Australian authorities raided a “cult” compound yesterday searching for a minor child reported the Courier-Mail in Queensland.

Carloads of police “swooped” on the property controlled by the Magnificat Meal Movement (MMM), but failed to find the 12-year-old girl.

Law enforcement was acting upon a custody order issued by a Family Court on behalf of a custodial parent that apparently wanted their child removed.

“Cult leader” Debra Geliesky and MMM have a deeply troubled history in Australia and Ireland, where the group has historically recruited members.

Persistent allegations of abuse, medical neglect, malnutrition and the general manipulation and exploitation of members by Geliesky have been reported by the press.

Geliesky often preaches about a dark global conspiracy, which includes Jews and Freemasons.

“Jews masquerading as Christians are responsible for modernism in the Catholic Church,” she says.

The group observes a “Catholic” mass, though it has been denounced and banned by officials of the Roman Catholic Church.

Geliesky tells her followers; many with a history of devotion to Roman Catholicism, that she sees Jesus and Mary and has been “chosen to report messages from God.”

Tom Cruise has engaged in what looks increasingly like a well-organized media blitz to promote Scientology’s teachings, or as he might say Hubbard “Study Tech.”

The movie star has been holding forth fervently lately about his deliverance from dyslexia. The actor’s recovery wasn’t a “mission impossible,” because Scientology’s founder L. Ron Hubbard apparently came up with a cure for almost anything, including reading disabilities.

Well, at least Hubbard said he did.

In a revelation that might become a script for another “movie of the week,” the middle-aged actor confessed that he was once a “functional illiterate.”

However, the former “Top Gun” offered no objective verifiable evidence, or scientifically peer-reviewed proof. Instead, it was just essentially an anecdotal story that consisted of his personal testimony.

Was this testimonial staged within a tent revival for a traveling faith healer?


It was recounted uncritically within a “five page spread” published by People Magazine, harshly critiqued yesterday by Fox News.

People did another glossy celebrity puff piece, but this one included a virtual infomercial for the star’s latest Scientology related crusade.

Cruise is a “founding board member” of the Hollywood Education Literacy Project (HELP), an effort to supposedly eradicate illiteracy through Hubbard “technology.”

Fox took People to task for being “so desperate to get a Cruise interview that they didn’t mind shilling for [Scientology].

So what else is new?

Scientology celebrities do this all the time and media outlets often cooperate.

The controversial organization has a stable of well-known actors and Hollywood types that they can easily trot out to promote one program after another through rather contrived personal appearances.

And some in the media appear anxious to get that face time, no matter what harm the touted program, product or cause might potentially do to others.

John Travolta likes to recruit celebs for Scientology, Kirstie Alley promotes Narconon, while lesser lights such as Juliette Lewis and Anne Archer do talk shows to knock certain prescription drugs and by inference the mental health profession.

Some publications and TV shows don’t seem to care; it’s good for circulation and ratings.

Celebrity-driven mags know that Scientology has been called a “cult.” And it’s easy to access information about the litany of lawsuits filed against it by former members for personal injuries. The organization is currently in court regarding a wrongful death suit.

Never mind. The effusive puff pieces keep coming and look more like infomercials than balanced reporting.

One expert quoted by Fox said that HELP “is no more a secular learning methodology than wine and communion wafers are a Sunday morning snack.” He added that the program promotes “acceptance of L. Ron Hubbard as authority figure” and does “much to soften [participants] up for future recruitment into Scientology itself.”

But don’t expect any detailed disclosure about this from Scientology or meaningfully balanced reporting on this subject within the pages of People. All you are likely to see is photo of Tom Cruise grinning over a personal endorsement.

And the Cruise/Scientology/HELP bandwagon gained momentum this week. The star’s story made it onto the Associated Press wire in an abbreviated version. Then Cruise and his cause rolled through the wire services like a wave washing over the US and breaking around the world.

Scientology has done it again.

There simply is no “cult” in the world today with the experience and resources to play the media as effectively through a revolving cast of celebrity proxies.

Members of a Florida-based organization called the “Kashi Ashram” led by a former Brooklyn housewife turned “guru,” are working LA streets handing out food to the homeless reports the Ventura County Star.

Apparently the group, which has been called a “cult,” hopes to offset its bad press back in Florida with some positive spin.

Joyce Green, known now as “Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati,” has devotees that claim she is their “cord” or “conduit” to God.

