, a far cry from the
human-sacrificing, bloodthirsty miscreants they've been made out to be.

Michael Clanton, who presides over the Student Pagan Association at the
University of Arkansas, says the same feeling of disbelief led him to
discover paganism. "For a lot of people certain paths don't work, but other
paths feel right," Clanton explained. "When we look back to our past Ö a lot
of people are able to find ways of worshiping that are much more comfortable
to them."

Most pagans can't understand why they've been singled out for abuse when so
much of their religion is based on tolerance and respect for nature. In fact,
the lone Wiccan rule states: "And it harm none, do as you will."

"Our biggest bastion we defend is the idea that everyone is equal in religion
as well as everything else," Janney said. "So we have a great respect for
other peoples' views and beliefs so long as they don't intentionally harm
people or the environment."

Although many pagans and Wiccans worship multiple gods, Janney says they have
more in common with Christians than most people think. "(Most pagans) believe
that there is a deity but this deity is so vast and unknowable that there's
no reason why all the people of the world can't view the deity a different
way," Janney said. "It's like we're all seeing the same mountain but we're on
a different side of the mountain so we see it differently."

26. Who drives Halloween worries? Could it be ... Satan?
The Journal/Capital News Service, Oct. 26, 1999
The backlash against traditional Halloween celebrations in schools became so
prevalent that experts even coined a term for it: Satanic panic. The term
was invented to define the reaction of groups who became concerned about
reports of satanic rituals in society, beginning in the 1980s and continuing
through today, said James Stewart, an expert on hysteria and fads.

But schools are overreacting to parent complaints and should not feel the
need to change their policies, said Stewart, associate dean of the College of
Arts and Sciences at the University of South Dakota.

Some Christians worry about Halloween because it is the most important
religious day for Wiccans, a neo-pagan religion that is often mistaken for a
satanic religion, said Ingrid Shafer, a professor of philosophy and religion
at the University of Arts and Sciences in Oklahoma.

"Those who are afraid of Halloween don't understand the history. I think it's
because of confusion about the pre-Christian realm,'' said Shafer.

=== Other News

27. Christians challenge Israel expulsion - officials
AOL/Reuters, Oct. 27, 1999
Members of apocalyptic Christian groups being held in jail awaiting
deportation from Israel are appealing against expulsion, officials said

Israel Monday detained 20 people, 13 of them Americans, from apocalyptic
[Story no longer online? Read this]
Christian groups who would be deported for posing a threat to public safety.
It said in a statement that they had the right to appeal within 72 hours of
the order.

Police spokesman Rafi Yaffe had said Monday the people belonged to
organizations he called the "Temple group" and the "House of Prayer
group," both of which believe in the imminent Second Coming of Jesus.

28. Detained 'end-time' Christians insist they are nonviolent
Star-Telegram/Religion News Service, Oct. 26, 1999
(...) But on Tuesday (Oct. 26), as a clearer profile of the detainees began
to emerge, critics began to ask if the move was really justified. Notably,
the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement expressing concern the arrests
had been based on "incorrect" information -- and were likely to harm Israel's
image in the eyes of Christians.

Indeed, interviews with the leaders and members of the two congregations,
conducted by RNS over the past year, yield a profile unlike that of a
secretive sect.

In their repeated interviews with journalists, both Brother David and Brother
Solomon denounced violence as a means to bring about the return of the
messiah -- and sought to distinguish themselves from groups that had
attempted violence or committed mass suicides in the name of divine will.

"Our purpose is to prepare the way for the coming of the messiah," Brother
David added. "But anyone who thinks they are going to commit suicide or blow
up other people's buildings certainly didn't get that from the teachings of
Jesus. "We have signs showing that the coming of the messiah is very near.
But no man knows the day or the hour. We believe in leaving things in the
hands of God."

29. Israel Struggling to Tell Pious Pilgrims From Dangerous Cults
[Story no longer online? Read this]
San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 27, 1999
Christian doomsday groups heading to the Holy Land have put Israeli
authorities in an awkward spot -- trying to attract pious pilgrims while
scaring away "dangerous cults."

