Archive for the ‘cults’ Category

Everytime this man opens his mouth he displays his ignorance and proof that he has zero knowledge of God’s Word

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from The Guardian:

The stone-clad building stands on a busy intersection in the heart of Manhattan’s Upper West Side. There is little to distinguish it from any other modern place of worship in New York: it has a simple design, subtly decorated windows and a modest spire – one topped by a golden statue of a trumpet-wielding angel. And that is the difference: the angel, unfamiliar to most Christians, is called Moroni.

The building is the Manhattan temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, better known around the world as the Mormons. There are other temples scattered throughout New York, serving a growing community in the city of one of the world’s youngest but fastest-spreading faiths. Normally associated with the desert mountains of Utah, where it has its headquarters, the church’s 6 million-plus members are rapidly rising to prominence in America’s consciousness: two Mormons are running for the Republican presidential nomination. Indeed, Mitt Romney is a frontrunner in that race and by 2013 the US could have a Mormon president.

There are already 15 Mormons in Congress, including Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid. Rightwing media firebrand Glenn Beck is a Mormon. So is rock star Brandon Flowers, lead singer of the Killers, and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, contending with Romney for the Republican nomination. Mormons run businesses such as hotel chain Marriott International, and shows about them – such as the HBO drama Big Love – are television hits. For a faith that has often been persecuted, Mormonism, it seems, has never been more American.

“I am not only a New Yorker and a Mormon, but I am proud to be so. I have raised a family here,” says David Buckner, a business consultant who worships at the Manhattan temple. For Buckner, 48, who has called New York home since 1995, the city and Mormonism are a perfect fit. “There is a deep respect for different religions here in New York. People are respectful of our mores and values.”

That is not true everywhere. Robert Jeffress, a leading conservative Baptist minister with links to Romney’s rival for the nomination Rick Perry, recently launched a blistering attack on the faith, calling it a “cult” and saying it is “not Christianity”. Others appear to view the emergence of Mormonism into everyday life with nervousness: a poll in June found one in five US voters would oppose a Mormon candidate for president.

Nor is that a reflection of concern only on the religious right. Mormonism takes a strong view against gay marriage: it has provided financial backing for campaigns to stop same-sex couples getting full married rights, notably in California in 2008. The church’s actions triggered nationwide protests by campaigners.

Fred Karger, a gay Republican running at the back of the pack in the 2012 nomination race, has become a vocal critic of Mormonism. “My major concern with the Mormon faith is the basic tenet of obedience. If a President Romney got a call from the president of the LDS [Latter Day Saints], he has no choice but to obey. It is obedience over family and country,” he says.

That comment echoes criticisms levelled at President Kennedy, when his Catholicism – and theoretical obligation to the papacy – came under attack. But it also raises the questions of just what Mormons believe in and where the swiftly spreading religion comes from. “In general, a lot of Americans know very little about the Mormon faith,” says David Cohen, a political scientist at the University of Akron.

It began in the 1820s in upstate New York when the church’s founder, Joseph Smith, claimed to have discovered a holy work, inscribed on a set of golden plates, called the Book of Mormon. It included an account of Jesus appearing in the US. Smith drew together a group of followers and, fleeing persecution, began a movement west before being killed by a mob in Illinois. His successors  settled in Utah and continued the church’s controversial acceptance of polygamy, allowing men to take multiple wives.

The modern church, however, has long condemned plural marriages, though it continues with several practices at variance with other Christian faiths. For example, many members wear special underwear, known as “temple garments”. The church also places special emphasis on converting the dead: because of their belief that families are eternal, Mormons feel a duty to posthumously baptise ancestors so that all may be together in heaven. That is why the church is behind a huge genealogical effort to collect family histories.

Sometimes boundaries are overstepped in the tracing of ancestors. The church became embroiled in controversy after Holocaust victims were found on its databases. In 2009, it was discovered that Barack Obama’s recently deceased mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, had been posthumously baptised.

Of course, while to non-Mormons much of this can seem strange, the same could be said about many traditional practices of other faiths. What Mormonism is dealing with is not its beliefs, but its newness. Other religions’ prophets lived hundreds or thousands of years ago and have become an accepted part of human culture. Mormonism was born in the industrial era. Its expansion is coming at a time of iPhones and the internet, and its entry into the mainstream is bound to involve scrutiny of its agenda.

