Archive for the ‘Christian Fundamentalists’ Category


Christian Church Leaders Charged With ‘Horrific Crimes Against Children’

Horrific crimes against children: Leaders of a militant Christian church in New Mexico are under arrest for abusing and raping children.

According to reports, charges against leaders of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps include over 100 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and multiple charges of child abuse.

KOAT reports:

The Cibola County Sheriff’s Office says deputies arrested Deborah Green, Peter Green, Joshua Green, and Stacey Miller of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps Sunday morning. According to the group’s website, Deborah and her husband James are the “Generals” and command their army to spread Christian ideals throughout the world. They’re based out of Fence Lake in western Cibola County.

Vice reports on the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps:

The Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps (ACMTC) of Fence Lake is an isolated, militaristic religious organization. In 1981, Deborah and James Green formed the group in Sacramento, California. Previously, they have been accused of familiar cult-like tactics of controlling member’s finances, limiting contact with the outside world, and isolating members without proper food, water, or hygiene. Since their inception, they’ve been listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

The Associated Press reports on the charges:

Sect co-leader Deborah Green was arrested on charges that included failure to report a birth, child abuse and sexual penetration of a minor.

Peter Green, also known as Mike Brandon, faces 100 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child on suspicion of raping a girl “at least four times a week” from the time she was 7, according to court documents.

Joshua Green, the son of sect founders Deborah and James Green, was charged with failure to report a birth.

Stacey Miller faces one count each of intentional abuse of a child age 12 to 18, bribery of a witness and not reporting a birth.

On their website, the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps claims the charges are “totally false.”

Earlier today Cibola County Magistrate Court Judge Larry Dia ordered that the group’s leader Peter Green be held on $5 million secured bond, and co-leader Deborah Green be held on a $500,000 secured bond, according to a report via ABC.

Christian Church Leaders Charged With ‘Horrific Crimes Against Children’ (Image via YouTube)
Christian Church Leaders Charged With ‘Horrific Crimes Against Children’ (Image via YouTube)

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Evangelicals stunned that they’ve finally alienated everyone, including those in their own ‘party’

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After years of lecturing everyone about right and wrong and “family values” and attempting to statutorily impose their own beliefs on America, Christian fundamentalists are now shocked to find out that they’ve been abandoned by pretty much everyone, including the Republican party. Katie Zezima reports on fundie dysphoria in the wake of Donald Trump’s ascension to titular head of the Republican party.

“In a sense, we feel abandoned by our party,” [Pastor Gary] Fuller said. “There’s nobody left.”

Fuller and other conservatives whose voting decisions are guided by their Christian faith find themselves dismayed and adrift now that Trump has wrested control of the Republican Party. It is a sentiment that reaches from the small, aluminum-sided church with a large white cross on its front that Fuller and his wife built on the Nebraska plains to the highest levels of American religious life. Even progressive Christians — evangelicals and Catholics, among others — who don’t necessarily vote Republican are alarmed that Trump is attracting many voters who call themselves religious. […]

“This year the Republican Party has not just surrendered on the culture wars, they’ve joined the other side. And that’s a unique situation,” said Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“This year” may turn out to be a gross underestimation of the cultural change that’s taking place within the GOP and America, frankly. Trump and his followers have mostly rejected the notion that they need to embrace the fundamentalist agenda in order to win and—perhaps more to the point—that winning on fundie terms is even worth it.

Ted Cruz’s failure to convert his demonization of transgender individuals into votes in Indiana wasn’t simply a local miscalculation, it was fundamental misunderstanding of where the nationwide electorate stands on LGBTQ issues. While the public is still learning about gay and transgender people, voters seem less vulnerable to “the sky is falling” messages that social conservatives employed with same-sex marriage, for instance. As a poll found this week, 57 percent of Americans oppose mandating which bathrooms transgender individuals should use and 75 percent support equal protection laws for transgender Americans in jobs, housing, and public accommodations.

