Park Romney: Why he turned against the Mormon church – by John Sweeney BBC News
The Mormon Candidate is part of the latest series of This World, broadcast on Tuesday 27 March at 19:00 BST on BBC Two Special report: US 2012
Mitt Romney, the front runner in the race for the Republican Presidential nomination for the White House, is a devout Mormon, but his cousin, Park Romney, also in the past a committed member of the church, now denounces it as a cult.
“I became convinced that it’s a fraud,” Park Romney told the BBC, explaining his reason for leaving the Mormon fold.
The two visions of Mormonism the Romney cousins present could not be more starkly opposed. Park Romney, 56, is a former Mormon high priest, who turned against the church. On the stump Mitt Romney, 65, has avoided mentioning Mormonism, instead talking generally about his faith, but he has been an active lifelong member of the church. [[[ *** Park Romney, those fundies are aiming for you. At Park Road recently, but it made it to Talca . . . if not contrived to sabotage via article, some help here with the lawsuits please? Some people here need a long stint of re-education and that includes entire medical institutions and even portions of the psyche establishment . . . *** ]]]
“If that is what they believe, it’s probably a good thing they leave, because we’re not a cult”
Jeffrey Holland Mormon Church Elder
He was a Mormon missionary to France in the 1960s, studied at the almost-exclusively Mormon Brigham Young university and rose to become first bishop, then “Stake President” (diocesan leader) in his home state of Massachusetts.
He led Sunday services, ran Bible classes for children and looked after a 4,000-strong congregation in Boston for five years in the 1980s.
Like all Mormons, he is expected to give 10% of his annual income – no-one knows how much he is worth, but it is estimated at anywhere from $150 million to $1 billion – to the Church and not drink tea, coffee or alcohol.
Committed Mormons wear special under-garments, and Romney is believed to follow this tenet of his faith too.
Park Romney’s criticisms of the church are fundamental.
Along with other ex-Mormons, he questions founder Joseph Smith’s prophecies – for example Smith’s translation of an Egyptian scroll, part of the Mormon book of Abraham, which Egyptologists say is a fraud.
The Mormon faith
The church was founded in the 1820s in New York State before moving to Utah in 1860
Mormons believe their founder Joseph Smith found golden scripture plates buried by an angel
The church is estimated to have 14 million followers and to be worth $30bn (£18.9bn)
A recent poll said one in four Americans would be less likely to vote for a Mormon candidate
“There’s compelling evidence that the Mormon Church leaders knowingly and wilfully misrepresent the historical truth of their origins and of the Church for the purpose of deceiving their members into a state of mind that renders them exploitable,” says Park.
Such accusations are rarely heard in the US, a nation founded on the principle of freedom of religion.
“It’s not something you’re supposed to talk about,” says Prof Robert Putnam of Harvard Kennedy School.
“Whenever the issue of Romney’s Mormonism has come to the surface, there’s been lots of condemnation across the political spectrum for raising the issue of his religion,” says Putnam.
“I’m not saying it’s not relevant, but it’s not talked about in polite company.”
Mitt Romney’s biographer, Scott Helman, agrees.
“There are plenty of ways in which people try to cause alarm among some voters over it, but it’s not something you’re allowed to say explicitly,” he says.
“But a certain function of reminding voters who might have some predisposed notion about Mormonism that maybe it is strange, maybe it’s weird.”
Ex-Mormons tend to be the church’s most outspoken critics.
One thing that particularly agitates them is “shunning” – allegations that former church members are denied access to family members who remain in the church.
Park claims this has happened to him.
“I am alienated from my family,” he told the BBC.
“Their doctrine, their protocol and their culture as enforced by bishops encourages the families to disassociate themselves from the apostate.”
Mormon worshippers at annual conference – file pic 2009 The Church has its headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah
Mormon Church elder Jeffrey Holland denies shunning occurs.
“We don’t use that word and we don’t know that practice.
“If I had a son or a daughter who left the Church or was alienated or had a problem, I can tell you I would not cut that child out of family life,” he states.
The Mormon Church maintains that it does a great deal of good. Its leaders say they have given more than $1bn in aid around the world since 1985.
The allegation that the Church is a cult, made by Park Romney and other ex-Mormons, is denied by Elder Holland.
“If that is what they believe, it’s probably a good thing they leave, because we’re not a cult.
“I have chosen this church because of the faith that I feel and the inspiration that comes, but if people want to call us a cult, you can call us a cult,” Elder Holland says from behind his desk.
“But we are 14 million and growing.”
