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A court in a Moscow suburb has banned works by the founder of the Church of Scientology, officials said Thursday.

The Shchyolkovo court ruled that “What is Scientology?” and other books by L. Ron Hubbard “contain calls for extremist activities,” the Prosecutor General’s office said in a statement.

It said that once the court decision comes into force, scientology books will be put on the federal list of extremist materials banned for release throughout Russia. The court made the ruling following a request by local prosecutors.

Attempts by Russian authorities to ban Scientology literature have been overturned recently. In May, the Russian Justice Ministry removed Hubbard’s books from the list of banned literature after a decision by a court in Siberia was overturned.

Scientology officials said they would protest the latest court decision.

“There have been many legal violations, the case is unfounded and the trial was hasty,” the group’s attorney Sergei Korzikov told The Associated Press. “We could not defend our legal interests.”

The group’s spokesman in Russia, Yuri Maximov, said that Russia is home to “tens of thousands” of Scientology devotees. Russian media have claimed that some powerful businessmen and officials are among Scientology adepts.

Russia’s dominant Orthodox Church has denounced Scientology as a “totalitarian sect,” and the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Moscow city authorities infringed on the group’s rights by repeatedly refusing to register it. In 2007 and 2009 the Strasbourg-based court issued decisions upholding the rights of Russian Scientologists to practice their religion free from unlawful government interference.

Hubbard, a science fiction writer, founded the Los Angeles-based Church of Scientology in 1954. It teaches that technology can expand the mind and help solve problems.

The group claims 10 million members around the world, including film stars Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

Scientologists say that there are more than 280 million copies of Hubbard’s books distributed around the world.

Belgium, Germany and other European countries have been criticized by the U.S. State Department for labeling Scientology as a cult or sect and enacting laws to restrict its operations and monitor its activities.

Original text from: http://www.facts.org.cn/Reports/World/201108/t133312.htm

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Seven members of a supposed Durham-based cult known as the “Black Hebrews” have been indicted on charges involving the deaths of 5-year-old Jadon Tyrell James Higganbothan and 29-year-old Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy.

The two victims had been missing for months before their decomposed remains were found in early June behind a 2622 Ashe St. home in East Durham.

Authorities allege the two were shot to death.

The grand jury has indicted the following Black Hebrews members on a variety of charges:

– Pete Lucas Moses Jr. — indicted for two counts of murder.

– P. Leonard Moses — indicted for accessory after the fact to the first-degree murder of Antoinetta McKoy.

– Shelia Moses — indicted for accessory after the fact to the first-degree murder of Antoinetta McKoy.

– Vania Rae Sisk — indicted for murder and indicted for accessory after the fact to the murder of Jadon Tyrell James Higganbothan.

– LaRhonda Renee Smith — indicted for murder; indicted for accessory after the fact to the murder of Jadon Tyrell James Higganbothan; indicted for felony breaking or entering and larceny after breaking or entering.

– Lavada Quinzetta Harris — indicted for murder; indicted for accessory after the fact to the murder of Jadon Tyrell James Higganbothan.

– Sheilda Evelyn Harris — indicted for accessory after the fact to the first-degree murder of Antoinetta McKoy.

Sisk is the mother of the slain boy. Pete Lucas Moses Jr. is the reported leader of the Black Hebrews.

McKoy and Jadon lived in a home at 2109 Pear Tree Lane with other members of the Black Hebrews before their disappearances.

In an affidavit for a search warrant filed earlier this year by the Teller County (Colo.) Sheriff’s Office, a detective said he was told that Sisk had left Durham with a group of Black Hebrews followers and headed to Colorado with only three of her four children.

Investigators searched the home where Sisk was staying in Colorado and couldn’t find Jadon. Social services took custody of 10 children at the Colorado home, including three of Sisk’s children.

According to the affidavit, Durham investigators said their information came from a confidential informant — a former member of the Black Hebrews — who had reportedly escaped from the group.

The informant said Jadon was shot by a member of the group in October, wrapped in plastic, put in a suitcase and placed into an attic in the house.

The report said the body began to smell and was later removed.

The affidavit quoted an informant as saying that in February, McKoy, got into an argument with a member of the Black Hebrews over car keys that could not be found. McKoy ran out of the house, flagged down a female passer-by and requested help. She got into the car and two women from the home came out and told the passerby that everything was OK and escorted McKoy back to the home.

According to the affidavit, a member of the group gave a woman in the house a 9mm handgun and told her to watch McKoy. He returned later and told her to shoot McKoy, which she did. The man then helped both women remove McKoy’s body from the house and buried her.

