1The Church of Euthanasia
“Save the Planet, Kill Yourself”
The Church of Euthanasia (CoE) is a dadaist organization started by Rev. Chris Korda in the Boston, Massachusetts area of the United States. According to the church’s website, it is “a non-profit educational foundation devoted to restoring balance between Humans and the remaining species on Earth.” The CoE uses sermons, music, culture jamming, publicity stunts and direct action combined with an underlying sense of satire and black humor to highlight Earth’s unsustainable population. The CoE is notorious for its conflicts with anti-abortion Christian activists.
According to the church’s website, the one commandment is “Thou shalt not procreate”. The CoE further asserts four principle pillars: suicide, abortion, cannibalism (“strictly limited to consumption of the already dead”), and sodomy (“any sexual act not intended for procreation”). The church stresses population reduction by voluntary means only. Therefore murder, rape and involuntary sterilization are strictly forbidden by church doctrine.
Slogans employed by the group include “Save the Planet, Kill Yourself”, “Six Billion Humans Can’t Be Wrong”, and “Eat a Queer Fetus for Jesus”, all of which are intended to mix inflammatory issues to unnerve those who oppose abortion and homosexuality.
The Church gained early attention in 1995 because of its affiliation with paranoia.com which hosted many sites that were controversial or skirted illegality. Members later appeared on an episode of The Jerry Springer Show titled “I Want to Join a Suicide Cult”.
The church’s website previously had instructions on “how to kill yourself” by asphyxiation using helium. These pages were removed in 2003 after a 52-year-old woman used them to commit suicide in St. Louis County, Missouri, resulting in legal threats against the church.
2Nation of Yahweh:
“Black people are the true Jews”
Nation of Yahweh is a predominately African American religious group that is an offshoot of the Black Hebrew Israelites line of thought. They were formed in the late 1970s in Miami-Dade county. While the Nation of Yahweh falls under the umbrella of Black Hebrew Israelites, their beliefs are unique and distinct from that of other known Black Hebrew Israelite groups. The founder and creator of the religion is Yahweh ben Yahweh. The group has engendered controversy due to legal issues of its founder. It also faced accusations of being a black supremacist cult by the Southern Poverty Law Center and The Miami Herald.
The SPLC criticized the beliefs of the Nation of Yahweh as racist for the following reason. They state the group believed blacks are “the true Jews” and that whites were “white devils.” In addition to this they claim the group believed Yahweh ben Yahweh had a Messianic mission to vanquish whites and that they held views similar to the Christian Identity movement. They quote Tom Metzger of White Aryan Resistance as saying groups like theirs are “the black counterpart of us.”
Despite the recent death of their leader (see Yahweh ben Yahweh), the Nation of Yahweh is still active. Its members also claim to have abandoned their past racism; the leader’s daughter has apparently stated that all people are children of God. An attorney and member of the group, Wendelyn Rush, insists their current war with the U.S. government is a non-violent verbal battle. The group is currently spread throughout the US and is no longer concentrated in one location (formerly Miami-Dade county). Their present literature downplays and has nearly erased all past racism.
Despite some of these present changes, much of the same rhetoric and codes of behavior have remained essentially the same as when the group began. Most still insist that Yahweh ben Yahweh is “Grand Master of All, the God of the Universe, the Grand Potentate, the Everlasting Father and the persecuted Messiah.” A few elderly members consider 9-11 to have been a punishment from God for his imprisonment. Pledges of devotion to him and war against infidels allegedly still exist.
“Scientifically advanced humanoid extraterrestrials created humans”
According to Raël, a message explaining our origins and future was dictated to him in December 1973, during personal meetings with a 25,000-year-old extraterrestrial named Yahweh who came in a UFO. The story goes that after terraforming the Earth, human beings from another planet — the “Elohim” (Hebrew for the word “God” as found in the Hebrew Old Testament, which the extraterrestrial himself translated as meaning those who came from the sky in ancient Hebrew) — created humans and all life on earth using DNA manipulation and genetic engineering. The message dictated to Raël during his encounter with the Elohim states that the Elohim contacted about forty people to act as their prophets on Earth, among which are those who founded the world’s major religions (Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, etc.)
The Raëlians believe, furthermore, that the Elohim will visit the earth officially when enough of its population is peaceful and come to know about them. They believe this is foretold in all religious texts – the predicted “Age of Apocalypse” or “Revelation” (unveiling of the truth).