Why Mormons Don’t Drink Coffee or Tea – by Lura Lee
Have you noticed that most followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) commonly called Mormons, don’t drink coffee or tea? You’ll see them enjoying herbal teas (tisanes), hot cider, and many true believers even drink caffeinated soda. The casual observer may jump to the conclusion that this is 1) a law, 2) must have something to do with caffeine. Neither is accurate. This article goes into detail to explain the historical significance, context, and modern interpretation of the prohibition/exhortation against coffee and tea for Mormons.
The Word of Wisdom
Followers of the LDS church believe in a book of scripture called The Book of Mormon, and the concept of continuous revelation. They believe that the Holy Spirit continues to communicate with humans. Thus, the prophet Joseph Smith received a spontaneous manifestation of God’s insight for living correctly on February 27, 1833. This insight was written down and incorporated into the Doctrines and Covenants of the Church; specifically, these insights are referred to as the Word of Wisdom. It may be an apocryphal story, but it is said that Joseph Smith was moved to ask for God’s insight on the matter of tobacco, and the revelation that resulted included guidance related to the use of tobacco, “warm drinks”,”strong drinks”, wine, meat, herbs and grains.
A Word of Wisdom, for the benefit of the council of high priests, assembled in Kirtland, and the church, and also the saints in Zion-
To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom, showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days
Given for a principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints.
Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation-
That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.
And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.
And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.
And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.
And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.
And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man-
Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.
The common hot drinks of the time were coffee and tea. But this was a dietary shift for Joseph Smith’s contemporaries, the generation of Mormon Pioneers.
No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith by Fawn M. Brodie – Mormon Pioneers
Mormon pioneers had a relatively high literacy rate compared to other people around the world in the 1830s – 1850s. To a large extent, this can be attributed to the fact that they had
Protestant roots and they needed to read Scripture in order to properly practice their religious beliefs. Keep in mind that the United States at this time had no federal program of education for its citizenry. Most states and municipalities didn’t either. Compulsory, standardized, universal education was a reform of the early 1900s. Still, many of the middle-class pioneers were literate, kept diaries and read guide books prior to embarking on the overland journey west to Utah, which came to be known as the Mormon Trail.
The most popular books of the time were: William Clayton’s The Latter Day Saint’s Emigrant’s Guide (1848), and Joseph Ware’s The Emigrant’s Guide to California (1849). All of the guides of the time included recommendations for provisioning the wagons. For example, Andrew Child’s Overland Route guidebook included foodstuff recommendation for three men to include 50 pounds of coffee and 2 pounds of tea, even the LDS leadership recommended packing coffee, tea, and alcohol for the 1846 overland journey. But while they were packing the wagons, they may have contemplated the advantages of quitting any coffee or tea habit they had acquired while living in Illinois. They were fleeing religious persecution, after all, so they intended to minimize contact with non-believers, and coffee and tea won’t grow in Utah. So, to some extent, the rejection of tea and coffee amongst the Mormon Pioneers was a mechanism for building Mormon identity at the most basic, formative, constitutive level.
Next to Godliness?
The current debate over coffee, tea, caffeine, and other “hot drinks” boils down to a difference in interpretation about whether this particular portion of the Doctrines and Covenants is an outright prohibition or merely counsel. During the Temperance movement years, the Mormons referred to the Word of Wisdom to eschew alcohol consumption, and became associated with strict Prohibition reform. Around 1921, the Mormon Church switched from the use of wine in religious ceremony to water. Today, it seems that full participation in the Church (participation in the Mormon Temple) is granted to those who are strict adherents to the Words of Wisdom. But there is still room for debate on the specifics of what it means to “strictly” adhere to the tenets of the Words of Wisdom. Even today, there is a lot of discussion about whether it is just coffee and tea, whether cola is ok, whether decaf coffee and tea are ok, etc.
Essentially, the Church leaders recommend the rejection of any drink that might be habit forming. “With reference to cola drinks, the Church has never officially taken a position on this matter, but the leaders of the Church have advised, and we do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in acquiring the habit. Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided.”(Clifford J. Stratton, “Caffeine–The Subtle Addiction,” Tambuli, Mar. 1990, 25)
Now, coffee is seen as part of that slippery slope that leads away from God. Coffee, booze, marijuana, cocaine… all a defilement of the temple that God gave us.
If Not Coffee — What?
So, in lieu of coffee, what hot beverages do Mormons enjoy? Well, they used to drink Postum. They were crazy for Postum. Postum was a roasted grain and molasses drink produced by Kraft foods. It was discontinued from production in 2007. Mormons also favor the following drinks served both warm and cold: herbal tinctures, milk, and non-alcoholic apple drinks. They also enjoy Italian sodas, fruit drinks, and milkshakes.
