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  1. Latest revelations include her telling everyone she told us so as the towers were falling. Continued from here:
  2. BachelorToTheRapture

    Eckankar

    I've been going down the rabbit hole looking into Eckankar, and would love for people to join me! I'm trying to learn more about it, and see if it appears to be a cult or an eastern religion with some changes to give it more appeal in the west. It is clearly strongly influenced by religions such as Hinduism, but the founder was also involved in Scientology for a while. It also seems as though it may be an attempted money making scheme (the mahanta, the spiritual leader, frequently publishes books which he encourages members to buy, and enrolling in any of their initiations, as well as remaining a member, costs a small amount of money). Official website http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/eckankarsurvivors/threats.html This person believes Eckankar is a cult that uses mind control to keep people in. I would love to hear any of your thoughts on this group!! I am considering going to their open house this weekend to learn more, I'm very curious about this group.
  3. VaSportsMom

    Gwen Shamblin 2: Divorce? What Divorce?

    Continued from here ;
  4. There's a website that's purpose is to expose the Church of Wells Cult and contains many of their secret teachings on the website. Website is here: http://exposingthechurchofwells.com/ This document from their website has sickened me. Here are some quotes: Encouraging the Rod Encouraging to not give into crying in order to spare the child's soul The rod will drive foolishness out of the child's heart vs. verbal correction. Do not give into their cries if you care for their soul. The rod gives wisdom and not using it brings a family shame. Children will Learn Through Pain via the Rod. Pain is used here 5x. Parents WIN with the rod and must not give into a child's cry. http://exposingthechurchofwells.com/?wpfb_dl=579 Backstory One of the leaders married a Joy Courville whose family had been connected to IBLP. In fact, her brother, Jon Courville and his wife, took the wedding photos of Joy Duggar & Austin. These people are a cult that believes in following the leadership of the 3 young pastors and requests everyone shun their family members that aren't in their cult. The three founders, Sean Morris, Jake Gardner, and Ryan Ringnald attended Baylor University together and found submissive helpmeets through conservative family camps, many seemingly run by IBLP. Ryan Ringnald, in particular, comes from a family of multi-millionaire's and resented his parents worldly lifestyle. He is the one that married Joy Courville with connections to IBLP. Jake Gardner married Hannah, whose family attended Joy Courville's dad's church , who is Pastor Don Courville. Obviously, Joy is no longer allowed to have any contact with her family members despite her father's conservative fundamentalist Christianity. The cult is based in east Texas and has avoided all media. Nightline went down to interview them and they refused to talk. A news story ran on the cult when a newborn baby died and they spent a long time praying over the baby to come back to life instead and authorities showed up much later: http://www.ktre.com/story/18659226/babys-death-draws-attention-to-wells-religious-group
  5. Japan appears to be ready to execute some of the Aum Shinrikyo members involved in the deadly 1995 sarin has attack on the Tokyo subway: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/20/japan-prepares-to-execute-up-to-13-members-of-aum-shinrikyo-cult Japan is one of the few industrialized countries that still has the deal that penalty, but unlike the US, they’re rather secretive about it. I believe the method used is hanging. The wikipedia page on the group is suprisingly good, as is the page on the terrorist attack: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aum_Shinrikyo https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_subway_sarin_attack Incredibly, Aum Shinrikyo still exists today under the new name Aleph, much like how the Children of God and the Moonies have also given themselves new names to rebrand and obscure their prior bad acts.
  6. So I have a co-worker I recently found out is a Scientologist. She is quite strange. Nice on the surface but quick to make cutting personal remarks. Does anyone else here have experience with Scientologists? I would love to hear your stories!
  7. Carlos Castaneda became a counter culture sensation in the 1960s based on his “scholarly” books that allegedly described his apprenticeship with a Yaqui sorcerer: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Castaneda If you’ve ever seen that episode of the Simpsons where Homer goes on a search for his soulmate after hallucinating in magical chili peppers, that was based on Castañeda’s works. Today most reputable scholars agree that his books are fiction, but Castañeda still has a following and said books have never been out of print. During his lifetime, Castañeda built up a cult of personality among a small group of followers. However, when he died in 1998,his closest female followers, known as “the witches,” mysteriously disappeared and have not been seen or heard from since. It is generally believed that the women committed suicide as a group in keeping with Castañeda’s teachings: https://www.salon.com/2007/04/12/castaneda/ (good article about the bizarre world Castañeda built) (BBC documentary about Castañeda and the disappearance of his “witches”) As the article from Salon mentions, the skeletal remains of Nurie Alexander, Castañeda’s adopted daughter/ex-lover/student were found in Death Valley in 2006, the only “witch” whose death has been proven. Because so much time had passed, investigators were unable to ascertain the manner of her death, but my guess is that she either consciously committed suicide or died from exposure while thinking she was going to be assumed into another reality.
  8. Stormy