James Tabor, a University of North Carolina professor and an authority on
apocalyptic sects, defended the House of Prayer. Tabor, who interviewed
members of the church earlier this year in Israel, said Brother David and his
flock may seem eccentric but have theological views similar to those of
millions of evangelical Christians.

Elissa Swift, a spokeswoman for the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco, said
that her government has moved against U.S. groups and individuals only if
they threaten public safety and only in conjunction with the FBI.

Gershom Gorenberg, the Jerusalem representative of the Center for Millennial
in Boston, had mixed feelings about the roundup. "On the surface,
this group was seen as benign," he said. "It wasn't a crystallized
community, but a collection of individuals. People dropped in for a time and
then left."

Other observers defended the Israeli action. David Parsons, spokesman for
the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, said Brother David was
getting lots of media attention. Reporters coming to Jerusalem in search of
apocalyptic prophets used his comments to liven up their millennium stories.

Before the millennium craze hit, Parsons said, Brother David used to dress
like an Orthodox rabbi and evangelize in traditional Jewish neighborhoods.
That didn't go over to well with his ultra-Orthodox neighbors.

Gordon Melton, another leading authority on apocalyptic sects, said Israelis
authorities need to err on the side of caution. "They are sitting on a
powder keg in Israel," said Melton, head of the Institute for the Study of
American Religion in Santa Barbara. "Here it would be a gross violation of
civil rights. But given the situation there, it is not as mean as it appears.
There are Jewish and Muslim groups with long histories of violence, and the
Israelis are afraid these (apocalyptic Christian) groups will spark

30. Westerners Drawn to Divine Light
Oct. 23, 1999
Kneeling with their eyes closed inside an Irvine office complex, disciples of
an obscure Japanese sect wait for the Holy Master--a man named Katsutoshi
Sekiguchi, spiritual leader of the Divine Light Organization.

Also known as Sekai Mahikari Bunmei Kyoda, the organization is a 40-year-old
offshoot of Shintoism. The goal of the group is to save the world from
destruction by helping Su-God--the creator--purify the Earth with prayer.

The faith, one of many new religions that developed in post-World War II
Japan, was founded by Yoshikazu Okada, a former Tokyo businessman who had a
revelation in 1959. Worldwide, the religion claims 50,000 members, including
100 in Orange County.

A distinguishing characteristic of the organization is a special kind of
prayer with outstretched hands that adherents say transfers energy and
healing from one person to another. Formally called Maihikari-no-waza, the
ritual also is called "giving okiyome."

People claim that many miracles have indeed happened after okiyome in the
small Irvine sanctuary.

Many of okiyome practitioners say the Divine Light ceremony is merely an
addition to their spiritual life, not a substitute for a more traditional
faith. Although devoted to the Divine Light practice of okiyome, Mike
Harrison said he's not going to give up his Christianity. "I still believe in
Jesus," said Harrison, 49, of Irvine.

31. Dalai Lama backs Pope
The Times (England), Oct. 27, 1999
Rome: The Dalai Lama criticised Westerners who embrace Buddhism "for the
wrong reasons" yesterday and urged Roman Catholics and other Christians to
stay faithful to their own religious traditions (Richard Owen writes). His
remarks will be welcomed by the Pope, who in his most recent encyclical said
Christians should be open to oriental religions but that it was an error to
absorb so many of their ideas that they lost sight of the fact that "the only
salvation is through Jesus Christ". The two men are to meet tomorrow.
[...entire item...]

32. Renegade Orthodox group targets minority faiths in former Soviet republic
Star-Telegram/AP, Oct. 23, 1999
(...) Tabagari, a 40-year-old housewife, was among 20 Jehovah's Witnesses
[Story no longer online? Read this]
hospitalized following a 30-minute melee inside a theater rented for Sunday
services by the Witnesses. The group claims about 15,000 members in this
mountainous country and is infamous here as elsewhere for its dogged

According to witnesses and television footage, about 200 Orthodox Christians
arrived Sunday on foot and in two buses, blocked exits to the three-story
building and attacked the 124 Witnesses inside with wooden clubs and
foot-long iron crucifixes.