Now it appears Ma wants to make nice with the media. And whatever Ma wants she seems to get through her followers, which act as her own “conduit.”

Virtually everything about the Kashi Ashram is wrapped around Ma.

The guru’s devotees wrote, “Ma loves you” on many of the lunch bags they handed out. Ma even chooses names for some of her followers that translate to rather revealing things like, “Always at the Feet of the Guru.”

Kashi faithful even have email addresses, which includes the motto “ma4me.”

This might cause objective observers to call the group little more than a personality-driven “cult.”

But the California reporter that covered the Kashi food program seemed somewhat impressed by Ma’s supposed “fearlessness and empathy.”

Does “a paper sack filled with a brownie, banana and ham-and-cheese on a bagel,” offset former member’s repeated allegations of “abuse,” “brainwashing,” “cult” manipulation and the claim that the guru blew group funds through gambling?

Well, maybe in Ventura.

First there were the ubiquitous Scientologists running around at Ground Zero clad in “Scientology Volunteer” T-shirts offering help.

Then there was a well-publicized celebrity Scientologist visit by John Travolta.

One volunteer Scientologist later tried to cash on her experience through a book about working at Ground Zero. But it didn’t do so well.

Scientology, an organization often called a “cult,” doesn’t give up easily and now they seem to have found a way to make some money from the 9-11 tragedy.

A clinic has opened for business called “Downtown Medical” on Fulton Street in Lower Manhattan. It offers treatment for WTC workers exposed to toxins through the cleanup.

The clinic is closely associated with the “International Academy of Detoxification Specialists.”

The Academy states that its detoxification approach is based upon L. Ron Hubbard’s book “Clear Body Clear Mind.”

Hubbard is of course the founder of Scientology.

Scientologists use something called the “purification rundown,” which is most often associated with their Narconon program for drug rehabilitation.

This process supposedly eliminates toxins from the body. It includes saunas and large doses of niacin, that some say may actually be a health risk.

One medical expert said, “There is no documentation to show that the Hubbard method of detoxification… conforms to scientific standards and medical experience.” And he added, “The risks and side effects of the treatment method have also not been evaluated in a serious way.”

However, the New York City Firefighters Union apparently sees no problem with the treatment.

Long-time Hubbard fan, Narconon advisory board member and Senior Medical Advisor for the Academy David Root wrote a featured article that was published within the June issue of Fire Engineering Magazine, a national publication that is sent to firemen across the nation.

And Scientology was so impressed with its program’s success amongst NYC firemen; they ran a story about it at their own official website.

“It’s just a great program…I got my life back,” says one NYC fireman quoted.

But James Woodworth the Executive Director of the Academy is also the head of another Scientology related program called HealthMed in California.

HealthMed has a deeply troubled history of controversy, which includes serious allegations. The LA Times has reported this within a series of articles.

Doctors at the California Department of Health Services accused HealthMed of making “false medical claims” and of “taking advantage of the fears of workers and the public about toxic chemicals and their potential health effects, including cancer.”

Never mind. The Firefighters Union has invited Woodworth to speak at its yearly delegates meeting.

How far will all this go?

Maybe someone should ask officials at the NYC Fire Department and the Firefighters Union?

Who should determine the parameters and/or identity for a religious denomination?

Most people would answer that the historically established leadership of a religion and/or denomination has this exclusive and traditional right and role.

But some disgruntled former members and/or splinter groups seem to think otherwise.

Movie star Mel Gibson belongs to just such a group composed largely of former Roman Catholics. The actor was raised from childhood within such a religious environment.

Gibson and his fellow religionists consider themselves “traditional Catholics.”

But ironically such so-called “Catholics” have abandoned perhaps the most established tradition of Roman Catholicism, which is the teaching of one church under the direction and ecclesiastical authority of the Pope.

“We just want to be good Catholics,” says one “priest” from a schismatic group quoted by Knight Ridder Newspapers.

However, a “priest” like this has no standing in the Roman Catholic Church and is very often an excommunicate.

But some media reports persist in calling such groups “traditionalist Catholics,” whatever that means.

There is an old axiom, “If you want to be a member of the club you must abide by its rules.” But somehow this doesn’t seem to apply to “traditional Catholics.”

Instead they apparently want to have it both ways. That is, to have the status of being in the club generally, but make up their own rules.

Isn’t that non-traditional?

Catholic authorities seem to regard such splinter groups largely as a nuisance and there are only about 20,000 members in the US. An insignificant number, given the size of Roman Catholicism worldwide.

