“Sparring between Mormons and traditional Christians found a new venue last week – a movie theater in San Diego” reports the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Joseph Smith's claims the basis for MormonismThe newspaper in the heart of Utah asks “Are Mormons Christian”?

According to a Mormon sociologist and the director of a Mormon movie they are.

However, historically Mormons have never been recognized as “Christians” by any denomination of Christianity. And this includes even the most liberal branches of Protestantism.

Nevertheless Mormons often insist they are “Christians,” claiming that because Jesus Christ is included within their belief system, this makes their faith “Christian.”

However, here are three major doctrinal differences that have created a “chasm” between Mormonism and historical Christianity as reported by Christianity Today. 

  • Mormons “accept both the Old Testament and New Testament as Scripture…but also consider the Book of Mormon and founder Joseph Smith’s other works, The Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Convenants, to be authoritative.”
  • Mormons “reject the traditional concept of the Trinity [and]…believe God the Father and God the Son have fleshly bodies and that the Holy Ghost is a spirit man.”
  • “Mormons teach that God was once a finite being who achieved his exalted rank by ‘progressing.'”

These beliefs set Mormons apart from Christians and historical Christianity.

Instead, Mormonism is a uniquely American religion based upon the claims of Joseph Smith, beginning in 1827.

It seems that Scientology and Tom Cruise have finished the first phase of Katie Holmes’ education/evolution. Apparently the initial indoctrination process is done and her recently reported planned name change may signal that the Scientology version, or “new and improved Kate,” is ready to emerge.

Scientology 'Stepford Wife'?Holmes says that “Kate” sounds more “mature.”

Of course like virtually everything in her new life there was input from Tom Cruise who has frequently referred to his wife to be number three as “Kate.”

Holmes confirmed that she discussed the issue of her new name with Scientology’s “Top Gun” and claimed that “Katie sounded too young for her” reported Virgin.net. 

Since becoming involved with Cruise, Holmes appears to have gone through many changes.

The former “Dawson’s Creek” star went from Roman Catholic to Scientologist and it has been reported that she has spent eight hours a day inside Scientology’s Los Angeles Celebrity Center. A purported Scientology staffer Jessica Feshbach Rodriguez is her new “best friend” and seemingly has shadowed the 27-year-old actress.

Persistent leaks to the media from family and old friends portray Holmes as increasingly isolated and out of touch since being suddenly swept up by Cruise.

Cocooned within the 43-year-old actor’s Beverly Hills compound and virtually surrounded by Scientologists around the clock, “Kate” is now content to be a “stay at home mom.”

Has Holmes been “brainwashed”?

The actress reportedly had been described as both “zombie-like” and a “Stepford Wife.”

Researchers have observed that many so-called “cult members”  undergo rapid personality change through the indoctrination process within their respective groups. Ultimately, a reformed “cult personality” then emerges.

Has Katie Holmes been replaced by a new improved Scientology version to be called “Kate”?

Maybe her name change will provide an easy way for the star to be identified BC (before Cruise) as “Katie” or AC (after Cruise) as “Kate.”

Then again, it could be that Tom Cruise just prefers short easy to say names?

He once called his second wife Nicole Kidman “Nic.”

However, the Oscar-winning actress dramatically rejected becoming one of the completed “Stepford Wives,” and dumped Scientology in real life.

It is commonly known that Baptists and other evangelical Christians are eager to convert others to their faith, but do they have to target Jews?

Sibley says brethren have 'sinned'For many years the organized Jewish community has repeatedly told Christian fundamentalists to cease targeting Jews in proselytizing efforts, urging them instead towards a more meaningful dialog.

Hopefully, a two-day evangelism conference sponsored by Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri doesn’t represent a growing consensus amongst evangelicals about pursuing Jews.

One speaker thinks that his fellow evangelicals have expressed less than sufficient interest lately in a crusade for Jewish souls reported Baptist Press.

Jim Sibley, director of the Pasche Institute of Jewish Studies at Criswell College claimed his brethren have “sinned” by not doing more to get the Jews.

Midwestern President R. Philip Roberts agreed with Sibley and called for effort to educate pastors “on the strategic issues of Jewish evangelism.”

It almost sounds like Roberts is preparing for war and proposing the formulation of a battle plan.

