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PSEUDO/QUASI RELIGION!

April 2, 2015

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Part 6 (F4): THE MOTHER PLANE AND EZEKIEL’S WHEEL.

The Nation Of Islam.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!

Elijah Muhammad taught his followers about a Mother Plane or Wheel, a UFO that was seen and described in the visions of the prophet Ezekiel in the “Book of Ezekiel”, in the Hebrew Bible.

“Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them. As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. And the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel. When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went. And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around.”— Ezekiel 1:15–18 (ESV).

Farrakhan, commenting on his teacher’s description said the following:

“The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us of a giant Mother Plane that is made like the universe, spheres within spheres. White people call them unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Ezekiel, in the Old Testament, saw a wheel that looked like a cloud by day but a pillar of fire by night. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that that wheel was built on the island of Nippon, which is now called Japan, by some of the Original scientists. It took $15 billion in gold at that time to build it. It is made of the toughest steel.

America does not yet know the composition of the steel used to make an instrument like it. It is a circular plane, and the Bible says that it never makes turns. Because of its circular nature it can stop and travel in all directions at speeds of thousands of miles per hour. He said there are 1,500 small wheels in this Mother Wheel, which is a half mile by a half mile [800 m by 800 m]. This Mother Wheel is like a small human-built planet. Each one of these small planes carry three bombs.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said these planes were used to set up mountains on the earth. The Qur’an says it like this: We have raised mountains on the earth lest it convulse with you. How do you raise a mountain, and what is the purpose of a mountain? Have you ever tried to balance a tire? You use weights to keep the tire balanced. That’s how the earth is balanced, with mountain ranges. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that we have a type of bomb that, when it strikes the earth a drill on it is timed to go into the earth and explode at the height that you wish the mountain to be. If you wish to take the mountain up a mile [1.6 km], you time the drill to go a mile in and then explode.

The bombs these planes have are timed to go one mile down and bring up a mountain one mile high, but it will destroy everything within a 50-square-mile [130 km²] radius. The white man writes in his above top secret memos of the UFOs. He sees them around his military installations like they are spying. That Mother Wheel is a dreadful-looking thing. White folks are making movies now to make these planes look like fiction, but it is based on something real. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that Mother Plane is so powerful that with sound reverberating in the atmosphere, just with a sound, she can crumble buildings.”—Louis Farrakhan, “The Divine Destruction of America: Can She Avert It?”

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Part 6 (F3): TEACHINGS ON RACE.

The Nation Of Islam.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!

During the time when Malcolm X was a member and leader of the Nation of Islam, he preached that black people were genetically dominant to white people but were dominated by a system of white supremacy:

“Thoughtful white people know they are inferior to Black people. Even [Senator James] Eastland knows it. Anyone who has studied the genetic phase of biology knows that white is considered recessive and black is considered dominant. The entire American economy is based on white supremacy. Even the religious philosophies, in essence, white supremacy. A white Jesus. A white Virgin. White angels. White everything. But a black Devil, of course. The “Uncle Sam” political foundation is based on white supremacy, relegating nonwhites to second−class citizenship. It goes without saying that the social philosophy is strictly white supremacist. And the educational system perpetuates white supremacy.”

After Malcolm X made his pilgrimage to Mecca, he stated that seeing Muslims of “all colors, from blue-eyed blonds to black-skinned Africans”, interacting as equals led him to see Islam as a means by which racial problems could be overcome. He credits his evolving views on Islam and race as a reason for leaving the Nation of Islam, and his decision to convert to Sunni Islam. The Nation of Islam teaches that intermarriage or race mixing should be prohibited. This is point 10 of the official platform, “What the Muslims Want”, published 1965. Farrakhan nevertheless stated in the Tim Russert interview:

“The mother of the Leader who came to North America to teach us, Fard Muhammad, His mother was a white woman. His father was a black man. So where there is love, love transcends our racial denomination or ethnicity. Love is the great power of transformation. I don’t think that we can say when two people are in love that they shouldn’t marry one another. But I would prefer that the black man and the black woman marry into their own kind.”

Next – Part 6 (F4): Ezekiel’s Wheel.

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Part 6 (F2): TEACHINGS ON RACE.

The Nation Of Islam.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!!

“In Islam and, I believe, in Christian theology and Jewish theology as well, there are three stages of human development. The first stage is called the animalistic stage of development. But when we submit to animal passions, then we can do evil things to one another in that animalistic stage of development. But when moral consciousness comes and we have a self-accusing spirit, it is then that we become human beings. Right now, we have the potential for humanity, but we have not reached that potential, because we are functioning on the animalistic plane of existence.”

