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Religion News Report

November 2, 2000 (Vol. 4, Issue 281)

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Rainbow


=== Falun Gong
1. Ten Imprisoned in China for Books
2. Troubled Falun Gong Turns Up in Indian Avatar
3. UCLA students hope to gain support for Falun Gong

=== Scientology
4. Scientology questionnaire
5. UPS defends itself with law suit

=== Bahai
6. Iranian Bahais, Fleeing Religious Persecution, Find a Refuge in Turkey

=== Nation of Islam
7. Farrakhan Recovers From Surgery

=== Mungiki
8. Mungiki A Clever Ploy, Charges MP

=== The Body / Attleboro Cult
9. Analysis - Future of sect is unclear after recovery of bodies
10. Prison visit led to cult-case break

=== Paganism / Witchcraft
11. Sales Tax Begone!
12. Witches without warts

=== Hate Groups
13. Racist Leader Butler Declares Bankruptcy
14. Groups ignore Hale, celebrate diversity
15. Legal or not, city told to stop KKK
16. Devil Dogs' families settle victim lawsuit
17. German Lawmakers Doubtful on Neo-Nazi Ban

» Part 2

=== Satanism
18. 'I was happy to kill him -- he was ugly'

=== Other News
19. Parents Accused of Torturing Children Face New Charges
20. Davis child had been beaten on day he died, prosecutors say
21. Wonder Valley boys' poor health detailed
22. Cult Alert (Infinity Forms of Yellow Remember)
23. Uri Geller sues Nintendo over cartoon monster
24. Atheism Society Forum Discusses Combating Falun Gong
25. Ethiopian government denounces Haile Selassie as despot and tyrant
26. Psychic, mate admit stealing woman's cash
27. Steve Allen, TV Innovator, Author, Composer, Dies at 78

=== Noted
28. A Voice From the Other Side
29. Psychic brings voices, ratings, to TV
30. Occupational occult
31. Exorcism Flourishing Once Again (Larson, Hanegraaff)
32. In a fix, French communists turn to Jesus -- sort of


=== Falun Gong

1. Ten Imprisoned in China for Books
Associated Press, Nov. 2, 2000
http://beta.yellowbrix.com/Off-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese courts sentenced 10 people to prison Thursday for illegally printing and selling books. One defendant received a life term for dealing in publications for the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement.
The 10, convicted in the southern city of Guangzhou, received sentences ranging from five years to life for illegal business activities and producing obscene materials, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said.

The government strictly regulates publishing in an effort to prevent materials deemed subversive, pornographic or threatening to Communist Party rule from reaching China's book markets.
(...)

Officials have seized millions of books used by followers of Falun Gong since the sect was banned as a threat to party rule in July 1999.

Falun Gong publications were among nearly 4.95 million illegal books printed by two of those sentenced in Guangzhou, Liang Jiantian and Liu Jingsong, Xinhua said.

Liang was sentenced to life imprisonment and Liu was given a 20-year term, both on charges of manufacturing obscene materials and conducting an illegal business, Xinhua said.
(...)

Xinhua said another defendant, Liu Yong, sold 8.31 million books, including one he put together himself about movie stars, and was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment.
[...more...]   [Need the full story? Read this]
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2. Troubled Falun Gong Turns Up in Indian Avatar
Reuters/Inside China Today, Nov. 2, 2000
http://www.insidechina.com/Off-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
NEW DELHI, India, Nov 2, 2000 -- (Reuters) Amid the tombs of India's medieval Muslim Lodi dynasty, a dozen people move their bodies in a slow and fluid motion, attracting curious stares from early morning walkers.

They are the new adherents of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, banned in China in July last year but now making small inroads in India, the home of yoga.

''The Indian people are very open (to new ideas). We would like to familiarize Indians with Falun Gong,'' said Ming Fa, a Frenchman of Laotian descent who is in India to spread the word about the spiritual movement.
(...)

