Enigma – Aleister Crowley The Beast 666

 

Now, here’s a documentary about Aleister Crowley which actually seems to be pretty on point, and eschews and addresses sensationalism, in talking about reality and myths of the man, magick and Thelema, in which the first interview is with Richard Kaczynski and also features Lon Milo DuQuette talking, playing his music and doing ritual. [HT Sarah Veale]

“He’s probably the 20th century’s most misunderstood, infamous holy man.” — Lon Milo DuQuette (@ 8:40)

Omnium Gatherum: July 9, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for July 9, 2019 If you’d like to participate, head over to Omnium Gatherum on the BBS, or suggest something. Tweet by Alex Norris ouroboros is a self-love icon pic.twitter.com/nnQfBJ8twb — Alex Norris (@dorrismccomics) July 7, 2019 “The Curious Mystical Text Behind Marianne Williamson’s Presidential […]

Astrology and the Seventeenth Century Mind

Hermetic Library Fellow John Michael Greer reviews Astrology and the Seventeenth Century Mind: William Lilly and the Language of the Stars by Ann Geneva in the archive of Caduceus: The Hermetic Quarterly. The importance of astrology in the culture of the Renaissance has been recognized for some time now, but there is still plenty to […]

Omnium Gatherum: May 13, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for May 13, 2019

If you’d like to participate, head over to Omnium Gatherum on the BBS, or suggest something.

  • Examining the People Accused of Witchcraft” — Kenny Smith, Scottish Field; about Remembering Scotland’s Accused Witches by Fife Witches Remembered, May 19 at Glen Pavilion, Dunfermline, UK [HT SelineSigil]

    “The passing of the Scottish Witchcraft Act in 1563 made witchcraft, or consulting with witches, crimes punishable by death in Scotland. It’s estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 women were publicly accused of being witches in 16th and 17th century Scotland, a much higher number than neighbouring England. Seventy-five per cent of the accused were women and about two thirds were killed.

    Hundreds of villages across Scotland have stones, wells, monuments, glens and places of execution connected with this eruption of witch-finding zeal.

    Workshops and talks will give people a chance to hear about local witches, including Lillias Adie, the Torryburn witch, whose body was buried in the shoreline of the Forth. Experience how witchcraft has been expressed through art and poetry and nature, investigate the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft, how data is presented on Wikipedia and many other related topics.”

  • Was Shakespeare a Woman? The authorship controversy, almost as old as the works themselves, has yet to surface a compelling alternative to the man buried in Stratford. Perhaps that’s because, until recently, no one was looking in the right place. The case for Emilia Bassano.” — Elizabeth Walker, The Atlantic

    “Not long after my Macbeth outing, I learned that Shakespeare’s Globe, in London, had set out to explore this figure’s input to the canon. The theater’s summer 2018 season concluded with a new play, Emilia, about a contemporary of Shakespeare’s named Emilia Bassano. Born in London in 1569 to a family of Venetian immigrants—musicians and instrument-makers who were likely Jewish—she was one of the first women in England to publish a volume of poetry (suitably religious yet startlingly feminist, arguing for women’s “Libertie” and against male oppression). Her existence was unearthed in 1973 by the Oxford historian A. L. Rowse, who speculated that she was Shakespeare’s mistress, the “dark lady” described in the sonnets. In Emilia, the playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm goes a step further: Her Shakespeare is a plagiarist who uses Bassano’s words for Emilia’s famous defense of women in Othello.

    Could Bassano have contributed even more widely and directly?”

  • The Eloquent Blood: The Goddess Babalon and the Construction of Femininities in Western Esotericism by Manon Hedenborg White, due in December, from Oxford University Press

    White The Eloquent Blood

    “In the conventional dichotomy of chaste, pure Madonna and libidinous whore, the former has usually been viewed as the ideal form of femininity. However, there is a modern religious movement in which the negative stereotype of the harlot is inverted and exalted. The Eloquent Blood focuses on the changing construction of femininity and feminine sexuality in interpretations of the goddess Babalon. A central deity in Thelema, the religion founded by the notorious British occultist Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), Babalon is based on Crowley’s favorable reinterpretation of the biblical Whore of Babylon, and is associated with liberated female sexuality and the spiritual ideal of passionate union with existence.