“The Blackman is the original man. From him came all brown, yellow, red, and white people. By using a special method of birth control law, the Blackman was able to produce the white race. This method of birth control was developed by a Black scientist known as Yakub, who envisioned making and teaching a nation of people who would be diametrically opposed to the Original People. A Race of people who would one day rule the original people and the earth for a period of 6,000 years. Yakub promised his followers that he would graft a nation from his own people, and he would teach them how to rule his people, through a system of tricks and lies whereby they use deceit to divide and conquer, and break the unity of the darker people, put one brother against another, and then act as mediators and rule both sides.” -Elijah Muhammad.

In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Farrakhan said the following in response to host Tim Russert’s question on the Nation of Islam’s teachings on race:

“You know, it’s not unreal to believe that white people — who genetically cannot produce yellow, brown or black — had a Black origin. The scholars and scientists of this world agree that the origin of man and humankind started in Africa and that the first parent of the world was black. The Qur’an says that God created Adam out of black mud and fashioned him into shape. So if white people came from the original people, the Black people, what is the process by which you came to life? That is not a silly question. That is a scientific question with a scientific answer. It doesn’t suggest that we are superior or that you are inferior. It suggests, however, that your birth or your origin is from the black people of this earth: superiority and inferiority is determined by our righteousness and not by our color.”

Pressed by Russert on whether he agreed with Elijah Muhammad’s preaching that whites are “blue-eyed devils”, Farrakhan responded:

“Well, you have not been saints in the way you have acted toward the darker peoples of the world and toward even your own people. But, in truth, Mr. Russert, any human being who gives themself over to the doing of evil could be considered a devil. In the Bible, in the “Book of Revelation”, it talks about the fall of Babylon. It says Babylon is fallen because she has become the habitation of devils. We believe that that ancient Babylon is a symbol of a modern Babylon, which is America.”

Next – Part 6 (F3): Race.

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Part 6 (F1): TEACHINGS ON RACE.

The Nation Of Islam.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!!

Nation of Islam members at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, London Wallace Fard Muhammad taught that the original peoples of the world were black and that white people were a race of “devils” created by a scientist named Yakub (the Biblical and Qur’anic Jacob) on the Greek island of Patmos. According to the supreme wisdom lessons, Fard taught that whites were devils because of a culture of lies and murder that the black man Yakub instituted on the island to ensure the creation of his new people. Fard taught that Yakub established a secret birth control policy among the ruling class on the island.

They were to kill all dark babies at birth and lie to the parents about the child’s fate. Further, they were to make sure that the lighter-skinned children thrived in society. This policy encouraged a general preference for light skin. This was the establishment of the idea of White Supremacy. It was necessary to allow the process of grafting or making of a lighter skinned race of people who would be different. The idea was that if the light skinned people were allowed to mate freely with the dark skinned people, the population would remain dark-skinned due to the genetic dominance of the original dark-skinned people.

This process took approximately 600 years to produce a blond-haired, blue-eyed group of people. As they migrated into the mainland they were greeted and welcomed by the indigenous people wherever they went. But according to the supreme wisdom lessons, they started making trouble among the righteous people, telling lies and causing confusion and mischief. This is when the ruling class of the Middle East decided to round up all the troublemakers that they could find and march them out, over the hot desert sands, into the caves and hillsides of Europe. Elijah claimed that this history is well-known and preserved, and is ritualized or re-enacted within many fraternal organizations and secret societies.

Also, Fard taught that much of the savage ways of white people came from living in the caves and hillsides of Europe for over 2,000 years without any divine revelation or knowledge of civilization. The writings of Elijah Muhammad advise a student must learn that the white man is “Yacub’s grafted Devil” and “the Skunk of the planet Earth”. The Nation of Islam teaches that black people are the aboriginal people, and that all other people come from them. Farrakhan has stated, regarding spiritual ascension, “If you look at the human family — now, I’m talking about black, brown, red, yellow and white — we all seem to be frozen on a subhuman level of existence.

Next: Part 6 (F2): Race.

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Part 6 (E): BLACK EXPERIENCE OF SLAVERY WAS BIBLE PROPHECY.

The Nation Of Islam.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!

The NOI teaches that black people constitute a nation and that through the institution of the Atlantic slave trade they were systematically denied knowledge of their history, language, culture, and religion and, in effect, lost control of their lives. Central to this doctrine, NOI theology asserts that black people’s experience of slavery was the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and therefore, black people are the seed of Abraham referred to in the Bible, in Genesis 15:13–14:

“And he said unto Abram, ‘Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.'”—King James Version Separatism.

