Apologetics Index
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Religion News Report

February 22, 2001 (Vol. 5, Issue 328) - 3/4

See Religion News Blog for the Latest news about cults,
religious sects, world religions, and related issues
Rainbow


» Continued from Part 2

=== Hate Groups
16. U.S. anti-Semite asked to speak at health show
17. Health show stands by anti-Semite
18. 'Hate' e-mails to be outlawed
19. Aryan letter revealed as hoax

=== Other News
20. Church wins libel case against councillor (Peniel Pentecostal Church)
21. Missing Teen Found in Ohio
22. Faith-Based Welfare Puzzles Televangelist
23. Religious Groups Wary of Bush Plan
24. Return Of Campus Cultism
25. French Court Puts Cult Chief on Trial

» Part 4

=== Alternative Healing / Medicine
26. Colorado Children's Deaths Rekindle Debate on Religion
27. Death and Denial at Herbalife

=== Death Penalty & Other Human Rights Violations
28. Human rights head pushes to end death penalty

=== Noted
29. Poof! You're a Skeptic: The Amazing Randi's Vanishing Humbug
30. Public Favorable to Creationism

=== The Mufti Around The Corner
31. Mufti again denies Wall's Jewish link


=== Hate Groups

16. U.S. anti-Semite asked to speak at health show
National Post (Canada), Feb. 21, 2001
http://www.nationalpost.com/Off-site Link

A man described as one of the most vicious anti-Semites in North America is scheduled to speak at the 24th annual Total Health conference at the Metro Convention Centre next month.

Eustace Mullins, a Virginia author who has written a series of books in which he praises the Nazis, denies the Holocaust and accuses Jews of controlling the world economy, will be lecturing on ''the Rockefeller medical monopoly: the hidden forces behind the myths of modern medicine'' and ''criminality in banking.''

The show, which runs March 17 and 18, showcases alternative medicines and natural health practices. This year's event is to have 70 speakers and 200 exhibits and demonstrations.

Local Jewish leaders are astonished. ''I am flabbergasted that any legitimate group would make common cause with someone like Eustace Mullins,'' said Bernie Farber, executive director of the provincial branch of the Canadian Jewish Congress.

''This man is truly one of the most vitriolic anti-Semites on the continent,'' Mr. Farber said.
(...)

Libby Gardon, president of the Consumer Health Organization of Canada, the group sponsoring the show, said she was not aware of Mr. Mullins' views when she
booked him.
(...)

His books are widely promoted on the Internet by groups such as the Aryan Nations and Stormfront, a neo-Nazi organization.

Mr. Mullins is cited in a 1997 report by the U.S. Jewish Anti-Defamation League as an extreme anti-Semite. The Nizkor Project -- an online initiative to combat Internet hate -- lists him asOff-site Link a high-profile anti-Jewish writer.

Mr. Farber is currently lobbying the Consumer Health Organization to rescind its invitation. Failing that, the CJC will petition federal immigration officials to keep Mr. Mullins from entering the country.

Mr. Farber said: ''I can't imagine why the Canadian Health Organization would want to involve themselves with this man.''
[...more...]


17. Health show stands by anti-Semite
National Post (Canada), Feb. 22, 2001
http://www.nationalpost.com/Off-site Link

Organizers of next month's Total Health show have refused to drop an anti-Semitic writer from their speakers list, triggering outrage among Jewish groups and conference sponsors.

As revealed by the National Post yesterday, Virginia author Eustace Mullins, who in his books has described Jews as ''parasites'' who control the world economy and murder Christian babies for blood rituals, is scheduled to speak on medical and financial monopolies at next month's show.

''At this point in time, Mr. Mullins will continue to participate in this event. Any decision to remove him from the program will have to be discussed by the board of directors,'' said a statement released yesterday by the Consumer Health Organization, the group putting on the show.

John Gardon, a founding member of the health organization, was defiant. ''Do you think we're going to cancel a speaker?'' Mr. Gardon said. ''It's excellent publicity. People will come to hear his side of the story.''
(...)

Mr. Mullins is to lecture on ''The Rockefeller medical monopoly: the hidden forces behind the myths of modern medicine'' and ''Criminality in banking.''

The show, which runs March 17-18 at the Metro Convention Centre, showcases alternative medicines and natural health practices. This year's event is to have 70 speakers and 200 exhibits and demonstrations.

Tony Tavares, manager of the Omega Centre, which is co-sponsoring Total Health, expressed astonishment when told of Mr. Mullins' background. He said he would consider withdrawing his sponsorship if organizers could not give a satisfactory explanation as to why Mr. Mullins was invited to speak.
(...)

A manager at Baldwin Naturals health food store, who did not wish to be identified, said her store might drop its sponsorship if Mr. Mullins is allowed to attend.

''If he speaks, I won't,'' said Toronto troubadour Ben Kerr, who is scheduled to give a lecture on the benefits of cayenne pepper drinks.

Paul Hellyer, who served as deputy prime minister in the late 1960s and currently leads the Canadian Action Party, is scheduled to address the conference on the topic of globalization.

