Is Oprah a Cult Leader?

Is Oprah a Cult Leader?

POSTED ON: 05.27.06
OprahHer television show is a pulpit of sorts, where millions of American women tune in to hear from their great guru on everything from improving their souls to shedding their pounds. Much like a mega-church, her flock then breaks up into various small groups around the country to read the books she recommends so that her disciples can continue to grow in thinking and living according to her teaching.

For further indoctrination there is also her monthly magazine named, you guessed it, O. Like an icon upon which to meditate, her photo adorns the cover of every issue of her magazine as she is glorified in suburban homes across the nation.

In a November poll conducted at Beliefnet.com, a site that looks at how religions and spirituality intersect with popular culture, 33 percent of 6,600 respondents said Winfrey has had “a more profound impact” on their spiritual lives than their clergypersons. “She puts the ‘cult’ in pop culture,” wrote media critic Mark Jurkowitz in The Phoenix.

The fifty-two-year-old Oprah Winfrey is reportedly worth a whopping $1.4 billion and is now the moral conscience and feminist prophetic voice of a generation of women. Following Hurricane Katrina, she showed up in New Orleans to berate the failure of the government as a voice for social concern. In February she attended the funeral of Coretta Scott King as an icon for civil rights while standing next to the coffin. Additionally, she regularly speaks to female guests on her show about everything from living a better life to caring for the poor and oppressed around the world.

Her fame is rising above even legendary evangelists such as my hero Billy Graham. Her television show is now watched by 49 million people in this nation, as well as many more in 122 other nations.

Jamie Foxx said, “You’re going to get to heaven and everyone’s waiting on God and it’s going to be Oprah Winfrey.” Cathleen Falsani, religion writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, recently suggested, “I wonder, has Oprah become America’s pastor?” Oprah has herself referred to her television show as her “ministry.”

Oprah seems to be a contradiction perfectly suited for a confused world of pluralism. She is a billionaire who speaks passionately about the pain and suffering in the world from the comforts of her sheltered life. She is among the most beloved icons of mothers yet she has never had any children. Many viewers tune in to learn how to improve their marriages yet she has never been married. And, she speaks of spiritual matters often and has an entire segment of her show titled “spirit,” which makes you wonder which spirit she’s referring to.

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Is Oprah Starting Her Own Cult?

OPRAH AND THE GOSPEL OF ME

Obama’s Greenbacks from Code Pink

Obama’s Greenbacks from Code Pink

By Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | 4/15/2008

IF THE MEDIA WERE COMPETENT, THE NAME JODIE EVANS would be as well-known as Jeremiah Wright.

According to Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen, Evans has bundled “at least $50,000” in donations for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. “Bundling” is a process in which people turn over a large number of “individual” political contributions as a group, in the hope of exerting greater influence if their candidate is elected.

According to Human Events reporter Catherine Moy, “Evans and her son, a student who lives at her Southern California address, each also gave the maximum individual allowable donation of $2,300 to Obama’s campaign.”  

And who is Jodie Evans? A former political appointee of Jerry Brown during his tenure as governor of California and his presidential campaigns, Evans briefly made headlines in 2003 by arranging for women to claim Arnold Schwarzenegger groped them. However, she has kept lower company for the last few years. Her official biography states “her life has been consumed with Codepink: Women for Peace since September of 2002.”

In fact, Evans is a co-founder of the antiwar radical group Code Pink with Medea Benjamin. As I reported at the time, Evans and Code Pink delivered $600,000 in cash and supplies to “the other side” in Fallujah in December 2004. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA, signed the letter to get them to that city, a recent battlefield and stronghold for terrorists killing American soldiers.

In August 2006, she joined 11 other far-leftists in a Code Pink-sponsored trip to meet Iraqi “political leaders” with Benjamin, Cindy Sheehan, and Tom Hayden. Team member Geoffrey Millard referred to this trip as “diplomatic communication,” making such a trip potentially illegal, violating the prohibition for private citizens to conduct their own foreign policy. Among Iraqi parliamentarians, they met:

  • Sheikh Ahmad al-Kubaysi, who once declared foreign-born jihadists killing U.S. soldiers “very brave.” He added, “These Mujahideen are guaranteed Paradise.” He is said to have given militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr $50 million.
  • Saleh al-Mutlaq, the trip’s prime sponsor, who chided Americans for trying “to brand as terrorists the honorable national resistance movements,” adding, “We cannot give peace.”

Code Pink announced after this trip, “We left this historic meeting with a commitment to make sure that the voices of these Iraqi parliamentarians are heard here in the U.S.” Indeed, one delegation member, a DailyKos blogger who ran for Congress in 2006, blogged, “if justice is to ever come to the people of Iraq, the people we call insurgents will have to be recognized as the ones who are actually defending their homeland.

Evans took the opportunity to praise Iraq…under Saddam Hussein:


Let’s go back to the Iraq before we invaded, there was a good education and health care system, food for everyone. That system didn’t belong to Saddam it belonged to the Iraqi, it belonged to years of creating what a civilization needed. If your parents didn’t send you to school they could be put in jail.

