Monday, November 27, 2006

JW Video Project

Dearest Friends of the Heart,

Steven McDaniel is a poet/sufi/mystic friend who wants to aid people towards greater growth in the Light. The way that he accomplishes this fine goal is through the production of documentaries about religion, spirituality, and related beautiful subjects.

He has informally and formally requested that our efamily support his latest project. This is about a subject so close to the personal heart that he has asked me to be the coproducer of the piece. The video is about cults and cult-psychology, from the perspective of finding spiritual freedom as a Jehovah's Witness. As you know, many years ago, I was reared within this cult, and found spiritual freedom and great joy only after exiting from its control.

Thousands of others are now wrestling with questions of sanity, family, truth, God, spirituality, etc., and they are in a real and tragic mess of confusion. These poor souls really need all the help that they can get!

Now is your personal chance to make a real difference in our world, by expressing your Love in a real and solid way. Steven has listed all the costs involved in this production, even though we are giving our time free of cost. (His inventory appeared in an earlier issue of the uld.)

So, if you can afford to send along only five or ten dollars, we can, collectively, support this beautiful project.

Unlike other countercult activities, we have no hidden agenda to "force you to 'accept Jesus' in your heart." Our video will be unique precisely because we are going to emphasize psychological, social, and true spiritual factors. We are not trying to turn people to other varieties of fundamentalism. (Almost all other countercult products have this as their hidden agenda.)

Steven assures us that it is his primary goal to refund any funds sent to this project; that repayment to all who have loaned is a first priority. So, he is really asking, not for donations, but for loans, so that he can have the minimal working funds to make this great project a reality.

Steven is a seasoned and experienced film-maker, and wants to produce a professional piece, which he can do, with our help.

So, please take this matter before your highr Self in meditation; contemplate it, and let it incubate in the Unconscious; then, let Love move you to support us to achieve this very elevated and noble goal.

Peace, Joy, and Love,


Cult Expose

Dear spiritual and beloved Friends of the Heart,

Some of you have very kindly offered your material support, should Love Ministries ever find a project that needs or requires it. Happily, we have now discovered precisely such a fine project. Its intention is to relieve and alleviate suffering, and restore people to peace and sanity. In a very real way, it is a "rescue mission," attempting to "save" people all the nightmarish and ghastly experiences that arise from getting trapped in a cult.

This is one of the finest and most needed efforts on our poor, tiny planet. In harmony with the overall calling of Love Ministries, it is an educational enterprise. Its producer, Steven McDaniel, is a mystic poet, oriented along the admirable lines of the Sufi masterpiece-poets of the past. In this, we feel a very powerful resonance. Steven has also attended the "Pneumarium" discussion-group and gathering.

Nothing, and certainly not quality film-work, can be done without any expense. Steven, and the co-producer, nevertheless, have volunteered their time and energy to support the project. Steven has asked whether we, the uld efamily, as a community of caring people, could support him in this very important project. It, and he, are very deserving of a hearing. And that is why we are going to share some of the technical details of the project here in the uld. Please carefully, prayerfully, and in meditation, consider giving financial assistance to this project. As Jesus showed, it is a necessary part of teaching truth to reveal falsehood, and that is one of our shared goals. NOTE: In the following document, the producer, Steven, makes it abundantly clear that his first priority will be to reimburse anyone who has invested in the film. So, donations can be seen more as loans than simple donations. Here are some selections from the information sent this week by Steven:



A video (approx. 55 minutes.) Documentary style, featuring interviews with ex-cult-members from the Jehovah's Witnesses, combined with experts in the fascinating field of cult-psychology. This is designed to provide resources to inspire those in psychological transition to reach out to others.





# Offer exit counseling sources; and provide information on counseling and rehabilitation of former members

# Some focus on sociological, psychological, or theological research on new religious movements or cultic groups via deprogramming sources.





People who have left the JW or other cults.
People who are thinking of leaving the JW or other cults.
People who have been forced to leave the JW or other cults.
People who are thinking of joining the JW or other cults.
Interested people of various backgrounds, parents, siblings, religious and spiritual.
General audiences.


General sales, web, cult watch groups, mental health organizations, libraries, PBS, local community television, university-courses, religious institutional courses, private ex-members and their groups. After post production, press releases and talks about subject set up in various venues which could include linking with other experts in the field and workshops, etc.


Lighting for sets: 525.00
Monitor: 240.00
Tape stock: 200.00
Travel expense: 400.00
Base Expenses 1600.00 (based on 100. Per week).

Total cost to launch project: $2,965.00





Steven McDaniel is an award-winning video producer. His last award was a prestigious Telly winner award in 2002 on teen depression in Appalachia, Ohio produced for the Ohio Department of Mental Health. He was project coordinator and producer who directed 75 teens and 5 VISTA volunteers in a year long in-depth look at the stigma of depression.

McDaniel worked many years in video production houses in Cincinnati and he is an award-winning writer, published photographer and video editor. He is also poetry editor of an online magazine, graphic designer and published poet who believes in social justice causes.


From Jehovah's witnesses are very strongly cultic in both doctrine and behavior, thus fitting both categories of doctrine and mindcontrol. What they will tell you:

Jehovah's Witnesses are Christians (although this varies - some JWs will not say this).

What they won't tell you:

They believe that all "other" Christian churches are of the devil.
They believe Jesus is not God, but is the Archangel Michael-- the first being created by God.
They deny that God is a Trinity.
They believe Jesus died on a stake, rather than a cross.
They deny that Jesus rose bodily from the dead.
They believe that only 144,000 Jehovah's Witnesses will ever go to heaven. The rest will live forever in a paradise on Earth.
They believe that salvation is impossible outside of their doctrines and dogma.
They are not allowed to question the Watchtower leadership or teaching.
They claim that you need to read the cult's magazines and other material in order to understand the Bible correctly. If you don't read the Watchtower's books, you will "fall into darkness" - what they call reverting to Christianity.
They have falsely predicted the end of the world five times.
They have just changed a major Watchtower prediction that the end of the world would come before the generation of Witnesses born before 1914 died.
This cartoon is from the Watchtower publication Golden Age of March 30, 1932, page 409, and is typical of similar pictures or Watchtower cartoons of the era.
They used to forbid any vaccinations or organ transplants, even to save lives.
They are not allowed to have blood transfusions, even to save a child's life. Note that at the meeting of the European Commission of Human Rights, the Jehovah's Witnesses agreed to radically alter this position.
In practice, the Jehovah's Witnesses do not acknowledge that they need to change their control methods.

"The applicant [Christian Association Jehovah's Witnesses in Bulgaria] undertook with regard to its stance on blood transfusions to draft a statement for inclusion in its statute-- providing that members should have free choice in the matter for themselves and their children, without any control or sanction on the part of the association."

They visit homes for at least 10 hours per month distributing Watchtower materials (books, magazines, pamphlets).
They use their own special translation of the Bible, which mistranslates the original Hebrew and Greek texts.
They are well known to disown, shun, and ignore any friends and family leaving the cult. They teach that ex-members are to be regarded literally as dead people.
They discourage tertiary education.
They are not allowed to be in the army or wear crosses.
They are not allowed to celebrate birthdays.
They are not allowed to celebrate Christmas, Easter, or even Thanksgiving.

All this they will not tell you, and yet they still claim that "Before a person becomes one of Jehovah's Witnesses, the Bible standards are clearly explained."

