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Cult

Mysterious desert yoga retreat where they'd pledged not to speak for three years ends in grisly death of love rival who married head monk's secret wife

  • Mysterious retreat death

    Mysterious end: Ian Thorson, left, has died after fleeing a Buddhist retreat with his wife Christie McNally, right. They camped in the Aizona mountains where Thorson died of exposure and dehydration
    Ian Thorson died from exposure after fleeing Buddhist retreat with his wife
  • Ordered out of the retreat after revealing she had stabbed him 'by mistake'
  • Thorson was the love rival of Michael Roach, a divisive Princeton-educated monk who ran the retreat
  • Roach had been secretly married to Thorson's wife
A man who was part of a mysterious yoga retreat - likened to a cult - has been found dead in the mountains in Bowie, Arizona after fleeing the sect with his wife and succumbing to exposure.

The grisly death is just the latest twist in a story that involves a Princeton-educated monk, his forbidden wife and a stabbing in the desert.

Search and rescue teams found Ian Thorson's body in a cave alongside his wife, Christie McNally, who was delirious and thirsty.

Six weeks earlier, they had been ordered to leave the Diamond Mountain retreat after she revealed in one of her lectures that she had stabbed him with a knife 'by mistake'.

Comment: This story reminds us of another Spiritual Predator: Prem Rawat AKA Maharaji.


Attention

Does Macho Culture Keep Suicidal Soldiers From Seeking Help?

U.S. Marine
© Walter G Arce, Shutterstock
A U.S. Marine in dress blues.

U.S. soldiers are not out of harm's way as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq wind down. Newly released numbers show 154 suicides by active-duty military members in the first 155 days of 2012.

The nearly one-a-day suicide rate revealed by the Pentagon today (June 8) represents a troubling increase over previous years. The Associated Press, which obtained the numbers, said military officials and psychologists aren't certain what caused the surge, but part of the problem may be the culture of the military itself, which values traditional masculine stoicism and toughness under stress.

Of course, mental toughness, stoicism and self-sufficiency are important tools during battle, said Eric Caine, co-director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide at the University of Rochester Medical Center. But outside of war zones, these same characteristics can make it difficult for a service member to accept psychological help.

"It's a fine balance between saying it's a sign of strength to ask for help and saying it's a sign of strength to be able to face adversity with a sense of self-sufficiency," Cain told LiveScience. "It's always challenging for leadership to be able to find that balance."

Bizarro Earth

More U.S. Soldiers Dying from Suicide Than Combat

soldier
© AP

Suicides are surging among America's troops, averaging nearly one a day this year - the fastest pace in the nation's decade of war.

The 154 suicides for active-duty troops in the first 155 days of the year far outdistance the U.S. forces killed in action in Afghanistan - about 50 percent more - according to Pentagon statistics obtained by The Associated Press.

The numbers reflect a military burdened with wartime demands from Iraq and Afghanistan that have taken a greater toll than foreseen a decade ago. The military also is struggling with increased sexual assaults, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and other misbehavior.

Because suicides had leveled off in 2010 and 2011, this year's upswing has caught some officials by surprise.

The reasons for the increase are not fully understood. Among explanations, studies have pointed to combat exposure, post-traumatic stress, misuse of prescription medications and personal financial problems. Army data suggest soldiers with multiple combat tours are at greater risk of committing suicide, although a substantial proportion of Army suicides are committed by soldiers who never deployed.

The unpopular war in Afghanistan is winding down with the last combat troops scheduled to leave at the end of 2014. But this year has seen record numbers of soldiers being killed by Afghan troops, and there also have been several scandals involving U.S. troop misconduct.

House

Decrepit bank-owned homes blight cities

Image
© Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters
Activists stand in a living room of a foreclosed home, where squatters have been living, during a blight tour that the activists say highlight how big banks are hurting local communities by failing to maintain their foreclosed properties.
The smell of rotting food and decay inside 10956 South Wilmington Avenue, Los Angeles, was overwhelming.

A burst pipe in the kitchen ceiling leaked water onto a floor littered with half empty cans, razor blades, odd shoes, stained clothing and an upturned, mold-ridden sofa. Windows were smashed and boarded up.

The vacant home was foreclosed on in August 2011 by Bank of America, which has done nothing to repair it.

And in a cruel twist that underscores the connection between the housing meltdown and the fiscal crisis afflicting many local governments, the city of Los Angeles lacks the wherewithal to force the property owner to clean up the mess.

Across America, bank-owned, blighted houses sit untouched, sometimes for years, disfiguring what in many cases are already troubled neighborhoods. Activists say the problem is particularly acute in minority areas. And many cities do not have the resources, the will or the power to force banks to maintain their properties.

Comment: Ah the economy. It's a wonderful thing, currently held together by a couple of shoe strings, wishful thinking and a list of illusions. The illusions seem stronger when things are generally more fair. Alas the Puppet Masters are thinning the illusion and milking people of their wealth through fear and intimidation. Thus far it has been very effective. (Last Friday) June 1st', 274.88 tumble in the U.S. Dow Jones industrial average caused $525 billion to be poured out of U.S. stocks. And while there has been a rebound in the stock numbers, $525 billion went somewhere.