Will the Next President Drink Coffee?
Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney isn’t interested in highlighting the differences between the LDS Church and other Christians. So he holds meet-n-greets in coffee shops where no one bothers to ask what’s in the coffee mug.
Does Mitt Romney drink coffee?
2011 Update: The site MittRomneyCentral.com posted a photo of Mitt Romney at a Tampa coffee shop in front of a coffee mug. Did he drink coffee? The author of this article contacted Buddy Brew Coffee and spoke to a barista working duirng his visit. It was confirmed that Mitt Romney did not drink coffee during his visit.
Separate but Together
To a large extent the Mormon decision to not drink coffee or tea is born out of a desire to separate from the common, everyday world. Mormons separate from worldly temptations in order to be closer to God. They also separate from other Christians, Muslims, and Jews in order to bind to one another and establish identity as a group. One tangible way in which they are separate but together is through the tradition of abstaining from coffee and tea.
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
The occult significance if remembered accurately, (restating is NOT complete and blind belief – this is to remind any psycho-psyche DULLARD uncool people who are ready to ‘report’ ‘insane’ people . . . ) is the access to Satan’s face (lowest chakra point located) based on earlier postulations I made on this. With the aid of psychiatry and neuro suppressive drugs, various implants, control can be established by non-caffeine users against caffeine users? Perhaps tea in fact is another form of suppressant as well, NOT to be used among the working classes, and would appear to have effect on thetans? Is that why the Americans used to cut off the ears of Vietnamese? Do not use tea or coffee in the presence of the psychiatric establishment (who might be popping with psycho-active meds to increase their edge over everyone else etc..)?
Example of helpful medical implants used as instruments of control by the psychiatric and fundo religious establishment.
1966 or should we say…19666? by – Texe Marrs
The year 1966 was a banner year for the Prince of Darkness. Approaching the dog days of summer in that momentous year, Anton LaVey, a decadent, ex-circus entertainer, also a Jew, formally founded the Church of Satan in San Francisco. The date: June 6, 1966, or 6-6-66.
Across the nation, in New England at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, a young man spent the year 1966 in his somber new residence, the Tomb. The Tomb is a gothic, mausoleum-like stone building just off campus, adjacent to an ancient cemetery complete with Masonic tombstones, odd-shaped crypts, and what is called the “garden of the dead.”
A New Name for a Jewish Bonesman
The young man’s name was John F. Kerry (really John F. Kohn, Jewish). The Tomb, in fact, is the home of Chapter 322 of the Order of Skull & Bones, a satanic, clandestine lodge of Freemasonry first organized in 1832. Each year, fifteen (15; 1+5=6) carefully chosen young men of preferred bloodlines take up residence inside its thick walls. At their initiation into The Order, each man lies naked inside a coffin and “bonds” with his fellow bonesmen by confessing his sexual thoughts and deeds from birth. Then, each initiate is given, as a memento, a human bone with his new name “inscribed” on it.
Most of the names given the bonesmen are either pagan or else blatantly satanic. The late Averell Harriman, who went on to become Governor of New York State and U.S. Ambassador to Stalin’s USSR, was named “Thor,” after the Viking deity. Henry Luce, prime controller of Time, Life, and other publishing interests, became “Baal,” and McGeorge Bundy, foreign advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson, was tagged “Odin.”
The senior George Bush, at his initiation into Bones, was bequeathed the revealing title, “Magog,” a name identified in the Holy Bible as a chieftain of devils who plays a key role in prophetic events. Strangely, the name given his son, George W. Bush, by the Bonesmen was “Temporary.” I wonder why?
John Kerry speaks to the vicious, anti-Christian group, the Jewish ADL, May 6, 2004. Kerry has said that, if elected President, he will send 40,000 additional troops to Iraq.
It is a certainty that Kerry will fully execute the Illuminati’s agenda to conquer all Arab oil nations and turn over the rich assets of these countries to neighboring Israel. (Order revealing audiotape report, Hidden Agenda: Ten Awful Goals of the Illuminati’s World Zionist Council; $9 postpaid; phone toll free 1-800-234-9673.)
Long Devil Takes The Lead
My sources tell me that John Kerry’s occult, Bones’ name is none other than “Long Devil.” “Long Devil!” Of course, the man’s sizeable height might account for the “Long,” but what of “Devil?” Why did the influential alumni of Skull & Bones decide on this grotesque identity for John Kerry? What did—and do—they know?