The anti-cult movement: a taxonomy by Jeffrey Hadden

Jeffrey K. Hadden sees four distinct classes in the organizational
opposition to cults

1. Religiously grounded opposition
* Opposition usually defined in theological terms
* Cults viewed as engaging in heresy
* Mission is to expose the heresy and correct beliefs of those who have strayed from truth
* Deception rather than possession is the likely metaphor
* Opposition serves two important functions:
Protects members (especially youth) from heresy
Increases solidarity among the faithful
2. Secular opposition
* Individual autonomy is professed to be the manifest goal. This is achieved by getting people out of religious groups.
* The struggle is about control, not about theology.
* Organized around families who have or have had children involved in a "cult."
* Disabling or destruction of NRMs (New Religious Movements) organizationally is latent goal.
3. Apostates
* apostasy = the renunciation of a religious faith
* apostate = one who engages in active opposition to her former faith
* anti-cult movement -- has actively encouraged former members to interpret their experiences in a "cult" as one of being egregiously wronged and encourages participation in organized anti-cult activities.
4. Entrepreneurial opposition
* Individuals who take up a cause for personal gain.
* Alliance or coalition to promote their agenda is ad hoc.
* Broadcasters and journalists leading examples.
* A few 'entrepreneurs' have made careers by creating organized opposition.

Note: Hadden's attitude towards NRMs (New Religious Movements) and cult critics has been questioned as a too one-sided view in the scholarly field (Robbins and Zablocki 2001, Beit-Hallahmi 2001, Kent and Krebs 1998].

Cult watching groups and individuals, and other opposition to cults

Most opponents to cults differentiate between "cults" and "legitimate religious groups". The distinction is not by belief but by actions of a group. Cults are defined as groups, which exploit and abuse their members; are often centered around an unreliable charismatic leader; and may use deceitful ways of recruiting and retaining members.

Most opponents of cults share the belief that the public should be warned about the actions of such groups and that current members should be as well fully informed on the negative sides of their group. This is so that they can make an informed choice about staying or leaving.

Family members of adherents

The beginning of the opposition to cults and new religious movements started with family members of adherents who had problems with the sudden changes in character, lifestyle and future plans of their young adult children who had joined NRMs. Most of them are found in cult-awareness group. Also the former Cult Awareness Network (CAN) grew out of a grassroots movement by parents of cult member.

Psychologists and psychiatrists

Already in the nineteen-seventies there were some psychiatrists and psychologists who accused cults of harming some of their members. Sometimes, [this was] based on observations on therapy. Sometimes, [it was] related [to] research regarding brainwashing or mind control….

Former members

Some former members have taken an active stance in opposition to their former religion. Some of those opponents… have founded cult watching groups often with an active presence on the internet. [They have] made their experiences public in books and on the internet; and [some] work as expert witnesses or as exit counselors. Most of them are found in cult-awareness groups,… but some of them also [work] in the counter-cult movement….

Cult-watching groups often use testimonies of former members. The validity and reliability of these testimonies is the source of intense controversy amongst scholars:

Lonnie Kliever asserts that former members present a distorted view of the new religions and cannot be regarded as reliable informants by responsible journalists, scholars, or jurists. Massimo Introvigne argues that the majority of "apostates" holds no strong feelings concerning their past experiences. But "apostates" who dramatically reverse their loyalties, and become "professional enemies" of their former group, are a vociferous minority.

Phillip Lucas came to the conclusion that former members are as reliable as those who remain in the fold. Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi is a professor of psychology at the University of Haifa. [He] argues that, in the cases of cult catastrophes such as People's Temple, or Heaven's Gate, allegations by hostile outsiders and detractors have been closer to reality than other accounts. In that context, statements by ex-members turned out to be more accurate than those offered by apologists and NRM

Benjamin Zablocki conducted an empirical study to assess whether "leavers" are as reliable as "stayers," and confirmed the conclusions of Lucas.

Established religion

Main article: Christian countercult movement

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Christian countercult movement. (Discuss)

Within established religion, two basic reasons for opposition to cults and new religious movements can be discerned: one is mainly based on theological differences; the other is based on defending human self-determinism. [It] targets mainly groups (religious and non-religious) with alleged cultic behavior-- according to the definition of secular opposition.

The group focusing on theological differences has a very long tradition in Christian apologetics. [It] is generally not considered part of the ACM [anti-cult movement]. Since the 1970s, "countercult apologetics" has been in use. [It was] out of [this that] the term Christian countercult movement" developed. [This] actually does not designate a movement but a conglomerate of individuals and groups of very different backgrounds and scholarly levels. Other designations are countercult ministries, discernment ministries, or "heresy hunters" (mainly used by their opponents).

Countercult ministries are mainly conservative Christians, the majority of them Protestant, but it includes also Catholics and Orthodox. Their concerns are religious groups which they feel hold dangerous, non-traditional beliefs, especially regarding the central Christian doctrines. [These are] defined according to conservative views in their respective denomination. These ministries are motivated by a concern for the spiritual welfare of people in the groups that they attack. They believe that any group which rejects one or more of the historical Christian beliefs is a danger to the welfare of its members….

Their activities and orientation vary: Some are missionary and apologetically oriented, directed at current members of divergent groups; some are therapeutically oriented, directed mainly at former members of divergent groups; and others [are] educationally oriented, directed at members of their own denomination or at the general public.

Countercult ministries concern themselves mainly with religious groups which regard themselves as "Christian," but hold one or more unorthodox beliefs. [These] include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Unification church, Christian Science, and Jehovah's Witnesses….

Countries and international entities

The secular anti-cult movement is not a United States singularity, although a number of sizable and expanding cults originated there. Some European countries, such as France, have introduced legislation or taken other measures against cult abuses.

Cult watchers


Polarized views among scholars

The field of cults and new religious movements has been studied by social scientists, sociologists, religious scholars, psychologists and psychiatrists since the early 1980s. The debates about a certain purported cult and cults in general are often polarized with widely divergent opinions, not only among current followers and disaffected former members, but sometimes even among scholars as well.

All academics agree that some groups have been problematic, and sometimes very problematic, but they disagree to what extent new religious movements in general are harmful.

There are many controversial subjects among scholars regarding new religious movements.

Areas of disagreement include:

*The validity of the testimonies of former members (see Former members)
* the validity of the testimonies of current members
* the validity of various theories such as brainwashing and mind control
* the validity and differences between exit counseling and coercive deprogramming
* the validity of evidence of harm caused by cults, e.g. the post-cult trauma
* ethical concerns regarding new religious movements, e.g. free will, freedom of speech
* opposition to cults vs. freedom of religion and religious intolerance
* the objectivity of scholars studying new religious movements (see cult apologists)

Brainwashing and mind control

A very controversial subject between sympathizers and critics of new religious movements is the subject of brainwashing or mind control which is treated in detail in these articles.

The controversy between sympathizers and critics of new religious movements starts with discrepancies regarding definition and concept, extends to the possibility or probability of its application by cultic groups and to the state of acceptance by various scholarly communities.

Deprogramming and exit counseling

Some members of secular cult-opposition have argued that if a person has been deprived of her free will by brainwashing, treatment to restore her free will should be initiated even if it is initially against her will.

Although there is precedent for this in the treatment of certain mental illnesses that are medically and legally recognized as depriving sufferers of their ability to make appropriate decisions for themselves, the practice of forcing treatment on a presumed victim of brainwashing (a practice known as "deprogramming") has always been controversial and has frequently been adjudged illegal. Deprogramming has also been criticized by human rights organizations including the ACLU and Human Rights Watch.
While only a small fraction of the anti-cult movement has been involved in deprogramming, several deprogrammers have served prison terms for the practice, while others have been acquitted in court.

