From 1985 to 2007, Will Allen was part of the Buddhafield—an initially Los Angeles-based “spiritual community” led by one Jaime Gomez aka James Gomez aka Michel Rostand aka Andreas aka Reyji (aka Dirk, the name he used in the porn he shot for Falcon in the ‘70s). Mostly, though, he was referred to as “the Teacher.” The Teacher preached abstinence and transcendence through meditation and other spiritual exercises. His 100+ followers lived together and spent years blissed out on communal joy and engaged by the promise of a state of enlightenment the Teacher referred to as “the knowing.” One former Buddhafield member says that they used to joke that if this was a cult, “at least it was a good cult.”
Those yellow clothing-collection bins behind your local gas station or convenience store aren’t actually particularly charitable, according to a Reveal investigation. Not only will your donations likely not be helping hungry kids in Africa, they may be directly supporting a Danish international fugitive named Mogens Amdi Petersen.
John Humphrey Noyes so fervently believed sleeping around could lead to immortality that he convinced 300 people to join him in a utopian socialist community built on that very principle, in upstate New York. As he saw it, promiscuous “interlocked contact” between men and women—in the form of a polyamory scheme he called “Complex Marriage”—would generate enough spiritual energy to propel the human race into some sort of electrically powered, divinely connected eternal life. And that’s only the beginning of the 19th-century Oneida Community founder’s randy theology.
For whatever reason, Bill Gothard, the 80-year-old life-long bachelor who founded the Duggars’ fundamentalist homeschool curriculum, decided that now would be a great time to put up his first Facebook post in almost two years. And since the post went live Wednesday evening, his page has been deleting allegation after allegation of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.
Bill Gothard, the 80-year-old perpetual bachelor, alleged sexual abuser of at least 34 women, and founder of the Duggars’ warped fundamentalist homeschool cult, has some thoughts to share in the form of a fancy new website with a “new statement.” Or at least, he did for the few hours it was live. Now, the new site and statement have both mysteriously disappeared.
Why were evangelical reality star and conservative political activist Josh Duggar’s parents Jim Bob and Michelle so slow to act on the revelation that their eldest son had molested his younger sisters—and, ultimately, so lenient? Documents about sexual abuse from the cult-like homeschooling program the family follows—which focus on public image and lay heavy blame on the victims of assault—may help answer the question.
Three days ago in New York City, dozens of bared breasts and half as many women marched from Columbus Circle to Bryant Park, accompanied by a coterie of similarly topless men. The occasion—International Go Topless Day—was marked by eager press coverage in the New York Post and elsewhere. Very little of it mentioned aliens or UFOs—despite the fact that International Go Topless Day was created and is sponsored by one of the world's largest alien-worshipping UFO cults.
Crossfit is an exercise program with pluses and minuses. On the plus side, it really will get you in good shape. On the minus side, its adherents sometimes resemble intolerably intense cultists, and also, it turns out, it's run by extreme libertarians who enjoy sharing pro-capitalist philosophies, to go with your squats.
"The cult of Putin in America," Marin Cogan writes at National Journal, "probably has its strongest hold on the readers of ostensibly apolitical humor sites that target young men, such as Cracked and theChive." If you want a picture of the future, imagine a theChive t-shirt stamping on a human face—forever.
Twenty-seven-year-old Megan Phelps-Roper and her younger sister Grace have left the infamous Westboro Baptist Church after spending their lives there, the former announced today on Medium in a post called "Head Full of Doubt / Road Full of Promise." Writing briefly but articulately, Megan contextualizes her departure from the church best known for proclaiming "God Hates Fags" and protesting whatever funerals they can muster up a reason to spray with their bile.
Scientology damages people. For proof, look no further than this bizarre anti-Scientology rap produced by a who's who of prominent apostate members of the cult—from its former top spokesman to Tom Cruise's former confessor to Cruise's Xenu-approved ex-girlfriend. It's like the We Are the World of the anti-Scientology movement.
As a member of the Church of Scientology, Valeska Paris says she lived on the organization's religious cruise ship Freewinds for twelve years, working as a Sea Org manual laborer from the age of 18. Among her tasks: Preparing for Tom Cruise's 42nd birthday party, which Freewinds hosted. Above, Tom hamming it up with singer Stacy Francis at the party.