It seems that Ralph Nader may be “losing his political judgement” reports a former fan for the liberal left publication The Nation.

Nader is “in bed with the ultra-sectarian cult-racket formerly known as the New Alliance Party,” says a writer for the newspaper.

The celebrated consumer advocate and former presidential candidate appeared January 11th as the featured speaker at an event titled “Choosing an Independent President 2004 Campaign” organized by Fred Newman, whose followers now effectively control the so-called “independents” or Independence Party of New York.

Newman heads a myriad of front organizations populated by his fervent devotees commonly called “Newmanites.” The self-styled political guru also created something he named “Social Therapy,” which has been described by its victims as “brainwashing.”

After playing the role of what many-labeled “spoiler” in the last presidential election, is Ralph Nader hoping to jump in this time as an Independent with Newmanite support?

The Nation blasted Newman’s politics as “the latest in a skein of…rackets… which have as their ultimate goal nothing more than enlarging the cult and subsidizing Newman’s…lavish lifestyle…”

The Nation article goes on to describe Nader’s involvement with the Newmanites as a “mind-bogglingly dumb…mistake.” And says, “One cannot believe that a politically sophisticated chap like Ralph doesn’t know exactly who Newman and Fulani are, and why they are so despicable. For Ralph to grace a Newman front group with his presence is the equivalent of cuddling up to Scientology, another cult-racket.”

Strong words from a Nader fan and past booster.

In the end the Nation reporter concludes that his one-time hero has become a “sad” figure seemingly set to damage “his image and…legacy.”

CultNews has reported for some time about the calculated manipulations of the Newman machine, which has hooked bigger fish than Ralph Nader. Newmanites have been linked politically to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senator Charles Schumer, Governor George Patacki and even much admired Rudy Giuliani.

Newman’s tentacles reach through a myriad of schemes that both benefit him financially and feed the “cult leader’s” considerable ego.

A prominent NY charity “All Stars,” a program supposedly designed to help disadvantaged children, appears to be one more Newman cash cow. Attorney General Elliott Spitzer once told the NY Post he would investigate the finances of Newman connected charities.

Ralph Nader, acclaimed as a consumer advocate, now appears to be an ego-driven aging activist pining for the limelight.

But by schmoozing with the likes of Newman Nader may get the kind of attention that will ultimately end in disgrace. The man who once encouraged “product warnings,” should heed the warning of his former fan about Newman.

After all, if a newspaper as liberal as The Nation is this critical of Nader’s new friends and behavior, Ralph is in real trouble.

In a bizarre twist a missionary organization that targets Jews for conversion is bashing fellow Christians in a “cult” controlled newspaper.

The so-called “Jews for Jesus” (JFJ), founded by an ordained Baptist minister, took on Senate Chaplain Lloyd Ogilvie, American Values President Gary Bauer, singer Pat Boone, Rev. Jerry Falwell, broadcaster Pat Robertson and even Billy Graham in an attack launched within the Washington Times.

A JFJ spokesperson told the Times a subtle plot to “demonize” the organization has apparently taken hold amongst prominent evangelical leaders and many churches.

The alleged conspiracy supposedly can be seen through fading support for JFJ. Evidently, church invitations for their programs have dropped by 25% and donations slipped $371,130 in 2003.

The leadership of the controversial proselytizing organization chose to air its grievances within the Washington Times rather than a more traditional evangelical media outlet such as Christianity Today.

Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the self-proclaimed “messiah” whose followers are often called “Moonies,” controls the Washington Times.

Moon is the founder of the Unification Church, which has been called a “cult.”

The Unification Church teaches that Jesus essentially failed in his role to redeem the world, which Rev. Moon must now complete. Jesus was also stuck in spirit world until Moon married him so he could enter heaven.

Apparently, JFJ isn’t concerned about such theology when it comes to finding an outlet to discuss its budget worries. Concerns about cash flow seem to trump doctrinal differences with the paper’s primary funding source.

