Hypocrisy: October 2002 Archives

October 26, 2002

A divorce would have been easier

The leading suspect in a California murder case made false allegations of ritual abuse back in 1987.

In 1987, Susan Polk claimed her then-18-month-old son was providing lurid details about suffering ritual abuse at day care. The terror in our son's eyes is too profound, she told The Chronicle at the time, and the details he has given about the blood . . . and about the screaming -- it's too much not to believe.

No substantiating evidence was ever found.

Her husband, Felix Polk, was found dead at their home after being beaten and stabbed several times. Susan Polk is being held on remand in the local jail after police investigators were led to believe that she was responsible, based on information and statements at the scene. Orinda man slain amid acid divorce. Wife says he coerced her as teen - San Francisco Chronicle, October 16th 2002; Cause of Death Released for Orinda Doctor - KRON4, October 19th 2002.

Clue-free zone

Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has been accused of heresey for suggesting in a book that no one religion has a monopoly on truth. The offending words are:

In the course of history, God has spoken to mankind in many languages: through Judaism to Jews, Christianity to Christians, Islam to Muslims ... truth on earth is not, nor can it aspire to be, the whole truth ... in heaven there is truth, on earth there are truths. Therefore each culture has something to contribute.

Rabbi Elchonen Halpern, life president of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations demanded, in Hebrew, that Dr. Sacks be no longer regarded as a Rabbi, and threatened that other Rabbis who did would 'lose their authority'. He insisted Sacks 'atone' for his sins and recall and destroy all copies of the book.

Some people have seen the danger in Halpern's attitude. In a letter to the Jewish Chronicle, Gerald Baron Cohen of north London, warned: Jewish leaders with any knowledge of our history should never call for books to be banned. Chief rabbi accused of heresy over book - The Guardian, October 26th 2002.

church worried about competition

A business man is being forced to remove a sign celebrating the success of a local basketball team which praises the team coach with the words Geno is God. The official reason is that it violates zoning laws which ban signs commemorating events more than sixty days ago, but Ken Bernacky has not been asked to remove another sign reading We love UConn women basketball. The real reason is that the local church have complained that the sign is blasphemous. Maybe he should complain about any signs the church might have, seeing as they celebrate events which, if they happened at all, happened nearly 2000 years ago. 'Geno' Worship Rankles Church - Hartford Courant, October 24th 2002.

October 25, 2002

Will a real pastor please stand up

Ghana is suffering from a glut of charlatan pastors and Francis Ameyibor is fed up enough to have written a long opinion piece for the Accra Mail:

It is common these days to come across such banners as one drives through major cities in the country. To add to these, there are radio and television commercials and newspaper publications selling the image of one church or the other and their self proclaimed authority to the general public.
All these are good signs of the spiritual awakening in the Ghanaian society. The results should have been real positive change physically and spiritually. However, the opposite is true; church related crimes, pastors in business scams, fraudulent visa acquisition deals... General morality both in and outside the church is at its lowest ebb.
To tell the truth, many churches are having little or no positive impact on society these days. This is the result of rogues parading the cities as "Men of God" and "making noise" about absolutely nothing.

The Charlatan Pastors, - Accra Mail (via allAfrica.com), October 24th 2002.

October 24, 2002

Satan told me to do it

A 'satanist' in Virginia told his lawyer he raped a child as part of his religion.

Smith offered no evidence or argument at his preliminary hearing Monday. But his attorney, Myron Berman, said before the hearing that his client claims the sex acts were part of his religion.
Police who searched Smith's home in August found in the laundry room an altar and a box that contained a goat's skull and a child's bra and underpants.

Anton LaVey's The Satanic Bible specifically prohibits anything which infringes on anyone else's free will, and uses the rape of children as an example of such an infringement. Satanist claims sex acts part of religion - Daily Press, October 22nd 2002.

October 22, 2002

Christians and Muslims admit forcing people to convert

Both Christian and Muslim groups are protesting a ban on forcible religious conversion in Tamil Nadu. Christian missionary groups and the Association of Muslim Colleges of Tamil Nadu plan to close all their educational facilities on October 24th. The state has reasserted that the ban will stay and that the interests of minorities will be protected. The Hindu Munnani has asked for a similar law to apply all over India, claiming that other religions also resorted to large bribes to win believers. Muslim colleges protest ban on conversions, Christian schools bandh plan challenged in HC, No going back on ban on conversions: Jaya, All-India law to ban conversions demanded - The Times of India, October 21st and 22nd 2002.

False prophet

A Nigerian "prophet" has been charged with theft of a car belonging to a polytechnic lecturer who had gone to his church, the Celestial Church of Christ, for spiritual healing. The prosecution also alleges that Olushola Abudah's credentials were forged. 'Prophet' Arraigned for Car Theft, This Day (via allAfrica.com), October 22nd 2002.

October 18, 2002

Ancient Greeks completely straight.

