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Hot picks: Abortion, Acupuncture, Aetherius Society, Aikido, Alcoholics Anonymous, Ambrotose, Herbert W Armstrong, Art of Living, Atheism, Avatar Masters Training


A Rocha. Not Yet Rated "A Rocha is an international Christian organization which, inspired by God’s love, engages in scientific research, environmental education and community-based conservation projects."

A2 milk. Caution A1 and A2 refer to two types of beta-casein, the main protein in milk, which differ by one amino acid. Most cow's milk mostly contains the A1 variety, but some cows have been bred to mostly produce the A2 variety. (In 2003 the Commerce Commission required A2 Corporation Ltd to change its advertising, which had implied that A1 protein was completely excluded. There may still be some A1 protein in A2 milk.) There is a lack of good evidence that A2 milk has any genuine health benefits – for example, most studies involve self reporting of symptoms, have very small sample sizes, or were on rodents rather than humans. For those who are lactose intolerant or have milk protein allergies, both marketing varieties of milk contain lactose and beta-casein and will still cause symptoms for sufferers of those complaints. On the flip side, in 2009 the European Food Safety Authority found no link between A1 milk and any disease (including, for example, heart disease, type-1 diabetes, and autism). A2 milk costs roughly 30% to 35% more than ordinary milk (for budget milks and branded milks, respectively). A2 milk is rated Caution because it probably won't do anything for you except lighten your wallet or purse.

More information regarding the available evidence can be found in Off site link: this Consumer article, which quotes Professor Jim Mann, University of Otago:

"A2 milk is an example of brilliant marketing. Until more large-scale human trials are conducted, you're better off buying your milk on taste, price and sustainable packaging," Professor Mann said.

Abortion. Danger Very Hot TopicVery Hot Topic Printable version There is probably no greater danger to New Zealanders than abortion. The physical danger to babies is obvious – abortion stops a beating human heart. Abortion claims the lives of almost one quarter of all New Zealand babies. The New Zealand rate has been as high as 248 abortions per 1,000 pregnancies (330 abortions for 1,000 live births) in 2003. There were 15,863 abortions in New Zealand in 2011. Some more figures are included in the Election Results PDF (69KB). Abortion also presents a physical risk to the mother – for example, abortion has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer. Quite apart from the physical danger to babies and mothers, it is staggering the amount of deception involved with convincing young women that abortion is the answer to dealing with the life growing within them. Some examples include telling them that a baby is not really living until it is born, implying that the abortion will somehow solve all the mother's (and family's) problems, and omitting to mention that the mother will very likely live with huge guilt for killing her baby. Perhaps as many as 98% of abortions in New Zealand are illegal; the primary position of New Zealand law is that abortion is a serious crime and is unlawful.

Karl du Fresne writing Off site link: on Stuff in November 2018 highlights some of the inconsistencies in the position and arguments used by those who would kill unborn children. He writes:

The Big Lie, which you can expect to hear repeated endlessly, is that abortion is a health issue. This is now a feminist article of faith. But no amount of repeating makes it true, because pregnancy and childbirth are not illnesses or disorders, and it's impossible to imagine anything less healthy for the unborn child than to have its life terminated.

Indeed, abortion is fatally unhealthy for unborn babies. When did so many New Zealanders become so callous about life? He finishes (emphasis added):

Journalist Alison Mau gave an early example of the fatuous arguments likely to be deployed when, in a one-sided panel discussion on Radio New Zealand, she proposed that men should be required to get permission from certifying consultants before getting prostate checks, as women seeking an abortion have to do.

This reduced the whole issue to a puerile game of gender tit-for-tat. It got her a cheap laugh, but the nature and purpose of the two procedures are fundamentally different. Prostate checks are about identifying and treating a potentially fatal disease. Their purpose is to save life.

But pregnancy is not a disease, a foetus is not a tumour, and the consequence of an abortion is that life is extinguished, not saved. If a high-profile journalist like Mau can't grasp that crucial difference, we're in bigger trouble than I thought.

Alison Mau (who we note has a history of making poor choices, albeit not so life-extinguishing) is not the only columnist to compare abortions to prostate checks. This underlines the problem that those in favour of abortion are promoting an ideology, and pushing an agenda. They don't have a well thought-out position, and the position they have does not for a moment consider the well-being and life of the unborn child.

