Religion and Cult News, Saturday

  • The sentences of three German men found guilty for their leadership roles at the infamous Colonia Dignidad cult in Chile have been increased. The cult's founder, former Nazi Paul Schaefer, was sentenced in July 2008 for torturing children.[wpipa id="36637"]

    Schaefer -- whose followers thought he was “God on earth” -- preached an unnamed religion that said harsh discipline would draw them closer to the supreme being.

    The cult leader also followed the teachings of American preacher William M. Branham, one of the founders of the “faith healing” movement, and considered a heretic.

    In April 2010 Schaefer died in prison.

  • California state parole officials postponed a decision on setting free Patricia Krenwinkel, a follower of Charles Manson and convicted killer, after the woman’s attorney made new claims that she had been abused by the cult leader or another person.
  • Emma Donoghue's novel The Wonder delves into the cult of fasting girls

    Anorexia is not a new disorder. The compulsion to refuse food stretches as far back as Ancient Greece and into the Middle Ages, when Catholic saints such as Catherine of Siena would eschew meals as a symbol of their piety. Unlike contemporary sufferers of anorexia nervosa, those with anorexia mirabilis (the miraculous loss of appetite) were celebrated for their ability to exist without earthly pleasures.

  • Top 5 ‘heresies’ of 2016: ‘One God,’ biblical authority and more
    What is heresy?
    What are the essential doctrines of the Christian faith?
    What is a cult of Christianity?
  • The hunt for FLDS cult leader Warren Jeffs' lost child brides: Three girls married off to Warren Jeffs aged 12 and 13 are still missing 12 years later as polygamist father who has 145 children goes on trial for arranging ceremonies

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Full story: Religion and Cult News, Saturday

Polygamous FLDS cult erects wall around meetinghouse

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The insular Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) is building a "fortress-type" wall around its meeting house in Colorado City, Arizona.

Private investigator Sam Brower, who has observed the cult for many years, says he has no doubt that the wall is being erected on the express orders of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs.

Jeffs, whom followers believe to be a prophet who speaks for God, is serving a sentence of life plus 20 years in a Texas prison after he was found guilty of taking underage girls as his wives in what were claimed to be 'spiritual marriages.'

While his brother, Lyle, and other leaders in the cult take care of day to day business, Warren Jeffs continues to rule his followers with an iron fist.

Theologically, the FLDS is considered to be a cult of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, commonly known as the Mormon Church) -- which itself is, also theologically, a cult of Christianity.

It is the best known among many such groups, most of which separated from the church over the issue of polygamy.

Interestingly, for the most part, the doctrines and practices of Mormon Fundamentalists are closer to those of the original Mormon Church than are the doctrines and practices of today's Mormon Church.

Sociologically the FLDS is also consider a cult. The movement has been in the news for ousting young boys, for reassigning the wives and children of excommunicated men to men who are for the time being still in good standing, for forcing girls into underage marriages, for other forms of child abuse, and a range of other issues.

Full story: Polygamous FLDS cult erects wall around meetinghouse