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Wisconsin Lawmaker: Convert To Christianity Or Be ‘Destroyed’

 

Wisconsin state Rep. Scott Allen (Image via Screen Grab)

 Convert or be destroyed: A Wisconsin lawmaker tells constituents who are “not Christian” to join him and his fellow Christians and convert to Christianity or be “destroyed.”

Wisconsin state Rep. Scott Allen (R) speaks of Christian love while telling non-Christians they will be destroyed in an obnoxious and condescending YouTube video posted on the official “Wisconsin Assembly Republicans” YouTube channel earlier this month.

In the video a patronizing and smug Allen uses a Bible verse to suggest non-Christians will be “destroyed” –

Merry Christmas. To me and my fellow Christians, celebrating the birth of our Savior, our Emanuel, well, it is one of the most important celebrations of the year. For those who may watch this who are not Christians, I invite you to consider the hope offered by the Prince of Peace.

For all who watch this, I hope that you are filled with joy and high spirits and that your life is full of festivity and rejoicing. If, like me, you celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, I ask you this holiday season to consider the words found in Hebrews 10: 24-25: “Let us consider how we may spur one another one in word and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.”

My friends, we attain peace through love. This season, think of how you can love the people in your life: Family, friends, neighbors, just a little bit more. Encourage them. Fellowship with them. Our world needs more love and more peace. We do our part to make this world a more peaceful place by being more loving in our relationships. We gain strength through love. Hebrews 10 concludes: “We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.”

Merry Christmas.

For a government official to use his official position to proselytize and threaten non-Christians with “destruction” is abhorrent, and signals a profound disrespect for the U.S. Constitution and the secular values upon which this nation was founded.

Commenting on the obnoxious video, Hemant Mehta, writing for Friendly Atheist, notes:

There’s a pleasant message from a politician: I invite you to join my religion before you’re destroyed. The subtext, of course, is that he believes there’s something wrong with non-Christians.

The Associated Press reports the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos complaining that Allen is overtly proselytizing. The letter includes a request for all documents related to the video to determine whether state resources were used in its production or distribution and notes the U.S. Constitution prohibits government sponsorship of religious messages. The letter states, in part:

While Allen is free to promote his personal religious beliefs on his own time, it is inappropriate to do so when he is afforded a special platform due to his elected position. Using state resources to promote one particular religion, and suggesting that people should convert or even consider converting to that religion, is unconstitutional.

Allen’s message is inappropriate if not unconstitutional, and a direct insult to all non-Christians. More than this, by releasing such a message Allen is engaged in and promoting bigotry against atheists, agnostics and other freethinkers who reject his religious superstition.

Bottom line: Elected officials should not use their position to proselytize. Full stop.

(H/T Friendly Atheist) – Watch the unethical video below –

 

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Creationists Once Again Threaten to Make a Mockery of Texas Science Education
Teach the controversy
There is no controversy.
Photo by Teach the Controversy t-shirts

Let me get this out of the way immediately: The Earth is more than 4 billion years old. Evolution is real and is the basis for all modern understanding of biology. Climate change is happening, and humans are causing it.

These fundamental scientific truths are agreed upon by the vast, overwhelming majority of scientists who study those particular fields, because of the vast, overwhelming evidence in those particular fields supporting them. It’s important that we teach this to young students, as well as how to understand what constitutes real evidence as opposed to ideological zealotry.

If you live in Texas, however, that necessity is under a real threat.

It has been for a long time; in 2007 Gov. Rick Perry appointed Don McLeroy, a young-Earth creationist, to head the state Board of Education (BoE), setting up a situation where education in Texas suffered mightily. In 2009 the state science standards were weakened, with clearly Biblically based beliefs behind the effort. In 2010 the BoE approved revisionist history in the textbooks (including apologetics for Joseph McCarthy, in case you were wondering just how ridiculous this stuff gets). In 2011 Texas creationists tried to get religious supplemental materials inserted into classes but lost. It goes on and on, and all the while they’ve been picking away at science and reality.

And now we’re entering a new round. Earlier this year, the BoE sent out letters to “experts” asking to help them evaluate the high school biology textbooks being considered for use.

You can guess where this is going.

