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It's a murder mystery solved by a Russian teacher, an actor, a budding reporter, and a poodle. Their investigative methods are often hilarious and loony, but they're able to get the job done. May 31, Linda Cole rated it really liked it. Fun book enjoyed each part Fun book enjoyed each part Very funny laughed out loud in many parts different characters that you won't forget great happy ending looking further for more adventures. Rhonda Skinner rated it really liked it May 08, Kerri Greene rated it really liked it Oct 05, Margaret Bray rated it it was ok Dec 12, Dale rated it liked it Jun 01, Janet Hourston rated it liked it May 24, Lori Minich rated it it was amazing Dec 03, Cindy rated it it was ok Jan 17, Cynthia Ferris rated it liked it Jan 31, Mary Ashmore rated it really liked it Jun 16, Sara Reber rated it really liked it Dec 06, Kim rated it really liked it Mar 27, Jon Roig rated it really liked it Mar 27, Margaret rated it it was ok Jun 02, Cynthia rated it really liked it Nov 23, Ebooks rated it did not like it Jun 24, Marijke rated it really liked it Oct 11, Larry rated it it was amazing Jul 23, Deb Couture rated it it was amazing Nov 26, Jenn rated it liked it Jan 24, Regan rated it really liked it Feb 15, Zenetta rated it liked it May 17, Debbie rated it really liked it Feb 12, Mike Moss rated it really liked it Jan 29, Kim rated it liked it Nov 26, Marta rated it really liked it Jul 30, This book was a real hoot I loved it.

Never piss off a Russian mom. Carol Close rated it it was amazing Feb 01, There are no discussion topics on this book yet. About Julia George. Julia George. Julia and George haven't always been writers. Most of their adventures have been in the world of the theater. They've both acted and directed. George also produced plays and made documentary films. Julia has designed costumes and sets and performed in commercials. Along the way she ran her won interi Julia George is the pen name of a husband and wife writing team - Julia Odegard and George Kovach.

Along the way she ran her won interior design business. Together they also raised a terrific son. They are currently working on another detective novel, this one is a bit more serious than "Galya. Books by Julia George. Trivia About Galya Popoff and No trivia or quizzes yet. Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I sensed the same ambivalence when I met Larry Skelton.

He was introduced to Popoff when Popoff was only 15; Skelton was the organist in Popoff's father's road show, then in Popoff's, off and on, from to Skelton didn't return my calls, so one Sunday, I staked out his house in Mesquite, a hard-luck Dallas exurb. At about half past noon, he and his wife pulled into the driveway, back from church, I figured. Skelton invited me in, with an air of resignation. His wife eyed me warily. Skelton wanted to make it clear, before we talked about his friend Popoff, that faith healing was real.

All of a sudden, that leg began to grow out to the same size as the other. He thought for a moment, then replied that, yes, Popoff was the real deal. But I'd noticed his hesitation, and he could tell that I'd noticed, so he explained. On the days when the Holy Spirit didn't show up freely, you had to help it along; after all, you still needed to pass the hat. In advance.

He went bankrupt, he lost everything he had, he had to start over. And ever since then, I know, I personally know, that he is by the book and careful. Auditors come in every year. He wants it that way, so there is no question about where the money goes. And that's the gospel truth.

She had first responded to my pestering a few months earlier, but I never expected that the Popoffs would consent to an interview. And yet, they did. On December 21, Peter Popoff welcomed me into his office, where we were joined by Amy and Nick, the two children who work in the ministry another son, Alexander, is in the military. He didn't recognize me from the time he healed my finger in Washington not that I expected he would. For an hour and a half, he answered my questions—about miracle spring water, James Randi, bankruptcy, his tennis game, the Holy Spirit.

Popoff wore a natty suit and a tie knotted to the strangulation point. He moves slowly, but not frailly—more like a muscular man managing his own physique. And the hair truly is something, shiny and monochrome like an action figure's. If you can take that by faith, you'll live a life of increase. Popoff talked about everything, without a trace of defensiveness. According to him, declaring bankruptcy was a mistake, the misguided suggestion of lawyers. He had an answer for everything, or almost everything. When I inquired about the college scholarships and Ukrainian orphanages that, according to their mailings, the ministry funded, he said he'd get back to me with the addresses of the orphanages he never did and the details about how much the scholarships were worth ditto.

