Thomas Murphy’s fans compare him to Galileo, but the Mormon hierarchy seems to think he’s a heretic.

Murphy is head of the anthropology department at Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, Washington and now seems to be caught in a dilemma, reports the Herald of Everett.

The Mormon anthropologist published a paper within “American Apocrypha: Essays on the Book of Mormon,” which essentially says the scriptures of his faith are wrong, or at least historically.

The Book of Mormon is supposedly not simply a spiritual work, but claims to be a history book as well.

It tells the saga of lost pre-Columbian civilizations that vanished around 400 AD.

However, this history, which was supposedly divinely revealed to Joseph Smith the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), doesn’t square with any scientific evidence.

Murphy found through his research that one claim within his faith’s scriptures was certainly false. Native Americans are not the descendents of ancient Hebrews. Murphy proved this conclusively through DNA evidence.

Ironically, the anthropologist found his proof through blood samples gathered through a multimillion-dollar “molecular genealogy” project at Brigham Young University, a Mormon bastion of education.

Of course believing Mormons refute Murphy’s conclusions and he has been labeled as a likely “apostate.” Apparently the scientist is now on the brink of banishment from his church.

This would not be the first time the Mormon Church has purged an intellectual from its ranks. The last such excommunication was less than a decade ago and at least a few more academics are on a its short list for possible expulsion.

Mormons cling to their pseudo-history for good reason. If the Book of Mormon is fiction, then Joseph Smith was not a “prophet.” Smith’s status as a “revelator” is the primary premise, which forms the foundation of this uniquely American religion.

But unlike other religious texts, the Book of Mormon is relatively modern and is easily disproved historically.

Mormons have searched desperately for generations to find a single archaeological artifact that would somehow confirm a part of their book.

One such searcher was Thomas Stewart Ferguson, who spent 25 years on his quest only to ultimately conclude, “You can’t set Book of Mormon geography down anywhere because it is fictional and will never meet the requirements of dirt-archeology.”

Brigham D. Madsen, perhaps the most well known Mormon apologist, admitted there was no way to explain the historical anachronisms within his faith’s scriptures.

After much media attention the ongoing effort to examine and expel Thomas Murphy has been halted for the moment. But it is unlikely that the Mormon Church will ignore the questions raised by the anthropologist.

What can they do? Admit that Joseph Smith was not a “prophet,” but instead just a good storyteller?

I don’t think so.

It is much easier to get rid of the good professor, than examine such disturbing possibilities.

In an Irish courtroom the seemingly nightmare existence of a former Scientologist is now spilling out through daily press reports. Every day of testimony seems to reveal another layer of abuse endured by Mary Johnston, a Dublin resident.

Ms. Johnston has filed a lawsuit against the Dublin mission of Scientology claiming she was “brainwashed” during her two years of membership. She says this produced “psychiatric injuries as well as post traumatic stress disorder,” reports the Irish Voice.

During her often-emotional testimony Johnston told the court that Scientologists essentially interrogated her, through what they call “auditing” and exhumed the most painful and private memories of her life, which included two abortions.

The Irish woman also testified how Scientologists pressured her for money, even urging her to sell her business to obtain cash for courses.

Johnston described how her life became increasingly isolated. At one point a Scientologist allegedly even influenced her not to attend a family funeral. Her involvement also seemed to fuel conflict with her boyfriend, who refused to loan her money for Scientology courses.

This court case offers a disturbing look inside the controversial church that has been called a “cult.” And the recounting of Johnston’s journey may help many to better understand the grip Scientology seems to have on its members.

If deeply private and confidential information is shared through the group’s “auditing” process and apparently noted within the file of each participant, Scientology would then potentially have considerable leverage concerning anyone who considers leaving.

What information lies within the files of John Travolta or Tom Cruise? Does this afford Scientology a special hold over its celebrities? Both stars have taken numerous courses and gone through “auditing” for years.

Johnston also told how she was taught that reading a critical article about Scientology would somehow require “repair,” to undue the supposed damage done by exposure to such negative information.

What information have well-known celebrities ignored per such advice?

It is said that celebrity members like Travolta and Lisa Marie Presley often have Scientologists accompany them as “assistants.” Are such assistants there for “damage control”?

If a regular Scientologist was subjected to this much handling and manipulation, what is the organization willing to do to keep its really important members?