The present Pope excommunicated a renegade French priest, Cardinal Marcel Lefebvre, once a key figure in the so-called “traditionalist” movement.

Lefebvre has since died, but his faithful followers soldier on. The largest single group is the Society of St. Pius X; perhaps named after the last Pope they really liked.

The Roman Catholic Church has endured an assortment of schismatic “kooks,” “crazies” and “cult leaders,” who claim to speak for Mary, God and/or the Holy Spirit.

This burgeoning list of former Catholics includes Caritas of Birmingham, William Kamm known as the “Little Pebble,” the Army of Mary, His Community/Christ Covenant Ministries, Four Winds Commune, Friends of the Eucharist and the Magnificat Meal Movement.

The most destructive and tragic group of former Catholics was the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments, responsible for the mass murder/suicide of hundreds in Uganda.

Not unlike the problems posed by pseudo-Catholics the Mormon Church also has its share of troublesome splinter groups.

Polygamist groups that are often called “fundamentalist Mormons” practice their faith largely in Arizona, Utah and parts of Canada. They are an embarrassment to the Mormon Church, which abandoned the practice of polygamy more than a century ago.

Yet some media reports confuse the public with the label “fundamentalist Mormons” to describe these disparate sects, frequently run by absolute leaders much like “cults.”

Recently, an author apparently striving for better book sales said, “Mormon authorities treat the fundamentalists as they would a crazy uncle — they try to keep the ‘polygs’ hidden in the attic.”

His book titled Under the Banner of Heaven, places grizzly murders within the context of so-called “Mormon Fundamentalism” reported Associated Press.

An official church spokesman made it clear that such groups have nothing whatsoever to do with the Mormon Church and that those Mormons. And when Mormons do become involved with them they are excommunicated, much like former Catholics in schismatic groups.

Recently since the 1960s Jews have also endured apostates setting up their own so-called “Jewish” groups.

Interestingly, these groups, which are composed of converts to fundamentalist Christianity such as “Jews for Jesus” and so-called “Messianic Jews,” are closely aligned and supported by Protestant denominations within the “born-again” movement.

These “Jews” like the polygamists and former Catholics have no standing in the organized Jewish community.

Israel’s “Law of Return” does not recognize them as Jews and recently a Canadian court rejected one such group’s attempt to use historical Jewish symbols for self-promotion reported Canadian Jewish News.

But some media reports continue to confuse readers with a mixed bag of historically incoherent labels and/or oxymorons, such as “traditionalist Catholics,” “fundamentalist Mormons” and “Jews for Jesus,” that are self-referentially incoherent.

Even if such a group has a celebrity sponsor like Mel Gibson, it’s unlikely to be a meaningful substitute for the Pope’s blessings.

And there is a historic right of denominational leaders to determine the parameters of their own faith’s identity, which should be recognized by responsible and objective journalists, rather than misleading the public.

In a strange twist a controversial rabbi known for his music and scandal, lives on through pop bands in New York City that have drawn an ultra-Orthodox Jewish cult-following

The Moshav Band and Soulfarm band members grew up within communities founded by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach in Israel in the late 70’s. Now they play in Manhattan clubs to head-banging fans often with covered heads reports the New York Times.

Carlebach, an inspiration for the bands, was a pop rabbi with a cult following of his own. His music drew upon traditional Chasidic melodies and themes.

The rabbi died in 1994, but left behind mixed legacies of music and scandal.

Many considered him a musical genius, but he also allegedly had a penchant for sexually harassing women during his long career. Some of those women later spoke out.

Carlebach was quite controversial amongst his Lubavitch brethren for his touchy-feely approach. Such contact between men and women is strictly proscribed among ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups.

And it seems Carlebach did much more than simply hug many of the ladies he met.

But the rabbi’s musical legacy has endured long after his death. Now the NY bands have created a new form of pop fusion music composed of a little bit Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers and Carlebach.

Carlebach would probably be pleased. The constantly touring rabbi wanted to make Chasidic music and thought more accessible. One promoter observed that he “revolutionized Jewish music.”

For the Orthodox Jewish young people that have become the fans of his musical progeny the music is perhaps a “gentle form of rebellion.” But because of its Chasidic themes, attending clubs that stage these bands is apparently permissible.

The net effect is that otherwise largely cloistered ultra-Orthodox youth have found a vehicle to break out of their strictly controlled and insular communities.