Kerry (Yale, Class of ’66) went on to serve in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam, a nation then ravaged with bloodshed and war. Though in-country only four months, young Ensign (later Lt.) John
Kerry played a part in that bloodletting. Some say his refusal to release all his military personnel records indicates Kerry’s desire to cover-up ugly war crimes he personally helped commit.
On April 22, 1971, testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a hippie-like, long-haired John Kerry, by then a civilian, told the Senators he had evidence of horrific atrocities and war crimes by Americans—soldiers, sailors, and marines—who had “personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires to human genitalia and turned up the electric power, razed villages reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, and poisoned food stocks…”
Was Kerry himself a perpetrator of some of these satanic crimes?
I use the term “satanic” advisedly, yet, that description is fitting, for truly, Satan was the mastermind behind the tortures, torments, and murders committed in Vietnam, both by Americans and by the Vietnamese.
Christianity to Vanish and Shrink
Yes, ’66 was a classic year for the old Devil. That was also the year that Beatle John Lennon assured the world that Christianity was on the way out:
“Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink… I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now.”
Lennon, McCartney, and the other Beatles promptly went over to India to worship Hindu gurus, and they introduced their gurus and other vestiges of Eastern mysticism to western culture.
All done in a haze of marijuana, LSD, and cocaine.
The Illuminati-supervised CIA helped things along. The U.S. intelligence agency put Satanist Jerry Garcia and his Grateful Dead band (Al Gore’s favorite rock group, says Rolling Stone magazine) on its payroll. The CIA, according to Gerald Heard and SRI International, distributed tons of LSD to a spaced-out youth generation. This was a mind control experiment of the Illuminati elite.
The 60s saw Hollywood’s satanic sex classic, Rosemary’s Baby, hit theaters, a movie for which Church of Satan High Priest Anton LaVey acted as a consultant. Actor John Cassavettes, who played Rosemary’s Satan-worshipping husband in the movie, also played in a role in the movie, The Dirty Dozen.
By the end of the indulgent decade of the 60s, America had borne witness to blood murder, sexual kinkiness, and other Satanic mayhem on a truly epic scale, culminating in 1969’s Manson Family murders. Satanist Charles Manson was inspired by Anton LaVey.
Others, too, were inspired by LaVey. Famous black actor/singer Sammy Davis, Jr., became both a religious Jew and a practicing Satanist, joining LaVey’s macabre congregation of devil cultists. Blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield also joined the cult, as did scores of other Hollywood and Las Vegas types.
As far as Satan was concerned, ’66 was a very good year. Anton LaVey, a Christ-hating Jew, shown here performing a ritual with disciple, actress Jayne Mansfield, founded the Church of Satan in ’66. Meanwhile, John Kerry (Yale, Class of ’66) was enjoying the benefits of residence at The Tomb, headquarters of the Order of Skull & Bones.
But, let us again return to the subject of our essay: Long Devil, John Kerry.
Joining Hands with Mr. Chappaquiddick, Ted Kennedy
John Kerry has been, as we all know, richly rewarded for his faithfulness to Lucifer’s cause. Pretending to be an Irish Catholic, Kerry first became Massachusetts Lt. Governor, serving under a fellow occultist, super-liberal Governor Michael Dukakis. Then he joined “Mr. Chappaquiddick,” Ted (Catholic and Rosicrucian) Kennedy as a U.S. Senator, being elected from the state popularly known as The Peoples Republic of Massachusetts.
John Kerry seems to like things “Red.” Here he is sitting atop his bright, fire-red motorcycle (Insight magazine, April 13, 2004). He reportedly once took a $10,000 bribe from Johnny Chung, a lobbyist for Red China, and a Communist museum in Vietnam today proudly displays a picture of Senator John Kerry embracing Red Communist leaders. Kerry’s wife, Teresa, is a funder of numerous Red Communist causes. She originally hails from Mozambique, in Africa, a Marxist-led country. Insiders believe that during the Vietnam War, USN-Lt John Kerry aided in Operation Phoenix, whose symbol, or logo, was the red dragon!
All along, Kerry has kept his ties to various Communist front groups. At virtually every campaign stop today, you’ll see Kerry flash the old Communist clenched-fist salute, an enduring symbol of one’s devotion to Marxism/Leninism philosophy.
“Communism is Jewish,” the late Rabbi Stephen Wise proudly proclaimed. Indeed, Gus Hall, the man honored as the Chairman of the Soviet-funded Communist Party U.S.A. for so long, was a Jew. Like Kerry, he had changed his name to hide his Jewish race.
Comrade John Kerry frequently gives the Communist clenched-fist salute. The late Bella Abzug, Communist Congresswoman from New York and feminist gal-pal of Hillary Clinton, also loved displaying the Leninist/Stalinist salute.