Besides Lodi gardens, where the rich and powerful take their walks, Falun Gong is being taught in two other neighborhoods of the Indian capital.
(...)

Susie Trong, a Boston-based health worker, said officials from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had paid the Falun Gong pioneers several visits.

''They came to just ask us why we have come all this way to India to teach Falun Gong. They have not bothered us at all,'' said Trong.

CBI and interior ministry officials denied paying such calls, but did not rule out other government agencies making inquiries.
[...more...]   [Need the full story? Read this]
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3. UCLA students hope to gain support for Falun Gong
Daily Bruin/U-Wire, Oct. 31, 2000
http://news.excite.com/Off-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
(U-WIRE) LOS ANGELES -- Violence erupted in China this month as members of the Falun Gong sect continue to challenge the government for the right to meditate openly.
(...)

With several members at UCLA coming from mainland China and Taiwan, the conflict has become personal.
(...)

According to Yingnian Wu, assistant professor of statistics and a Falun Gong member, Chinese president Jiang Zemin has ordered the group be suppressed because of its enormous size and influence over the Chinese population.

Other members said the government is worried about any group becoming larger than the Communist Party.

But Chinese officials say the group is not properly registered and therefore cannot conduct the same public activities as groups that are officially registered with the government.

According to Randall Peerenboom, an acting professor of law, the situation may not necessarily be a violation of human rights, but a difference in the way the U.S. and Chinese governments deal with social groups and forms of public expression.

''The United States may not like the Chinese law, but that is the law,'' Peerenboom said. ''Under Chinese law, the government had the legal right to crack down and prohibit the Falun Gong.''

But methods the Chinese government uses to enforce these laws have included torture and denying adequate legal representation, as reported by Falun Gong members.

''The crackdown is irrational and unconstitutional, and is a severe violation of the basic human rights of the Chinese practitioners,'' Wu said.
(...)

Although the group at UCLA is relatively small, members are still attempting to voice their concern over the situation in China.

''We are trying to raise the public's awareness of the on-going atrocity, hoping that more American people, including UCLA students, could support the human rights of Chinese Falun Gong practitioners,'' Wu said.
[...more...]   [Need the full story? Read this]
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=== Scientology

4. Scientology questionnaire
Nuernberger Nachrichten (Germany), Oct. 31, 2000
Translation: CISAR
http://cisar.org/001031b.htmOff-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
For the celebrating Scientology center the court decision is of fundamental importance, for the Bavarian Interior Ministry ''not more than one individual case decision'': the Munich Labor Court sided with an employee of the City of Munich who refused to fill out for his employer a questionnaire in which he was supposed to make statements about his relationship with the controversial Scientology Organization.

The complainant has been employed with the community since 1990 - ''in a non-sensitive area,'' as our newspaper was assured by Munich personnel spokesman Thomas Boehle. It was also said that the man had ''never been conspicuous.'' But when information was received (which came, according to Scientology, from Constitutional Security) that the employee maintained contact with the Hubbard sect which has been categorized by the German Interior Ministry as counter-constitutional, the man was presented with a questionnaire approved by the state administration. The employee refused to make any response, saying that this was solely a matter of personal business and he filed suit in the labor court against the City of Munich.

Lack of evidence
His opinion was validated in court. It said in the basis of the judgment that an employer absolutely may be interested in whether its employees are members of a counter-constitutional organization. ''But without tangible evidence of counter-constitutional actions'' the employee may not be questioned about ''business or miscellaneous contacts'' with such organizations.

The mere fact that the complainant was on the register and worked as director of mail distribution and later budget of the Scientology Church Bavaria, Inc. from 1978 to 1982, according to the labor court, no more proved counter-constitutional activity than did mere membership in the organization. However, the court did not address the question of whether Scientology actually pursued counter-constitutional goals.
(...)