According to spokeswoman Marina Khonelidze, the priest's followers visited
the Witnesses "not to fight with them but to talk to them, to explain how
they were mistaken." Khonelidze claimed the Orthodox suffered precisely as
many wounded as the Witnesses claim -- 20 people. She said local television
news doctored videotape to show the Orthodox beating the Witnesses.

In the past, local Baptists, Pentecostals and even fellow Georgian Orthodox
have accused Mkalashvili's parishioners of organized physical attacks,
sometimes in tandem with the local police, who have not made any arrests in
the Oct. 17 incident.

While the Oct. 17 attack was carried out by an Orthodox fringe group, it
highlights frustrations in this ancient nation of 5 million. Since gaining
independence in 1991, Georgia has been wracked by two violent secessionist
movements that left 300,000 people homeless. Western-style reforms have
yielded few economic results. Unemployment is rampant. Pensioners receive the
monthly equivalent of $6.40 from the government.

Non-indigenous faiths ranging from Baptists to Hare Krishnas are perceived as
Western imports, part and parcel of the flood of Western ideas and products
entering this former Soviet republic.

33. Georgian protestants targeted
Stetson University/Compass Direct
Public meetings by four evangelical Protestant congregations were brought
to a halt in the Georgian capital Tbilisi at the end of August against a
backdrop of hostility from the police and radical Orthodox activists. Public
services have not restarted yet, one of the pastors told Compass on October
12, though small-scale services have been held in private apartments.

None of the four congregations owns a church building, thus making them
vulnerable to pressure from the authorities. Only two Protestant churches
continue to hold services in Tbilisi: the Baptist Church (which owns its
own building) and the Russian-language Pentecostal church Word of Life, led
by Pastor Viktor Lutsik. Evangelical churches in other Georgian regions have
not been affected.

=== Alternative Healing
[Story no longer online? Read this]

34. James Colthurst, the homoeopath who was Princess Diana's confidant, is launching a radical device. Susan Clark reports
The Times (England), Oct. 26, 1999
A natural healing device developed by Russian scientists and used to keep
their astronauts in peak physical condition has been given approval as a
pain-relief agent by the Medicine Device Agency in Britain. It will now be
tested by hospital nurses in 12 clinical trials to assess its potency in
treating a wide range of complaints from back pain to ovarian cysts.
Kosmed, which stands for cosmic medicine, is known as Scenar (Self Controlled
Energo Neuro Adaptive Regulation) in Russia, where it won its makers the
prestigious Order of Lenin award. The biofeedback device is said to trigger
the body's natural and potent healing powers by setting up what is described
as a "dialogue" between the brain and whichever part of the body or system
needs healing.

The man introducing the device to the UK is James Colthurst, a surgeon and
qualified homoeopath, who admits that he is often perceived as something of a
maverick by contemporaries practising more orthodox medicine.

The fact is, though - and he knows this - that Kosmed will get more attention
because of his notoriety. Although its approval by the authorities here is as
a painrelief agent - and this is the only official claim being made for it -
stories of "miracle cures" have been causing a wave of excitement in healing

The device could not be more streamlined. It looks like a slim black TV
remote control and works by sending a low-energy, nerve-like and painless
electrical impulse through the skin.

The idea is that the Kosmed, having detected the problem, alerts the brain to
the affected area, reminding the body's repair mechanisms to finish the
healing job it may have started but not yet finished. To witness this
treatment reminds me of a hands-on healing method called the Bowen Technique,
whose practitioners use their fingers to trigger a similar reorganisation of
the body's energy to complete a natural repair job. The difference is that
the Bowen healers say they do not really know how their technique works.

