How much money does Scientology extract from the millions left behind by Elvis and his ever-growing trust left to his only heir Lisa Marie Presley?

No one knows for sure, but there have been persistent rumors that folks may occupy a seat or two on the Presley Trust, who are friendly with the controversial church, which has been called a “cult.”

Fox News wonders just how much money from Elvis fans finds its way into the coffers of Scientology.

Ironically, Elvis himself reportedly didn’t like Scientology.

According to a close associate “The King” once said, “F – – – those people! There’s no way I’ll ever get involved with that son-of-a-bitchin’ group. All they want is my money.”

An old Elvis crony said, “He’d s – – t a brick to see how far Lisa Marie’s gotten into it.”

Would Elvis fans ” s – – t a brick” to learn that money spent at Graceland, or on Elvis mementos and re-released music, might just be finding its way to “that son-of-a-bitchin’ group”?

Dwight “Malachi” York has pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting and abusing minor children. He made his admission in open court yesterday, reports Associated Press.

The deal York and his attorney worked out with federal prosecutors would place the “cult leader” in prison for not less than 15 years followed by 3 years of supervised release.

York is 56. This would mean the Nuwaubian leader would be 71 upon release and 74 when his supervision ended.

Maybe federal prosecutors are betting York won’t live long enough to be a free man?

It is unclear how the current plea bargain would affect state charges, which includes a 208-count grand jury indictment.

York also has also been sued by his victims, one lawsuit alone is for $1 billion dollars.

With his confession in public the Nuwaubian leader has made moot his followers claim that he is the somehow the victim of conspiracy or “persecution.”

York is simply a pedophile properly charged for his heinous criminal conduct.

Perhaps the current deal on the table reflects not only the hopelessness of York’s defense, but his desire to be incarcerated within a federal prison, which would be far more comfortable than the state prison system in Georgia.

York is an experienced inmate who served three years in prison during the 1960s for resisting arrest, assault and possession of a dangerous weapon in New York.

His group began in New York during the 1970s before moving to Georgia ten years ago. York paid almost a million dollars to buy a 476-acre parcel that would eventually become his Nuwaubian compound near Athens.

Though the criminal case of Dwight York may be nearing its end, the suffering of his victims will go on for years. York sexually abused at least 13 children, ranging in age from 4 to 18. They will live with the memories of that abuse for a lifetime.

At one time York lived like a king in a $500,000 home in Athens, but now it seems the “cult leader” will soon be housed in a cell, probably within protective custody.

Even convicts find it difficult to live with sex offenders as sick, destructive and despicable as Dwight York.

A 9-year-old boy was found dead in his Philadelphia home and authorities suspect medical neglect, reports The Philadelphia Daily News.

The deceased child’s father is a member of a group called “Faith Tabernacle Congregation,” which teaches members not to seek medical care or visit doctors.

They boy’s aunt a member of the group said, “You serve Satan if you go to a doctor.”

Faith Tabernacle is another example of the type of destructive fringe groups often responsible for deaths due to medical neglect.

But the group’s members certainly don’t feel responsible.

The dead child’s aunt said when people die “God wants that person. He takes life. He gives life.”

Well, if authorities find out that the boy’s death could have been prevented through proper medical care, someone will be wanted on criminal charges and eventually be taken to jail.

In his new book Nothing Is Impossible, Christopher Reeve offers inspiration and hope, but the Hollywood icon also demonstrates his enduring sense of humor.

In a chapter titled Religion, Reeve tells the story of his involvement with Scientology during 1975.

The saga begins outside a supermarket where the actor runs into a Scientologist promoting a “free personality test.” Reeve obliges him and takes the test, curious to find out its results.

The next day in the “plush…inner sanctum of…[Scientology’s] headquarters…suitable for the president or CEO of a major corporation” he is told the bad news. Scientologists warn Reeve that he is carrying “heavy ‘baggage'” and suffers from a litany of personal problems.

But of course they can provide the needed “‘training'” to help him, which they say he should begin immediately.

So the future Superman takes Scientology courses hoping one day he will “go Clear,” which is Scientology jargon for reaching a supposed advanced state of consciousness made possible through their training.

Reeve writes about an exercise called “‘TRO’ (Training Routine Zero)” and explains, “The objective was to empty our minds of extraneous thoughts (‘clutter’)” And “whenever our own clutter tried to come back in, we were…to acknowledge its return and then command it to go away.”

Doesn’t this sound like “brainwashing“?

The actor tells readers that TRO only cost him “a few hundred dollars.” But after that came “auditing,” which he describes as “outrageously expensive.” And Reeve says Scientology wanted “$3,000 in advance” for that service, which was billed at a “$100 an hour in 1975.”

