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Hot picks: False revival movement, Ficino School, Freemasons, Friends (Quakers), Fuelstar


F

Facer-Wood, Michelle. Danger Makes and sells colloidal silver, and recommends its use internally. She makes unproven therapeutic claims for colloidal silver that would be illegal in the USA and Australia, while colloidal silver itself is illegal in Canada.

False Revival Movement. Danger Hot Topic Printable version The False Revival Movement arguably originated (in recent times, at least) with Rodney Howard-Browne, and most recently was seen with Todd Bentley in Lakeland, Florida. Also (or parts thereof) known as Holy Laughter Movement, Toronto Blessing or Toronto Movement, Pensacola Outpouring and the latest version Drunken Revival Movement. In New Zealand the False Revival Movement is supported by Jack and Gaye Stradwick and formerly by Rob DeLuca. Chief proponents overseas include:

Matthew 24:24 says "For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect - if that were possible." And 1 John 4:1 says "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 says "Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil." Matthew 7:15-23 is another strong warning:

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

"Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ "

Lee Grady, editor of Charisma magazine, in "LIFE AFTER LAKELAND: Sorting Out the Confusion" writes about the false Lakeland revival led by Todd Bentley (with emphasis added):

Why did so many people flock to Lakeland from around the world to rally behind an evangelist who had serious credibility issues from the beginning?

To put it bluntly, we're just plain gullible.

From the first week of the Lakeland revival, many discerning Christians raised questions about Bentley's beliefs and practices. They felt uneasy when he said he talked to an angel in his hotel room. They sensed something amiss when he wore a T-shirt with a skeleton on it. They wondered why a man of God would cover himself with tattoos. They were horrified when they heard him describe how he tackled a man and knocked his tooth out during prayer.

But among those who jumped on the Lakeland bandwagon, discernment was discouraged. They were expected to swallow and follow. The message was clear: "This is God. Don't question." So before we could all say, "Sheeka Boomba" (as Bentley often prayed from his pulpit), many people went home, prayed for people and shoved them to the floor with reckless abandon, Bentley-style.

I blame this lack of discernment, partly, on raw zeal for God. We're spiritual hungry – which can be a good thing. But sometimes, hungry people will eat anything.

Many of us would rather watch a noisy demonstration of miracles, signs and wonders than have a quiet Bible study. Yet we are faced today with the sad reality that our untempered zeal is a sign of immaturity. Our adolescent craving for the wild and crazy makes us do stupid things. It's way past time for us to grow up.

FWIW Lee Grady has apparently learned from the Todd Bentley saga. On 27 October 2009 he Off Sitewrote about John Crowder, saying "Let's put the childish things behind us. It's time for us to grow up and sober up." (More of his article is quoted in the Drunken Revival Movement listing.)

Many of the manifestations seen in the False Revival Movement are also seen as Kundalini manifestations. Andrew Strom warns against the False Revival Movement and its practices and has recently released Part 3 of his Kundalini video series.

Falun Gong/Falun Dafa. Not Yet Rated New Age group involving meditation. Founded by Li Hongzhi in China, where according to Off Sitethis NZ Herald article it has been banned since 1999. The group came to world media attention in that year due to Chinese practitioners being brutalised by the government, who called it dangerous and subversive. Still small in New Zealand, but supposed to have up to 70 million practitioners in China, making it (according to practitioners) larger than the Communist Party, and hence the reason (practitioners claim) for the persecution. Falun Gong has two main texts, Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun.

(The) Family International. Danger Cult, formerly known as Children of God. See The Family International (listed under "The").

Family Federation (for World Peace (and Unification)). Danger Hot Topic A front group for the dangerous Moonie mind control cult. They pay for a show (Family Federation Report) on Auckland's Triangle TV.

Family Party, The. A political party formed for the 2008 general election from members of the disbanded Destiny NZ (political party). Former leader of Destiny NZ Richard Lewis is leader, and Paul Adams, a former United Future MP is deputy leader. The party only got 0.35% of the nationwide vote and failed to get any seats, and has been quiet (inactive?) since the election.

