24 found
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  1.  81
    Is Li Hongzhi a CIA Agent? Tracing the Funding Trail Through the Friends of Falun Gong.James R. Lewis & Junhui Qin - 2020 - Journal of Religion and Violence 8 (3):298-307.
    In 2000, Mark Palmer, one of the National Endowment for Democracy’s founders and Vice Chairman of Freedom House—an organization funded entirely by the U.S. Congress—founded a new government-supported group, Friends of Falun Gong. By perusing FoFG’s annual tax filings, one discovers that FoFG has contributed funds to Sounds of Hope Radio, New Tang Dynasty TV, and the Epoch Times—all Falun Gong media outlets. FoFG has also contributed to Dragon Springs and to Shen Yun, as well as to Falun Gong’s PR (...)
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  2. UFOs and Popular Culture, An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Myth.James R. Lewis - 2002 - Utopian Studies 13 (1):216-217.
  3.  33
    Scientology vs. the Media.James R. Lewis - 2015 - Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 6 (1):61-78.
    The issue of Scientology and the media is in some ways an extension of the discussion of Scientology and controversy, and in other ways not. James R. Lewis’s “Scientology vs. the Media” surveys the larger question. In some ways, the Church of Scientology is but a case study of the larger media controversy surrounding new religions in general. From another perspective, Scientology’s Guardians Office was a uniquely vicious agency that, in the name of protecting the Church, ended up providing the (...)
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  4. Interview with Campbell Fraser, December 2019 and 2020.Margo Kitts & James R. Lewis - 2020 - Journal of Religion and Violence 8 (3):308-317.
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  5. A Burning Faith in the Master.James R. Lewis - 2018 - Journal of Religion and Violence 6 (2):172-190.
    Falun Gong is a qi gong group that entered into conflict with the Chinese state around the turn of the century, and gradually transformed into a political movement. Qi gong, in turn, is an ancient system of exercises that have been compared with yoga, though qi gong exercises more closely resemble the gentle, meditative movements of Tai Chi. Falun Gong was founded in the People’s Republic of China by Li Hongzhi in 1992, in the latter part of what has been (...)
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  6. New Religions, Contemporary Paganism, and Paranormal Beliefs.James R. Lewis & Sverre Andreas Fekjan - 2015 - Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 6 (2):253-268.
    Using data generated from questionnaires containing select items from the Baylor Religion Survey, the current study proposes to examine the paranormal interests and beliefs of participants in two specific alternative spiritual movements, contemporary Paganism and the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness. The analysis will be framed by a discussion of the larger alternative spiritual milieu in which these movements are rooted, and how belief in the paranormal is correlated more with this milieu than with involvement in these NRMs.
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  7. Sects and Violence: The “Standard Model” of New Religions Violence.James R. Lewis - 2013 - Journal of Religion and Violence 1 (1):99-121.
    In contrast with other subfields within religion-and-violence studies, the study of violence and new religious movements has tended to focus on a small set of incidents involving the mass deaths of members of controversial NRMs. Beginning with the suicide-murders of hundreds of members of the People’sTemple in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978, various explanations of such incidents have been offered – some focusing on the psychological make-up of the leaders; others on the near approach of the new millennium. Scholars of violent (...)
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  8. Toward a Paradigm for Longitudinal Studies: A Case Study of the Order of Christ Sophia.James R. Lewis - 2012 - Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 3 (1):42-58.
    In 2005, 2008 and 2011, demographic questionnaires were administered to the membership of the Order of Christ Sophia, a small new religion in the tradition of the Holy Order of MANS. Findings from these surveys are presented and discussed in terms of the parameters laid out by Lorne Dawson in his 2003 summary of NRM conversion research, ‘Who Joins New Religions and Why: Twenty Years of Research and What Have We Learned?’ In addition to analyzing the changes that have taken (...)
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  9. The Devil’s Demographics Changes in the Satanic Milieu, 2001–2009.James R. Lewis - 2011 - Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 2 (2):248-286.
    From August 2000 to February 2001, I conducted an online survey of what eventually became 140 self-identified Satanists. A report detailing my findings from that questionnaire research was published in the Marburg Journal of Religion under the title “Who Serves Satan? A Demographic and Ideological Profile.” Eight years later, from June through December of 2009, a comparable online survey of 300 Satanists was conducted. However, because of certain problems with the second questionnaire, a third online survey was launched in 2011 (...)
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  10. The Dwindling Spiral.James R. Lewis - 2014 - Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 5 (1):55-77.
    In 2012, the Church of Scientology’s Mission in Haifa, Israel, defected from the Church and reestablished itself as the independent Dror Center. The precipitatingevent was a critical email sent by high-ranking Scientologist Debbie Cook to her contacts throughout the Scientology world. The core of her critique was that theChurch was in decline – a decline she attributed to policies that deviated from guidelines set forth by Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard. The present paperanalyzes the current legitimation crisis within the Church (...)
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  11. The Scholarship of 'Cults' and the 'Cult'of Scholarship.James R. Lewis - forthcoming - Journal of Dharma.
     
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  12.  23
    Falun Gong and the Canada Media Fund.James R. Lewis & Nicole S. Ruskell - 2017 - Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 8 (2):263-272.
    What do Shen Yun, New Tang Dynasty TV, Human Harvest, The Art of Courage, Avenues of Escape, In the Name of Confucius, and The Bleeding Edge have in common, beyond their anti-China focus?—All, it turns out, are bankrolled by the Canadian government’s Canada Media Fund. In the present paper, we will provide a preliminary outline of these activities, and, in the words of our subtitle, ask: Why is the Canadian Government bankrolling an anti-China propaganda campaign?