Abraham, Justin. Danger Justin Abraham is a New Age mystic, but claims to be Christian. He preaches a generous serving of pseudoscience gobbledegook, but one that undiscerning Christians might fall for, so gets a Danger rating. Based in Wales but has visited New Zealand, speaking at a conference along with Ian Clayton and Ian Johnson.

Abraham's Group. Not Yet Rated Submissions for this listing are now being accepted. Please see the Contact page.

Acupressure. Caution New Age practice. Similar to acupuncture but using manual pressure instead of needles.

Acupuncture. Caution Printable version New Age practice. Fine stainless steel needles are inserted into a patient's body at particular supposedly significant points. Practitioners are divided into two groups – those utilising it as part of traditional Chinese medicine, and those who practice it purely for pain relief. The effects of acupuncture vary, and are often not reproducible – one NZ Cult List reader has pointed out "acupuncture seems to work on a case by case basis". For this and other reasons, the power of suggestion, the placebo effect and other mechanisms cannot be ruled out as possible causes if any pain-reducing effect or healing is actually produced by a particular acupuncture session. See Quackwatch's Off site link: acupuncture feature for more information on acupuncture, including the medical dangers. The article quotes retired doctor Harriet Hall:

Acupuncture studies have shown that it makes no difference where you put the needles. Or whether you use needles or just pretend to use needles (as long as the subject believes you used them). Many acupuncture researchers are doing what I call Tooth Fairy science: measuring how much money is left under the pillow without bothering to ask if the Tooth Fairy is real.

Advance NZ. Caution Conspiracy theory group and amalgamation of four minor political parties; New Zealand Public Party, New Zealand People's Party, Reset NZ, and Direct Democracy New Zealand. Helped distribute the conspiracy theory magazine The Real News in March 2021. Its two most notable leaders, Billy Te Kahika and former MP Jami-Lee Ross, have stepped away from politics. Advance NZ was Off site link: removed from Facebook in October 2020, a not particularly surprising move considering the Off site link: finding of a study that "more than a third of their posts on Facebook were either wholly or partially false." Also from that article:

"Already before the start of the election campaign, the NZ Public Party was spreading conspiracy stories, including the claim the COVID-19 pandemic was planned by the United Nations," said Prof Jack Vowles.

"It is disturbing most of their misinformation is about COVID-19. If widely believed, it has the potential to become life-threatening."

Aetherius Society. Danger Hot Topic Founded in 1955 by George King, a (deceased) London former taxi driver and very probable con man. The group was probably started as a con (Mr King quitting his taxi driving to start the Society) but is now self-sustaining, and has about 650 members worldwide. George King claimed to have communicated with space aliens, including physical contact with one who supposedly incarnated as Jesus and is now living on Venus (in the etheric plane), and another who was supposed to have incarnated as Buddha and is now living in a city floating over the Gobi Desert (in the etheric plane, where it has allegedly been for hundreds of thousands of years). As a religion it's a strange mix of Eastern (eg, chanting, karma, reincarnation, yoga) and science fiction (eg, extra-terrestrials, telepathy, UFOs). Main practices include praying into boxes – said to be "radionic devices" – which allow later release of hundreds of hours of "prayer power" all at once. Aetherious Society members believe this can stop wars and natural disasters. For another UFO religion see Raëlians (another group almost certainly started as a scam and is now self-sustaining). Submissions for this listing are now being accepted. Please see the Contact page.

Ageless Wisdom. Danger A collection of strongly occult and esoteric teachings (a "system of esoteric philosophy") represented and taught in New Zealand by Christ College of Trans-Himalayan Wisdom and Seven Ray Institute. The teachings are partly based on the work of Helena Blavatsky, who started Theosophy. See also Masters of Wisdom.

Aglow International New Zealand. Caution Formerly called Women's Aglow Fellowship. A Christian church-connected women's fellowship group, it is one of the largest women's associations in the world, and is present in over 170 countries. See Wikipedia's Off site link: Aglow International article for more information. In New Zealand, Aglow seems to be have been developing an interest in the occult and New Age over a number of years, including entertaining prophecies from people like Graham Cooke. The Caution rating is under review and may be changed to Danger.