“The church is eager for it to be better known and a bigger player. They see that as part of their churchly mission,” says Matthew Burbank, a political expert at the University of Utah.

The LDS is also nothing if not media-savvy. It has launched an ad campaign to “normalise” its image, with portraits of people from diverse backgrounds under the slogan “I’m a Mormon”. “There’s a national conversation going on about Mormonism and we want to be a part of it,” says LDS spokesman Eric Hawkins.

But it is not hard to find Mormons in Manhattan. Take Natalie Hill, 30, a Broadway dancer. She does not drink or smoke, which the faith discourages, but that does not interfere with her enjoyment of New York; she even pens a blog called Mormon in Manhattan. “People are sometimes afraid of what they don’t know,” she says. “I am just like every other New Yorker, but I have a deep faith that roots me in where I come from.”

She is happy to confirm that she wears temple garments – though not when she is working. “I know people call them ‘magic underpants’, but I don’t wear them on stage,” she laughs.

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Humanism teaches that man can be a God or be like God. Mormonism is nothing more than Humanism cloaked with Christian sounding words!

from Got Questions:

The Mormon religion (Mormonism), whose followers are known as Mormons and Latter Day Saints (LDS), was founded less than two hundred years ago by a man named Joseph Smith. He claimed to have received a personal visit from God the Father and Jesus Christ who told him that all churches and their creeds were an abomination. Joseph Smith then set out to begin a brand-new religion that claims to be the “only true church on earth.” The problem with Mormonism is that it contradicts,modifies, and expands on the Bible. Christians have no reason to believe that the Bible is not true and adequate. To truly believe in and trust God means to believe in His Word, and all Scripture is inspired by God, which means it comes from Him (2 Timothy 3:16).

Mormons believe that there are in fact four sources of divinely inspired words, not just one: 1) The Bible “as far as it is translated correctly.” Which verses are considered incorrectly translated is not always made clear. 2) The Book of Mormon, which was “translated” by Smith and published in 1830. Smith claimed it is the “most correct book” on earth and that a person can get closer to God by following its precepts “than by any other book.” 3) The Doctrine and Covenants, containing a collection of modern revelations regarding the “Church of Jesus Christ as it has been restored.” 4) The Pearl of the Great Price, which is considered by Mormons to “clarify” doctrines and teachings that were lost from the Bible and adds its own information about the earth’s creation.

Mormons believe the following about God: He has not always been the Supreme Being of the universe, but attained that status through righteous living and persistent effort. They believe God the Father has a “body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s.” Though abandoned by modern Mormon leaders, Brigham Young taught that Adam actually was God and the father of Jesus Christ. In contrast, Christians know this about God: there is only one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6-8), He always has existed and always will exist (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 90:2; 1 Timothy 1:17), and He was not created but is the Creator (Genesis 1; Psalm 24:1; Isaiah 37:16). He is perfect, and no one else is equal to Him (Psalm 86:8; Isaiah 40:25). God the Father is not a man, nor was He ever (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Hosea 11:9). He is Spirit (John 4:24), and Spirit is not made of flesh and bone (Luke 24:39).

Mormons believe that there are different levels or kingdoms in the afterlife: the celestial kingdom, the terrestrial kingdom, the telestial kingdom, and outer darkness. Where mankind will end up depends on what they believe and do in this life. In contrast, the Bible tells us that after death, we go to heaven or hell based on whether or not we had faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. To be absent from our bodies means, as believers, we are with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-8). Unbelievers are sent to hell or the place of the dead (Luke 16:22-23). When Jesus comes the second time, we will receive new bodies (1 Corinthians 15:50-54). There will be a new heaven and new earth for believers (Revelation 21:1), and unbelievers will be thrown into an everlasting lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15). There is no second chance for redemption after death (Hebrews 9:27).