The big legal offensive announced by Scientology against the Free State's restrictive course upon the introduction of the questionnaire in 1996 has never met with any response in any case up to this one. Ziegler: ''This behavior is part of the sect's systematic disinformation campaign.'' His chief, Interior Minister Guenther Beckstein, had even challenged the organization to file suit because of the questionnaire instead of always blowing ''hot air'' about it.
[...more...]   [Need the full story? Read this]
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» About the so-called ''Sect Filter''

» About Scientology's disinformation campaigns

» About Scientology's PR machine

» Consumer Alert: What Scientology is...

5. UPS defends itself with law suit
Mittelbayerische Zeitung (Germany), Oct. 27, 2000
http://cisar.org/001027f.htmOff-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
Berlin/Stuttgart. A Stuttgart consumer protection organization, ''Aktion Bildungsinformation (ABI)'', which observes sects and the psycho-market in Germany, made a connection between the controversial Scientology organization and United Parcel Service (UPS) at a press conference in the Berlin Hotel Esplanade. It was said in a statement from ABI chief Eberhard Kleinmann that, thanks to documents it had at its disposal, ''conspicuous similarities'' could be deduced between UPS management techniques and Scientology founder Ron Hubbard's totalitarian management technology. The documents reported, among other things, on chicanery and illicit work hours. UPS spokesman Hans-Peter Teufers (Cologne), when asked about it by the MZ [this newspaper], dismissed the accusations as ''stupid stuff.'' He said a connection definitely did not exist. He said UPS would file suit for a cease-and-desist order.
[...entire item...]


=== Bahai

6. Iranian Bahais, Fleeing Religious Persecution, Find a Refuge in Turkey
Los Angeles Times, Oct. 28, 2000
http://www.latimes.com/Off-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
VAN, Turkey--When the prominent Iranian doctor was invited back home last year with promises that he would no longer be persecuted for his adherence to the Bahai faith, he resigned from a well-paid job in Saudi Arabia and flew to Iran.

''Within six months, I was in jail,'' said the frail-looking 65-year-old, who now has fled across the border to eastern Turkey, as he broke down in tears. ''They fed me my own flesh.''

The doctor, a longtime campaigner for Bahai rights, identified himself as Parvaz Mukhtari, but that is not his real name. Like many other Iranian Bahais seeking asylum in Turkey, he refuses to reveal his real name because he wants to protect loved ones back home.
(...)

Like most of the other Bahai refugees, Mukhtari believed that conditions for Iran's largest religious minority would improve when the country's moderate president, Mohammad Khatami, was elected in May 1997 with promises of democratic reform.

But Mukhtari said he was arrested and put in solitary confinement in a jail in Isfahan, about 200 miles south of the Iranian capital, Tehran, after refusing to renounce his faith.

A ragged scar zigzags the length of Mukhtari's left calf from where he said his interrogators had carved out a piece of flesh.

''They grilled it in the form of a kebab and forced it down my throat,'' Mukhtari recalled, tugging fiercely at a set of turquoise worry beads as he spoke. ''For them, it was a great joke.''

Such treatment is part of what critics call a policy of repression against Bahais in Iran. Western diplomats say that continuing persecution of Bahais might be part of the broader power struggle in Iran between hard-liners and Khatami's reformers.

Just a year after Khatami was elected, Ruhollah Rowhani, a Bahai, was executed on charges of apostasy stemming from his alleged conversion of a Muslim woman to the Bahai faith, said Techeste Ahderom, a spokesman for the Bahai International Community in New York. At least 11 Bahais remain in jail for refusing to recant their faith. Four have been handed death sentences, Ahderom said.

The U.S. State Department's annual report on religious freedom for 1999 accused Iran of implementing policies against Bahais ''geared to destroying them as a community'' through prolonged imprisonment, confiscation and desecration of their holy sites and graves, and by denying them university education and government jobs.
(...)

In Turkey, however, the Bahais' aversion to politics and calls for equality between men and women have made them welcome. Leaders of this predominantly Muslim but officially secular nation continue to view Islamic radicalism as the No. 1 threat to the modern Turkish republic founded by Kemal Ataturk more than 70 years ago, and they accuse Iran's clerical rulers of seeking to export fundamentalism.

