Archive for January, 2011

The JBFCS Cult Clinic and Satanism: A response to Arnold Markowitz, LCSW

January 27, 2011

(revised February 10, 2011)

Here in New York City, there is a Cult Hotline and Clinic run by the JBFCS (the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services). They provide various helpful services to ex-members of “cults” and to estranged families and friends of “cult” members. They are, as far as I can tell, the only place in New York City that offers such services.

Truly harmful religious groups certainly do exist, and it’s good that there are at least a few places, like the JBFCS Cult Clinic, where people who have been hurt by such groups can get help. But the website of the JBFCS Cult Clinic associates Satanism in general with “cults,” even though the vast majority of Satanist groups (or, at least, most of the ones I’ve run into) do not fit the JBFCS Cult Clinic’s definition of a “cult.”

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The political/social views of “The Luciferian Sword”

January 21, 2011

There is a type of “Luciferianism” that basically consists of LaVeyan Satanism, replacing “Satan” with “Lucifer,” plus a few minor twists, in some cases accepting Lucifer as an actual deity, but retaining LaVey’s entire quirky set of social, political, and economic views.

This is very different from the older favorable references to “Lucifer” that one can find in the writings of various Western occultists of the 1800’s and 1900’s. I personally would be more interested in a “Luciferianism” that was derived from the latter.

But a LaVeyan-based Luciferian website has recently been brought to my attention, on a message board run by me, so I’ll comment on it now.

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Demonization of Saul D. Alinksy — mea culpa?

January 14, 2011

In a post titled Hoax Jared Loughner Facebook Profiles Created, January 10, 2011, Richard Bartholomew said the following about a hoax profile falsely depicting Jared Loughner as admiring various leftists:

The list of left-wingers is so stereotyped as to be absurd – Saul Alinsky in particular is primarily famous these days as a figure in conservative demonology rather than for anything else.

As I’ll explain below, I’m probably at least partly responsible — though unintentionally so — for today’s demonization of Saul D. Alinsky by conservatives. So, I’ll now speak up in Alinsky’s defense and respond to a few of the more egregious falsehoods that some right-wingers have spread about him.

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