Mormon leaders have taught that Jesus’ incarnation was the result of a physical relationship between God the Father and Mary. Mormons believe Jesus is a god, but that any human can also become a god. Mormonism teaches that salvation can be earned by a combination of faith and good works. Contrary to this, Christians historically have taught that no one can achieve the status of God—only He is holy (1 Samuel 2:2). We can only be made holy in God’s sight through faith in Him (1 Corinthians 1:2). Jesus is the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16), is the only one ever to have lived a sinless, blameless life, and now has the highest place of honor in heaven (Hebrews 7:26). Jesus and God are one in essence, Jesus being the only One existing before physical birth (John 1:1-8; 8:56). Jesus gave Himself to us as a sacrifice, God raised Him from the dead, and one day everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:6-11). Jesus tells us it is impossible to get to heaven by our own works and that only by faith in Him is it possible (Matthew 19:26). We all deserve eternal punishment for our sins, but God’s infinite love and grace have allowed us a way out. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Clearly, there is only one way to receive salvation and that is to know God and His Son, Jesus (John 17:3). It is not done by works, but by faith (Romans 1:17; 3:28). We can receive this gift no matter who we are or what we have done (Romans 3:22). “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Although Mormons are usually friendly, loving, and kind people, they are deceived by a false religion that distorts the nature of God, the Person of Jesus Christ, and the means of salvation.

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The Pastor was wrong about Perry and Prerry was wrong about Mitt Romney!

The Evangelical Presidential “Poster Boy” Candidate shows once again why he is no different than the Universalism touting George W. Bush!

When will Christians STOP allowing themselves to be mislead by Politicians?

from The Denver Post:

The pastor who introduced Texas Gov. Rick Perry​ at a conservative gathering Friday said rival presidential candidate Mitt Romney​ is not a Christian and is in a cult because he
is a Mormon.

Robert Jeffress, senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Dallas, endorsed Perry at the Values Voter Summit, introducing him as “a proven leader, a true conservative, and a committed follower of Christ.”

After his remarks, Jeffress told reporters that Perry’s religion is different from Romney’s.

“Rick Perry’s a Christian. He’s an evangelical Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ,” Jeffress said.

“Mitt Romney’s a good moral person, but he’s not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. It has always been considered a cult by the mainstream of Christianity.”

Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are commonly called Mormons.

Perry’s campaign said the Texas governor disagrees with Jeffress.”The governor does not believe Mormonism is a cult,” said spokesman Mark

Jeffress had made similar comments about Romney before, during the former Massachusetts governor’s first presidential run in 2008.

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But of course he would attack them because they refuse to accept the false teachings of the Catholic church, its illegitimate claim to being the only true church, or the Pope as the supreme head of all Christianity!

On the other hand all of the mainline protestant denominations are cosying up to the Catholic church, ignoring its false teachings and its false claim as the sole true representation of Christianity on earth!

from The Daily Telegraph:

Visiting the monastery in Erfurt where Martin Luther lived before launching   the Reformation, the pontiff praised Luther’s “deep passion and driving   force” and called for unity between the Catholic and Protestant faiths   in the face of a new evangelism.

He launched a thinly veiled attack on the evangelical and Pentecostal churches   which have been attracting converts from more established faiths, especially   in developing countries.

“Faced with a new form of Christianity, which is spreading with   overpowering missionary dynamism, sometimes in frightening ways, the   mainstream Christian denominations often seem at a loss,” said the   pope. “This is a form of Christianity with little institutional depth,   little rationality and even less dogmatic content, and with little stability. This worldwide phenomenon poses a question to us all: what is   this new form of Christianity saying to us, for better and for worse?”

The 84 year old pontiff paid tribute to Luther, the theologian who disputed   Church tenets sparking a split among German Christians that led to the   creation of the Lutheran church.

Benedict said: “What constantly exercised him was the question of God,   the deep passion and driving force of his whole life’s journey.”

But the Pope was seen to fall short of offering a tangible olive branch, after   deflecting appeals to relax rules barring protestants from receiving the   Catholic eucharist.

Germany’s top Protestant bishop urged the Vatican to take “real steps for   reconciliation” ahead of the upcoming 500th anniversary of the   Reformation in 2017, which the Protestants would like to mark with Catholic   participation.

On the afternoon of second day of the state visit to his native Germany, the   pontiff travelled to the pilgrimage site of Etzelsbach, near Heilbad   Heiligenstadt, in the former East Germany, to honour those Catholics who   helped resist communist rule.

The tiny chapel was popular with farm workers living under communist rule who   visited the site to pray for the health of their animals.

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The Roman Catholic Church is nothing more than a corporation. It does not care what it sells or allows into its “coffers” as long as it extends its corporate “footprint” as wide as possible.

from BosNewsLife:

At least 70 evangelical Christians in Mexico’s east-central region were homeless Saturday, September 17, after being expelled by local authorities from their village where traditional Catholics reportedly threatened to “crucify or lynch” them.

The government of Puebla state “bowed” to pressure from the traditional Catholics in San Rafael Tlanalapan village, some 96 kilometers (60 miles) from the capital Mexico City, reported Mexico’s leading La Jornada de Oriente newspaper.

Initially about 50 Protestant families were ordered to leave the village by September 12, because they allegedly tried to evangelize and convert traditional Catholics to evangelical Christianity. But some were allowed to stay under condition they would worship outside the area. Additionally they are not allowed to intervene with traditional Catholics, who practice a mix of indigenous and Catholic rituals.

“There is an agreement reached with the local authority that those evangelicals have to go who are not originating from the area as the state government can not guarantee their safety,” La Jornada de Oriente quoted regional government official Roberto Solano Pineda as saying.


Witnesses earlier said they saw several evangelicals, including a pastor, arriving with suitcases to quickly pick up their belongings. Traditional Catholics told them  they would be “crucified or lynched” if they dared to stay after the September 12 ultimatum, locals and reporters said.

The mayor did not stop the expulsions amid fears he could be expelled himself by Catholics, Mexican media reported.

Catholic Irma Diaz Perez told local television he was pleased as “They will never return, because we have drawn up a document wherein they have no permission to come back now or ever.”

A few residents who agreed to discuss the issue with reporters said they regretted that authorities did not pressure local priest, identified as Benítez González, to halt the expulsions.


Tensions date back to 2006 when local Catholics reportedly refused to connect evangelical residents to a water network. Officials also reported attacks against evangelical families in previous years.

Evangelical Pastor Josué Jiménez Ovando said he had provided videos of the attacks to authorities, but the local Catholic church has denied

There have been several attacks against evangelicals in Mexico, a heavily traditional Catholic nation, and some were held for crimes they did not commit.

In 2009 twenty men, most of them evangelical Christians, were freed after spending more than a decade in prison after Mexico’s Supreme Court overturned their sentences in a massacre in southern Chiapas state.

Mexico’s top court ruled that prosecutors used illegally obtained evidence to charge the men with involvement in killing 45 Indian villagers, including children as young as two months old, on December 22, 1997, in the hamlet of Acteal.

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from Herescope:


“The 2012-ers have pulled together archaeology about Mesoamerica, New Age spirituality, UFO stories about extraterrestrials, and left-field understandings about science to produce a prophecy that something Really Big will happen on December 21, 2012.” – Apocalypse 2012 Explained (CNBC.Com)[1]
ot since Y2K has there been such a global frenzy over predicted massive and universal doom. This time, the fever pitch is considerably higher due to the number of ancient and modern prophecies, prophets, and phenomena guiding the way—all pointing to the year 2012. (See previous post.)
Most of these dire forecasts come from occult, pagan, astrological, astronomical, and extra-biblical sources, such as the I Ching (Chinese book of divination), the ancient Cherokee Rattlesnake Prophecies, the 2012 Solar Maximum, the Zohar, Nostradamus, UFO crop circles, and even Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s Noosphere (earth’s new evolutionary cycle).[2] By far, the most popular comes from the ancient Maya who base their predictions on an astronomical event tying the precise day that the earth and sun align with the center of the Milky Way galaxy, to the day their long calendar ends: December 21, 2012.[3]

Sadly, a few professing Christians have piggy-backed their own predictions on to some of these myths and hysterias, when they should have clung to the Bible alone—especially in light of a doubly exposed, date-setting false prophet named Harold Camping.[4] . . . . .

read the full article here

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from Defending Contending:

A former Mormon–one who came to a saving knowledge of the true, biblical Christ–penned the following piece found at Mormon Coffee:

This is the Christ of Mormonism:

1. He lives as a humanoid god on a star near Kolob along with his father god, bound by the physical world; he does not transcend the material.
2. He is the brother of satan.
3. He had to earn his own salvation while he was on earth.
4. He offers his “grace” only to those who work hard enough.
5. He is not from everlasting to everlasting, but was created a finite time ago by his father god, who in turn was also created by his own father god, who in turn was created by his own father god, so on and so forth
6. He is not the greatest being possible.
7. He is finite.
8. His blood is not powerful enough to wipe away any sin.
9. He aided his father in creating earth by organizing already existing matter; he is not capable of creating things out of nothing.
10. He must submit to a moral law that existed before he did.
11. You can one day become just like him.

This is the Christ of the Bible:

1. He is a spirit being that transcends space and time.
2. He is the brother of no creature; He is God, from everlasting to everlasting. No one can claim kinship with Him except those He purchased for Himself on the cross. And He is not the same type of creature they are. He is not a creature, He is God.
3. Jesus is the Author of Salvation; to say that He needed to earn His salvation is absurdity.
4. He offers His sovereign grace to whomever He sovereignly chooses; we are all tainted by sin and vile in His holy eyes. Therefore, no one is more worthy than any other human being. Thus, His grace that He offers is given unconditionally. His grace is true grace, a beautiful gift.
5. He is from everlasting to everlasting. He was never created, and Has been in relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever.
6. He is the greatest being possible, the Most High God. There is no one like Him and there is no one who will ever be anything like Him.
7. He is infinite, both in essence and in His divine perfections.
8. His blood is powerful enough to wipe away any sin, regardless of heinousness and duration. The only sin that cannot be forgive is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost; and this is not because the blood of Christ is not powerful enough to wash it away, but because God has so sovereignly decreed that all persons who blaspheme the Holy Ghost should not receive forgiveness.
9. He created everything that exists out of nothing by the mere word of His mouth.
10. There is no external law that He submits to; He is the Author and the Source of the Law.
11. No one can ever come near to obtaining the glory and excellency of Christ.

For another article comparing the true Jesus of Scripture to that of the many counterfeit Christs of the false cults and religions, see Which Jesus Do You Worship?

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And the blurring of the line between the fundamental and unbridgeable differences between Mormonism and Christianity continues at pace! And not suprisingly now involving Billy Graham!

Mormons worship “another christ” and another “god” not the Christ and God of the Bible!

No one who says that God was once a man, and that men can become God’s could ever be considered a Christian as this belief violates the very foundation of Biblical Teaching! This Mormon teaching is straight from Satan himself!

from “christianity” Today:

Conservative radio and television host Glenn Beck met with evangelist Billy Graham last week, Beck said on his show.

“Just spent 3 amazing hours with Billy Graham at his mountain top home in SC. His son Franklin joined my wife and me for a talk and prayer,” Beck tweeted on February 19. “I will share some of my visit with Billy Graham on radio Monday. Side note: I expect tweet hate for me, I cannot understand BG hatred. Sad,” he said in a separate update.

A spokesperson for Graham said in an e-mail that it was a private, personal meeting (not an interview) arranged by a family member. Graham lives in North Carolina.

Beck is a Mormon and has received mixed reactions among some evangelicals. James Dobson, Richard Land, Jerry Falwell Jr., and other evangelicals followed Glenn Beck’s call for national renewal in August 2010. Some, however, expressed concern about his Mormon faith while others disagreed with his call to “leave your church” if it promotes social justice.

Beck had wanted to meet with Graham before his “Restoring Honor” rally, a round-up on his website states.

According to Glenn, Billy Graham was probably the only other person who had tried to do something on the scale of what Glenn was hoping to accomplish. However, according to Glenn Rev. Graham and his team did not feel that “the time was right.”

“Two weeks ago as I have been struggling with some ideas and some things that I am working on for the future and I am trying to get clarity again, I thought of Billy Graham. When the phone rang and they said the Reverend feels it’s time to meet, I met with him. We had an hour scheduled. It lasted three hours,” Glenn said.

“He is a very clear individual. He’s slowed down quite a bit,” Beck said on the site. “But he is of sound mind and a man of great peace.”

Beck gave his impressions saying, “These are not his views but mine.”

“My message to you is we must come together. Evil has — the left has stood — is standing now with profound and clear evil and they’ve connected from evil all the way to the average Democrat and everything in between.”

“And we are sitting here arguing with each other over, well, how do you mean that exactly? Well, what exactly do you believe in religion, et cetera, et cetera? While none of us can sacrifice what we believe as an individual, we must stand together with those who believe in God and that God endows each individual with the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Graham, who is 92 and has trouble hearing and seeing, makes rare public appearances and does few interviews. A few weeks ago, Christianity Today posted an interview where Graham suggested he wishes he had stayed out of politics.

In other Mormon-evangelical relations, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) announced it will hold its next board meeting in Park City and Salt Lake City on March 10. The NAE leaders will meet with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert at the governor’s mansion and will also meet a leader from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).

“We hope this time of dialogue with LDS leaders will deepen our understanding of the Mormon faith and contribute to the ongoing work of evangelicals in Utah,” said Leith Anderson, president of NAE. “For the sake of Christ and his kingdom, we seek to represent biblical evangelicalism to those who wouldn’t hear or know. We also look for common ground on issues where we can work together.”

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from NYDailyNews:

The FBI is probing allegations of human trafficking and enslavement in the celeb-magnet Church of Scientology, according to a blockbuster New Yorker article.

The charges are based on complaints of mistreatment of church members who try to quit, and allegations that dozens of apostates were confined in “reeducation camps” doing manual labor – sometimes for years.

Since at least 2009, the FBI has interviewed numerous former Scientologists with harrowing tales of coercion and psychological abuse, according to the 26-page New Yorker article.

The accusations include allegations of physical violence by Scientology head David Miscavige, Tom Cruise’s best man.
Former church spokesman Mike Rinder previously told the St. Petersburg Times for an extensive Scientology expose two years ago that Miscavage beat him some 50 times and encouraged violence to keep employees in line.

The church brushed off word of an FBI probe, saying in a statement that it “has never been advised of any government investigation.”

The Scientology church called the article “little more than a regurgitation of old allegations that have long been disproved” and said it was unworthy of a respected magazine.

“It is unfortunate that The New Yorker chose to introduce its readers to Scientology through the eyes of an apostate, someone religious scholars unanimously denounce as unreliable,” the statement said.

The New Yorker expose grew out of a profile of Hollywood screenwriter Paul Haggis, who left Scientology in 2009 after the St. Petersburg Times expose and is the most high-profile defector from the controversial organization.

“I was in a cult for 34 years,” Haggis told the New Yorker. “Everyone else could see it. I don’t know why I couldn’t.”

He said he feared retaliation from an organization with a fearsome history of going after critics.

“My bet is that, within two years, you’re going to read something about me in a scandal that looks like it has nothing to do with the church,” Haggis told the magazine.

Among the allegations:

*Gary Morehead, a defector who had been head of security at “Gold Base” – the organization’s compound in the California desert – told the FBI about rounding up members who left the compound. “We got wickedly good at it,” he told the New Yorker.

When emotional, spiritual, or psychological pressure failed to work, he said, physical force was sometimes used to bring escapees back.

 *Defector Bruce Hines said he was confined to “Rehabilitation Project Force” locations for six years. He said the properties were heavily guarded and that those who fled were tracked down and subjected to further punishment.

 *Lucy James, a former Scientologist who had access to church personnel records, said she saw dozens of cases in which members were pressed to have abortions.

 *Former Scientologist Claire Headley said Miscavige lived it up on church money, with five stewards and two chefs at his disposal, many fancy cars and six motorcycles. Church workers typically receive $50 a week, the New Yorker said.

 *Haggis, who wrote “Crash,” “Casino Royale” and “Million Dollar Baby,” said children are drafted into the church by their parents and their plight reminded him of child slaves he’d seen in Haiti. “They were ten years old, twelve years old, signing billion-year contracts – and their parents go along with this? Scrubbing pots, manual labor – that so deeply touched me. My God, it horrified me!”

Scientology claims millions of members in 9,000 churches and missions in 165 countries. A 2008 CUNY study estimated that 25,000 Americans identify themselves as Scientologists.

The church preaches that 75 million years ago, the evil space lord Xenu brought billions of people to Earth, stacked them around volcanoes and dropped H-bombs into the volcanoes. Like souls, the resulting “thetans” stick to the bodies of the living, causing psychological problems, and must be eradicated by extensive Scientology counseling.

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