Jerry Falwell appeared to play both ends against the middle. “I highly regard the work of Jews for Jesus,” he told the Times while also endorsing the work of Yechiel Eckstein of the International Fellowship of Christians, which opposes JFJ.

Falwell is also friendly with Rev. Moon, who has generously given his ministry millions of dollars.

Once again, budget worries seem to be more important than religious conviction.

JFJ has historically been accused of exercising “cult-like” control over its members. Maybe its more than money that makes the group feel comfortable with “Moonies,” who allegedly have been “brainwashing” recruits in the US since the 1970s.

Nuwaubian “cult leader” and apparent pedophile predator Dwight “Malachi” York is facing judge and jury in what appears to be the beginning of the final chapter of his sordid life.

York is accused of sexually abusing minor children, through hundreds of criminal counts.

One witness told jurors yesterday how the self-proclaimed “Imperial Grand Potentate,” now known as “Chief Black Thunderbird Eagle,” regularly molested her beginning at the age of 8 reports the Athens Banner-Herald.

The “cult leader” allegedly created a contingent of child sex-slaves, and at least 13 of his purported victims have come forward as potential witnesses reports Associated Press.

These minor children reportedly often went hungry and struggled in substandard living conditions while the “cult leader” led a lifestyle of luxury, as a seemingly absolute ruler.

Hopefully, the York case will focus needed attention on the issue of the plight of children within destructive cults.

Kids in cults are most often brought into such groups like so much baggage when parents join. They have no choice, and are instead dependent upon their family to make choices for them. Subsequently, they may suffer whatever hardships and/or abuse is meted out by a cult, often with no meaningful protection.

The safeguards and advocacy, which are usually readily available to mainstream kids through concerned parents, schools, neighbors or child protection services, are not typically accessible to minors housed within cult compounds.

Cult parents typically rely upon their leader’s value judgements, whatever the leader says is right is right and whatever the leader says is wrong is wrong.

Morality may become situational and essentially subject to the whims of someone like York.

Historically, in many cults parents have actually cooperated in the harm done to their own children, through medical neglect, brutal physical punishment and at times sexual abuse.

Reports of child abuse and/or endangerment has surfaced repeatedly in groups such as the Waco Davidians, Children of God, Word of Faith Fellowship, The Church of God Restoration and the so-called “Twelve Tribes,” just to name a few.

Courts have increasingly ruled that parental prerogatives do not include doing anything in the name of religion.

Most of York’s followers remain faithful despite the horrible crimes he is accused of, even though the “cult leader” confessed in a plea agreement, which was ultimately rejected.

The judge apparently felt 15 years was not enough prison time for the admitted child molester.

York’s devotees prefer to see his criminal prosecution as “persecution,” the end result of a conspiracy concocted by law-enforcement together with disgruntled former members. And some have said York’s confession was the result of “torture.”

Such bizarre claims do seem to indicate that the Nuwaubians, like other “cult” members reported about in the past, are deeply “brainwashed.” Perhaps they are so personally invested in the mythology York created and have sacrificed so much; they are unable to move on.

Sadly, the children of this faithful remnant remain prisoners of the “cult” until their parents break free from the mental and emotional bondage wrought by York.

The Nuwaubian leader will likely end his life in prison. But despite that punishment, nothing can restore the innocence of the children he victimized.

Much has been reported recently about the supposed growing relationship between the controversial Nation of Islam (NOI), which has been called a “cult” and Michael Jackson.

The former King of Pop, one-time Jehovah’s Witness and ex-husband of devout Scientologist Lisa Marie Presley, has now supposedly embraced Louis Farrakhan’s version of Islam reported the New York Post.

Since this story broke there have been further claims, counterclaims and repeated denials in news stories around the world, speculating about the pop icon’s religious status.

Leonard Muhammad, NOI chief of staff, was present during the exclusive Jackson CBS 60 Minutes interview with Ben Bradley taped on Christmas Day reported Fox News.

And there seems to be something of a power struggle between long-time loyalists within Neverland and NOI operatives for influence over the middle aged, self-styled Peter Pan reported Associated Press.