Again, Carlebach would probably have liked that. And it is something of a celebration of the positive legacy he left behind.

As for the bands, one member observed that the Chasidic/Carlebach influence apparent in their performances has “gotten us a lot of work.”

A “cult” victim received a $6.5 million dollar personal injury settlement Tuesday from insurance carriers for 13 years of abuse, experienced through a group called “Kids” reported The New Jersey Law Journal.

Lulu Corter was sent to Kids of North Jersey Inc. in Hackensack by her parents in 1984 at the age of 13. She escaped in 1997, after enduring more than a decade of what other victims call a “living hell.”

Kids was dominated and defined by its charismatic leader Miller Newton now bankrupt, according to victim advocate and activist Wes Fager.

Kids is a spin-off of Straight, another controversial rehab program eventually shut down by litigation and bad press.

Melvin Sembler founded Straight, a wealthy businessman closely associated with the Bush family.

George W. Bush appointed Sembler Ambassador to Italy.

Straight’s roots are in The Seed, a drug rehab program in Florida that lost funding amidst allegations of mind control.

The Seed was itself based upon Synanon; a rehab program turned “cult” founded by Charles Dederich Sr.

Dederich now deceased plead no contest in 1980 to conspiracy, regarding a murder plot to kill a California lawyer litigating against the group. A rattlesnake was placed in his mailbox, but attorney Paul Morantz, survived.

A rattlesnake didn’t bite Corter’s attorney Phil Elberg, but he did manage to take quite a bite out of Miller Newton and his associates through their insurers, not to mention the ebbing credibility of such programs and related supporters like Sembler.

It seems the many incarnations of Synanon’s treatment model once called “the game,” live on and on and on. And it may take more lawsuits to finally slay this many-headed hydra.

Note: The Third International Conference on Adolescent Treatment Abuse will take place this month July 26th and 27th in St. Petersburg, Florida. Contact SAFETY for further information and details.

The Book of Mormon made a list published within Book Magazine called the “20 -Books That Changed America” reported KSL TV in Utah.

But this list included “novels or nonfiction works.”

So which category does the Book of Mormon fit within?

Overwhelmingly, historians apparently agree that the book is clearly fiction created by Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith.

According to American history senior lecturer Raymond Richards of Waikato University in New Zealand, Smith was a “fruadster” who ran a “scam.”

The church founder claimed he unearthed ancient “golden plates” in an unknown language outside Palmyra, New York. He then translated them to become the Book of Mormon.

These plates supposedly told a previously hidden history about the Americas, replete with prophets and peoples never heard of before.

However, no serious scholar outside of Mormon apologists has ever designated Smith’s book as history. Instead, it is seen essentially as a yarn. And as for his golden plates, they conveniently disappeared, never to be meaningfully authenticated as historical artifacts.

This must mean Book Magazine considers the Book of Mormon one of its listed “novels.”

Never mind.

Teachers at Brigham Young University (BYU), a Mormon institution, seemed breathless. One called the inclusion of the book “exiting.” Another said, “The more that [the Book of Mormon is] discussed and…talked about…the more curious people become.”

Does this mean the BYU faculty thinks such secular attention might help Mormon missionary efforts?

Historian Richards says the church that was made in America is “aggressive, racist and sexist.”

And for comments like that the teacher made a list too. Richards is listed by a Mormon website as “anti-Mormon” reported Waikato Times in New Zealand.

The lecturer’s reaction was to point out that Mormons don’t “allow freedom of thought and academics needed to be alerted to that.”

Given the penchant of the church’s leaders to excommunicate scholars with inquiring minds and its efforts to muzzle free speech in downtown Salt Lake City Richards words don’t appear far fetched.

A BYU professor acknowledged that the Book of Mormon was “spawned in controversy.” And it looks like that controversy continues even today.

Alleged “cult leader,” pedophile, sexual predator and criminal Dwight “Malachi” York has now gone native, Native American that is reported the Macon Telegraph.

York says he’s really “Chief Black Eagle” of the “Yamassee” tribe, which is supposedly recognized by the United Nations.

200 of his followers, known as the Nuwaubians, obliged their leader and showed up to express support costumed as Native Americans.

What seems to have brought on York’s latest change of heritage is a US district court judge that vetoed the “chief’s ” plea bargain with prosecutors reported WSBTV.

This means York no longer has the assurance of just a 15-year sentence, which might have meant parole for the purported “cult leader” in as little as 12 years.

