Lisa Marie Presley supposedly has returned to the arms of her ex-lover John Oszajca, reports the Australian Herald Sun.

This on and off again relationship has an interesting history.

Three years ago Oszajca, a twenty-something musician, apparently almost marched down the much-treaded aisle with the Elvis heir.

But unlike her former husbands Michael Jackson and Nicholas Cage, Oszajca was reportedly ready to jump into Scientology, which seems to be the required rigor for Presley’s grooms.

The only child of Elvis is probably now worth about $200 million. Last year alone she made $32 million, without the need to do anything more than count the receipts.

Presley is a hefty cash cow, even amongst Scientology celebrities

And Scientology seems to have its veritable hooks sunk fairly deep into the ever-growing Elvis estate.

The money Lisa Marie has given the controversial church through courses, training, contributions and/or bequests must total millions.

With so much money on the line it’s doubtful that Presley’s Scientology friends and/or handlers would ever encourage her to marry outside of the organization, which has been called a “cult.”

Whenever Presley ties the knot with a non-believer, it doesn’t last long. Her marriage to Cage didn’t even make it to an anniversary.

Elvis’s daughter has few kind words for ex-husbands Jackson and Cage, but she remains close to her first groom Danny Keough, who is a Scientologist.

Maybe Oszajca the musician would make an acceptable mate? If he doesn’t play back up for the aspiring singer Presley, he might make a good Scientology stay-at-home dad.

In a “no holds barred” interview run in Rolling Stone Magazine, Lisa Marie Presley supposedly speaks out frankly and about her life.

However, the article comes across as more of a promotional puff piece and often neglects important facts.

Presley attempted to dismiss reports that Scientology has often dominated her life.

The daughter of Elvis says, “If you know anything about my personality” — she laughs — “you ‘ll know that’s not possible.”

But it doesn’t appear the reporter knows anything, or at least he’s not telling.

Danny Keough, Presley’s first husband, was and is a deeply devoted Scientologist. The reporter notes he was there during an interview session, “home schooling” their two children in the next room.

Presley says, “He ‘s my absolute best friend in the world…this is the one man I [will] be connected to for the rest of my life.”

Then there’s Paige Dorian, “her assistant and friend of eight years,” also a Scientologist. And Luke Watson, another Scientologist, who is “documenting her recent life on film.”

Watson was reportedly once assigned to look after Presley by Scientology.

Dorian and Watson accompanied her for dinner with the Rolling Stone reporter. She explained “They live my life with me.”

Presley and Watson first met reportedly in Clearwater, Florida, a bastion of Scientology, where she took church courses. Presley was there so much that she bought a home in the area, which was later sold to Kirstie Alley, another Scientologist.

Like Alley Presley claims to have overcome drugs. She says, “I did drugs for four years.” But is quick to point out that this was before she significantly embraced Scientology.

Part of Scientology’s cure for drugs is called the “purification rundown,” which may have caused Presley subsequent health problems.

However, she says those problems were due to dental fillings.

Ironically, Elvis apparently loathed Scientology. According to members of his inner circle he 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.”

Lisa Marie now ardently dismisses and condemns long-time Elvis insiders.

Presley’s marital history is strange and strewn with Scientology connections.

Twenty days after ending her first marriage with Keough she married Michael Jackson in the Dominican Republic. Her first husband’s brother and wife, both Scientologists, witnessed that wedding.

The Jackson/Presley union ended after 20 months. And the lawyer that tied up the loose ends was John Coale, another Scientologist.

It was rumored that the Jackson marriage was a sham, concocted by the “King of Pop” and Scientology to neutralize an ugly sex scandal.

The Jackson marriage allegedly largely ended because the pop star made it clear that he would not be involved with the controversial church.

Presley’s most recent marriage only lasted four months.

Her third husband Nicholas Cage like Jackson, apparently wanted nothing to do with Scientology.

Obviously Lisa Marie Presley’s involvement with Scientology plays a very pivotal and influential role in her life.

The Rolling Stone reporter either didn’t care, didn’t dig deep enough, or apparently understood that such comments wouldn’t be appreciated.

It appears the heir to the Elvis estate has inherited more than her father’s money and looks, she seems to have a deeply troubled life too.