“When our pastors and leaders teach God’s special plan for Jewish people…this becomes our best way to respect Jewish people and to guard against anti-Semitism,” he said.

So the “best way to respect Jewish people” is to try and convert them?

45 conference attendees dropped in at Friday evening services at five local synagogues in Kansas City, two Reformed, two Orthodox and one Conservative.

Not exactly a friendly visit, considering that their ultimate goal seems to be the conversion of Jews until there are none left to attend such places of worship.

Were these men doing a little “strategic” reconnoitering or “guarding against anti-Semitism”?

And did the host synagogues know the nature of their interest and their conference goals regarding “Jewish evangelism”?

Carol Allen, a Los Angeles “relationship coach” that is often a guest on Doug Stephan’s Good Day Radio Show, apparently learned her trade largely from a controversial “love guru” with no credentials in marriage and family counseling.

Carol Allen 'relationship coach'Allen says she “spent two years participating in programs of The Sterling Institute of Relationship, where she studied the inherent differences between men and women and how to make the most of all personal and professional dynamics” according to her recent press release.

The founder of the institute Allen attended is Justin Sterling, once known as Arthur “Artie” Kasarjian.

Details Magazine described “Artie” as a “love guru” that “advises his rabid following that a little less sensitivity and a lot more knuckle scraping make for real ladies’ man…Sterling is the gonzo guru who…appears before his followers in work shirts and black jeans, his belly protruding over a metal motorcycle belt.”

Doesn’t this sound more like a bad lounge act in Vegas as opposed to a mentor for anyone seriously interested in becoming a “relationship coach”? 

Sterling’s underlying philosophy can be summed up as essentially, “Society was screwed up because women have become masculine and competitive and men have become feminized.”

Here are a couple of “hot tips” from the “love guru” that Ms. Allen spent two years learning from. Justin Sterling 'gonzo guru'“Men should never discuss feelings with women.”

“Women are 100% responsible for the relationship.”

Is this the kind of coaching that will lead to a successful marriage?

FYI–Sterling’s first marriage ended in divorce, and it was apparently a very bitter and messy one.

Who else has Carol Allen sought input from?

She has “also looked closely at the work of relationship experts such as…John Gray [and]…Barbara De Angeles.

CultNews previously reported these two “experts” that have used the title of “doctor,” don’t have such an accredited degree. Gray and De Angeles, who were once married to each other but later divorced, offer advice without any of the official counseling credentials that couples typically expect.

Allen says she is also a “Vedic astrologer.” 

Perhaps as an “astrologer” Ms. Allen can help to explain from a planetary perspective John Gray’s book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus?

According to drag queen “Vaginal Davis” Tom Cruise “is a closeted homosexual.” Davis offered this observation and more during a performance at Ohio University to celebrate “Gay Pride Week.”

Vaginal Davis 'terrorist drag'A slice of Vaginal Davis’s scheduled program before OU students included a picture montage titled “Tom Cruise Loves Women.”

However, this was seemingly meant to be a kind of oxymoron as the “tall, muscular African-American drag queen” narrated his presentation in a “sugary, hyper-feminine voice.”

“Davis mocked the Hollywood star for his pretentious attitude toward psychiatry and prescription drugs (fueled by Scientology), and because, she asserted, he is a closeted homosexual” reported The Athens News.

According to his/her Web site (http://www.vaginaldavis.com/), Davis has dubbed himself a “terrorist drag.” And it appears that this drag queen is a bit of a “bomb thrower” and has done something even South Park was not prepared to do, which is to make a simple declarative statement that Tom Cruise “is a homosexual.”

Instead of using a suggestive humorous situation as South Park did with the actor supposedly “Trapped in the Closet,” Vaginal Davis instead reportedly flatly stated that the actor “is a closeted homosexual.”

Does this mean Mr. Cruise will call up his famous pit bull lawyer Bert Fields to come in and take down the drag queen?

Maybe Mr. Fields is a little too preoccupied these days with his own problems. The Los Angeles lawyer keeps popping up as a name linked to a federal wiretapping investigation of his one-time associate private detective Anthony Pellicano reported Slate Magazine.

Gone are the glory days when a dynamic duo flanked Tom Cruise for his protection.

'Tom Cruise Loves Women'On one side the star had uber publicist Pat Kingsley, today spokeswoman for Brooke Shields, as his intimidating gatekeeper. On the other flank was Fields as his legal heavyweight ready to take on any tabloid considering a less than “Tom Terrific” story.