He explains that the “auditor” used an “E-Meter,” which is “a simple box with a window that contained a fluctuating needle and a card with numbers from one to ten. Two wires running out of the box…were attached to tin cans,” which he was asked to hold.

Apparently it didn’t take x-ray vision for Reeve to conclude that the “E-meter was basically a crude lie detector.”

What Reeve subsequently details sounds like an interrogation. The actor was asked to “recall the use of…illegal substances…painkillers…anything stronger than aspirin.” He says, “My drug rundown used up for or five sessions.”

But Reeve had “growing skepticism about Scientology.” So he decided to run his own test.

He told the auditor a long story supposedly about a past life, but he made it all up, based upon a Greek myth.

However, the auditor didn’t detect anything, even with the help of the trusty “E-Meter.”

It was then that the “Man of Steel” decided he was done with Scientology. Reeve writes, “The fact that I got away with a blatant fabrication completely devalued my belief in the process.”

Summing up a religious critique the actor says, “My problem has always been with religious dogma intended to manipulate behavior.”

Elsewhere in the book Reeve recounts exposure to Transcendental Meditation, a run-in with a devotee of Baba Muktanananda, an awareness weekend seminar, Deepak Chopra, “Harmonic Convergence” and “rebirthing.”

But Christopher Reeve never became another movie star devoted to some guru or “cult.” And it’s refreshing to find a celebrity that isn’t another annoying Hollywood cliché, constantly promoting some leader, special mentor or weird group.

Even after life dealt Reeve a tough hand in 1995 through a freak accident that paralyzed his body, he still didn’t grasp for some self-serving, comforting or convenient belief system.

Instead, the actor says God wants us to “do our best” and simply “discern the truth.” And Reeve cites a guiding principle espoused by the pragmatic Abraham Lincoln, “When I do good I feel good. When I do bad I feel bad. And that’s my religion.”

It seems Scientology has more to learn from Superman than he ever could have taken in from its endless courses and “auditing.”

Maybe this movie star should teach some Hollywood Scientologists like Tom Cruise and John Travolta?

Given his current circumstances many might think Christopher Reeve is bitter. But the actor centers much of his life and faith upon the value of hope.

He concludes at the end of his book, “When we have hope, we discover powers, within ourselves we may have never known—the power to make sacrifices, to endure, to heal, and to love. Once we choose hope, everything is possible.”

Some say that dictator Kim Jong Il, known as the “Great Leader” to North Koreans, is little more than a “cult leader.” They point out the way he has systematically “brainwashed” his people and controls Korean society.

Well, like many historical cult leaders he also seems to have a penchant for living the good life, through the exploitation of followers.

While the people of North Korea remain largely impoverished and often go hungry Kim lives lavishly.

Newsweek (January 13, 2003) reported that the “Great Leader” is having a good time, while the world fears what he may do next.

On a special train ride through Russia Kim brought along his two armored Mercedes and told his host about the girls in Paris nightclubs. Later his beautiful female staff serenaded him. His beverage preferences for the trip were Bordeaux, Burgundy and Hennesy Paradis cognac at $650.00 per bottle. He consumed 20 course dinners.

Kim ordered 200 Class S Mercedes in 1998 for a total cost of $20 million. This beats Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh who ended up with just 90 Rolls Royces, by the time he was deported from the US.

Kim has also imported pizza ovens and two Milanese chefs to teach his staff how to make pizzas. And he doesn’t like anchovies.

Where does all the money to pay for this come from?

Kim uses slave labor to mine gold in North Korea. And he reportedly has stashed away billions in Switzerland. The dictator also has a villa in Geneva as well as five other mansions in Europe.

In the end it seems that all that this “Great Leader” really represents, is a “Great Rip-off.”

“Cult” leader Claude Vorilhon, who calls himself “Rael,” now tacitly admits the obvious. And if cloning claims made by his Raelian Bishop Brigitte Bosselier are a “hoax” he’s happy anyway, reported Associated Press.

Rael said, “If it’s not true…it’s wonderful. Because…the whole world knows about the Raelian movement. I am very happy with that.”


By the way, no DNA testing or any meaningful independent verification will be allowed to verify Raelian cloning claims. Of course there were excuses offered. And a Raelian “cloning machine” recently exhibited was only loaned out on the condition it not be examined.

So the man who claims he is the descendent of a space alien is now acknowledging what should have been clear to the media from the beginning. That is, the whole cloning thing was a contrived publicity stunt to gain the ego-driven “cult” attention.