Every year an evangelical Christian organization known as “Jews for Jesus” (JFJ) stages “Passover” presentations at Christian churches.

The missionary group recently staged one of their annual “Christ in the Passover” productions at a Presbyterian church in Newton Massachusetts this month, reported the Watertown Tab.

Another such event will take place tonight at a Mennonite church in Albany, reports the Democrat-Herald.

Reportedly “ancient and modern Jewish customs will be discussed and described.”

JFJ claims it has done such presentations at more than 5,000 churches to date.

However, these presentations actually distort and/or negate the meaning and real significance of “ancient and modern Jewish customs.”

Perhaps more importantly JFJ may damage inter-faith understanding between those Christians they influence and the authentic Jewish community.

JFJ, which was founded by a Baptist minister, also specifically targets Jews for special missionary consideration. But Baptist evangelist Billy Graham has denounced such efforts.

Obviously, if Christian churches wish to truly understand the historical meaning of Passover and the actual religious significance of that traditional family dinner observed annually by Jews, they should contact a local synagogue and/or the organized the Jewish community.

Likewise, when Jews wish to better understand Christian observances such as Easter, they should contact Protestant or Catholic clergy and/or churches as a resource.

Meaningful inter-faith understanding is not accomplished by misrepresenting and/or distorting another faith’s beliefs, practices or actual history.

JFJ itself has a deeply troubled history, which includes complaints about excessively confrontational evangelism and allegations of abuse made by former members. Jews have described the organization as essentially “anti-Semitic.”

Though JFJ may benefit through fund-raising opportunities made possible by such Passover events, it seems that the misleading information and subsequent false understanding often left behind might actually damage the churches involved and their members.

Organizations like JFJ come and go through communities, moving on to their next program somewhere else.

But churches, synagogues and their members remain behind and must live together.

Shouldn’t living together be based upon mutual respect and understanding achieved through meaningful dialog and education?

Madonna may be “shielded by psychic armor,” but the middle aged former “sex kitten” who now wants to talk about “serious issues” is getting a bit boring, or so it seems in an article recently run by W Magazine.

Could this be at least partially due to her spiritual work out schedule, which includes “several nights a week” at the “Kabbalah Center”?

Madonna certainly has become a devotee of this group that has been called a “cult.”

But she says, “I think the Kabbalah is very punk rock.”

Maybe Madonna’s right; Berg’s brand of “Kabbalah” has been criticized by scholars as more of a pop creation than traditional study of “Jewish mysticism.”

Madonna’s career is troubled. The pop diva’s film “Swept Away” was a flop and Elton John described her song for the movie Die Another Day as “the worst Bond tune of all time.”

Never mind, Madonna has more important things on her mind, “I need to stay focused on my spiritual studies,” she says. And claims to be “tired of shallowness.”

But wasn’t it the “shallowness” of the “material girl” that made her a pop icon in first place?

Madonna now even questions the basis of her stardom and says, “What was I really trying to prove.” And claims, “I’ve been given this place in the world for a reason.”

OK. But the once sharp-witted, go it alone woman looks like she may have lost her edge.

It seems that even the star’s sense of style may have been dulled by her spiritual quest.

Commenting on a recent fashion shoot Madonna said, “I can’t tell you how boring it is posing for pictures. It’s so boring. If I don’t feel like I’m creating something that means something, I don’t want to do it.”

The diva defines this mission for meaning as a “real responsibility…to bring light to the world and make the world a better place.” And adds, “That’s what I should be focused on thinking…Not-you know-being a ‘pop diva.'”

Is this just all about an aging “pop diva” trying to rationalize a fading career? Or does this reflect a transformation brought on by “cult” involvement?

Madonna says, “I change. I evolve. People can’t understand that…Maybe that’s what people find unsettling about me. But that’s so boring.”

But what seems really “boring” is this “change” and posturing produced by Madonna’s most recent evolution.

And it looks like other stars deeply involved within groups called “cults” may “evolve” that way too.

Witness the winding down of John Travolta’s career in one boring formula film after another. Even Tom Cruise’s last few efforts have been boring.

Both stars, like Madonna, constantly comment about the importance of their group and how it has changed and/or evolved their lives. Cruise and Travolta are both committed to Scientology.