In an April 13, 1997, interview on NBC’s”Meet the Press”, Tim Russert asked Farrakhan to explain the Nation of Islam’s view on separation. Tim Russert: “Once a week, on the back page [of your newspaper] is The Muslim Program, ‘What the Muslims Want’ [written in 1965]. The first is in terms of territory, ‘Since we cannot get along with them in peace and equality, we believe our contributions to this land and the suffering forced upon us by white America justifies our demand for complete separation in a state or territory of our own.’ Is that your view in 1997, a separate state for Black Americans?”

Minister Louis Farrakhan: “First, the program starts with number one. That is number four. The first part of that program is that we want freedom, a full and complete freedom. The second is, we want justice. We want equal justice under the law, and we want justice applied equally to all, regardless of race or class or color. And the third is that we want equality. We want equal membership in society with the best in civilized society. If we can get that within the political, economic, social system of America, there’s no need for point number four. But if we cannot get along in peace after giving America 400 years of our service and sweat and labor, then, of course, separation would be the solution to our race problem.”

Next: Part 6 (F1): Race.

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Part 6 (D): NOI COSMOLOGY.

The Nation Of Islam.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!

The NOI teaches that the Moon was once a part of the Earth, and that the Earth is over 76 trillion years old. The entire land mass on the Earth was called “Asia”. This was, Elijah Muhammad claims, long before Adam.

Next: Part 6 (E): Slavery.

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Part 6 (C): OFFICIAL PLATFORM.

The Nation Of Islam.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!

Members of the Nation of Islam, San Francisco, California, 1994.

An official Nation of Islam platform referred to as “The Muslim Program” was written by Elijah Muhammad in his book “Message to the Blackman in America” (1965). The itemized platform contains two sections; “What The Muslims Want”, consisting of 10 points; and “What The Muslims Believe”, consisting of 12 points.

Next: Part 6 (D): NOI Cosmology.

God has blessed us with another day, to experience His love, grace, mercy, and to be free by knowing the truth! Let’s get a revelation from this latest segment:

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Part 6 (B): “NATION OF ISLAM LEADER (1981-present) LOUIS FARRAKHAN.”

The Nation Of Islam.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!

The Nation of Islam (NOI) preaches adherence to the Five Pillars of the Islamic Faith. The NOI also teaches morality and personal decorum, emphasizing modesty, mutual respect, and discipline in dress and comportment. NOI adherents stress a healthy diet and physical fitness, do not consume pork, shellfish, or alcohol, and do not use drugs or tobacco. They also refrain from premarital sex, as well as recreational sex while married, except for the sole purposes of producing children. Abortions are strongly discouraged except in the cases where the mother’s life is in danger.

However, the Nation of Islam argues that because of the unique experience of the oppression and degradation of slavery, Elijah Muhammad used unique methods for introducing Islam to his people. The main belief of The Nation of Islam and its followers is that there is no other God but Allah. They teach that their founder, Master Fard Muhammad is the Mahdi, and that “Allah, came in the person of W. D. Fard.” The official beliefs of the Nation of Islam have been outlined in books, documents, and articles published by the organization, as well as speeches by Elijah Muhammad,Malcolm X, Farrakhan, and other ministers.

Many of Elijah Muhammad’s teachings may be found in “Message to the Blackman in America” and “The True History of Jesus as Taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad”. Written lessons from 1930 to 1934 were passed from W. Fard Muhammad to his student, Elijah Muhammad. These were collected and entitled “The Supreme Wisdom”. The Nation of Islam continues to teach its followers that the present world society is segmented into three distinct categories. They teach that from a general perspective, 85% of the population are the “deaf, dumb and blind” masses of the people who “are easily led in the wrong direction and hard to lead in the right direction”.

Those 85% of the masses are said to be manipulated by 10% of the people. Those 10% rich “slave-makers” are said to manipulate the 85% masses of the people through ignorance, the skillful use of religious doctrine, and the mass media. The third group is referred to as the 5% “poor righteous teachers” of the people of the world, who know the truth of the manipulation of the 85% masses of the people by the 10%. The 5% “righteous teachers” are at constant struggle and war with the 10% to reach and “free the minds” of the masses of the people.

Next: Part 6 (C): Official Platform.

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Part 6 (A) – LEADERSHIP.

The Nation Of Islam.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!

