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Cults and World Religions
Five pillars of faith
- Reciting the creed: "There is no God, but Allah, and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah."
- Prayer: They are required to pray five times a day facing Mecca. One must pray in Arabic, following a set form of words and ritual stances.
- Fasting: During the month of Ramadan, all the Muslims are required to fast.
- Almsgiving: Muslims are required to give one-fortieth of money and merchandise.
- Pilgrimage: Every adult Muslim must journey once in their lifetime to Mecca.
There are five major pillars of doctrine in Islam. The first one is reciting the creed which says, "There is no God, but Allah, and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah. "The second one is prayer. They are required to pray five times a day facing Mecca. Muslims must pray in Arabic, following a set form of words and kneel and bow toward Mecca. The third one is fasting. During the whole month of Ramadan, all the Muslims are required to fast during the daytime, then they feast at night. Muslims are not allowed to eat, drink, or smoke during the day. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim lunar year. The fourth one is almsgiving. Muslims are required to give one-fortieth of money and merchandise. The fifth one is a pilgrimage called the Hajj. Every adult Muslim must journey once in their lifetime to Mecca.
The Jihad is holy war. All adult free males are called to war against unbelievers. If you die in a holy war you go directly to paradise. Only men have souls and can go to paradise, where seventy young beautiful virgins will serve them. They shall dwell will bashful virgins whom neither man nor jinnee will have touched before. (Qurān 55:56).The Qurān is their holy scriptures.
Muhammad was born about 570 AD in Mecca. His mother died when he was only six. He had an unknown father. He was brought up by his grandfather and then by his uncle. It seems that he had contact with Christianity and Judaism. At age forty he had his first revelation of the Qurān, which means reading. It is stated that he heard a voice three times telling him to read in the name of the Lord. Later he saw a vision of the angel Gabriel. Muhammad at first feared that he was possessed by a jinn or genii. Soon he began to give divine revelation, which are recorded in the Qurān, considered to be the very words of Allah, through the archangel Gabriel to Muhammad. Because the Qurān stories are different then the Old Testament, Muhammad saw the Old Testament as corrupt. The Qurān has hundred-fourteen chapters or surahs. The Qurān has twenty-eight prophets of Allah. The greatest prophet of the Qurān was Muhammad, this included Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jonah, and Jesus.
In 622 AD Muhammad withdrew his followers to Medina. This withdraw is called Hijra which is the beginning of the Muslim calendar. In Medina he became a judge and a leader. In the year 9 AH, Muhammad returned triumphant to Mecca and established Islam. Islam rapidly spread over the Middle East and Africa. If you didnt convert to Islam you were killed, so there were a lot of conversions. Many joined the army because they thought that they would go directly to paradise if they died in battle.
Dr. Meyers believes that because of Muhammads traumatic childhood, he developed sever psychological problems. Hearing voices and seeing visions is usually called psychosis. Muhammad exhibits the same signs as cult leaders today. Cult leaders have strict rules for their followers, but they are above the rules themselves. For example, Muhammad was allowed to have more than four wives, while his followers could not. Muhammad had some strange views of Christianity. He denied the deity of Christ and that Christ didnt die on the cross but was caught up to heaven. He didnt believe in the trinity which he miss took as Father, Virgin, and Son. He denied Jesus was the Son of God. He believed that Christ foretold the coming of Muhammad, which he saw as the comforter, Holy Spirit in the gospel of John. Surah 4:11 says that, Man must take care of their own sin. Muslims must earn their own salvation from sin by following the five pillars of faith. Today there are two major groups of Muslims the Shiites and the Sunni.
Muhammad died with out naming a successor, called a Caliph. There was a war of succession. Many tribes refused to pay their dues, but Abu Bakr forced obedience by the sword. This began the principle of fighting in the way of Allah. In 30 AH, the Qurān was prepared and all different versions were destroyed. By: Abigail Meyers
Does Archaeology support the Qur'an?
See also: The Quran and Science: Do They Agree?