However, Oscar winner Nicole Kidman who has apparently left Scientology doesn’t seem to have evolved too badly.

Maybe Madonna should call Kidman for advice and reconsider what she is “focused on thinking.”

Apparently “cult apologists” are concerned about the Elizabeth Smart case. They seem to feel a need to dismiss any claims that the kidnap victim was “brainwashed.”

Veteran cult defenders James Richardson, H. Newton Malony and Nancy Ammerman, have all been quoted concerning the case.

Dick Anthony, another “cult apologist,” more recently weighed in.

The mainstream media apparently overlooked Anthony, who describes himself as a “forensic psychologist,” so he found another outlet for his opinions.

His commentary about Elizabeth Smart is now posted on the website CESNUR (“Center for Studies on New Religons”), run by Massimo Introvigne.

Introvigne is an interesting character and reportedly connected to a group that has been called a “cult.” The organization is named “Tradition, Family and Property” (TFP). Not surprisingly, Introvigne seems to be personally offended by the “C” word (“cult”) and the “B” word (“brainwashing”).

Within his treatise Anthony laments how the “proponents of brainwashing theory” are misleading the public by “asserting that Elizabeth Smart was brainwashed.”

According to Anthony that “theory” was “formulated by the American CIA as a propaganda device.”

Hmmm, was Elizabeth then somehow the most recent victim of a CIA conspiracy?


Anthony speculates that due to Elizabeth’s “strict Mormon upbringing…[she] may actually have been predisposed to accepting the stern religious authority of the self-appointed prophet Brian David Mitchell.”

Does this mean the Mormon Church and/or her family not only somehow predisposed Elizabeth to embrace the bizarre beliefs of others without question, but also to not seek help or identify herself to authorities when kidnapped?

Anthony seems to think so.

He says, “Such offbeat theological worldviews allegedly primarily attract conversions from rebellious young persons from Mormon backgrounds.”

Despite his self-proclaimed title of “forensic psychologist,” Anthony doesn’t offer any factual “forensic” evidence. And he doesn’t really explain Elizabeth’s strange behavior. Instead, everything is attributed to her “totalistic personality,” which was apparently just waiting to be Mitchell’s next “conversion.”

The good doctor is less kind to 70s cult kidnap victim Patricia Hearst.

Anthony says, “There is good reason to think that her involvement in SLA [Symbionese Liberation Army] crimes was based upon a real conversion.”

He does admit Hearst was exposed to “indoctrination.”

But just like Elizabeth, Anthony claims the then 19-year-old Patty Hearst’s capitulation to her captors, was all about “the interaction of her pre-existing totalistic personality.”

Anthony gets a bit nasty bashing Hearst as a “rebellious” teenager who “…took psychedelic drugs” and was “dualistically divided between corrupt mainstream people and good counter-culture people and down-trodden minorities.”

Uh huh.

He concludes, “Hearst fit the profile of an ‘individual totalist’ prone to seeking for a totalitarian counter-cultural worldview.”


Apparently, the SLA really didn’t need to violently abduct Hearst at gunpoint from her college campus or imprison the girl for months in a closet and brutally beat her. She was ready to accept their beliefs willingly, and all they needed to do was proselytize a bit to produce a “real conversion.”

Likewise, Elizabeth Smart’s kidnapping, months of confinement and her assault, did not contribute to her “brainwashing”—it’s that old “totalistic personality” ready for a “real conversion” once again.

In his latest foray in the realm of “forensic psychology” Anthony cites the “research” of a relatively small group of academics that share his views about “cults.”

He mentions the work of Stuart Wright, “Jim” James Richardson, Eileen Barker, H. Newton Maloney, Anson Shupe, David Bromley and Gordon Melton and of course his sponsor Massimo Introvigne.

However, all these “academics” are within the world of “cult apologists.”

In fact, Bromley, Melton, Maloney, Richardson and Wright have all been recommended as “religious resources” by the Church of Scientology.

Melton and Barker were funded by “cults” to produce books.

Anson Shupe was paid hefty fees by Scientology lawyers to become their “expert witness” about the “anti-cult movement.”

