Groups List: I
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IDA. A multi-level marketing scheme (MLM) that does training for networking activity. According to a reader "it appears that the prosperity gospel is mixed up inside it and is potentially mixing people's heads up as well". Contracts to Amway for its supply of goods and services and payment of bonuses.
Iglesia ni Cristo ("Church of Christ"). Cult founded in the Phillipines by Felix Manalo Ysagun aka "Felix Ysagun Manalo" or "Ka Felix" (10 May 1886 - 12 April 1963) in the Phillipines, where it now has several million followers. The group is present in New Zealand, where its Auckland branch sponsors a locally-screened television programme. The Bereans have an INC profile, including suggestions on how to talk to INC members. This report from a correspondent in the Phillipines:
This church has a huge following in the Philippines and worldwide mainly amongst Filipinos. Numbers are estimated as high as 12,000,000 mainly here in the Philippines (I'm skeptical of this figure, even as a world-wide figure, because that would be more than 10% of the resident population of the Philippines). This church exists world-wide, wherever there are Filipinos, which is pretty well everywhere. The hierarchy is secretive, and issue no statistics. The church is reported to be powerful politically.
In the province of Pampanga, where I'm living, the church is particularly strong. Every neighbourhood seems to have a huge Cathedral-like INC edifice. Even the smallest town has an INC church. Mostly a similar design, and painted in the same colours. No crosses are displayed on the buildings. There are turrets at the corners with lights. I'm not aware of the purpose of these. A Masonic-like symbol is displayed outside each church instead of a cross. I don't know the significance of these symbols, and my INC friends can't tell me. The founder of this church was formerly a Catholic priest, and is reported to have studied in Protestant seminaries in the US, and the religion he founded seems to be a mixture of elements from a lot of other churches, J.W., Mormons, (Unitarian teaching) and as Mormonism seems to have affinities with Freemasonry, perhaps the symbols on INC buildings has stemmedfrom there. They also believe in soul-sleep which may have come from the Seventh Day Adventists.
Attendance is compulsory, and I was told that some churches even have a clock-in system like a factory, so that the leaders know who is missing. Also some members will snitch on any who are absent. The doors are closed against late-comers to encourage punctuality. Attendance is required as a duty to God. There are countless rules and regulations - it's a very controlling organisation.
I have some very dear friends in this false church. I would love to know how to help them get past the brainwashing they've received all their lives. They are taught that all other churches are apostate, only their leaders and preachers have the truth. They must not question their leaders' teaching in any way, at risk of being expelled from the church, together with their entire family, and therefore certain damnation, because only in the INC can you be saved. It's unitarian also, denying the deity of Jesus Christ.
Yet these people break a lot of the rules, knowing in their hearts that they are ridiculous, but live in fear of expulsion. I'm very sad for these lovely people. When I'm out with these friends, they are constantly scanning passersby for "spies" who may report that they were seen with a westerner, and it's essential that girls marry an INC member (you must convert to INC in order to marry an INC member). An INC girl is not permitted to have a non-INC boyfriend. But, I have been told that boys can marry a non-INC girl, presumably because he is under orders to convert her to INC. In the Philippines, the girl is likely to do what her husband tells her to do.
My friend is frightened to be seen with me, unless her brother is there also, so she can say I'm just a friend of her brother's.
I've also watched their TV programmes here, but not very many, as mainly they are in Tagalog, but I recently saw a "INC Chronicles" programme (a kind of "brag" programme about how successful they are), and they highlighted Australia and NZ, and showed pictures of an INC church in (I think) Glenfield, and also another in South Auckland somewhere.
IHOP. See International House of Prayer.
Infinity Forms of Yellow Remember. Scam, called a cult in Australia. Ordinary water is sold for $80 or more for a 50mL bottle. The company Infinity Forms of Yellow Remember NZ Limited was in the list of companies to be removed from the companies register in January 2002. Apparently they weren't - they changed their name in January 2003 to Hermes Far Eastern Shining NZ Pty Limited (separate listing).
Institute for Religious Science and School of Philosophy. An early name for Religious Science.
Institute of Sathya Sai Education NZ Inc. Charitable group that runs the spiritually dangerous course Sathya Sai Spiritual Education. Self-contradictory in its claim 'Programmes by the Institute are not religious, but are focussed on promoting the understanding of “Body, Mind and Spirit.” ' (Emphasis added.)
Intercontinental Church of God. Cult. Founded in 1998 by Garner Ted Armstrong. No branches in New Zealand but represented here by a web site through which literature can be ordered.
Interfaith Coalition for Understanding. A Christchurch based group that embraces the spiritual and practical beliefs of Christian and non-Christian religions as being equally valid. The Danger rating has been assigned by this web site as we believe that only Christianity provides the spiritual solution to the problem of sin. This becomes very apparent when comparing the beliefs and practices of other religions and their outcomes.
International Centers for Spiritual Living. Alternative name for Religious Science International.
International Church of Christ. Cult/former cult founded by Kip McKean in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and hence the group is commonly called the Boston Movement. Branches in New Zealand are the Central Auckland Church of Christ and the Christchurch Church of Christ. For more information see the ICC Closeup. (The International Church of Christ is currently facing massive internal changes that may result in the "cult" designation being changed. For more information see www.rightcyberup.com.)
International House of Prayer. See Tauranga House of Prayer.
International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Normally abbreviated to ISKCON. See Hare Krishna.
Iridology. New Age alternative health practice. Naturopath and iridologist Ruth Nelson of Te Horo, south of Levin, treated Yvonne Maine's cancer (carcinoma of the scalp) for 18 months, during which time it grew until it had eaten through her skull. The treatment included the use of colloidal silver. By the time Mrs Maine went to a doctor in late 2009 even drastic surgery could only delay the inevitable. She died in 2010. The story was covered by TV One News item Cancer case prompts natural health concerns in March 2010, TV3's 60 Minutes item Taking Care in May 2010, and this month (September 2012) by articles on the NZ Herald and Stuff.co.nz.
ISKCON. International Society for Krishna Consciousness. See Hare Krishna.
Islam. Major world religion. Supreme deity is Allah. Followers are called Muslims. According to Answering Islam's topical study on the Qur'an there is no real concept of salvation in Islamic teachings. Read more under their salvation topic. Or read one former Muslim's account of how he came to accept Christ as his saviour on CARM's web site. More personal stories are available on the Arabic Bible web site in Arabic, English and French, including the story of Mark Gabriel - the former professor of Islamic history at Al-Azhar University Egypt. The same site also has lots of information about Islam (particularly for Christians), and information about Christianity for Muslims.