    Word of Faith Fellowship

    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article134790299.html In short, the Word of Faith Fellowship is a church that's come under investigation for severe abuse, often manifesting as "blasting", where congregants literally beat the shit out of someone to expel demons. Sexual, spiritual, and emotional abuse also abound. Victims are trained from an early age to lie to authorities. Nearly all the members were encouraged to live in the same town so as to keep the community isolated. Most people interviewed for the article had been brought into the cult as children, and have been cut off from their families for leaving. In my area, too. Jeezy creezy.
  9. Because the news wasn't full of enough weird, creepy news: https://www.buzzfeed.com/jimderogatis/parents-told-police-r-kelly-is-keeping-women-in-a-cult?utm_term=.iqA44w0Nz7#.ppLKKZXLNq Since the women involved are adults and can join any sort of organization they want, there's not much that can be done from a legal perspective unless Kelly has done something demonstrably illegal. I guess we'll see how this story unfolds.
  10. 48 Hours has an interesting new episode about an Australian cult run by a women who said she was Christ reincarnated. They were very child centered and she even stole other people's children. Very interesting commentary by a cult expert about how photographs show how children's personalities are being suppressed. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/inside-the-family-cult-australia-anne-hamilton-byrne/
  11. Cleopatra7

    Survivor Account of Tony Alamo Ministries

    I recently found out about the thankfully defunct Tony Alamo Ministries, and found this account of a woman who was raised in this craziness: http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/09/inside_the_arkansas_compound_t.html Franckiewicz's story has a happy ending, since she escaped and Alamo was put in prison. I seriously doubt Gothard, for example, will ever have to pay for his crimes, although now I'm wondering if the Bateses and Duggars will be praying to resurrect him when he eventually dies.
  12. I had known that the Heaven's Gate Website was still up in all its late 1990s tackiness, but I had always assumed that it was just another relic of the Geocities age: http://www.heavensgate.com/ However, as it turns out, the website is very much alive, and if you send emails, you can get replies, and you can buy Heaven's Gate books and VHS tapes: http://gizmodo.com/the-online-legacy-of-a-suicide-cult-and-the-webmasters-1617403237 It's interesting that the Kings haven't updated the aesthetics of the website or migrated the files from 3.5 floppy discs. I guess they want to honor the intentions of their "classmates" by keeping everything in the format they originally received it.
  13. I've studied a lot of cults and thought I'd heard it all, but I think Roch Thériault's cult may be the worst I've heard: TRIGGER WARNING!!! http://politicsrusprinciple.tumblr.com/tagged/Roch-Th%C3%A9riault (scroll down for the long post with the main story) I'm not going to do a summary, because I don't even know where to begin or how to explain it. All I can say is that Thériault sounds like a cross between David Koresh, Warren Jeffs, and Jeffrey Dahmer. Given that, I want to warn you that this story is extremely graphic and contains descriptions of abuse that are almost beyond comprehension. But this story shows why we can't turn a blind eye to sects like these that basically function as personal fiefdoms for psychopaths.
  14. SpoonfulOSugar

