Category Archives: Cults

Cults: Minions of Extremist Nutcase Fred Phelps to Picket Brooklyn Synagogue

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Funeral Protest

[H/t Congregation Beth Elohim]

If you happen to be in Brooklyn this weekend, I just received this alert from Congregation Beth Elohim:

On Saturday, September 26, from 9:45 AM – 10:15 AM, Congregation Beth Elohim will be picketed by the Westboro Baptist Church, an extremist anti-Semitic, anti-gay independent church based out of Topeka, Kansas.

They plan to send representatives who will stand on our sidewalk displaying disturbing signs and provoking those entering our building. They try to create enough confrontation to incite others to provocation. It is their constitutional right to picket.

Congregation Beth Elohim does not welcome this group’s message or
actions in any way. Our focus and mission as a community is to build an
inclusive Jewish community that celebrates the strength of diversity. It is a home for individuals and families of all backgrounds to grow and to learn and to care about and deepen their connections to one another.

We have clear priorities during difficult moments such as these.

Protecting our members and visitors, and most importantly our children, is a primary goal. Our internal security team is already in action and local police authorities have been alerted. Although you are entitled to your right to free speech, we ask that you calmly pass these protesters and walk directly into our building without incident.

For more information about the Westboro Baptist and for educational materials about responding to hate groups, please download a PDF provided by the Anti-Defamation League.

Congregation Beth Elohim is an amazing community in that it is a warm and welcoming place. This group will be picketing us because of our commitment to those who desire community. Though Saturday may be upsetting, it is important to remember that our precious values are truly a source of great pride. Our best and only response is to conduct ourselves as usual.

More info on Westboro Baptist Church via anti-cult activist and journalist Rick Ross here.

Cults: Dr. Malachi York and the Nuwaubians

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malachi york

I was watching Brooklyn Community Access Television (BCAT) the other night and came across a program promoting the cult of Dr. Malachi York. I previously knew nothing about York but he and his group are definitely bat shit crazy. He borrows heavily from ideas promoted in Erich von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods, David Icke’s notion of reptilians and the concept of a New World order controlled by the Illuminati or the Bilderberg Group. Sounds like they would get along well with the Paulistas!

Prior to his tenure as a cult leader, York was a musician and member of the Black Panther Party. In 1970 he embraced his own distorted version of Islam organized a cult called Ansaru Allah Community. The group transformed its ideology and changed names numerous times from Ansaar Pure Sufi, to the Nubian Islamic Hebrews to Nuwaubians. Tensions developed between York and the larger Black Muslim sects and he eventually took his group out of New York City and moved south.

York and his minions established a community on a 440-acre farm in Putnam County, Georgia called Tama-Re. They now called themselves the Yamassee Native American Moors of the Creek Nation. Patterning their new community after a Hollywood caricature of ancient Egypt, the complex contained grand gates, pyramids and obelisks. I was able to dig a few pics:

nuwabian cult1

nuwaubian cult 2

TamaRe from air

Here is a small sample of York’s beliefs:

Africans or “Nubians” are not originally brown in complexion but green. The Earth’s atmosphere has “rusted” their complexion because the magnesium in their melanin has been replaced by iron.

York claimed to be an extraterrestrial master teacher from the planet Rizq in the galaxy Illyuwn and promised his followers in the year 2003 a spaceship would return from his home planet and collect 144,000 believers and take them back to his extraterrestrial homeland.

York told his followers that in 1952, grotesque extraterrestrial Andromedeans that resembled the Predator met with and frightened U.S. President Harry S. Truman. Other extraterrestrials have been trading with Earth since the Eisenhower administration, and are responsible for giving us technologies ranging from the polio vaccine to the hula hoop.

Each of us has seven clones.

Everyone is originally conceived as twins, but usually only one of the twins survives to be born.

Ok, you might be thinking dude and his followers are nuts but what’s the big deal? As long as they don’t hurt anyone who cares what they believe? Well, as is often the case with cults, the leaders abuse the followers. In York’s case, he is a convicted child abuser and molester. The first charge he was convicted of is raping a 13-year-old when he was 19. In 2002, he was charged with over 100 counts of child molestation and sentenced in 2004 to 135 years in prison. Tama-Re was razed by the authorities. York’s scheduled release date is December 15, 2119. I bet his followers have come up with some mystical significance for that date. Despite all evidence against their leader, they continue to profess his innocence.

Much more information available here.

[Comments are now closed. This post is five years old.]

ADDED:

To all the nuts, zombies and followers of Malachi York,

I have no problem with you leaving comments here at my blog but you must adhere to the conventions of written English. Also, if you do not have anything to add to the dialogue, consider posting somewhere else. For example, if you “know” that York is innocent of the charges he has been found guilty of, please provide some evidence.