''Of all the Muslim countries in the world, Turkey is where we feel the greatest freedom,'' said Cuneyt Can, a physics professor at Ankara's Middle Eastern Technical University and a local community leader for Turkish Bahais.

For that reason, says Can, Bahais fleeing Iran are well received by local authorities, and Turkey is a favorite transit route for those seeking asylum in Western countries.
[...more...]   [Need the full story? Read this]
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=== Nation of Islam

7. Farrakhan Recovers From Surgery
AP, Nov. 2, 2000
http://news.excite.com/Off-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
WASHINGTON (AP) - Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was recovering Thursday from major intestinal surgery.

Doctors at Howard University Hospital spent more than eight hours Wednesday repairing damage linked to radioactive seeds implanted in the minister's prostate following his 1991 cancer diagnosis.
[...more...]   [Need the full story? Read this]
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=== Mungiki

8. Mungiki A Clever Ploy, Charges MP
The Nation (Kenya), Nov. 2, 2000
http://beta.yellowbrix.com/Off-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
Nairobi - The government is sponsoring hooligans to commit crimes which it then blames on the Mungiki sect, members said yesterday.

The objective is to demonise the Kikuyu community, which is said to back Mungiki and destroy Mr. Mwai Kibaki's leadership chances, MPs said.

The MPs, mostly from Central Province, said that President Moi had hosted members of the Mungiki sect.

Mr. David Murathe (Gatanga, SDP) claimed that the government had formed ''a parallel group to Mungiki'' which was committing crimes in the City including the recent harassment and stripping of women in Kayole.
(...)

It cannot be a coincidence, he said, now that Mr. Kibaki is the leader of the Official Opposition and the so-called Mungiki suddenly crops up.
(...)

When asked by Mr. Mudavadi to substantiate claims that the government was hosting Mungiki, Mr. Murathe said: ''Have you ever heard of a group which could raid a police station and then is set free?''

He said Mungiki members who were reported to have raided a police station in Laikipia were later freed.

Laikipia East MP Mwangi Kiunjuri said his Molo counterpart, Mr. Kihika Kimani (DP), was Mungiki's founder ''and yet he is President Moi's best friend''.
[...more...]   [Need the full story? Read this]
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=== The Body / Attleboro Cult

9. Analysis - Future of sect is unclear after recovery of bodies
The Providence Journal, Oct. 29, 2000
http://beta.yellowbrix.com/Off-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
The biggest question in the year-old investigation of an Attleboro religious sect was answered last week when sect member David Corneau led investigators through the remote Maine woods to the gravesite of his infant son, Jeremiah Corneau, and another sect baby, Samuel Robidoux.

But much remains unresolved in this true-life drama that has raised questions about religious freedom, the rights of pregnant women and the role of the state in protecting children, before and after birth.

Who, if anybody, will face criminal charges, and what will those charges be? Will the sect fall apart? Will David Corneau want to remain in the sect and, if so, will he be allowed to do so? Will David Corneau get his daughters back?

The questions about criminal charges will probably be the first to be answered.
(...)

As to who gets charged, the picture is murkier.
(...)

Last week, Walsh said he is contemplating murder charges, though he has declined to discuss who would be charged. It is not likely that the baby's parents would escape charges.
(...)

As to whether the sect will fall apart, observers see signs that the group's hold over its members is weakening.

Robert T. Pardon, a cult expert with the New England Institute for Religious Research, predicted two months ago that, as members remain separated from the group, the group's identity will slowly dissolve.
(...)

Other parents in the sect, whose children have been removed by the state, may resent Corneau for trying to get his daughters back by breaking with the sect's rules about cooperating with the authorities.

Also, although Walsh believed he had a strong case against the sect before finding the bodies, Corneau's cooperation has virtually guaranteed that at least Jacques and Karen Robidoux will face charges.

Corneau has also shown signs of being less faithful to the group in smaller ways, such as chatting with investigators while in Maine. Only a few months ago, Corneau would not even acknowledge the presence of authorities.