The Nation of Islam (NOI) is a syncretic (union of opposing views) new religious movement founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad on July 4, 1930. The Nation of Islam’s stated goals are to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African Americans in the United States and all of humanity. Its critics accuse it of being black supremacist and anti semitic. After Fard disappeared in June 1934, the Nation of Islam was led by Elijah Muhammad, who established places of worship (Temples), a school named Muhammad University of Islam, businesses, farms and real estate holdings in the United States and abroad. 

There were a number of splits and splinter groups during Elijah Muhammad’s leadership, most notably the departure of senior leader Malcolm X to become Sunni Muslim. After Elijah Muhammad’s death, his son Warith Deen Mohammed changed the name of the organization several times and brought it into line with mainstream Sunni Islam. In 1977, Louis Farrakhan rejected Warith Deen Mohammed’s leadership, and re-established the Nation of Islam on the original model. He took over the Nation of Islam’s headquarter Temple, Mosque Maryam (Mosque #2), which is located in Chicago. Its official newspaper is “The Final Call”. The Nation of Islam does not publish its membership numbers, yet in 2007, the core membership was estimated between 20,000 and 50,000, though their following was believed to be larger. Most of the members are in the United States, but there are minority communities in other countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Since 2010, under Farrakhan, members have been strongly encouraged to study Dianetics, and the Nation currently claims it has trained 1055 Auditors. There has been much speculation over the years about who will succeed Farrakhan as the national leader of the NOI. Most recently, Farrakhan’s selection of Assistant Minister Ishmael Muhammad to deliver the 2013 Holy Day of Atonement key note address in his place may shed some light on that question. Farrakhan was absent from the event due to suffering a heart attack, he later announced in Indianapolis in December 2013.

Next: Part 6 (B) – Louis Farrakhan.

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Part 5 (C): CHRISTIAN SCIENCE THEOLOGY.

Christian Science.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!

The Christian Science seal (this version from 1891) includes the Cross and Crown and words from the New Testament. To the more conservative of the Protestant clergy, Eddy’s view of “Science and Health” as divinely inspired represented a heretical challenge to the Bible’s authority. “Eddyism” was regularly referred to as a cult; one of the first uses of the modern sense of the word was in A. H. Barrington’s”Anti-Christian Cults” (1898), a book about Spiritualism, Theosophy and Christian Science.

 In a few cases Christian Scientists saw themselves expelled from Christian congregations, but for the most part ministers worried that their parishioners were crossing over. The Boston correspondent of the London “Times”wrote in May 1885: “Scores of the most valued church members are joining the Christian Scientist branch of the metaphysical organization, and it has thus far been impossible to check the defection.” In 1907 Mark Twain (1835–1910) described the appeal of the new religion:

“She has delivered to them a religion which has revolutionized their lives, banished the glooms that shadowed them, and filled them and flooded them with sunshine and gladness and peace; a religion which has no hell; a religion whose heaven is not put off to another time, with a break and a gulf between, but begins here and now, and melts into eternity as fancies of the waking day melt into the dreams of sleep. They believe it is a Christianity that is in the New Testament; that it has always been there, that in the drift of ages it was lost through disuse and neglect, and that this benefactor has found it and given it back to men, turning the night of life into day, its terrors into myths, its lamentations into songs of emancipation and rejoicing.”

God willing, Part 6 (A) – Leadership of the Nation of Islam is next!

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Part 5 (B): CHRISTIAN SCIENCE THEOLOGY.

Christian Science.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!

There is no appeal to a personal god in Christian Science healing, no supplication; the process involves the Scientist or Christian Science practitioner – for a fee, practitioners will offer Christian Science prayer to address ill health or other problems – engaging in a silent rhetorical argument to affirm to themselves the unreality of matter. In the view of adherents this process connects the patient, as a spiritual being, to Divine Mind; historian of religion Amanda Porterfield describes it in terms of an “invisible spiritual force that stimulates healing.”

Wilson writes that Christian Science healing is not curative on its own premises; it is, rather, “preventative of ill health, accident and misfortune, since it claims to lead to a state of consciousness where these things do not exist. What heals is the realization that there is nothing really to heal.” It is a closed system of thought, in that Christian Science practice is viewed as infallible if performed correctly; healing confirms the power of Truth, but its absence derives from the failure, specifically the bad thoughts, of individuals.