They did not want to comment on Crystal Sanchez's allegations in her e-book. But when I asked about the earpiece, Popoff was happy to talk. And I venture to say anyone doing TV programs Meanwhile, as chief administrative officer Amy and executive vice president Nick , they prosper alongside him. They wouldn't tell me what they earn, but Nick enjoyed telling me about the Clydesdale horses he keeps. God has prospered us. If they weren't noticeably rich, what authority would they have to promise riches to others? In each case, I was shocked that they'd agreed to be interviewed, until I realized, as I sat with them, that they didn't think they had anything to hide.

They want to take the stand. Their lawyers and friends can tell them to shut up, but that makes them look guilty, and they don't feel guilty. Peter Popoff inhabits both hemispheres of our national brain, the Puritan and the magician. He believes in divine magic-but not at the expense of the work ethic. As I sat with the gregarious, affable Popoff, I understood: He believes he is helping people.

If you accept, as Pentecostal Christians do, that God performs miracles, on the body, soul, and bank account, then his ministry offers a series of fair exchanges between him and his audience. They give money; he sends them trinkets. They make him rich, pray with the trinkets, and maybe get rich, too. He touches them and they feel better. And if they don't feel better? Well, there are no guarantees. God decides what prayers to answer. I took a bathroom break in Popoff's private lavatory, right off his office.

The walls were covered with little inspirational notes. You will lend and not borrow. Get converts, get time on the slopes, get a tax exemption. But here's the thing about Peter and Liz Popoff and their kids: They could have all their ski trips and Bentleys and Clydesdale horses without ever working another day in their lives. Yet here they are, hitting mildewy, ticky-tacky hotel ballrooms and convention centers in a dozen cities every year, as if the salvation of the world depended on it.

This septuagenarian clocks the hours of a junior lawyer trying to make partner. Which complicates any theory that he is trying to get something for nothing. He's trying to get something, all right—millions of something, in fact—but not for nothing. He works hard for his money. Peter Popoff is the all-American faith healer because he inhabits both hemispheres of our national brain, the Puritan and the magician. He believes in divine magic—to enrich you, to heal you, or just to entertain you—but not at the expense of the work ethic.

He'll do the work, all right, and your part is just suspending disbelief and sending him a check to show that you mean it. He gets rich, you get hope. It's hard to escape the parallels with another baby boomer, a man born just two weeks before Popoff in the summer of '46, just before the United States entered its long, hopeful postwar expansion. Both men went into the family business, suffered reversals, went bankrupt, seemed destined to be TV-rerun laughingstocks. One became president, the other just became rich. Both seem to be running cons, but both have followers who either don't notice or don't care.

Both men have produced nothing, except, for their followers, fervent certainty that they can produce anything. And say what you will about the trust people have in them— it hasn't come easy. It's been a long and winding road! This is his first article for GQ. Sometimes, he was a down-to-earth, God-fearing boyfriend who was eagerly looking forward to fatherhood. Lauten of the 9th Judicial Circuit. A heated exchange ensued, with Loyd interrupting Lauten and telling the judge that the government lacks jurisdiction to bring charges against him.

Loyd is due back in court on March 20 for a status hearing. Paudert said many sovereigns believe the U. Adherents often believe the funds are secretly kept by the U. David Fussell, a criminal trial expert based in Orlando, told News 13 that Loyd using sovereign-citizen language in court will have no effect on his conviction or defense. Because there is no such thing as a sovereign citizen in the court system.

We are heartbroken about all the families who lost loved ones. Loyd was captured after a massive manhunt several days later, but not before a second law enforcement death. Her heart stopped in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Paramedics briefly revived her, but a flag-covered gurney was later wheeled out of the hospital as police officers lined up to salute it. Lauten said Loyd also faces charges for wearing a bulletproof vest and performing a carjacking as he ran from police.

Aaron Ross Reuters March 3, Police in Democratic Republic of Congo said on Friday they had arrested the leader of a separatist Christian cult in the capital Kinshasa following a two-week standoff in which least six of his supporters were killed. Ne Muanda Nsemi, a member of parliament and leader of Bundu dia Kongo BDK , was arrested at his residence along with his wife, police spokesman Pierre Mwanamputu said in a statement. Nsemi, a self-styled prophet, has a strong following in the southwestern province of Kongo Central, which his supporters want to constitute part of a revived Kongo kingdom, which flourished for centuries around the mouth of the Congo river.