The Lubavitchers and Kerry
Kerry’s brother, Cameron, is likewise a Jew, and proud of it. Recently, he marched side-by-side with a leader of the Lubavitcher sect in New York City. The occasion was the “Israel Day
Parade.” The Lubavitchers are a radical Jewish Orthodox sect. Many of them believe their late fuhrer, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, will rise from the dead to become the Jewish Messiah, Dictator of the World. They affectionately call Schneerson their “Rebbe.”
Cameron Kerry (right) sporting a “Pro-Israel, Pro-Kerry” t-shirt, attends an Israel Day Parade with friend, Yankel Wice, influential Lubavitcher leader and lawyer for the National
Association of Jewish Legislators.
If, however, the departed Schneerson does not show in time, John Kerry, the Jews’ new hero, may be just what their Master, the devil, orders. After all, Kerry is not only Jewish, his very name, albeit covert in nature, is “Long Devil.” How very appropriate a name for the antichrist. The Lubavitchers would likely not know him as antichrist. To them, he would probably be received as their beloved “Rebbe.”
Christians to Have Heads Chopped Off
The antichrist, the Bible prophesies in Revelation 13, “will make war against the saints” of God. He will have Christians and other resisters to his New World Order beheaded, say the scriptures.
Not surprisingly, the Lubavitchers—and many other Jewish groups—are big advocates of the Noahide Laws. They once actually got President George H.W. Bush (the senior Bush) and the U.S.
Senate to pass a resolution praising both their beloved Rebbe, Menachem M. Schneerson, and the Noahide Laws. And what, do tell, do the Noahide Laws say?
Well for one thing, the Noahide Laws require all Gentiles (Yes, Gentiles) to be “righteous.” Being righteous is defined as not worshipping idols. And Jesus is declared in the Talmud to be an idol!
In summary, under the Noahide Laws, all Christians who worship Jesus Christ are idolaters and will be duly punished by beheading!
Shouldn’t John Kerry’s Jewish brother, Cameron Kerry, a lawyer and pro-Israel activist and fanatic, be asked about his association with the Lubavitchers and other Jewish Talmudists?
Especially in light of Cameron Kerry’s recent trips to Israel, where he was wined and dined by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the bloodthirsty Butcher of Lebanon?
WESTERN CULTURE AND SOCIETY : THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA) – American Religion
RELIGION IN AMERICA:
The United States is a country of many religions. The first words of the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution say: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Therefore, state does not establish, or endorse, or favor a particular form of religion and citizens are free to practice the religion they choose.
This tradition of religious freedom runs deep in America. Many of this nation’s early settlers were religious communities fleeing persecution in Europe; they were seeking a place where they could practice their own religion far from the state-sanctioned religions of their native countries.
America supports over 2000 different religious denominations, and in which more than 60 percent of the citizens can be found at least once a month in one of the almost 500,000 churches, temples and mosques.
Islam is considered one of the fastest-growing religions in the United States today. There are over 1,200 mosques in the United States – more than 60 percent founded in the last 20 years. The typical American mosque is ethnically diverse; nearly 90 percent have some Asian, African-American, and Arab members.
Early in their history, Americans rejected the concept of the established or government-favored religion that had dominated, and divided, so many European countries.
One of the first permanent settlements in what became the North American colonies was founded by English Puritans, Calvinists who had been outsiders in their homeland, where the Church of England was established. The Puritans settled in Massachusetts, where they grew and prospered.
The state of Rhode Island, is well known as a place where everyone enjoyed religious freedom throughout history. Two other states originated as havens for people being persecuted for their religious beliefs: Maryland as a refuge for Catholics and Pennsylvania for the Society of Friends (Quakers), a Protestant group whose members believe in plain living.
Even after the adoption of the Constitution in 1787 and the Bill of Rights (which includes the First Amendment) in 1791, Protestantism continued to enjoy a favored status in some states.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) were jailed in the 19th century for practicing polygamy (subsequently the Mormon Church withdrew its sanction of polygamy). More recently, parents have been convicted of criminal negligence for refusing to obtain medical help for their ailing children, who went on to die, even though the parents’ religious beliefs dictated that they refuse treatment because faith would provide a cure.
Liberal American Protestantism in the 19th century was allied with similar trends in Europe, where scholars were reading and interpreting the Bible in a new way. They questioned the validity of biblical miracles and traditional beliefs about the authorship of biblical books. There was also the challenge of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to contend with. If human beings were descended from other animals, as most scientists came to believe, then the story of Adam and Eve, the biblical first parents, could not be literally true.