    Analyzing historical and contemporary written sources, qualitative interviews, and ethnographic fieldwork in the Anglo-American esoteric milieu, the study traces interpretations of Babalon from the works of Crowley and some of his key disciples―including the rocket scientist John “Jack” Whiteside Parsons, and the enigmatic British occultist Kenneth Grant―until the present. From the 1990s onwards, this study shows, female and LGBTQ esotericists have challenged historical interpretations of Babalon, drawing on feminist and queer thought and conceptualizing femininity in new ways.

    Tracing the trajectory of a particular gendered symbol from the fin-de-siècle until today, Manon Hedenborg White explores the changing role of women in Western esotericism, and shows how evolving constructions of gender have shaped the development of esotericism. Combining research on historical and contemporary Western esotericism with feminist and queer theory, the book sheds new light on the ways in which esoteric movements and systems of thought have developed over time in relation to political movements.”

  • Occult Territory. An Arthur Machen Gazetteer edited by R.B. Russell, from Tartarus Press,

    Russell Machen Occult Territory

    “This Gazetteer lists those places in which Arthur Machen lived, worked, wrote, ate, drank and worshipped. It is also a guide to sites that influenced his life and his work. It is illustrated, often with contemporary photographs, and includes quotes from Machen, and those that knew him.

    There is much to be gained from wandering around the lanes and footpaths of Machen’s family home in Llanddewi, Gwent, because the landscape is essentially unchanged from when he lived there as a boy. Arthur Machen’s London is rather different. Machen experienced it as a city of delight and wonder when he first visited it in 1880, but when he lived there in the mid 1880s it was the backdrop to poverty and hardship, doubt and frustration. However, after this dark period, it was the anvil upon which some of his most important friendships and relationships were forged, and where he had the most strange and mysterious encounters.

    With over 160 entries, this is an indispensible volume for any admirer of the work of Arthur Machen, author of The Great God Pan, The Hill of Dreams, and other works of sorcery and sanctity.”

  • To Get Better at Life, Try This Modern Mantra” — Ephrat Livni, Quartzy

    “The word mantra comes from Sanskrit and literally means “mind tool” or instrument of thought. People have used these tools for thousands of years to quiet thinking, cultivate focus, and induce spiritual states. In truth, anyone can use them, and there is scientific proof they work, whether or not you are spiritually inclined.

    Repetitive utterances induce a state of psychological calm because they seem to chill out the part of your mind that’s especially self-involved.”

  • Sphinx chamber at Emperor Nero’s palace in Rome brought to light after 2,000 years” [also] — Gianluca Mezzofiore, CNN

    CNN Nero Sphinx Room

    “Experts working on the restoration of Emperor Nero’s vast palace in Rome have stumbled upon a secret, underground room decorated with panthers, centaurs and a sphinx.

    The chamber, brought to light after 2,000 years, is part of the remains of the Domus Aurea (Golden House), the immense palace that Nero built after the fire of 64 AD that devastated Rome.”

  • Rome opens up exorcism course to all major Christian faiths to fight rising demonic forces” — Leonardo Blair, The Christian Post [HT David Metcalfe]

    “For the first time in 14 years, the Roman Catholic Church has opened up its annual exorcism class in Rome to all major Christian faiths in a bid to stem the rising tide of demonic forces around the world.

    More than 241 people, both lay and religious, from more than 40 countries signed up for the course this year, Crux Now reported.

    They all agree that growing secularization has led to a proliferation of satanic groups, especially among young people through social media.

    ‘Many young people display a certain attraction and interest toward themes tied to esotericism, magic, the occult, Satanism, witchcraft, vampirism and contact with a presumed supernatural world,’ Italian Professor Giuseppe Ferrari, founder and secretary of the “Social and Religious Research and Information Group,” said during his introductory speech at the event.”

  • Earliest Evidence Of Ayahuasca Use Discovered In Ancient Shamanic Pouch In Bolivia. The indigenous people of South America engage in ayahuasca rituals to this day. This discovery is proof of just how far back its use really goes.” — Marco Margaritoff, All Things Interesting

    Margaritoff All Things Interesting ayahuasca ancient Bolivia pouch three fox snouts sewn together

    “A 1,000-year-old pouch made from three fox snouts sewn together was discovered in Bolivia to contain some tantalizing surprises. According to National Geographic, the pouch held the world’s earliest evidence of ayahuasca among a plethora of other mind-altering substances and drug paraphernalia.”