NOI has repeatedly denied it has any professional or business relationship with Jackson, though his attorney now refuses to deny the singer has ties to the sect.

Lawyer Mark Geragos has flip-flopped back and forth, first denying and now refusing to deny claims that the controversial group has growing influence over his client.

Some sources say NOI is “brainwashing” Jackson reports The Daily Telegraph.

But who is using whom?

Despite his attempt to feign child-like innocence Michael Jackson is an adroit self-serving spin-doctor, known for generating sensational stories to garner attention. He also collects high profile and/or celebrity friends that later become his convenient apologists.

Is the singer really mad for the Black Muslim sect, or is this just another ploy staged to politically position him for pre-trial publicity?

No doubt Louis Farrakhan is enjoying all the news coverage and may even want some of Jackson’s cash, which is reportedly still substantial despite his spendthrift ways and bad business decisions.

Farrakhan has forged some unlikely, but seemingly lucrative friendships lately, including Rev. Moon of the Unification Church as CultNews reported not long ago.

But is there a hidden agenda for the former King of Pop beyond his coming trial?

Maybe this pragmatic Pan is looking for long-term protection?

Jackson is admittedly using Farrakhan and his faithful currently for security. But if he is convicted and sentenced to hard time NOI has a formidable presence in the American prison system. And they can continue to provide protection behind the walls of whatever California correctional facility houses the fallen star.

Not bad for an end game, NOI may figuratively if not literally cover Jackson’s ass as his “rear guard.”

CultNews reported last month that there was little chance a “brainwashing” defense would work to acquit “D.C. sniper” Lee Malvo.

A jury found Malvo guilty of murder after 13 hours of deliberation yesterday reported CNN.

Now the teenager faces the sentencing phase of his judicial journey.

The sister of one victim called the verdict a “Christmas present,” others who lost loved ones to the so-called “D.C. sniper’s” bullets expressed emotions ranging from joy to relief reported the Baltimore Sun.

But will 18-year-old Lee Malvo be sentenced to death?

“When you catch someone with blood on his hands, don’t waste our time. Get a rope,” said the mother of one of the boy’s victims.

“I want him to get life in prison where he can receive counseling…God says to forgive,” offered the husband of another one of the teenager’s fatal targets.

Many believe Malvo became the puppet of his mentor John Muhammad. A man who witnesses described as a powerful influence over the boy, with a history of dominating and controlling those around him.

Was the control Muhammad held over Malvo cult-like “brainwashing” in its depth and intensity? Experts varied in their opinions, but in the end there seems to be little doubt that the older man was the impetus behind the murder spree.

But regardless of what malevolent influence convinced Malvo to pull the trigger, he did do it. And though God may forgive him, the jury did not offer absolution.

Will the issue of undue influence ameliorate his final punishment?

Malvo’s mentor Muhammad has already been condemned to death. The teenager’s lawyers now hope that the testimony concerning the older man’s control over his protégé will mitigate the boy’s sentencing.

However, Malvo may instead follow in the footsteps of Manson Family members, who despite being “brainwashed” by their leader Charles Manson, were sentenced to death for the grizzly murders they committed.

Only the temporary cessation of the death penalty in California saved them from execution.

If Malvo is sentenced to death he will be youngest prisoner on death row in the US reported the Times Dispatch.

“Statistically, a failed insanity defense usually results in a death sentence,” one defense attorney told Associated Press.

However, that same lawyer speculated that because of the jury’s relatively lengthy deliberation Malvo might receive a life sentence.

But the “D.C. snipers” executed ten people in their murder spree without mercy.

History may repeat itself, and like the followers of Charles Manson, the follower of John Muhammad may receive the ultimate punishment.

Lenora Fulani, follower of alleged “cult leader” Fred Newman, is a pivotal player within New York’s Independent party. This has given Fulani and her mentor some political clout, which critics say has led to favors.

