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MIVILUDicrous! Mass suicide fears as French cult predicts end of world in Dec 2012

The French Government has alerted the country to the risk of mass suicides by people who believe that the world would end by December 21, 2012.

A government watchdog, which monitors cults and suspicious spiritual activities, is keeping an eye on the hamlet of Bugarach in the south of France, which is said to be the only place in the world that will survive an Apocalypse next year.

The remote hilltop villages have had an influx of New Age visitors in recent months.


Comment: We, here at SOTT, do not think that the "End of the World" is coming - and certainly not in 2012 (remember all the hoopla about the year 2000?), though we do regularly assess the scientific evidence that the Earth is in for a rough ride for a few years. We further do not assess the signs as indicating any special dispensation falling on Bugarach - or anywhere, for that matter. What is coming is global climate change for sure, and possibly localized cometary bombardment. No one is going to escape the former and the latter is a crapshoot - a matter of luck.

We naturally abhor the frenzied speculations based mostly on ignorance and pathology that have taken the field in such venues as "Project Camelot" and elsewhere, including ridiculous ideas such as Richard Hoaxland's about Comet Elenin. It is just that sort of wild rumor-mongering and craziness that led to the deaths of many gullible people belonging to the Heaven's Gate group back during the Hale-Bopp fiasco. So, certainly, there is some concern about this sort of thing, and rightly so.

However, for a government to step in as the French government has, and to authorize a group of people belonging to a real cult, (Miviludes) to decide who is or is not a cult, is taking the thing a bit too far. It amounts to establishing a Theocracy where one religion has the right to declare all other beliefs heretical. More than that, it is a government that has abdicated its responsibility in terms of making the facts - the Scientific Truths - available.

That is the gap that we, here at SOTT.NET, try to fill.


Light Saber

Australia: CultBusters: Who you gonna call?

Image
© The Advertiser / Kym Smith
Nick Xenophon in pensive mood at Parliament House in Canberra
It's all too easy in Australia set up a religion, get tax-free status, a bunch of followers willing to donate, and you're set.

Maybe predict the end of the world to get things moving along with a sense of urgency.

Senator Nick Xenophon suggests that Australia needs a "cult-busting agency", similar to those already operating overseas.

Mr Xenophon - who has previously tackled Scientology and questioned its tax-exempt status - says he wants a dedicated government agency to "monitor and control the activities of cults in Australia". The issue's come to the fore again with the arrest in Fiji of Rocco "Brother Rock" Leo for breaching his visa. Leo is the leader of the Agape Ministries of God group. Agape has previously run into trouble over fraud, illegal weapons, assaults and tax debts.

Comment: From Call for agency watch on cults:
Mr Xenophon said the "cult watchdog" would be based on French agency MIVILUDES, which was established a decade ago.
"MIVILUDES has received bipartisan support, and has provided assistance and support to those affected by cults," Mr Xenophon said. "There is evidence that cult-like behaviour in France has been significantly curtailed by the existence of such a watchdog."
Fortunately, according to the article, "The Government has expressed doubts over its constitutional powers to introduce a watchdog body."

Cult

Christian cult leader who had 24 wives under 17 faces 199 years' jail

Image
© AP
Warren Jeffs
A Christian cult leader had 78 wives at a secret colony - with 24 of them underage girls, a court was told.

Warren Jeffs - who convinced his followers that he was God's spokesman on earth - faces 119 years in prison after he was convicted by a jury in Texas last week.

He was the leader at a remote colony where women were forced to dress in 19th-century outfits with hairdos similar to those seen in TV's Little House on the Prairie.

Jeffs, 55, was found guilty of sexually abusing a 12-year-old and 15-year-old girl.

When the jury came back from their deliberations, he thundered: "I, the Lord God of heaven, call upon the court to cease this prosecution against my pure, holy way.

"I shall send a scourge upon the counties of prosecutorial zeal to be humbled by sickness and death."

Che Guevara

Transit Workers to Join Occupy Wall Street Protesters

Image
© DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg
Transit worker Brian Brooks, 50, protests layoffs on August 19, 2010.
Manhattan - Occupy Wall Street, the group of demonstrators that has stationed itself in a Lower Manhattan park for nearly two weeks, got a vote of support from one of the city's most influential unions Wednesday.

The executive board for the Transport Workers Union Local 100, which boasts roughly 38,000 bus and subway workers plus an additional 26,000 retirees, voted Wednesday night to support the demonstrators, who have been camped out at Zuccotti Park, near the World Trade Center, since Sept. 17, according to spokesman Jim Gannon.

Gannon said the union would invite its members to join the Occupy Wall Street crowd for a march and rally at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 5. The Working Families Party is also expected to participate in the Oct. 5 action, according to spokesman T.J. Helmstetter.