  • What and where is heaven? The answers are at the heart of the Easter story” — Robyn J Whitaker, The Conversation [HT Ethos]

    “In the Christian tradition, heaven and paradise have been conflated as an answer to the question “where do I go when I die?” The idea of the dead being in heaven or enjoying paradise often brings enormous comfort to the bereaved and hope to those suffering or dying. Yet heaven and paradise were originally more about where God lived, not about us or our ultimate destination.

    Heaven or paradise in the Bible is a utopian vision, designed not only to inspire faith in God but also in the hope that people might embody the values of love and reconciliation in this world.”

  • Tweet by Clara (she/her) [HT Haley]

Stars of Black

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Stars of Black: Contemplations upon the Pale King by Julian M Miles. Stars of Black is a self-published collection of weird horror short stories by Julian M. Miles. Although the jacket copy also refers to Ambrose Bierce, it’s clear that this cycle is rooted in the four seminal jauniste […]

Omnium Gatherum: March 26, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for March 26, 2019

If you’d like to participate, head over to Omnium Gatherum on the BBS, or suggest something.

  • Opus Alchymicum, 2nd edition, “the white edition”, by J Daniel Gunther

    Gunther Opus Alchymicum 2nd white edition

    “The second edition of Opus Alchymicum is now available! This second edition is bound in white cloth and stamped in gold, so it is called the White Edition. The size is 9″ x 12″ with 56 full color pages and is accompanied with a slipcase. There are a few additions not present in the first edition.”

    “This volume relates the unique personal and spiritual journey of Gunther at a key time in his progression, resulting in a series of fascinating and transformational alchemical images which further reinforce the intimate link between the artistic and spiritual life.”

  • The Great Introduction to Astrology by Abū Maʿšar, edited, translated, &c. by Keiji Yamamoto, Charles Burnett, with David Pingree [HT Ghayat al-hakim (Picatrix) ‏]

    Yamamoto Burnett Pingree Abu Masar The Great Introduction to Astrology

    “Abū Ma’͑šar’s Great Introduction to Astrology (mid-ninth century) is the most comprehensive and influential text on astrology in the Middle Ages. In addition to presenting astrological doctrine, it provides a detailed justification for the validity of astrology and establishes its basis within the natural sciences of the philosophers. These two volumes provide a critical edition of the Arabic text; a facing English translation, which includes references to the divergences in the twelfth-century Latin translations of John of Seville and Hermann of Carinthia (Volume 1); and the large fragment of a Greek translation (edited by David Pingree). Comprehensive Arabic, English, Greek and Latin glossaries enable one to trace changes in vocabulary and terminology as the text passed from one culture to another. (Volume 2.)”

  • Going for Gold” — Dmitri Levitin, Literary Review; about the late 2018 book Newton the Alchemist: Science, Enigma, and the Quest for Nature’s ‘Secret Fire’ by William R Newman [HT Arts & Letters Daily]

    Newman Newton the Alchemist

    “‘Historians of alchemy’, wrote Herbert Butterfield in 1949, ‘seem to become tinctured with the kind of lunacy they set out to describe.’ Seventy years on, readers may believe that this gloriously rude assessment needs no updating. But what, then, are we to make of the fact that the greatest scientific hero of them all, that model of geometric rationality, Isaac Newton, devoted a great proportion of his life to the pursuit of transmutation? This was the problem that faced another titan of his discipline, the economist John Maynard Keynes, when in 1936 he acquired at auction a large number of Newton’s papers dealing with alchemy. Newton, Keynes was forced to declare, ‘was not the first of the age of reason’ but rather ‘the last of the magicians’.”

  • Calling time” — Llewelyn Morgan, Lugubelinus [HT Lili Saintcrow]

    “Time is whatever it is.

    But what a culture does with time, how it gets organised, can be one of the most revealing things about a culture. The books listed at the bottom of this post have lots of interesting things to say on the topic, but this is a blog about how the Romans organised time, and ultimately how the ordering of time became, like pretty much everything else that the Roman elite concerned themselves with, a means for political assertion and self-promotion.

    (Quite a lot of what the Romans did with time is still with us, as it happens, too.)”

  • Strange Vistas from the Occultism of Coil and Psychic TV” — Dan Siepmann, PopMatters

    “Clearly, Psychic TV considered their sculpted product to be the magickal lodestar, whereas for Coil, true ritual potency came from discovering new paths during the production process. But such approaches were necessary to conjure the divergent places each band sought for its listeners. These places manifest the three rifts that cleaved apart the bands’ artistic visions, while showcasing a final truth: occultism served Psychic TV’s means—to sate worldly desire through magick—and Coil’s ends—to step entirely inside of magick.”

