Cult leader Dave McKay, founder of the self-proclaimed “Jesus Christians” is apparently back in business using the new name “End Time Survivors” preaching on YouTube.

Dave McKay, now in his seventies, is originally from Rochester, New York. McKay married and moved to Australia in 1968 where he joined the cult “Children of God (COG).” COG became infamous for child sexual abuse. McKay later decided to leave COG and become leader of the so-called “Jesus Christians” in 1982.

Like Moses Berg, the founder of COG, McKay became notorious for the total control that he exercises over his followers. Now on YouTube he is “Brother Dave.” Claiming divine revelation McKay says, “When I tell people that God talks to me I can see the wheels turning, their thinking ‘psycho,’ ‘psycho,’ this guy needs professional help.” Maybe McKay is a psycho. Apparently if you disagree with Dave you disagree with God.

Dave McKay

Dave McKay

McKay’s group was dubbed the “kidney cult” because reportedly more than half of his followers donated a kidney in what many saw as a ploy for media attention.

Brother Dave seems to be adept at “brainwashing” his disciples according to numerous press reports. And after new recruits join his group they frequently cut off virtually all communication with family and old friends. The group has also garnered controversy for recruiting minor children.

Complaints from estranged families and bad press followed Dave McKay wherever he went and made his group appear toxic. No wonder McKay has chosen to rebrand his group online with a new name. Brother Dave even blurs his face and his followers are masked to obscure their real identity on YouTube.

YouTube is a popular venue for some groups called “cults,” who use it for recruitment and fund raising. McKay now has more than 3,000 YouTube subscribers.

One of the End Time Survivors videos states, “The information on this channel is coming from a lot of people and most of them have been able to hide their identity they do it for the express purpose of getting you to think about what is being said rather than making you depend upon some guru who will do all your thinking for you.”

However, this is exactly the reason that families and others concerned complained about the undue influence of Dave McKay, a religious guru who they said was thinking for their loved ones.

Don’t be fooled by this “kidney cult” or trust in Brother Dave’s supposedly divine revelations.

Instead, recognize the familiar pattern of a con man and cult leader feeding off of his followers to fulfill his ego.

Dave McKay expects his devotees to give up their identity, family, friends, virtually everything and anything upon demand, even at times their vital organs.

Beware of Dave McKay and his band of masked “End Time Survivors.”

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Dianetics
Salon calls Scientology Dianetics “stranger than fiction”

Academics often called “cult apologists” have come to the rescue and defended both Tom Cruise and Scientology in the press lately.

J. Gordon Melton and David G. Bromley were both quoted in a recent article run within the Chicago Sun-Times.

Bromley is an old friend of Scientology and has been officially recommended by the controversial church as a “religious resource.”

The so-called “new Cult Awareness Network” reportedly run by Scientology also once recommended both Bromley and Melton for “factual information on new religions,” in the wake of a California cult (“Heaven’s Gate“) mass suicide in 1997.

David Bromley’s frequent writing partner Anson Shupe made a bundle working for Scientology lawyers. He helped Scientology knock off its perceived nemesis the “old Cult Awareness Network” enabling a Scientologist attorney to eventually buy its name and files through a bankruptcy proceeding.

The files of Scientology’s former foe were later handed over to J. Gordon Melton.

Melton and Bromley can almost always be counted on to defend virtually any group called a “cult” no matter how heinous or harmful.

Bromley told the Chicago Sun-Times, “Cult is a four-letter word for a religion you don’t like.”

It seems Time Magazine must have got it wrong when it called Scientology the “Cult of Greed,” despite the fact that a subsequent libel suit filed against the publication by the purported “cult” sputtered to a dismissal without ever going to trial.

Mr. Melton has raked in quite a nest egg working for groups like the Children of God and the International Church of Christ. He was paid by J.Z. Knight (known as Ramtha) to write a book, not to mention his all expenses paid trip to Japan courtesy of the infamous cult known as “Aum Supreme Truth.”