Kosmed treatment sessions will cost from £25. For details of training and the
new practitioners' network, call 08700 780554 or visit www.kosmed.co.uk

35. Sally Morris on the world's oldest medical system, Ayurveda
The Times (Englan), Oct. 26, 1999
This month marks a significant turning point for followers of the ancient
Indian healing system of Ayurveda. The first British degree in Ayurvedic
medicine begins at the Wolfson Institute of Health Sciences at Thames Valley
University, and by the end of the year the first Ayurvedic hospital will open
in Northwood, West London. At last, it seems, this holistic method is being
accorded the sort of status it has always enjoyed in India, Sri Lanka and

Ayurveda is the oldest medical system in the world and its name derives from
two Sanskrit words - ayus, meaning life, and veda, meaning knowledge. Its
principles are based on the Hindu religion and philosophy, and its
application, say followers, can bring marked physical improvements.

Ayurveda is founded on the principle that every living thing is made up of
five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether.

With so many elements of health and lifestyle to be considered, it is perhaps
not surprising that Ayurveda has not yet taken the hold in Britain that it
has established in India. It is a difficult concept to grasp quickly and
demands a rethink of the way in which one lives.

Warner is concerned that Ayurveda may become devalued in Britain because
unqualified people are claiming to have trained in the discipline. He is also
worried about the tendency of Westerners to hijack and simplify what is a
highly skilled method of spiritual and physical healing to make money.

=== Noted

36. Poll indicates a haunted nation
Nando Times, Oct. 27, 1999
Nearly half of the nation's population gives credence to the possibility
that ghosts might exist, and more than a quarter of Americans suspect
modern-day witches might have mystical powers, according to a survey of 1,015
adults conducted by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University.

But the poll also found that a majority of Americans, especially older
adults, are concerned about the growing popularity of books, television shows
and movies dwelling on supernatural creatures like vampires and witches.

Younger adults are much more likely to profess a belief in the supernatural
and much less likely to believe that occult books and films are harmful.

"Once we were a more conformist, conservative, religious society. But we have
opened up now with alternative 'new age' faiths and beliefs," said Roger
Corman, a director and producer known for his low-budget monster films.

37. Search for life beyond Earth: Many religions open to idea that God created other intelligent species
Detroit News, Oct. 26, 1999
Religious leaders say most faiths would not crumble or even change
appreciably if science offered proof of another intelligent species in the

It would seem strange if God had created the universe with creatures in only
one small corner able to "see what miraculous work he has done," said Alvin
Plantinga, director of the Center for Philosophy and Religion at the
University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

"Christians believe God became incarnate as a human being and Jesus Christ is
the savior of humankind," said Australian physicist Paul Davies, who has
written several books examining the philosophical issues surrounding the
prospect for alien life. "He didn't come to save the great apes, for
example, and he certainly didn't come to save little green men. So this is a
unique relationship between God and man."

The question becomes: Is that special bond broken if it turns out there are
other intelligent species in the heavens? Many Christian scholars say no.

Still, some Christian sects would have a hard time sharing the creator. They
include churches that teach a literal interpretation of the Bible, and claim
Earth is the only inhabited world in the universe. At the very least, their
teachings would be startled by the discovery of aliens. At the most, the
churches would lose followers.

"You very well could get some people who would toss out their Bibles, but I
don't think that many," said J. Gordon Melton, director of the Institute for
the Study of American Religion, an independent research group based in Santa
Barbara, Calif.
Related story: Search For Life Beyond Earth: Are aliens out there? You bet,
many of us say

While scientists comb the heavens for signs of alien life, confirmation
already is a moot point for a large number of Americans. Simply put, they're
convinced aliens are alive and well in the universe, and may even be paying
us regular visits. Just look at the numbers:

- A Gallup Poll several years ago found 27 percent of Americans - twice the
percentage who voted for Ross Perot for president in 1992 - believe aliens
have visited Earth.
- A 1996 Newsweek poll reported that 48 percent of Americans think UFOs are
- Eighty percent of respondents in a Time/CNN survey believe the government
is concealing information about the existence of aliens.

UFOs also have landed in academia. Temple University history professor David
Jacobs teaches "UFOs in American Society" from an academic pulpit that would
have been unthinkable 20 years ago.