Family Radio. An evangelical Christian radio station based in Oakland, California, USA. Founded by Harold Camping. In March 2011 they Off Siteposted billboards around New Zealand advertising judgment day would fall on 21 May 2011. It wasn't a joke or an advertising stunt; they really did believe that judgement day would be on that day, based on the teachings of Harold Camping.

Family Systems Research Group. Danger Commonly abbreviated as FSRG. This is the name that the cult Gentle Wind Project now operates under. See Gentle Wind Project for more information.

FANZA. Not Yet Rated Freezone Association of Australia & New Zealand. A breakaway group from Scientology, which feels that "since the death of the founder of the movement, the Church of Scientology has strayed from the original philosophy and purpose of the group." Believed to be very small in New Zealand, it is led by Leon (Leo) Swart, who left Scientology in 1983. He writes:

Back in 1982/83 there was a worldwide schism in the Church of Scientology. A new leadership (headed by David Miscavidge) forceably took control of the C of S. Many people who did not like the direction it was then taking broke away from the C of S and were promptly expelled and declared to be "Suppressive Persons".

However, many of these still followed the tenets and practices of Scientology very closely (in its original form) and organized themselves into a loose world-wide fellowship generally called the "Freezone".

We continue to practice the applied religious philosophy that is Scientology, disregarding the rantings of the "offical" Church of Scientology.

In New Zealand the Freezone has its main advocate in myself (living in Hamilton) and we have supporters all over the place.

Feldenkrais Method, The. Not Yet Rated In effect a subset of Somatic Education, it is marketed in New Zealand under such names as Move To Improve. Basic idea seems to be that much body pain and physical restrictions (lack of movement) aren't caused by old age but by learned habits and repetitive poor use of the body. OK so far. However the Feldenkrais Method, like many other alternative physical therapies, claims that by its application all sorts of things can be fixed, stress reduced, etc. There is no credible research evidence to substantiate such claims, and so is considered an alternative treatment. Although it is included in a prominant NZ online New Age resource listing, it is not believed to be particularly New Age itself, but some of its practitioners do have strong links to the New Age. C G Maher (School of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia) had this to say in Effective Physical Treatment of Chronic Lower Back Pain (2004):

Physical treatments, such as acupuncture, backschool, hydrotherapy, lumbar supports, magnets, TENS, traction, ultrasound, Pilates therapy, Feldenkrais therapy, Alexander technique, and craniosacral therapy are either of unknown value or ineffective and so should not be considered.

Felkin, (Dr) Robert William. Dr Robert William Felkin founded Whare Ra.

Fellowship of Druids Aotearoa. Not Yet Rated New Age religion.

Ferriss, Mike. Danger Mike Ferriss is the head PR person of the Scientology cult in New Zealand, with the official title of "Secretary". As of 2005 he has been a Scientologist for about 24 years and a Scientology employee for about 19 years. We have reason to believe that in that time Mr Ferriss has gained a good working knowledge of tresspass laws. He claims to have completed at least some of the higher levels, including OTIII, and we've been told he completed OTIV in 1994 or earlier. However, he also categorically denies knowing anything about Xenu. OTIII clearly explains who Xenu is – see the Xenu listing for a good summary. Because of this, the New Zealand Cult List believes Mr Ferriss is lying about one of these claims (either about having completed OTIII or not knowing about Xenu). In his ongoing attempts to censor this information, Mike Ferriss has tried one of the standard $cientology tactic$ – accusing the editor of hiding something. (Mr Ferriss is "damn sure of it", too!)

Off SiteScientology - hiding crimes

It seems Mr Ferriss is either very paranoid or is just not very subtle when using his (at that point) 24 years of Scientology training. (Mind you, 24 years of Scientology training could make anyone paranoid. People have allegedly Off Sitekilled themselves after far fewer years in Scientology. And, sadly, been Off Sitekilled by Scientology.) The question must be raised – why is Mike Ferriss hiding his knowledge of Xenu? All the information has been public for years. Is there any point to hiding it apart from trying to get more money out of the ignorant?

