Sunday Cult Watch

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

This is the recent cult news for the last few weeks.

The Catholic Cult

A 55-year old Delaware woman becomes the first female survivor of priestly sex abuse in the state to file a suit against the Catholic Church. She alleges that Rev. Leonard Mackiewicz, who died in 1994, sexually abused her, along with nine other children, when she was only 13 years old. Mackiewicz was removed from the ministry in 1987 and was one of 20 other priests with substantiated cases of sexual abuse. The Delaware woman also alleges that Church/cult officials knew Mackiewicz was abusing young boys and girls and did nothing to protect the children. When she reported the incident to her mother, which must have occurred around 1966, her mother slapped her and stated, “no priest would ever do something like that.”

In another part of the country, a priest hasn’t gotten off by simply dying. Rev. Raymond Kownacki is named as the defendant in a suit that goes to trial Monday in Belleville, IL, in which it is alleged that he molested a 13-year old boy. The Church has been obstructing justice at every turn, attempting to have the case thrown out, refusing to reveal internal church reports on the abuse in a timely fashion, etc.

Cult’s like this see cases of sexual abuse as “minor” when compared with their self-aggrandized place in society, placing them above the law (what they deem as “man’s law”) and, subsequently, the Church, in general, feels no remorse for the actions of a few no matter how heinous those actions may be. Pathetic. And sad.

The Purpose Driven Life Cult (a.k.a. the Cult of Rick)

Rick Warren hosted a discussion at his BFC in Lake Forest, California on Saturday. The idea was to give the candidates an opportunity to appeal to evangelical voters with their “values” discussion. McSame desparately needs them and has been criticized for intenet attack-ads that compare Obama to the so-called “anti-christ” -a mythical deity in the Christian cult’s pantheon. Warren is often described as “The Next Billy Graham.” Incidentally, that link has this quote: “John McCain recently visited him to pray for “God’s will to be done in the upcoming election”. But for the most part the prophet has retreated to the mountain-top.” Wow. Prophets and God’s will. It doesn’t get any better.

The Mormon Cult

Levi Barlow Jeffs, son of Warren Jeffs, jailed child rapist and polygamist, copped a plea with authorities last week. Basically he got 1 year probation for interfering with a public servant, which will be dismissed if he follows the terms of his probation. Nothing special there.

But if you want to walk away from this post shaking your head in amazement, watch the video below.

To give you a gist, 30 years ago this month marks the time in which a mother threw her seven kids off an eleventh floor balcony at a hotel in downtown Salt Lake City. Their father, Immanuel David, had just committed suicide two days before as the FBI was “closing in on him.” The mother jumped off the balcony just after tossing the kids over. One 15-year old girl survived and was severely injured. They belonged to a sub-cult of the Mormon cult which professed that Immanuel David was “God and Jesus” on Earth. The cult is now making its comeback with a new leader, Matthias David, who says of the suicide incident: “[t]hey couldn’t live without him. Can you imagine what kind of faith it would take for a whole family to leap from the 11th floor of a hotel? Can you imagine what kind of faith that would take?”

My question is, if Immanuel David was God and Jesus, then why would anyone want to follow a god that kills himself when mere mortal police are about to arrest him for God knows what (pun intended)?

That’s all I’ve got this week. I’ll try to do this a couple of times a month. Maybe I’ll start the post and add to it throughout the week, so if anyone has any cult news or views to share, send the links to me at ylooshi AT gmail DOT com and I’ll give you a hat-tip in the post.

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The Catholic League Would be a Joke if not so Wretched

The South Park parody of William Donohue

The South Park parody of William Donohue

“You don’t have a right to go into the street and mock my religion…”

That’s a direct quote of William Donohue, the president of the Catholic League. The CL and its loud, ridiculous leader, routinely attack the critics and the “blasphemers” of the catholic cult. Donohue attempts to portray the CL as an “anti-defamation” league, similar to the real Anti-Defamation League established to combat anti-Semitism (which has its own faults, but isn’t nearly as kooky as the CL). The problem is, his “league” mostly comes across as a kooky, wacko cult of Catholics who are just a shade less so than Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, who seek to bully and intimidate critics of Catholic superstitions and dogma. And Donohue exploits any opportunity to engage in loud, idiotic shouting matches on media outlets that are all-too-happy to point their cameras and microphones to any loud-mouthed asshole willing to pick a fight or start a controversy.