The Largest U.S. Cities Are Becoming Cesspools Of Filth, Decay And Wretchedness: "So things are going to continue to get worse and America is going to continue to descend into squalor. You better get ready."

21 Signs That This Could Be A Long, Hot, Crazy Summer For The Global Financial System: "It will be exciting to watch what happens, but it is also important to keep in mind that the coming economic crisis will cause extreme pain for millions upon millions of people."


USA

As Language Goes

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No fan of public sexual molestation or gratuitous cancer-inducing radiation, I haven't flown in four years, but tonight, I'll have to board a plane to fly to London. If there was a transatlantic tube, rickshaw relay or galley slave jubilee special to Piccadilly, I'd be on it, but since there's no way to dodge our eager TSA gropers, I might as well man up (or down) for some random intimacy.

Listen, punk, if there's no penetration, it doesn't count, it don't matter, so if a priest, football coach, cop or airport employee vigorously strokes or feels you up a bit, you can still join the Virgin Foundation or the Tim Tebow Fan Club. Rest assured.

At least it's same-sex molestation, some say, so America is not so adverse to homosexual cuddling, after all, which is good or bad according to your talk-show-host preference, anal retentiveness or upbringing, but this still doesn't take into account the sexual preference or aversion of the gropee. I mean, a cage-fighting nun cannot possibly want to be fondled by the same type of person, or in the same way, as a crucifix-collecting lesbian.

With my luck, my partner will truss me up in a backroom, stab me with an ice pick, eat me - yeah, baby - then mail my body parts to divers public officials. Obama will get my left testicle, Romney my right, though both nuts are barely distinguishable from each other, and unsmiling Janet Napolitano will get a generous helping of my, uh, Second Amendment.

Heart - Black

Couple 'raped baby daughter during supervised visit and recorded sex abuse of 18-month-old nephew'

A husband and wife are accused of raping their 13-month-old daughter during what was supposed to be a supervised visit at a children's service center, and recorded it on a cellphone - which also contained 532 images of child bestiality.

Felicia and Cody Beemer, from Trumbull County, Ohio, originally pleaded not guilty to the charges. But yesterday, Cody, 23, changed his plea to guilty on charges of rape, gross sexual imposition and four counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor.

It also emerged that he previously raped his 18-month-old nephew while they were babysitting him, which was also taped on the phone. He also pleaded guilty to that charge.


Cow Skull

Body of Spanish Man Laid Undiscovered in His Home for More than 15 Years

spanish village

Even cosy Spanish villages can harbour dark secrets for years
A man found dead in the hallway of his home in the tiny village of Cañizal in western Spain had apparently lain undiscovered for more than 15 years. Disturbing stories like this often pop up in the world's media but there's something particularly shocking about this one.

USA

Female prisoners in USA give birth in handcuffs and chains

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Only 16 of 50 states in the US have any regulations or laws against the shackling of female prisoners during childbirth
In 2007, a 17-year-old girl called Cora Fletcher was charged with retail theft. Over a year later, after she missed a court date, she was sent to the Cook County jail, in Illinois. She was eight months pregnant at the time.

During a pre-natal check-up at the facility, her baby appeared to have no heartbeat, so she was sent to the county hospital. As the medical team tried to induce her, Fletcher claims that both her hands and both her feet were shackled to either side of the bed. Only when she finally went into labor, three days later, was one hand and one foot released. It's hard to imagine a more crucifying way to force a woman to try to give birth.

Sadly for Fletcher, there was no payoff for the trauma and humiliation she was forced to endure, as her baby was born dead.

Fletcher was one of the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit brought against Cook County on behalf of 80 female prisoners and detainees who also claimed to have had similar experiences of being shackled during childbirth. Just under two weeks ago, the county agreed to a settlement of $4.1m dollars payable to the women, who will each receive between $5,000 and $45,000.

Stormtrooper

On-Air Attack: Greek Neo-Nazi parliament member hits female deputies during TV debate

Athens' prosecutors have ordered the arrest of a far-right member of parliament, following his attack on two female leftist deputies during a live TV debate. Ilias Kasidiaris threw a glass of water in the face of an MP after she brought up his alleged involvement in a mugging case 5 years ago. The television debate came ahead of country's parliamentary election in 10 days' time.


Heart - Black

Teachers at elite New York City prep school accused of sexually abusing students for DECADES

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© Wikipedia Commons
Under fire: Graduates from Horace Mann School in the Bronx, New York have claimed repeated sexual abuse at the hands of a string of teachers went on for decades
A former student of an elite New York City prep school has revealed decades of sexual abuse at the institution, accusing a string of teachers of vile behaviour while suggesting others covered it up.

In New York Times Magazine, Amos Kamil, who graduated from Horace Mann in the Bronx in 1982, gives a harrowing insight into the hellish school years for scores of boys.

He details how a music teacher took a student on solo trips to Europe where he repeatedly raped him, and how an art teacher would demand the boys underwent 'physicals' in order to assault them.

In other graphic examples, the same teacher asked a student to pose for a portrait before demanding he strip, while another teacher would join the boys in the showers.