38. Interfaith peace conferences to explore role of religion in promoting peace in millennium
Northern Light/PRNewswire
The Jubillenium Foundation announced today that the first annual Interfaith
Conference for World Peace will be held on November 21-23 in Beit Gavriel,
Israel to explore the role of religion in pursuing conflict resolution and

The conference will be co-hosted by Jubillenium and the Interreligious
Coordinating Council in Israel, and participants will include The Dalai Lama;
Imam Wallace Dean Muhammed, leader of Black Islam in the United States;
Bishop Michael Fitzgerald, the Vatican's official representative; Mr. Jiulio
Andreotti, former Italian prime minister and others.

Consisting of two parts, a dialogue and a colloquium, the conference will
view mankind as a whole, and its religious leadership in particular, to
determine how to meet the challenge of solving conflicts worldwide. Israel
was chosen as the location for the conference, since it was there that a
significant part of the holy books of the three great religions was created.

Members of the conference organizing committee include Rabbi David Rosen,
director of the Anti-Defamation League, Israel and president of the World
Council of Religions and Peace; Dr. Ron Kronish, general director of the
Interfaith Council; Mr. Rafi Luzon, Jubillenium representative; Mr. Robin
Twite, World Council for Religions and Peace; and Mr. Jonathan Zvi, the
Israel Friends of Tibet Foundation.

Individuals who have confirmed their participation in the conference include
the Dalai Lama; Imam Wallace Dean Muhammed in the United States; Bishop
Michael Fitzgerald, the Vatican's official representative; Sheik Nazim El
Hakani, world leader of the Nakshabandi Sufi order; Dr. Ndamo Njoya, former
president of the African Muslim Congress; Archbishop Ngada, president of the
Federation of African Churches; Mr. Nichiko Niwano, president of the
Rishokosek'ai, the Japanese Buddhist Organization; Rabbi Shmuel Sirat, former
chief rabbi of France; Bishop Dr. Mato Zovkic of Sarajevo; Sarajevo Mayor
Igor Gaon; head of the Jewish community in Sarajevo, Mr. Jacob Finzi;
personal representatives of the Mufti; the Patriarch of Bosnia; The Hon.
David Bleakly of North Ireland, former president of the Union of Churches in
Britain; Professor Geraldine Smith, head of the Irish Ecumenical Center;
Jiulio Andreotti, former prime minister of Italy; Mr. Stefan De Mistroa, UN
Europe director; Mr. Frederico Mayor, former head of UNESCO; Mr. Krad Kunig;
Mr. Fred Van Leewan, secretary general of the International Organization for
Education in Belgium; Prof. Petros Basta of Italy and others.

The Jubillenium website may be accessed at http://www.jubillenium.com.

39. Millennium Madness
Newsweek, Oct. 24 ,1999
(...) For millions of Americans the prophecies found in Revelation are not
literary allegories but a blueprint of the events to comeóif not in 2000,
then soon enough. According to a new NEWSWEEK Poll, about 18 percent of
Americans expect the endtimes to come within their lifetime. This translates
to roughly 36 million peopleónot just fringe extremists but your office mate,
mail carrier or soccer coach.

Yet among Christian communities, the coming millennium has inspired a
surprisingly low count of doomsday survivalist cults, says J. Gordon Melton,
a researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After two
decades of studying Christian schisms, splinter groups and rogue
denominations, Melton finally concluded that the millennium is a bust,
apocalypsewise. Except for the odd group hoarding water or fretting over the
Y2K computer bug, the Armageddon wires have been surprisingly quiet. "I
expected to have a field day with millennial groups," he says. "And there was

=== Religious Intolerance in the USA

40. Workplace greeting makes religion in the workplace an issue
Star-Telegram, Oct. 26, 1999
It was Liz Anderson's habit to wish everyone a blessed day -- until her
bosses ordered her to stop spreading her faith-tinged brand of sunshine.
USF Logistics of Indianapolis reprimanded the office worker this summer for
continuing to offer the blessing after she was repeatedly instructed to knock
it off.