The violence has compounded wider tensions across Congo since President Joseph Kabila refused to step down after his mandate expired in December, raising fears of renewed civil war. Mwanamputu declined to provide a death toll for the operation but witnesses told Reuters that police shot dead at least two BDK members on Friday when they ran at officers.

At least four others were killed last month when the police first raided Nsemi's house in response to a series of deadly clashes between BDK supporters and police in Kongo Central.

Kevin's Corner: March

We do not condone or allow abuse in any form at our church. These false allegations were predominantly made by members of an extended family, with one of its members currently facing several legal battles, both civil and criminal. We believe these allegations are carefully targeted and timed to prejudice the jury pool, put pressure on the judges and elected officials, and otherwise influence the public in an attempt to gain advantage in these legal cases.

The allegations of this small group of people should be viewed in contrast to the number of faithful members in our large congregation. It is curious and revealing that those now speaking out have sat on their allegations for several years and only speak out at what they perceive to be an advantageous time. If our church is such an abusive place, why did several of the attorneys quoted in Mr. Further, is it notable that one of the most vehement critics quoted in the article routinely insisted that his infant daughter be cared for daily by the very individuals he now accuses of heinous abuse.

False allegations have been made against our church in the past. Investigations at several levels of government have been conducted. We have been exonerated at every point. Although Mr. We remain hopeful that the public will see through these fabrications and see them for what they are.

On that evening people from all over the world will read from a holy scripture or another text that awakens their consciousness. Those who prefer not to read can engage in meditation, contemplation, yoga -- anything that personally awakens the spirit. Participants are encouraged to post hourofspiritualunity on the platform of their choice to share with others how they plan to spend their hour. The kabbalists teach that this is the lunar New Year, the seed level of the coming days, the start of a new cycle. There is no better time to use the technology available in our generation to do what has never been done before — to come together regardless of our individual paths.

For those who are interested in participating, the details are simple, according to Berg: "All we ask is that you join us any time on the evening of Monday, March 27th. The book and the hour can be of your choosing. It can be as you get home from work, or perhaps just before you go to sleep. In this way, we tie our individual choices in one sentiment, and give form to all our many spiritual expressions. This is the beauty of social media, as it brings everyone together like never before in history, with no boundary of geography, language, or other such barriers.

Let us create a wave of peace that will ripple throughout the digital landscape. Their goal was to teach the spiritual wisdom and tools of Kabbalah, without exclusion. Under their leadership, The Kabbalah Centre has grown from a single location into one of the world's leading sources of spiritual wisdom, with locations around the globe. At any given connection at The Kabbalah Centre, you might see a Jewish person praying next to a Christian next to a Muslim next to a Buddhist, and maybe even a contemplating atheist," said Karen Berg. Though holy books of different faiths may contain different words, the message remains the same: To love each other, to love ourselves, and to grow our love and awe for the Infinite force that is all around us and gave us life.

Indeed, difference can be the foundation of our unity. Karen is certain that peace is possible and foresees a world free of hatred and intolerance. She works untiringly to cultivate a new paradigm of Global Spirituality through which people from diverse beliefs and no beliefs at all can work together to bring the world to a better place through mutual respect, dignity, and love for humanity. To this end Karen has: Created the international children's program Spirituality for Kids, an online children's educational program that supports children to find the spark of Light within themselves, within others, and within all things.

Following Rav Berg's passing in , Karen continues to passionately lead and nurture the Kabbalah Centres around the world. She has expanded her efforts to bring peace to the world through spiritual unity and travels extensively. Karen meets with people daily, both personally and online, serving a worldwide community of more than , souls. Karen has four children, sixteen grandchildren, and considers everywhere there is a Kabbalah Centre her home.

Vicentia Tadagbe Tchranvoukinni No official report has been released but several people were injured and vehicles burned, the source said. News24 March 5, Kinshasa - The Democratic Republic of Congo announced Saturday that it had detained the spiritual leader of the Bundu dia Kongo BDK movement, an outlawed group that has called for an insurrection against the government.

A policeman and three BDK fighters were killed when the police advanced on the compound in Kinshasa that housed Ne Muanda Nsemi and several of his followers. A statement from the communications ministry said that people had surrendered and that Nsemi, his three wives and his son were being held. Nsemi will face charges of "insulting the head of state, inciting tribal hatreds, and encouraging civil disobedience," the statement said, without disclosing a trial date.