  • Rendering Unconscious – Psychoanalytic Perspectives, Politics & Poetry [also, also], edited by Vanessa Sinclair, due in April

    Sinclair Rendering Unconscious

    “In times of crisis, one needs to stop and ask, “How did we get here?” Our contemporary chaos is the result of a society built upon pervasive systems of oppression, discrimination and violence that run deeper and reach further than most understand or care to realize. These draconian systems have been fundamental to many aspects of our lives, and we seem to have gradually allowed them more power. However, our foundation is not solid; it is fractured and collapsing – if we allow that. We need to start applying new models of interpretation and analysis to the deep-rooted problems at hand.

    “Rendering Unconscious” brings together international scholars, psychoanalysts, psychologists, philosophers, researchers, writers and poets; reflecting on current events, politics, the state of mental health care, the arts, literature, mythology, and the cultural climate; thoughtfully evaluating this moment of crisis, its implications, wide-ranging effects, and the social structures that have brought us to this point of urgency.

    Hate speech, Internet stalking, virtual violence, the horde mentality of the alt-right, systematic racism, the psychology of rioting, the theater of violence, fake news, the power of disability, erotic transference and counter-transference, the economics of libido, Eros and the death drive, fascist narratives, psychoanalytic formation as resistance, surrealism and sexuality, traversing genders, and colonial counterviolence are but a few of the topics addressed in this thought-provoking and inspiring volume.

    Contributions by Vanessa Sinclair, Gavriel Reisner, Alison Annunziata, Kendalle Aubra, Gerald Sand, Tanya White-Davis & Anu Kotay, Luce deLire, Jason Haaf, Simon Critchley & Brad Evans, Marc Strauss, Chiara Bottici, Manya Steinkoler, Emma Lieber, Damien Patrick Williams, Shara Hardeson, Jill Gentile, Angelo Villa, Gabriela Costardi, Jamieson Webster, Sergio Benvenuto, Craig Slee, Álvaro D. Moreira, David Lichtenstein, Julie Fotheringham, John Dall’aglio, Matthew Oyer, Jessica Datema, Olga Cox Cameron, Katie Ebbitt, Juliana Portilho, Trevor Pederson, Elisabeth Punzi & Per-Magnus Johansson, Meredith Friedson, Steven Reisner, Léa Silveira, Patrick Scanlon, Júlio Mendes Rodrigo, Daniel Deweese, Julie Futrell, Gregory J. Stevens, Benjamin Y. Fong, Emma Lieber, Katy Bohinc, Wayne Wapeemukwa, Patricia Gherovici & Cassandra Seltman, Marie Brown, Buffy Cain, Claire-Madeline Culkin, Andrew Daul, Germ Lynn, Adel Souto, and paul aster stone-tsao”

  • Becoming Dangerous: Witchy Femmes, Queer Conjurers, and Magical Rebels, edited by Katie West and Jasmine Elliott, with foreword by Kristen J Sollée; picked up by a publisher after a successful crowdfunding effort, due in April

    West Elliott Sollée Becoming Dangerous

    “The difference between the witch and the layperson is that witches already know they are powerful. The layperson may only suspect.

    Edgy and often deeply personal, the twenty-one essays collected here come from a wide variety of writers. Some identify as witches, others identify as writers, musicians, game developers, or artists. What they have in common is that they’ve created personal rituals to summon their own power in a world that would prefer them powerless. Here, they share the rituals they use to resist self-doubt, grief, and depression in the face of sexism, slut shaming, racism, patriarchy, and other systems of oppression.”

  • A YEAR IN MUSIC: 1891, music hall’s boom-de-ay heyday” — Sophia Deboick, The New European

    “Wonder and spectacle were the bywords of 1891. In March, the Great Blizzard in the south of England resulted in 15ft snowdrifts that magically transformed the landscape. It was still an age of enchantment, as indicated by the fact that Helena Blavatsky, the founder of the esoteric theosophist movement, and William Robert Woodman, co-founder of the occultist Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, of which Aleister Crowley would later become the most famous member, both died yet left still active movements behind them.”

