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Religious Group News, April 2017:

  • The Off SiteNZ Herald reports on Korean cult Shincheonji which is active in Auckland.
  • Rugby player Sonny Bill Williams made the news for covering the logo of a bank with tape on the collar of his rugby jersey in his opening game of the season, citing his Muslim beliefs which ban lending money for interest. It's an unusual stance to take, but one his contract clearly allows him to take. The particular bank is a sponsor of non-profit family-related organisation Plunket and Mr Williams (a father of two young children) has agreed to wear the Plunket logo instead. (This seem a win-win situation because it makes the point that religious principles are important, and it has resulted in giving Plunket some advertising which it wouldn't otherwise get – Editor.)
  • In the wake of the Sonny Bill Williams story, A J Forster wrote to the NZ Herald (published Wednesday 19 April 2017) pointing out that for much of its history lending for interest was also banned by the Christian church, and forms a major plot point of William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice.
  • The Bethlehem Mission Trust (started by Tauranga House of Prayer) wants to make a missionary training school and prayer centre in Bethlehem but Off Sitethe BoP Times reports that neighbours are not so keen.
  • Jehovah's Witnesses have been banned in Russia. The NZ Herald posted a series of articles on Off Site3 March, Off Site17 March, Off Site7 April and Off Site21 April as the process worked through the Russian courts.
  • The Off SiteNZ Herald reports on a case of an acupuncturist who left a 40 mm needle in a man, claiming that the needle would extend the treatment for a few days, but the acupuncturist didn't tell the man because she was allegedly distracted. A report released by Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Meenal Duggal says (according to the Herald) "Without being informed correctly, there was the potential for the needle to be pushed deeper and penetrate organs. Infections were also found to be a potential harm."

Site Changes, April 2017:

Religious Group News, March 2017:

  • A number of news articles appeared following the release of a report on an ongoing investigation into Gloriavale Christian Community, home of the Cooperites. Off SiteThis NZ Herald article lists the main allegations of the report as being:

    • Of the 18 former Gloriavale members interviewed, five of the females claimed they were victims of sex crimes.
    • Claims of unfair work conditions, including working excessive hours.
    • Senior Gloriavale members acting illegally in operating bank accounts of members without their knowledge.
    • Members forced into an isolated hut as punishment.
    • Those who left were not provided means to support themselves or to transition to life outside and were unable to maintain contact with members still inside.

    The community has rubbished the claims saying they are "just nonsense", but the following day Off Siteanother article quoted a community leaver contradicting various claims by Gloriavale's leadership, including that of members not being forced to get married.

  • Meanwhile, Stuff posted Off Sitethis article explaining various Gloriavale-related things, a Off Sitefollow-up from Melanie Reid the next day (she went undercover in Gloriavale in 1994), and Off Siteanother article the day after explaining the community's leadership.

Site Changes, March 2017:

Religious Group News, February 2017:

  • In this interview with Leah Remini she talks about how Scientology uses information control and loaded language to protect its followers from learning how bad Scientology is. Members are not allowed to read on the Internet or in the media information which criticises Scientology. Information is fed to members slowly enough that they don't realise how crazy the teachings are getting; information from the upper levels is confidential (for example, who Xenu is). Language (cult jargon) is used by the cult in a way that Scientologists automatically discredit whatever outsiders say against the cult.

Site Changes, February 2017:

Site Changes, January 2017:

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