Deprogramming has apparently been abandoned by the anti-cult movement in the USA, in favor of the voluntary practice of exit counseling. However, this is still a subject of controversy between sympathizers and critics of new religious movements, regarding its basic assumptions and its relation to freedom of religion.

The anti-cult movement and cult apologists

Some sociologists and scholars of religion use the term "anti-cult movement" as an expression that includes the whole secular opposition against cults. Or [they use] "anti-cult activist" to classify anyone opposing cults for secular reasons. The term… has since mainly been used by people criticizing the opposition against cults. Often the expression "anti-cultist" is used as well, which makes it sound like a cult itself.

The indiscriminate use of this expression for any and all opposition to cults makes a very varied collective of independent individuals and groups look like an organized group.

On the other hand, the people criticizing the opposition against cults or eympathizing with cults are called "cult-apologists" in a similarly indiscriminate manner.

Scholarly cooperation between the two groups seems to be virtually non-existent.

The allegations that the two groups fling against each other have many parallels. Sometimes they are disputed by the other side and in other cases they are defended as the only right way to address the matter.

* Anti-cultists do not trust information stemming from the leadership of these groups and believe that the only reliable information comes from disaffected former members.
* Cult apologists buy only information from the leadership of those groups and deny that any valid information comes from disaffected former members.

* The anti-cult movement generalized inappropriately, lumping together relatively harmless groups with dangerous groups, such as the Peoples Temple.
* Anti-cultist create a moral panic and witch hunt through exaggeration of the harm and dangers of new religious movements.
* Cult apologists play down any real harm and dangers of new religious movements

* The anti-cult movement endorses pseudoscientific theories regarding brainwashing and mind control.
* Cult apologists deny evidence regarding mind control.

* The anti-cult movement infringed religious freedom through deprogramming.
* Cult apologists deny freedom of expression to former members and critics

* The anti-cult movement polarize the debate over new religious movements due to its focus on the negative aspects of these groups. In the book "Why Waco?: Cults and the Battle for Religious Freedom in America" James Tabor and Eugene Gallagher assert that the anti-cult movement exacerbated the fanatical reaction of destructive cults by encouraging a cult phobia among the public and authorities, that helped to precipitate mass tragedies like Jonestown, Waco, and Heaven's Gate.
* Cult apologists turn a blind eye to real abuses by cults, and make tragedies such as Jonestown, Waco, or Heaven's gate possible.

* The anti-cult movement is the main force behind purported discriminative measures promulgated against minority groups in France, Germany, and China.
* Cult apologists work together with cults to attack countries who take measures to prevent abuses and exploitation by groups using the cover of religion.

* The anti-cult movement has a vested interest in maintaining the conflict because they earn money only because of it.
* Cult apologists have a vested interest in defending cults because they are, at least in part, funded by them.

Responses of targeted groups and scholars

Supporters of Scientology have waged a campaign of their own to label former anti-cult activists as "anti-religious" even to the point where they publish literature and Web sites dedicated to attacking these disaffected persons. An example is a page of 60 "Anti-Religious Extremists" [7]

The Foundation against Intolerance of Religious Minorities, associated with the Adidam NRM, sees the use of terms "cult" and "cult leader" to suggest that these are to be detested, avoided at all costs, and see this as the exercise of prejudice and discrimination against them in the same manner as "nigger" and "commie" were used in the past to denigrate blacks and Communists.[8]

CESNUR’s president Massimo Introvigne, writes in his article "So many evil things: Anti-cult terrorism via the Internet"[8], that fringe and extreme anti-cult activism resort to tactics that may create a background favorable to extreme manifestations of discrimination and hate against individuals that belong to new religious movements. Critics of CESNUR, however, call Introvigne a cult apologist who defends harmful religious groups and cults. Professor Eileen Barker asserts in an interview that the controversy surrounding certain new religious movements can turn violent by a process called deviancy amplification spiral.[9]

In a paper by Anson Shupe and Susan Darnell presented at the 2000 meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, they affirm that although the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA, formerly known as AFF or American Family Foundation) has presented "slanted, stereotypical images and language that has inflamed persons to perform extreme actions." The extent to which the ICSA and other anti-cultist organizations are hate groups as defined by law or racial/ethnic criteria in sociology, is open for debate.

Further information

See also

* Cult apologist
* Cults and governments
* Parliamentary Commission about Cults in France (1995)
* Cult Awareness Network
* Ronald Enroth the Justice for Jeremiah campaign



The term "cult" is a pejorative label used to describe certain religious groups outside of the mainstream of Western religion. Exactly which groups should be considered cults is a matter of disagreement amongt researchers in the cult phenomena, and considerable confusion exists. However, three definitions dominate the writings of social scientists, Christian counter-cult ministries, and secular anticultists.

Social scientists tend to be the least pejorative in their use of the term. They divide religious groups into three categories: churches, sects, and cults. "Churches" are the large denominations characterized by their inclusive approach to life and their indentification with the prevailing culture. In the United States, the churchly denominations would 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. Groups that have broken away from the churchly denominations are termed "sects." They tend to follow the denominations in most patterns but are more strict in doctrine and behavioral demands placed upon members and emphasize their separation and distinctiveness from the larger culture (frequently spoken of as a "rejection of worldliness"). Typical sects have disavowed war (Quakers and Mennonites), championed controversial religious experiences (pentecostals), and demanded conformity to detailed codes of dress, personal piety, and moral conduct (the holiness churches). Sects such as the fundamentalist Christian groups have argued for a stringent orthodoxy in the face of the doctrinal latitude allowed in most larger church bodies. More extreme sect bodies have developed patterns and practices which have largely isolated them from even their closest religious neighbors--snake-handling, drinking poison, alternative sexual relationships, unusual forms of dress.

While most sects follow familiar cultural patterns to a large extent "cults" follow an altogether different religious structure, one foreign and alien to the prevalent religious communities. Cults represent a force of religious innovation within a culture. In most cases that innovation comes about by the transplantation of a religion from a different culture by the immigration of some of its members and leaders. Thus during the twentieth century, Hinduism and Buddhism have been transplanted to America. In sociological terms, Hindu and Buddhist groups are, in America, cults. Cults may also come about through religious innovation from within the culture. The Church of Scientology ad the Synanon Church are new religious structures which emerged in American society without any direct foreign antecedents.

When social scientists began their discussion of cults in the 1920s, they were aware of only a few cult groups, well-known groups which they could not fit into their more crucial debates about churches versus sects--theosophy, Christian Science, spiritualism, and the two large Hindu groups: the Vedanta Society and the Self-Realization Fellowship.

Elmer Clark's pioneering survey of The Small Sects in America (1949) listed fourteen New Thought bodies and thirteen Esoteric bodies, showing an awareness of some twenty-seven cults (plus a few others such as the black Jews considered in the body of his text).

A second definition of cult arose among Christian polemicists. In the early twentieth century several conservative Evangelical Protestant writers, concerned about the growth of different religions in America, attacked these religions for their deviation from Christian orthodox faith. Among the first of the prominent Christian writers on the subject of cults, Jan Karel Van Baalen described cults as non-Christian religions but included those groups which had their roots in Christianity while denying what he considered its essential teaching. According to
VanBaalen, all religions could be divided into two groups, those which ascribe to humans the ability to acomplish their own salvation and those which ascribe that ability to God. The latter group is called Christianity. All other religion fits into the first group. In The Chaos of Cults, which went through numerous editions from its first appearance in 1938, Van Baalen analyzed various non-Christian religions in the light of Christian teachings.

