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Colorado Fire May Have Started on Sect's Land

Witnesses saw something burning on property of Twelve Tribes

(Newser) - Moments before a wildfire raged through Colorado suburbs last week, a structure was spotted burning on land owned by a Christian fundamentalist sect. Investigators working to determine the cause of the fire are now focusing on that property, the New York Times reports. Witnesses have reported seeing a structure burning,...

Amy Barrett's in a 'Charismatic' Catholic Group —But Is It a Cult?
Amy Barrett
Is in a Group
That 'Speaks
in Tongues'
the rundown

Amy Barrett Is in a Group That 'Speaks in Tongues'

The media spotlight falls on a 'charismatic community' called People of Praise

(Newser) - President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court belongs to a tightly knit Catholic group called People of Praise—but what exactly is it? The media spotlight is falling on Amy Coney Barrett's "charismatic community" and reviving questions about its spiritual advisers, communal living spaces, and alleged connection...

Jewish Sect Kidnapped New York Children: Report

Prosecutors charge 4 in late-night abduction

(Newser) - Extremist sect, meet the FBI. Prosecutors have charged four men allegedly involved in kidnapping two New York state children in order to haul them down to an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group in Guatemala, the Journal News reports. Seems Nachman Helbrans, 36, Mayer Rosner, 42, Jacob Rosner, 20—all of Guatemala—coordinated...

Cops Bust 'Psycho Sect' That Pushed Strict Macrobiotic Diet

Italian police say one follower of Mario Pianesi dropped to just 77 pounds

(Newser) - He called doctors "assassins" and convinced sick followers to adhere to a strict macrobiotic diet, police in Italy say. But in reality, police say those who followed the teachings of 73-year-old Mario Pianesi and his 51-year-old wife were fleeced for money, manipulated into working for next to nothing for...

Russia Sect Spent Decade Underground —Literally

Islamist group kept 27 children from seeing daylight

(Newser) - Russian authorities have freed 27 children who were living in underground cells as part of an Islamist sect. Some of the kids, ages 1 to 17, had never experienced daylight before, the Telegraph reports. They lived in the dark, without heat, among 70 members of the Tatarstan province sect, many...

Nigeria Attacks Leave 67 Dead

Islamist sect claims responsibility

(Newser) - An Islamist sect is claiming responsibility for bomb blasts and gun battles that claimed at least 67 lives in northern Nigeria yesterday, AFP reports. Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked churches, an army base, and police stations, leaving scenes of devastation across four towns. The town of "Damaturu is looking...

Accused FLDS Rapist Gets 30 Days

Allen Steed's testimony helped convict polygamist Warren Jeffs

(Newser) - A member of a breakaway Mormon polygamy sect who admitted having sex with his child bride will serve just 30 days in jail as part of a Utah plea deal. Allen Steed was initially charged with first-degree felony rape for bedding his 14-year-old first cousin. He could have faced life...

Why the 'War on Islam' Is All Wrong

MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan makes his case after O'Reilly comment

(Newser) - After Bill O’Reilly sparked a furor on the View with his comment that “Muslims killed us on 9/11,” MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan made an impassioned distinction today between Muslims and a Saudi-funded sect that has gone under the public radar, Mediaite reports. “There’s a small group...

Cops Hunt 'Cult,' Suspect Suicide Mission

Religious group left behind notes that talked of 'going to heaven'

(Newser) - California cops are hunting a breakaway religious group they call "cult-like" after five adults and at least eight kids went missing last night—leaving behind deeds, cellphones, final notes that referred to "going to heaven," and the strong indication they were on a mass suicide mission, reports...

Duggar Critics See Fringe Cult
 Duggar Critics See Fringe Cult 
19 kids & counting

Duggar Critics See Fringe Cult

Enquirer notes link with group that wants to overthrow government

(Newser) - If the National Enquirer is to be believed, the Duggars don’t have 19 children simply because they love kids: No, it’s because they belong to a cult that plans to take over the US government. Jim Bob and Michelle, stars of TLC’s 19 Kids & Counting, are...

Sect Leader's Daughter Still in State Custody

As other kids return home, 16-year-old remains in foster care

(Newser) - The hundreds of kids returned to their FLDS-member parents over the past 2 days did not include one high-profile child: the 16-year-old daughter of sect leader Warren Jeffs. The girl's lawyer pushed to keep her in state custody because she has been sexually abused by an adult sect member—not...

Sect Parents Reuniting With Kids in Texas
Sect Parents Reuniting With Kids in Texas

Sect Parents Reuniting With Kids in Texas

Meanwhile, church elder forbids all underage unions

(Newser) - As polygamist parents reunited with their kids in Texas today, a sect elder said the church will no longer allow underage marriages. But Willie Jessop called the sect misunderstood and insisted that past unions have all been mutual. Meanwhile, tearful parents held their children outside Texas foster sites after a...

Sect Kids Should Go Home, Texas High Court Says

Justice uphold ruling saying state had no right to take sect children

(Newser) - The Texas Supreme Court agreed today that children from a polygamist sect should be returned to their parents, reports the Dallas Morning News. They could be home within days. The ruling leaves state officials with few legal options, though they could try to retain custody of some of the more...

Sect Elder Blasts 'Terrorist' Raid

'It does not require a foreign country to commit terrorist acts on American soil,' letter to Bush reads

(Newser) - An elder of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints condemned the raid against a sect compound in Texas last month as a “terrorist act” in a letter to President Bush, CNN reports. Members of the FLDS have complained of the treatment of the families whose...

Teen From Texas Sect Gives Birth
Teen From Texas Sect Gives Birth

Teen From Texas Sect Gives Birth

State says she's younger than 18, but ranch officials deny it

(Newser) - One of the teens taken from a polygamist sect in Texas gave birth to a boy today as state police stood guard outside her hospital room, the Houston Chronicle reports. State officials say the mother is younger than 18 and that she will be taken to a foster care facility...

Eldorado Sect Has Branch in South Dakota

No abuse allegations, but police wonder about 'locked-down operation'

(Newser) - The polygamous sect currently under investigation in Eldorado, Texas, has a sister compound in Pringle, SD—and it's making locals queasy, USA Today reports. The Pringle compound was started by the same leader in 2003, and is valued over $4.5 million. "They don't just open their doors,"...

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