Greece: Protesters have picketed an international conference to complain about papers being presented there on witchcraft practised by Macedonian noblewomen and on homosexuality in the court of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. Among their complaints seems to be that the historians are using ancient documents!

Historians blast Salonica protestKathimerni, 18th October 2002.

The insurer said it was an act of God

A Sydney woman has lost her claim for compensation from her church after God touched her soul and caused her to bang her head.

She sued for AUS$750 000 (about R4-million) claiming someone should have been there to catch her when the Holy Spirit lifted her off her feet at a prayer meeting six years ago.

The judge ruled that she swooned too early and the catchers couldn't have been expected to get to her. The woman who sued God's house - and lost - IOL, October 18th 2002.

October 13, 2002

The word for today is 'irony'.

A man sentenced to 20 years in prison for impregnating his teenage stepdaughter with a syringe of his own sperm forgave the girl, the police, prosecutors and the judge, and read verses from the Bible.

Goff was found guilty Aug. 29 of rape and other charges. He was convicted of breaking the very laws he and his wife had campaigned for after a man accused of molesting his stepdaughter was acquitted. Lawmakers expanded the rape law in 1996 to include penetration with any object. Previously, only sexual intercourse was considered rape.

Man Gets 20 in Sperm Syringe Case - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 8th 2002. (Thanks Dissywitch)

October 11, 2002

Imagine the cat food bill

A Florida Pagan woman and her husband face charges of child neglect after their eight year old daughter, dog and 91 cats were removed from thier filthy house. Milan and Cynthia Jurkovic gave no indication as to why they kept so many cats, but the Associated Press felt it important to mention that Cynthia Jurkovic was a member of the Fellowship of Isis, an international organization "dedicated to honoring the religion of the Goddess,'' according to the group's Web site. 91 Cats, Child Taken From Florida Home - Associated Press (via local6.com), October 10th 2002.

October 7, 2002


Canadian authorities have seized copies of a novel by British lesbian author Charlotte Cooper because they find a consensual fisting scene between two women to be obscene. Even though the law allows material of artistic merit, and the novel has received critical acclaim, the publishers face a long legal battle to get the work released for sale.

Canada has an allegedly feminist definition of obscenity, but so far, the law has been applied mainly against feminist and lgbt bookshops and small publishers:

You might be surprised to find that a lot of literary fiction depicting peculiar sex acts and/or violence is allowed into Canada, including novels such as 'American Psycho' and 'Porno,' by Irvine Welsh. Moreover, books that have the protection of large corporate publishers and their lawyers also manage to sneak in. Canada Customs just seems to have a problem with the smaller scale stuff that deals with queer sex, and because independent gay and lesbian bookshops sell a lot of sex-related matter, they get picked on the most. For example, for a long time every shipment of books Little Sister's bookshop in Vancouver ordered was scrutinised by the authorities and material seized - including safe sex information. The shop is now involved in a long-running legal battle to overturn Canada Customs' censorship policies.

Cherry Seized in Canada - Press release from Charlotte Cooper, September 2002.

He should've seen it coming

An Italian television psychic has been arrested and jailed. He had been a fugitive since December, when he was sentenced to four years on deception charges. He had been selling flats for souls to live in during the afterlife, and had charge one woman €50 000 to free her from witchcraft. 'Flats for afterlife' salesman lands in jail - IOL, October 3rd 2002.

October 3, 2002

Satan at it again.

A former nun accused of abusing children in her care at a fundamentalist Christian commune in Canada has said that the children were lying about the beatings:

Lucille Poulin, 78, testified today the five children she is accused of assaulting at a rural religious commune are wicked and have been seduced by Satan to enjoy worldly pleasures.

But, in apparent contradiction to this, she insisted that she beat the children with a heavy wooden rod as legitimate corrections to keep her charges on the path to heaven, and that she would do the same to any other child she was asked to care for. She said that God told her to do it. We decided to stop all this mushy, fleshy stuff of love, love, love.

The case is due to resume on October 15th. Children lied about beatings, ex-nun says - The Star, October 1st 2002.

Please ignore our President putting fundies in charge of everything.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom has recommended that 12 nations be designated as 'Countries of Particular Concern' under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. The independent federal agency told Secretary of State Colin Powell that Burma (Myanmar), the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Pakistan, People's Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam have engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom. The Act allows the US President to take a range of actions, ranging from absolutely nothing to diplomatic and economic sanctions.

The designation of countries of particular concern is one of the most important human rights acts taken by any U.S. administration, said Commission Chair Felice D. Gaer. The IRFA requires the U.S. to oppose these egregious and systematic violations, whether the government itself commits them or tolerates them. We hope to see actions commensurate with the severity of these abuses.

A "Watch List" of countries causing concern has also been created - Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Uzbekistan. Commission Recommends 12 Nations for Designation As 'Countries of Particular Concern' - USCIRF Press Release, September 30th 2002.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Hypocrisy category from October 2002.

Hypocrisy: August 2002 is the previous archive.

Hypocrisy: November 2002 is the next archive.

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