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Dr Isaac Golden #fundie #quack smh.com.au

A leading Australian anti-vaxxer and Senate candidate has a secret past as a key member of a bizarre quasi-religious cult whose leader was jailed for sex crimes against the children of cult members.

Dr Isaac Golden, a homeopath from Gisborne, Victoria, has confirmed he was heavily involved in the organisation but denied encouraging or being involved in any abuse. The cult was unnamed but dubbed 'The Seaside Sect" in early media reports. It was active in the 1970s and '80s after forming in Goulburn, NSW and then Sydney.

The cult’s leader Ian Lowe, now dead, was a former policeman from New Zealand who reinvented himself as Alistah Laishkochev, a paedophile with a harem of nine wives and 63 of his own children, and a belief system based on UFOs and Hawaiian-Old Testament spirituality, according to court documents and insider accounts.

Dr Golden is the national secretary and Victorian director of the Health Australia Party (HAP) which promotes natural medicine and distrusts mainstream medicine and medical research. The party states in election and publicity material it is not anti-vaccination but rather supports parents’ right to choose. However, it wanted to overturn the Turnbull government’s "no-jab, no-pay" policy, which denied welfare benefits to families with unvaccinated children.

The party gained the coveted first position on the NSW Senate ballot in 2016, from where it received 1.18 per cent of first preference votes and negligible results in three other states.

Dr Golden's PhD contended that homeopathic immunisation had a 90 per cent success rate on his own patients. He sells "nosodes" or homeopathic vaccines from his Gisborne clinic.

[...]

“Isaac Golden was involved right from the start,” said a former cult member who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “He didn’t have a particular role as such because Lowe was basically a dictator. But I would say he was definitely part of the unofficial hierarchy. He was pretty well up at the top as far as the men went.” There is no suggestion Dr Golden was involved in or encouraged any child sexual abuse perpetrated by Lowe.

[...]

Dr Golden was awarded a PhD by Swinburne University’s Graduate School of Integrative Medicine in 2004 and was attached to Federation University in Ballarat as an honorary research fellow until 2016. Two years after his Swinburne PhD the university discontinued complementary medicine programs.

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Margaret Court #fundie smh.com.au

Far from modifying her denouncement of gay marriage, tennis champion Margaret Court has broadened it, saying that it was causing huge problems in countries where it was legalised, that homosexuality was an ungodly "lust for the flesh" and that LGBT tendencies in young people were "all the devil".

"That's what Hitler did. That's what communism did," Court said, "get in the minds of the children. There's a whole plot in our nation and in the nations of the world to get in the minds of the children."

She said the gay lobby was a minority, yet somehow was bullying the majority. She said she had nothing against gay people, who could do as they pleased, except marry in the Christian tradition. But she also said homosexuality was a sin. "So is adultery. So is fornication," she said. "All those things are a lust for the flesh. We know it's not God. They know it, too."

Tennis was full of lesbians, she said. In her day, there were only "a couple", but they were disproportionately influential. "They took the young ones to parties and things," she said.

Schoolchildren who struggled with their sexual identities must have been raised by parents who "don't care", surmised Court. She said she was a tomboy who liked to wear shorts and could kick a footy, prompting her mother to say: "You should have been a boy." But she never had any doubt.

"If you feel like being a girl, you can dress like a girl," mused Court. "What confusion to a child. I get confused talking about it. You can think, 'I'm a boy', and it affects your emotions and feelings and everything else. That's all the devil."

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Nathan Sykes #racist smh.com.au

"The only thing we can truly hope for - aside from a serious car accident, death by stroke or tumour, a freak lightning strike, spontaneous combustion, or being swallowed up by a sinkhole and never heard from again - is that [Ms Veiszadeh] is being genuine about all these mean comments affecting her emotionally," Sykes wrote.

"With a little bit of a psychological push, by cleverly using a carriage or service, it just might be possible to drive her over the edge … Be mean to Mariam. Make it a mini-mantra."

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Bangalore Hindu fundamentalists #fundie smh.com.au

An angry mob in India has threatened to "skin" a Melbourne tourist for having a tattoo of a Hindu goddess on his leg.

Matthew Gordon, 21, was having lunch at a restaurant in the southern city of Bangalore, known locally as Bengaluru, with his girlfriend, Emily Kassianou, 20, about 2pm on Saturday when about a dozen right-wing activists from the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party began harassing the couple.

The activists said a tattoo of the fertility goddess Yellamma on Mr Gordon's shin offended their religious sentiments, and they ordered him to remove it.

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Bangalore deputy police commissioner Sandeep Patil said Mr Gordon told officers at the station that the men had threatened to skin his leg if he did not remove the tattoo.

"I was relieved to see a policeman, but much to my shock he started to blame me, and said: 'This is India and we are insulting Hindus'," Mr Gordon later told The Hindu daily.

"He then took me to the station ... we were forced to sit there for three hours. They let me go only after I gave an apology saying I will cover this tattoo."

