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Anke Richter—Two Faced or Just Naive?

Journalism or politics; it can be difficult to realize the difference. This disparity can be unearthed in the recent work of a New Zealand reporter, Anke Richter, who wrote several cult-related articles. Richter has over the last few years joined a special niche of “cult bashers.” She's not a remarkable or famous journalist but exhibits some notable writing talents. Looking her up online, I was immediately greeted with her smiling profile picture that successfully offered up an approachable aura of ...
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The Trout, a Shell Game, and Be Scofield

When I was still quite young, every summer my parents would pack up my two sisters, my brother and me, and stuff us into our go-anywhere Land Rover to drive cross-country to Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. My dear departed grandfather owned a beautiful cottage lakeside estate there. One particular summer presented a defining moment in my life. It was the year “grandfather and father” agreed it was time to induct my brother and me into our family trout fishing ...
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Toxic Spirituality? Or, Be Scofield’s Toxic Journalism

When we think of freedom of speech, we might look with appreciation and gratefulness toward the insightful work and foresight our American forefathers labored into law. Ensuring us our right to convey our ideas and views fearlessly and transparently. The First Amendment was implemented on December 15, 1791, as a portion of the Bill of Rights, the initial ten amendments to the US Constitution. It established legislative safeguards for varied and distinct liberties, affecting freedom of speech, right to assemble, ...
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Be Scofield’s World of Wonders

Be Scofield’s World of Wonders J. Baxter When I received an email from a former mole in Be Scofield’s inner circle, notifying me that she was able to net a Pro Bono lawyer from a high-powered law firm, I nearly dropped my morning latte in my lap. Why would any respectable attorney even consider defending such an obvious offender for free, donating his or her work to wrangle an unmistakably innocent couple that filed a defensive lawsuit against her for defamation? My ...
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The Misdeeds of Be Scofield and the Mysterious Orcas Island Death of Carla Shaffer

We ordinarily associate ethical journalism with an earnest effort to bring a deserving story of social value into public awareness. As a writer, for me real journalism represents an honorable profession, something that might at times require real sacrifices and hard work that in the end, leads to honest, principled reporting. I quickly take issue with anyone who would dare abuse this noble profession, for any reason, but in particular for personal glory or recognition. Ethical journalism should never be ...
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Are We wrong about Cults?

The Dangerous Weaponizing of Words to Further the Bias of the Bigoted It’s easy to recognize the word “cult” as a seedy scheming term that’s used by the sordid to deliver their age-old bigoted purpose. Cult, and interchangeably guru, are the favored go-to terms used by the spiritually prejudiced in place of the older previous standbys, heretic, blasphemer, infidel, or pagan. What we see emerging online today is a loathsome use of cult and guru. Read more on Medium: Are ...
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The Sudden and Freakish Rise of Cyber Hate Groups

An introspective examination of the unprecedented rise of spiritual intolerance in our online communities As a published journalist and writer, I’ve spent thousands of hours researching and doing follow-up work on countless subjects that demanded I find the most heart-rending ways of imparting reasoning with an intelligent choice. My belief is that simply reading an article without experiencing an evolution in emotional growth or change, to whatever degree, is a useless waste of time for the reader. Unless the reader ...
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A New Culture of Cult Fear

These people must be cult members … they do Yoga and Meditation and are a group! It would be unfairly biased for me to right away promote a blanket acceptance that all spiritual movements today are fundamentally harmless, without first pointing out there have been some really terrifying and dangerous cults in our recent history that indicate otherwise. That being stated, our mainstream, and additionally our still very young Western spiritual culture is currently going through an unnecessary cult-fear resurgence ...
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