Cult News from Rick Ross, Cult Expert and Intervention Specialist
Not all groups called either "cults" or "cult-like" are harmful (Click for full text)
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:: August 01, 2002 ::
Still crazy after all these years?

It's hard to say who is crazier, Rev. Moon, the founder of the Unification Church, or his political and religious cronies, which include former President George Bush Sr., evangelist Rev. Jerry Falwell and Senator Orin Hatch.

Last month Moon announced himself as "Savior, Messiah and King of Kings of all humanity." He actually splashed this across newspapers throughout America in full-page ads. Apparently heaven had a convention and unanimously decided this, and somehow Moon got the meeting minutes and felt obliged to share the details.

The ads in Utah papers alone, home of long-time Moon friend Orin Hatch, cost more than $7,000. But of course that's chump change for this billionaire, who built a religious empire on the backs of "brainwashed" street vendors once called "Moonies."

Moon owns the Washington Times, which loses millions of dollars every year. But that newspaper, along with his more recent purchase of UPI, gives him juice in the capital and affords him a certain cache to court politicians inside the beltway. Prominent leaders and members of Congress attend his staged events, which are sponsored by one Moon controlled entity or another.

That Moon now 82, is a self-deluded possibly crazy old man, is not the point. Even his historical title of "cult leader" seems to pale next to a simple question more pertinent for most Americans. Why do these respected leaders pay so much attention to the would-be savior from Korea?

How can Jerry Falwell, a born-again Christian, suffer a false messiah? Rev. Falwell routinely condemns others for seemingly lesser sins, but he has never publicly condemned Moon. Instead he has posed with him for pictures, even though Moon says Jesus didn't accomplish his mission. The Baptist minister has taken Moon's money to shore up his own interests.

And how can Orin Hatch, a devout Mormon, put up with a man who sees himself as more important than Joseph Smith? It seems Senator Hatch imagines that Moon has been "persecuted," like his Mormons ancestors who fled from unhappy circumstances in Illinois and eventually settled in Utah.

But then comes former President George Bush Sr. who has received millions of dollars from Moon for speeches. Obviously, he doesn't need the money. What is he thinking? Or is this just an example of greed?

Who is really deluded?

[Posted by Rick Ross at 04:28 PM][Link]
Osama bin Laden is dead

Newsweek magazine ran a piece titled, "Bin Laden: Is He Dead Or Alive?" (June 29th, Mark Hosenball and Michael Isicoff) in the "Periscope" section.

Well "up periscope," this cult leader is as they say, "sleeping with the fishes," or more likely buried somewhere beneath the rubble in a cave at Tora Bora. He is long gone.

It seems though that the US government can't make up its mind and is conflicted about bin Laden. Some think he is somehow still alive, because his followers supposedly can't "keep a secret," at least not that one. While the FBI's highest ranking anti-terror official Dale Watson admitted that an "egomaniac" like bin Laden couldn't keep quiet this long.

For once the FBI seems to have it right. Like many other cult leaders historically, Osama bin Laden is little more than a self-indulgent megalomaniac. Some mental health professionals might prefer a more precise clinical description, such as "psychopath."

Bin Laden, like David Koresh and Shoko Asahara before him, clearly relished the spotlight. He enjoyed the attention he received through interviews, photo ops and his own videos, which he released to the media.

It is impossible to believe that such a man could keep a low profile for this long.

Note: CultNews got this one wrong. Osama bin Laden made this clear through a video played just before the 2004 presidential election.

[Posted by Rick Ross at 01:44 PM][Link]
"Cult" related charities in NYC being probed, Mayor and Governor involved

The NY Post ran a series of investigative pieces by Jeanne MacIntosh exposing the activities of a purported "cult" leader named Fred Newman and his acolyte Leonora Fulani, through various organizations they appear to largely control. This list of non-profit tax-exempt charities includes the Castillo Theater, the East Side Institute for Short Term Psychotherapy, and the heavily funded "All Stars," a program supposedly designed to help kids. All Stars is supported by a virtual "Who's Who" of corporate NY.

Newman, a self-described "neo-Marxist" and "revolutionary," was once associated with perennial presidential aspirant Lyndon LaRouche. In 1992 LaRouche campaigned from a federal prison, where he was serving time for fraud and tax evasion. But now Fred runs his own shop, apparently largely fueled by the "All Stars," which seemingly has become his cash cow. The money milked from "All Stars" appears to travel to other Newman entities.

Now after the NY Post's revelations, Elliot Spitzer, NY Attorney General, is probing the interrelationships amongst Newman's various charitable concerns.

Fred Newman, a failed philosophy professor who was fired from seven colleges, later created what he calls "Social Therapy." According to Newman, who is not a psychologist, this therapy helps people to "overthrow" and "wither" what he labels their "proletarian ego." However, former participants seem to think it is "brainwashing."