    Strong City Cult

    My gateway fundie group is not one that has been discussed here before . . . the Lord Our Righteousness Church, a Seventh Day Adventist derivative in northeastern New Mexico. They ate a very sparing vegetarian diet; the women wore long hair, long skirts, and no makeup; by some standards, they were considered a millennial cult. Strong City (another name) achieved fame/notoriety in 2007 when a documentary was produced by Ben Anthony and it aired on National Geographic. (I've linked to part one on Youtube - you should be able to go through the other parts with the menu on the right.) There was a follow-up documentary which I will dig out. The revelations in the documentary lead to a police investigation; eventually, their leader, Wayne Bent (Michael), was sent to prison because of the criminal sexual contact he had with underage members. I have been hesitant to discuss them here because MANY members of the church moved on and are now out in society, living their lives. I want to respect that and not invade their privacy. Of any group I've ever read about, the LOR put more out on the web (many page still available through Wayback) and the followers were as facile in social networking as any organization I've seen. They also have a predilection for changing their names - Travesser is their chosen surname (for the whole group.) Wayne Bent was released from prison in February: http://www.abqjournal.com/724888/news/religious-sect-leader-wayne-bent-is-out-of-prison.html He is apparently back on the LOR property, and back to producing his word salad on the interwebz: https://waynebent.com/ And I see that followers have again begun defending him on news stories. So - what happens to a cult when a leader is removed from the community and then returns? How has this group's belief system affected people long-term? That's what fascinates me. (And don't be surprised if someone shows up here - they are very assertive about people discussing them.)
  15. I mentioned this case in the Ardnt family thread, but I think it deserves a thread of its own. The short version is that this psychotic narcissist pervert, Marcus Wesson, started his own family-cult that taught that the End Times were near, that Jesus was a vampire, and that they should be prepared to commit suicide at any moment. He took on his own nieces and daughters (step and bio) as "sister wives" and numerous children were born of these incestous unions. When two of the nieces tried to leave the cult and take their children with them, Wesson set in place a murder-suicide pact that left nine people dead, including most of the young children who had been born via incest. This article gives a good overview of the cult, and the brainwashing the members underwent: http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/marcus-wesson-mass-murder-surviving-family-speaks-abuse/story?id=11089648 I noticed a number of similarities to some of the tactics our fundies use, including: isolationist homeschooling to keep kids ignorant, not just about the world in general, but ignorant about how dysfunctional their family is the father became "god" in the eyes of the children, while mother is beaten down and ineffectual children identifying with their abuser(s) poor living conditions rationalized as "holy" or just convenient to hide the kids from people who might ask uncomfortable questions an obsession with the end times abuse (sexual, physical, emotional) is seen as a routine part of life endless prayer and Bible study sessions used to indoctrinate sexuality is strictly controlled or monitored Now, I'm not suggesting that any of the families that are usually discussed here are as psychotic as Marcus Wesson, but reading about this case really impressed on me how easy it is to create a cult within a family, especially when the children are isolated from the outside world and have no other points of reference or trusted adults who might be able to intervene. Although the cult ended in the worst way possible for the youngest victims, at least Wesson's remaining young adult children have been able to overcome their traumatic pasts and build normal, healthy lives.
  16. A judge granted temporary custody of four children to their mother, who fled with them this summer from her husband and a restrictive religious enclave -- the House of Yahweh religious sect. Amy Hawkins waited until her husband left for work one morning in July and broke church rules by downloading Facebook to her phone, which she used to contact her mother-in-law, Claudia Owen. Hawkins also said she was leaving her husband and the House of Yahweh enclave near Clyde, Texas, and Owen invited her to come 1,200 miles away to her home in South Carolina. The cult-monitoring website Religioustolerance.org says the House of Yahweh meets 10 out of 10 criteria as a dangerous or high-risk organization. http://www.rawstory.com/2015/09/woman-f ... ious-sect/
  17. This community looks nearly amish like fundie, http://www.cults.co.nz/c.php#cooperites [] they left their community to start life in the rest of society. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic ... d=11415552
  18. Good article about cults briefly mentioning ATI . I saw no reason to break link http://www.fairobserver.com/region/nort ... gic-90134/
  19. Coldwinterskies