Several of the “experts” were creationists, and they met recently to give their opinions. Several statements given by them have been made public, and well, wow:

I understand the National Academy of Science’s [sic] strong support of the theory of evolution. At the same time, this is a theory. As an educator, parent, and grandparent, I feel very firmly that ‘creation science’ based on Biblical principles should be incorporated into every Biology book that is up for adoption.

Ah yes, the “it’s only a theory” gambit, which is essentially a shortcut to show you how ignorant of science the person is who utters it. Evolution isn’t just a guess. It really is the basis of understanding for nearly all modern biology.

And by the way, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution makes it clear that you cannot teach creation “science” in public schools. There have been many, many court cases about that, and they tend to fall on the side of reality. Teaching religion as fact in public schools is a big no-no.

Another reviewer said this:

Text neglects to tell students that no transitional fossils have been discovered. The fossil record can be interpreted in other ways than evolutionary with equal justification. Text should ask students to analyze and compare alternative theories.

Actually, transitional fossils have been found. Lots of them. In fact, since evolution is a continuous process, all fossils are transition fossils. And no, there is no “equal justification” to describe fossils in the way this reviewer clearly means. That would be using religion, and again you can’t teach that in public schools.

And I’m all for teaching alternative theories, as long as they are evidence-based and backed by solid observations and rigorous methodology. I don’t think creationism fits into that category.

TexasPhoto credit: Phil Plait

If you need to add to these bang-your-head-against-your-desk quotations, Americans United and Mother Jones have more (and the Mother Jones article has a quote about climate-change denial by a reviewer that’s no better). If you read them, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Shockingly, as Mother Jones points out, few of the reviewers who were critical of evolution and climate change had any scientific credentials.

I’ll admit, I use snark when writing about this topic, but it’s actually very serious. Texas has one of the largest population of school kids in the country, and because of that they can actually drive the use of textbooks in the other states. It might be natural to mock the Texas BoE about this, but their inability to understand how the Universe really is can have a national impact.

And, of course, the children of today are the voting public of tomorrow. If we don’t break this cycle of willful ignorance, it may never stop on its own. The Texas Freedom Network reports the textbooks are actually pretty good as is, and the publishers have resisted the political pressure to change the content. But this isn’t over yet. Texas Freedom Network is sponsoring a rally in Austin to show support for science on Tuesday, the day the BoE will have a public hearing about the textbooks.

If you live in the Austin area, I urge you to support Texas Freedom Network and attend the hearing. Write your local school board members. And you should also support the magnificent people at the National Center for Science Education, whose very purpose is to fight this sort of anti-intellectualism. They have a great page with advice for those of you in Texas.

These creationists will not rest in their fight to tear down science. We cannot rest in our support of it.

Note: Happily, the citizens of Kentucky elected a governor with a great deal more sense than Perry. Gov. Steven Beshear overrode an attempt by anti-science legislators in his state to block solid science standards, and Kentucky now joins several other states in having excellent standards for their students.* Well done, Beshear! And tip o’ the beaker to Eugenie Scott for the news.


Satanic Panic Reemerges In Jimmy Savile Scandal

By Keelan Balderson

A dubious psychotherapist who helped stoke the fire of “Satanic Panic” in the 90s, appears to have jumped on the bandwagon of the Jimmy Savile scandal in order to peddle her Christian-rooted paranoia.

Valerie Sinason, a Trustee of the Institute for Psychotherapy and Disability and former lecturer at the Tavistock Clinic, was uncritically quoted in last week’s Sunday Express, claiming two of her patients were victims of “Satanic Ritual Abuse” at the hands of the now deceased celebrity.

“She had been a patient at Stoke Mandeville in 1975 when Savile was a regular visitor,” Sinason told the Express about a girl who was allegedly 12 years old at the time.

“She recalled being led into a room that was filled with candles on the lowest level of the hospital, somewhere that was not regularly used by staff. Several adults were there, including Jimmy Savile who, like the others, was wearing a robe and a mask.

“She recognised him because of his distinctive voice and the fact that his blond hair was protruding from the side of the mask. He was not the leader but he was seen as important because of his fame.