Eddy’s theology is unitarian, rather than trinitarian, and her view of Christ gnostic. She distinguished between Jesus the man and the concept of Christ; the latter is a quality rather than an identity, a synonym for Truth, while Jesus was the first person fully to manifest it. Eddy called Jesus a Christian Scientist and a “Way-shower” between humanity and God. His death she regarded as an illusion like any other; a person who seems to die simply adjusts to a level of consciousness inaccessible to the living. The crucifixion was not a divine sacrifice for the sins of humanity, the atonement (the forgiveness of sin through Jesus’s suffering) “not the bribing of God by offerings,” writes Bryan Wilson, but an “at-one-ment” with God, a reconciliation of humankind and Divine Mind. The Holy Ghost is Christian Science, and heaven and hell are states of mind.

Next: Part 5 (C) – Christian Science Theology!

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Part 5 (A): CHRISTIAN SCIENCE THEOLOGY.

Christian Science.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!

Christian Science leaders see their religion as Christian and reject any identification with the New Thought movement; Eddy herself was strongly influenced by her Congregationalist upbringing. She regarded “Science and Health” as an inspired text and second coming, and Christian Science as a return to early Christianity’s “lost element of healing.” According to the religion’s tenets, adherents accept “the inspired Word of the Bible as [their] sufficient guide to eternal Life,” and acknowledge one God, “His Son, one Christ,” and the Holy Ghost.  There are nevertheless key differences between Christian Science theology and that of traditional Christianity. Eddy redefined the Christian vocabulary, leading to very different views of several Christian concepts, including the Trinity, creation, divinity of Jesus atonement and resurrection.

Eddy saw God not as a person, but as a principle – “Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love” – that underlies the universe. At the core of her theology is the idea that the spiritual world is entirely good; that the material world, including evil, sickness and death, is an illusion; and that humankind, as an idea of Divine Mind or God, is perfect: the flaws of what Eddy called “mortal man” are simply humankind’s mistaken view of itself. Despite her view that evil did not exist, an important element of Christian Science theology is the idea that evil thought – which she called malicious animal magnetism or mental malpractice – can cause harm, even if the harm is only apparent.

Eddy’s “scientific statement of being” – her “first plank in the platform of Christian Science” – summed up her radical idealism: “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation.” For Christian Scientists, the spiritualization of thought that comes with the acceptance of this has the power to heal. “[A]ll healing is a metaphysical process. That means that there is no person to be healed, no material body, no patient, no matter, no illness, no one to heal, no substance, no person, no thing and no place that needs to be influenced. This is what the practitioner must first be clear about.”“”

— Frank Prinz-Wondollek, Christian Science practitioner, 2011.

Next: Part 5 (B) – Christian Science Theology.

Part 5: OVERVIEW.

Christian Science.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!

Two periods of Protestant Christian revival known as the Second and Third Great Awakening (c. 1800–1830 and 1850–1900) nurtured a proliferation of new religious movements in the United States, including what came to be known as the metaphysical family (the metaphysical groups used the term “metaphysics” to denote the centrality of the mental world, or Mind, rather than the branch of philosophy that studies ontology). The metaphysical family consists of several groups, including Christian Science, that were also known as the mind-cure, mental-healing or mental-science movement; from the 1890s the liberal section of the movement became known as New Thought, in part to distinguish it from the more authoritarian Christian Science. 

The metaphysical groups were idealists; they emphasized the primacy of the mental world and saw all physical phenomena as emanating from Divine Mind or Truth. Ill health was viewed as a failure to connect to Divine Mind; the mind, through positive thinking, was the key to physical health. There was keen interest in alternatives to medicine, in large measure because medical practice was often crude and frightening, but also in reaction to the idea that suffering was something that ought to be endured as a test or punishment from God.The mind-cure movement in the United States traced its roots to the work of New England mental healer Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802–1866), whose motto was “the truth is the cure” (persuade the patient that she is not ill and she will recover).

William James (1842–1910) saw in mind-cure aspects of spiritism, Hinduism, the subjective idealism of George Berkeley (1685–1753) and  the transcendentalism of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882). The point above all was to be cheerful; James described mind-cure literature as “moonstruck with optimism.” Mary Baker Eddy was a patient of Quimby’s and was accused of having founded Christian Science on the basis of one of his unpublished manuscripts. Christian Science adherents saw themselves as representatives of progress and modernity. They differed in that Eddy’s philosophy was not dualist. She did not argue merely for the primacy of mind or spirit, but dismissed the material world entirely as an illusion; reality for Eddy was purely spiritual. For further information read “Great Awakening.”

Next: Part 5 (A) – Christian Science Theology.

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Part 5: Christian Science.

INTRO.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!