What distinguished 19th-century liberal Protestants from their 20th-century counterparts was optimism about the human capacity for improvement. Some of the early ministers believed that the church could accelerate progress by trying to reform society. In the spirit of the gospels, they began to work on behalf of the urban poor. Today’s liberal clergymen — not just Protestants but Catholics and others, too — may be less convinced that progress is inevitable, but many of them have continued their efforts on behalf of the poor by managing shelters for homeless people, feeding the hungry, running day-care centers for children, and speaking out on social issues.
Evangelical Christians favor an impassioned, participatory approach to religion, and their services are often highly charged, with group singing and dramatic sermons that evoke spirited responses from the congregation. The South, in particular, became a bastion of this “old-time religion,” and the conservative Baptist church is very influential in that region. In recent decades some preachers have taken their ministry to television, preaching as “televangelists” to large audiences.
The trend toward removing religious teaching and practices from public schools has prompted some parents to send their children to religious schools and others to educate their children at home.
CATHOLICS AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS:
By the time of the Civil War, over one million Irish Catholics had come to the United States. In a majority Protestant country, they and Catholics of other backgrounds were subjected to prejudice.
Although Catholics were never denied access to public schools or hospitals, beginning in the 19th century they built institutions of their own, which met accepted standards while observing the tenets of Catholic belief and morality. On the other hand, the Catholic Church does not require its members to go to church-run institutions. Many Catholic students attend public schools and secular colleges. But Catholic schools still educate many Catholic young people, as well as a growing number of non-Catholics, whose parents are attracted by the discipline and quality of instruction.
Like Catholics, Jews were a small minority in the first years of the American republic. Until the late 19th century, most Jews in America were of German origin. Anti-Jewish prejudice was not a big problem before the Civil War. But when Jews began coming to America in great numbers, anti-Jewish groups appeared.
Usually, Jewish children attended public schools and took religious instruction in special Hebrew schools. The children of Jewish immigrants moved rapidly into the professions and into American universities, where many became intellectual leaders.
To combat prejudice and discrimination, Jews formed the B’nai Brith Anti-Defamation League, which has played a major role in educating Americans about the injustice of prejudice and making them aware of the rights, not only of Jews, but of all minorities.
By the 1950s Americans were described as coming in three basic varieties — Protestant, Catholic, and Jew. The order reflects the numerical strength of each group: In the 1990 census, Protestants of all denominations numbered 140 million; Catholics, 62 million; and Jews, 5 million.
Today the three-faith formula is obsolete. The Islamic faith also has 5 million, Buddhism and Hinduism are growing with the arrival of immigrants from countries where these are the majority religions. In some cases, inner-city Christian churches whose congregations have moved to the suburbs have sold their buildings to Buddhists, who have refitted them to suit their practices.
America has been a fertile ground for new religions. The Mormon and Christian Science Churches are perhaps the best-known of the faiths that have sprung up on American soil. Because of its tradition of noninterference in religious matters, the United States has also provided a comfortable home for many small sects from overseas. The Amish, for example, descendants of German immigrants who reside mostly in Pennsylvania and neighboring states, have lived simple lives, wearing plain clothes and shunning modern technology, for generations.
Some small groups are considered to be religious cults because they profess extremist beliefs and tend to glorify a founding figure. As long as cults and their members abide by the law, they are generally left alone. Religious prejudice is rare in America, and interfaith meetings and cooperation are commonplace.
Most Americans think religion is a personal matter not usually discussed in everyday conversation. The vast majority practice their faith quietly in whatever manner they choose — as members of one of the traditional religious denominations, as participants in nondenominational congregations, or as individuals who join no organized group. However Americans choose to exercise their faith, they are a spiritual people. Nine out of ten Americans express some religious preference.
WHAT IS A CULT?
The term “cult” is used to describe certain religious groups outside of the mainstream of Western religion. Social scientists divide religious groups into three categories: churches, sects, and cults.
“Churches” are the large denominations with an inclusive approach to life and include such groups as the Roman Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church, the American Baptist Church, the United Church of Christ and the Protestant Episcopal Church.
“Sects” are groups that have broken away from the main church. Sects follow the same pattern as mainstream religion but are more strict in behavioral demands placed upon members and emphasize their separation and distinctiveness from the larger culture.
“Cults” follow a very different religious structure. When social scientists began their discussion of cults in the 1920s, they were aware of only a few cult groups. A survey of religion in America (1949) listed twenty-seven cults.
The Christian approach to cults would include every group which has departed from orthodox Christianity (such as the Church of Christ, Scientist, the Latter Day Saints, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses) as well as those groups which have never made any claim to be Christian.