It seems the way Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW) deal with dissent is to “disfellowship” anyone that speaks out and/or draws attention to serious internal problems.

This was apparently the reason for the banishment of Barbara Joanna Anderson, a Tennessee Witness who spoke out about sexual abuse within JW congregations.

Anderson has now filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit in response to her banishment, reports the Tullahoma News.

The former Witness is a founder of “Silent Lambs,” an organization formed to address the issue of sexual abuse within the ranks of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Increasingly, it appears there is a pattern of JW leaders suppressing information about sexual abuse, when it involves its members. They most often don’t report such matters promptly to the police.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have historically demonized the Roman Catholic Church in the harshest terms. Ironically though, it now appears JW leaders have followed the same pattern of behavior embraced by many Catholic bishops, when dealing with sexual predators amongst its clergy.

That is, with one notable exception. The Roman Catholic Church has not used excommunication to silence its members who have recently spoken out and/or drawn attention to this issue.

Matt Hale the founder and leader of the so-called “World Church of the Creator” says it’s moving.

Well, not exactly.

Though Hale claims his “world headquarters” will officially move to a new address in a small Wyoming town he will remain in Peoria, Illinois, reports Associated Press.

The white supremacist apparently just wants some of his followers to set up shop out West.

However, whatever Hale says must be taken with more than a little skepticism. The ardent racist has a history of making misleading statements, such as listing himself as an “attorney” on the Internet, when in fact he can’t practice law in Illinois.

Hale has a law degree, but the not so popular Peoria resident couldn’t convince the Illinois State Bar to let him in.

There is an old adage that a man cannot be a “prophet in his own land.” In Hale’s case this also includes being a lawyer.

Maybe Hale should try his luck in Wyoming? Peoria just might give the racist a rousing send off.

Cult leader Lucille Paulin is now in jail serving an eight-month sentence for beating children in her group called the “Four Winds Commune, located on Prince Edward Island in Canada.

However, soon Paulin may face far more serious charges.

The surviving siblings of a child who died within her compound believe Paulin may have poisoned their 12-year-old brother. And now they want justice.

Canadian authorities have decided to investigate the boy’s death, reports the National Post.

The dead child known only as “Jonathan” came with his parents to live in Paulin’s commune. They apparently accepted her proclaimed role as leader and “prophet.”

The child’s surviving siblings believe child welfare didn’t properly protect their brother and may have attempted to cover up that failure.

Sadly, this has become a common story.

Child protection both in Canada and the United States often seem befuddled when confronted by abuses within religious groups. Should they err on the side of caution, or be careful, so as not to be accused of “religious persecution.”

Where does child welfare begin and religious rights end?

It seems at the grave of little Jonathan.

Last month Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton visited a Mexican prison with other members of the National Foundation of Women Legislators. The lawmakers went to see how a controversial Scientology drug rehabilitation program called “Narconon,” supposedly helped convicts there, reported SignOnSanDiego, November 21st.

But since that visit controversy once again has arisen regarding Narconon, concerning a proposed center in Canada.

Recently, the town council of Marmora, Ontario “unanimously denied” a rezoning application that would have allowed Narconon to set up a facility in that community. And there were “rumors that Narconon…is an attempt by the Church of Scientology to infiltrate the region,” reported the Osprey Intelligencer.

Apparently though Narconon may be selling well in Mexico, Canadians aren’t buying into it.

Narconon funding was dropped in Utah and another center’s certification was once rejected in Oklahoma.

Perhaps US legislators brought to the Baja don’t know about Narconon’s troubled history. Intead, they were told the program works, according to a study done in Mexico that claims it reduces recidivism amongst prisoners there.

But a Swedish medical expert testified, “There is no documentation to show that the [Narconon] method of detoxification from drug abuse conforms to scientific standards and medical experience…The risks and side effects of the treatment method have also not been evaluated in a serious way. Methods that have not been evaluated and/or rest on incorrect theories should not be used in Swedish medical care.”

Hopefully, before Senator Clinton and other lady legislators embrace Narconon they will read “Scientology; The Cult of Greed,” the award winning cover story published by Time Magazine in 1991.

Time called Narconon “a classic vehicle for drawing addicts into the cult” (i.e. Scientology).