Melton arrived in Japan in 1995 and promptly pronounced that Aum was the victim of “persecution,” despite the fact that the cult had gassed the Tokyo Subway system sending thousands of Japanese to hospitals and killing twelve.

Melton told the Chicago Sun-Times that “new religions,” his supposedly politically correct euphemism to describe “cults,” put people off because of their “newness.”

However, it appears that what puts people off most about Tom Cruise’s behavior and his strange Scientology banter is the bizarre nature of it all.

Today the London Free Press asked, “Has Cruise Cracked?”

Meanwhile Salon Magazine published a critique of Scientology and its founder titled “Stranger than Fiction.”

How convenient is the timing that these two alleged academics Melton and Bromley are now helping out Scientology’s “poster boy” Tom Cruise.

But the news media should know that such specious scholars cannot be counted upon for any meaningful objectivity, they are politically if not literally invested in their positions.

Benjamin Zablocki, a professor of sociology at Rutgers University put it succinctly when he said, “The sociology of religion can no longer avoid the unpleasant ethical question of how to deal with the large sums of money being pumped into the field by the religious groups being studied…This is an issue that is slowly but surely building toward a public scandal.”

Stephen Kent, a professor of sociology at the University of Alberta in Canada concluded, “Scholars who compromise objectivity or academic integrity threaten to diminish the reputation of social science.”

Rich religious groups like Scientology can easily afford to pump cash into the pockets of quite a few professors and assorted academics. Perhaps the press should scrutinize more carefully the likes of sources such as David G. Bromley and J. Gordon Melton.

CounterCOG.com, a domain name once devoted to archiving critical information about the so-called “Children of God” now known as “The Family,” seems to have been co-opted by cult apologists.

It appears this shift of purpose took place about two years ago during March of 2003, but only recently came to the attention of CultNews.

According to records held within the “Way Back Machine,” an Internet database with “40 billion Web pages” archived from 1996 to just a few months ago, some time after February of 2003 and beginning in March 2003 the domain name went from a resource of critical information about COG to an entry point for apology.

The site then announced; “Negative sentiments are typically implied when the concepts ‘cult’ and ‘sect’ are employed in popular discourse.” And that the new page would “seek to promote religious tolerance and…not carry implicit negative stereotypes.”

“Negative stereotypes” apparently means posting personal testimonies, research, news stories and/or court documents that note the destructive nature of groups that have been called “cults.”

Entering www.countercog.com now takes visitors to “Academic Research 2K,” which uses “politically correct” euphemisms to describe destructive cults such as “minority religion” and/or “new religious movement” (NRM).

The Web page features links to The Family Web site, once the focus of criticism at CounterCOG.com and other purported “cult” sites such as Rev. Moon’s Unification Church and the Church of Scientology.

These Internet destinations are listed under the heading “Information on Religious Movements.”

Links to additional resources often called “cult apologists,” such as CESNUR run by Massimo Introvigne of Italy, the “Religious Freedom Page” originally launched by a now deceased professor Jeffrey Hadden and a Canadian database known as “Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance,” which is essentially the brainchild of Bruce Robinson a former chemical company employee and self-professed agnostic.

These pages come under the heading of “scholarly works.”

Professor Hadden was an academic once quite friendly with Rev. Moon and recommended by Scientology as a “religious resource.”

But Mr. Robinson admits “that few if any of our authors have theological degrees. We feel that a formal theological degree would be counter-productive” and that “theological training is not needed for our work.”

Well, so much for the “scholarly” standing of works at his site.

Mr. Introvigne, like his former colleague Professor Hadden, has been criticized for working closely with groups called “cults”

In fact, Scientology may be the common thread that runs through the current so-called “counter-COG” Web page.

Because rather than testimonies from those exploited by COG, a controversial group often called a “sex cult,” visitors will instead see links to friends of Scientology along with one link specifically to that organization’s own database.

This makeover is reminiscent of the radical shift of purpose that took place when the Cult Awareness Network was reportedly taken over by Scientology in 1996.