Mr. Hellyer said he had ''no truck or trade'' with anti-Semitism and racism, but would ''need more information'' about Mr. Mullins before making any decision about dropping out.

The Canadian Jewish Congress has sent Ms. Gardon a 100-page document detailing their guest speaker's litany of bigoted statements.
[...more...]


18. 'Hate' e-mails to be outlawed
BBC, Feb. 21, 2001
http://news.bbc.co.uk/Off-site Link

People who send ''hate'' e-mails or ''hate'' text messages could face prison, under government plans.

Home Secretary Jack Straw has drawn up proposals to update the law to make it an imprisonable offence to send hate mail by traditional or electronic means.

The measure is part of a package of legal changes designed to protect scientists from animal rights extremists.
(...)

The changes will be contained in amendments to the Criminal Justice and Police Bill now going through parliament.

They will be tabled in the Commons on Thursday.
(...)

And anyone who sent ''hate'' mail could be sentenced to six months in prison or fined £5,000 - double the amount at present.
[...more...]


19. Aryan letter revealed as hoax
The Spokesman-Review, Feb. 22, 2001
http://www.spokesmanreview.com/Off-site Link

A letter to the Spokane City Council purporting to be from Aryan Nations Pastor Richard Butler turned out to be a hoax.

The letter, received by fax Wednesday, took the form of a request by Butler to deliver the council's invocation.
[...more...]


=== Other News

20. Church wins libel case against councillor
Birmingham Post (England), Feb. 20, 2001
http://beta.yellowbrix.com/Off-site Link

The bishop and five trustees of a Pentecostal church yesterday accepted 'appropriate compensation' for libel from a local councillor who alleged they were members of a dangerous cult.

Their solicitor, Miss Caroline Kean, told Mr Justice Eady at the High Court in London that Bishop Michael Reid, the pastoral head of the Peniel Pentecostal Church in Pilgrims Hatch, Essex, and the trustees were 'deeply distressed' by the allegation madeby Anthony Galbraith, an Independent Conservative councillor on Brentwood Borough Council.

Miss Kean said that in February 1999 Mr Galbraith published a press release, headed The Brentwood and Ongar Association of Independent Conservatives, which concerned Peniel 'and in which he suggested that the claimants were a cult and danger to thepeople of Brentwood'.
(...)

Miss Kean said: 'This article alleged, in summary, that the claimants were so dangerous and extreme as to represent a real threat to the lives even of innocent members of the public.'
[...more...]

===Begin Comment===
More about the Peniel Pentecostal Church:
http://www.apologeticsindex.org/p07.html
===End Comment===


21. Missing Teen Found in Ohio
Los Angeles Times, Feb. 22, 2001
http://www.latimes.com/Off-site Link

Sarah Lofthouse, the 15-year-old Alhambra girl who vanished last week, prompting her parents' fears that she might have been lured away by a witchcraft cult, has turned up safe in Dayton, Ohio, police said Wednesday.
(...)

The girl disappeared after withdrawing $200 from an ATM at a Pasadena supermarket. Her family said that in the past few months she had retreated into the world of the Internet, often accessing Web sites devoted to witchcraft.
[...more...]


22. Faith-Based Welfare Puzzles Televangelist
San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 22, 2001
http://www.sfgate.com/Off-site Link

TV evangelist Pat Robertson has questioned President Bush's faith- based welfare reforms, saying he fears such controversial groups as the Hare Krishnas and the Church of Scientology may soon get public funds to offer social services once provided by the government.

Robertson responded to reports that alternative religions -- along with more traditional churches, synagogues and mosques -- are lining up for millions of dollars in ''charitable choice'' welfare funds.

Speaking this week to viewers of his ''700 Club'' Christian talk television show, Robertson said expanded government funding of religious charities ''could be a real Pandora's box.''

Robertson, a former GOP presidential candidate and one of Bush's strongest supporters on the Christian right, pointed to plans by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church to promote its sexual abstinence programs in public schools with government funds.

The TV preacher also fears the Church of Scientology will use Bush's faith- based welfare reform plan to expand its Narconon drug treatment program.

He said Moon's church uses ''brainwashing techniques'' on recruits, while the Church of Scientology is ''accused of all sorts of underhanded tactics.''

Robertson said he was concerned that public funding of controversial cults could jeopardize Bush's plan to provide more tax money to Christian, Jewish and Muslim social service organizations.

''I really don't know what to do,'' Robertson told his television audience. ''What seems to be such a great initiative can rise up to bite the organizations and the federal government. I'm a little concerned about it, frankly.''
(...)

Leading Unification Church members deny they brainwash anyone. One longtime member said yesterday his church is as entitled to government money as any other religious charity.

''You have to open it to all religions or no religions,'' said Mose Durst of Berkeley, a former national president of the Unification Church.

Jeff Quiros, a spokesman for the San Francisco Church of Scientology, yesterday referred questions about Robertson's remarks to international Scientology spokesman Aron Mason, who could not be reached for comment.
(...)