“She was molested, raped and beaten and heard words that sounded like ‘Ave Satanas’, a Latin­ised version of ‘Hail Satan’, being chanted. There was no mention of any other child being there and she cannot remember how long the attack lasted but she was left extremely frightened and shaken.”

Dr. Sinason continues with another extraordinary allegation from a woman who was 21 years old during the alleged ordeal:

“A second victim approached me in 1993. She said she had been ‘lent out’ as a supposedly consenting prostituted woman at a party in a London house in 1980.

“The first part of the evening started off with an orgy but half-way through some of the participants left.

“Along with other young women, the victim was shepherded to wait in another room before being brought back to find Savile in a master of ceremonies kind of role with a group wearing robes and masks. She too heard Latin chanting and instantly recognised satanist regalia. Although the girl was a young adult, who was above the age of consent, she had suffered a history of sexual abuse and was extremely vulnerable.”

WideShut Analysis:

While the nature of the long overdue Jimmy Savile scandal invariably means that discovering tangible evidence is unlikely (this thanks to the culture of cover-up and inaction within some of Britain’s most respected institutions), it can also give rise to fabricated and distorted claims. At this point anyone could literally say anything about Savile for an infinite number of dubious or delusional reasons. The truth lies in the overall body of allegations, their consistency and their corroboration.

Because of this I for one am airing on the side of caution when it comes to sensational topics like “satanic ritual abuse”. Those who have made claims of its existence in the past (Dr. Sinason herself included) have never provided tangible proof. There are no hordes of dead bodies, despite claims of babies being secretly bread for ritual sacrifices. There are no credible former Satanists who have provided evidence against their so called brothers. Locations where these events are supposed to have taken place are either unknown or void of any physical evidence upon insepction. There is literally nothing empirical beyond accusations.

If Jimmy Savile was considered “important” in these rituals or even a “master of ceremonies” where are all the other victims that would have seen him? Where are all the witnesses that were wittingly or unwittingly involved? Where exactly are the locations where this abuse was supposed to have taken place and do they match the allegations? And what exactly is “satanist regalia” that can be easily recognizable?

We definitely know that Savile is guilty of abuse and used his high position in society to gain access to the most vulnerable. We know this because hundreds of alleged victims and witnesses have come forward, each with similar stories. Out of these hundreds the only sign of “satanic ritual abuse” comes from Dr. Sinason, and she has not provided any evidence for the allegations. Instead they boil down to two stories her patients told her during psychotherapy sessions. Assuming these patients even exist (we’ve heard nothing directly from them), just because somebody supposedly said something in a therapy session does not make it true. Yet sectors of the media have swallowed Sinason’s account hook line and sinker.

Satanic Panic:

Stories of horrific rituals and sacrifices at the hands of so called Satanists are nothing new. They’ve been so common at certain periods in history that the term “Satanic Panic” was coined to explain the phenomenon. The last time this panic set in was during the 90s, primarily among Christians in America, although Dr. Sinason and others also promoted the idea in the UK.

An example of the absurdity of this time was a TV special hosted by Fox News reporter Geraldo Rivera. Exposing Satan’s Underground which can be viewed on Youtube features ambiguous and outright sensational documentary footage, spliced with a live studio audience, as the mustachioed hack went on the hunt for the Devil. Looking back at it now I’m just as bewildered as poor Ozzy Osbourne, who was paraded out to answer for his evil song lyrics.

The problem with the type of allegations that involve “satanists” is that they are often presented from an ignorant, religious or sensationalist perspective, with all the themes and theatrics of a Horror movie. They rarely acknowledge what Satanism actually is.

According to believers of “satanic ritual abuse” Satanism is when scary people dress in robes, chant Latin, drink blood and play with pentagrams. Unfortunately in reality such a concept lives only in the minds of those making the claims.