–TNC

Political Cults: NATLFED

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I was involved with a variety of organizations on the radical left for close to fifteen years. Some were genuinely enjoyable (working with a radical press) others less so (attending meetings at the “revolutionary collective”). But the craziest experience, one that led me to challenge the alphabet soup of revolutionary organizations in the U.S. (what Ron Radosh terms the “leftover left”), was my time spent volunteering with a front group of the National Labor Federation.

The front group, or “entity” in cult jargon, will remain nameless. Like so many San Francisco Bay Area radical sects, they promoted an ultra-left, anti-imperialist line. What made them stand out was the services they provided in the community including food and clothing distributions and medical care. As a young urban radical, dedicated to the struggle for social justice™ and eager to work with a local, community-based organization, I called a number in their newspaper and arranged to meet with representatives of the organization. We met at their office. They talked about their projects (many), their need for volunteers (great), and the possibilities for organizing in Oakland (endless). What they failed to mention was this was not an independent organization, it was part of a larger group called the National Federation of Labor (NATLFED), a group that I later found out was a political cult.

At my first meeting they claimed the organization was independent and community supported. I wondered how they could pay for an office, publish a newspaper, and pay their staff? Did they get government grants? They said they refused government funding and all of the people in the organization were volunteers. Then they slowly let you know the organization is part of a larger organization of “strata-organizing entities” seeking to “organize the unorganized.”

Entities? Strata-organizing? WTF? If it sounds strange, it is. The organization operates with a vocabulary laden with acronyms and arcane terminology. Here are some examples from The Essential Organizer, NATLFEDs bible:

benefits program: Claimed program or programs for organizing people as members and providing them with medical, dental, legal, food, and clothing.

blue-sky briefing: Meeting held in an open field to avoid feared electronic eavesdropping.

cadre: A committed, Provisional Communist Party-dedicated member of the cult. “A cadre’s life goal and the organization’s goal are the same. A cadre’s lifestyle is the same as the organization lifestyle.” — The Essential Organizer

canvassing: A term common to all political groups for soliciting support. NATLFED canvassing is unique in its strident demands on front volunteers and cult members to canvass, and for the strident tone of canvassers toward potential donors. NATLFED canvassing can be door-to-door, or it can be street tabling — if the latter, often in front of banks and supermarkets.

Central Committee: Governing body of the Provisional Communist Party.

constitution: Putatively governing document of the cult. The Essential Organizer actually has more day-to-day relevance. The constitution includes a death penalty and says that you may criticize and leave the organization only within your first year, after which either is forbidden.

DOT: The time a NATLFED member has been committed to the inner organization, as distinct from the time the person was simply volunteering.

entity: A front of the national organization. Entities solicit resources for themselves and for the national organization, and recruit volunteers into cult membership. Publicly called a mutual benefit association.

The Essential Organizer: The secret, micromanaging organizational manual of NATLFED.

FIIN: Financial input, a form or system for managing expenses and income. Also a technique to raise money: “A FIIN tactic.”

FOP: Friend of the Party. Aware of the Provisional Communist Party and in agreement with its politics, but not ready to join.

member: NATLFED calls “member” someone who signs up to be part of a mutual benefit organization. Such “members” are little involved: they still have normal lives and are barely indoctrinated with the public goal of the group (to organize without revolution), never mind the secret goal (to organize with revolution). Cult watchers would call “members” people who accept the secret goal of the group and have structured their lives around it. NATLFED calls such people cadre.

mutual benefit organization: Public name for a recruiting entity. MBAs claim to be unionlike groups offering benefits to the needy in exchange for membership of $0.62 a month (said to be the average wage of a farm worker in the early 1970s). MBAs beg donations of cash or supplies from local residents and businesses. The needy receive negligible aid, however, and when they do get aid they are expected to return the favor with exhausting support of the MBA. Most resources are kept by the organization. When aid is given, it is to maintain the illusion of MBAs as charitable to the poor, or to propagandize, as in free mass Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners followed by lectures about strata organizing.

National Labor Federation: the network of local entities. NATLFED is a fraction of the Provisional Communist Party, the central, controlling core of the cult.

NOC: East Coast base of national operations for NATLFED. Pronounced “knock”; stands for “National Office Central.” Located in Brooklyn. Often called the Cave in press reports, but “cave” is a police term for any suspected group’s headquarters, and reporters have talked more to police more than to cult members. One room of NOC is indeed called the Cave, though. See also COSHAAD.

OPS: Operations manager. Also synonym for “operations” in general.

propaganda: “Information released at a time or a manner to sustain, create, or enforce an effect. Example: for us to write in the newsletter nice things about reformist groups is propaganda, because by doing it we hope that the reformists realize we are willing to talk to at least establish polemics . . . even if they are ignorant, self- serving assholes . . . or think we are, whatever the current dialectic of position may be.” — The Essential Organizer.