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  13.  5
    The Gods Hate Fags.Xinzhang Zhang & James R. Lewis - 2020 - Journal of Religion and Violence 8 (3):281-297.
    In the ongoing struggle between Falun Gong and the Chinese state, Li Hongzhi’s reactionary social teachings are often mentioned in passing, but not examined in a systematic fashion. The present paper makes a preliminary effort in that direction, surveying Li’s homophobic, anti-miscegenist, anti-feminist et cetera pronouncements. On the one hand, these teachings often work at cross purposes with the movement’s efforts to garner support and to portray itself as the innocent victim of the Chinese state. On the other hand, the (...)
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  14.  6
    The Invention of Sacred Tradition.James R. Lewis & Olav Hammer (eds.) - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
    The dictionary definition of tradition refers to beliefs and practices that have been transmitted from generation to generation, however, 'tradition' can rest simply on the claim that certain cultural elements are rooted in the past. Claim and documented historical reality need not overlap. In the domain of religion, historically verifiable traditions coexist with recent innovations whose origins are spuriously projected back into time. This book examines the phenomenon of 'invented traditions' in religions ranging in time from Zoroastrianism to Scientology, and (...)
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  15.  10
    Monolithic Inferences.James R. Lewis - 2019 - Journal of Religion and Violence 7 (1):44-54.
    In the study of religion and terrorism, one of the most familiar incidents is the Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system in 1995. With the execution of Shoko Asahara and his close associates in the summer of 2018, it would appear that the last chapter in this tragic tale has finally been written. I would argue, however, that there are still lessons to be learned from this event. In the present article, I describe the complexity of the epistemic (...)
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  16.  13
    Same Trajectory, Different Prospects.James R. Lewis, Margrethe Løøv & Bernard Doherty - 2017 - Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 8 (1):123-149.
    Census data from Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom make clear that the irreligious as well as those who indicate No Religion in censuses are growing rapidly. Despite being dominated by young males, we find that the demographics of those who identify with some form of irreligion or who indicate they have no religion are becoming more gender balanced and are rising in age. However, we also find that atheists, agnostics, and humanists are not having children, meaning their current remarkable (...)
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  17.  4
    Danceageddon.James R. Lewis - 2020 - Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 11 (1):11-33.
    Falun Gong was originally a qigong group that entered into conflict with the Chinese state around the turn of the century. It gradually transformed into both a religious group and a political movement. Exiled to the United States, the founder-leader, Li Hongzhi, acquired property near Cuddebackville, New York, which he subsequently designated Dragon Springs. Dragon Springs, in turn, became the headquarters of Shen Yun Performing Arts, an ambitious touring dance and music company that claims to embody the traditional culture of (...)
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  18.  9
    Innocent Victims of Chinese Oppression, or Media Bullies? Analyzing Falun Gong’s Media Strategies.James R. Lewis & Nicole S. Ruskell - 2017 - Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 8 (2):219-236.
    It is a well-established fact that most new, non-traditional religious groups are treated negatively in the mass media. However, Falun Gong, the qi gong group that was banned in China in 1999, is a marked exception to this general tendency. Why should this be the case? In the present paper, we examine the various factors that combine to make Falun Gong the exception to the rule. We also call attention to this organization’s pattern of attacking critics, as well as their (...)
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  19.  7
    Processual Pagans.James R. Lewis, Xinzhang Zhang & Oscar-Torjus Utaaker - 2018 - Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 9 (2):257-265.
    There is a common pattern for researchers to study one particular new religion, write a monograph or article on that specific group, and then begin the cycle all over again with a different group. This approach causes one to remember such groups as relatively stable organizations, fixed in memory at a specific stage of development, rather than as dynamic, evolving groups. In the present article, we will examine new data on contemporary Pagans that takes a quasi-longitudinal approach to survey data. (...)
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  20.  10
    Sucking the ‘De’ Out of Me.James R. Lewis - 2016 - Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 7 (1):93-109.
    In March 2015, a Falun Gong practitioner began an extended email assault on an Australian academician, an academician who had written about the confrontation between this practitioner’s movement and the People’s Republic of China in ways that the practitioner deemed overly critical of Falun Gong. This person demanded that the academician retract her article, implicitly threatening to defame her, her university, and the journal in which her piece appeared, and, possibly, file a lawsuit if she did not accede to his (...)
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  21.  10
    Using the “F-Word” in Religious Studies.James R. Lewis - 2014 - Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 5 (2):188-204.
    The present article proposes that the notion of forgery be incorporated as an analytic category within religious studies. Following a brief outline of three key periods of religious studies, the factors that have made researchers hesitant to deal with the topic are examined. Religious forgeries are then discussed in terms of different parameters, such as the age of the fabrication, the extent of the forgery and the mode of revelation. With the exception of forgeries created simply for “the fun of (...)
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  22.  2
    Modern Satanism: Anatomy of a Radical Subculture by Chris Mathews. [REVIEW]James R. Lewis - 2010 - Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 1 (1):101-105.
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  23.  5
    Editor's Introduction.James R. Lewis - 2014 - Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 5 (2):185-187.
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  24.  1
    The Branch Davidians: Through the Lens of Jonestown.James R. Lewis - 2011 - Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 2 (1):55-88.
    Ever since Jonestown, part of the “cult” stereotype has been that NRMs are volatile groups, ready to commit group suicide at the drop of a hat. The assumption that the Branch Davidian community was a potential Jonestown may or may not have contributed to the initial ill-advised ATF raid. But, following the fiery holocaust set in motion by the FBI raid 51 days later, defenders of these agencies’ actions uniformly portrayed the Davidians as having been a “suicide group.” The present (...)
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