Richard Butler 84 once proudly ruled over his own compound kingdom in Idaho known as the “Aryan Nations.” But now the old racist is broke, dispossessed and apparently dying.

Butler was sued into bankruptcyand then evicted, seeming proof that “every dog has its day.”

However, the ailing hate monger still managed to choose a new leader for his fragmented and fading group between hospital visits, reported Associated Press this past Saturday.

Butler chose his old pal Harold “Ray” Redfeairn. In better times the two men liked to parade together in downtown Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

A splinter group that left Butler says “weirdos, winos and clowns” now surround him

Right. As if these characters were anything but “weirdos” and “clowns.”

Redfeairn claims his focus will be upon the racist theology of the so-called “Christian Identity” movement.

Many groups like the Aryan Nations were founded by charismatic personalities who quickly became “cult figures” and totalitarian leaders. Before his fall Butler once held such a position of prevalence and power.

Redfeairn said, “It’s never been my desire to be the grand pooh-bah of the Aryan Nations.”

Whatever Ray. There isn’t much left to be the “grand poo-bah” over anyway.

John Dawson, who has been with Youth with a Mission (YWAM) for more than 30 years has now been chosen by its “Global Leadership Team” (GLT) as YWAM’s new president. He will assume his new role next September, reports Charisma News Service.

Founded by Loren Cuningham in 1960, YWAM is a controversial ministry that has generated serious complaints over the years. Though supposedly “retired” Cuningham still sits on the GLT.

Some former members have specifically complained that YWAM’s “discipleship training” is coercive and controling. That training is often conducted within relatively isolated camps run by the organization.

It is unclear what real power the president of YWAM wields, or how the GLT can be held accountable to the 12,000 full-time workers in 130 countries that it controls.

One consistent complaint about the organization historically, has been its authoritarian syle of leadership and lack of meaningful accountability.

Without so much as a mention of the controversy that swirls around purported “cult leader” Sai Baba, Keith Bradsher of the New York Times proclaims the accused pedophile and sexual predator “A Friend in India to all the world.”


The President of India did drop in at the guru’s ashram for a “blessing” and Bradsher dutifully reported about the visit. However, should a politician’s gesture to a prominent constituent be any reason to ignore the man’s sordid history?

Supoosed “holy man” Sai Baba does have a large following and controls millions of dollars through his charities, but according to numerous first-hand accounts he also likes to practice “sexual healing” on boys.

Only last year UNESCO cancelled its co-sponsorship of a conference with the guru saying it was “deeply concerned about widely reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youth and children that have been leveled at the leader.”

Like many other gurus that are often called “cult leaders,” Sai Baba has his share of celebrity admirers. His list includes Isaac Tigrett, co-founder of the Hard Rock Cafe and Sarah Ferguson, Prince Andrew’s former wife.

The London Daily Telegraph and India Today magazine have reported extensively about Sai Baba sexual proclivities, which apparently includes the children of his followers.

A former Swedish film star, Conny Larsson alleged the guru regularly performed oral sex on him and asked for it in return. This was somehow a spiritual effort to correct the Swede’s “kundalini” energy.


Three suicides have been linked to Sai Baba, one was an alleged victim of the guru’s sexual abuse.

How could the New York Times, often called the “paper of record,” overlook all this information?

A man identified as a “rabbi” is scheduled to speak at a Promise Keepers conference during February in Phoenix, reports the Christian Times.

But this “rabbi,” Jonathan Bernis, is actually a fundamentalist Christian and the executive director of the “Jewish Voice Broadcast.”

The so-called “Jewish Voice” is really not Jewish at all, but rather a missionary organization that targets Jews in a proselytizing effort to gain converts. Louis Kaplan, an ordained Assemblies of God minister now deceased, founded the group in 1968.

Evangelical Billy Graham has strongly disapproved targeting one group for special missionary consideration.

The so-called “rabbi” obviously does not have credentials that would be recognized by any Jewish rabbinical organization and it is doubtful that he even ever attended a Jewish seminary.

The “Promise Keepers” seem to have overlooked this. They describe Bernis as simply a “Jewish believer.” However, Jews believe in Judaism not missionary work for a Pentecostal organization.

If Bill McCartney the founder of the Promise Keepers wanted to offend the Jewish community of Phoenix, he seems to have succeeded in picking a likely way to accomplish that. What’s next for the Promise Keepers a Methodist mullah?