That Evans could write such words about a regime that often forced parents to watch their children being raped and tortured – even if they were favorable to Saddam’s government – strains credulity, but not more than anonymous allegations that American soldiers were plundering murderers.

Evans related that one nameless source told her, “We witnessed with our own experience how American tanks used to break Universities and asked people to loot them.

Such operations were part of her long-term plan to sap American soldiers in Iraq of their will to fight. I also reported in July 2003, Jodie Evans sits on the Advisory Board of Iraq Occupation Watch (IOW), a group formed by Castroites Medea Benjamin and Leslie Cagan to convince American soldiers in Iraq to declare themselves “conscientious objectors” and get sent home. IOW similarly spread propaganda stories about American “atrocities” and emphasize stories of antiwar demonstrations at home to demoralize U.S. troops in battle.

Not limited to fawning over Middle Eastern dictators, Evans joined with Cindy Sheehan and Medea Benjamin to meet Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez in January 2006. Chavez, Sheehan claimed, was “a democratically elected leader who is very popular in his country.” (He is popular. Or else.) She and her fellow Code Pink radicals met with Chavez during the visit and even praised his singing voice.

As Jean Pearce has noted on FrontPage, Evans is also institutionally tied to Mike Roselle through as a Director of the Rainforest Action Network. Roselle is the founder of the domestic terrorist organization Earth Liberation Front (ELF), “which along with the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) is ranked the No. 1 domestic terrorism threat by the FBI. The FBI attributes over 600 criminal acts and $43 million in damages to the two groups since 1996.”  

Now she has found a new champion: Barack Obama. If he has any sense of decency, Obama should repudiate Evans. At a minimum, he should return her bundled contributions.

It is significant that Obama, his lapel stripped of any American flag pin, is a magnet for anti-American radicals like Evans, Wright, and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. Obama’s platform for near-instantaneous withdrawal from Iraq has increased his stock with Code Pink volunteers and, undoubtedly, their Iraqi counterparts. When those who hate this country need a domestic political front, they know who to call on: the Party of Defeat. Following Obama’s instructions, Jodie Evans has placed her “hope” in him. She longs for Americans to buy into his vapid elocutions and meaningless platitudes. And she is willing to put their money where her mouth is.

Party of Defeat is available from the FrontPage Magazine Bookstore for $15, a 30 percent discount and less than Amazon.com. Autographed and personalized copies are also available; details are on the Bookstore webpage. Please call your local bookstores and ask them to stock the new book Party of Defeat by David Horowitz and Ben Johnson, if they don’t already have it in stock.


Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and author of the book 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Charitable Giving.

Media’s War Lies

Media’s War Lies

By Ralph Peters
New York Post | 4/18/2008

LIKE many Americans, I get angry at biased “reporting” about Iraq and the spin from dishonest pundits. Usually, I get over it quickly, since my expectations of the media are pretty low. But sometimes a Big Lie just won’t let go. And the lefty lie that the Iraqi military is a hopeless failure must be answered.

Yes, we all know that left-wing media outlets, such as the dying New York Times, need Iraq to fail to redeem their credibility. They’ll do all they can to dismiss any sign of progress.

But the perverted gloating over recent Iraqi military operations in Basra combines willful ignorance of military affairs with a shameless manipulation of the facts. Yes, some local Iraqi police and new military recruits ran away. But that was all that the media reported.

Where was the coverage of the 95 percent of the Iraqi security forces who did their duty? Some fought superbly. The Iranian-backed gangs and militias took a beating.

Muqtada al Sadr – not the central government – asked for a cease-fire. The Iraqi military remains in Basra, still pushing (and freeing the occasional kidnapped journalist). The government now has a presence where lawlessness prevailed – and it took control of Basra’s vital port facilities, the country’s economic lifeline.

But all we continue to hear about is the one Iraqi cop or soldier in 20 who ran away.

OK, consider our own military history – which isn’t short of ultimate victories:

* During the American Revolution, George Washington repeatedly had trouble with troops fleeing the battlefield and with desertions. Militias remained unreliable all through the war. Yet, we defeated the British – a global power – in the end.

* In the War of 1812, American troops broke again – and more than once. Yet, at the war’s conclusion, it was redcoats seasoned in the Napoleonic Wars who fled from the US Army’s “Cottonbalers” at New Orleans.

* In the Mexican-American War, Gen. Winfield Scott’s march on Mexico City was the most brilliant campaign ever fought by American troops – yet, earlier in the conflict, an entire troop of US Cavalry (new immigrants) deserted to the Mexican side. That’s why there’s never a J or Juliet troop in a US Cavalry regiment.

* After a few hours of fierce fighting, the Union Army broke at Bull Run, fleeing in panic at the start of our Civil War. Even two years later, when the Army of the Potomac was well on its way to becoming the first great industrial-age force, the XI Corps – more than 10,000 men – disintegrated when surprised by Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville. Guess who won the Civil War, anyway?