Mr Ferriss' activities in October 2005 included trying to shut down the satirical Off SiteScienTOMogy site. Ironically, his activity directly resulted in our own site getting record numbers of visitors.

Ficino School. Danger Hot Topic A school for primary and intermediate aged children started in 1997 by the New Age cult School of Philosophy. It claims to provide a "spiritually based" education and gives lip service to Christianity, but sadly the non-academic teaching (which includes meditation for older students) primarily comes from the Hindu-based teachings of the School of Philosophy. According to their web site, "Sanscrit [sic] is taught from an early age ... and [has] a rich culture behind it." What that doesn't make clear is that the "rich culture" is the School of Philosophy's Vedic (Hindu) scriptures, which are in Sanskrit. The school's name comes from Renaissance translator and astrologer Marsilio Ficino, although the Ficino School prefers to call him a philosopher. The Danger rating is partly because of the deception regarding their links and teachings, and partly because of the danger posed by the School of Philosophy's teachings.

Final Events of Bible Prophecy. Caution A DVD series promoting Seventh-day Adventist teachings, presented by Doug Batchelor.

Final Warning Ministries. Caution Apparently a New Zealand front group for Seventh-day Adventist teachings, and probably not connected with the similarly named God's Final Warning Ministries in Texas, USA. While the group claims to be non-denominational, they clearly promote the SDA Sabbath teachings, which amount to a form of legalism. For this legalism and the lack of disclosure of their denominational bias while claiming no affiliation, they have been rated Caution.

First Church of Christ, Scientist. Danger Cult. See Christian Science.

Firstlight, Firstlight Broadcasting Network. Caution A TV channel in New Zealand (Freeview channel 26) run by Seventh-Day Adventists. Many of the programmes on the channel reflect the dodgy theology of Ellen G White, earning at least a Caution rating. Care should be taken when listening to such teaching. Firstlight Broadcasting Network claims they are a sister organisation to HCBN, a ministry also run by Seventh-Day Adventists.

Flurry, Gerald Ray. Danger Gerald R Flurry is the leader of the cult Philadelphia Church of God. Born 12 April 1935 in Oklahoma City in the USA.

Flurry, Stephen. Danger Stephen Flurry is the son of Gerald Flurry and author of Raising the Ruins which supports the cultic views of the Philadelphia Church of God.

Focus on the Family. See the Focus on the Family listing on the TV and Radio page.

Forum, (the). Danger See Landmark Education.

Foundation for Self Knowledge Inc. Danger New Age, Hindu-based group based in Hillsborough, Auckland. Runs lecture series, meditation classes, spiritual camps. Main spokesperson/teacher is Ananya Chaitanya.

Foundation of Spiritualist Mediums. Danger Occult group in Auckland.

Freemasons. Danger Hot Topic Cult – of sorts. Also known as the Masonic Lodge, sometimes called the Masons. Highly secretive male-only group (whose secrets are widely distributed on the Internet). Christianity and Freemasonry are not compatible. There are two main branches or denominations – the York Rite (which has 10 degrees, or levels) and the Scottish Rite (which has 33 degrees). Most members never go beyond the first few levels (known as the Blue Lodge), and may not even know there are so many levels. See the Freemasonry Closeup for more information.

Freezone Association. Not Yet Rated See FANZA.

Fresh Fire Ministries. Danger The ministry run by Todd Bentley.

Friends. A sometimes-used contraction of Religious Society of Friends.

Friends United Meeting. Not Yet Rated Christian sect/denomination. A denomination of Evangelical Friends – one of the three main Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) branches – that claims about 50% of Quakers worldwide, and is apparently one of the few Quaker denominations to Off Sitebelong to the Word Council of Churches. (Strangely, the Conservative Friends Quaker branch claims FUM has 80%-90% of all Quakers.) Unknown if any members are in New Zealand, where most Quakers are in the Liberal Friends branch. The statement by the Friends United Meeting includes the beliefs in: true religion as a personal encounter with God, rather than ritual and ceremony; individual worth before God; worship as an act of seeking; the virtues of moral purity, integrity, honesty, simplicity and humility; Christian love and goodness; concern for the suffering and unfortunate; continuing revelation through the Holy Spirit.