Benjamin Zablocki, Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University put it succinctly when he said, “The sociology of religion can no longer avoid the unpleasant ethical question of how to deal with the large sums of money being pumped into the field by the religious groups being studied… This is an issue that is slowly but surely building toward a public scandal. I do think there needs to be some more public accounting of where the money is coming from and what safeguards have been taken to assure that this money is not interfering with scientific objectivity.”

This brings us back to Dick Anthony.

Last year Anthony made $21,000.00 consulting on one civil case alone, without even appearing in court.

That case involved a wrongful death claim filed against Jehovah’s Witnesses and a “Bethelite” (full-time ministry worker) named Jordon Johnson in Connecticut, by John J. Coughlin, Jr., Administrator of the Estate of his mother Frances S. Coughlin .

Johnson killed Francis Coughlin in an automobile accident and was criminally convicted for manslaughter.

The Coughlin family sued both Johnson and the organization that controlled him, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, commonly called Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Dick Anthony was hired by the Watchtower Society as an “expert,” to assist them in their defense. And in the process was deposed under oath on October 11, 2002.

The man, who prides himself as a “scholar” and “academic” actually admitted that he hasn’t worked within an institution of higher learning (i.e. a university or college) for more than twenty years.

So how does Dick Anthony support himself?

He is “self-employed.” The name of his business is simply, “Dick Anthony, Ph.D.”

What does Dick Anthony Ph.D. do?

Dr. Anthony explains, “Probably two-thirds of my time to three-quarters of my time is spent writing for publication, and probably a quarter of my time to a third of my time is involved with participating in legal cases.”

Anthony’s writings are most often connected to defending “cults,” attacking the so-called “anti-cult movement” and/or the “proponents of the brainwashing theory.”

His work on “legal cases,” is as an “expert” hired by “cults,” or somehow as a “expert witness” in a related area of interest.

What this admission by Anthony means, is that he can easily be seen as a full-time professional “cult apologist,” who has no other means of meaningful income.

How much does he get paid?

Anthony stated for the record, “My fee for reviewing materials in my office is $350 an hour. And my fee for work outside my office is a flat fee of $3,500 a day plus expenses.”

Anthony admitted that he collected “$21,000” on the Coughlin/Watchtower Society case alone. And that was without even appearing in court.

For his deposition of only a few hours, he was paid “$3,500.”

Who else besides Jehovah’s Witnesses is willing to pay such substantial fees?

Anthony listed some of his clients for the record. That list included the “Unification Church, the Hare Krishna movement…The Way International [and] Church of Scientology.”

All of these groups have been called “cults.”

But Dr. Anthony doesn’t like the “C” word, he prefers “nontraditional religions.”

On his list of “nontraditional religions” are the Branch Davidians, Unification Church and he says, “In the United States, the Catholic Church, well it’s definitely the largest nontraditional religion.”

Dr. Anthony belongs to a “nontraditional religion” himself.

Explaining his own background Anthony stated, “I’m a follower of Meher Baba” and a member of the “Meher Baba Lovers of Northern California.”

According to Jeffrey Hadden, a fellow “cult apologist” who is now deceased, Meher Baba and his followers believe that he was the “God incarnate” and the Avatar of the ‘dark or iron’ age, also called the Kali Yuga.”

Baba died in 1969. Gordon Melton says, “By loving Baba, Baba lovers can learn to love others. In the highest, most intense, state of love, Divine Love, the distinction between the lover and the beloved ceases and one attains union with God.”

Sound like a personality-driven group that would be perceived by many as a “cult”? Anthony would of course prefer the description “nontraditional religion.”

The good doctor calls himself a “forensic psychologist,” which supposedly means the application of medical facts to legal problems.

So what facts does Dick Anthony apply to resolve the legal cases he is paid to testify and/or consult about?

When asked what specific research he relied upon regarding the Coughlin case against Jehovah’s Witnesses Anthony replied that he would largely rely upon “a range of materials provided me by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

Did Dick Anthony have any experience as a psychologist helping Witnesses, “None as far as I know,” he said.

Anthony also openly admitted he had done no formal research or published any paper about Jehovah’s Witnesses.

So what facts or direct working experience would be applied or used as the basis for rendering his expert opinion?

Anthony said he would base his opinion largely on a “general knowledge of the sociology and psychology of religion.”

