Murder charge in the death of Bethany Deaton dismissed

Micah Moore Prosecutors have dropped charges against Micah Moore, who falsely confessed to the murder of Bethany Deaton, the wife of his spiritual leader.

Deaton’s death had been ruled a suicide before Moore’s admission. Prosecutors now say they will keep the case as an open investigation. [Read more...]

Has Ebola scared away the faith healers?

Benny Hinn Faith healers, who claim that God has anointed them to heal the sick and — in some cases — to raise the dead as well, have been notably absent lately. Are they scared of Ebola?

Also: China’s anti-cult efforts predictably also target Christians worshiping in house churches. [Read more...]

Murder confession followed IHOP church’s ‘exorcism session’

Bethany Deaton Micah Moore’s confession to the murder of Bethany Deaton — the wife of his spiritual leader Tyler Deaton — came after an ‘International House of Prayer’ group exorcism session , his attorneys claim.

In a motion to dismiss Moore’s confession they argue that according to the admission of detectives there is no evidence that Bethany’s death was anything other than a suicide.” [Read more...]

Children accused of Witchcraft: abuse cases on the rise in UK

Victoria Climbié London’s Metropolitan Police reports that cases of abuse where the child is accused of being a witch or possessed by an evil spirit are on the rise.

Parents, other guardians, and in several cases pastors and church members who believe a child is possessed often resort to physical abuse in order to try and get the spirits to leave. [Read more...]

A cult ‘expert’ leeches from Religion News Blog

To those who have contacted us: Yes, we know that ‘cult expert’ Rick Alan Ross (who is known for, among other controversies, his vicious and ongoing attacks on cult experts he disagrees with) uses Religion News Blog’s Twitter feed as a source for his own efforts which are then, apparently, posted to his Twitter stream as well.

Rick Ross uses Religion News Blog's Twitter feed as a source for his own efforts

We have some identifying measures in place which help document the copying. But in addition to those measures, there are many other indications of abuse (e.g. the timing of the posts, the amount of time between the posts, the amount of time it would take to find and post the copied material, the sources, etcetera).

Some who have reported the plagiarism to us say that “Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.”

Examples of plagiarism by Rick Alan Ross

We have documented that Rick Alan Ross plagiarizes Religion News Blog's Twitter stream

Two people jokingly said his behavior reminds them of a statement attributed, wrongly, to Samuel Johnson: “Your manuscript is both good and original. But the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.”

Rick Ross leeches Religion News Blog's twitter stream postings

Others have pointed out the hypocrisy of using a source he constantly denounces.

We ourselves find it interesting to note that someone who claims he’s never been busier in his 30 years in the field finds so much time to spend to follow us on Twitter. Perhaps a lack of time leads him to violate Twitter’s rules regarding plagiarism? (It should be noted that Twitter’s do’s and dont’s apply even to items automatically duplicated from outside sources).

Regardless, the constant copying is one of many reasons we remind people to be careful when selecting a cult expert — and in particular this one.

Not only is leeching other people’s work unethical, but it is also self-destructive, as others may rightly wonder what else has been lifted.

There are hundreds of examples in which Rick Alan Ross copies @religionnews on his own Twitter stream

There are hundreds of examples in which Rick Alan Ross copies @religionnews on his own Twitter stream

Hint: Stay away from one-man ‘institutes’ or ‘networks’ and carefully research whether someone who declares himself an ‘expert’ is actually accepted as such by, say, the professionals associated with the International Cultic Studies Association.

Meanwhile, join 14,400+ people (and one plagiarist) who enjoy our Religion News Twitter feed:

Jonestown cult massacre remains found; more religion news

Jonestown Peoples Temple cult Ashes of nine victims of the 1978 Jonestown murder & suicide massacre have been found among unclaimed containers in a Delaware funeral home.

The forced sale of an Australian doomsday cult’s compound fell through as the property did not attract any bids.

The accountant in charge of the FLDS cult’s property trust is in hot water over allegations that he patronized a prostitute.

Also, cult expert Rosanne Henry. [Read more...]