With little change, contemporary Christian counter-cult spokespersons have followed Van Baalen's lead. Cults follow another gospel (Gal.I:I6). They are heretical. They set up their own beliefs in opposition to orthodox faith. As Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, two popular Evangelical writers assert, "A cult is a perversion, a distortion of Biblical Christianity, and, as such, rejects the historical teachings of the Christian Church."

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. Individual writers disagree over the cultic nature of such groups as the Roman Catholic Church (included and then dropped by Van Baalen), or the
Unitarian-Universalist Church. Little consideration has been given to
non-Trinitarian Pentecostal groups.

The third definition, the one which became the dominant force in the public debates on cults in the 1970s, developed within the secular anti-cult movement. The definition has shifted and changed over the last decade. It did not develop out of any objective research on alternative religions, rather it emerged in the intense polemics of parents who had been disturbed by changes observed in their sons and daughters who had joined particular religious groups. These "cults"--predominantly theChildren of God, the Church of Armageddon, the Unification Church, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and the Church of Scientology--had, they charged, radically altered the personality traits of their children.

Anti-cultists 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. While drawing upon Christian counter-cult literature in the beginning, the secular anti-cultists gradually discarded any overtly religious language as a means of designating cults in order to appeal to government authorities and avoid any seeming attack upon religious liberties. Thus, "cults" have come to be seen as groups that share a variety of generally destructive characteristics. While no one group may embody all of them, any "cult" will possess a majority. Marcia Rudin, a popular anti-cult writer, listed fourteen commonly accepted characteristics of a cult:

1. Members swear total allegiance to an all-powerful leader who they believe to be the Messiah.
2. Rational thought is discouraged or forbidden.
3. The cult's recruitment techniques are often deceptive.
4. The cult weakens the follower psychologically by making him or her depend upon the group to solve his or her problems.
5. The cults manipulate guilt to their advantage.
6. The cult leader makes all the career and life decision of the members.
7. Cults exist only for their own material survival and make false promises to work to improve society.
8. Cult members often work fulltime for the group for little or no pay.
9. Cult members are isolated from the outside world and any reality testing it could provide.
10. Cults are antiwoman, antichild, and antifamily.
11. Cults are apocalyptic and believe themselves to be the remnant who will survive the soon-approaching end of the world.
12. Many cults follow an "ends justify the means" philosophy.
13. Cults, particularly in regard to their finances, are shrouded in secrecy.
14. There is frequently an aura of or potential for violence around cults.

Anti-cultists suggest that, as of early 1980, 3,000 to 5,000 destructive cults operate in the United States. However, no evidence of the existence of such a large number of religious groups, either cultic or otherwise, has been produced. 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.

The discussion of cults by social scientists, Christian counter-cult ministries, and secular anti-cultists has singled out a number of groups for attention as prominent or typical examples of cults. Among these groups, some became controversial because of their divergent behavorial norms (polygamy, a leader's claim to divinity, exotic rituals, communalism). Others came into open conflict with the authorities because of violence (the black Muslims). Many groups recruited single young adults and moved them into intense religious communities against the wishes of their parents. Such groups have received the most attention in the last decade.

Included is the most prominent "cults" for analysis and discussion. It is designed to provide a concise overview of each group and a summary of the controversy surrounding it. Along with the "cult," the secular anti-cult and Christian counter-cult movements are also given treatment, as they are a very active element in the contemporary milieu. This will cover most groups which one is likely to encounter; however, for a more complete listing of all the individual religious groups currently functioning in the United States, including a brief descriptive statement of each, the reader is referred to the Encyclopedia of American Religion, which can be found in the reference section of most libraries.

Aftermath of Cult Life

The great majority of people who join groups which deviate strongly from societal norms or have a high disapproval level in society leave after only a short period of time, typically within two years. For these people the time in the cult was what Robert Ellwood has termed an excursus, a spiritual journey away from the mundane structures of established religion. For most the excursion is brief, though it might assume a fact importance in shaping the more mature long-term religious existence.
Having made the journey, former cult members return to a more conventional religion or, increasingly, to no formal religious affiliation at all. They may return to a life so integrated into dominant societal patterns that little evidence of the excursion is visible to the persons' acquaintances.

A minority of persons who join a cult leave under a situation of great stress. Some leave because of a bad experience within the group. Ex-members tell of psychological and even occasional physical abuse, the bitter disappointment of discovering corruption in the leader or leaders of a group, and the inability of a cult to deliver what it had promised in spiritual values. Members who have had a bad experience leave angry and hurt and often turn with vengeance upon their former faith.

Among those who leave cults under stressful conditions are those who have been deprogrammed. Under the pain of physical confinement and strong psychological pressure, cult members have been forced to renounce their allegiance to the group and join the chorus of cult critics.

Those who leave a cult under the stress of either a bad experience or deprogramming frequently have difficulty adapting to the world again. Psychiatrists such as Margaret Singer, who has worked with many excultists who left various groups under stress, have blamed the cults for a delayed stress syndrome in their clients. More recent comparative studies have shown, however, that the delayed stress syndrome is almost exclusively limited to those ex-cult members who have left under stress (i.e., deprogramming). The great majority of people who leave simply because the group no longer meets their needs show no pattern of psychological disturbance.

A small percentage of those who join a cult will remain in it for many years, even a lifetime. For these few, the cult provides a satisfactory structure within which to discover a meaningful existence. It may motivate individuals to make significant contributions to life and culture. While cults and cult members may appear to be withdrawing from society, especially during the first generation of the group and its
newest formative period have generally integrated themselves into American culture and added greatly to its richness.

Eating out-- a wasteful, expensive luxury


Thanks for the suggested shared meal.:) We would, in fact, love to share a meal with you. Perhaps you could visit us here at the Golden Buttercupbungalow of Love.:) But nothing substantial has changed since I made the interior vow to avoid the expensive "luxury" of eating out.

This action is only symbolic, as eating out is something that the human nature simplly loves to do (libra rising). But eating out utilizes many resources of nature. It is not the best investment in ecology. But there are also important social reasons for avoiding its luxury and wastefulness.

Of course, we can always "rationalize" these factors away; and, in fact, the human mind is notorious for precisely this type of "justification." It can "justify" virtually any behavior.

This interior vow has been made due to the fact that it has been learned that over one thousand million of our sisters and brothers earn only one dollar a day, and a full two thousand million-- one out of three on the planet-- earn only two dollars a day. Until these figures change, in the right direction, the soul has said that it is best to avoid conspicuous consumption.

While refusing to eat out changes nothing in the larger picture, it is, as noted, only a symbol. It represents human solidarity with those who can never ever eat out.

With you, in loving the Planet, and All,


Long-term Love and Commitment


Life is, unfortunately, never easy. It is most difficult of all when a friendship, or a Love-relationship, is involved. In this area, we are in the way-adult, university exams of this life, for these are the most difficult challenges of all.

For another even to try to answer these complex questions for us would be to enable our weakness, and to impede or retard our personal spiritual growth. So, we are not allowed to "cheat" on this exam. Neither I, nor any other adult, is allowed to share the answers, even if we knew them. I have found the answers for my own exams, but not for yours. Only a fool, or hypocrite, or very selfrighteous person, would even claim to have your answers.