Oldest Yemeni Quran differs from Uthman Quran today
The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Quran
It was thought that Hinduism began with the invasion of fair-skinned Indo-European people who called themselves Ayrans about 2,000 BC. Recent excavations show that many Hindu concepts and practices originated before the Aryans migrations and suppression of the dark-skinned Dravidians. Hinduism can be divided into five periods of development.Five periods of Hinduism
- The Vedic Period: (2000-600 BC) Aryans brought the worship of many personified forces of nature, or just nature worship. The Vedic pantheon has three divisions: Gods of the heavens, Gods of the atmosphere, and Gods of the earth which parallels the three classes of society; priests, warriors, and peasants. Varuna is the god of creation and ruler of the moral universe.
- Reaction & Renaissance Period: (600 BC-AD300) There was revolts against the priestly religion. Great prophets arose: Zoroaster (628-551 BC), Buddha (563-484 BC), Mahavira (599-527 BC), the founder of Jainism, and Confucius (511-497 BC). The most popular expression of renaissance is seen in the Bhafavad-Gita.
- Puranic Period: (300-1200 AD)
- Medieval Period: (1200-1750 AD)
- Modern Period: (1750-to present)
The Bible vs the Book of Mormon
Symposiums to look at whether DNA refutes Book of Mormon: Murphy published an essay last year, based on DNA evidence, claiming that the Book of Mormon cannot be what the LDS Church claims it is -- a record of the American Indian descendants of Lehi, a Hebrew who migrated with his family to the New World in about 600 B.C. DNA samples taken from native tribes in south, central and north America have shown that their principal ancestors were from northeast Asia, not Israel -- a fact conceded by both sides in the debate. Murphy says, "It's possible for a small group to have not left a trace. But that's not what the Book of Mormon describes." The book describes a vast Nephite civilization, and its existence until the end of time is prophesied. Moreover, church leaders, including founder Joseph Smith, taught that Lamanites are the ancestors of native Americans. "There is sufficient evidence to draw a conclusion and that conclusion is that the Book of Mormon is not accurate historically," says Murphy.
Mormon Church put to DNA test: Instructor risks expulsion with his claim that Book of Mormon is racist (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). Murphy, 35-year-old chairman of the Edmonds Community College Anthropology Department, contends DNA analysis contradicts Book of Mormon claims that American Indians are descended from ancient heathen Israelites. See also Mormon Challenge.
Mormon scholar predicts his expulsion: Thomas W. Murphy, 35, published an article in the May Signature Books anthology "American Apocrypha," which uses genetic data to discredit the Book of Mormon claim that American Indians are heathen descendants of ancient Israel (Associated Press).
Oldest American writing found in dump (6 Dec) - Archaeologists may have found the oldest example of writing from the Americas. The find gives clues to how the ancient civilizations of Central America developed, they say. Others dispute that the objects discovered bear writing. This brings into question the Mormon view that ancient American writings were from reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Scientology: Inside the Cult: 1995 - Hidden cameras go inside the London Scientology Org.
Former Scientology Executive Speak out!
"Going Clear" is a new book by Lawrence Wright exposing the problems with Scientology.Information below is from Wikipedia
Scientology was created by science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986). He wrote the self-help book Dianetics in 1950. "Hubbard characterized Scientology as a religion, and in 1953 incorporated the Church of Scientology in Camden, New Jersey." Wikipedia
Scientology was developed by L. Ron Hubbard as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. Dianetics uses a counseling technique known as auditing, developed by Hubbard to enable conscious recall of traumatic events in an individual's past. It was originally intended to be a new psychotherapy and was not expected to become the foundation for a new religion.
Dianetics soon met with criticism. Morris Fishbein, the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association and well-known at the time as a debunker of quack medicine, dismissed Hubbard's book. An article in Newsweek stated that "the dianetics concept is unscientific and unworthy of discussion or review". In January 1951, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners instituted proceedings against the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation for teaching medicine without a license, which eventually led to that foundation's bankruptcy.
Some practitioners of Dianetics reported experiences which they believed had occurred in past lives, or previous incarnations. In early 1951, reincarnation became a subject of intense debate within Dianetics. Campbell and Winter, who was still hopeful of winning support for Dianetics from the medical community, championed a resolution to ban the topic. But Hubbard decided to take the reports of past life events seriously and postulated the existence of the thetan, a concept similar to the soul. This was an important factor in the transition from secular Dianetics to the religion of Scientology.