More recently there have been many debates on cults since the 1970s. The debates involved speaking to parents of people who were concerned with changes in their sons and daughters who had joined particular religious groups. These “cults”–The Children of God, the Church of Armageddon, the Unification Church, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and the Church of Scientology–had, they claimed, radically altered the personality of their children.
Anti-cult groups began to speak of “destructive cults,” groups which hypnotized or brainwashed recruits, destroyed their ability to make rational judgments and turned them into slaves of the group’s leader. Marcia Rudin, a popular anti-cult writer, listed fourteen commonly accepted characteristics of a cult:
Members swear total allegiance to an all-powerful leader who they believe to be the Messiah.
Rational thought is discouraged or forbidden.
The cult’s recruitment techniques are often deceptive.
The cult weakens the follower psychologically by making him or her depend upon the group to solve his or her problems.
The cults manipulate guilt to their advantage.
The cult leader makes all the career and life decision of the members.
Cults exist only for their own material survival and make false promises to work to improve society.
Cult members often work fulltime for the group for little or no pay.
Cult members are isolated from the outside world and any reality testing it could provide.
Cults are antiwoman, antichild, and antifamily.
Cults are apocalyptic and believe themselves to be the remnant who will survive the soon-approaching end of the world.
Many cults follow an “ends justify the means” philosophy.
Cults, particularly in regard to their finances, are shrouded in secrecy.
There is frequently an aura of or potential for violence around cults.
Anti-cult literature reflects a great concern with approximately 15 groups, though as many as 75 to 100 have received passing mention. Only five groups–the Unification Church, the Children of God, the Church of Scientology, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and The Way International–have received consistent coverage over the years of the anti-cult movement’s existence. Everyone who has looked at the cults agrees that the number of alternative religious groups has grown significantly during the twentieth century.
Only a few of the older cults–the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints–have attained a broad membership throughout the nation. Of those groups formed in the twentieth century, only a few, such as the American Muslim Mission (found in 1930), can count their membership in the tens of thousands. The more famous of the contemporary cults, such as the Unification Church (with 5,000 to 7,000 members) or the Hare Krishna (with approximately 2,500 initiated members), can count their membership in the thousands.
The large immigration of Asians in the last half of the nineteenth century brought the first Buddhist and Hindu teachers to the United States and threatened many West Coast residents. California could have become like Hawaii, which is one third Buddhist
The nonconventional religions also vary widely in their recruitment processes. Some, particularly those with Evangelical Christian roots (and a few which are Eastern, but reacting to Christian missionary activity) have an aggressive program of membership enlistment. Most others rely upon the distribution of literature or the sponsoring of introductory classes to which a potential convert must make the initial effort and attend.
Life in a Cult – Once a person joins a nonconventional religious group, he or she must begin to adapt to group life. New recruits will go through a program of education in group beliefs and practices.
Evangelical Christianity has been the mainstream of religion in America. In its attempts to be true to traditional Protestant Christian affirmations, it has been among the most conservative of religious forces and has commanded the largest segment of the religious public.
THE ANTI-CULT MOVEMENT:
The Problem of Religion: During the 1970s several trends in American religion came together. Since the American Revolution, this country has been shaken by periods of social protest followed by national religious revivals in which the entire population, regardless of religious affiliation, gave a heightened attention to religious concerns. During such periods, new and alternative religions have been born or given surges of growth while the more traditional churches reaped the bulk of the harvest. Such a national revival occurred in the early 1970s on the heels of the social protests of the 1960s.
The first anticult association was called the Parents’ Committee to Free Our Children from the Children of God (later shortened to “Free the Children of God,” and popularly called “FREECOG”).
From its beginning, the anticult movement focused upon a single problem, the distress of parents whose young adult sons and daughters (to whom the literature typically refers as “children” regardless of age) had abandoned home, career, college, and a “normal” future for membership in a demanding nonconventional religion (i.e., a cult).
The anti-cult movement can point to one clear success. In its first decade of activity it has impressed upon the popular consciousness a negative image of cults. The media gave the anti-cult movement widespread coverage in both magazines and newspapers, which have featured accounts of life in and out of the cults by former members.
CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST:
Because of its espousal of spiritual healing and its affirmation that Christian Science is incompatible with reliance upon materia medica, the Church of Christ, Scientist has been one of the most important of the nonconventional religions in America as well as a matter of intense controversy from the day of its founding.
The Church of Christ, Scientist was founded by Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1919) who as a young woman had been continually hobbled with poor health. In 1862 she learned of Dr. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, a mental healer in Portland, Maine. In October of that year she traveled to Portland and placed herself under his care. She soon experienced some relief of her symptoms which she ascribed to his efforts. She became his student and took the opportunity, when offered, to pass them on to others.