But this much can be said with no doubt: One reason that you have been put on earth is to learn to love Sue [pseudonym]. This does not necessarily mean that she is to be your exclusive Love-partner, although she might be. (This part must be discovered by you, through personal exploration of your life with Sue. You must discuss the issue openly and candidly, and at great depth, with her. You must clearly determine, through repeated and deep conversation, whether she is right for you, or you for her.)

We have already discovered a few astropsychological reasons why this path might be naturally difficult, challenging, or stressful for you. For she is not your "natural" lover; and this might be a signal from the soulworld.

You implied, by recent activities, that this is the conclusion to which life itself has taken you.

Nothing is more natural in Love than taking a path and later regretting it.

To find certainty, you must use that fine capricorn-mind to list, and then to consider reasonably, all the factors:

Do you want to spend the rest of this life "locked" int a monogamous (sexually exclusive and faithful) relationship with Sue? Can she really fulfill all your long-term needs, and you hers? Does she fulfill most of your intellectual and emotional needs? Do you fulfill hers?

It has often been said that, if you must ask whether you are "in Love," then the answer is no. For your heartmind knows you better than any other; you are, and always will be, the world's foremost "expert" on Jack Jones [pseudonym]. So, the heart has a deep wisdom of its own.

Even so, you cannot afford simply to "leap before you look." So, this issue of Love must be analyzed reasonably, although reason cannot be your only guide. You must also pay attention to what your capricorn emotions are telling you: What do you feel is the correct and best course?

Do you want, more than anything else, to spend the rest of your life giving your heart to Sue? Before it can work, you must passionately, scorpionically, want to do this. And you must want it more than anything. For if you do not have a passionate desire to do this, chances are good that yor soulmind is reluctant, or reticent; and if it is, this might not be your true "calling." In order for it to be real, a Love must move, indeed drive, you with irresistible passion.

Take an interior inventory, by asking yourself whether this passion is present, and then, whether it is real: Is it a long-term feeling, or a momentary scorpionic sexual desire? If the latter, it will not, and cannot, last a lifetime.

Bonding is so much more than sexual passion, although that must also be a part of it.

Now, back to loving Sue: Even if she is not your soul-partner, and more surely if she is, you must treat her with compassion, friendliness, courtesy, and kindness-- that is, with Love. Even if it turns out that she is not, you do not have the right voluntarily or deliberately to harm her, or to brutalize her. (It is known that you would never do this, for you are a civilized man of Love.)

So, visualize yourself committed to a long-term (decades long) relationship with Sue, and see how you think and feel about this condition; that will give you your answer: How does the mind think, and the heart feel? Be as honest with yourself as possible, and your answer will come. And please remember that, even after you have found it, there is no reason to assume that even this clear answer is set in stone. You are a verb, capable of, and deserving the right to, change.



The claim that Christianity is evil betrays an absence of good, reliable historical knowledge. For one important matter, "Christianity" involves several very distinct and different historical teachings and groups, some of which are not even related to each other.

This short piece cannot say everything, of course, about such a complex and involved subject; still, it would be very valuable to distinguish between the pristine teachings of Jesus and the nightmarish "Christianity" of the organized religion that followed historically. There is little to no similarity between the two systems.

While, then, it sounds more dramatic to say that Christianity is evil, it is historically imprecise and incorrect. I am nevertheless in full agreement that almost all organized and traditional, orthodox Christianity has been evil almost all the time, but this was a distinction not made clear in your short piece.

Original "Christianity" as the simple message of love taught by Jesus is unrelated to this later organization. If you are to be an accurate and reliable writer, this matter is indispensable, not a triviality. So, please think about amending the article to create outstanding dependability.

Evangelicals and Israel

For Evangelicals, Supporting Israel Is 'God's Foreign Policy'

Many conservative Christians say that they believe that the president's support for Israel fulfills a biblical injunction to protect the Jewish state, which some of them think will play a pivotal role in the second coming. Many on the left, in turn, fear that such theology may influence decisions the administration makes toward Israel and the Middle East.

Administration officials say that the meeting with Mr. Hagee was a courtesy for a political ally; and that evangelical theology has no effect on policy making. But the alliance of Israel, its evangelical Christian supporters, and president bush have never been closer or more potent. In the wake of the summer war in southern Lebanon, reports that Hezbollah's sponsor, Iran, may be pushing for nuclear weapons have galvanized conservative Christian support for Israel into a political force that will be hard to ignore.

For one thing, white evangelicals make up about a quarter of the electorate. Whatever strains may be creeping into the Israeli-American alliance over Iraq, the Palestinians, and Iran, a large part of the Republican Party's base remains committed to a fiercely pro-Israel agenda that seems likely to have an effect on policy choices.

Read the rest

(Thanks to Mick Gallagher.)

Rumsfeld Exposed

Donald Rumsfeld: The War Crimes Case

JURIST Contributing Editor Marjorie Cohn of Thomas Jefferson School of Law, president of the National Lawyers Guild, says that although Donald Rumsfeld is resigning as US Secretary of Defense, steps should be and will be taken to hold him accountable for breaches of international law and even war crimes sanctioned in Iraq and Guantanamo during his tenure.

(Thanks to Bernadene Zennie.)

George's Folly

Is George W. Bush Clinically Insane?
By Bill Gallagher

Gushing over Rummy and Dick Cheney, the two principal thugs who lied to get us into Iraq and designed the disaster, Bush claimed they "are doing a fantastic job and I strongly support them."

The remark prompted conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan to raise the question of Bush's mental fitness. Sullivan told CNN Bush is so delusional, "this is not an election anymore, it's an intervention."

Sullivan, long a cheerleader for the war in Iraq, said Bush is "so in denial" he simply can't come to grips with his failure: "It's unhinged. It suggests this man has lost his mind. No one objectively could look at the way this war has been conducted, whether you were for it, as I was, or against it, and say that it has been done well.
It's a disaster."

Sullivan added, "For him to say it's a fantastic job suggests the president has lost it. I'm sorry, there is no other way to say it."

The president's nanny corps -- his mother, his wife, State Department hands Condoleezza Rice and Karen Hughes -- know he's unhinged, but are too loyal to share that disturbing truth with the world.

Read the rest of the article

(Thanks to Ty Scharrer.)

The Invaluable Place of Courtesy


One of the most important aspects of Love, as a practical human social function, is held by simple politeness or courtesy. Courtesy is the "lubricant" that cuts down friction to the point where interpersonal relationships are made possible. Human interactions are incredibly more difficult if courtesy is deleted.

People, if unevolved, are often rude by nature. This is, of course, the lower nature of the lower (animal) mind. In utter egocentrism, we lose the ability to think of the feelings of others, and become hard, thoughtless, and insensitive. The spiritual person is empathically the opposite. For people of a spiritual mindset are much more aware of the nature and dynamics of Love. They are more sensitive to the presence or absence of courtesy, in both themselves and others.

Often, people who are very bright in other ways can be crude and rude, for they might have a low awareness of the real need for courtesy. For those suffering from this dim awareness, it must be pointed out that negative comments about a person are rude, and violate not only "common" courtesy, but the highest principle of spirituality (Love).

For those who must have it made very plain, here are some comments that are impolite, even offensive:

"You are stupid."
"You look older."
"You are bald."
"You are fat."

