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#1749 - Saturday, March 27, 2004 - Editor: michael
The Changing Face of Religion
Dear Friends, By some estimates there are thousands of religions on the planet. The four major groups are Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism. Each of these religions have been around for quite some time. During that time each of them has split into a variety of practices or sects. And each sect has become in effect a religion in its own right. During my childhood and youth I was, in order, a Baptist, a Mennonite, and a Catholic and in my early 20's I was involved in a guru cult. Within each of these affiliations I was taught, either directly or indirectly, that all other churches or religions were wrong and could not provide the path to salvation. I figure that I'm due four times the salvation of most folk who simply pick one religion and stick with it. That being said, this edition is not about the four major belief systems of the world today. Instead, let's take a brief look at some of the newer religions. Some of them you may have already heard about and some of them you probably haven't. But take a look and you may agree that religion is what the religious say it is. Then again, you may not. If I inadvertantly list your religion and it offends, well, as the saying goes - one person's religion is another person's belly laugh. This edition concludes with an interview of Michael Washburn by Paul Bernstein where they discuss life's three stages - infancy, ego and transcendence. with a grin - be well, michael
Have you ever seen the cult classic movie Plan Nine From Outer Space? The director of that (let's be generous) film was the notorious Ed Woods. He was an enthusiastic producer/director/actor and transvestite. Somehow and for whatever reason, somebody has created a religion based on the man. Take a peek for yourself at: http://www.edwood.org/
forever at: http://jubal.westnet.com/hyperdiscordia/sacred_heart_elvis.html The First Church of Jesus
Christ, Elvis ``For unto you
is born this day in the city of Memphis a Presley, which is Elvis
And Elvis saw them berating the poor recording artist, whose music was terrible and lyrics insipid, and Lo, the King said unto the mob:
`Let him who is without bad singles cast the first rhinestone.'
And the mob turned down their eyes, each considering his own Don't Worry Be Happy or Man in the Mirror, and shuffled off.
`Thank you,' said Elvis. `Thank you very much.' editor's note: picture widened to reflect a elvis as last i saw Him
is the Church of the Subgenius. http://www.subgenius.com/index.html SubSITE
Official Website of The Church of the SubGenius™
Maintained by The SubGenius™ Foundation, Inc.
in the name of
J.R. "Bob" Dobbs
Living Slack Master
Our Mission is to place the Claims of Joozis The Meshuga of Milpitas in front of the Jews for Jesus
This isn't a religion, I don't think http://www.winkingjesus.com/ but it is the home of the winking Jesus. Really. And it also asks the question - what would Jesus do for a Klondike bar.
The three links used above were found at
Where you can also find satanic hampsters, sea monkey worship, and learn that Bert (of the Miuppets) is really evil.
The following was found at: http://tftb.com/deify/yesthis.htm
Any Star Wars fans out there? You may have already heard of this one http://www.jediism.org/
The Jedi Religion
Jediism is not the
same as that which is portrayed within the Star Wars Saga by
George Lucas and Lucasfilm LTD. George Lucas' Jedi™
are fictional characters that exist within a literary and
cinematic universe. The Jedi™ discussed within
this website refer to factual people within this world that live
or lived their lives according to Jediism, of which we recognize
and work together as a community to both cultivate and celebrate.
On the more serious side: http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/gthursby/aar-nrm/
The New Religious Movements Group is an American Academy of Religion program unit that seeks to enhance understanding of alternative, emergent, or new religious movements (NRMs) past and present. For each annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion in the third week of November, the NRM Group seeks papers to be presented that utilize some form of historical, theological, sociological, anthropological, psychological, or folklore methodology in the study and interpretation of NRMs.
Not of this world
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On March 25, 1998, Hon-Ming Chen ,
leader of Chen Tao / God's Salvation Church, announced in
Garland, Texas, that God will not appear on Earth in person on
March 31, 1998 as Chen had previously prophesied. Chen had also
announced that God would appear on television channel 18
worldwide on March 25 at 12:01 a.m., U.S. Central Standard Time.
When God failed to appear on TV on March 25, Chen -- who was
eagerly awaiting with his followers the historical event in
Garland -- announced that: "Because we did not see
God's message on television tonight, my predictions of March 31
can be considered nonsense". Chen (who speaks only
Chinese and was translated by a Chen Tao interpreter) added:
"I hope that everybody can still have the true belief in
God, in the existence of God. Even though the image doesn't show
on the television, I don't have any reason to doubt the existence
of the supreme being, God." Chen said at first on
March 25 he will stay in Garland "to continue studying and
researching." He insisted that his followers are free to go
their own way, and have always been. Police continued to keep a
watch fearing a possible mass suicide, although nothing in Chen
Tao's behaviour so far points to a suicide. Between March
31 and April 1 Chen in fact seemed to recover from the prophetic
failure and announced to the followers: "You yourself have
become Gods". As usual in similar groups, the prophecy for
the faithful did not fail: God appeared -- not in person but in
the body of the members of Chen Tao. Chen then left
Garland and inspected areas in Michigan and New York for the
group to relocate. In May 1998 the majority of members left
Garland. Half, with visa problems, returned to Taiwan. Half moved
to Lockport, New York. According to independent researcher Rodney
Perkins, Chen had a vision in which he saw the numbers 17
and 78. While the lake regions in upstate New York was being
considered from some weeks, Olcott was selected because it is
where Routes 17 and 78 intersect.