As CultNews recently noted it seems that times have changed so much for Tom Cruise, his fellow Scientologists may have rather pathetically attempted to rig a Parade Magazine poll to make him look good.

Scinetology’s “Top Gun” has gone from Hollywood’s leading man to the punch line of party jokes. And “jump the couch” might replace “jump the shark” as the popular expression to denote when someone has gone too far.

Perhaps it’s somehow poetic justice that Vaginal Davis “clad in a dirty blonde wig, lacy black negligee and ballet slippers” is now making the “world’s greatest movie star” the butt of jokes?

Wang Wenyi, the woman who captured attention last week by shrieking on the White House lawn during Chinese President Hu Jintao’s speech, gained entrance to the highly secured area with an official press pass issued through the Epoch Timesreports The Statesman of India. 

Wang screaming at White HouseThe Epoch Times can be seen as little more than a front for Falun Gong, known as an “evil cult” in China.

In its report The Statesman noted that the publication “tends to be remarkably sympathetic” to the controversial sect and “generally provides a platform to preach Falun Gong’s beliefs.”

Supposed news reporter Wang shouted “President Bush, stop him from persecuting the Falun Gong! Stop him from killing! Stop the torture and killings! Falun Dafa is good.”

Does that sound like a question from a journalist?

In an article within the Epoch Times Wang is more accurately identified as simply a “Falun Gong practitioner.”

John Nania editor in chief of the Epoch Times US editions, its Boston editor Martin Fox and the newspaper’s communications director Cindy Gu are all Falun Gong devotees and followers of its controversial leader Li Hongzhi, who lives in the United States.

Typical of Falun Gong and its substantial public relations machine, the Epoch Times quickly attempted to strategically spin some distance between itself and the woman whose shrieks at the White House were compared to the screams of a “banshee.”  

“Dr. Wang attended this event on Epoch Times press credentials,’’ an official spokesperson for the newspaper admitted in a statement today. “However, her actions¦ were her own. In protesting in this manner, she did not act on behalf of The Epoch Timesquoted the Chicago Tribune.

It seems whenever Hongzhi’s followers engage in fanatical behavior some sort of spin control takes place affording the man called “master” and his disciples plausible denial or at least a little wiggle room.

However, Wang’s hysterical outburst at the White House can be seen as little more than a carefully staged and scripted climax capping a culmination of stories she wrote run within the Epoch Times regarding Chinese labor camps and alleged “organ harvesting in China’s labor camps.”

Chinese officials have repeatedly characterized such sensational claims as “sheer lies.”

Falun Gong’s repeated claims about its followers being cremated after their organs were taken have included photos of a supposed crematorium. But this was later exposed as a window-paned boiler house with a brick chimney in a civilian-use facility in the Chinese city of Shenyang” reported Shanghai Daily

Western media often seems to give little scrutiny to the claims of human rights violations made by Falun Gong and its adherents, almost accepting them without question.

But despite such positive press it appears that Li Hongzhi and his followers want totally controlled coverage through their own newspaper and then stage contrived media events through “reporters” like Wang.

Falun Gong often accuses China of spreading propaganda about its practices.

But apparently the Epoch Times and its staff hope to manufacture their own brand of propaganda in an attempt to manipulatie the media, such as this latest stunt on the White House lawn.

In an ironic twist the name of Tom Cruise’s newborn child “Suri” actually means, “get out of here” in Hebrew and that’s what some of the star’s critics seem to think Katie Holmes should do.

Should Katie grab baby Suri and scram?CultNews got this feedback from one reader.

“Tom Cruise is nuts. Katie Holmes next big mistake would be to marry this control freak. To listen to this fool talk you would think he was the first person to be in love and have a baby. This girl needs to take her baby and run for the hills. I certainly hope she gets her head on straight before it is to late.”

According to Israeli experts “Suri” means quite literally “get out of here” reports the London’s Daily Telegram.

“I really don’t know what they were thinking when they chose this name. It’s a term that denotes expulsion, like ‘Get out of here’,” says Gideon Goldenberg, a linguistics professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

Why not call the baby “Scram Cruise?” Yaron London of Israel’s Channel 10 television quipped.

So does this mean there is something prophetic about baby Cruise’s name?