These, and a plethora of similar comments, would never be made to strangers. They are simply too invasive and intrusive. They are antiagapic (counter to Love) because they are anticourteous.

But, when we are closer to people, we often let down our guard. We often behave stupidly, and speak carelessly. Ideally, however, courtesy should be even more evident, not less so, with the people with whom we are close, with the people whom we claim to love. For Love should increase, not decrease courtesy.

Let us vow, then, not to be stupidly careless, especially with those whom we love. For if courtesy is not present, neither is Love. And if Love is not present, we are in deep darkness indeed.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Insulting Our Troops, and Our Intelligence


Insulting Our Troops, and Our Intelligence
Published: November 3, 2006

George Bush, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld think you’re stupid. Yes, they do.

They think they can take a mangled quip about President Bush and Iraq by John Kerry — a man who is not even running for office but who, unlike Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, never ran away from combat service — and get you to vote against all Democrats in this election.

Every time you hear Mr. Bush or Mr. Cheney lash out against Mr. Kerry, I hope you will say to yourself, “They must think I’m stupid.” Because they surely do.

They think that they can get you to overlook all of the Bush team’s real and deadly insults to the U.S. military over the past six years by hyping and exaggerating Mr. Kerry’s mangled gibe at the president.

What could possibly be more injurious and insulting to the U.S. military than to send it into combat in Iraq without enough men — to launch an invasion of a foreign country not by the Powell Doctrine of overwhelming force, but by the Rumsfeld Doctrine of just enough troops to lose? What could be a bigger insult than that?

What could possibly be more injurious and insulting to our men and women in uniform than sending them off to war without the proper equipment, so that some soldiers in the field were left to buy their own body armor and to retrofit their own jeeps with scrap metal so that roadside bombs in Iraq would only maim them for life and not kill them? And what could be more injurious and insulting than Don Rumsfeld’s response to criticism that he sent our troops off in haste and unprepared: Hey, you go to war with the army you’ve got — get over it.

What could possibly be more injurious and insulting to our men and women in uniform than to send them off to war in Iraq without any coherent postwar plan for political reconstruction there, so that the U.S. military has had to assume not only security responsibilities for all of Iraq but the political rebuilding as well? The Bush team has created a veritable library of military histories — from “Cobra II” to “Fiasco” to “State of Denial” — all of which contain the same damning conclusion offered by the very soldiers and officers who fought this war: This administration never had a plan for the morning after, and we’ve been making it up — and paying the price — ever since.

And what could possibly be more injurious and insulting to our men and women in Iraq than to send them off to war and then go out and finance the very people they’re fighting against with our gluttonous consumption of oil? Sure, George Bush told us we’re addicted to oil, but he has not done one single significant thing — demanded higher mileage standards from Detroit, imposed a gasoline tax or even used the bully pulpit of the White House to drive conservation — to end that addiction. So we continue to finance the U.S. military with our tax dollars, while we finance Iran, Syria, Wahhabi mosques and Al Qaeda madrassas with our energy purchases.

Everyone says that Karl Rove is a genius. Yeah, right. So are cigarette companies. They get you to buy cigarettes even though we know they cause cancer. That is the kind of genius Karl Rove is. He is not a man who has designed a strategy to reunite our country around an agenda of renewal for the 21st century — to bring out the best in us. His “genius” is taking some irrelevant aside by John Kerry and twisting it to bring out the worst in us, so you will ignore the mess that the Bush team has visited on this country.

And Karl Rove has succeeded at that in the past because he was sure that he could sell just enough Bush cigarettes, even though people knew they caused cancer. Please, please, for our country’s health, prove him wrong this time.

Let Karl know that you’re not stupid. Let him know that you know that the most patriotic thing to do in this election is to vote against an administration that has — through sheer incompetence — brought us to a point in Iraq that was not inevitable but is now unwinnable.

Let Karl know that you think this is a critical election, because you know as a citizen that if the Bush team can behave with the level of deadly incompetence it has exhibited in Iraq — and then get away with it by holding on to the House and the Senate — it means our country has become a banana republic. It means our democracy is in tatters because it is so gerrymandered, so polluted by money, and so divided by professional political hacks that we can no longer hold the ruling party to account.

It means we’re as stupid as Karl thinks we are.

I, for one, don’t think we’re that stupid. Next Tuesday we’ll see.

Thanks to Karleen Sell.

Oppose Internet Child Abuse

The innocent victims of Internet child abuse cannot speak for themselves.

But you can.

With your help, we can eradicate this evil trade.

We do not need your money.

We need you to light a candle of support

We're aiming to light at least One Million Candles by December 31, 2006.

This petition will be used to encourage governments, politicians, financial institutions, payment organisations, Internet service providers, technology companies and law enforcement agencies to eradicate the commercial viability of online child abuse.

They have the power to work together. You have the power to get them to take action.

Please light your candle at
or send an email of support to

Together, we can destroy the commercial viability of Internet child abuse sites that are destroying the lives of innocent children.

Kindly forward this email to your friends, relatives and work colleagues so that they can light a candle too.

Smoke Free Ohio

Dear Friends,

With only 5 days to go until Election Day, we are all looking forward to celebrating a SmokeFreeOhio! And while victory will be sweet, we must stay vigilant. Big Tobacco is out in full force, trying to mislead voters. We can still keep that from happening in our state.

We know how hard you've worked to make a Smoke Free Ohio a reality. And the poll numbers are beginning to show it. Ohioans have never been more certain that they want the right to breathe clean air in ALL public places, restaurants, and workplaces.

But now is a critical time. Will you help us by doing "5 things for Issue 5?"

Between now and November 7th, will you:

1. Place 5 more Issue 5 yard signs.
2. Spread the word to 5 more neighbors to vote NO on 4 and YES on 5.
3. Forward this email to 5 co-workers or family members.
4. Sign up 5 friends to help you drop off campaign literature in your neighborhood.
5. By 5pm on Election Day, remind 5 people to get out and vote NO on 4 and YES on 5!

Make sure every Ohioan understands the BIG differences between 4 and 5!

- Issue 4, written and backed by Big Tobacco, would keep smoke in restaurants and lots of other public places, and overturn 21 local smoke-free laws already in place!

- Issue 5, supported by the American Cancer Society, protects ALL workers, families, children, and seniors from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Thank you for helping us with this final push. With your continued support, we'll get Ohioans to the polls on November 7 to vote No on 4!

Yes on 5!

All the best,
Tracy Sabetta

As Bechtel Goes

As Bechtel Goes By Paul Krugman The New York Times Friday 03 November 2006

Bechtel, the giant engineering company, is leaving Iraq. Its mission - to rebuild power, water and sewage plants - wasn't accomplished: Baghdad received less than six hours a day of electricity last month, and much of Iraq's population lives with untreated sewage and without clean water. But Bechtel, having received $2.3 billion of taxpayers' money and having lost the lives of 52 employees, has come to the end of its last government contract.

As Bechtel goes, so goes the whole reconstruction effort. Whatever our leaders may say about their determination to stay the course complete the mission, when it comes to rebuilding Iraq they've already cut and run. The $21 billion allocated for reconstruction over the last three years has been spent, much of it on security rather than its intended purpose, and there's no more money in the pipeline.

The failure of reconstruction in Iraq raises three questions. First, how much did that failure contribute to the overall failure of the war? Second, how was it that America, the great can-do nation, in this case couldn't and didn't? Finally, if we've given up on rebuilding Iraq, what are our troops dying for?