Original text from: http://www.facts.org.cn/Reports/World/201108/t132847.htm

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Cult leader held

AN Australian national wanted for charges ranging from tax evasion and assault to illegal possession of firearms and explosives has been taken into the custody of Immigration authorities.

Agape Ministries pastor Rocco Leo Agape was caught on Sunday, June 19 after a combined raid by the police, Transitional Crime Unit and the Department of Immigration.

The leader of the controversial Agape Ministries, which Australian authorities have described as a doomsday-type cult, is also said to have tried to hide AUD$5million (FJ$9.3m) hours before his financial assets were frozen.

Arms and explosives were also found in containers linked to the group as well as on its properties with relatives of members with children expressing concerns over their wellbeing.

After more than a year on the run from Australian authorities, Mr Agape, who had also been sighted in Vanuatu, was caught at Tiri Villas in Deuba.

Mr Agape, whom director of immigration Major Nemani Vuniwaqa confirmed entered the country last month, was apprehended along with a female.

Major Vuniwaqa said: “The pair are being detained for overstaying their visitors’ permits along with a third male who arrived in the country with the pair last year.

“The third individual handed himself to the authorities at around midday on Tuesday.”

Investigations into the trio’s whereabouts and activities over the past 12 months continue.

Original text from:
http://www.facts.org.cn/Reports/World/201107/t131924.htm

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I refer to 2 sources before I want to make any stands.

http://ug.china-embassy.org/eng/zt/jpxjflg/t219477.htm

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/f02.html

I believe some of you may have heard of Falun gong or Falun Dafa. I saw these people like asking for donations or awareness of some humanitarian problem against the Falun gong people who practice it. Ok let me be fair. I believe china, treating these Falun gong people, is unfair, because they torture, kope organs etc. But let me make this clear: Falun gong is not a religious or spiritual ting: it’s more of a cult.

It’s this guy called Li Hongzhi who started it. He sort of make himself the main boss of this Falun gong thing. And it becomes a cult cos all those believing Falun gong muz duno some places chant his name blah blah. This Li Hongzhi guy believes the world is evil, and preach it, and only by following his Falun gong thing then u can u noe, achieve some sort of a spiritual ting. And you must do something weird one. And the teachings also like weird weir.

“The last of the 13 ”Basic Requirements and Points of Attention for Practicing Falun Gong” contain some eerie words from Li: ”If you are interfered with by some terrifying scenes or feel threatened, just say to yourself: I am protected by my Master (??? I am protected by a human who is not beside me??). I am not afraid of anything. You may chant the name of Master Li, and continue with your practice.” Although the statement is intended to reassure Falun Gong practitioners of Master Li’s protection while they practice his prescribed exercises, they reveal two realities about Li and his spiritual disciplines. First, contact with spirit beings (i.e., demons) is a real possibility when one engages in Li’s exercises….

aiyo. I don’t want to say too much lar. Later people come after me. But anw Falun gong is banned in Singapore too, because it is cult. It is this guy trying to make people believe in him, but in the end they may turn demonic, satanic. I hope none of my friends will turn to this cult. Seriously.

(Blogspot.com, October 17, 2008)

text from: http://english.kaiwind.com/puop/201106/t129622.htm

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Astute readers of our site, or others gifted with vision, will have noticed that I made a post about a certain cult recently that was not well received. Before we get to the meat, I need to come clean about something: I recently got access to uncensored internet and couldn’t find any FLG ads on the GIFC website. The Washington Post article I was working off said that there were ads on their software download page, which I found concerning, but I don’t see any advertisements, FLG-related or otherwise, when I visit their site myself. A rare WaPo error, or am I missing something here?

In any event, as a direct result of that post I’ve been conducting an extensive discussion with commenter J. Zhang via email about FLG in general. He, and others, have suggested that I am biased against FLG. In a way, this is true, although “bias” suggests prejudice without reason, and I do have my reasons. Since we’ve already attracted some of the faithful and people seem to be interested in talking about it, I thought I would rehash a little bit of our discussion here.

For the record — and please feel free to ignore this part when you’re accusing me of being a callous jerk and/or 五毛党 in the comments — I am not a supporter of the way the Chinese government has persecuted FLG members. I would love to see more evidence for any of the claims made on either side, but regardless, it seems fairly clear that terrible things are happening and have happened.