Ahnsahnghong, Ahn Sahng-Hong. Danger Deceased Korean founder of the Church of God, World Mission Society. He qualifies as a false prophet, since he "predicted the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in both 1967 and 1988." (Off site link: Apologetics Index.)

Aikido. Caution Printable version A Japanese martial art specialising in using an aggressor's momentum against him (or her!). Aikido's founder, Morihei Ueshiba, was born in Japan on 14 December 1883. He received certificates of mastery in several styles of jujitsu, fencing, and spear fighting. Combining his martial training with his religious and political ideologies, he created the modern martial art of Aikido, naming it "Aikido" in 1942 (before that it was called "aikibudo" and "aikinomichi"). The religious side of Aikido is particularly important. However, from the Aikido FAQ Off site link: history page we have the following comment:

"Despite what many people think or claim, there is no unified philosophy of Aikido. What there is, instead, is a disorganized and only partially coherent collection of religious, ethical, and metaphysical beliefs which are only more or less shared by Aikidoists, and which are either transmitted by word of mouth or found in scattered publications about Aikido. ... At the core of almost all philosophical interpretations of Aikido, however, we may identify at least two fundamental threads: (1) A commitment to peaceful resolution of conflict whenever possible. (2) A commitment to self-improvement through Aikido training."

The commitment to peaceful resolution has been suggested (slightly tongue in cheek) as the reason why there are no Aikido competitions – both competitors in a round would simply wait for the other to start something. Good on them, too. Aikido is rated Caution here because of the importance of its religious side. That possibly strong religious aspect (dependent on branch?) is something for Christians to be wary of if getting involved, but does not necessarily mean Aikido is something to be avoided by all Christians. However, for some Christians it may be something best completely avoided.

Al-Anon. OK "To help families and friends of alcoholics recover from the effects of living with the problem drinking of a relative or friend, ... adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous and is based upon the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, and Twelve Concepts of Service." For more information, visit the Off site link: Al-Anon web site.

Alateen. OK A version of Al-Anon for teenagers.

Alcoholics Anonymous. OK Perhaps best explained by this blurb from their own web site:

"Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety."

For more information visit the Off site link: Alcoholics Anonymous New Zealand web site. Also see Al-Anon, Alateen, and Emotions Anonymous.

Alkaline diet. Danger Printable version The alkaline diet is based on the alleged – but false – idea that different foods cause the body to become more acid or more alkaline. The diet is claimed to be beneficial by excluding any food that allegedly causes the body to become more acid, which is supposely a bad thing. There are many foods that would need to be excluded by this diet, so it has a high inconvenience factor. The Wikipedia article on the Off site link: alkaline diet addresses the central claim very clearly:

This proposed mechanism, in which the diet can significantly change the acidity of the blood, goes against "everything we know about the chemistry of the human body" and has been called a "myth" in a statement by the American Institute for Cancer Research. Unlike the pH level in the urine, a selectively alkaline diet has not been shown to elicit a sustained change in blood pH levels, nor to provide the clinical benefits claimed by its proponents. Because of the body's natural regulatory mechanisms, which do not require a special diet to work, eating an alkaline diet can, at most, change the blood pH minimally and transiently.

Many claims are made about the diet that are not substantiated with evidence. Wikipedia again (emphasis added):

A similar proposal by those advocating this diet suggests that cancer grows in an acidic environment, and that a proper alkaline diet can change the environment of the body to treat cancer. This proposal ignores the fact that while cancer tissue does grow in acidic environment, it is the cancer that creates the acidity. The rapid growth of cancer cells creates the acidic environment; the acidic environment does not create cancer. The proposal also neglects to recognize that it is "virtually impossible" to create a less acidic environment in the body. "Extreme" dietary plans such as this diet have more risks than benefits for patients with cancer.

Other proposed benefits from eating an alkaline diet are likewise not supported by scientific evidence. Although it has been proposed that this diet will increase "energy" or treat cardiovascular disease, there is no evidence to support these assertions.

The alkaline diet is rated Danger because it may pose real danger to unwell people, for whom excluding whole food groups may also exclude important nutrients which may have a genuine beneficial effect on diseases such as cancer. Off site link: Robert O Young, an American author, was arrested in January 2014 after treating Kim Tinkham, who rejected conventional treatment in favour of the alkaline diet. She died, after both she and Mr Young claimed she was healed.