A Scientologist bought CAN’s name, files and even its phone number. Now when you call the “new CAN” the phone is likely to be answered by a Scientologist.

Peter Vincent of Chicago, Illinois bought the domain name “countercog.com.”

Mr. Vincent was contacted by CultNews for comment, but did not respond.

Note: For genuine counter COG information see the following Web sites:

Ex-Family.org

Moving On.org

The Magic Green Shirt

J. Gordon Melton, a somewhat specious “scholar” of what he refers to as “new religious movements” received a rather questionable gift from a foundation linked to a purported “cult,” reports Moving On.org.

Moving On.org is a Web site created by and for young adults with parents who joined the notorious “Children of God” (COG).

The Web site recently made public a portion of a 2000 IRS disclosure document that lists a $10,000.00 gift given to the so-called “International Religious Directory,” which is a pet project of Mr. Melton.

The gift-giver is the Family Care Foundation, an organization founded by COG leaders.

Infamous sexual predator “Moses” David Berg who died in 1994 once defined COG as its absolute leader.

The group taught members to sexualize their minor children and encouraged its women to become “hookers for Christ.”

COG is now known as “The Family” and has been in the news lately due to a grizzly murder-suicide.

Ricky Rodriquez the son of its current leader Karen Zerby, Berg’s widow known as “Mama Maria” to her followers, committed suicide after murdering his former nanny Angela Smith. The young man who left COG about five years ago claimed she had molested him as a child.

Ms. Smith at the time of her death was listed as a director of the Family Care Foundation, which is reportedly “an arm of The Family.”

J. Gordon Melton has often been labeled a “cult apologist” because of his friendly relationships with such groups, but until now no one knew exactly how lucrative his COG connection was through the Family Care Foundation.

Mr. Melton seems to have made something of a career out of selling his scholarly services to various fringe groups, often called “cults.” His list of sponsors and/or clients has included JZ Knight or “Ramtha,” a new age guru that funded a Melton book project. And also Aum the terrorist Japanese cult, which paid the peripatetic apologist’s expenses to come to Tokyo after they gassed that city’s subways sending thousands to hospitals.

Mr. Melton’s motto seems to be, “have apologies will travel,” apparently that is when some substantial funding is made available.

Note: Supposedly objective academic papers by J. Gordon Melton and others often called “cult apologists” have recently been linked on-line through a Web site database. Many of the authors listed such as Dick Anthony & Thomas Robbins, David Bromley, Jeffrey Hadden, James Lewis, James T. Richardson and James Tabor have been recommended either by Scientology or the Scientology-linked “new Cult Awareness Network” as “resources.” Anson Shupe who is listed once worked for lawyers linked to Scientology. Another listed author Eileen Barker has received funding from Rev. Moon. Scholar Rocheford E. Burke cashed some checks from Krishna/ISCKON while Professor Susan Palmer worked closely with the Raelians. Cult apology appears to be a meaningful source of income for some within the academic community. The Web site CESNUR, which is home for many of the papers listed is run by Massimo Introvigne, a controversial man that works closely with many groups called “cults.”

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.

The most recent celebrity to be exposed regarding controversial religious ties is actor Mel Gibson. He is involved in a schismatic “Catholic” group that considers the official Roman Catholic Church, not “Catholic enough,” reports the New York Times.

Gibson’s group rejects modern changes in the church since the second Vatican Council.

Another example of such a group would be the Society of St. Pius X, though it seems to be considerably more moderate than Gibson’s church and the more radical, schismatic group called “The Apostles of Infinite Love.”

Gibson’s father raised his family within this rather strange religious milieu and apparently deeply indoctrinated his children.

His father bragged in a recent interview, ”Mel wasn’t raised in the [official Roman Catholic Church], and he wouldn’t go for it anymore than I would. I’ve got to say that my whole family is with me — all 10 of them.’