Christian Science is a set of beliefs and practices belonging to the metaphysical family of new religious movements. It was developed in the United States by Mary Baker Eddy  (1821–1910) after she experienced what she said was a miraculous recovery from a fall. She subsequently wrote “Science and Health” (1875), which argued that sickness is an illusion that can be corrected by prayer alone. The book became Christian Science’s central text along with the Bible, and by 2001 had sold ten million copies in 16 languages. Eddy and 25 followers were granted a charter in 1879 to found the Church of Christ (Scientist), and in 1894 the Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, was built in Boston, Massachusetts.

 Eddy’s ideas proved popular: during the first decades of the 20th century Christian Science became the fastest growing American religion, with 270,000 members in the United States in 1936. By the 1990s this had declined to just over 100,000; a church estimate in 2008 placed the global membership at 400,000. The religion is known for the “Christian Science Monitor”, which won seven Pulitzer Prizes between 1950 and 2002, and for its Reading Rooms, which are open to the public in around 1,200 cities. Christian Scientists see their religion as consistent with Christian theology, despite key differences. 

In particular they subscribe to a radical form of philosophical idealism, believing that reality is purely spiritual and the material world an illusion. This includes the view that disease is a spiritual rather than physical disorder, that there is no death, and that the sick should be treated, not by medicine, but by a form of prayer that seeks to correct the beliefs responsible for the illusion of ill health. The church does not require that Christian Scientists avoid all medicine – adherents use dentists, optometrists, obstetricians, physicians for broken bones, and vaccination when required by law – but maintains that Christian Science prayer is most effective when not combined with medical care.

 Between the 1880s and 1990s the avoidance of medical treatment and vaccination led to the deaths of several adherents and their children; parents and others were prosecuted for manslaughter or neglect, and in a few cases convicted.

Next – Part 5: OVERVIEW of Christian Science.

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Part 4: KABBALISM.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!

The Kabbalah Centre International is a non-profit organization for spiritual connection, guidance, and education headquartered in Los Angeles, California, that provides courses on the Zohar and Kabbalistic teachings online as well as through its regional and city-based centres and study groups worldwide. The modern-day, universal presentation of Kabbalah was developed by its leader, Philip Berg (a traditionally trained orthodox rabbi who had left the religious clergy, went into the insurance business, and then focused his life on learning and sharing Kabbalah with the world) along with his wife, Karen Berg.

The Kabbalah Centre International has a multi-ethnic, international staff of teachers that offers training and guidance to its worldwide student community. Philip Berg died on September 16, 2013. His wife and two sons Yehuda and Michael have worked together to continue Philip Berg’s efforts to bring Kabbalah to the world through the Kabbalah Centre since his stroke in 2004.

Traditional Judaism had long held that mysteries of Kabbalah are so complex and so easily misunderstood that students (mostly males) were discouraged from beginning to approach them without a strong background in Jewish law and only after age 40, the age of wisdom according to the Mishnah. Therefore, some traditionalists had seen the Kabbalah Centre as a perversion of Judaism’s ancient and secretive mystic tradition. As a religious not-for-profit organization, it is exempt from federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The Kabbalah Centre was founded in the United States in 1965 as The National Research Institute of Kabbalah by Philip Berg (born Feivel Gruberger) and Rav Yehuda Tzvi Brandwein. Brandwein in turn was the dean of Yeshivah Kol Yehuda in Israel (a precursor of the US Kabbalah Centres) which was founded in 1922. After Brandwein’s death, and after several years in Israel, Philip Berg and his wife Karen Berg, re-established the U.S. Kabbalah Centre in New York. The current headquarters of the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles was opened in 1984. Karen and their sons Yehuda and  Michael act as directors and spiritual leaders of the organization. The organization is a registered non-profit with over fifty branches worldwide, including major ones in Los Angeles, New York City, London and Toronto.

God willing, an Intro to Christian Science in Part 5 is next.

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Part 3: THEOSOPHY.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!

Theosophy (from Greek θεοσοφία”theosophia”, from θεός “theos”, God + σοφία “sophia”, wisdom; literally “God’s wisdom”), refers to system of esoteric philosophy concerning, or investigation seeking direct knowledge of, presumed mysteries of being and nature, particularly concerning the nature of divinity. Theosophy is considered a part of the broader field of esotericism, referring to hidden knowledge or wisdom that offers the individual enlightenment and salvation. “The English word esoteric is derived from the Greek word esōterikos, which is attested in the 2nd century AD in the writing of Galenus Medicus.” 

Examples of esoteric religious movements and philosophies include Alchemy, Astrology, Anthroposophy, early Christian Mysticism, Freemasonry, Gnosticism, Kabbalah, Neoplatonism, Magic, Merkabah mysticism, Mesmerism,Rosicrucianism, Taoism, Numerology, Swedenborgianism, Scientology, Spiritualism, the Alawites, the Theosophy of Jacob Böhme and his followers, and the Theosophical revivalist movement associated with Helena Blavatsky.

