cult – n. A particular form or system of religious worship; esp. in reference to its external rites and ceremonies. -Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed. 1989
Here’s a brief look at what’s going on with various cults and cult leaders around the world in the last week or two.
The Cult of Scientology
Xenu.net is the best place to find all the accurate, up-to-date, and embarrassing to the cult’s adherent’s information. On that domain is a list of quotes  from judges and court officials from around the world. Here’s an excerpt:
“Scientology is evil; its techniques are evil; its practice is a serious threat to the community, medically, morally, and socially; and its adherents are sadly deluded and often mentally ill… (Scientology is) the world’s largest organization of unqualified persons engaged in the practice of dangerous techniques which masquerade as mental therapy.” –Justice Anderson, Supreme Court, Australia
“[The court record is] replete with evidence [that Scientology] is nothing in reality but a vast enterprise to extract the maximum amount of money from its adepts by pseudo scientific theories… and to exercise a kind of blackmail against persons who do not wish to continue with their sect….” –Judge Breckenridge, Los Angeles Superior Court
“It is dangerous because it is out to capture people and to indoctrinate and brainwash them so they become the unquestioning captives and tools of the cult, withdrawn from ordinary thought, living, and relationships with others.” –Justice Latey, High Court of London
The cult of Scientology has an obvious appeal to celebrities, which makes sense for several reasons: good PR; celebrities have lots of money to scam from them; people want to be like their favorite celebrities; celebrities come with fan-bases which offer a source of potential marks to con money from; etc. Everyone knows about nuts like Tom Cruise, Kirsty Alley, Vinnie Barbarino and Will Smith (the list goes on), but you might not know about lesser known celebrities like Jodhi Meares . Her career is “ailing,” she’s suffering from a breakup with her husband, and just gets deeper and deeper involved with the cult (meaning, they get more and more of her money).
But if getting good PR from celebrities isn’t enough, the cult of Scientology can also just generate its own PR. By lying and stealing.
In case you weren’t aware, the cult employs what it calls “volunteer ministers” which rush in to “assist” whenever there are disasters or tragedies, basically exploiting the suffering of others for their own gain by getting in the way and preventing legitimate first responders from doing their work. The cult then takes credit by announcing their “good deeds” to the world. Among their goals is to block and prevent real psychologists and and real counselors from providing assistance. This is actually a goal.
So, when a flake that buys into their cult nonsense comes along and gives the Church of Scientology the Medal of Valor for their “service”  did anyone in the cult mind that this flake wasn’t in an official position to give an award that “has been awarded POSTHUMOUSLY and EXCLUSIVELY for line of duty death?” … or that the award carried any more weight or meaning that a $3 bill with Clinton’s face on it? Nope. I suppose when you’re a fake religion having a fake award and being proud of it is par for the course.
The Messiah-with-a-hardon Cult
Wayne Bent is cult leader and sexual abuser of children that has his followers convinced he’s the Messiah. If it weren’t for the tragedy and trauma experienced by the kids involved in the case, it would be comedic. The worse part of it is that Bent is apparently in communication with his victims, so perhaps his legal strategy is to continue with the brainwashing and indoctrination and with the pressure from his followers to avoid jail time. I won’t be surprised if when this goes to trial the victims have a change in their story. Sad stuff. How do his followers deal with it? By participating in a “word fast” -at least when it comes to speaking with prosecutors and the press.
The Mormon Cult
From the Beat-the-dead-horse-with-a-stick dept.: Warren Jeffs, already incarcerated, joins 5 others indicted by a Texas Grand Jury for charges that include felony sexual assault of a child . Get your magic underwear on, Warren. Looks like they may extradite you from your Arizona Jail cell to face charges here in Texas. The “real Christians” here don’t cotton to “fake Christians” like Mormons.
The “Real Christian” Cults
I recently wrote about the Texas girl that was assaulted by religious nuts that forced her to participate in witchcraft ritual known as an “exorcism” (only the members of the cult don’t consider it witchcraft). The experience has left her father, who was once a missionary and a minister, agnostic in his religious beliefs. It’s left the girl, Laura, traumatized. She attempted to slit her wrists with a box-cutter after the so-called “exorcism.”
The Texas Supreme Court dismissed her lawsuit against the church last month, so the Pearson, 17 at the time of the abuse but now 29, says she and her parents are willing to take the issue to the United States Supreme court . She states, “You can’t use your religious beliefs to get away with harming a child.”
I say, more power to you. Texas, through its Supreme Court, has stated it’s okay to abuse kids in the name of religion as long as sex isn’t involved. Typical of the Christian cults.
Who wants to be a millionaire? If you have your credit card handy, all you need to do is make a $1000.00 donation to the Benny Hinn during his “South Africa Miracle Cursade” and you will earn a “special blessing” . Apparently this special blessing from God will last only two minutes but would “create 500 churchgoing millionaires or even billionaires.” One of Hinn’s minions had credit card machines ready and told people that God would bless their credit cards “and they would be able to rule over South Africa with their money.”
It never ends.
There is more. Believe me. There is plenty more. But I’m out of time for the day. I’ll save a few of the others I marked this week for next time.
References and Sources
1. Xenu.net (2008). What the judges have to say about Scientology. Found online at: http://www.xenu.net/archive/disk/archive/quotes.htm
2. News.com.au (2008, July 25). Stressed Jodhi Meares takes comfort in Scientology. News.com.au. Found online at: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/story/0,26278,24074268-10388,00.html
3. von Marcab, Lily (2008, July 19). Scientology Cult Fraudulently Claims “Medal of Valor” from New York Fire Department. The San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay). Found online at: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/07/19/18517551.php
4. KOAT.com (2008, July 18). Cult Leader Appears in District Court. KOAT.com. Found online at: http://www.koat.com/news/16926528/detail.html
5. Ramshaw, Emily (2008, July 23). Grand jury indicts six people from West Texas polygamist sect. Dallas Morning News. Found online at: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/072208dntexpolygamy.7a60fc1c.html
6. Baker, Max (2008, Jul 27). Family resolves to take fight over exorcism to Supreme Court. Fort Worth Star Telegram. Found online at: http://www.star-telegram.com/state_news/story/786870.html
7. News24.com (2008, Jul 20). ‘God Bless Your Credit Card.’ News24.c0m. Found online at: http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_2360893,00.html