The police had been hoping to dislodge the people holed up in the compound for two weeks, saying they wanted to search it. BDK stands for "Kingdom of the Kongo" in the Kikongo language, and its members have pursued secession in order to restore an African monarchy that included what is today Kongo Central formerly Bas-Congo along with parts of neighbouring Angola, the Republic of Congo and Gabon.

Nsemi, a lawmaker originally from Kongo Central, in the west of the country, recently issued a call online for an uprising against President Joseph Kabila, saying he is not a Congolese citizen. Nsemi began seeking a rapprochement with Kabila starting in late , but reversed course when Kabila refused to step down after his second and final mandate ended on December Talks aimed at setting up a transition regime have stalled, and tribal violence has flared in several parts of the country.

At least people have been killed in the region since September, the UN says, in clashes between government forces and supporters of a militia leader killed by the government last August. He had attained the bliss of Brahman, the supreme joy and became unique identity of spiritual India, said Peethadhishwar of Devnath Math, Surji Anjangaon, Jitendranath Maharaj on Saturday.

Maharshi Mahesh Yogi has achieved all these requirements and became spiritual master of entire world, he added. Shankaranand Saraswati Swami of Dattapeeth Kashi was the guest of honour. Union Minister of Road Transport and Shipping Nitin Gadkari in his audio-visual message stated that Maharshi Mahesh Yogi has spent his entire life for the development of society on the basis of morality and value based life style.

He was instrumental in reviving ancient Indian culture, tradition, history, heritage and legacy. He had also presented scientific principles of ancient Indian science in modern format. His followers should spread his principles as a mission and it should become a public movement, he added. Knowledge should be compared with Sun rays. Like the rays of rising Sun, knowledge start spreading. The rays of Sun could reach at each and every corner of the world at mid noon. Maharshi Mahesh Yogi was like a Sun who had propagated the universal knowledge of this great nation to each and every corner of the world, he added.

Maharashi Mahesh Yogi invented Transcendental Meditation to make life of every individual blissful. Dr Brahmachari Girish Ji also mentioned that in-order to achieve this he has planned to have over conferences in India so that people attend, know, learn, practice thus contributing towards World peace in their own small way. Prof Bhuvanesh Sharma, chancellor of Maharshi Ved Vigyan spoke on positive effects of Transcendental Meditation and the way it relieves stress by providing rest deeper than sleep. AP — At least a half-dozen times over two decades, authorities investigated reports that members of a secretive evangelical church were being beaten.

And every time, according to former congregants, the orders came down from church leaders: They must lie to protect the sect. Among the members of the Word of Faith Fellowship who coached congregants and their children on what to say to investigators were two assistant district attorneys and a veteran social worker, the ex-followers told The Associated Press. Frank Webster and Chris Back — church ministers who handle criminal cases as assistant DAs for three nearby counties — provided legal advice, helped at strategy sessions and participated in a mock trial for four congregants charged with harassing a former member, according to former congregants interviewed as part of an AP investigation of Word of Faith.

Back and Webster, who is sect leader Jane Whaley's son-in-law and lives in her house, also helped derail a social services investigation into child abuse in and attended meetings where Whaley warned congregants to lie to investigators about abuse incidents, according to nine former members. Under North Carolina law, prosecutors cannot provide legal advice or be involved in outside cases in any manner. Violation of those rules can lead to ethics charges, dismissal and disbarment.

More egregious actions — including offering legal advice in an ongoing criminal investigation to help a person avoid prosecution — could lead to criminal charges, including obstruction of justice. They also did not respond to a note seeking comment about their roles in the church. One of the former congregants, attorney Jeffrey Cooper, also said that then-District Attorney Brad Greenway leaked information to him and other church lawyers about a Rutherford County grand jury investigation he was conducting into the church.

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Greenway told the AP that he talked to Cooper and other church attorneys about the investigation, but couldn't recall specifics of the conversations. But he denied supplying the church with "inside information. What do you think is going to happen' I might have said, 'We're going to the grand jury. Former members described being punched, choked and thrown through walls as part of a violent form of deliverance meant to purify sinners. Cooper, who represented one of those charged and left the church two years later, said that when the defendants made statements harmful to their case, Webster responded, "There are better ways to say that.

According to nine former members interviewed by the AP, at least five other congregants who are lawyers participated in or were present during coaching sessions designed to circumvent investigators. Back and Webster also helped sabotage a Rutherford County Department of Social Services investigation in , according to Jeffrey Cooper's brother, Chad Cooper, an attorney who said he attended a church meeting convened to undermine that probe.