While there have been lone-nut “satanists” or “pseudo-satanists” in the past who have acted on imagery from religion and pop culture as part of their deranged crimes, or ridiculous ceremonies such as the Cremation of Care annually partaken by some of America’s corporate and political elite, you’d be hard pressed to find an organization, group or “ring” of satanists that actually dress in robes, chant for Satan of the bible and commit real sacrifices. In my opinion Satanism in this context is a paranoid projection of Christianity, an entertaining theme of Hollywood, and the goofing off of powerful people, who are probably quite thankful that the sensationalism of their yearly past-time obscures their corrupt closed-door dealings.


Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, of which I’m obviously a big fan.

Most Satanists don’t actually believe in Satan or God, they adopt Satan as a symbol for human nature, freedom, and to rebel against dogmas like that of the Church. Even Theistic Satanists, who revere Satan as an actual Deity/God, do not worship evil, they worship knowledge and self improvement. They believe that the Serpent in the Bible set man free from a God who was pulling the wool over their eyes.

It is of course theoretically possible that a group of sick criminals and child abusers have chosen to adopt a mish-mash of sensationalized pseudo-satanic themes and the garb of aristocratic Masquerade parties, as part of their criminal activity, but to call that Satanic would be unfair to Satanists. And if this is supposed to be taking place, victims and believers perhaps need to start gathering evidence, or at least offer coherent and corroborative allegations that can be taken seriously.

The Hollie Greig Hoax:

A lesser known story that fizzled out just prior to the Jimmy Savile scandal was the Hollie Greig Case. The plight of a Downs Syndrome girl said to have been raped by a gang of paedophiles, reaching the top levels of the Scottish establishment captured the hearts of many. Well-meaning internet activists launched the “Google Hollie Greig” campaign and some even took to the streets to protest the stomach churning crimes of the elite.

The story, which is all it seems to have turned out to be, morphed in to whatever the current alternative media celebrity wanted it to. Satanists, Freemasons, or in the case of David Icke, Satanic-Freemasons controlled by Reptilian entities outside our visible spectrum of light.

Wading through the nonsense to find the original allegation, it turns out that even some of the named members of this paedophile ring that had supposedly operated for over a decade in Aberdeen, Scotland, have left no record of even existing! Other alleged victims unashamedly named by Hollie’s mother Anne and her Spokespeople Robert Green and UK Column chief Brian Gerrish, were either not yet born or were adults before they even met Hollie, publicly denying they were harmed in any way!

In spite of claims about documentation and medical reports, when these were made available to the public they revealed that there were “no signs of inappropriate sexual experiences,” and certainly nothing to suggest a 22 strong gang of abusers had damaged Hollie for years on end. If an isolated incident of abuse had taken place at some point, the rabble that ran with the story have well and truly buried it deep beneath a mound of complete hogwash.

Hollie was found to be an unreliable source of information by the Police Complaints Commissioner and after questioning the accused, investigators found nothing to substantiate the allegations.

I interviewed a group of disaffected members of the campaign and two of the alleged abusers on the WideShut Webcast:

TheHollieGreigCoverUp.net thoroughly documents the rise and fall of this terrible hoax, or perhaps more accurately mass delusion.

Dr. Valerie Sinason and Satan’s Psychotherapists:

Valerie Sinason the “doctor” peddling the Savile Satanic stories, is part of a grouping of Christians, politicians and psychotherapists (the Committee on Ritual Abuse) that actively promote the idea of “satanic ritual abuse”, although they have yet to substantiate this beyond claims from the shrink couch. In 1994, as “Satanic Panic” was on the upswing in the United States, Sinason edited a collection of essays entitled Treating Survivors of Satanist Abuse which claimed she had unearthed a pattern of similar abuse in her patients in Britain.


Dr. Sinason.

Due to Sinason’s and similar claims a three-year Department of Health inquiry was undertaken by the anthropologist Prof Jean La Fontaine. 84 alleged cases of ritual abuse were examined, and not one turned out to be anything of concern.

Regardless of the inquiry and similar conclusions in the US, by 2002 the panic created by the CRA had infected elements of Westminster. A private meeting chaired by Lord Alton and evangelical Christian Wilfred Wong, promoted the idea that “ritual abuse” should be enshrined in law so that “hundreds, if not thousands” of crimes could be brought to justice. Of course if real abuse had taken place in any of these instances current laws were quite capable of serving justice if the evidence was brought forward.

