The authorship of these files on cults has his or her own motivations for providing them a

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[Fredric Rice, The Skeptic Tank: The authorship of these files on cults has his or her own motivations for providing them and will contain his or her own bias. What I find typical is that individuals and organizations which report on cults are usually themselves a competition cult yet like to think of themselves as "a religion, not a cult." In actual fact, _ALL_ religions are cults by the primary, secondary, and terciary usage definition of the term. Some of the information you find here is inaccurate and contains urban legend -- take what you find with a grain of salt. If you wish to acquire a copy of the Law Enforcement Guide on Occult Crime, contact myself at frice@stbbs.com or at The Skeptic Tank (818) 335-9601 and I'll forward the address and information you need.] Mormons [Fredric Rice: The Mormon cult has had special focus on The Skeptic Tank for many years and there exists a great many files. From time to time we get a Mormon on HolySmoke -- FidoNet's most open religion discussion forum -- and quotes from the individuals are often very astonishing. They believe that their male "satints" get to lord over a planet "after they're dead" and they also engage in end-of-the-world survivalism.] Mormons (Church of the Latter Day Saints) One of the most successful 'cults' of all time, the Mormon Church owns most of Utah, a large part of Hawaii and land in Canada, as well as the Marriott hotel chain, the Beneficial Life Assurance Company and TV and radio stations. It is the single largest shareholder of the LA Times. Until 1978 the church did not allow black clergy; women are considered subservient and polygamy is still rumoured to be covertly practised among some individual hard-line Mormons. For those outside the Mormon Church its genesis has long been a source of deep suspicion and derision. A farmworker in 1820s New York State called Joseph Smith claimed to have been visited by a vision of God and by an angel called Moroni who revealed the whereabouts of buried golden plates to him. On these it was written that Christ had appeared in America after his resurrection and appointed the disciples: Smith translated these plates (which the angels then took back) and wrote the Book OfMormon. He was then visited by John the Baptist, who ordained Smith into thepriesthood of Melchzdek. With this impressive CV, Smith rejected Christianity, began his own church and was murdered in 1844. Persecuted by Church and state, Smith's successor, Brigham Young, led an exodus of Mormons west, where they settled in Salt Lake City. Mormons wear a special garment with sacred markings under their clothes at all times and there are also coded handshakes. They contribute 10 per cent of their earnings to the Church and are encouraged to do well at work - among their number are several leading businessmen, including Kay Whitmore, ex-chief executive of Eastman Kodak, who in 1994 moved to England in order to mastermind missionary work in this country. To comment about this Website, our paper and all associated articles, you can mail us at the Observer: bill@dial.pipex.com

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