Newman teaches that his therapy should include social activism. The net result of that activism appears to be working for Fred for free. This might include fund raising for one of his charities like All Stars, or perhaps petition drives for the Indendence Party.

Millions of dollars flow through the coffers of Newman related entities.

Some critics say that Newman has effectively co-opted or taken over the Independence Party of New York. It is within this area that perhaps the most controversial aspects of Fred Newman's interrelationships become even more interesting. He has questionable ties to both Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg. Both have benefited through Independence Party endorsements and/or petition drives. Some say there is a kind of quid-pro-quo between Newman and these politicians. That is, they are now paying him back through arranging support for his endeavors, specifically through All Stars.

The Newman dominated Independence Party also endorsed Elliott Spitzer, but the Attorney General seems devoid of any meaningful connections to either Fred Newman or his interests. Hopefully, Spitzer's probe will soon produce meaningful results, rahter than lead to a dead end.

[Posted by Rick Ross at 12:11 PM][Link]
False memories or real abuse?

Stephanie Salter of the San Francisco Chronicle recently tangentially raised some meaningful questions about some sexual abuse allegations, which are based upon supposedly "recovered memories." That is, memories claimed as "repressed," which are then supposedly recovered through a controversial therapeutic process that may include hypnosis.

This issue arose through the appointment of a renowned psychiatrist, researcher and teacher, Dr. Paul McHugh, to a 12-member Catholic board that will oversee the church's response to sexual abuse by priests.

McHugh has historically opposed and at times exposed what has become known as "false memories." Now this history has caused him to be suspect by some Catholic victims groups. However, McHugh's position has repeatedly been supported through numerous court cases. Likewise, many of the claims of supposed "Satanic ritual abuse" have been proven groundless through official reports and research.

It is important that despite the moral storm, which deservedly has now engulfed the Roman Catholic Church regarding clergy abuse, balance also be brought to the table through research and science, when it is necessary and indicated. Let's not turn this crisis into a modern-day witch-hunt and demonize anyone who raises questions.

Simply put, some claims of sexual abuse against priests may be false. This was certainly the case regarding the now deceased Cardinal Bernadin of Chicago, who was falsely accused of sexual misconduct. His accuser later recanted those accusations and specifically cited the process of therapy, which formed the basis for his claims.

McHugh is clearly not an apologist for the Catholic Church. He describes its historical cover-up of sexual abuse as both a "betrayal," and a "terrible sin." And he has concluded that the church's own conduct is responsible for the current "deep crisis of trust."

[Posted by Rick Ross at 10:09 AM][Link]
Hate group leader dead

William Pierce leader of a White Supremacist group known as the "National Alliance" died late last month.

Pierce was the author of "The Turner Diaries" (1978), an anti-government rant that fictionalized his worldview. His book became an obsession and some say inspiration for executed murderer Timothy McVeigh, the man responsible for the Oklahoma bombing. The book describes a race war, which begins when its hero blows up a federal building with a truck bomb.

Pierce ran the National Alliance (1,500 reported members) from an isolated compound 150 miles from Charleston near Hillsboro, West Virginia. He bought the land cheap and it is rumored partly with stolen cash given to him by members of "The Order," a hate group responsible for bank robberies and murder.

Pierce was most recently known for his foray into the music world, producing racist CDs for the youth market. He hoped to influence people through modern mediums and boasted that his goal was to become "the biggest distributor and producer of resistance music in the world.'' He claimed his label "Resistance Records" was the "soundtrack for white revolution.''

Pierce died without an heir, but his fervent followers seem to think the National Alliance will go on without him. Bob DeMarais, the group's business manager said Pierce left them with instructions. Karen Strom, editor of Pierce's magazine and newsletter will continue in that role and produce its radio show, "American Dissident Voices.'' She said, "We were lucky he had the foresight to build an organization that will survive and will continue to pursue the goals he set for it.'' But Mark Potok, an expert on hate groups said the group would more likely "wither" without its charismatic leader.

[Posted by Rick Ross at 09:22 AM][Link]
Cult leader sued for $1 billion

Dwight Z. York (56), is the leader of "The United Nuwaubians Nation of Moors." The group's home is a 400-acre ranch 65 miles from Atlanta, Georgia near the small town of Eatonton. The ranch includes a compound with a 40-foot pyramid, Sphinx and array of neo-Egyptian structures. Nuwaubians claim they are the direct descendents of ancient Egyptians, who came to America and became the original Native Americans. Nuwaubians are an African-American "fraternal organization."