Visible evidence of Fulani’s political connections and influence could be seen at a recent NYC fundraiser attended by US Senator Charles Schumer and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg reports NY 1.

Schumer spoke at the event as Fulani stood behind him.

Critics say Fulani is little more than a front for Fred Newman. And that her involvement in politics is a way of gaining attention and gathering favors for the controversial group often called the “Newmanites,” such as a $8.5 million tax-free bond issue for the All Stars Project Inc., another one of Fred Newman’s interests.

Last year NY Attorney General Elliot Spitzer claimed he would investigate All Stars for reported financial irregularities.

Fred Newman is the founding father of something called “Social Therapy,” which critics say is little more than “brainwashing.”

Newman says, “The proletarian or revolutionary therapist is a leader. Proletarian therapy is not leaderless. To say the leader is non-authoritarian is not the same as saying it is leaderless. The identification of leader with authoritarian is a bourgeois identification. The revolutionary leader leads the suffering and struggling worker from the bourgeois ego to the proletarian ego, through an authoritarian act of violent overthrow. For as Engles pointed out, ‘A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is…’ But it is proletarian authority–the dictatorship of the proletarian rather than bourgeois authority. Revolutionary therapy involves an act of insurrection; of overthrow. The therapist is not a substitute conscience; the therapist is another worker who has been through the insurrection and is still working and struggling during the long period of withering away of the proletarian ego.”


But in New York’s last very close mayoral election Bloomberg needed every vote he could muster and the billionaire businessman may not have won without the devotion and grass roots organizing provided by Newman’s faithful followers.

The mayor later donated $50,000 to the All Star Project.

Some elected officials are said to have a “cult following,” but this analogy just might be literally true for Mayor Bloomberg.

Lee Boyd Malvo, the teenager known as the D.C. sniper is now on trial for murder.

At 17 he and his mentor/father figure John Muhammad went on a killing spree that left ten dead in its wake and terrified a nation.

Now 18 Malvo is literally fighting for his own life in a Virginia courtroom. His attorney’s hope that an “insanity” defense based upon a “brainwashing” claim will explain the boy killer’s behavior and somehow ameliorate the outcome of the trial.

John Allen Muhammad the man that allegedly “brainwashed” Malvo has already been convicted and is almost certain to receive the death penalty. If his surrogate son and accomplice is found guilty, it is likely that he will receive the same sentence.

Opinions in the press vary, but some are calling the “insanity defense” in this case “crazy” reports Slate.

And the Washington Post points out those witnesses, who observed Muhammad and Malvo together, differ in their assessment of the relationship.

Some see Muhammad as a controlling and dominant figure that molded the boy into a “killing machine.”

Others say the two appeared more like friends, without readily seen evidence of a dominant/submissive relationship.

Malvo’s taped confession is chilling. The teenager admits, “I intended to kill them all.” And when asked if he personally pulled the trigger in the shootings the boy answers, “In all of them” reports Associated Press.

With such testimony, not to mention the physical evidence piled up by the prosecution, Malvo really has no other meaningful option than to plead insanity.

But was the boy “brainwashed” by John Muhammad or is this some clever lawyer’s contrived defense?

The “brainwashing” defense did not work for Patty Hearst, who was kidnapped by a political cult in the 1970s.

Hearst an heir to a newspaper fortune was coerced into becoming the pawn of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), but was nevertheless ultimately convicted of bank robbery and sentenced to prison.

President Jimmy Carter later commuted her sentence and Bill Clinton pardoned Hearst before leaving the White House.

Public awareness regarding “brainwashing” has evolved considerably since the Manson murders in 1969 and Patty Hearst’s conviction during 1976.

The Jonestown mass suicide/murder of 1978, which claimed the lives of almost 1,000 followers of cult leader Jim Jones in the jungles of South America, shocked the public and created an acute awareness of the power of coercive persuasion.

The image of parents giving their children cyanide was certainly compelling proof of the power of Jim Jones’ brainwashing.