She's stopped now because she knows another transgression could result in
more severe punishment, including dismissal. It says so right in the written
reprimand she received from her bosses, who took the action after a client at
software giant Microsoft Corp. objected to Anderson's religious greeting.

Anderson's dilemma is increasingly more common in the American workplace,
where even innocuous religious practices can cause a ruckus.

Since 1992, the number of religious discrimination complaints filed annually
with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has increased nearly
29 percent, to 1,786 in 1998.

Workplace conflicts over religion often are best resolved if the worker and
employer come together to try to find a compromise. If that is not possible,
here are some other options:

Contact your spiritual adviser. Sometimes a faith leader can act as an
intermediary to resolve a religious conflict in the workplace.

Contact the Anti-Defamation League at 309 W. Washington, Suite 750, Chicago,
IL 60606 or call (312) 782-5080.

File a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity

=== Film

41. Deciphering the success of 'Omega Code'
[Story no longer online? Read this]
CNN, Oct. 26, 1999
"The Omega Code" is one of the most unlikely success stories in the movie
industry. This "millennium thriller," as some have called it, boasts mystery,
action, special effects, and a $4.5 million take after just 10 days in
release. Compared to a big studio release, its earnings are nothing special.
But it's impressive when you consider that it was produced by a religious

Paul Crouch, televangelist and founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network,
funded the $7.2 million film starring Michael York, Catherine Oxenburg and
her husband Casper Van Dien. "I longed for many years to do a film on
biblical prophecy," Crouch says.

Now he has, with a film whose plot centers on efforts to stop a villain from
using a stolen secret Bible code to take over the world. The controversial
idea that the Old Testament contains hidden references has been the subject
of numerous studies, and was the subject of the 1997 bestseller "The Bible
Code" by Michael Drosnin.

Crouch's son Matthew, president of Gener8ion Entertainment, is the producer.
"I think I, as a producer, have a core audience that have watched my parents
for 27 years," he says. "This is a film we can believe in. This a film we can
support, and they did."

* Note: It is a sad that some Christians are willing to sit through a movie
funded and promoted by what many rightly refer to as "The Blasphemy
Network" (TBN). This is especially so, given the un-Biblical speculation
and extra-Biblical support for the discredited "Bible Codes" theory.

=== The Believers Around The Corner

42. Shops get teeth into 'veg shui'
The Times (England), Oct. 24, 1999
Coming to a store near you - the cheery carrot, the smiley strawberry and the
beaming banana. Supermarkets are employing spiritual advisers to make their
fruit and vegetables "happy" so they last longer on the shelves, write John
Harlow and Senay Boztas.

Somerfield, Tesco and Marks & Spencer are quietly recruiting self-proclaimed
experts who combine feng shui, the Chinese art of harmonious building, with
hard chemistry.

For the feng shui advisers, it is all a question of neighbours. At 600
Somerfield shops, tomatoes will no longer nestle next to red peppers - this
makes them see red, apparently - and lettuce, which gives out negative waves,
will be cheered up by resting next to oranges. Somerfield is the first
supermarket to advertise its own new age adviser. It is not alone. Tesco is
also bringing in "the spooky squad", as one leading architect recently
branded feng shui advisers.

Feng shui has been taught in China for more than 2,000 years, yet there are
some scientific truths that bolster the supermarkets' thinking. Professor
Alfred Bushway, of the University of Maine, New England, said certain foods
give up ethylene, a gas that accelerates the ripening process of foods around

Others feel, however, that "veg shui" is a fashion too far. Yap Leong, a
consultant, said: "Feng shui is about the orientation of buildings, not
fruit." And a rival supermarket spokesman said: "I see they are avoiding the
ultimate challenge, the pear: hard one minute, mush the next. Feng shui

43. Children Confuse Prime Minister With God
Excite/Reuters, Oct. 28, 1999
British children confuse Prime Minister Tony Blair with God and believe that
Queen Elizabeth "sits around drinking wine all day," researchers said on

Seven-year-old Natasha said Blair "has got grey long hair, curly with a grey
beard, a grey-like dressy thing and he does miracles."

Blair's spin doctors would approve.

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