Tensions between Mr Gordon and the activists eased only after the 21-year-old tourist wrote a letter of apology addressed to a local police inspector in which he agreed to cover up his tattoo while in India.

However, police said on Monday they had obtained CCTV footage of the incident and were taking it seriously.

"[We] will act against them [the activists] if they are guilty," Mr Patil told reporters.

Critics say right-wing Hindu extremists have been emboldened by the BJP's victory in a general election last year.

In August, a leading scholar who had spoken out against idol worship was murdered in Karnataka state – where Bangalore is located – after receiving death threats from Hindu hardliners.

Mr Gordon, a law student, told The Hindu he had a strong attachment to the faith after spending three years in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

He said he had another tattoo on his back of the Hindu elephant god, Ganesh, that took 35 hours to complete.

"These tattoos mean a lot to me. I'm not sporting them because of their exoticism. I know the mythology and the values of the gods inked on me," the paper quoted him as saying.

Australia's high commission said it was concerned about the incident and was speaking to local authorities.

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Alex Sharah, "Psychiatrist" #fundie smh.com.au

Psychiatrist Alex Sharah, who compared lesbians to paedophiles, disqualified.


A mother who had a stillborn baby was spoken to about abortion, a Muslim woman was blessed with holy water, an alcoholic was advised to connect with Jesus and a depressed young woman was told to pray.

Psychiatrist Alexander Anthony Sharah, 80, has been disqualified from registering as a medical practitioner after inappropriate treatment of patients, having also compared lesbians to paedophiles, because both "don't know that they are doing something wrong so we still have to love them".

In a decision handed down on Wednesday, the Civil and Administrative Tribunal rebuked Mr Sharah – a former candidate for the Christian Democratic Party – for encouraging his patients to explore religion to ease their mental health problems.

The decision said: "More than one of the patients referred to the displays of religious objects and material in his waiting room and consulting room, something which, in our view, is clearly inappropriate.
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"[Mr Sharah] was indifferent, we consider, to whether patients might find unwelcome and confronting references to the power of prayer, religious beliefs and gestures that had religious symbolism, such as clasping hands and presenting crucifixes."

Mr Sharah? is also a "figurehead" in the Men's Justice Movement, which believes the Family Court favours women over men after marriage breakdowns.

One woman, known as Patient D, sought treatment from Mr Sharah for post-traumatic stress disorder, after her son was stillborn during an induced birth at 22 weeks, due to the baby's serious heart condition.

During two consultations in July 2013, Mr Sharah said her son was "God's will" and that "God can help you".

Patient D's witness statement said: "After the first consultation, I felt extremely uncomfortable. He had continuously brought up religion. I am not religious in any way, but I was too vulnerable and absolutely petrified of the terrible place I was in emotionally to say anything.

"He also kept using words like 'abortion' and 'termination', which absolutely mortified me, as that was not what we did to our baby boy."

Another woman, known as Patient C, went to Mr Sharah for treatment of bipolar disorder.

During a consultation in December 2012, he used holy water to draw the sign of the cross on her forehead, despite knowing she was a Muslim, and prayed while standing over her.

"Clearly the conduct ... was inappropriate and was magnified in its inappropriateness, when the patient was an adherent of a non-Christian faith."

The commission found complaints of professional misconduct against Mr Sharah proven, and also made findings of impairment and incompetence.

Mr Sharah cannot reapply for registration for at least two years.

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Bill Thomas #fundie smh.com.au

I do wish that the Herald editorial team would stop presenting Carl Sagan science fiction gibberish dressed up as if it were fact (''The little spacecraft that could'', September 14-15). It occurred over the weekend, when we were fed a far-fetched story about a space vehicle named Voyager and interstellar exploration.

This is the same type of pseudo scientific mumbo jumbo that exploiters of the public purse have been doing with climate change over many years. It is arrant nonsense and has to stop right here and now. The Herald does itself no favours by printing it, pretending that the sci-fi exaggerations are factual.

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Bishop Anthony Fisher #fundie smh.com.au

GODLESSNESS and secularism led to Nazism, Stalinism, mass murder and abortion, according to Anthony Fisher, the new bishop of Parramatta, who has used his inaugural Easter message to launch a scathing attack on atheism, while ignoring the sex abuse scandals besieging the Catholic Church worldwide.

God is dead, Bishop Fisher said, but not in the sense that atheists mean.

Good Friday is the anniversary of Christ's death on the cross, and the Easter festival shows that he lives despite efforts to kill him off, according to the archbishop, who is tipped by many to become the next head of the church in Australia and leads the largest Catholic diocese in the country.

''Last century we tried godlessness on a grand scale and the effects were devastating,'' he said.

''Nazism, Stalinism, Pol-Pottery, mass murder and broken relationships: all promoted by state-imposed atheism or culture-insinuated secularism.''