Despite all his efforts, Corneau may never get his daughters back.

The Department of Social Services, which has temporary custody of all four girls, has said it would not even consider supporting the return of the girls unless the Corneaus put their current lifestyle behind them and seek the sort of counseling provided to people who leave cults.

Although Corneau has shown signs that he could go down that road, his wife remains steadfast in adhering to the sect's ways.

Perhaps the biggest question remaining, one that may never be answered, is how this collection of apparently smart, friendly and loving people wound up in what some experts consider a dangerous and destructive cult.

Pardon, who has met with members of the sect, said that, five years ago, they would have been horrified and incredulous if anyone had told them they would be accused of letting two children die.

''These individuals were all devoted, caring parents,'' Pardon said. He points to the surviving children as proof of what good parents the sect members had been. They are all good children, well-mannered and precocious, Pardon said.

''Through slow, small steps, you all of a sudden realize you are in a position that is far afield from what you ever envisioned,'' he said. ''They were not trying to use and manipulate people. They really believed they were doing the right thing.''
[...more...]   [Need the full story? Read this]
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10. Prison visit led to cult-case break
Portland Press Herald/AP, Oct. 26, 2000
http://www.portland.com/Off-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
BOSTON - Rev. Robert Pardon's visit to David Corneau was about to end like other prison visits he'd made to members of a religious sect - with a firm ''I don't want to talk to you,'' a turned back and a swift exit.

But then Pardon mentioned Corneau's three little girls, and everything changed.

Corneau turned to face Pardon and his associate, Judith Barba. His eyes filled with tears as they talked about his children and how much they knew he loved them.

When Corneau left the room at the Suffolk County jail several minutes later, he grabbed the pictures of his girls and took them. That's when Pardon knew Corneau might eventually break ranks.

By taking the pictures, he defied cult leaders who said members must be willing to lose custody of their children, rather than cooperate in the search for two babies who'd disappeared from the sect's Attleboro home.

''He broke the rules,'' said Pardon, court-appointed guardian of the cult's 13 children.

Three months after that July meeting, Corneau on Tuesday led authorities to two coffins in an unmarked grave deep in the woods of Maine's Baxter State Park. Corneau's newborn son, Jeremiah Corneau, and nephew, Samuel Robidoux, are believed to have been buried there.
(...)

Corneau was scheduled to testify Tuesday before a grand jury. A refusal to do so would have sent him back to jail on contempt charges. He ordered George to negotiate a deal before Tuesday, George said.

Going back to jail ''would have destroyed his custody fight,'' George said. ''It would have destroyed it.''

Sect members reject the legal system, organized religion, banking, science and medicine. Their refusal to cooperate with the grand jury investigation landed eight of them, including Corneau, in jail for contempt of court.

But Corneau was identified early as someone who might break from the group by Pardon, executive director of The New England Institute of Religious Research, an anti-cult organization.

George said Corneau's wife, Rebecca, does not agree with his actions, but may be defer to him as the head of the household. George added that he has visited Corneau at home in Attleboro since the search, and things seemed calm.

Former cult members described Corneau as an exceptionally devoted father, Pardon said. He had married into the group, so his ties weren't as strong. He occasionally expressed doubts about the leadership - something other members wouldn't do.

And, despite the stone-faced visage he offered TV cameras at court appearances, he was one of few cult members interviewed by Pardon who showed emotion.
(...)

Barba said Corneau's decision to cut a deal has probably left him at odds with the group, and in personal turmoil. He may believe he's defied the will of God.
[...more...]   [Need the full story? Read this]
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=== Paganism / Witchcraft

11. Sales Tax Begone!
ABC News, Nov. 1, 2000
http://abcnews.go.com/Off-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
Nov. 1 - Wiccans are associated with witchcraft and white magic, but there's one organization they can't cast a spell against: the Florida Department of Revenue.