Chad Cooper, who left the church last year, said also participating in the meeting was Word of Faith member Lori Cornelius, a longtime social services worker assigned to a nearby county. Cooper said social services personnel were investigating complaints that students were beating classmates at the church-run K school to cast out devils, and that teachers, including Whaley, encouraged the violence.

When the AP contacted Cornelius at her home to ask about her role in the case, she said only "I don't want to talk" and slammed the door.

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According to nearly two dozen of those now speaking out, Whaley ordered congregants during prep sessions to change their answers when she didn't like their responses. You did not do that," former congregant Rachael Bryant quoted Whaley as saying during a faux cross-examination last year. Whaley turned down repeated requests to discuss the allegations against the church.

But hours after the first AP stories were released, the church posted a statement on its website calling the accusations false and saying Word of Faith Fellowship does not "condone or allow abuse — in any form — at our church. One of the former members speaking out, Chad Cooper, acknowledged that his actions were wrong. We protected the church," he said. As part of its investigation, the AP examined decades of the criminal justice and social services systems' dealings with the church.

The AP also interviewed dozens of former congregants, legal experts and law enforcement officials, reviewed hundreds of pages of police and court documents, and listened to hours of conversations secretly recorded by now-former congregants. The first full-scale police investigation of Word of Faith stemmed from a February broadcast of the TV show "Inside Edition" that included secretly recorded video showing children being subjected to "blasting," where a group of congregants surround a perceived sinner and scream for hours to expel devils.

Acting on a request from the local sheriff and district attorney, state Bureau of Investigation agents interviewed dozens of former congregants and leaders — including Whaley, a former math teacher who co-founded the church in with her husband, Sam, a former used-car salesman. Agents heard accusations of child abuse and assault but ultimately deemed them too general and broad.

Hayes wrote that the agency had been told children were "whipped with paddles and rods" and that adults had been "physically restrained and assaulted" during deliverance sessions. In an unreleased page report of the investigation obtained by the AP, Whaley acknowledged children were spanked but contended they had asked for the discipline. Of blasting, she said, "They loved it. In August , then-DA Jeff Hunt said investigators determined that adults and children had been abused inside the church, but declined to prosecute.

Hunt said he concluded he couldn't win a conviction because he lacked specifics and most of the congregants interviewed by the SBI had declined to testify. Those interviewed said Whaley and some senior ministers also undermined several child abuse investigations in the early s, including a case involving a single mother who said church leaders blocked her from leaving the sect with her four children. Unable to get help from the sheriff's office, she lodged a complaint with social services officials accusing church leaders of abusing her children and others, according to three of those interviewed.

When the county Department of Social Services opened an investigation focusing on 12 church families, Whaley filed a federal lawsuit, saying Word of Faith worshippers were entitled to "practice their religion free from unwarranted government interference. This is the way that God would have you answer this question. In addition, the county social services agency closed all active child abuse investigations against Whaley and the church.

According to several of those interviewed, Whaley bragged from the pulpit: "We won! We won! We beat DSS! He said he told the sheriff's office in January that he had just finished his second stay in a former storage building used to punish males deemed as the sect's worst sinners. Lowry said he was held for months in the so-called Lower Building, a four-room structure crammed with up to 30 males — some of them children or teenagers.

He said he was beaten almost daily because church leaders wanted to expel his "homosexual demons," and that others were subjected to similar treatment. Instead of interviewing witnesses or even visiting the building, Lowry said, investigators urged him to drop the complaint, telling him they didn't think he would hold up under the pressure.

In late October , Faith in America, a group that fights religious bigotry, asked the U. Justice Department to investigate Lowry's allegations, labeling his treatment a hate crime. Afraid of a surprise law enforcement visit, Whaley released everyone from the Lower Building and ordered a complete makeover, former members said. Within days, they said, church workers had painted walls, and installed new carpet and countertops.

Whaley also convened more strategy sessions, with Webster, Back and other church members who are attorneys in attendance, according to seven former members. The former members said they also witnessed Whaley grilling dozens of congregants who had been in the Lower Building with Lowry, including some who said they had seen him beaten. Whaley's team also took part in a campaign to smear Lowry's character, according to two former members.