* As other writers have noted in regard to Basra, the green US forces in North Africa in WWII fell apart when struck by Rommel’s Afrika Korps at Kasserine Pass. At Vossenack Ridge, two years later, US troops cracked under heavy shelling and ran again. Guess who won that war, too?

* At the outset of the Korean War, the US Army’s Task Force Smith collapsed as it was overwhelmed by North Koreans. But we came back with a vengeance. Should we have just quit?

And should we demand more of the Iraqis, who have so many internal obstacles to overcome, than we ourselves could deliver in the past?

Few battles have perfect outcomes. No wars do. Not all soldiers will measure up. And no human endeavor is more complex than warfare.

Soldiers break and run in three basic circumstances: when they’re new and are asked to do too much too soon; when they’re surprised; or when they’re ground down to the breaking point by overwhelming odds.

Show me one country whose troops have never fled a battlefield – I can’t find any.

In the past, when we still honored military service, even the literary set understood that wars are fought by fallible human beings. Stephen Crane’s American classic, “The Red Badge of Courage,” is about a young soldier who runs away in terror from his first taste of combat – yet returns to fight bravely later on.

The Iraqi military, which now has 190,000 troops in uniform, is getting along pretty well by historical standards. These troops are taking responsibility for their own country, allowing us to do less and less of the fighting and dying. Yes, they’ll need our help for a while yet – but we needed the “technologically superior” French to help us get to Yorktown.

Meanwhile, why don’t the noisiest critics of the situation in Iraq, from the Times’ silly Frank Rich to Sen. Barack Obama, go to Iraq to see things for themselves?

Are they afraid?

If so, they really shouldn’t question the courage of others or mock their sacrifices.

I’ve always admitted that Iraq could fail. Despite real, measurable progress, that remains the case. I only wish that those on the left would have the integrity to acknowledge that Iraq also has a chance to succeed.

 

Obama, Marx, and God

Obama, Marx, and God

Paul J. Shlichta
If a man says something once, it may just be a slip of the tongue. If he repeats the same phrase over and over again, he may believe it or he may be shamelessly propagandizing. But if he repeats the same idea in different words throughout his life, it is probably something he really believes.

All of us are by now painfully familiar with Senator Obama’s analysis of rural mentality:

 

“…they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

 

But it isn’t the first time that he has said this. According to the New Yorker ,  

 

In November, 2004, Senator-elect Barack Obama told Charlie Rose that hunting and church provide solace to men like the laid-off factory workers he met in a small Illinois town.

 

And as the New Yorker article goes on to say:

 

As Democratic political analysis, what he said is hardly new. Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter with Kansas? is a book-length exposition of Obama’s one sentence. In fact, it’s such a familiar line of thinking in liberal circles that the most common defense of Obama is that he was simply saying what everyone knows is so.

 

So I think that we can conclude that Obama, like most liberal Democrats, really believes that religion is primarily a solace for economic insecurity.

 

However, as the house boy said to the missionary, we Christians don’t believe in that sort of thing. The Christian idea is that religion—our relation to God and, through God, to each other— is the core of our existence and that our economic security (or our lack of it) is merely a circumstance to be dealt with in terms of our relation to God. As St. Ignatius  of Loyola put it,

 

Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul…For this it is necessary to make ourselves indifferent to all created things…so that we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty … choosing only what is most conducive for us to the end for which we are created.

 

In contrast, Karl Marx agreed wholeheartedly with Senator Obama. He said, flatly, that “religion is the opium of the masses.” But that doesn’t make Obama a Marxist; the philosophers of classical capitalism said pretty much the same thing. This is why two Catholic popes, Leo XIII and Pius XI, have condemned both socialism and capitalism for considering man as  merely an economic entity rather than a human or spiritual one.

 

So Obama’s remark doesn’t mean he’s a Marxist. But he isn’t a Christian either, not in any reasonable sense of the word. The church he has faithfully attended for decades, Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ, seems to be much more preoccupied with racist politics than with Jesus. And numerous Christian leaders have denounced Obama as a false Christian.

 

Therefore, the next time Obama says, as he has said:

 

“I am a Christian…. So, I have a deep faith. I’m rooted in the Christian tradition.”

 

just write it off as a politician on the make, trying to be all things to all voters and displaying what might be called “crocodile piety”.

 

Washington Post catches Carter in a lie

Washington Post catches Carter in a lie

Thomas Lifson

Jimmy Carter’s campaign to ensure he goes down in history as the worst ex-president ever continues, with even the Washington Post noticing he is lying about Hamas and its supposed willingness to negotiate. A commendable editorial today makes this point:

 

… actors such as Mr. Carter…  portray Hamas as rational and reasonable. Hamas is “perfectly willing” for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “to represent them in all direct negotiations with the Israelis, and they also maintain that they will accept any agreement that he brokers with the Israelis” provided a referendum is held on it, the former president told the newspaper Haaretz. Compare that claim with Mr. Zahar’s own words on the opposite page. In fact, Mr. Zahar has called Mr. Abbas “a traitor” for negotiating with Israel — a label that is, in the Palestinian context, an incitement to murder.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky