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Transcript of Religion
The Nation of Yahweh
The Nation of Yahweh is a predominantly African American group that is the most controversial offshoot of the Black Hebrew Israelites line of thought. It was founded in 1979 in Miami by Hulon Mitchell Jr., who went by the name Yahweh ben Yahweh (which literally means God son of God)
1. understand that people may have different perspectives about religion
2. develop a more open minded approach towards them
3. introduce new ideas that have mostly been in the dark
Religion helps us to generate a belief system which alters all our perceptions in life. It is an important aspect of life which keeps our morals and conscience alive. Every religion has it's own aspects, norms and values. The world is so massive and huge, within it we are all following some belief or religion. However, they are so many unusual religions which normally known to a very nominal number of people.Such as:-
The Nation of Yahweh is a cult which believes that blacks are the true Jews and that their leader, Yahweh ben Yahweh, is the messiah.
Its goal is to return African Americans, whom they see as the original Israelite, to Israel.
The group departs from mainstream Christianity and Judaism by accepting Yahweh ben Yahweh as the Son of God.
. In this way, its beliefs are unique and distinct from that of other known Black Hebrew Israelite groups. The group has engendered controversy due to legal issues of its founder and The Nation of Yahweh was the subject of an FBI terrorism investigation in the late 1980s that looked into the group's financial practices and links to multiple murders in the Miami area.
The groups' history, beliefs, and teachings are stated as follows "In 1979, Yahweh Ben Yahweh came to Miami and became the Spiritual Leader and Founder of The Nation of Yahweh.
The Nation of has grown to encompass disciples, followers, and supporters in over 1,300 cities within the U.S. and 16 foreign countries.
The Nation of Yahweh believes that there is one God, Yahweh, and the Father of all men. . That the Holy Bible and Yahweh Ben Yahweh are the great light and the rule and guide for faith and practice of the laws, statutes, judgments, and commandments of Yahweh, and those who believe in Him and His name, are immortal.
The group has engendered controversy due to legal issues of its founder and has also faced accusations of being a black supremacist cult by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The SPLC has criticized the beliefs of the Nation of Yahweh as racist, stating that the group believed blacks are the true Israelite and that whites were devils.
Yahweh bin Yahweh and some other members of his cult, were accused and later arrested on the charges that he had incited the hate crimes including 14 killings, two attempted killings, arson and extortion.
According to the charges, the group killed former members, and also practiced an initiation rite which involved killing a white person and giving one of their ears to Yahweh.
Despite the death of their leader Yahweh ben Yahweh in 2007, the Nation of Yahweh is still active. Its members also claim to have abandoned their past racism and the leader's daughter has apparently stated that all people are children of God.
Heaven's Gate was an American UFO religion doomsday cult based in San Diego, California, founded in the early 1970s and led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997) and Bonnie Nettles (1927–1985).
Marshall believed that he was directly related to Jesus, meaning he was an "Evolutionary Kingdom Level Above Human".
Heaven's Gate members believed that the planet Earth was about to be "recycled" and that the only chance to survive was to leave it immediately.
L Ron Hubbard
Created by L Ron Hubbard (1911-1986)
Religion began in 1952 in Camden, New Jersey .
Bona fide religion.
Our souls previously lived on other planets.
Practice of psychiatry.
Two major concepts:-
Own understanding of God.
New controversial religious movement.
Church of Scientology often criticized, as cults
The Church of Euthanasia
Created by Chris Korda in Boston
According to the church's website, it is "a non-profit educational foundation devoted to restoring balance between humans and the remaining species on Earth.
The Church is notorious for its conflicts with Pro-life Christian activists.
The one commandment is
"Thou shalt not procreate"
The Church further asserts four principal pillars: suicide, abortion, sodomy and cannibalism of the already dead.
Slogans employed by the group include
"Save the Planet, Kill Yourself", and"Six Billion Humans Can't Be Wrong".
The often intentionally offensive tactics of the Church of Euthanasia have been condemned by many groups, notably Christians.
While the group was formally against suicide, they defined "suicide" in their own context to mean
"to turn against the Next Level when it is being offered,"
and believed that their human bodies were only vessels meant to help them on their journey.
The group believed in several paths for a person to leave the Earth and survive before the
one of which was intentional love to this world strongly enough:
"It is also possible that part of our test of faith is our loving of this world, even our flesh body, to the extent to be willing to leave it without any proof of the Next Level's existence."
All members had to give up all human-like characteristics, such as their family, friends, sexuality, individuality, jobs, money and possessions.
Applewhite and Nettles taught their followers that they were extraterrestrial beings.
In 1997, Applewhite convinced thirty-nine followers to commit suicide so that their souls could take a ride on a spaceship that they believed was hiding behind the comet carrying Jesus. All 39 were dressed in identical black shirts and sweat pants, brand new black-and-white Nike tennis shoes, and armband patches reading
"Heaven's gate away team"
Who founded it?
Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth or TOPY was a fellowship founded in 1981 by members of Psychic TV, Coil, Current 93, and a number of other individuals. The network was a loosely federated group of people operating as a blend of artistic collective and practitioners of magic.
Creation and influence
The early network consisted of a number of 'stations' worldwide including TOPY-CHAOS for Australia, TOPYNA for North America and TOPY Station 23 for the United Kingdom and Europe. Smaller, "grass-roots"-level sub-stations called Access Points were located throughout America and Europe.Throughout its existence, TOPY has been an influential group in the underground chaos magic scene and in the wider western occult tradition.
TOPY (also known as AIN, Autonomous Individual's Network as of 2008), is known for its practice of Chaos Magick in the Western Occult Tradition. An interesting practice of TOPY is their use of collective Sigils, whereby on the 23rd day of each month of the year, at the 23rd hour of that day, members make magickal sigils thay may be mailed to one central location in order that all of the magical energy from the collective sigils would give more power to each other. (Greer, John Michael, New Encyclopedia of the Occult, 2005)
Members include both artists and practitioners of the magickal arts. In 2010, Genesis P-Orridge initiated what is referred to as "the One True TOPI TRIBE", after moving on to create The Process (a philosophy and art collective created in the 1990's), and TOPI, while the original TOPY thrived. This was a revival of the first TOPY, with more concentration on establishing an "intentional artist's community".
Raëlians follow a belief system established in 1974 by the French racing-car journalist Claude Vorilhon. Vorilhon claims that in 1973 he was visited by a 4-foot humanoid alien who took him aboard its spaceship and told him that a race known as the Elohim, "our fathers in space," wanted Vorilhon to be their messenger to the human race.
These Elohim were responsible for the creation of a multitude of human religions, but now they wanted to "set the record straight" and inform humanity about their true origins. Past religious leaders - including Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and Buddha - had been informed about the truth, but the message had been perverted and distorted over and over. According to Vorilhon, who adopted the new name of Raël, these aliens created the human species through genetic engineering some 50,000 years ago.Vorilhon was also to establish an embassy for them here on Earth - he proceeded to do just that, determined to help humanity learn about the Elohim's message of peace, tolerance, love of science, and sexual freedom.
Followed by around 50,000 people in 84 countries (mostly in France, Quebec and Japan), this is essentially an atheistic religion - there are no actual gods and, apparently, no supernatural beings of any kind. Instead, it is centered around the veneration of alien beings. Nevertheless, traditional religious language is employed quite frequently. In addition to the alien Elohim, there is also a cadre known as the Order of Angels. These are women who have agreed to become sexual mates for the Elohim when they arrive. Not just the Elohim, however - these women will also mate with the prophets, which includes Rael. Vorilhon argues that the women are under no pressure to sleep with him because, after all, his group teaches sexual freedom anyway.
Raelians and Cloning
Important among Raëlian teachings is a strong belief in the value of science. Partly as a result of this, Raëlians are actively involved in the attempt to clone human beings through a spin-off company, Clonaid. They have their headquarters in Valcourt, a farming community northeast of Montreal, but they tried to set up a cloning facility in Nitro, West Virginia. The facility was shut down, but the media attention gave the group quite a lot of publicity, something they are always seeking and which they never turn down. Indeed, some believe that the entire effort was part of a plan to get that publicity.
On December 27, 2002, Brigitte Boisselier, a chemist and CEO of Clonaid, held a press conference to announce that the previous day the first cloned human being had been born. A baby girl, named Eve, was carried to term and delivered by the woman who had donated the cloned DNA. Boisselier did not reveal the name of the family or even the country in which the birth occurred in order to protect the family's privacy. Boisselier also said that she expects four more babies (from North America, Europe, and two from Asia) to be born in the following weeks.
An independent team of researchers was slated to determine if the infant really was a genuine clone of her mother. Many scientists and those working in cloning research are highly skeptical of the claims and are waiting to see what the results will be. Many scientists also condemn the efforts because of the possible medical risks which a cloned human faces, including the early onset of age-related diseases and genetic defects.
Cloning Past, Cloning Present
Interestingly, this is not the first time that the Raelians have claimed to have cloned a human being. The first time was back in 1978, when Raelian representatives alleged that they cloned a person on an undisclosed island. Due to the limitations of the technology at the time, it took three months before scientists were able to sift through the scientific claims and another three years before a court finally ruled that the cloning claims were fraudulent. Only time will tell whether the current claims hold more scientific weight than those made a quarter of a century ago.
The Major initiation rite in the Raelian Church is the ‘baptism’ or ‘transmission of the cellular plan’ and is enacted by upper-level members in the Raelian clergy known as guides. Joining the Raelian church through the transmission of the cellular plan happens on certain days of the year. There are four such days which form anniversaries in the Raelian calendar.
The Raelian baptism is known as transmission of the cellular plan where ‘cellular’ refers to the organic cells of the body and the ‘plan’ refers to the genetic makeup of the individual. This Raelian baptism involves a guide member laying water onto the forehead of the new member. The practice began on "the first Sunday in April" of 1976 when Rael baptised 40 Raelians. Raelians believe that their genetic information is recorded by a remote computer and would become recognized during their final hour when the extraterrestrial Elohim will judge them.
Activism - Raelians routinely advocate sex-positive feminism and genetically modified food and actively protest against wars in addition to the Catholic Church. For example, a photographer of the Associated Press snapped a picture of half-naked Raelian women wearing pasties as part of an anti-war demonstration in Seoul, South Korea. A snapshot by Agence France-Presse revealed Raelians in white alien costumes with signs bearing the message "NO WAR ... ET wants Peace, too!" On August 6, 2003, the first day of Raelian year 58 AH, a tech article on the USA Today newspaper mentions an "unlikely ally" of the Monsanto Company, the Raelian Movement of Brazil.
One important debate about the Raelians is whether they are a religion or are simply a "cult." Certain aspects of their beliefs, like the emphasis on free sexuality, make them look very cult-like to outsiders. This, combined with the apparently outrageous ideas about aliens and genetic engineering have led quite a few to conclude that Raelians are not a "real" religion. However, truly impartial perspective has to ask how the Raelian beliefs are any more outrageous than many of the beliefs of mainstream religions. Is the idea that aliens created humans via genetic engineering really more implausible than the idea of God?
Such questions will certainly be sacriligious to devout followers of religions like Christianity or Islam, but the fact of the matter is they do not have exclusive control over what does and does not qualify as "religion." Not every religion will necessarily look like theirs and, as a result, they must accept the existence of religions they find strange or outrageous, especially in a religiously pluralistic society like the United States.
Frank K. Flinn, a professor of religion at Washington University in St. Louis, identifies three important things which he says characterize religions: they define a system of beliefs that explain the ultimate meaning of life, they teach religious practices (rituals, rites, ceremonies) and norms for behavior (moral standards), and they unite a body of believers into a community. According to Flinn, the Raelians readily fit this definition and qualify as a religion.
The term "cult" is a harsh and negative designation, perhaps the most negative label which can be applied to a religious group. Because of this, scholars rarely use it, instead prefering the term "new religious movement." Nevertheless, the term does have its uses and can be an accurate description of more dangerous groups which can shown to have severely negative consequences for both its members and for the rest of society. That, however, does not appear to be the case with the Raelians - but the popular perception of Raelians won't necessarily turn on such fine points.
Yesterday's cult is often tomorrow's religion, but will the Raelians ever become a mainstream religious movement? Although most never do, it is possible in this case - but one of the keys may be the eventual removal of the belief in UFOs and the genetic tinkering of aliens. Dropping such a key doctrine would be difficult, but the Mormons were able to drop the doctrine of polygamy, so such changes are not impossible.
Michael Guillen, a former ABC science correspondent, will oversee and coordinate the testing.
Many religious groups have reacted negatively to the news, expressing anything from outrage to simple concern. Unfortunately, their own legislative efforts may hinder any attempt to halt the actions of Clonaid. Religious groups all over the nation have actively supported the passage of "Religious Freedom" laws which inhibit the government in enforcing otherwise neutral laws on religious groups when those laws interfere with the groups' religious beliefs and practices. When the government does attempt to enforce those laws, it must be done in the "least restrictive manner" possible, thus permitting religious organizations to do things unavailable to any other group.
Such laws would appear to apply to Clonaid - the company was founded by a religious group to pursue research into an area which is central to the group's most basic religious beliefs. To restrict the Raelian research on human cloning would be like restricting the work of Catholic theologians or kosher butchers. If mainstream religious groups demand that the government stop the Raelians without abiding by the "least restrictive means" test, it will be revealed that those groups are simply being hypocritical in their demands for "Religious Freedom" laws. What they really want is not greater religious freedom for everyone, but merely special religious privileges for their own religions which are not accorded either to minority religions or to secular organizations.