According to the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Robertson's comments indicate that Bush's proposal is in ''enormous political trouble.''
(...)

During the presidential campaign, Bush was asked if he would approve of government funding for a Church of Scientology anti-drug program.
''I have a problem with the teachings of Scientology being viewed on the same par as Judaism or Christianity,'' he said. ''But I am interested in results. ''

Earlier this month, Bush said his administration ''welcomes all religions'' to participate in his welfare reform.
[...more...]


23. Religious Groups Wary of Bush Plan
Associated Press, Feb. 21, 2001
http://www.washingtonpost.com/Off-site Link

President Bush's plan to allow churches, synagogues and other religious bodies to compete for government money is drawing quiet objections from religious groups that are among the biggest providers of social services.

While not opposing Bush's initiative outright, Lutheran, Catholic and Jewish groups are raising concerns about potential religious discrimination and coercion, echoing arguments from civil libertarian quarters.

''We believe basically in that separation in church and state,'' said Joanne Negstad, president of Lutheran Services in America, an umbrella organization for 280 groups.
(...)

The White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives opened Tuesday, and its head, John DiIulio, has been busy meeting with religious groups and others, trying to address concerns and build support.

''Given what we're proposing, I think those concerns are rather misplaced,'' DiIulio said in a recent interview. But he said discrimination questions are ''an important issue that we're obviously going to discuss.''

The most vocal opposition to Bush's proposal has come from groups such as Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union. But religious groups that are actually providing social services are quietly making virtually identical points, while hoping they will have a place at the table when policy details are settled.
(...)

The religious discrimination argument has become the central argument for the ACLU and other secular opponents of Bush's initiative.
(...)

Religious groups are voicing other concerns as well, including government infringement on churches' freedom. Others worry about government funding of religious groups outside the mainstream, such as the Church of Scientology and the Nation of Islam.
(...)

Groups with religious ties have received government funding for decades, but to avoid constitutional problems, they have set up separate organizations. These spin-off groups might offer religious services, but those services cannot be required or incorporated into the core of programs. And unlike churches and synagogues, the groups must adhere to anti-discrimination laws that govern hiring.
[...more...]


24. Return Of Campus Cultism
This Day (Nigeria), Feb. 20, 2001 (Editorial)
http://allafrica.com/Off-site Link

The year, 1999 was remarkable with regard to the vexed issue of campus cultism.

Then, students of various institutions of higher learning in Nigeria who were engaged in cultism came out in the open to renounce their indulgences in the dastardly act.

From what we were told then, the students in question did not make their confessions under duress. They willingly gave up the anti-academic culture.
It was an uncommon development, a situation which made many then to wonder whether the repentant students were not playing to the gallery.

The events of the last one year or more did not, however, lend any credence to any fears of dubiety on the part of the one-time cult members. Most of our campuses were peaceful. Hardly any case of cultism was heard. Even when they were believed to have taken place, the activity was largely subterranean. Cultic acts were no longer brazenly displayed.

But the peace and quiet of the past year appear to be dissipating into air.

Brazen cultism seems to be returning to our institutions of higher learning.

This is what the recent outbreak of cult violence at the University of Jos points to. According to reports, two students of the University were killed in a clash between two suspected rival cult groups on the university's campus. The police had moved in to quell the disturbances when members of the cult groups opened fire on them. In the exchange that ensued between them and the police, two of the students were caught down in their prime.

Another case of cultism was also reported at the University of Ilorin at about the same time. Although no life was lost in the Ilorin incident, there was an open air shoot-out between members of rival cult groups. Three of the students were, however, said to have escaped with gun-shot wounds.
(...)

What is required of the authorities is to realise that cultism has come to be a part of their daily fare on campus. They should regard it as one of the biggest challenges that face the academia. It is another cankerworm bedeviling our educational system. Once this is taken to heart, authorities of our universities and other tertiary institutions will learn not to overlook the behind-the-scene activities of cult groups. Cultism is anti-people. It should be fought with the ferocity it deserves.
[...more...]


25. French Court Puts Cult Chief on Trial
Xinhua (China's state-run news agency), Feb. 21, 2001
http://www.individual.com/Off-site Link

A French court will on Wednesday begin trying a cult chief for suspected rapes, violence with weapons, blackmailing for money, illegal medical exercise and using clandestine laborers.
(...)

Gonzalez, who has been jailed since May 1997, is considered as the chief or ''guru'' of a cult community established in a village called Algans in Haute-Garonne, southwest France, from 1980 to 1997, with a dozen followers, said the victims of the cult.

The cult community was dismantled in 1997 by the French gendarmerie after an anonymous denunciation was made by a cult member who was subjected to violence, illegal confinement and forcible medical treatment.

Another member of the cult also accused Gonzalez of raping her with violence.

The cult also practiced tough rules and physical punishment against its members, including electric blows, whips and false executions, which were often personally carried out by the guru himself but also between the followers.
[...more...]


» Part 4