Provisional Communist Party: The core of the cult. Centrally governs all branches of the greater organization, of which NATLFED is its largest and most active fraction. Only committed, viable party members are officers of an entity, but volunteers of an entity may know nothing of the Party or even of NATLFED. Also known as the Communist Party of the U.S.A, Provisional; Provisional Party of Communists, the Formation, etc.

The front groups do not let you know anything about their connection with NATLFED when you walk in the door. Nor is NATLFED mentioned on any of their literature. Over time, they let volunteers know a little here and there and start to lay on a heavy pressuring technique along the lines of, “the world is going to hell and unless you become a full-time volunteer (cadre) it will only get worse!” For stubborn people like me, the more they laid it on, the less I volunteered. When I stopped completely they would call me three or four times a week but eventually cut back to calling once a week, then once a month, then they gave up. Others were sucked right in by this badgering. I met more than a few people who basically admitted, “yeah, they are crazy but they are doing really good work in the community.”

Reflecting on my experiences with radical groups in the U.S. I began to wonder, why do people get involved with political organizations that are so far on the margins? Do they believe the far-out goals of these groups will ever be attained? Or do they join for the sense of belonging and identity these groups provide? I think the latter plays a much larger role than most recognize.

[Read the FBI files on NATLFED and LARGO, a related group]

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[Logo of the National Equal Justice Association, or, NEJA. The organization’s money laundering wing or entity in cult jargon.]

Part II: Inside NATLFED (coming soon)

The Oneness Movement

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As regular readers know, I am interested in cults, especially political cults but religious ones as well. I’m not sure how I discovered the Oneness Movement or O.M. I must have been looking for something on Youtube. If you are not familiar with these nuts, here is what they are all about.

Their leader Sri Bhagavan (original name Vijaykumar Naidu), claims he is Kalki, the final avatar of Vishnu and can “enlighten” us mere mortals through his touch or gaze. The cult is also known as Kalki Deeksha movement. He and his wife, Sri Amma (Padmini), offer classes (level 1 and level 2) for thousands of dollars to facilitate the “enlightenment” process. It is an old scam that never ends to bring in new suckers.

Loved and worshipped by millions, Sri Amma Bhagavan are avatars for enlightenment and God realisation. They are one single avataric consciousness in two bodies. They represent the Divine feminine and the Divine masculine. Together Amma and Bhagavan power the process of enlightenment of the individual seeker as Yin and Yang, stillness and movement, Prakruti and Purusha.

The new twist for this cult is claiming spiritual awakening or deeksha is a “neurobiological process” and adding strange accoutrements like a golden orb to the standard Hindu cosmology:

The phenomenon of the Oneness Blessing/Oneness Deeksha is sourced in the descent of the “Golden Ball of Divine Grace”, a mystical golden orb of light, into which Sri Amma Bhagavan had impregnated their divine consciousness since early childhood through a very esoteric process. In July 1989, this Golden Ball of divine grace descended into many children of the Jeevashram School founded by Sri Amma & Bhagavan. With the descent of the Golden Ball these children were instantly transported into deep mystical states of consciousness and experienced profound transformation, thus heralding the birth of a phenomenon Sri Amma Bhagavan had been waiting for over nearly four decades.

The Golden Ball of Divine grace embodies the divine intent of Sri Amma Bhagavan, namely ‘to set man totally and unconditionally free’ and it is this intent that powers the Oneness Blessings/Oneness Deekshas worldwide. Oneness Blessing/Oneness Deeksha is essentially the process of facilitating the descent of this Golden Ball, which naturally activates a neurobiological process in the receiver’s brain, thus culminating in a spiritual awakening. In addition, it also activates the seven energy centers (chakras) in the subtle body and the dormant spiritual energy (kundalini), which constitutes the basis of every form of transformation in life, mundane as well as spiritual.

How people fall for this nonsense is actually rather sad. In one devotee’s words:

‘Diksha’, or baptism as we know it in the West, is a hands-on transference of Divine energy that brings about a state of oneness, or enlightenment. In the past, only a very few have been blessed with this state. Now, for the first time in human history, enlightenment is being made available to everyone through the grace if Sri Bhagavan (See picture). Sri Bhagavan, or Kalki as he is often called, is an Avatar who has the mission of bringing enlightenment to the world at this critical time.

Bhagavan says that you cannot attain a full state of enlightenment through your own efforts, although you can get close. Full enlightenment is a state that must be given to you!

What happens to us when we receive Diksha probably cannot be understood by the human mind, but it can best be described as a neuro-biological shift in the brain. We become detached or de-clutched from our mind. We are still able to feel feelings and have old thoughts, but there is no charge there anymore, and we start to experience permanent peace and joy. It is not about becoming mindless, but rather ‘mindful’ and being totally present with reality as it is.