Also in 1951, Hubbard introduced the electropsychometer (E-meter for short), a kind of galvanometer, as an auditing aid. Based on a design by Hubbard, the device is held by Scientologists to be a useful tool in detecting changes in a person's state of mind.
In the course of developing Scientology, Hubbard presented rapidly changing teachings that were often self-contradictory. For the inner cadre of Scientologists in that period, involvement depended not so much on belief in a particular doctrine but on unquestioning faith in Hubbard. In 1966, Hubbard stepped down as executive director of Scientology to devote himself to research and writing. The following year, he formed the Sea Organization or Sea Org, which was to develop into an elite group within Scientology. The Sea Org was based on three ships, the Diana, the Athena, and the Apollo, which served as the flag ship. One month after the establishment of the Sea Org, Hubbard announced that he had made a breakthrough discovery, the result of which were the "OT III" materials purporting to provide a method for overcoming factors inhibiting spiritual progress. These materials were first disseminated on the ships, and then propagated by Sea Org members reassigned to staff Advanced Organizations on land.
In a 1993 U.S. lawsuit brought by the Church of Scientology against Steven Fishman, a former member of the Church, Fishman made a court declaration which included several dozen pages of formerly secret esoterica detailing aspects of Scientologist cosmogony. As a result of the litigation, this material, normally strictly safeguarded and only used in Scientology's more advanced "OT levels", found its way onto the Internet. This resulted in a battle between the Church of Scientology and its online critics over the right to disclose this material, or safeguard its confidentiality. The Church of Scientology was forced to issue a press release acknowledging the existence of this cosmogony, rather than allow its critics "to distort and misuse this information for their own purposes." Even so, the material, notably the story of Xenu, has since been widely disseminated and used to caricature Scientology, despite the Church's vigorous program of copyright litigation.
The OT levels, the levels above Clear, are guarded within Scientology, The OT level teachings include accounts of various cosmic catastrophes that befell the thetans. Hubbard described these early events collectively as space opera.Thetans are credited with having created the universe trillions of years ago and with having the potential for "knowing and willing cause over life, thought, matter, energy, space and time": the ability to operate free of the encumbrances of the material universe. In the OT levels, Hubbard explains how to reverse the effects of past-life trauma patterns that supposedly extend millions of years into the past. Among these advanced teachings is the story of Xenu (sometimes Xemu), introduced as the tyrant ruler of the "Galactic Confederacy" of 26 stars and 76 planets. According to this story, 75 million years ago Xenu brought billions of people to Earth in spacecraft resembling Douglas DC-8 airliners, stacked them around volcanoes and detonated hydrogen bombs in the volcanoes.
The now-disembodied victims' souls, which Hubbard called thetans, that were blown into the air by the blast, were captured by Xenu's forces using an "electronic ribbon" ("which also was a type of standing wave") and sucked into "vacuum zones" around the world. The hundreds of billions of captured thetans were taken to a type of cinema, where they were forced to watch a "three-D, super colossal motion picture" for thirty-six days. This implanted what Hubbard termed "various misleading data"' (collectively termed the R6 implant) into the memories of the hapless thetans, "which has to do with God, the Devil, space opera, et cetera". This included all world religions, with Hubbard specifically attributing Roman Catholicism and the image of the Crucifixion to the influence of Xenu. The two "implant stations" cited by Hubbard were said to have been located on Hawaii and Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. The thetans clustered together, stuck to the bodies of the living, and continue to do this today. Scientologists at advanced levels place considerable emphasis on isolating body thetans and neutralizing their ill effects. Information is from Wikipedia/Scientology and Xenu.
In conclusion, it seems that Scientology is not science, but science fiction.
Superman's Scientology 'truth' Christopher Reeve didn't like the "e-meter" machine much. Reeve says he grew skeptical of the whole process and told an outrageous lie which wasnt caught by the auditor or the e-meter. The fact that I got away with a blatant fabrication completely devalued my belief in the process, Reeve wrote. He felt similar disillusionment with various alternative religions and cults he encountered in Hollywood.