  • Suffering for the summit: One climber’s personal & painful journey to the top of K2” — Jacqueline Cutler, New York Daily News; about One Man’s Climb: A Journey of Trauma, Tragedy, and Triumph on K2 by Adrian Hayes

    Hayes One Man's Climb

    “Just getting to the foot of K2 starts with a weeklong trek across a glacier. And once you get there, there is no there, just bleak, uninhabited space. Everything, from housing and communications to food and first aid, has to be carried in.

    It’s not a job for the faint of heart, or light of wallet.

    It never has been. The mountain wasn’t even surveyed until 1852, and the first known climbing attempt was in 1902, an expedition of upper-class mountaineers including self-proclaimed warlock Aleister Crowley. They made it to about 20,000 feet before turning back.”

  • Instagram as Archive: Blake and Digital Art Culture” — William Blake Archive

    “Exciting news: the William Blake Archive now has an Instagram. This additional platform will enable Blake’s materials to reach new audiences through a primarily visual application, bringing decades of digital archival work into the pocket-sized cellular devices of over one billion active monthly users worldwide. Both known for ease of access and for interweaving the visual with the textual, Instagram and the William Blake Archive are a natural fit for one another.”

    View this post on Instagram

    Curious about the origins of the William Blake Archive Instagram? Check out this blog post on Hell’s Printing Press, The Blog of the Blake Archive and Blake Quarterly. We’re so happy to share this project with everyone! ✨ . . . link: https://blog.blakearchive.org/2019/03/19/instagram-as-archive-blake-and-digital-art-culture/ . . . #WilliamBlake #BlakeArchive #digitalhumanities #romanticism #romanticart #illumination #illustration #BritishArt #digitalarchive #propheticart #visionaryart #dream #surreal #blake #blakean #Europeanart #arthistory #blog #blogpost #williamblakeblog #instagramarchive #digitalartculture #universityofrochester #originstory #article #post #hellsprintingpress #blakequarterly

    A post shared by William Blake Archive (@williamblakearchive) on

  • Giraffes on Horseback Salad: Salvador Dalí, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made by Josh Frank and Tim Heidecker, illustrated by Manuela Pertega [HT Hyperallergic]

    Marx Brothers Dalí Frank Heidecker Partega Giraffes on Horseback Salad

    “This lushly illustrated graphic novel re-creates a lost Marx Brothers script written by modern art icon Salvador Dali.

    Grab some popcorn and take a seat…The curtain is about to rise on a film like no other! But first, the real-life backstory: Giraffes on Horseback Salad was a Marx Brothers film written by modern art icon Salvador Dali, who’d befriended Harpo. Rejected by MGM, the script was thought lost forever. Author and lost-film buff Josh Frank unearthed the original script, and Dali’s notes and sketches for the project, tucked away in museum archives. With comedian Tim Heidecker and Spanish comics creator Manuela Pertega, he’s re-created the film as a graphic novel in all its gorgeous full-color, cinematic, surreal glory. In the story, a businessman named Jimmy (played by Harpo) is drawn to the mysterious Surrealist Woman, whose very presence changes humdrum reality into Dali-esque fantasy. With the help of Groucho and Chico, Jimmy seeks to join her fantastical world—but forces of normalcy threaten to end their romance. Includes new Marx Brothers songs and antics, plus the real-world story behind the historic collaboration.

Other Minds

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith. My public library had several copies of this recent book on the shelf, and the sexy title makes it easy to imagine why. Author Peter Godfrey-Smith is a professor of philosophy and a scuba […]

The Fate of Dreams

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Doctor Strange: The Fate of Dreams by Devin Grayson. This original “prose” (i.e. not sequential-art) novel about Marvel occult superhero Doctor Strange was published in 2016, concurrently with the release of the MCU film featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Master of the Mystic Arts. In this book, Strange is […]

Omnium Gatherum: February 7, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for February 7, 2019

If you’d like to participate, head over to Omnium Gatherum on the BBS, or suggest something.

  • Dorothea Tanning, February 27—June 9, Tate Modern, London

    Tate Dorothea Tanning exhibit

    “Discover the artist who pushed the boundaries of surrealism

    This is the first large-scale exhibition of Dorothea Tanning’s work for 25 years. It brings together 100 works from her seven-decade career – from enigmatic paintings to uncanny sculptures.

    Tanning wanted to depict ‘unknown but knowable states’: to suggest there was more to life than meets the eye.”