Committed suicide to take their souls to a spaceship behind Comet Hale-Bopp
The cult’s end coincided with the appearance of Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997. In 2007, Applewhite convinced thirty-eight followers to commit suicide so that their souls could take a ride on a spaceship that they believed was hiding behind the comet carrying Jesus. All 39 were dressed in identical black shirts and sweat pants, brand new black-and-white Nike tennis shoes, and armband patches reading “Heaven’s gate away team”.
Aum Shinrikyo was a Japanese religious group created by Shoko Asahara. In 1995 the group was reported as having 9,000 members in Japan, and as many as 40,000 worldwide. The core of Aum doctrine are Buddhist scriptures included in the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism.
The cult started attracting controversy in the late 1980’s with accusations of deception of recruits, and of holding cult members against their will and forcing members to donate money. A murder of a cult member who tried to leave is now known to have taken place in February 1989. The cult is known to have considered assassinations of several individuals critical of the cult.
On the morning of 20th March 1995, Aum members released sarin in a co-ordinated attack on five trains in the Tokyo subway system, killing 12 commuters, seriously harming 54 and affecting 980 more. Prosecutors allege that Asahara was tipped off about planned police raids on cult facilities by an insider, and ordered an attack in central Tokyo to divert attention away from the group. At the cult’s headquarters in Kamikuishiki on the foot of Mount Fuji, police found explosives, chemical weapons and biological warfare agents, such as anthrax and Ebola cultures, and a Russian MIL Mi-17 military helicopter. There were stockpiles of chemicals which could be used for producing enough sarin to kill four million people. After Asahara’s arrest and trial, the cult re-grouped under the new name of Aleph in February 2000.
“Inferior colored races are our deadly enemies”
The Creativity Movement is a racialist, and White-supremacist organization that advocates a “White Religion” called Creativity. Though “Anti-Christian” in a contemporary sense, the Creativity Movement is a surrogate of Positive Christianity, and is guided by elements of a pseudo-Christian racial Manichaeanism. The group also denies the Holocaust, embraces racial neo-eugenics with a religious mission that is dedicated to the “survival, expansion and advancement of the White Race exclusively.”
The organization was initially founded as the Church of the Creator by Ben Klassen in early 1973. In the summer of 1993, Klassen committed suicide. It was later led by Matthew F. Hale until his incarceration on January 8, 2003 for plotting with FBI informant Anthony Evola to murder a federal judge. On July 22, 2002, two members of the organization were found guilty in federal court of plotting to blow up Jewish and Black landmarks around Boston, in what prosecutors said was a scheme to spark a “racial holy war.”
7The Body of Christ
Founder’s son was not fed and died; they were “waiting for a sign from God to feed him”
The Body of Christ is a small authoritarian group that relies on “direct revelation” and not the Bible for its direction. This small cult has been in the news because it is believed that two children have died unnecessarily. Samuel Robidoux, the ten month old son of the cult founder’s son, Jacques, died of malnutrition. He was not fed because they were waiting for a sign from God to feed him. Rebecca Corneau’s child, Jeremiah, died shortly after childbirth reportedly due to the lack of basic medical care. Corneau is now eight and one half months pregnant (as of September, 15th, 2000) and the courts have intervened to try to protect it. The American Civil Liberties Union and other Pro-Choice Advocates worry that this case might set a dangerous legal precedent by showing more concern for an unborn child than the wishes of the mother.
Former member Dennis Mingo left the group after ten years, and gave a diary that described the deaths of the two children to police. Despite months of effort, police have not been able to locate the children’s bodies. The group denounces the ”seven systems” of mainstream society, including education, government, banking, religion, medicine, science and entertainment. Consequently, members of the group have refused to cooperate with all authorities and have refused legal counsel. They have even refused to assert their basic constitutional right against self-incrimination. This Millennial group expects the world will erupt in violence and turmoil at any moment, and that they alone will be saved.
8The Church of Maradona
It could be seen as a type of syncretism. It’s clear that the passion between the different members is what glues them together. Supporters of the Maradonian Church, supposedly from all parts of the world, count the years since Maradona’s birth in 1960. It is popular, among the followers of this religion (and also among other football fans), the use of the neo-Tetragrammaton D10S as one of the names of Maradona: D10S is a portmanteau word which fuses 10 (diez in Spanish), Maradona’s shirt number, and dios, the Spanish word for god.