The elder Gibson also discussed his belief in various conspiracy theories, which seems to include anti-Semitic themes such as worldwide Jewish plots. He also denies the Holocaust and sees Hitler in a somewhat softer light than history.

Now Mel Gibson is putting up the money to match his mindset and has spent $25 million dollars on an unusual film project. He is producing a movie about the death of Jesus with all the dialogue spoken in the languages of Aramaic and Latin.

Reportedly the film will reflect anti-Jewish sentiments, regarding who is to blame for the death of Jesus.

No doubt the elder Gibson and others on the religious fringe will be happy to see the film released, but it seems destined for a very small audience. It certainly won’t be another “Braveheart.”

Mel Gibson’s commitment to this film seems to reflect his early and intense indoctrination, rather than any business savvy or artistic interest.

However, it should be understood that Gibson, like other children raised within controversial religious groups, had no choice. His parents instead made that choice for him.

In this sense he is not unlike Lisa Marie Presley, who was raised as a Scientologist by her mother.

Presley has been plagued by divorce. And Scientology was recently cited as one cause by her latest husband Nicholas Cage. Ironically, her father Elvis reportedly detested the group.

The actor River Phoenix spent his early childhood within a group called the “Children of God.” And not unlike many other young people with that background he turned to alcohol and drugs, which led to his tragic death at 26.

But none of these celebrities actually initially chose their religion. And the likable Gibson is just one more example of this reality.

Of course parents rarely give children the option of choosing a church, but most kids are lucky enough to have less controversial and perhaps more benign choices made for them.

Postscript: See this follow-up regarding the marketing of “Passion” and its message.

Once women became “Hookers for Christ” for the “cult” called the “Children of God,” now known as “The Family.” They engaged in what their leader “Moses” David Berg referred to as “flirty fishing.” That is, using sexual attraction to lure and then hook new members.

Berg died in 1994. And “The Family” claims it has abandoned such practices.

But apparently the Japanese “cult” Aum, now known as Aleph, is following in Berg’s footsteps.

Female Aum members are allegedly luring men to meetings, but eventually attempt to introduce them to theit “cult” leader, reports The Mainichi Daily News.

But the latest twist to “flirty fishing” it seems, is to cast the hook out on-line through the Internet.

Aum’s desperation to find new recruits has apparently caused it to embrace an old “cult” tradition.

An excellent editorial appeared in the Edmonton Journal written by Paula Simons regarding the background history of a Canadian “cult” child abuse case.

Lucille Poulin, the leader of the “Four Winds Commune” was convicted on five counts of assault for beating children within her group. Her defense was essentially that “God” told her to do it. However, the court found that invoking the name of God did not protect Poulin’s behavior.

Perhaps more disturbing than Poulin’s destructive delusions is how long it took authorities to take action.

According to records beginning in 1995 social workers knew what was going on—so why did it take so long to stop Poulin? Apparently they tried to protect the children seven years ago, but were frustrated by a judge who turned them away. Later one child died from medical neglect.

Reviewing the pattern of missed opportunities in the Poulin case is not unlike the sad histories of other “cults” that have abused children.

Groups that have been called “cults” such as the “Twelve Tribes,” “Children of God” and the so-called “Krishna Consciousness” movement have all at one time been the focus of child abuse allegations. Yet over and over again, such groups often escape law enforcement.

Child abuse was eventually proven to be rampant within the Waco Davidian sect, but Texas Child Protection workers once gave David Koresh a pass. Later, the testimony of one of Koresh’s young victims before Congress made it chillingly clear how wrong they were.

Krishna is now the defendant in a class action lawsuit filed by its former children who allege horrific acts of physical and sexual abuse.

The “Twelve Tribes,” just like the Poulin group was investigated for child abuse, but a judge also stopped that process and returned more than a hundred children to the group’s Vermont compound. Years later its children have recounted their experiences of abuse.

Former childhood members of the “Children of God” have discussion/support groups to help each other heal and recover from the abuse they experienced. The group’s founder David Berg has been exposed as a pedophile who engaged in incest and preached a doctrine of sexually stimulating children beginning at the age of four.