The theosophist seeks to understand the mysteries of the universe and the bonds that unite the universe, humanity, and the divine. The goal of theosophy is to explore the origin of divinity and humanity, and the world. From investigation of those topics, theosophists try to discover a coherent description of the purpose and origin of the universe.

God willing, a more in-depth look at corporate Kabbalism in Part 4 is next.

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Part 2: DEFINITIONS.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!

Pseudo Religion, or pseudo theology, is a generally pejorative term applied to a non-mainstream belief-system or philosophy which is functionally similar to a religious movement, typically having a founder, principal text, liturgy and faith-based beliefs. Belief systems such as Theosophy, corporate Kabbalism, Christian Science and the Nation of Islam have all been referred to as pseudo religions, as have various New Age religions, as well as political ideologies such as Nazism. Within the academic debate, political ideologies that resemble religion are sometimes referred to as political religions.

While the more serious-minded participants in these groups may prefer to consider themselves part of a proper religion, or not part of a religion at all, the mainstream ascribes to them a fringe status. Such groups as the Raëlian Church and Heaven’s Gate, seen as dangerous, exploitative, secretive, or closed, have been classified as pseudo religious cults. Others may begin as splinters or hold-overs from traditional religions based in Apocryphal or Pseudepigraphical writings not accepted within the originating religion.

Examples of marginal movements with founding figures, liturgies and recently-invented traditions that have been studied as legitimate social practices include various  New Age movements, and millennaristic movements such as the Ghost Dance and South Pacific cargo cults.

God willing, a more in-depth look at examples of pseudo-religions and quasi-religions starting in Part 3 is next.

May the peace of God enrich you according to His riches in glory!

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Part 1: AUTHENTICITY.

Series: PSEUDO AND/OR QUASI RELIGIONS!

In The Sower Parable, Jesus talked about how people would receive the gospel differently, despite the clear explanations from The Master Teacher! Even in everyday life we find people who just don’t “get it,” and, the truth be told, we all have areas where we don’t excel in. However, when it comes to the gospel, some would rather believe in some idolatrous system that de-emphasizes God’s love, as does a Man-centered cult or political ideology, both resembling Dorothy’s belief in the Wizard of Oz, and, while they sucuumb to persecution (Cowardly Lion), the lure of material gain (Tin Man), Christians lovingly trust in, devote to, and study God’s word lest they become an ANTARTIAN (dimwits like the Scarecrow).

(An Antartian died and was at the gate of Heaven; Peter gave him a question to answer before he could enter. Peter asked him, “what is God’s first name?” His response was, “Andy!” A startled Peter then asked, “Andy?” He replied, “yeah, from the song: ‘Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me, Andy tells me I am His own…’”).

Dorothy and her three friends were misled to follow the Yellow Brick Road to PSEUDO-RELIGIONS (cults) intentionally similar to acknowledged religions, and QUASI-RELIGIONS (ideologies) that have unintended similarities, when God offers authenticity (symbolized by streets of gold) through Christ! Both pseudo and quasi religions have been distinguished by Paul Tillich, who gave this observation in an article entitled: “WHAT IS THE ESSENCE OF TRUE RELIGION?”, written in JULY 26, 2009:

“…Pseudo-religion uses explicit religious language and sometimes even intends it in its real sense, but ultimately it doesn’t open someone up to anything beyond what is highest within the individual self. In the end, it recycles human consciousness and doesn’t open us up to the transcendent, to air beyond us. It uses the word “God”, but its “God” doesn’t take us beyond what is highest inside of ourselves. “God” is a higher power, an ideal, and a power beyond mundane consciousness, but “God” is not a transcendent power, a real person capable of parting the Red Sea or raising the body of Jesus. Nonetheless this “God” can be wonderfully positive in challenging us to what’s highest inside of ourselves. It makes for a religion of positive thinking.


Quasi-religion doesn’t use explicit religious language, but takes its adherents beyond what is highest inside of a person to what is highest inside of humanity itself. Many ideologies are quasi-religions. They demand that we sacrifice ourselves for something higher. Our own personal dreams are less important than the larger dream of humanity itself. Thus, an ideology such as Marxism, Greenpeace, or Feminism can demand that we sacrifice our own dreams and even our lives for the common good. While not using explicit religious language and sometimes even being explicitly atheistic, quasi-religion attains some of the qualities of true-religion, namely, it pushes its adherents to altruism, self-sacrifice, and purpose beyond idiosyncratic preference.