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Greg Craven #fundie smh.com.au

FROM time immemorial, this world has been troubled by plagues. From bogong moths in Canberra to frogs in biblical Egypt, unwelcome and unlovely creatures have the awkward habit of turning up in bulk.

Just now, we are facing one of our largest and least appealing infestations. Somewhat in advance of summer's blowflies, we are beset by atheists.

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Marcio Miranda #fundie smh.com.au

A nine-year-old girl who was carrying twins, allegedly after being raped by her stepfather, has undergone an abortion despite complaints from Brazil's Catholic Church...

... Marcio Miranda, a lawyer for the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife in north-eastern Brazil, said the girl should have carried the twins
to term and had a caesarean section.

"It's the law of God: do not kill. We consider this murder," Ms Miranda said in comments reported by O Globo.

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Tom Frame #fundie smh.com.au

The problem I face is weariness with science-based dialogue partners like Richard Dawkins. It surprises me he is not chided for his innate scientific conservatism and metaphysical complacency. He won't take his depiction of Darwinism to logical conclusions. A dedicated Darwinian would welcome imperialism, genocide, mass deportation, ethnic cleansing, eugenics, euthanasia, forced sterilisations and infanticide. Publicly, he advocates none of them.

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Baptist Pastor Kevin Harris #fundie smh.com.au

A BAPTIST pastor has admitted telling Jewish leaders that Jews were "going to hell" and faced a fate "worse than the Holocaust" because they had not accepted Jesus as their saviour.

Mr Harris said his comments were made in a private meeting "in my lounge room" and admitted using the word "holocaust" but said it was Biblical language.

"I explained that I love the Jewish people very much and that some awful times were coming for them but I did not wish that upon them at all."

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Madonna #fundie smh.com.au

Guy Ritchie has been re-united with his sons for the first time in weeks, but the meeting reportedly came with a list of 12 strict rules from estranged wife Madonna.

The rules insist that Ritchie must allow the boys to only drink Kabbalah water - spring water that has been blessed by Kabbalah religious leaders.

They also forbid toys that are "spiritually unsound".

Another rule: the children be prevented from looking at newspapers, magazines, TV or DVDs.

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Reverend Richard Lane #fundie smh.com.au

A SENIOR minister of a Sydney Anglican parish has made an extraordinary attack on the High Court judge Michael Kirby, warning he would face the wrath of God if he remained unrepentant as a gay man.

The rector of St Stephen's Church in Bellevue Hill, the Reverend Richard Lane, denounced the judge for calling himself a Christian Anglican while living in an openly gay relationship and warned as a "messenger, watchman and steward of the Lord in the Anglican Church of Australia", he faced God's judgment.

To call himself a Christian Anglican was a "perversion of truth" and to continue to do so without changing his lifestyle would brand him, like Herod, a "coward, a liar, a deceiver" and a "lawless one".

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Mercy Ministries #fundie smh.com.au

[Regarding the experiences of 2 women with Mercy Ministries, who offer a 6 month residential program in Sydney Australia, for young women who are battling life-controlling issues such as eating disorders, self harm, abuse, depression and anxiety.]

Desperate for help, they had turned to Mercy Ministries suffering mental illness, drug addiction and eating disorders.

Instead of the promised psychiatric treatment and support, they were placed in the care of Bible studies students, most of them under 30 and some with psychological problems of their own. Counselling consisted of prayer readings, treatment entailed exorcisms and speaking in tongues, and the house was locked down most of the time, isolating residents from the outside world and sealing them in a humidicrib of pentecostal religion.

[Various other fundie insanity outlined in the article]

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Vishnu Khandelwal #fundie smh.com.au

An Indian court will this week hear testimony that British model Elizabeth Hurley and her husband Arun Nayar mocked Hindu traditions with their "showcase" wedding, a lawyer said on Tuesday.

A decision whether the glamorous couple should be prosecuted in the desert city of Jodhpur - where they wed a month ago but may now risk jail - could come as early as next week, said lawyer Hastimal Saraswat.

The pair staged a lavish ceremony at a Rajasthan fort that was exclusively covered by celebrity magazine Hello!, which reportedly paid £2 million ($4.8 million) for the rights.

But after seeing the pictures in the magazine, an angry Jodhpur resident hired Saraswat to take legal action.

"Liz Hurley and Arun Nayar insulted Hindu tradition and I want them to be severely punished," Vishnu Khandelwal, a devout Hindu who runs a printing press, said.

The court has already heard from two witnesses, including Khandelwal, and will hear testimony from at least three more, including a Hindu priest, said lawyer Saraswat.

Khandelwal said he was upset when he saw Hurley and Nayar had taken alcohol prior to the religious rites and kissed near the sacred fire that Hindus hold to be the witness to the marriage.

"They sat on a sofa and they were supposed to sit on the floor," Khandelwal added.

His petition to the court - which will decide whether or not to prosecute - also pointed out that Hurley wore leather footwear near the fire, in a land that worships the cow.