How the Model of Money Laundering Can Help Us Understand Abuse within 3HO

How the Model of Money Laundering Can Help Us Understand Abuse within 3HO Philip Deslippe In April 2016, an elderly woman in China was photographed kneeling and burning incense before a statue that she assumed was the deified third-century general Guan Yu, but was actually of Garen, a character from the video game League of Legends being used to promote a local internet café. Nine months later, a Brazilian grandmother learned that the statue of Saint Anthony of Padua that she prayed to every night for years was actually of the elvish Lord Elrond from a movie adaptation of J. […]

The Labyrinth of Molestation and Denial

“The Labyrinth of Molestation and Denial”  Chuck Rosenthal The following is an excerpt adapted from the Epilogue to my 2004/5 memoir, Never Let Me Go, Red Hen Press, Pasadena, California. One of the differences between stories and life is that stories end and life goes on, even after death.  Even after you die people have to bury you or burn you and fold up your stuff and look at your pictures and tell stories about you or ignore you or forget you, all things I tried to do with the boy, Chuck Rosenthal, who at nineteen stood at the edge […]

The Presence of One Man Rule in FLDS Mormonism: Contextualizing an American Religion that Became Synonymous with Abuse

The Presence of One Man Rule in FLDS Mormonism: Contextualizing an American Religion that Became Synonymous with Abuse Cristina Rosetti In the 1980s, the religious community that later incorporated as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) underwent a hierarchical transformation that shifted the locus of power away from a multi-person council who oversaw the faith toward One Man Rule, a doctrine that solidified authority around a single man. One Man Rule permeated every aspect of the faith, including marriage, family arrangements, and the economic order of the community. More than simply temporal affairs, the One […]

Clericalism as a Cultural Pattern: Aiding and Abetting Abuse

Clericalism as a Cultural Pattern: Aiding and Abetting Abuse Michael Horan Clericalism, like racism or sexism, festers within cultures and inside individual imaginations. Clericalism is based on social location in the Catholic church’s cultural system for both worship and governance, a system developed a millennium ago. Theologian Paul Lakeland asserts that all isms at their root are moved by a belief in the lesser humanity of the oppressed group. You know when you are adversely affected by an ism, but you hardly notice it if the ism benefits you. Just as sexism or racism privileges men over women and whites […]

Sacrilegious Episode 03: Who?

Who on earth studies religion? What are the forces that motivate someone to take up religion as a calling–not in terms of faith, but in terms of teaching and study? This episode explores some of the answers with reference to the host of Sacrilegious, Gary Laderman, who shares some of his perspectives and experiences on coming to the study of religion, being saved by education, and what he hopes to achieve in this enterprise.

Manufacturing Consent: Creating Hierarchies in the Guru-Disciple Relationship

Manufacturing Consent: Creating Hierarchies in the Guru-Disciple Relationship Amanda Lucia Sexual abuse happens across the globe and in nearly every environment. Recognizing this, religion scholar Andrea Jain argues that focusing on a specific religious context can be distracting and detrimental to tackling what is a global and ubiquitous problem. She writes, “The appeal to the dangers of guru charisma and devotion as an explanation for sexual violence pulls our attention away from larger social structures and norms that cultivate a dominant global culture of sexual violence … and lends itself to an orientalist stereotype of South Asians, their religions, and […]

Introduction: Abuse in Yoga and Beyond: Cultural Logics and Pathways for the Future

Introduction: Abuse in Yoga and Beyond: Cultural Logics and Pathways for the Future Christopher Miller In recent years, abuse scandals have shaken the yoga world once again, overturning previously held conceptions of yoga gurus, their teachings, and the individuals and organizations that have enabled their abuse. Most importantly, these abuse scenarios – whether they have involved sexual assault, cruelty, financial exploitation, etc. – have left individuals and communities disoriented, deeply traumatized, and desperately searching for answers. As Sacred Matters editor Gary Laderman writes, “the sacred is not always what it seems, can be associated with just about anything, and remains […]

Sacrilegious Episode 01: Why?

In the first episode of Sacrilegious, Gary Laderman explains some of his thinking behind starting the podcast. What is sacred? Are we religious in ways we may not be aware of or are not immediately obvious to the naked eye? From the get-go, the podcast asks listeners to begin reconsidering how they understand religion, define it, and identify it in the world around them, and to enter into a public discussion about the various ways religious forces of all kinds shape identities, communities, and societies. Religion is more than churches, temples, and mosques, and not always concerned with bibles, dogmas, […]