True-Religion might or might not use explicit religious language but, either way, it opens up its adherents to a vision and a reality beyond what is highest inside of the individual person and highest within the collective ideal of humanity itself. It opens us up to the transcendent, to a God who is real, beyond us, relates to us, and who asks very real things of us in terms of a response. True-religion, unlike its counterparts, does not recycle air that is already within our reality. In a manner of speaking, it brings in air from the outside, from beyond. The God it relates to is not a power already within the consciousness of a person or within the consciousness of humanity itself.”

The article continues:


“But how do we know if we have attained that? How do we know if our own religious practice is real, quasi, or pseudo?”


Jesus answered this by saying: “By their fruits you will know them.” The authenticity of our religious practice should not be judged, as is commonly the case, by any of these criteria: Simple sincerity (“He’s so convinced and sincere!”), religious passion (“He’s on fire with God!”), dogmatic vigilance and purity (“He has such a passion for truth!”), commitment to justice (“He is so committed to the poor!”) faithful religious practice (“He has never missed church in his life!”), or even self-sacrifice (“He is willing to die for this!”). Any of these qualities can be present in a person and his or her religious practice might still not be true. Imbalance, fanaticism, and flat-out hatred can sometimes produce these qualities or be unhealthily mixed in with them. The older brother of the prodigal son never left his father’s house and never did a thing wrong, but he was still unable to enter his father’s joy.


How do we judge true religion?
Perhaps there isn’t a simpler or clearer formula than the one St. Paul gives in the 5th chapter of his Epistle to the Galatians. He tells us that there are two spirits we can live by, the spirit of world (the “Sarx”) and God’s Holy Spirit.


The spirit of the world is marked by envy, anger, bitterness, gossip, factionalism, slander, idolatry, sexual misconduct, and arrogance; whereas the God’s spirit, the Holy Spirit, is characterized by charity, joy, peace, patience, goodness, long-suffering, constancy, mildness, fidelity, chastity. Simply put, when our daily lives are characterized by envy, anger, bitterness, factionalism, slander, sexual misconduct, and arrogance, we should not delude ourselves into thinking that we are living in God’s spirit, irrespective of the purity of our religious practice or commitment to a cause.

We are living in God’s spirit only when our lives show charity, joy, peace, patience, goodness, long-suffering, constancy, mildness, fidelity, and chastity. Living these qualities is true religion, nothing more and nothing less. We know we are breathing air beyond our own only when these qualities show forth in our lives. Though we might delude ourselves and fool others for awhile with a religious practice that is something less than life in the spirit as Paul defines it, anything less that the real thing will ultimately have us standing, bitter and envious, outside the Father’s joy.”

Here’s a three-pronged test to identify “authentic” religions from pseudo-religions by James Carmine, chair of Carlow University‘s philosophy department:

  1. Any religion lacking a guiding coherent theology is a pseudo-religion.

  2. Any religion entirely self referential is a pseudo-religion.

  3. Any religion whose only fruit is adherence to itself is a pseudo-religion.

Anthropologists and sociologists, and other scholars of religion, don’t view religion in terms of authenticity. Modern anthropology supposes a complete continuity between (a) magical thinking (attributes a cause between actions and events, though scientific consensus refute said cause) and (b) religion (“respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods; obligation, the bond between man and the gods,” derived from the Latin religiō), with every religion being a cultural product, invented by the human community devoted to it.

Sociologists deal with the practices, historical backgrounds, developments, universal themes and roles of religion in a society, emphasising on the recurring role of religion in all societies and throughout recorded history. By not setting out to evaluate the authenticity of truth-claims of religion, and, according to  Peter L. Berger, by holding a position of “methodological atheism,”  which reject unprovable supernatural explanations for the genesis or shaping of religions, the Sociology of Religion differs from the Philosophy of Religion (concerned with questions regarding the nature and existence of God, the examination of religious experience, the analysis of religious vocabulary and texts, and the relationship of religion and science, etc.)

God willing, we will look deeper at Part 2: 

Later:

Hebrew Israelites

Mormons

Jehovah Witness

Catholics

Bloodless Religions

Yogic Systems

Before you…

October 27, 2012

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I Love You Jesus!

October 14, 2012

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Stop Smoking!

September 22, 2012

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T.H.I.N.K.

September 22, 2012

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400 Calories!

September 18, 2012

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Fighting Inflammation!

September 18, 2012

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September 5, 2012

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August 26, 2012

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