Another Canadian group “Church of God Restoration” was also recently found guilty concerning the abuse of its children through brutal beatings. But many within the Canadian press seemed to defend the parental prerogative of group members to inflict such punishment. In another case involving the same church in California a child also died due to medical neglect.

“Cult leader” Dwight York now faces more than 200 criminal counts for sexually abusing and exploiting minor children in his group called the “Nuwaubians.” According to the charges filed against him that abuse was apparently ongoing for years.

Arthur Allen Jr., the leader of the group known as the “House of Prayer” just began serving his jail sentence for a child cruelty conviction. Allen actually made such abuse a spectacle by brutally beating children publicly before his flock.

The story of Lucille Poulin is hardly unique. And the blunders made by authorities that allowed her to continue unchecked for so long are not uncommon either. Sadly, within the bureaucratic maze and legal due process of North America many children within “cults” are victimized.

Authorities seem to be reluctant in dealing with abuse within religious groups. Such groups almost always claim that any interference regarding their behavior is somehow “religious persecution.”

The lot of children born or brought into destructive cults like so much baggage is a scandal. Who will protect them? As Paula Simons laments in her editorial for the Edmonton Journal, “So much unnecessary suffering. So many unanswered questions.”

Perhaps the precedents recently set by court cases in both Canada and the United States will help. But it seems that so often, it is too little or too late.

Leonardo C. Erobas, is the head of the “Espedeject Ideology: Global One Man Rule Program,” a bizarre cult within the Philippines. This group believes sexual acts with younger partners in public will somehow purify the soul.

Recently, Philippine Senators received Erobas’ manifesto. Enclosed with his encyclical were graphic photos to apparently illustrate the group’s practices, reports INQ7.net.

Some of the photos sent included minors. There is now a call for an investigation.

Erobas says he is an “author, scientist, creator, founder, inventor, journalist, writer, maker, super being.” He also believes that the spirit of Ninoy Aquino, the deceased husband of Philippine President Corazon Aquino, occupies his body.

The global cult phenomenon can be observed everywhere. And the United States certainly has its own long history of bizarre groups, many that have exploited members sexually.

Frank Jones of Brooklyn, now lives near San Francisco and calls himself “Adi Da.” His followers believe he is “God” on earth. Mr. Jones, or “God” depending upon your perspective, often seems to require sex along with worship from his acolytes. Serious allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse have surfaced repeatedly regarding “Adi Da.”

Now deceased cult leader David Berg, who seemed to prefer being called “Moses” or “Mo” for short, led the “Children of God,” which he founded in California. Berg exploited children sexually and sent out his female followers to become quite literally “hookers for Christ.”

The difference between the Philippines and the United States, is that authorities in the Philippines seem less likely to tolerate criminal acts done in the name of “God.”

Andrew Parker 23 murdered his 22-year-old brother and then killed himself, according to Morning Call. The older brother had battled depression for some time.

Both brothers were raised within a notorious “sex cult” now called “The Family,” but formerly known as the “Children of God.” The group was founded by pedophile “Moses” David Berg. The boy’s parents met within the group and still appear to be active members.

The “Children of God” has been the subject of much bad press for its strange sexual practices that included fund-raising through “flirty fishing,” which many saw as simply prostitution and the sexualizing of children at an early age. The group published tracts preaching such concepts.

Actor River Phoenix, nominated for an Oscar for his role in the film “Running on Empty,” was also raised within the group. Phoenix once said he lost his virginity at age four. He later died at 23, the result of a drug overdose.

Former members, especially those raised within the “Children of God,” often seem to struggle with emotionally and psychologically debilitating side effects. Some former members say it takes years to overcome the residual post-traumatic stress and depression caused by the group. Many have turned to drugs; especially young people with a history in the organization.

Who knows what demons drove Andrew Parker? Were he and his brother two more casualties of the “Children of God”?