However, I don’t see that as being particularly related to FLG. Granted, they’re the biggest group that’s aroused this level of ire, but the government deals with dissidents, petitioners, and protesters of all sorts in similar ways. FLG members are hardly the only people who’ve been tortured and killed in the hands of the CCP over the past decade. High-profile dissidents like Liu Xiaobo and Tan Zuoren get lengthy prison terms, but the fate of the less-well-known can be decidedly worse. The persecution of FLG is perhaps more centralized and organized, but that doesn’t make it more widespread, nor does it make it more evil. The persecution of FLG is a symptom, not the disease, and there are other symptoms that are equally important. What the “disease” is is something impossible to answer fully in the scope of a short blog post, but in brief, it is lack of government oversight and lack of the rule of law.

But my problems with the Falun Gong start closer to home. Though proponents allege that there is “no organization” and “no leader”, there is an official website1, and the writings on that website come almost entirely from the group’s founder and the origin of their beliefs, Li Hongzhi. These writings, along with Li’s lectures, make it clear that the religion/cult has ties to a number of media organizations, such as the Epoch Times, which Li himself visited to give a lecture last year.

Ostensibly, the Epoch Times is an independent organization that strives to “present a diversity of opinions”. In reality, they are widely-known among China watchers as an FLG publication that frequently advocates FLG-friendly policies. Chief among these, and omnipresent in nearly everything created by FLG-affiliated groups, is the drive to get Chinese people to quit the Communist Party. In fact, Epoch Times staff members — operating in their official capacities — have held press conferences and rallies promoting the Nine Commentaries and denouncing the CCP. Yet there is no admission of any connection to FLG or to their advancing a specific political agenda anywhere on their website or in their newspaper.

In the case of the Epoch Times, this may not matter (everyone already knows who writes it), but this kind of bait-and-switch unethical presentation is typical of FLG-affiliated outreach efforts. Just take, for example, one of their recent cultural shows, billed as a celebration of Chinese New Year that was kid-friendly. According to the New York Times, horrified audience members, many of whom had paid exorbitant ticket prices, discovered a few performances into the act that the whole thing was a agitprop piece that contained violent scenes of prison abuse. Dozens, perhaps hundreds, walked out of Radio City Music Hall in the middle of the show.

I find this lack of transparency bizarre and concerning. I have no problem with FLG advancing a political or religious agenda, but they should not try to cloak it as traditional media or apolitical entertainment. This is dishonest and off-putting.

My bigger problem with FLG, though, is the anti-CCP political agenda they advance. Make no mistake, I am not pro-CCP; however, everything I’ve read from FLG is woefully unclear as to what, exactly, they want the CCP to be replaced with. This strikes me as a rather important detail. Chinese historians will recall that the corrupt Qing dynasty was overthrown in the early twentieth century only to be replaced by a government that was, for all intents and purposes, just as bad (if not worse2 ).

An excerpt from my most recent email to J. Zhang:

I think [FLG’s] approach of trying to destroy the CCP is completely useless until there is something better with which to replace it. Regardless of their treatment of dissenters, I think life under the CCP is preferable to life under warlordism again, so the CCP needs to be either (a) reformed from within or (b) overthrown by some group so exceedingly powerful that it can quickly take control of the entire country to prevent a disastrous transition period. Everything I’ve seen from FLG (which granted isn’t everything they’ve written) is pretty vague on what exactly they want to happen after the CCP falls, and I think it’s pretty naive to assume that the next regime would be any better. The problem isn’t the CCP, really — I suspect any party in a one-party state is likely to commit similar abuses, especially with no real rule of law or oversight.

And while I would love to see those who have abused power be out of it, that needs to happen under the right conditions. Given what happened after the fall of the Qing dynasty (and the geographic distribution of weapons and power in the Chinese military now) it’s not hard to imagine what could happen if the CCP were to be felled by a civil war or a coup…

In short: CCP policies have been a disaster for FLG members. But if the CCP disappeared tomorrow, that would probably be a disaster for EVERYONE in China, [FLG members included].

Anyway, I have probably ranted long enough. Readers! Begin assaulting my reasoning, character, and whatever else you can sink your claws into in 3…2…1!

About the author

Charles Custer is American, born and raised in New England. In college, he studied China quite extensively. His major was East Asian Studies with a focus on China, and during his time there he set departmental records for the most courses taken in-department, etc. Now he is teaching English in Harbin, as well as pursuing some other side projects. The blog is one of them; he is also an underground hip-hop artist with three albums under his belt, currently working on his fourth and firth.