Dwight York, now known as Malachi York, claims many titles. He is known to the faithful as both the "The Imperial Grand Potentate" and "The Grand Al Mufti Divan." But York now is being held in federal custody on charges of transporting minors across state lines for sex. He has been denied bail.

Being a prisoner is not new to York. He served a three-year prison sentence on a felony conviction in New York during the 60s for resisting arrest and possession of a dangerous weapon.

York was arrested this time regarding far more serious charges. In May a 116-count criminal indictment was handed down by a grand jury, which stated that the Nuwaubian leader molested children as young as four. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

Last month one angry parent of an alleged victim filed a lawsuit against York in federal court, seeking punitive damages of $1 billion dollars, reports the Athens Banner-Herald.

According to the suit York watched pornography with the then 11-year-old girl and had sex with her. The lawsuit states he also made her watch him "sexually abuse other children in a like manner, all for the purpose of gratifying his wicked, depraved, and corrupt sexual appetite.''

York once said, "I am the Supreme Being of This Day and Time, God in Flesh." And his followers celebrated his birthday as "Savior's Day." He also claimed to come fron the planet "Rizq," and that in 2003 an interplanetary spaceship would pick up believers. Perhaps York is now hoping that date could be moved up a bit.

[Posted by Rick Ross at 08:15 AM][Link]
:: July 31, 2002 ::
Self-proclaimed radio "prophet" jailed

Apparently Ralph R.G. Stair (69), a relentless radio religious broadcaster in Canadys, South Carolina, acted in bad faith. Stair leads about 100 people through what he calls the "Overcomer's Ministry." His followers often gave up all they owned to join the group, which has been called a "cult." But now Stair is in jail charged with sexual misconduct, breach of trust and unlawful burial.

According to former followers, instead of ministering to their spiritual needs, Stair chose to satisfy his own. He was arrested for exploiting his flock both financially and sexually. Women alleged Stair had sex with them against their will and detailed his sinful nature in open court. It appears that despite his public ministry, Stair failed to be an "overcomer" in his personal life.

It seems that "Brother Stair" was not content with sex on demand. He also allegedly bilked his disciples out of their hard-earned cash, property and even retirement funds. Some say Stair was little more than a thief, or as the bible says, a "wolf in sheep's clothing."

Stair is also charged with unlawfully burying a follower who died within his group compound. An autopsy concluded that the death was due to natural causes. But the deceased man's father said that his son's death might have been avoided with proper medical care. The remains of an infant have also been uncovered at the Stair compound.

12-15 Former members are now considering filing a civil lawsuit against Stair for various claims of personal injury.

Denied bail, Ralph Stair is now likely studying his bible behind bars.

[Posted by Rick Ross at 05:56 PM][Link]
Cult leader's son convicted of murdering baby

Jacques Robidoux, the 29-year-old son of cult leader Roland Robidoux, was convicted of first degree murder June 14th. Later, the man who starved his own infant son to death attempted to reduce that conviction to manslaughter through an appeal. His appeal was denied reports the Boston Globe. Robidoiux has begun serving his automatic life sentence.

Robidoux acted upon supposed "visions" received by the infant's aunt, which instructed that the baby be denied food. Many say that undue influence led to this tragedy.

The child's mother and aunt are now apparently hoping to make deals through plea bargains with prosecutors to avoid trial.

Roland Robidoux, the founder and undisputed leader of the cult remains uncharged.

Little consideration has been given to the undue influence of destructive cults historically when members commit violent crimes and especially homicides. Jacques Robidoux will likely live the remainder of his life in prison.

And when it comes to murder, cult members have often been given long sentences or condemned to death.

Larry Layton, convicted for his role in the murder of California Congressman Leo J. Ryan at Jonestown (1978), is still in prison.

Likewise, the followers of Charles Manson (1969 Manson murders) were sentenced to death, but those sentences were later commuted to life in prison when the death penalty was dropped in California.

However, former Manson family members have routinely been denied parole due to the horrific nature of their crimes. Manson follower Leslie Van Houten who has served 30 years, was denied parole for the 14th time this month.

In one historic case a cult member did receive some consideration. Patty Hearst, who was kidnapped (1974), raped and allegedly "brainwashed" by the SLA, was never the less sentenced to a prison term for crimes while inside the cult. President Jimmy Carter later commuted that sentence and Hearst was subsequently pardoned by Bill Clinton as he left office.

[Posted by Rick Ross at 03:45 PM][Link]

DISCLAIMER: This news page is about groups, organizations or movements, which may have been "cults" and/or "cult-like" in some way, shape or form. But not all groups called either "cults" or "cult-like" are harmful. Instead, they may be benign and generally defined as simply people intensely devoted to a person, place or thing. Therefore, the discussion or mention of a group, organization or person on this page, is not necessarily meant pejoratively.
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