The growing consensus appears to be that Katie Holmes may be intellectually incapacitated, possibly through Scientology programming.

Sara Stewart of the New York Post commented today that Tom Cruise has turned “a promising young actress into a glassy-eyed Stepford Wife.”

A Muslim opined in Britain’s Sunday Herald that if Cruise had persuaded Holmes to dump Catholicism for Islam instead of Scientology the press would probably be harder on the star and likely label such a conversion “as nothing short of oppressive and brainwashing.”

Given the history of this situation maybe the name of baby Cruise was a cryptic choice by Katie, or a “Freudian slip.”

Perhaps it’s time for Holmes to grab Baby Suri and “scram.”

It appears that Li Hongzhi the leader of Falun Gong, a group Chinese officials refer to as an “evil cult,” may have become a millionaire since his exile in the United States.

'Master' and millionaire Li HongzhiHongzhi bought a house in New York shortly after arriving in US for $293,500 and then bought another home in New Jersey for $580,000 the next year. Together the two residences cost $873,000.00 reports The Independent of London. 

Given the substantial rise in real estate values across the United States and particularly in the New York/New Jersey area, it is probable that Hongzhi’s homes may have doubled in value.

This means Li Hongzhi has likely become a millionaire. 

Not bad for a former army musician and clerical worker, who seems to have done much better marketing religion than making music.

The British newspaper did not disclose if the homes were paid for in cash or financed through mortgages.

But even if the Falun Gong leader borrowed money, considering the timing and appreciation of his investments he is a wealthy man.

The Independent also reported that the so-called “Living Buddha” claims that he “can move himself anywhere by thought alone.” 

Does this mean Li travels from house to house through telepathy?

Hongzhi also has made grandiose claims such as his supernatural powers “averted a global comet catastrophe and the Third World War.”

What else would a responsible property owner and good neighbor do?

Less fantastic but perhaps a bit unsavory is how Hongzhi reportedly promotes an “‘us and them’ feeling among his devoted followers.” And there is the less than “Buddha”-like and “unattractive beliefs he has about homosexuals and children of inter-racial marriages.”

CultNews has previously reported Hongzhi thinks that that gays are “disgusting” and somehow a “black substance” accumulates within the bodies of gay men. “Disgusting homosexuality shows the dirty abnormal psychology of the gay who has lost his ability of reasoning at the present time,” says Hongzhi. And one day he claims gays will be ’eliminated’’ by ’the gods.’’

Hongzhi also seems to be a racist. He has said that “mixed-race people¦[are] instruments of an alien plot to destroy humanity’s link to heaven.” And that these interracial unions are somehow part of “a plot by¦evil extraterrestrials.”

Falun Gong frequently gets press by staging publicity stunts. This week one of Hongzhi’s faithful shrieked like a “banshee” while Chinese President Hu Jintao of China stood with President Bush at the White House lawn during an official visit.

This month Hongzhi’s followers also claimed that the organs of Falun Gong believers are being harvested by the Chinese government at hospitals for profit. Government and medical officials vehemently denied these allegations as “sheer lies.”

Unlike the historic Buddha, millionaire Li Hongzhi lives in comfort while his humble disciples frequently make personal sacrifices and live meagerly.  

Now that Katie Holmes has given birth to baby “Suri,” what will the future be like for the Cruise child? 

Only Scientology for Suri says CruiseOne thing seems sure, there will be only one religion honored in the Cruise household and that is Scientology.

Asked if their baby would be given a traditional Catholic baptism, Cruise who himself was raised Catholic and once considered becoming a priest said, “You can be Catholic and a Scientologist…But we’re just Scientologists,” reported the Washington Post.

Cruise claims the Holmes family “approve of Scientology.”

But it seems the star might be sending a message to Katie’s parents in Toledo, which is essentially that there will be no middle ground regarding religion around his firstborn biological offspring.

Ms. Holmes’ parents are reportedly upset.

A long-time friend of the  family says, “I can’t imagine what her parents are going through right now. She really needs to get that baby baptized in the Catholic church,” reported Starpulse News Blog. 

Apparently, this isn’t the first time Tom Cruise has had differences over Catholicism.

A “persistent rumor” is that Nicole Kidman wanted to bring up her children Catholic, and that this and her continuing criticism of Scientology caused “problems in her marriage,” reports Fashion Monitor of Toronto.