After Jonestown Americans suddenly seemed to see the destructive cults that existed throughout the country and began to more readily recognize their methods of gaining undue influence. In repeated news stories cult “brainwashing” was discussed during the 1980s and 1990s.

Then came Waco in 1993, the second longest standoff in US history, between the cult known as the Branch Davidians and federal law enforcement. The end would once again be tragedy, when David Koresh and his followers chose death for themselves and their children.

In a succession of similar tragedies one cult after another would demonstrate the effectiveness of its own brand of brainwashing.

1994 the Solar Temple suicide in Switzerland.

1995 — the Aum gas attack of Tokyo subways that killed 12.

1997 — 39 members of “Heaven’s Gate” commit suicide near San Diego.

2000 — the horrific mass murder/suicide of the doomsday group known as the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments in Uganda, which may have claimed more lives than Jonestown.

9-11-2001 — the senseless murder of 3,000 people in the World Trade Center attack, once again perpetrated by the seemingly “brainwashed” followers of a madman, Osama bin Laden.

Self-proclaimed “prophet” Brian Mitchell was able to brainwash Elizabeth Smart from a dutiful family member into his seemingly willing follower in approximately 60 days. Smart subsequently denied her identity to police and did not attempt to escape the lunatic that abducted her at knifepoint.

Muhammad apparently controlled Malvo’s associations, environment and dominated his thinking in a nomadic lifestyle similar to the one Mitchell constructed around Elizabeth Smart.

How have madmen from Manson to Mitchell persuaded normal people to act insane?

The process of thought reform, commonly called “brainwashing” has probably been used in various forms throughout human history. Its mechanics have been explained in detail by psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton in his seminal book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism.

Lifton, who once taught at Harvard Medical School, identified the features of “brainwashing” through eight specific criteria; Milieu Control, Mystical Manipulation, the Demand for Purity, the Cult of Confession, the Sacred Science, Loading the Language, Doctrine over Person and the Dispensing of Existence (see Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism).

Essentially what Lifton observed is that if an environment displays at least six of these characteristics simultaneously, it doesn’t matter what you call it, it is thought reform or “brainwashing.”

But can this work when only two people are involved?

The phenomenon of an abused spouse, often caught within what has been called a “cultic relationship,” also displays many of the same features described by Lifton. Experts have frequently labeled this the “battered woman’s syndrome.”

Was Malvo caught within the web of a “cultic relationship”?

Based upon some of the accounts that have surfaced from his family and witnesses he may have been.

But unlike Patty Hearst, who was eventually pardoned for her brainwashed behavior, Malvo’s deeds under the influence of his leader have included murder.

Perhaps the teenager was a victim of John Muhammad, but what about the victims of their rampage?

Ten people died as a direct result of Malvo’s “insanity,” and even though Muhammad may have been the master-planner of this killing spree, his puppet still pulled the trigger.

Society seems willing to forgive the misdeeds of “brainwashing” victims, but such forgiveness is far less likely if they have committed violent crimes.

The followers of Charles Manson murdered for him. Manson was later convicted like Muhammad, through a prosecution largely based upon undue influence. However, his followers were also convicted and sentenced to death.

Later the death sentences of the Manson Family were changed to life in prison. But despite their impassioned pleas that they were essentially “brainwashed,” Manson’s former followers such as Susan Atkins and Leslie Van Houten have repeatedly been denied parole.

As the Virginia jury weighs its verdict they are more likely to consider those caught within the sniper’s sights than the boy captured within the web of a madman’s undue influence.

Malvo’s only hope may come after his conviction, when his alleged “insanity” might mitigate sentencing.

At that point the claim of “brainwashing” might provide the basis for a sentence of life in prison, rather than the death penalty.

NXIVM, a controversial organization called a “cult,” proposed a 67,000 square foot complex to be built in the town of Halfmoon near Albany, New York. But it seems that project may be effectively blocked reports the Albany Times-Union.

The Sartoga Count Planning Board has nixed NXIVM (pronounced Nexium) proposed building.