Consulting his legal notes, Jeffrey Cooper recounted a meeting where the lawyers collectively "put together bullet points on how to discredit him. According to Cooper, Webster told the group he had attended his Baptist church's week-long men's retreats when he was young and suggested offering a similar explanation if law enforcement asked. But Cooper said he raised an important point: "The Baptist retreats were for a week. Some men were in the Lower Building for a year.

In January — a year after Lowry first contacted police — Greenway convened a grand jury, which is supposed to be conducted in secrecy. However, Cooper said that he and other attorneys served as conduits for progress reports from Greenway to Whaley, as they did with other investigations. Cooper said Whaley also ordered the attorneys to cajole the local police and plant doubts about accusers. Greenway told the AP that while he frequently talked to church attorneys about various issues, he did not share critical information about the Lowry case and did not recall church attorneys serving as go-betweens with Whaley.

After meeting with Lowry, Greenway said, he believed he was held against his will in the Lower Building and abused, along with other congregants. But he added that his office didn't attempt to interview any of Lowry's witnesses or get a warrant to search the building. Asked why he didn't do more — especially since he said he believed people were being beaten — Greenway said, "I don't know what you're expected to find if you went there.

You'd find a building. Are you going to find shackles?

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If minors make accusations, he said, some might change their stories. And then, he said, "You're going to have 20 people who come in, who are former Navy pilots, schoolteachers, principals and they're dressed to the nines, and they're going to say these kids are lying. So you don't have the ideal witnesses. Told that his mother was very ill, Lowry returned to his parents' home in February and soon recanted. But Lowry told the AP that his mother had not been sick. Instead, he said, Whaley used the ruse to corner him and pressure him to withdraw his accusations. Lowry said church lawyers and family members still in Word of Faith drove him first to the sheriff's department, then to the FBI office in Asheville so he could recant.

The case died. Nearly two more years later, no trial date has been set because of persistent legal wrangling, mostly by defense lawyers who also are Word of Faith members. Meantime, former congregants say, Whaley has been working to sabotage the case, holding meetings with congregants to make sure their stories match her narrative: Fenner is a liar. Rachael Bryant, who left the church in and whose sister is one of the defendants, said 20 people — including Back and Webster — attended one such session.

Then Jane told everyone to stand where they were that night," she said. One by one, as Whaley called their names, the members had to demonstrate what they had done to Fenner, Bryant said. You did not do that! Your hand was not on his head! The participants quickly changed their stories, she said. They went along with everything," Bryant said.

In the summer of , Whaley was confronted with news of a Rutherford County social services investigation of student-on-student beatings in the church's school. Investigators informed Whaley that they were planning to interview more than a dozen children in two classes, including one she taught.

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Chad Cooper said he took part in a meeting to discuss that investigation attended by Whaley, Webster, Back and Lori Cornelius, the social worker. One by one, the children were called into the room, along with their families. Cornelius then began questioning the students on likely topics: "Do you know the difference between a good touch and a bad touch? Has anyone ever touched you sexually? Of course not. Of course they're going to listen to her," he said.

Despite his obligations as an attorney, Cooper said he did not tell authorities because he was too afraid of Whaley and what could happen to him for having stayed silent about the cover-up. Investigators closed the case in November without taking any action. Tim Miller The Intelligencer March 5, A foreign power targeting Canadian schoolchildren in an insidious plot to spread its influence sounds like the plot to a Hollywood movie. These institutes, which are currently embedded in close to a dozen schools across Canada, are directly funded and controlled by the Chinese government, giving them influence over the curriculum.

At the heart of the documentary is Sonia Zhao, a teacher who came from China to work at a Confucius Institute in Canada. Zhao is a practitioner of Falun Gong, a belief system which has been heavily persecuted by the Chinese government since the late 90s. Practitioners of Falun Gong are routinely jailed and, according to some reports, are the victims of forced organ harvesting.

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Topics like Tibet and Taiwan were also taboo. Textbooks promoting the teachings of Chairman Mao being taught to children in Toronto was one such example. A large portion of the film is dedicated to the battle opponents of the Confucius Institute had with the The Toronto District School Board over those materials. A battle that begins with the then chairman of the TDSB, Chris Bolton, dismissing out of hand any of the concerns raised before kicking the filmmaker out of his office and ending with the resignation of Bolton under various controversies and a board vote to cut ties with the Confucius Institute.