The Wiccan Religious Cooperative of Florida can, however, file a lawsuit, and that's what it did on Halloween, accusing the state's taxation agency of improperly denying the group a religious exemption from the state sales tax.

The problem, according to the state, is that whether or not it considers Wicca a religion, the group does not meet all of Florida's standards to get a tax break.

Among those requirements is having a permanent address and a building where worshippers gather regularly. Or, as state law puts it, exemptions are available to ''churches, synagogues and established religious institutions at which nonprofit religious services and activities are regularly conducted and carried on.''

''The statute says we can extend certificates for religious, customary, nonprofit activities, but [the organization] has to have an established physical place for worship,'' says David Bruns of the Florida Department of Revenue.

To the state, that means renting or owning a space for regular religious services, he says, adding that courts have upheld that interpretation on several occasions

The Wiccans say that interpretation - besides denying their members a break on the 7 percent sales tax on religious books and other materials - denies their rights.

Tax-Exempt on Federal Level
They note the Wiccan Cooperative is tax-exempt on the federal level, where the standard is that a group must qualify as an organization that is ''advancing religion,'' as well as qualify as a charitable or educational organization.

''The Wiccans have a federal tax exemption, but how the state laws are set, [the cooperative] needs to rent or own a permanent space,'' says Heather Morcroft, a Wiccan and the attorney representing the cooperative. ''To us this is impermissible.''
[...more...]   [Need the full story? Read this]
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12. Witches without warts
Los Angeles Times, Oct. 27, 2000
http://www.latimes.com/Off-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
(...) Followers of Wicca say the ancient pagan religion provides a refuge for people who have lost faith in or felt excluded from more mainstream religions.

Some witches cite the direct connection to the spiritual world and others the intimate ties with nature. As much as they differ in their everyday lives, Wiccans share a desire for tolerance of their unconventional views.

''Hollywood probably does the most damage to us because media images are so powerful and people believe them,'' said Cheri Gaulke, who heads Nemesis, a Wiccan coven based at Neighborhood Church in Pasadena.

''There is nothing remotely creepy about [paganism]. All it is is acknowledging that we're all a part of nature. I think we're all pagans because we're all beings on this planet. It's an integrated approach to existence.''

Gaulke, 46, lived in Pasadena before moving to the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. She had no interest in church at all before learning that Neighborhood Church, a Unitarian Universalist church, was open to pagans.

''I was feeling rather battered by Christianity,'' said Gaulke, whose father, brother, grandfather and great-grandfather were all Lutheran ministers. ''From my family's point of view, I'm going to hell. It's an awkward and painful thing.''

Gaulke and her lesbian partner of 21 years joined the church to give their 6-year-old twin daughters a spiritual foundation.

''My life is so exhausting,'' Gaulke said. ''I'm dealing with the lesbian thing and the pagan thing, but that's what my life is about. We live in a country that professes freedom of religion, but people are afraid to lose their jobs. The more I'm out, the more I'm not willing to not be out.''
(...)

The video art teacher at a private high school discovered Wicca and feminism in 1975 through the use of ancient goddess figures in an art workshop. Gaulke said she likes the terms witch and Wiccan but she uses pagan the most. Webster's New World Dictionary defines pagan as a country peasant or a person who is not a Christian, Muslim or Jew.

''My life is about reclaiming words that have been demonized by the culture,'' said Gaulke, who has a ''Born Again Pagan'' button.
(...)

Dennis Rudolph, 40, said he turned to Wicca in order to gain a sense of wholeness and personal integration, as well as a more direct connection to spirituality.
(...)

Rudolph shuns the popular, but incorrect, term for a male witch. According to some, warlock actually means ''oath breaker'' or ''betrayer,'' but Rudolph said he and other male witches are simply witches.

''People have the idea that because witches aren't Christians, they're evil,'' he said. ''They'll see a pentacle ring and automatically equate it with black magic. It's not anti-Christianity; it's pre-Christian.''

Rudolph said Wicca is an Old Saxon word that means either ''wise one,'' ''one shows shapes and bends'' or ''one who divines from the cries of animals.''