(Chinadivide.com, May 19, 2010)

text from: http://english.kaiwind.com/puop/201105/t129001.htm

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My name is Wang Xiu, female, 57 years old. I was born in Zaoyang City, Hubei Province. I live at Room 302 of the Low-rent House District, Nanyuan Community Committee, Beicheng Sub-district Office of the Zaoyang City. I used to have a happy family. My daughter studied in a key high school in the city. My husband supported our family by selling small commodities while I did housework at home. The three of us led a happy life. And our family was then a really enviable one.

Suffering from scapulohumeral periarthritis, I always got throes in my shoulder joint and I couldn’t do the housework as I would. In July 1998, I was introduced to Fanlun Gong by my sister cousin and began to practice it for healing and improving health. After one week of regular cultivation, I felt much better and thought it beneficial to cultivate Falun Dafa. And from then on, I put more efforts into practicing Falun Gong. In addition, I bought the portrait of Li Hongzhi and hung it on the wall. I burnt joss sticks and worshipped him punctually every day, becoming more and more obsessed with the cult. In July 1999, the government banned Fanlun Gong, but I refused to obey the orders and kept exercising secretly for many years. During that time, I frequently went out to “clarify the truth” for Falun Gong and participated illegal gatherings organized by Falun Gong diehards.

In 2006, my daughter, who was always eager to do well in everything, failed in the entrance examination for college. This was a real shock to her and she stayed at home in low spirits for days. On seeing that, I gave her the book Zhuan Falun and tried to persuade her to get rid of attachment and let go of fame, interest and emotion. By and by, my daughter became fascinated with Falun Dafa under my influence. Although my husband was opposed to our practicing, but my daughter and I wouldn’t listen to his words, we argued back vehemently, “we practice not only for ourselves, but also for the blessing and happiness of the whole family”. My daughter always turned her back upon her father and persisted in cultivating Falun Dafa with me, totally ignoring my husband’s advice.

But little by little, I found there was something wrong with my daughter. She constantly told me that Master’s Fashen was right behind her, and that she was horrified. I often found her curling up under the table and crying out in panic, “I’ll practice it right now, I promise!” Sometimes, she even fell into a trance and recited scriptures from Zhuan Falun. However, I thought that’s because my daughter had accumulated too much Karma, or her cultivation had provoked the “demons.” So I exerted all my strength to “send out righteous thoughts” to her, prayed for her, and begged the Master to help her “pass the test”.

Noticing my daughter’s abnormal state, my husband took her to hospital regardless of my opposition. The doctor’s diagnosis was schizophrenia. Yet I could not accept the fact that my daughter was mentally ill. To make things worse, I kept practicing heart and soul every day instead of dissuading her in time, expecting that by doing so I would help her eliminate karma and cure her illness. In order to be elevated to a higher level, I learned Fa and practiced harder and harder in the dream of reaching Consummation. At the same time, I myself was also trapped in the illusory world without the strength to get out.

On October 17, 2006, I stayed at home and sat in bed for meditation as usual. Several minutes later, I lost in a dream world, and felt as if my body was going to fly, but failed ultimately. After a while, I was wet with sweat. I began to feel dizzy with hallucination that Master was calling me. Fooled by illusions, I thought I was about to become a God or a Buddha, and Master Li was waving at me high above the heavens. How wonderful it was! I was going with wind like a bird, floating across the sky. And this must be the case Master Li had described. Yes, it was the miracle of “Ascension in Broad Daylight!” I was finally reaching Consummation and would soon become a real god! Muddy-minded, I hurried to the balcony and jumped over the parapet while shouting at the top of my voice “Falun Dafa is good!” Falling to the ground from the third floor, I lost my consciousness. Later on, with the help of my husband and the neighbors nearby, I was sent to the First People’s Hospital of Zaoyang City. Luckily, I survived after the timely rescue and more than half a month’s therapy. But the incident left me paralyzed from the waist down to the feet, and hence I was unable to walk upright.

Seated in the wheelchair, I was full of sorrows to look at my pixilated daughter and my husband’s gaunt face. Up to now, I finally realized that I was totally wrong. I even felt ashamed when thinking about my daughter. As a matter of fact, practicing Falun Gong didn’t cure my illness, but led to my daughter’s mental illness and my own paralysis. Falun Gong did cause infinite harm to people.

text from: http://english.kaiwind.com/Data/02/201105/t128655.htm

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Canadians were rightly astonished and angry when it was revealed that City of Vancouver staff consulted with the Chinese regime before drawing up Vancouver’s controversial draft protest bylaw.