There's no definitive way to answer the first question. You can make a good case that the invasion of Iraq was doomed no matter what, because we never had enough military manpower to provide security. But the lack of electricity and clean water did a lot to dissipate any initial good will the Iraqis may have felt toward the occupation. And Iraqis are well aware that the billions squandered by American contractors included a lot of Iraqi oil revenue as well as U.S. taxpayers' dollars.

Consider the symbolism of Iraq's new police academy, which Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, has called "the most essential civil security project in the country." It was built at a cost of $75 million by Parsons Corporation, which received a total of about $1 billion for Iraq reconstruction projects. But the academy was so badly built that feces and urine leak from the ceilings in the student barracks.

Think about it. We want the Iraqis to stand up so we can stand down. But if they do stand up, we'll dump excrement on their heads.

As for how this could have happened, that's easy: major contractors believed, correctly, that their political connections insulated them from accountability. Halliburton and other companies with huge Iraq contracts were basically in the same position as Donald Rumsfeld: they were so closely identified with President Bush and, especially, Vice President Cheney that firing or even disciplining them would have been seen as an admission of personal failure on the part of top elected officials.

As a result, the administration and its allies in Congress fought accountability all the way. Administration officials have made repeated backdoor efforts to close the office of Mr. Bowen, whose job is to oversee the use of reconstruction money. Just this past May, with the failed reconstruction already winding down, the White House arranged for the last $1.5 billion of reconstruction money to be placed outside Mr. Bowen's jurisdiction. And now, finally, Congress has passed a bill whose provisions include the complete elimination of his agency next October.

The bottom line is that those charged with rebuilding Iraq had no incentive to do the job right, so they didn't.

You can see, by the way, why a Democratic takeover of the House, if it happens next week, would be such a pivotal event: suddenly, committee chairmen with subpoena power would be in a position to investigate where all the Iraq money went.

But that's all in the past. What about the future?

Back in June, after a photo-op trip to Iraq, Mr. Bush said something I agree with. "You can measure progress in megawatts of electricity delivered," he declared. "You can measure progress in terms of oil sold on the market on behalf of the Iraqi people." But what those measures actually show is the absence of progress. By any material measure, Iraqis are worse off than they were under Saddam.

And we're not planning to do anything about it: the U.S.-led reconstruction effort in Iraq is basically over. I don't know whether the administration is afraid to ask U.S. voters for more money, or simply considers the situation hopeless. Either way, the United States has accepted defeat on reconstruction.

Yet Americans are still fighting and dying in Iraq. For what?

(Thanks to Karleen Sell.)



With this question of criticism, we must return to Square One: The enlightened mystic lives in two worlds or universes, one of which is absolutely real and the other of which is relatively or secondarily real. To criticize a person such as Adolf Hitler might be the call of Love, particularly if one criticizes out of compassion for all the suffering. (I perceive the criticism of george bush to be following a similar mandate.:)

Of course, in the real world of the absolute Mind, or the cosmos of the Absolute, to criticize anyone is to criticize the entire cosmos, and the Self. But in the everyday, ordinary world of maya, Love often calls upon us, as does simple reason, to criticize people and ideas that have run, often dangerously, off the "track" of compassion, world-healing, goodness, kindness, and other "fruits" of Love.

Mystics throughout history have been the most notable, and famous, critics of people and teachings which stunt the progress and growth of Love. Jesus, the great teacher of universal peace, rather harshly criticized the "respectable" religious leaders of his day, as recorded in Matthew chapter 23. Love prevents the mystic from ever devolving into apathy or complacency. She is here to play the game of the world, and she is here to help Love win, against its many enemies. So, she is very sincere when she criticizes, and she really tries to make all criticisms constructive, not destructive.

The world is filled with tricks and illusions. It is by solving its puzzles and problems, and exposing its imperfections, that the mystic makes her own position clear, and helps and teaches others.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Republicans Knew About Foley

Republicans Knew that Mark Foley Was A Pedophile.



Mark Foley's Press Secretary said that it was only a partisan attack. Mark Foley claimed that the email was innocent. Then ABC News confronted Foley with explicit sexual messages that he sent to House Pages. A few hours later, Mark Foley resigned from Congress in disgrace.

America then learned that the Page who got the disgusting email from Foley reported it to the Republican Leadership months before-- but they did absolutely nothing about it. In fact, Speaker Of The House Dennis Hastert and Republican Whip Frank Boener not only ignored the danger posed by Foley; they made sure that news of his crimes did not leak out.

All of which means that the Republican Leadership of Congress helped put other Pages at risk from this known Pedophile.

So you've just got to ask: if Republicans are willing to sacrifice children for the sake of political gain, how can we as Americans ever trust them?

But even more importantly, if the Republican leadership is unwilling to do anything about this ugly situation, how can I, as a citizen, make damned sure it never happens again?

You can write your senator or Congressional representative and demand that Representative Pelosi's investigation go forward. Because if it doesn't, the disgusting acts of Mark Foley will continue to be swept under the rug!

This is your chance to make sure the Republican leadership is not allowed to keep the door open for more assaults on our Pages by known pedophiles.

It's not a Democratic or Republican issue. It's a matter of right or wrong. It's about making sure we protect our children. No one, Republican or Democrat, can afford to stand by while outrages like this go on!

Use your letter to let everyone know.



This alert is brought to you by the activism of Stacey Tallitsch, running for Congress from the 1st district of Louisiana. Stacey has shared his production of the new Lie/Die spot with other candidates, and there are now 10 candidates who have produced their own versions, confronting the Bush administration on their Iraq lies.


Please go to donations page now. You can see the spots playing right on the page above. Give whatever you can in these last critical ten days of this Congressional election campaign. The future of our democracy is on the line. This is our last chance to take back our country from the dark side of dictatorial ambition. We must give it everything we've got. Only then do we have a chance for a brighter tomorrow.

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours.

To be added to the list go to

Had Enough?

Had Enough?

The November election is a referendum on the status quo. Congress has blindly followed the President as he leads America in the wrong direction. No oversight. No questions. Absolutely no accountability. The President wanted to attack Iraq. They gave it to him. Torture? Sure. Spy on Americans? Go for it. This Congress doesn't know how to say "no."

It's time for Dennis Hastert and the Republican leadership to go.

Support Darcy Burner

On November 7, we have a chance to change direction. We can change this country if we change leaders in Congress. Darcy Burner is one of the best; and she will help turn this country around and move America forward. Will you help her with the resources to win?

The daughter of an Air Force veteran and a public school teacher, Darcy Burner has lived the American dream. She worked hard in school, put herself through college, and went on to a successful career at Microsoft. Now she's taking on an incumbent Republican in Washington's 8th district to become a voice for working families. The district has never voted to send a Democrat to Congress, but it voted against Bush in 2000 and 2004.

Polls show that Darcy's race could go either way. That's why Karl Rove came to town in September to headline a fundraiser for her opponent. You can help beat the right-wing Republican machine and send Darcy to Congress by contributing now.

As we've seen in Washington over the last few days, a change in House leadership is desperately needed. We can not sit back and stay the course. We must demand a new direction. I ask you to join me in supporting Darcy Burner -- a great leader for change.

Thank you for everything you do,
Jim Dean

HR 2679 Public Expression of Religion Act

Dear Friends,

I am sending an article from Daily Kos about the House of Representatives attempt to distort the Constitution, again, and to establish a National Religion - or, one might entitle it - The Spanish Inquisition the White House Way! Read on, if you dare.