You just need to accept what the Chinese government is willingly providing to you. Only a fool would oppose those things. One at the school board in Coquitlam, BC with the remaining 11 at universities across the country. A sold-out audience filled the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds for the third Conference on Coercive Control, with presentations from a line-up of celebrated professionals.

Dr Fontes said dangerous romances often started out happy, with abusers using methods that seem loving such as constant texting or only not wanting to be around anyone else. This includes revenge porn, sex on demand and forced prostitution. This is where the new law, which was passed in England and Wales in , can come into play. It carries a maximum prison term of five years for perpetrators who repeatedly subject spouses, partners and other family members to serious psychological, social, financial and emotional torment.

Why is this relevant? Because over the weekend, the actor was accused of sexual assault, and the Church of Scientology was also accused of covering it up to protect the actor. In her show, Remini explained that the Church will often go to great lengths to protect its celebrity followers, while former members she spoke to explained numerous instances of sexual, physical and verbal abuse they experienced from fellow members or Church leaders in their time there. Ortega says Remini spoke directly with the victims after they confided in her, and she encouraged them to file police reports. However, several months went by without action causing victims to feel as though the LAPD did not pursue the case adequately.

My rapist was not punished at all. It was only after the alleged victim was in contact with Leah Remini that she made allegations of sexual assault by Mr. The alleged incident occurred in the middle of their 6 year relationship, after which she continued to be his longtime girlfriend. Significantly, during their long relationship she made numerous inconsistent claims that she was previously raped by at least 3 other famous actors and musicians.

When Danny ended the relationship she continued to pursue him, even making threats to beat up his current wife Bijou Phillips unless she left him. In fact, we are informed by the Church that the only demand the alleged victim made of the Church after Danny broke up with her was asking for their help to intervene so the breakup would not be permanent. We are aware also that approximately 14 years ago a woman referred to in the blog made allegations of sexual assault that the LADP interviewed numerous witnesses and determined the claim had no merit.

Tracey McManus Tampa Bay Times March 6, The plan, according to two city officials briefed by Scientology leader David Miscavige, requires all property from Osceola to Myrtle avenues between Drew and Pierce streets being bought by the church, its parishioners or other owners willing to participate.

The concept involves recruiting a few major, national retailers to anchor the district and filling the grid with handpicked businesses all at one time, similar to how an outdoor mall is established, said Community Redevelopment Agency Director Seth Taylor and City Manager Bill Horne, who in October were shown renderings of the retail strategy by Miscavige but not given copies. The plan does not require approval from elected officials or voters, but is a vision the church has already started implementing on its own with the help of consultants and an aggressive acquisition of property in the downtown core.

Scientology spokesman Ben Shaw did not respond to an email or phone call requesting comment. But since Jan. Through companies registered to Ybor City real estate broker Fred Edmister, the church bought the city's landmark, all-glass office tower at Cleveland St. Alabama-based Retail Strategies Executive Vice President Wade Robinett said Scientology hired his firm three years ago "to reach out to retailers," but he declined to comment on specifics of the plan.

The church also hired Tampa-based Gensler architects to design a facade overhaul for property along Cleveland Street. City Manager Bill Horne said he expects Miscavige to make some kind of presentation to the public in the near future. He said he believes the plan has stayed relatively secret thus far so the church could acquire real estate quietly and avoid property owners inflating the prices. Over the past two decades, the city has tried without real success to revitalize the downtown core by hiring consultants, designing redevelopment plans and marketing to businesses.

Despite its proximity to the Intracoastal Waterway and success of the waterfront Coachman Park as an event venue, Clearwater's downtown has trailed behind Tampa and St. Horne said he is willing to allow Scientology officials to take the lead on recruiting businesses in hopes they can find the solution that has eluded the city government.

The private sector has not been successful. Maybe we're in a situation where the only way we get that investment is if the church brings it. He said if the city can bring a flagship business as an anchor, like a craft brewery, local businesses will follow. The reason being the city is charged with representing the interests and desires of the whole city.

The church does not have that mandate. And that could potentially impact what this retail environment looks like and how it is shaped. Bottom line is the CRA is the entity that should be taking the lead on retail recruitment efforts. Maybe it is a partnership. I just haven't heard anything, so I don't know. In only the second time he has ever arranged formal meetings with all elected officials, Miscavige is scheduled to meet individually with each City Council member on March 14 at the Fort Harrison Hotel. The meetings were originally set for Tuesday and Wednesday but the church rescheduled them late on Friday.