According to research by TheHollieGreigCoverUp.net, in 2011 Sinason, Wong, MP Russell Brown and other members of the CRA invited Robert Green, the mouthpiece for the Hollie Grieg fantasy, to one of their meetings at the Houses of Parliament. In subsequent alternative media coverage Green then began to promote a ritual abuse element to the Hollie Greig story, a sort of satanic “sexing up” of the original allegations. Perhaps Green thought if he won the support of the looney pyschobabble Christian lobby (CRA) the case would get more publicity. Fortunately the only people left clinging on to the tale are the pseudo-celebrities of the online conspiracy theory community, such as the UK Column and Belinda McKenzie, the former landlady of ex-MI5 agents Annie Machon and David Shayler. Even David Icke, who includes “satanic ritual abuse” as one of the central themes in his books has stopped publishing stories about the…story.

Prof La Fontaine’s verdict on Valerie Sinason and co goes to the heart of the problem, writes the author of a 2002 Telegraph article.

“It’s depressing to find someone who has a position at leading London hospitals who is so cut off from what research methodology is, and what rational evidence is,” she says.

The article continues: When Miss Sinason announces that she has “clinical evidence” of infanticide and cannibalism, she means that her patients have told her stories about them. The implication is that, because the suffering of these people is real, their “memories” must be accurate.

Naturally this has given rise to the idea that some psychoanalysts, rather than uncovering cases of satanic abuse, are actually implanting the idea in to their patients minds, or at least nurturing and encouraging them during sessions. Rather than helping vulnerable people to work through their psychosis, the likes of Sinason might be making the situation worse.

The tragic case of Carol Myers may be an example of this. Myers, a 41 year old former patient of Sinason was found dead in 2005, leaving behind a statement saying she had suffered Satantic child abuse at the hands of her parents. It was discovered that she had spent years in and out of psychiatric hospitals and private clinics after she’d estranged herself from her family in her 20s. Upon hearing about her death the family felt shattered about the claims she’d made in her life assessment – and confused reports a 2011 Guardian article.

She said she’d been abused [by her parents], who were the high priest and priestess of a satanic cult, and that during her teens she’d had six children – some fathered by Joseph [her father] – that she’d been forced to kill. She also said she had an implant in her eye that would explode if she spoke of the satanists, and that a friend she’d confided in was murdered in front of her.

Just like the Hollie Greig story, Carole’s charges were easily proven to be false, continues the report. The sister, whose murder she’d apparently witnessed, actually died of heart problems two years before Carole was born. The house fire, too, predated Carole’s birth….It seemed the mental-health professionals rarely challenged these impossible horrors. Worse, they’d concluded that Carole’s psychological problems came as a result of this fictitious abuse.

Though it’s not clear the methodology used by Sinason on her patients, if such abuse was regularly taking place, one would assume a large cross-section of therapists would have had similar cases. The fact that only Sinason and a handful of others have unearthed allegations of satanic abuse, suggests they are in some way creating them.

Today the Satanic hysteria of the 80s and 90s is considered a moral panic [1], and the majority of mental health experts and accredited psychotherapists dismiss these early and subsequently discredited claims of “ritual satanic abuse”. Various methods originating in the United States for dealing with (or some might say implanting) satanic allegations, which were often practiced and expanded by amateurs such as preacher and conspiracy theorist Fritz Springmeier, are rejected by experts.


Fritz Springmeier, author of The Illuminati Formula Used to Create an Undetectable Total Mind Controlled Slave.

Recovered-memory therapy, a lose term that refers to unproven methods of recovering alleged buried memories, has been explored in many successful lawsuits against therapists who encouraged false allegations in their patients.

As the Savile scandal races forward, it is important to address each claim on its own merit and apply it to the overall body of allegations. Uncritically promoting the currently baseless allegations of “satanic ritual abuse” gives undue legitimacy to its proponents and may end up discrediting legitimate allegations by association.


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