The input was sought on the new bylaw which would effectively prevent Falun Gong practitioners from erecting signs or a kiosk outside the Chinese consulate on Granville Street.

Clive Ansley, a lawyer representing Falun Gong, described the consulation with the Chinese as “disgraceful” and “indefensible.”

Councillor David Cadman questioned why we would talk to a government that imprisons artists and squashes liberties.

Falun Gong spokesperson Sue Zhang accused China of ‘genocide’ while expressing her outrage, alongside the B.C. Civil Liberties Union and others.

What was largely ignored was that the City of Vancouver also met with Falun Gong practitioners when the original draft was being drawn up.

But no one seems to mind that, because the Falun Gong has become a sacred cow in the minds of many in the mainstream media.

If anything, there would be a louder outcry against the cult group, should the mainstream media start looking at some of their teachings instead of parroting unsubstantiated reports that Falun Gong has millions of followers who are constantly being persecuted.

Here are some Falun Gong facts that get ignored;

Falun Dafa, which was founded in 1992, is an idiosyncratic blend of beliefs and practises as assembled by its founder Li Hongzhi. This includes Taoist and Buddhist references predicated upon a belief in extraterrestrials and practised through a set of prescribed exercises and meditation techniques.

While Li Hongzhi talks about “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance,” neither he nor his followers actually demonstrate any tolerance concerning critical questions or inquiry. You question them, they call it persecution.

In Mr. Li’s world view, mixed-race people are part of a plot, contrived by the evil extraterrestrials. “By mixing the races of humans, the aliens make humans cast off gods,” he told a gathering in Switzerland in 1998.

“Mixed races” are supposedly excluded from the “truth” and “have lost their roots, as if nobody in the paradise will take care of them. They belong to nowhere, and no places would accept them . . . the higher levels do not recognize such a human race,” he preached.

According to Mr. Li, the offspring of mixed race unions are therefore “intellectually incomplete” or “with an incomplete body.” In such cases, only he, Master Li, can help and “take care of it” (i.e. resolve the “incomplete” state). However, that can be done only if “such a person wants to practice cultivation.”

Li Hongzhi also encourages hatred of homosexuals. “The disgusting homosexuality shows the dirty abnormal psychology of the gay who has lost his ability of reasoning at the present time,” Li Hongzhi wrote in Volume II of Zhuan Falun, or Turning the Law Wheel, which was translated into English in 1996.

In his talk in Switzerland, Li Hongzhi also stated that gay people would be “eliminated” by “the gods.” Asked in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1998 whether gays could practice Falun Gong, Mr. Li answered, “You can cultivate, but you must give up the bad conduct.”

And for good measure, Master Li preaches that Africa has a two billion-year- old nuclear reactor, that aliens who look human, but have “a nose made of bone,” invaded Earth to introduce modern technology and whose teachings are at ” a higher level than those of Buddha and Christ .”

He apparently also can fly and has the power to telekinetically implant the falun, or law wheel, into the abdomens of his followers, where it absorbs and releases power as it spins.

Now some of you may wonder why we are bringing this up. That’s because we have felt the brunt of the Falun Gong hypocrisy when it comes to freedom of expression, which apparently is central to the group’s cause.

In 2009, Frank Cui, the owner of the Burnaby-based Epoch Press, which is affiliated with the Falun Gong movement, and which used to print the Asian Pacific Post, held our publication hostage because they did not like what they read in that edition.

The non-controversial story was about an elaborate dance production showcasing Chinese culture. Cui and his cabal did not like the story’s “balanced” approach. They did not want readers to see the Chinese government’s views of the Falun Gong. They wanted to control the content and said they had a “legal right” to do it.

When Harbinder Singh Sewak, the publisher of the Asian Pacific Post, said no, Cui refused to release the paper from the print shop. He did so later, after being advised that you can’t do such things in Canada.

Cui in an e-mailed press statement said “Unfortunately, news reporters feel that they must ‘balance’ stories about Falun Gong or events they are involved in by adding the bad words or opinions from the CCP [Chinese Communist Party], but in my feeling, between victim and perpetrator there can never be any neutrality or balance.”

This matter of the Asian Pacific Post newspaper being held hostage will be heard by the Supreme Court of B.C. soon, where more intriguing details of how the Falun Gong cult operates, where they get their money from, and how they influence politicians etc., will take centre stage in a court room.

For now, it is suffice to say that consulting with the Chinese government is as outrageous as consulting with the Falun Gong cult, when it comes to Vancouver bylaws.

text from: http://english.kaiwind.com/Reports/World/201105/t127842.htm

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