But it’s important to be clear on this point: Donohue is not championing the rights of catholics but, rather, he’s engaging in a campaign to suppress and bully those who criticize or ridicule the cults of Catholicism and to loudly bash anyone he disagrees with.

And you know what? That’s his right under free speech. That’s a right I spent over decade defending in military service and its one I’m willing to defend now. But that same right to Free Speech also exists for the people he so vehemently opposes. And that same right allows me to voice my opinion that he’s a blow-hard and an asshole.

Donohue’s irrational antics are recently demonstrated in the case of the catholic cracker, where the university student in Florida was bullied and threatened with death, both encouraged by Donohue, after he declined to eat a cracker given to him at a cult ritual held on public property in the commons area of a public university. Donohue’s superstition requires that the cracker be consumed and the superstition holds that said cracker, at some point, becomes the body of Jesus, a mythical deity in the catholic pantheon.

Donohue and his “league” sent letters, and encouraged cult followers to do likewise, which demanded the expulsion of the student that committed no crime and was, at worst, guilty of only blasphemy. According to the student, the intent wasn’t to offend, but to educate an inquiring peer on the nature of the cult rites they were observing in the commons area of their university. Since events held in such commons areas, particularly when funded in part or whole by fees collected with tuition payments (facilities fees), cannot exclude any member of the student body, the students, regardless of whether or not they were catholic, were free to attend. Interestingly enough, the student eventually returned the cracker to the cult leaders, who, along with Donohue, claimed that the student had “kidnapped” Jesus.

When noted atheist, biologist, and professor PZ Myers wrote of the crazies that were threatening the life of the student over such a trivial matter (an eye for an eye, a life for a cracker?) and calling for the student’s expulsion, Donohue and his cult followers then turned their radar on Myers, demanding his resignation and dismissal. Myers also received death threats, clearly encouraged by the tone and vehemence of Donohue’s very un-Christian actions.

But the lows to which Donohue is willing to stoop are best characterized and demonstrated by his previous rants and loud, irrational accusations of “defamation,” which are every bit as contrived, illogical and idiotic as the cracker nonsense.

During a winter holiday season in the recent past, Donohue bullied Walmart with threats of boycott by his “league” (which I’m not convinced isn’t just Donohue on his basement computer, sitting in his boxers, eating milk duds) when Walmart displayed on its website an all-encompassing “happy holidays” instead of the limiting and excluding “Merry Christmas,” claiming that Walmart had “banned xmas.” Donohue, the bigot that he is, cares not that a substantial portion of Walmart’s customers have faiths and beliefs that are different than his own and that marginalizing the minorities that work for and shop in Walmart is actually an unpatriotic and anti-American point of view.

But his creation of a non-issue regarding the non-existent “ban on xmas” notwithstanding, Donohue’s worst demonstration of idiocy and a disconnect with the very people he claims to be a champion for comes with his support of the pedophile priests. Rather than defend the families and victims who were truly being defamed if ever there was a case of defamation, Donohue chose to defend the pedophile, child-raping priests, stating and implying that the families were exaggerating and lying about the rapes.

If you come away from this article with only one opinion of Donohue, you should at least understand that he is a defender of pedophiles and the rapists of children.

Even his own cult leader, Pope Ratzinger, who also defended these pariahs of humanity, eventually acknowledged their behavior and apologized.

Anyway, have fun and watch a related YouTube video that made the rounds nearly a year ago.

On a closing note, I’ll end with a link to, and a brief excerpt, from a PDF that resides on a Catholic website that is critical of Donohue and his alleged league. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights: Neither Religious nor Civil.

Unable to explain away the Catholic church’s embarrassing pedophilia scandal, Donohue tried to turn it back on progressive Catholic activists, claiming that they were exaggerating the scandal to try and bring down the church