If you were a native African, for example, you could probably become enlightened after receiving only one Diksha. However, we in the West are holding onto so many emotional blocks and concepts about life, that it is not as easy for us to attain this state.

Here is a different perspective:

I am having a hard time getting my money refunded from the people at the Oneness Movement. They have been extremely “nice” but they are basically charging me in order to refund the money. God, I wish I never gave them the fucking money in the first place. It’s another expensive lesson, but the same one over and over – listen to myself, not any one else who claims to have some kind of “answer”.

It seemed so appealing, the thought of all my Issues dissolving after three weeks of deeksha. But the warning signs were there. Signing the waiver saying I could withstand sleep and food deprivation, the high fee and the inability to leave the ashram, being told everyone has the same questions as me so I should just go with the flow and ignore what my inner voice was saying…I am grateful for my rational over-thinking mind coming in to save the day!

But now I have to deal with these mo-fo’s to get the money back. And I am learning about cults and mind-control as I try to navigate through their system of niceties and bullshit. They have me by the balls. I want to write an expose on them before they get much larger, but who the hell has heard of deeksha? Or, as they call it now, Oneness Deeksha or Oneness Prayer. That edict came down from on high last week – maybe the authorities are getting on to the deeksha name.

It turns out many of the early devotees were likely dosed with hallucinogenic leyham without their consent, leading to the extraordinary experiences they shared together. After leaving the Oneness University many of the devotees experience withdrawals and psychosis. Some have committed suicide.

As to where all the money is going. Part of it is going to build this temple:

The rest is being invested in personal properties and businesses owned by cult leadership.

Read more:

Website of the Global Oneness Commitment, “Co-creating a happy world.”

Guruphiliac:

Deeksha is a Sanskrit word meaning “benediction;” one “Deeksha giver” explains that deeksha “initiates a neurobiological change in the brain that when complete enables the senses to be free from the interference of the mind. When the senses are unclouded by the mind’s interpretations, a natural clarity of perception occurs with accompanying spontaneous feelings of joy, inner calmness and connection to the Oneness in everything.” Ahh, smell the bliss!

[Comments are now closed. This post is five years old.]

Truthers Call for “Fact Based” Investigation

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Here in NYC, truthers are trying to gather 30,000 signatures in support of their ballot initiative calling for a “fact based” investigation of the terrorist events on September 11, 2001. The investigation will be conducted by an independent “citizens commission” of luminaries including resident Pacifica radio pseudo-scholar Ralph Schoenman, LaRouche affiliate Karen Kwiatkowski, and perennial fellow traveler Ed Asner.

Will they gather the necessary signatures to get the initiative on the November ballot? Probably not. But even if the initiative manages to pass, what next? What impact will this have on policy? Like citizens tribunals and other manifestations of the political fringe, none. But it will allow conspiracy peddlers like Schoneman and Kwiatkowski to bolster their reputations in the truther cult.

The Best of Ron Paul Art

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[h/t to Sultan Knish]

The Sultan writes:

Lately I’ve been getting emails and comment spam demanding that I revisit the failed candidacy of Ron Paul, which is somehow no longer a failed candidacy because of the attempted hijacking of the Nevada convention. And since it is late at night and no one is reading anyway, I’m happy to revisit it.

Behold.

In the far future, seconds from now, when historians will gather around their campfires and herd their yaks together to gaze back across the vast oasis of time at the great religious movements of history, they will no doubt cast their glance back at the great epochal tide of religious movements, Edisonism, Glaucology and of course the Ron Paul Campaign.

Like any great religious movement the Ron Paul campaign has produced no shortage of great art and it is our manifest destiny here to present them in all their glory.

[read it all]

[Ron Paul Revolution Liberty Goat]

Your Black Muslim Bakery, Inc. Linked to Seven Murders (maybe more)

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I’ve blogged about Your Black Muslim Bakery, Inc. (YBMB) in the past. YBMB was raided by the Oakland Police Department after a bakery employee confessed to murdering Chauncey Bailey, a journalist investigating the bakery for a variety of crimes. Bailey’s murder gave rise to the Chauncey Bailey Project.

The research of these investigative journalists has helped to reopen a 1986 Oakland homicide and a 1968 double-homicide case 350 miles down the coast in Santa Barbara. What is the Santa Barbara connection? It turns out that YBMB founder Yusuf Bey ran a bakery and mosque in Santa Barbara in the 1960s with his brother (then known as Billy X Stephens) and the victims were associated with both. This is at least the seventh murder that the Chauncey Bailey Project has connected to YBMB.

Read More:

Christopher Hitchens at Slate

The Los Angeles Times

San Jose Mercury News

East Bay Express