So what now for “Black Eagle”?

York told the judge apparently with a straight face, “I am a Moorish Cherokee and I cannot get a fair trial if I am being tried by settlers or confederates.”

Huh? Or should that be HOW?

Things are getting increasingly desperate for this chief and his dwindling tribe. It looks like York may spend the rest of his life in prison.

And pedophiles don’t do well locked up. After all even prison inmates have standards. “Chief” or no chief, York would likely end up pitching his Teepee in protective custody.

Apparently the judge thinks that certain types of crime deserve special consideration. He said that the plea deal “does not address the severity of the admitted and alleged conduct of the defendant.”

York is charged with more than 200 counts of sexual abuse that involved 13 minor children.

So don’t expect to see this “Moorish Cherokee” smoking the peace pipe with prosecutors. Instead it looks like “Black Eagle” better put on his war paint and prepare for a court battle.

The American Psychological Association (APA) will be holding its annual convention next month in Toronto, Canada; it begins August 7th and continues through the 10th.

But who would think this prestigious bastion of psychologists and mental health professionals would allow a purported anti-Semitic organization frequently called a “cult,” numerous slots within its schedule of programs.

Lois Holzman a prominent proponent of so-called “Social Therapy,” which is closely associated with the “New Alliance Party,” is a devoted follower of notorious “cult leader” Fred Newman.

Holzman will be presenting four programs at the APA convention beginning on August 9th. She is currently the director of Newman’s East Side Institute for Short Term Psychotherapy.

Holzman starts on the morning of August 9th with a program titled “Impact of Participatory Youth Programs on Youth and Communities.” She then continues later with “Ensemble Meaning—Making, Constructing the Therapy Through Improvisation, Collaboration and Performance.”

Later that same day in the afternoon Holzman presents a one-act play about Karl Marx and Jesus seeking help through therapy — “Odd Couple Seeks Professional Help.”


Eventually on the last day of the APA convention Holzman offers her final program, which seems to sum up neatly her agenda. It is a discussion to answer the rather contrived and self-serving question; “Can Therapy Promote Human Liberation? A Humanistic—Postmodern Marxist Dialogue.”

Holzman’s mentor and leader Fred Newman is a self-proclaimed “revolutionary Marxist.”

Controversy swirls around Newman and his followers who are often called “Newmanites.” Some former members claim they were victimized through Newman’s organizations such as social therapy, which seems to mean working for Fred for free.

Many also question the potential harm of Newman’s philosophy and its influence upon young people.

Newmanites also have been scrutinized regarding their handling of funds through nonprofit tax-exempt charities, which included a probe, by New York’s Attorney General.

It seems that the founder of “Social Therapy” may be looking for new recruits amongst the ranks of the APA.

Holzman’s behavior can easily be seen as an effort to act as a stand-in or proxy for her leader. But what was the APA thinking when they provided a platform for this bunch?

Can it be that the respected professional association didn’t examine this speaker’s background before approving her for programs at their convention?

The APA has been known historically for its due diligence and research.

However, Holzman’s close and historic association with Newman is glaringly evident through her own website and the largely promotional links she provides for Newman enterprises elsewhere on the Internet.

Within Fred Newman’s book “Power and Authority” he explains the essence of “Social Therapy.”

Newman states, “The therapist, again, functions in the therapeutic interaction as a revolutionary leader, leading by forming a revolutionary relationship of sisterhood or brotherhood with the worker patient and together becoming a proletarian authority, which overthrows the bourgeois authority or proletarian ego…Working to help the struggling slave go through the insurrectional act of overthrow of the proletarian ego and [then] helping the worker during the long period of withering away of the proletarian ego.”

Does this sound like something the APA would endorse?

Is this a description of the ethical practice of therapy? Or is Newman’s approach actually an unethical breach and/or blurring of boundaries in the therapist/patient relationship?

A mental health professional once involved with Newman, but who later left his Social Therapy organization concluded, “Therapy should be empowering and inclusive; it should help people build the lives they want. It should not be used as a recruitment tool for a particular movement.”

The same professional also offered the following advice:

“Anyone considering cooperating or working with Fred Newman and/or practicing Social Therapy should first read whatever historical and critical information is available.”

“And mental health professionals have a responsibility to their clients and profession to carefully consider what and whom they are supporting.”


Did the APA convention planners and organizers “first read” about Holzman and Fred Newman and then “carefully consider” their history before agreeing to provide them a platform?