When pressed repeatedly during the deposition for something more specific and scientific Anthony cited, “The research of Rodney Stark…generally considered to be probably the leading expert on sects and cults.”

Stark like Anthony has received money from “cults” and has often been called an “apologist.” He is not “generally considered” a “leading expert” on the subject cited either.

Anthony later said he would rely on an article by his old friend “James Richardson [though he couldn’t remember the title]…and…several articles by Catherine Wah [correct name actually Carolyn Wah].”

Carolyn Wah was the in-house attorney assigned to defend Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Coughlin case and a long-time “Bethelite” herself, working full-time at Watchtower headquarters.

Interestingly, it was Richardson who Anthony later admitted had referred him to the Witnesses for the job.

During his deposition Dick Anthony cited other legal cases he was working on at the time.

He claimed to be “a witness for the prosecution” in the criminal case against Winnfred Wright. Anthony said some of Wright’s followers were “claiming that they are innocent because they were brainwashed.”

This criminal case involved the starvation death of a 19-month-old boy.

Described as a “cult” by Associated Press, Anthony called the criminally destructive group a “little family.”

Apparently the judge didn’t agree with Anthony’s expert opinion. He ordered one of Wright’s followers released for “cult deprogramming” so she could “enter a treatment clinic for former cult members,” reported the Marin News.

Wright received the maximum sentence allowed.

Anthony also said he was advising “the Church of Scientology in Ireland…in Dublin.”

This is clearly a reference to a lawsuit filed against Scientology by Mary Johnson, a former Irish member who alleged “psychological and psychiatric injuries.” Anthony said, “I’ve had a number of conversations with [Scientology] about that.”

But despite those “conversations” Scientology decided pay off Johnson. And costs alone ran them more than a million.

And what about the Coughlin case?

After paying Anthony $21,000 in fees and on the first day of trial, the Jehovah’s Witnesses opted to settle too. They cut a check to the plaintiff for more than $1.5 million dollars. This was historically the largest settlement ever paid by the organization, which has been around for more than a century.

It seems Dr. Anthony doesn’t have a very good track record in the recent legal cases he has consulted on.

Perhaps Anthony himself explained this best during his deposition when he said, “It is the nature of pseudo-science…to pretend to certainty in interpreting situations where such certainty cannot possibly be based upon scientific knowledge. Such false claims of certain knowledge in the absence of a clear factual foundation for that knowledge are more characteristic of totalistic ideology than of genuine science.”

Indeed. So who really has a “totalistic personality” after all?

Dick Anthony seems not only a “pretend[er],” but as can be seen through the Coughlin case, he actually offers no directly applicable “scientific knowledge” or “clear factual foundation” to form his opinions.

Instead of applying medical facts and/or “genuine science” to resolve legal problems, this “forensic psychologist” seems to offer only “pseudo-science,” in an effort to please the “nontraditional religions,” who are paying clients and represent his predominant source of income.

Despite Anthony’s repeated failures he is still being paid $3,500 per day, which is not bad, or is it?

Note: Copies of the Dick Anthony deposition are available for an $18.00 tax-deductible donation to The Ross Institute

Scientology won’t be able to advertise it helped 250,000 people beat drug addiction, at least not in Great Britain.

The Advertising Standards Authority there ruled that Scientology must stop posting such claims on billboards and posters because the organization has not proven this claim, reports the London Telegraph.

Does this mean that celebrities like Kirstie Alley and Lisa Marie Presley will temper their remarks about how Scientology “saves people” from drugs?

Probably not.

The authority said, perhaps some people may have been helped, but it’s not clear if they were actually “addicts” and/or what the exact count of those “addicts” is.

Scientology typically pushes a controversial rehab program called Narconon, which supposedly is a vehicle to both beat drug addiction and “purify” users of its residual effects.

The “purification rundown” used within the Narconon program has also been promoted by celebrities like Kelly Preston to rid the body generally of any “toxins.”

However, don’t expect Preston or her husband John Travolta to cite peer reviewed scientific research substantiating such claims, there is none.

Alfonso Acampora 61, the head of a controversial drug rehab program called Walden House in California committed suicide this past weekend, reports the Oakland Tribune.