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS (MORMON):
The most successful of the many groups which have been labeled “cult”, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has over two million members and dominates the religious life of the Rocky Mountain area from Boise, Idaho, to Phoenix, Arizona. Started in the early nineteenth century, it has grown steadily worldwide.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, popularly called the Mormons, was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. (born December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont). As a youth, Smith had moved from Vermont to western New York, near the town of Palmyra.
In 1839 the Mormons established the community at Nauvoo, Illinois which soon grew into the largest city in the state. A new temple was begun, and the Church entered a growth phase. During this period the first of the European mission efforts (later a major source of members) was launched.
They introduced the practice of polygamy and began by setting an example for the other Church leaders. The exact number of Smith’s plural wives is still a matter of conjecture (estimates range from 27 to 84), but there is little doubt that polygamy caused immense problems for the Church.
In 1852 they announced the practice of plural marriage as public doctrine and began a battle with the United States government that was to last for the rest of the century. In 1862 the first federal anti-polygamy bill was passed, and efforts were increased to prevent its practice. These efforts were strengthened in 1882 with the passage of the Edmunds Bill, which disenfranchised all people living in polygamy, and the 5-member Utah Commission established to enforce the provisions.
During the twentieth century polygamy was eradicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but it continued in Mormon territory, especially in Mexico where it was not illegal. A large Fundamentalist (polygamy-practicing community) still exists in the Western United States and Northern Mexico.
Members of the church are expected to refrain from the use of tea, coffee, tobacco, and alcohol.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are interested in you and your welfare. They want to be your friends and to tell you more about themselves, their beliefs, their organization, and how they feel about people and the world in which all of us live.
The name Jehovah appears almost 7,000 times in the original Hebrew Scriptures. Most Bibles do not show it as such but substitute “God” or “Lord” for it.
In just a century and a half the Seventh-day Adventist Church has grown from a handful of individuals, who carefully studied the Bible in their search for truth, to a world-wide community of over eight million members and millions of others who regard the Adventist Church their spiritual home. The name “Seventh-day Adventist” was chosen in 1860.
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Put 1 and 1 together, and beware of Xian fundo-leaning factions in DAP who’s agenda is not betterment of the Rakyat but self serving parasitisation of the people with a fundo slant, and even PAS’s fundo factions (God knows what these 2 top cliques leaders get up to talking about the Rakyat as if we had no choice in how we should live – DAP and PAS need to amend laws not plot and carve up Malaysia) – that may never want to end apartheid (again kudos to Hadi for sticking to distribution of power principles by not running for MB and sticking to the MP’s posts onlyb (though term limitles issue does arise), very rare this day separation of powers unlike others who hold multiple posts and undemocratically and unethically hold multiple posts (i.e. PM and Finance Minister, Council Chair and CM, MP’s seat and Assemblyman’s seat, etc.. – this is compoiunded by family members in the same position . . . ) . . . but the stand on other things is somewhat unclear to a degree and the public has no access to ask . . . ). Groups like Dong Jiao Zhong should field their own candidates, and those in DAP not of the nepotistic clique, or fence sitters, had better leave DAP if the nepotistic central committee’s family blocs cannot be displaced and join PCM or any 3rd Force parties (BN being too apartheid to vote for).
Does the UN know what is going on here in 3rd world Malaysia? Does this warrant Peacekeepers? An audit and withdrawal (also name and shame to vindicate so many victims) of offending psyche establishment ‘professionals’ degrees, or even other degree disciplines may be needed to keep some of our more ‘vocal activists’ safe from abuse? Some of us want to be among neutral citizens, live in a neutral agenda free world, not among cultists and religious fundos posing as politicians or regular citizens while claiming people they don’t like or who have different beliefs from them as being seriously mentally ill and needing to be put away, while the fundos and psyches themselves need to be put away.
I am sure this whole near 2 decades long episode has exposed a wider network of abuse and abusers that Interpol and even UN can act upon, the good guys and bad guys and their methods are now clearer outlined than ever . . . does the UN do lawsuits on behalf of peoples oppressed or abused in the 3rd world? Otherwise racists and corrupt 3rd world political warlords? Whatever citizens not of the above fundo-psyche abuse-racist types, please make sure you know why you vote for and only by the below criteria :
1) Freedom from Apartheid/Fascism
2) Freedom from Religious-Persecution/Religious-Supremacy. (anyone favouring any faith is no safe choice)
3) Equality for all ethnicities and faiths in all aspects of policy, Law and Constitution.