The apparently delusional Rael now sees himself as a player on the world stage. He recently made statements about the pending possibility of war in Iraq and pronouncements about the UN, reported The Calgary Sun.

The seeming megalomaniac said, “I’ve informed the entire planet of my message.”

Uh huh.

It looks like it might be time for Rael to return to his compound called “UFO Land.” Or maybe he should just hop a spaceship and go back to the planet where he claims to have met Jesus and Buddha. The “cult” leader certainly doesn’t appear to be grounded in the reality of this world.

Isn’t it time for the media to stop reporting about Rael? Why does the apparent faker continue to rate so much ink and attention?

Rev. Moon has spent $2 billion dollars on the Washington Times and the newspaper has never made money. Every year it’s in the red, reports The Columbia Journalism Review.

The newspaper is something of a sinkhole if you look at it purely from the standpoint of profit and loss.

The Times also runs a distant second for circulation within the D.C. area, pulling about one-eighth the rate of the Washington Post. Likewise its percentage of advertising is almost one-half the industry average.

Sounds pretty bad doesn’t it?

This all doesn’t seem to bother Rev. Moon who apparently bought the paper for status and ego-fulfillment within the beltway and to garner political influence.

However, will the Moon family continue to support this financial loser after the old man is gone?

Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church and its reigning “messiah,” may be nearing the end of his life. He is an now an octogenarian and some say a bit senile.

After his death the Moon heirs may decide to cut their losses and only keep businesses that make money. This may mean liquidation for the Times.

The staff at the Washington Times must hope that Father Moon will follow in the footsteps of South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, who recently retired at a 100.

But perhaps they should keep their resumes ready.

Jessica Crank died in agony due to medical neglect. The 15-year-old girl had a cancer condition that produced a tumor the size of a basketball, but her mother’s involvement in an obscure religious group called “New Life Tabernacle” kept Jessica out of a hospital, where she might have been treated and suffered less.

Jessica’s mother Jacqueline Crank and their group leader Ariel Ben Sherman were subsequently charged with felony child abuse.

But the prosecutor made such a poor showing in court the felony charges were dismissed.

That prosecutor has since moved on and the District Attorney of Loudon County, Tennessee won’t say whether he was fired or quit, reports The Knoxville News.

Now the DA is preparing to present the case again, but this time before a grand jury. He hopes to reinstate felony charges against Crank and Sherman.

In Tennessee a choice for “faith healing” over proper medical care by a parent is still allowed by law.

However, Jessica’s mother initially brought her daughter to a clinic and consulted medical professionals before her ultimate decision to deny her proper care and treatment. This may preclude the mother’s protection under state law.

Will there finally be justice for the teenage girl who must have suffered excruciating pain before her tragic and untimely death?

Ariel Ben Sherman has a history of escaping child abuse charges. In the 1980s he eventually beat criminal charges for child abuse in Oregon.

Will Sherman, who claimed to be Jessica’s “spiritual father,” manage to avoid any legal responsibility this time?

God’s Creation Outreach Ministry” was actually created by Neil and Christy Edgar. The Edgars are now in jail, charged with killing their son. And allegations of horrific child abuse swirl around the church and its founders.

A judge has now raised the Edgars bail from $200,000 to $1 million dollars, reports The Kansas City Star.

Maybe the Edgars can raise the money?

The church the Edgars built increasingly looks more like a business than a house of worship. The couple is now under investigation regarding both their finances and taxes.

It seems the Kansas City ministers created “a portfolio of properties and companies,” reports The Kansas City Star.

And though some of those companies were supposedly “nonprofit,” they may have provided profits to the Edgars.

“God’s Creation Outreach Ministry,” owns a fourplex, a house, vacant lots, a sanctuary and other properties in the surrounding area.

The Edgars rented out apartments and houses to their followers. However, according to their tax-exempt application, that housing was designated for charitable purposes and no rent was to be collected.

But the Edgars not only charged rent; they often pressured their tenants who were also members of the church to turn over their paychecks.

One former member said, “[Christy Edgar] got money-hungry. She was used to living the good life.”

Well, it looks like the “good life” is over for the Edgars.

And now the question is, what was “God’s Creation Outreach Ministry” a church, or a façade created by the Edgars to exploit people?

Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison said, “We’re still trying to sort out whether the church is a complete scam or a partial scam.”

53 more members of the Mungiiki were arrested, while key leaders remain in hiding, reports The East African Standard.

Kenya’s government continues its crackdown and remains determined to subdue the violent sect.

At one point the Mungiki actually took over parts of downtown Nairobi, until overcome by police.