    Cult Warning Sign Checklist

    I think one of the reasons these crazy religions are able to get a foothold is because many people don't know the warning signs of a cult. How many of these warning signs can you see in the fundies we follow? To me, A LOT of these apply. http://i.imgur.com/tzFegxg.png
  20. Has anyone heard of this guy? I came across his name looking through the Brown family wreath. He is a Mormon who leads a small group of followers. I gather they sometimes practice polygamy. He claims he is the reincarnation of Hyrum Smith and has even gotten a descendent of Smith's hooked. That little lady gave Chris her burial plot near Hyrum so he can put up a tombstone for himself and Hyrum- since they are the same person. Nemelka claims that he has unsealed the sealed portion of Joseph Smith's revelations. He is/was a polygamist, con artist and scammer, likely mentally unstable. I can't get a read on how many followers he has. Most of the critics I am finding are regular old Mormons who think he is perverting their religion. I don't see a lot of non-LDS info on him out there. Here's a start: chrisnemelka.com/timeline-2/ More info: chrisnemelka.com/category/lies-deceit/ http://www.cityweekly.net/utah/sealed-f ... lText=true
  21. A young woman known by "Bethany" met a young man in a Christian organization at college and they were mutually attracted immediately. Along the way, he helped her get an A in a tough class, and to thank him, she remembered that he'd said his family almost never had money to eat out at a nice place, so she invited him to dinner. They went out, he insisted on paying, they were obviously in love, and for all intents and purposes were engaged to be married. Then his parents - devoted disciples of Doug Phillips' Vision Forum cult, got involved. Long story short, the young couple didn't make it. Bethany is recovering, but her ex ... well, read for yourself, if you wish: Almost trapped .... trapped. Bethany was almost trapped -- her ex, his parents and siblings, not so lucky. As Julie Anne at SSB points out, Dougie is now a member-in-good-standing of a non-family-integrated church, and who knows what forces he is marshaling for a return to wholesale deception. He's quiet, but he's not gone away. He'll never go away. He and his foul cronies in patriarchialism and theonomy must be monitored and brought to light and disputed.
  22. Jecca

    Fundie Cult Exposed by ABC

    I just came across this when looking at the Four Corners website - http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/ ... 052971.htm (Four Corners is a very distinguished investigative journalism/current affairs show, been on in Australia for over 50 years.) Tonight's show details abuse at the hands of one Scott Williams, detailed "Scott Williams left Australia 38 years ago, converting hundreds of young people throughout Europe. On the outside, life appeared happy. But now, former cult members reveal to Four Corners a lifetime of secretive abuse, misplaced worship and horrifying punishments carried out under the guise of obedience to 'The Overseer', Scott Williams. Their stories are so shocking, their brainwashing so profound, it is almost unbelievable.." On in 30 minutes if you're on the east coast. Question for international FJers - have we heard of this bloke?
  23. neuroticcat

    IHOP Prayer-Cult

    Anyone seen this yet? I remember hearing this story awhile back - have a college-friend who is heavily involved with IHOP. Disturbing stuff. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/arc ... lt/361400/
  24. http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pa ... t.html?p=1 My personal favorite is how if they are over-eating or chubby, they're probably not keeping it in their pants in other ways than just love handles. ETA: Because it wasn't clear - I think that's bogus. Weight is far more complicated than "just use self-control."
  25. ladyamylynn

    Reddit thread about growing up in a cult

    http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comme ... cult_what/ Pretty interesting, I haven't read through the whole thing yet.
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