  • The mythic connection between Netflix’s Punisher and Satan’s second-in-command, Mephistopheles. Frank is a devil who preys on sinners themselves.” — Cian Maher, Polygon

    “Despite being a devil, Mephistopheles isn’t inherently evil; he merely tries to save those who are hellbound from themselves before it’s too late, and escorts them to the fiery depths of it once they inevitably fail to heed his warnings. Neither does he reside in Hell. Instead, he brings it with him wherever he goes, pulling the damned in with him. He may be an agent for the devil incarnate, but he never consciously seeks to corrupt the hearts of men — only taking those who are already corrupted. As Willard Farnham puts it, ‘He appears because he senses in Faustus’ magical summons that Faustus is already corrupt, that indeed he is already ‘in danger to be damned.’’ And that’s exactly what Frank Castle does to those he sees as irrevocably damned. He appears not because they are powerful or impressive, but because he can see that they are too far gone.”

  • The Satanic Temple is finally getting its big screen moment. Hail Satan? makes a film about Satanists so compelling that you may want to become one.” — Karen Han, Polygon

    “Who knew Satanists were so lovely?”

  • Tweet by CrimsonChains

  • Russian Witches Cast Spells in Putin’s Support ” — The Moscow Times [HT Julia Ioffe]

    Moscow Times Russian witches cast spells in Putin's support

    “Russian witches and seers performed on Tuesday one of their most powerful rituals, “the circle of power,” to pass on their mystical energy to President Vladimir Putin.

    Dozens of people who claim to have supernatural powers stood side by side, reading spells in their effort to support the Russian head of state.

    Self-proclaimed leader of the Russian witches Alyona Polyn said the main intention of the gathering is to enhance quality of life in Russia, the whole world in general and to support the president.”

  • Gossip was a powerful tool for the powerless in Ancient Greece” — Fiona McHardy, Aeon

    “Athenians were well-aware of the calculated use of gossip to launch attacks on their enemies, and they made careful use of gossip in rhetoric to cast aspersions about their opponents in the law courts. The presence in legal cases of women’s gossip, including gossip spread by low-status members of society, demonstrates that the Athenians did not discriminate about the source, but took advantage of all kinds of gossip in their attempts to defeat their adversaries. Through calculated use of gossip, women, non-citizens or slaves with no access to official legal channels wielded a potent weapon in their attempts to attain revenge against those who wronged them.”

  • Keep Learning Science, Kids, with Baphomet, by Headline

    “How did the Devil invent science?

    Hey, kids! It’s your friend, the Prince of Darkness here. Just reminding you to smoke drugs, listen to death metal, and — above all else — keep learning science!

    I tell you what. It was hard work burying all those fake dinosaur fossils. And creating technology like radiocarbon dating. And putting all those ideas in Chucky Darwin’s head when he visited the Galapagos. But in the end, it was all worth it!

    So go ahead. Pick up that biology text book. Enrich your understanding of the physical and material world through observation and experimentation. What could be the harm? All the cool kids are doing it. Muhahahaha!”

  • Tweet by Dani Bostick [HT who]

  • Nigeria Muslims Mimic Pentecostal Worship Style to Attract People to Islam” — SUZETTE GUTIERREZ-CACHILA, Gospel Herald [HT Dr. Supernatural]

    “More and more Muslim groups in Nigeria are adapting a form of “charismatic Islam” in the hope of achieving the same success as Pentecostal churches in the country in terms of growth.”

  • Pope admits clerical abuse of nuns including sexual slavery” — BBC News

    “Pope Francis has admitted that clerics have sexually abused nuns, and in one case they were kept as sex slaves.

    He said in that case his predecessor, Pope Benedict, was forced to shut down an entire congregation of nuns who were being abused by priests.

    It is thought to be the first time that Pope Francis has acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns by the clergy.

    He said the Church was attempting to address the problem but said it was “still going on”.

    Last November, the Catholic Church’s global organisation for nuns denounced the “culture of silence and secrecy” that prevented them from speaking out.”

  • How a Demon-Slaying Pentecostal Billionaire Is Ushering in a Post-Catholic Brazil. Edir Macedo has a church, a bank, a TV channel, and a Moses complex. And with the election of Jair Bolsonaro, he has emerged as the country’s most controversial kingmaker.” — Alexander Zaitchik and Christopher Lord, The New Republic

    “The building is meant to be a supersized reproduction of the biblical Temple of Solomon, but by way of Caesar’s Palace.”