Well, I will have to try again - it is House Bill - HR 2679-- The Public Expression of Religion Act-- signed into law by Boehner and Chabot (two Bush type idiots anyway,) but might include others as well. It forbids any lawyer who questions a religious issue... and wins, from collecting any legal fees. For example, prayer in school, display of the ten commandments, etc. Some aspects of this Act were dropped, such as establishing a National religion. Nevertheless, the whole thing goes against the separation of church and state philosophy and words of the Constitution.

Therefore, again, this administration is trying to change the Constitution without amending it - sneaky! And it is attempting to prevent any legal challenges to it by forbidding legal fees to lawyers who might actually want to preserve the Constitution of the United States of America. I smell sulfur again! Can Chavez actually be right? This crazy guy is smarter than the administration? Well, duh!

I will try to get this article to you. People of all faiths need to hear about it. Their faith and religious views are in danger. And, for those of us who tread a spiritual rather than religious path - we will burn. The Witch hunts are about to begin! (I hope I am kidding)

(Thanks to Karleen Sell.)

Open Letter To The People of The Middle East

Forgive us, for we know not what we do, or at least we know not what they do--in our name. Wars have been propagated in our name, with our taxes, for 125 years, on false pretenses, unknown to the citizens of this once fine country.

The American people are clueless and kept in the dark, by media that are owned by five Corporate Conglomerates, who also have defense contracts with the war department and the owners of the country.

Americans have been taught not to think critically of their masters-- not to use their own minds ability for deductive reasoning and research, to simply question what we have been mindlessly fed for over one hundred years. It's The bedrock of our belief system. And most are afraid of what we might find amiss, in there.

Therefore, we know not why, we're really in your countries; the cradle of civilization--the Crescent Valley. We do know that the richest five percent have quadrupled their wealth, holding the stocks and shares of corporations profiting from these illegal, immoral and unconstitutional wars on your sacred soil.

If we Americans would read more, learn a true people's history of U.S. hegemony....we may know that you are not to blame, and have not harmed us, in any way. Now-we believe there are a minority of hard line radical Islamists who do use violence-- but it is we (Brit's), who used that same method first, as far back as 1916, for the oil lying under your feet.

I want to insert an excerpt of a speech given by Gen. Butler here, from 1933. It is one of over 1,200 speeches he delivered in over 700 US cities.

"War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

"I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar earns only 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

"I wouldn't go to war again, as I have done, to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

"There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

"It might seem odd for me, a military man, to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

" I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

"I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, 'safe' for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a 'decent place' for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped 'purify' Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I 'brought light' to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China, I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

"During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a 'swell racket.' Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

(Thanks to Mick Gallagher.)

Shame on Them

Here's what happens when this irresponsible Congress railroads a profoundly important bill to serve the mindless politics of a midterm election: The Bush administration uses Republicans fear of losing their majority to push through ghastly ideas about antiterrorism that will make American troops less safe and do lasting damage to our 217-year-old nation of laws while actually doing nothing to protect the nation from terrorists. Democrats betray their principles to avoid last-minute attack ads. Our democracy is the big loser.

Republicans say Congress must act right now to create procedures for charging and trying terrorists because the men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks are available for trial. Thats pure propaganda. Those men could have been tried and convicted long ago, but President Bush chose not to. He held them in illegal detention, had them questioned in ways that will make real trials very hard, and invented a transparently
illegal system of kangaroo courts to convict them. It was only after the Supreme Court issued the inevitable ruling striking down Mr. Bushs shadow penal system that he adopted his tone of urgency.

It serves a cynical goal: Republican strategists think they can win this fall, not by passing a good law, but by forcing Democrats to vote against a bad one so they could be made to look soft on terrorism.

Last week, the White House and three Republican senators announced a terrible deal on this legislation that gave Mr. Bush most of what he wanted, including a blanket waiver for crimes Americans may have committed in the service of his antiterrorism policies. Then Vice President Dick Cheney and his willing lawmakers rewrote the rest of the measure so that it would give Mr. Bush the power to jail pretty much anyone he wants for as long as he wants without charging them, to unilaterally reinterpret the Geneva Conventions, to authorize what normal people consider torture, and to deny justice to hundreds of men captured in error.

These are some of the bills biggest flaws:

Enemy Combatants: A dangerously broad definition of illegal enemy combatant in the bill could subject legal residents of the United States, as well as foreign citizens living in their own countries, to summary arrest and indefinite detention with no hope of appeal. The president could give the power to apply this label to anyone he wanted.

The Geneva Conventions: The bill would repudiate a half-century of international precedent by allowing Mr. Bush to decide on his own what abusive interrogation methods he considered permissible. And his decision could stay secret. There's no requirement that this list be published.

Habeas Corpus: Detainees in U.S. military prisons would lose the basic right to challenge their imprisonment. These cases do not clog the courts, or coddle terrorists. They simply give wrongly imprisoned people a chance to prove their innocence.

Judicial Review: The courts would have no power to review any aspect of this new system, except verdicts by military tribunals. The bill would limit appeals and bar legal actions based on the Geneva Conventions, directly or indirectly. All Mr. Bush would have to do to lock anyone up forever is to declare him an illegal combatant and not have a trial.

Coerced Evidence: Coerced evidence would be permissible if a judge considered it reliable already a contradiction in terms and relevant. Coercion is defined in a way that exempts anything done before the passage of the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act, and anything else Mr. Bush chooses.

Secret Evidence: American standards of justice prohibit evidence and testimony that is kept secret from the defendant, whether the accused is a corporate executive or a mass murderer. But the bill as redrafted by Mr. Cheney seems to weaken protections against such evidence.

Offenses: The definition of torture is unacceptably narrow, a virtual reprise of the deeply cynical memos the administration produced after 9/11. Rape and sexual assault are defined in a retrograde way that covers only forced or coerced activity, and not other forms of nonconsensual sex. The bill would effectively eliminate the idea of rape as torture.

There is not enough time to fix these bills, especially since the few Republicans who call themselves moderates have been whipped into line, and the Democratic leadership in the Senate seems to have misplaced its spine. If there was ever a moment for a filibuster, this was it. We don't blame the Democrats for being frightened. The Republicans have made it clear that they'll use any opportunity to brand anyone who votes against this bill as a terrorist enabler. But Americans of the future won't remember the pragmatic arguments for caving in to the administration.

They'll know that in 2006, Congress passed a tyrannical law that will be ranked with the low points in American democracy, our generations version of the Alien and Sedition Acts.

(Thanks to Karleen Sell.)

Thieves in High Places: Book Recommendation

If you want a book that thoroughly documents in detail the foibles, greed, and incompetence of the present administration, very highly recommended is Thieves in High Places by Jim Hightower (New York; Penguin, 2003). This book contains page after page, list after list, documenting the obscene record of awful blunders of the administration.

Very well worth reading!



Make the Pie Higher: A Poem

This is a short poem made up entirely of actual quotations from george w. bush. These have been arranged, only for aesthetic purposes, by Washington Post writer, Richard Thompson. A wonderful poem like this is too good not to share.


I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
And potential mental losses.

Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet
Become more few?

How many hands have I shaked?
They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.

I know that the human being
And the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope,
Where our wings take dream.

Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher!
I am the Decider!

(Pass this on. Help cure Mad Cowboy disease in the next election)

(Thanks to Terry Smith.)