''Wiccans were the village wise women, the midwives, the herbalists who listened to problems people didn't want to take to their priest,'' he said.
(...)

Rudolph said Wicca tends to be seen as a fertility religion because it deals with seasonal cycles and the interplay of men and women.

''Some have the idea that witches are having orgies all the time,'' he said with a chuckle. ''If they're doing it, they're not inviting anyone I know.''

Rudolph said he learned a more shamanic form with an ecstatic tradition, meaning he delves into other worlds to contact nature and the spirits of ancestors.

He also is a Tarot card reader who mastered the art in a Wicca class that spun off into a coven, the Circle of the Enchanted Moon in Alhambra.
[...more...]   [Need the full story? Read this]
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=== Hate Groups

13. Racist Leader Butler Declares Bankruptcy
Reuters, Nov. 1, 2000
http://news.excite.com/Off-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
SEATTLE (Reuters) - White supremacy's ''elder statesman'' Richard Butler declared bankruptcy in what lawyers opposed to his racist philosophy said on Wednesday was an attempt to avoid paying a $6.3 million judgement against him.

Butler was rendered insolvent earlier this year by the $6.3 million jury verdict against his neo-Nazi group Aryan Nations and some associates, who were convicted of beating a mother and son two years ago.

Butler, 83, listed assets of $300,000, including a $240,000 home on 20 acres in the Northern Idaho town of Hayden Lake, and debts of $5.8 million.

''Mr. Butler can run, but he cannot hide,'' said Richard Cohen, legal director at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Birmingham, Ala. ''His ploy of filing bankruptcy may delay the final outcome, but will not prevent it.''

Butler has reportedly left the property, after agreeing to surrender it in September in exchange for a few weeks time to file an appeal, which was rejected by a judge last week.

Cohen said the bankruptcy filing violates Butler's agreement with the SPLC, which granted the delay largely out of consideration for his advanced age.

''Mr. Butler has acted in bad faith. Having bought himself a little time, he tried to double-cross us,'' Cohen told Reuters by telephone.
(...)

Cohen said he understood Butler has left his property and moved into a nearby house owned by another racist leader, former Silicon Valley executive Vincent Bertollini

Butler listed monthly expenditures of $3,975, which exceeded his monthly income of $3,890, including $890 in Social Security benefits and $3,000 in donations from Aryan Nations, also known as Church of Jesus Christ Christian.

Butler listed his occupation as ''pastor'' and scratched out the word ''business,'' replacing it with ''calling: Christian Church.''
[...more...]   [Need the full story? Read this]
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* Butler's church has nothing whatsoever to do with historical, biblical Christianity. It is a hate group that tries to cloak it's racism in religious terms.

More about ''Christian Identity''


14. Groups ignore Hale, celebrate diversity
Peoria Journal Star, Oct. 29, 2000
http://www.pjstar.com/Off-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
BLOOMINGTON - It was a great day to celebrate diversity in downtown Bloomington on Saturday afternoon, as hundreds enjoyed food and entertainment at the Old Courthouse Square.

The Diversity Celebration, a coordinated effort of 22 community organizations, staged the event to counter Saturday's speech by avowed white supremacist Matt Hale, leader of the East Peoria-based World Church of the Creator.
(...)

A crowd comprising many backgrounds, including many children, filled the streets for the two-hour celebration, enjoying food from various ethnic groups provided free by local business and civic groups.

Many thought the celebration was a better way to make a statement about Hale's visit than a direct protest.
(...)

Meanwhile, about 200 yards away at the Bloomington Public Library, a different sort of atmosphere prevailed. About a half-dozen members of the Jewish Defense League showed up there to heckle Hale.

Dozens of Bloomington police officers inside and outside the library kept order while Hale spoke in front of about 150 people in the library's community room. At least 20 of those in attendance were believed to be Hale supporters.

Hale spoke on the uselessness of voting, especially by white people, because the interests of whites were not represented. He was interrupted often by JDL members and others.
(...)