Later, a group moved to Brooklyn, New York, where a "counseling center" has been organized (see programme hereunder), while services promising to heal from AIDS and cancer are offered daily in New York's Central Park, now recognized as God's new main base.
editor's note: emphasis added
http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/unarius.html Unarius Academy of Science
The Unarius Academy of Science is a tax-exempt, non-profit educational foundation centered in El Cajon, California. The Academy's purpose is to teach the "connective and higher spiritual understanding of consciousness as an evolutionary mandate attainable by all individuals searching for the meaning of life." The word Unarius is an acronym for Universal Articulate Interdimensional Understanding of Science (Unarius Academy of Science: 4).
The Academy's founders, Ernest and Ruth Norman (archangels Raphiel and Uriel, respectively), met in Los Angeles in 1954 at a psychics' convention, where Ernest, a scientist, electronic engineer poet, and clairvoyant, was lecturing on "Inner Contact from the Higher Beings" (UAS: 6). It was at the convention that they conceived the Unarius mission. They soon founded the Unarius Educational Foundation to study the nature of man, his spiritual evolution, and his connection to the universe.
The next 17 years were building years for Unarius. During this time, the Normans participated in spiritualism conventions and events to spread their message. They also authored 20 books, including Ernest's Voice of Venus, an introduction to Unarius beliefs. The Normans were able to gather a small following before Raphiel's death or, in Unarius terms, his "transition to the higher planes of light worlds" in 1971 (UAS: 6).
Unarius underwent great changes after Ernest's death. Ruth, a charismatic and flamboyant new leader, provided a great infusion of energy and motivation to the group (Kossy). She founded Unarius' headquarters in El Cajon, near San Diego, in 1972. Three years later she created the Center for New World Teaching for the study of Unarius teachings and education of students. She also greatly increased the group's visibility by publishing books and videos about information on the interdimensional science of life that she had received from higher beings after Ernest's death.
The three preceding links were found at: http://www.csus.edu/indiv/t/tumminia/UFO.HTM
Diana's Space Page
The full interview is at: http://members.tripod.com/~pbernste/life3.htm#Top
Life's Three Stages: Infancy, Ego, and Transcendence Michael Washburn interviewed by Paul Bernstein [first published Spring 1998 on the Online Noetic Network] Introduction
I decided to interview Michael Washburn because the outlook presented in his books seems very helpful to people searching and struggling with personal spiritual issues.
Washburn -- a philosopher who integrates psychology with religion -- asserts that who we ordinarily think we are (our ego) is only a part of our experience. The vaster part he calls the Dynamic Ground, in which he unites what others call our unconscious, our instincts, our libido, and the spiritual forces that inspire us. In other words, Washburn insists that Jesus, Freud, Buddha, and even medieval alchemy were all offering us, as closed-minded egos, ways to open up to the realm of the unconscious and spirit -- even though those pioneers and their followers may not have agreed with each other's ways of expressing that understanding.
Further, Washburn wants us to appreciate that we can hardly avoid a spiritual life eventually, because the ego causes its own misery and despair if it remains closed to the world it has made unconscious. The ever-so-common "mid-life crisis" is closely related to the ancient's "dark night of the soul". What's happening in such cases, explains Washburn, is the opening of the ego to the forces it had closed itself off from, in its earlier necessary stage of development.
His model shows us the lifelong see-saw between the larger
Dynamic Ground (call it God if you like) and the individual self,
who at birth is immersed comfortably in the larger Ground, then
gradually develops an identity of body as
separate, then mind as its own, and then as
an adult, bumps up against its own limits in so identifying. The
ego, Washburn teaches, is good enough at operating in the
3-dimensional world of matter and unilinear time, but cannot of
itself encompass the world of eternity in which this
3-dimensional world is suspended. Also, the ego's development
from infancy to adulthood inevitably involves traumas that later
limit its flexibility in even the 3-dimensional world. In the
effort to transcend those limits (to become more effective in
concrete goals like work and family) the ego meets opportunities
to transcend itself, and so to open up again to the Dynamic
Ground. This is the experience we adults have called
transpersonal, transcendental, or spiritual. It comes from the
same "place", says Washburn, as the libido, our dreams,
our demons, our neuroses -- what our culture and our traditional
psychologies have perhaps misleadingly labeled as a
"lower" rather than the "higher", "more
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