Friendship Force. Neutral From their web site:

The Friendship Force is an international, non-political, non-sectarian, and non-profit organization. The sole aim of the Friendship Force is to foster peace and understanding throughout the world by means of personal contacts and shared experiences achieved through a programme of home hosting. The Friendship Force was founded in the USA in 1977 by Wayne Smith under the auspices of President Jimmy Carter and is coordinated from the international headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. There are over 300 clubs in over 60 countries throughout the world. The Friendship Force is not a travel club although the core activity is travelling in groups, to stay with like-minded people in other countries (a cultural exchange). The first priority is to develop friendships and through this to generate understanding across cultural boundaries.

Fuelmate. Caution Scam, only good for extracting money from the wallets of the gullible. It's a competing product to Fuelstar.

Fuelstar. Caution Hot Topic Printable version Scam, only good for extracting money from the wallets of the gullible. Fuelstar is a company run by Ian Cornelius that makes a tin-based "fuel combustion catalyst" that will give a guaranteed 12% fuel saving. It does not work. Even the best of their test reports only show that engines are more efficient when maintained well, such as the test by the dodgy California Environment Engineering (which has given apparently favourable results for many bogus fuel-saving products, but tries to gloss over the vehicle maintenance done at the same time as the device is installed). The only reason Fuelstar is not given a Danger rating is because it probably won't do you any physical harm. Although the various tin compounds likely produced by combustion are toxic the concentration is probably too low to be detected or significant compared to all the other toxic chemicals in vehicle exhaust anyway. A competing version available in Australia and New Zealand is called Fuelmate.

There are a few general ways that you can easily tell that Fuelstar, Fuelmate and other similar products are scams:

  • No scientific explanation – no reason is given (or exists) for how it works.
  • Pseudoscience explanations – little or no genuine scientific support for the apparently scientific claims that are made. Examples are dodgy tests and scientific-sounding gobbledygook. (Note that pseudoscience gobbledygook can be hard to recognise for those without a scientific background.)
  • Defies good science – there are often easy to find scientific reasons why it doesn't work. For example:
    • Too little active ingredient consumed to have a chemically significant effect. (For Fuelstar, tin is the active ingredient.)
  • Defies common sense – there are often easy to find common sense reasons why it won't work as well as claimed. For example:
    • Too good to be true – claims to work well or equally well on any engine size or type, whether petrol, diesel, or LPG, in any application (eg, large diesel truck or small petrol generator).
    • Not used by those who would gain the most if it were true – the product claims benefits that industry would snap up if the benefits were real. (No car manufacturer includes a tin combustion catalyst in their vehicle fuel lines.)
  • Excessive cost – retail cost completely disproportionate to the cost of materials. (In the case of Fuelstar there's perhaps $2.70 to $5.40 of tin in them but they sell for hundreds of dollars.)

Some of these points are investigated in this Off SiteFuelstar Scam article.

Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International. OK Their mission statement: "To reach men in all nations for Jesus Christ. To call men back to God. To help believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and to grow spiritually. To train and equip men to fulfill the Great Commission. To provide an opportunity for Christian fellowship. To bring greater unity among all people in the body of Christ." Started in California in 1951 as Full Gospel Men's Voice. Apparently at one point they publicly endorsed the false prophet William Branham. Now operates in 132 countries. They have an Off Siteinternational website which may not work very well with some browsers.

Full Gospel Mission Fellowship. Danger Cult, now disbanded. Nicknamed God's Squad, based at Camp David near Christchurch, finally wound up in 2002. They made a name for themselves in the 1970s when it was discovered they were stockpiling guns and ammunition. Led by Douglas Metcalf (died in 1989) who members believed was Jesus Christ.

Fusion. Danger Hot Topic Former Auckland church in New Lynn pastored by Jack and Gaye Stradwick, now (as of the middle of 2013) reimaged as Origin and relocated to Onehunga.

 
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