Meanwhile, back at the Old Courthouse - which houses the McLean County Museum of History - hundreds of people crowded around all four levels of the building's rotunda to hold hands and sing ''We Are the World.''
(...)

However, the longer JDL members and the mostly younger college-age crowd continued to heckle Hale, the longer he continued to talk.

That was fine with Diversity Celebration organizers, who used Hale's verbosity as a weapon in their own campaign.

Organizers had asked people to pledge a nickel or more for every minute Hale spoke, with the money going toward the Coalition for Diversity and Reconciliation or a charity.
[...more...]   [Need the full story? Read this]
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15. Legal or not, city told to stop KKK
Cincinnati Enquirer, Oct. 31, 2000
http://enquirer.com/Off-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
There may be no legal reason to deny the Ku Klux Klan a permit for its annual Fountain Square cross, but some citizens are demanding officials deny it anyway.

If not, they promised Monday at Cincinnati City Hall to counter the Klan message with their own protest - stopping short of threatening violence.
(...)

Their ire was sparked during City Council's law committee by a report from city lawyers saying the Klan had a constitutional right to set up its display.
(...)

''They are a sorry, rag-tag group of thugs,'' Deputy Solicitor Bob Johnstone said of the Klan. ''The fact that you have a personal animosity toward these people is not a reason'' to deny a permit.
[...more...]   [Need the full story? Read this]
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16. Devil Dogs' families settle victim lawsuit
The Arizona Republic, Oct. 31, 2000
http://www.azcentral.com/Off-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
The families of seven Gilbert Devil Dog gang members or associates will have to pay a beating victim who sued them.

How much they'll compensate Jordan Jarvis, 19, for his disfiguring injuries won't be made public as part of settlement agreements with six of the defendants.

The seventh - Kenneth Couturier, 17, and mother Patricia - failed to respond to the lawsuit.
(...)

Jarvis was beaten outside the Carriage Parc Estates home of Aleksandar and Jelena Isailovic on May 30, 1999, after the couple's daughter, Jovaka, misidentified him as a youth who had ''jumped'' a gang associate.

Jarvis' face was permanently disfigured, and he has undergone several plastic surgeries.
[...more...]   [Need the full story? Read this]
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* Devil Dogs escape close public scrutiny
Arizona Republic, Feb. 20, 2000
(...)
Known as the Devil Dogs, the gang has recruited the sons of prominent families to help insulate it from public scrutiny, according to a jailed member and a former police chief.

So many Mormons were members of the gang in the mid-1990s, for example, that a Taco Bell that became a gang hangout would call church leaders instead of police when trouble started.


17. German Lawmakers Doubtful on Neo-Nazi Ban
Reuters, Nov. 2, 2000
http://news.excite.com/Off-site Link
[Story no longer online? Read this]
BERLIN (Reuters) - German parliamentarians voiced doubts on Thursday whether evidence collected by the government to support a rare move to ban a far-right party linked to the country's neo-Nazi scene would stand up in court.

The proposed ban on the National Democratic Party (NPD) is the most high-profile measure taken by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's government under pressure to react to racial and neo-Nazi violence.

But even firm backers of the move said evidence gathered by security officials to support a request to the constitutional court to ban the NPD was unlikely to be sufficient.

''Major evidence has been offered suggesting that the NPD as a party is a threat to the German constitution,'' said Christian Stroebele, member of the Greens junior coalition partners.

''But the question is whether you can, legally speaking, link the party's leadership to this evidence. I'm not so sure of that,'' Stroebele, a trained lawyer, told InfoRadio.

Some officials say the problem is much of the evidence was gathered through wire-tapping and surveillance and would not be permissible as evidence in court.
(...)

While the 6,000-strong, anti-immigrant NPD has never won any more than a few percent in any election, the government believes it acts as an important meeting-point and organizational hub for skinheads and neo-Nazis.
[...more...]   [Need the full story? Read this]
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» Continued in Part 2

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