More than a hundred residents signed a petition saying they didn’t want NXIVM in their neighborhood.

The controversial organization’s titular head and self-proclaimed “Prefect” is Nancy Salzman, though the real power behind NXIVM seems to be Salzman’s “mentor” Keith Raniere, who students call “Vanguard.”

Troubled history

Keith Raniere has a troubled history. His previous business incarnations include a multi-level marketing scheme and vitamin/health food concerns. Both businesses failed.

Mr. Raniere’s multi-level marketing business called Consumer Buyline was labeled a “pyramid scheme” by New York Attorney General Robert Abrams and literally sued out of existence by several state attorney generals including New York, Pennsylvania and Arkansas.

Consumer Buyline left in its wake unpaid taxes, liens, judgments and many unhappy participants.

A class action lawsuit filed in Boston was apparently the final round for the company. Raniere agreed to pay $25,000 in a final settlement during 1992, which effectively restricted his business. At this time he claimed to be broke.

Lesson learned?

What did Keith Raniere learn from his past business experiences?

In an affidavit filed last month in Albany federal court Mr. Raniere states, “Throughout this process I had learned how people can cheat to win.” And he seems to think that the collapse of Consumer Buyline was somehow due to “political problems.”

New business

The man they call “Vanguard” today is described as a “scientist, mathematician, philosopher and entrepreneur.” And he is now selling something called “Rational Inquiry.” This is what NXIVM says is a “science based on [a]…belief.”

Learning this “science” in-depth includes 16 consecutive days of intensive training 12 hours a day. This comes to 192 hours of structured coaching classes. Students may then take additional intensives, courses and attend various events and classes.

Expert opinions

Forensic psychiatrist and noted cult expert John Hochman, who reviewed the NXIVM program warns, “Mind control represents indoctrination without informed consent. It relies on calculated strategies to mislead and to misinform. It particularly relies on emotional manipulation.”

Hochman concluded, [NXIVM] is a kingdom of sorts, ruled by a Vanguard, who writes his own dictionary of the English language, has his own moral code, and the ability to generate taxes on subjects by having them participate in his seminars.”

Psychologist Paul Martin whose work is focused upon the treatment of cult victims also reviewed the NXIVM programs and compared them to thought reform often called “brainwashing.”

Martin said, “ESP has characteristics that are consistent with the themes of thought reform.”

He also offered this observation within a separate critical analysis. “What then are some of the consequences of those subject to thought reform programs? [Robert J.] Lifton [author of Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism] observed certain clinical symptoms in the subjects he studied. For example: ‘borderline psychotic state, split identity, fear…'”

Martin adds, “There were first-hand reports of some becoming psychotic.”

At least three NXIVM students that attended its intensive programs subsequently sought psychiatric care. One of those students, while in the midst of a “Level 2 Intensive,” had a psychotic episode and was hospitalized in Albany.


In an effort to remove the reports written by Hochman and Martin from public view, Keith Raniere and his “mentored” associate Nancy Salzman have filed lawsuits in federal court against the good doctors, the Ross Institute and myself. They claim “trade secret” and “copyright” violations, because the doctors quote NXIVM material to substantiate points made within their reports.

This is the same legal strategy often employed by the notorious “cult” Scientology in numerous failed lawsuits filed against its own critics on the Internet.

In an interesting twist it appears that Nancy O’Meara, a well-known Scientology operative, has assisted Raniere and Salzman in their current litigation.

O’Meara wrote in an August email, “I am working on two cases right now where [Rick Ross] is being sued for copyright trademark violation.”

Whose model?

Raniere claims NXIVM courses are based upon “my model.” And NXIVM’s “12 Point Mission Statement” states its goal is to reach “an internal “state of clear.”

Ironically, this is precisely the same verbiage often used by Scientology to describe a goal of its training. Raniere also frequently uses the description “suppressive person,” more language commonly associated with Scientology.

Another apparent source for some of NXIVM’s language and principles seems to be Landmark Education, previously known as EST, a controversial company also engaged in the business of large group awareness training, courses and seminars.