Walden House was largely based upon the Synanon model; a scandal ridden drug rehab community founded by the infamous Charles Dederich, which was often called a “cult.”

Acampora and his organization historically also experienced a series of scandals and troubling revelations.

Repeated allegations of “mind games,” graft, corruption and welfare fraud have swirled around the Walden House.

Recently the organization and its leaders were being increasingly scrutinized.

The San Francisco Health Commission has been pressuring Walden House about its finances and encouraging a complete revamping of its financial reporting system.

Acampora received an annual salary of almost $200,000 plus benefits.

But despite his income and status, the former drug addict and convict who rose to political influence, booked a room in a luxury hotel and shot himself in the head Sunday.

What was it that Acampora couldn’t live with?

The so-called “militias” are at it again, apparently trying to generate interest and attention in the waning movement. And their latest scheme for attention seems to be “homeland security,” reports the Contra Costa Times.

Some “militia” groups say this has improved their ongoing recruitment efforts.

One leader claimed, “The militia should be used to provide security and to put down civilian unrest. It should be called a militia, it’s not a four-letter word.”

Maybe the “four letter word” here should be “crap.”

If these guys really wanted to help out they could join the National Guard, Army Reserve or just enlist.

But the only thing these anti-government extremists want to do is play army.

Montana resident John Trochman says, “They think we are a bunch of dummies.”

But Trochman is no dummy. His “militia” website looks more like a mail order business. And news reports afford him free advertising to promote his catalog product line.

One California leader said, “We don’t let in crazies and wackos.” He then elaborated how the Chinese are scouting the West Coast for an invasion.

Uh huh.

These guys would be a joke, if it wasn’t for the many arrests connected to the frequently violent movement and hate literature they often distribute.

Let’s also not forget that Timothy McVeigh was deeply influenced by “militia” rhetoric and conspiracy theories.

Long before the Raelian “cloning cult” garnered media coverage for its leader through publicity ploys, the devoted followers of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of Transcendental Meditation (TM) were at it.

Now it seems TMers are churning out one story after another in hot pursuit of publicity. This has included the creation of Maharishi money, peace palaces and even a country for the aging guru.

Former presidential candidate and Maharishi man John Haeglin pitched the latest hype.

Haeglin’s last effort at propaganda was trying to convince American voters he was a viable political candidate and not just a Maharishi sock puppet.

Now the supposed “political activist,” who is back at his day job as a professor at Maharishi U in Iowa, wants to go “political” again for the old man. His latest act of devotion will be to form a “peace government,” reports the Fairfield Ledger.

Haeglin says this government will promote, “the strategic application of meditation,” which is Maharishi-speak for more TM. And of course the guru immediately endorsed his disciple’s effort.

In another interesting TM development, the guru-controlled Iowa town “Vedic City” wants loan guarantees to build dormitories for 1,600 Indian immigrants, a likely source for cheap labor within the small community.

It’s interesting that probably the wealthiest guru in the world wants loan guarantees for cheap financing.

Maharishi may be 92, but the master hasn’t lost his TM touch—that is for generating money and attention.

Corporate “cult” themes have become hot topics within such recent books as Corporate Cults: The Insidious Lure of the All-Consuming Organization by Dave Arnott and The Power of Cult Branding by Matthew W. Ragas and Bolivar J. Bueno.

Now a new book by a famous former Enron employee raises the issue provocatively once again.

Sharon Watkins author of Power Failure: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron discusses her experience within the failed corporation bluntly, reports USA Today.

Watkins writes that CEO Jeff Skilling was “A very cult-like leader, like David Koresh (of the Branch Davidian sect in Texas). Except Koresh burned with the building, while Skilling slipped out the backdoor.”

Interesting. Does what Watkins say bear further comparisons?

Can a corporate “cult leader” be much like the more conventional type?

Some greedy CEOs like Skilling may possess little if any conscience, lack meaningful accountability and promote a “we vs. they” mentality regarding their critics.

And such a CEO might largely control information and the environment within a corporate culture consumed with a kind of insider’s jargon filled with thought-terminating cliches.

It looks like many Enron employees were so caught up in that corporate culture, they not only lost their way morally, but also it seems some of their capacity for critical thinking.

Sound like “brainwashing”?

No, that couldn’t be, could it?