The TWU vote seemed to represent a growing sense of mainstream legitimacy for the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, who have been criticized as lacking organization and political focus.

Celebrity activists Susan Sarandon, Cornel West and Michael Moore haven also given a boost to the demonstrators, who say they are there to protest corporate greed, among other things, by joining them in Zuccotti Park.

2 + 2 = 4

Teacher Penalizes Students for Saying "Bless You"



Attention

Australia: Croc Turns Bright Orange

orange crocodile
© Alex Coppel & Herald Sun
Snappy is expected to return to normal at some point.
A crocodile at a wildlife park in Australia has turned himself orange after attacking a water filter in the pool in his enclosure.

The reptile, named Snappy, obviously bit off more than he could chew - although he is expected to return to normal at some point.

The 2.5m-long animal is now bright orange from head to tail - much to the amusement of onlookers at Roaming Reptiles in the State of Victoria.

Cow

US: Wisconsin Judge "No Right to Produce or Eat Food of Choice"

big agriculture

In scary legal news a Wisconsin judge had gone completely loopy declaring that citizens have no right to produce or eat the foods of their own choice.
In response to a request from the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, the judge issued a clarification of his decision last week regarding his assessment of the constitutionality of food rights. The judge expanded on his original statement that such constitutional issues are "wholly without merit."

He explained that the FTCLDF arguments were "extremely underdeveloped." As an example, he said the plaintiffs' use of the Roe v Wade abortion rights case as a precedent does "not explain why a woman's right to have an abortion translates to a right to consume unpasteurized milk...This court is unwilling to declare that there is a fundamental right to consume the food of one's choice without first being presented with significantly more developed arguments on both sides of the issue." Gee, I thought they both had to do with the right to decide what to do with your own body.

As if to show how pissed he was at being questioned, he said his decision translates further that "no, Plaintiffs to not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a dairy herd;

"no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow;"

And in a kind of exclamation point, he added this to his list of no-nos: "no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice..."

You have to wonder if maybe even the regulators are getting a tad uncomfortable with the rulings coming from the nation's judiciary on food rights. Many of these individuals, biased as they are against raw milk, dabble in farming to some extent, or grew up on farms. This judge has gone way beyond what many of them have come to assume - that everyone has the right to own a cow and consume its milk Even in places that ban raw milk sales, there's nearly always a provision in state law that anyone who owns a cow has the right to consume its milk.

It seems Judge Fiedler is saying it's not a "fundamental right," but rather a right granted us by the state.
-The Complete Patient

Vader

US: Felony Eavesdropping

Chicago- This is the story of Louis Frobe, but it's also about others who have run afoul of the Illinois eavesdropping law, one of the most restrictive of its kind in the country. It requires that all parties to a conversation give their consent before you can record legally record it.

Say you take out your smart phone and you start taking pictures of police officers making an arrest. The pictures and video are allowed by law, but you must have permission before you record the audio, even if the officer is on the public way.

"I'm just an ordinary citizen. I was on my way to the movies, and all of a sudden I'm facing a felony and 15 years in prison," Frobe told ABC7.

Che Guevara

Armies of Teachers Jolt France's Streets

Image
© unknown
Picture shows demonstration in the city of Nantes in western France on September 27, 2011.
Thousands of teachers and their supporters take to the streets across France following a related national strike to protest at the government-ordered job cuts in the education sector.

On Tuesday, more than 165,000 demonstrators took part in over 100 nationwide protests, the Associated Press reported.

The public voiced outrage at French President Nicolas Sarkozy's government, which has shed tens of thousands of education-related positions since 2007 and plans to rid a further 14,000 in 2012.

The measures have caused schools to run into training problems and staff shortages.

The protest action was for the first time joined by private school teachers as well as their public sector colleagues.

According to France's Education Ministry, more than one in four school teachers went on the strike, though, two teachers' unions put the figure at over 50 percent of the workforce.

Vader

US: Disabled Woman Arrested for Sitting Outside in Chair

woman, arrested,walker
© Special
This photo, taken by a bystander, shows Officer Kenneth Thomas placing Shequita Walker under arrest.

A physically disabled Atlanta woman says a police officer threw her to the ground and arrested her when she refused to move from her chair.

Shequita Walker, 40, suffers from severe joint pain and has a limited range of motion. For several years, Walker has enjoyed sitting in a metal chair in the vacant lot next to her apartment complex on Boulevard. Walker says she isn't on the sidewalk or in anyone's way, and has spent many hot afternoons waiting on the ice cream truck to drive by so she can buy a cold treat.

But on April 21, an Atlanta police officer asked her to move when she was in her regular spot, next to three other people. Walker responded by telling Officer Kenneth Thomas she was within her rights to sit outside, and that other Atlanta officers had not had a problem with it.