Mr. Raniere also likes to quote Ayn Rand the author of Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead.

So whose model is NXIVM really based upon?

Is Keith Raniere guilty of trade secret and copyright violations?

Reported losses

NXIVM sought court ordered injunctions to either close down this website or remove the critical articles about its programs previously mentioned.

Last week a federal judge denied the injunctions .

Mr. Raniere claimed in a recent court affidavit, “We have even lost a 4 year veteran Principal Coach… Goldie Hawn cancelled her engagement…a billionaire network founder…has left…we are losing $10,000 a day in revenue and the problem is escalating.”

With his building plan blocked, the above claimed losses and a federal judge denying his court motions, is Keith Raniere on another losing streak?

Psychologist and peripatetic professional “cult apologist” Dick Anthony is on the road again.

This time the man who often defends Scientology and considers Rev. Moon’s Unification Church and the Waco Davidians “non traditional religions” is plying his trade in Dixie.

Anthony charges $3,500 per day for his services and is now working for Jane Whaley, the leader of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) in Spindale, North Carolina.

WOFF has often been called a “cult,” so it seems that would qualify Whaley as a client for Anthony.

Whaley and her followers are warring against a mother for custody of her four minor children. The alleged “cult leader” has apparently decided that some parents can’t leave her church with their family intact.

Former members say Whaley essentially controls her following through “brainwashing.”

However, Anthony is slated to submit an affidavit that will rebut such claims reports the Digital Courier.

Such a job is rather routine for the traveling professional apologist whose trade seems to be getting “cults” off the hook in legal situations.

“Have apologies, will travel,” must be Anthony’s motto in what appears to be a lucrative business.

And he certainly has his work cut out for him in the WOFF case.

The group is known for its bizarre behavior through such practices as “blasting.” This is when members are subjected to so-called “strong prayer” to deliver them from evil influences and/or sinfulness. Blasting basically amounts to surrounding and then screaming at someone designated as a likely “sinner.”

Not a pleasant experience according to some former members.

During recent court proceedings in Spindale Anthony was seen taking copious notes.

But at $3,500 per day is Whaley really getting her money’s worth?

Maybe the alleged “cult leader” should have checked out Anthony’s references first, case by case.

Dick has been on a bit of a losing streak lately.

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Scientology, two of his most recent clients, each paid out substantial settlements despite Dick’s help.

The Witnesses alone opted to pay a plaintiff $1.5 million, the largest settlement in their history, rather than rely on Anthony as an expert in court.

Such settlements don’t really support the effectiveness and/or professional ability of this “cult apologist.”

Never mind. Anthony still seems to be laughing all the way to the bank and it looks like another good payday for him in Spindale.

Melvin Sembler, a historic Bush buddy, big donor to the family’s political campaigns and subsequently twice appointed as an ambassador by Bush administrations, is not a happy fellow reports the St. Petersburg Times.

A man went through Ambassador Sembler’s garbage and found a pump apparently once used to help him function sexually. It’s a kind of penis pump to assist the ambassador in achieving and/or maintaining an erection.

Dumpster diver and activist Richard Bradbury is a former member of the now defunct drug rehab program called Straight, which was once enthusiastically promoted and sponsored by Sembler and wife.

Straight was eventually shut down amidst an avalanche of bad press and lawsuits. Some former members claimed the program engaged in cult-like “brainwashing.”

Bradbury in an apparent attempt to humiliate Sembler publicly put the ambassador’s penis pump up for auction on eBay.

The former Straight devotee said he was horribly victimized within the residential treatment program.

It seems that Sembler will never shake off the stink of Straight no matter what he does.

But a judge has ordered the alleged stalker to back off and give the ambassador back his penis pump.

However, Melvin Sembler will never be able to pump Straight back up. Nor can he erase the nightmares endured by Straight’s many victims or the legacy of infamy left in its wake.

Note: For more information about Sembler and Straight see Wes Fager’s website The