As CultNews reported last year Scientology’s “Top Gun” has already undertaken the religious indoctrination of his two children adopted during his second marriage to Kidman, Isabella and Conner Cruise, despite an alleged understanding the couple may have had through joint custody.

“Bella Cruise,” the eldest of the two children, completed the “Basic Study Manual” of Scientology last year at age 12.

Fancy bassinet bought, but no baptismKidman congratulated Katie Holmes in a statement made through her publicist, wishing the 27-year-old new mother and her baby well, but offered no comment to 43-year-old Tom Cruise.

The Oscar-winning actress is now a practicing Catholic.

One report claims Cruise is taking no chances on Katie Holmes and has already demanded sole custody of their only child in case they break up.

Holmes remains an unwed mother to date; though the couple supposedly plans to marry soon.

Is it possible that her conservative Catholic parents “approve” of this too?

Out of the womb and into the world baby Suri will soon be exposed to Scientology’s “sacred science,” and not the Seven Sacraments

Scientologists live by the book, as written by founder L. Ron Hubbard. It is his writings that form the basis of both their mindset and the foundation for almost everything they do, from “silent birth” to the very meaning of life.

In the beginning there was Hubbard, and Hubbard largely began his new religion with the book “Scientology: the Fundamentals of Thought.” According to the author this is the “basic book of theory and practice of Scientology.”

Excerpts of Scientology’s primer can be found at the Web site of Canadian Caroline Letkeman.

Hubbard wrote, “Equipped with this book alone the student of the mind could begin a practice and perform seeming miracles in changing the states of health, ability and intelligence of people.”

He boasts that his book is “a summation, if brief, of the results of 50,000 years of thinking men.”

Hubbard states that “Scientology is actually a new but very basic psychology in the most exact meaning of the word. It can and does change behavior and intelligence, and it can and does assist people to study life.” And it “improves the health, intelligence, ability, behavior, skill and appearance of people…It is a precise and exact science, designed for an age of exact sciences.”

“Basic psychology”?

Didn’t Tom Cruise call psychology and psychiatry “pseudo-science”?

Never mind.

Hubbard’s far reaching and all encompassing claims dominate the life of Tom Cruise and there is no doubt that the “world’s greatest movie star” intends for them to do the same for baby Suri.

It seems that less and less attention is being paid to the so-called “Kabbalah Centre” lately as the media spotlight has shifted to focus on Scientology instead.

Madonna and her mystics fading?A couple of years ago reporters were buzzing about the Hollywood’s latest craze and it wasn’t Tom Cruise.

But Speilberg’s star turned the public’s attention from “War of the Worlds” to his war of words, defending Scientology and attacking Brooke Shields, psychiatry and the use of anti-depressants.

Scientology’s “Top Gun” successfully restored his church to its former prominence as the most talked about so-called “cult” in Hollywood.

Instead of the media attempting to decipher Madonna’s latest mystical allusion, reporters breathlessly awaited the birth of baby Cruise as if it were the “Second Coming” of the “Christ child.”

Madonna doesn’t seem to have the same magic.

That may be why the former pop queen has gone from Kabbalah references to using a “disco-fied crucifix” for an entrance at her upcoming concerts.

It is rumored that the 47-year-old 1980s diva will be lowered from the ceiling hanging on what has been reported variously as a “disco ball,” or “cross-like disco ball” or “disco-fied crucifix” to be used for her dramatic entrance on a coming concert tour reports Inside Entertainment.

Will Madonna somehow be symbolically crucified amidst blinding light?

Has the “Material Girl” left “Jewish mysticism” to return to her Catholic roots?

Well, at least to grab some attention for publicity purposes and sell tickets.

The cost of this glitter was estimated at $10 million.

Meanwhile Scientology’s return to its former top “cult” status may actually be good news for Philip and Karen Berg, Madonna’s spiritual mentors.

Before Scientology’s “Top Gun” started blasting his way through interviews the Bergs were wounded repeatedly through in-depth news reports. Radar Magazine ran a critical series about the organization’s finances and the British press was relentless, such as articles run by The Guardian.  

But now with such intense attention being focused on Scientology, its leading man and Katie Holmes, the press seems somewhat indifferent about the Kabbalah Centre, whether Madonna calls herself “Esther,” or clings to a multi-million dollar “cross-like” prop.