Horne said he expects the retail strategy to be the main topic, along with a 1. Horne said it will require a leap of faith to trust the church is committed to building a downtown geared toward the general public, not just its parishioners. He said he was told the church does not intend to own the properties forever, but to sell the real estate back into the private sector once a viable economic marketplace is established. After Urban Land Institute consultants hired by the city in said the city and Scientology should work closer together, Horne said Miscavige became involved in the church's retail strategy.

But they needed property owners to participate so "the church decided maybe one way of being able to assemble property to attract investors is to get control of it. Shaw told the Times last month the church "has no further plans to expand our campus downtown," but Taylor said Shaw, in a private conversation, clarified he was referring only to the religious campus.

Horne said he does not know specific businesses the church is recruiting but said the concept is geared toward the high-end and compared it to Tampa's International Plaza. Jeff Green, a national retail consultant, said he's never heard of a private entity controlling a business district outside of the Vatican but acknowledged there is a stigma that would have to be overcome by consumers. He said most distressed downtowns with high vacancies like Clearwater respond better to restaurants and local businesses for revitalization.

The market for high end retail and chain stores thrives in high traffic areas like U. Horne said transparency by the church would help alleviate some of the suspicion the public has about Scientology's intentions and that a public presentation is needed. I can only go on what they say,'' he said. Follow TroMcManus. Gaslighting, brainwashing, cults, hostage situations, and totalitarian propaganda have a common basis.

They use similar techniques to confuse, intimidate and disempower people. Partners of sex addicts have often been lied to and manipulated into doubting their own sanity, hence the nickname gaslighting after the classic film. Once exposed to this process it is difficult to restore your own sense of stability and control over your life. Writers have recently found parallels with related techniques in the tactics of President Trump and his inner circle. These tactics include such things as anti-intellectualism, fear of difference, disagreement as treason, seeing life as eternal warfare, scapegoating of minorities, militarism, control of mass media, hostility to education and academia, and rampant sexism.

But it is one thing to understand the tactics and the resulting disempowerment of a person or group of people. But it is at least as important to understand and protect against the internal psychological process at work. This talk of doing something shocking or unthinkable is not designed to win over the audience but to scare them. This fear can vary anywhere between a sense of shock and an outright traumatic stress response. But it is outside the norm in a way that makes it impossible for people to integrate it into their thinking.

In this state, critical thinking and judgment may be impossible. We may shake off this feeling and return to normal thinking but something of the fear remains, making the manipulator more high profile in our minds. In gaslighting, the victim remains in a constant state of fear and insecurity which exaggerates the tendency to focus almost exclusively on the abuser. Confusion, conformity, and loss of self Both the authoritarian power figure and the emotional abuser constantly challenge everything that you thought you knew about your world; social institutions, values, science etc.

Nothing is true or false any more, so the ground starts to move underneath you. Once alternate sources of information, e. Other sources of input are labeled as fake and disloyal. We then adapt to a world in which propaganda is as real as it gets. This is not mental stability. This is a seriously disordered state which undermines any attempt at independent thought or action.

In a world in which any deviation from authority is viewed as treason, we come to distrust our sense of ourselves as independent agents. And again the net result is that we focus on the abuser and become cut off and mistrustful of others. Staying sane Reality check not fact check Ultimately our sense of what is real rests on trust. We trust the group consensus of a relevant group as to the truth of a fact, a scientific truth and even a core value. We get these ideas from our community, our family, our curiosity about the world and our accumulated fund of general information.

This basic trust in our world begins very early in life. Therefore, if we have a disrupted early attachment history we may lack basic trust, making us all the more vulnerable to having our sense of reality disrupted. And while this is certainly important it is not enough. When a manipulator wants to redefine what is true or real in order to sow fear it is vital that we respond by connecting with other people.

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It is not enough just to try to gather facts and information, especially in the face of gaslighting techniques. If there is no one to give us a reality check then all the information in the world will not make us safe. There is nothing wrong with demanding proof in the face of lies. But the ultimate proof will be found in the shared views of smart and knowledgeable people.

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Resisting normalization Our natural tendency is to try to fit our experience into some known way of understanding things, i. Something new, even something bizarre or dangerous, may not seem obviously abnormal at first. We want to give people the benefit of the doubt. Often we feel a tug-of-war between a gut sense that someone is hazardous to our wellbeing on the one hand and a desire to make excuses for them on the other.