Allah. Supreme deity of Islam. The name literally means "the God".

Alp, Kelvyn. Danger Kelvyn Alp is a founder and frontperson of Counterspin New Zealand. As part of the Convoy 2022 protests in Wellington he called for protestors to storm parliament to arrest politicians and would Off site link: "be happy to see the guillotines ... have a few heads chopped off". He is rated Danger for the risk of death and long-term disability his anti-vaccination disinformation poses to the general public, and for the active radicalisation he is engaged in of New Zealanders.

Alpha Course. OK An introductory course for Christianity started by Rev Charles Marnham of Holy Trinity Brompton, an Anglican church in London, England, as a course for church members on the basics of Christianity. In 1990 Nicky Gumbel took over running it, and he revised and expanded the course. The course has spread around the world and is quite popular, no doubt because food is an important part. The name comes from alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet. Concern has been raised about the course due to the close association of Holy Trinity Brompton with the Holy Laughter Movement. Some argue that the Alpha Course teaches experiential Christianity at the expense of repentance or at the expense of biblical revelation, and that it gives undue prominence to the Holy Spirit while relegating the Father and Jesus Christ to the background. For these reasons it may not suit all churches – apparently the course Off site link: Christianity Explored attempts to deal with these perceived failings in the Alpha Course so may suit some churches better.

Ambrotose. Caution Scam, pure and simple. Main product of the American-based Mannatech company. For nutritional value the New Zealand Herald compared the product to Coca Cola. (All sweetened soft drinks contain sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup, which the human body absorbs as glucose and fructose, of which glucose is a glyconutrient. Also, lactose in milk is broken down into glucose and galactose, both of which are glyconutrients. The human body can make the other glyconutrients from those it has available.) Ambrotose is given a Caution rating here because it is only likely to serious harm your wallet. However, cancer sufferers are given false hope by the ridiculous claims made by many of those who sell the stuff.

The New Zealand Cult List has investigated a few specific Mannatech-related claims and has compiled a few Mannatech-related quotes.

AMORC. Danger Cult. Acronym for Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis ("of the Rosy Cross"). Otherwise known as Rosicrucianism. New age and occult practices. Leading tract is Mastery of Life.

Amway. Caution Considered by many to be a business cult due to practices such as deceptive recruitment. Many of Amway's products are supposed to be quite good, although not necessarily good value for money – it still pays to shop around.

Anchor Stone International. Caution Represented in New Zealand by Ross Patterson, Anchor Stone International is an organisation promoting the false discoveries of Ron Wyatt, including the claim for a particular site in Turkey being Noah's Ark. In 1992 Answers in Genesis investigated the evidence and thoroughly refuted any idea that the site is or ever was Noah's Ark. See Ross Patterson's listing for details. With evidence so readily available disproving that the site is Noah's Ark, it is the position of the New Zealand Cult List that anyone who still promotes the false Ron Wyatt Ark site and its associated false evidence is either willfully ignorant or is deliberately deceiving. Like Ron Wyatt, Anchor Stone International hasn't been given a Danger rating because their claims are not likely to do any damage other than to people's wallets.

Anderson, Sally. Caution Sally Anderson is a self-improvement guru who featured in a four part series on Stuff in April 2018: Off site link: part 1; Off site link: part 2; Off site link: part 3; Off site link: part 4. There was a Off site link: follow-up in May 2018. Some of the people who took her courses say it felt like being in a cult. From the first article:

Her fans say she's inspirational, but our investigation has found some who think quite the opposite. In almost two dozen interviews with her former business partners, staff and coaches, a picture formed of an all-controlling guru who doesn't tolerate dissent and has left some people traumatised and indebted. Business partners have been left hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket as her various ventures hit the rocks amid profligate spending. She is accused of a bullying coaching style — breaking people down in order to build them up — and some of her ideas are described as dangerous: she believes, for instance, that she can get people off depression medication.

Sally Anderson says she's alive because of Landmark Education, and has incorporated much of what she learned from it into her own seminars. Jargon she uses includes "sustainable transformation" and "Default Disempowered Blueprint". Her business name is Evolve By Choice (formerly Evolved Leadership).

Anthony, Tony. Caution Tony Anthony is a British evangelist, author of Taming the Tiger, his alleged autobiography which has been shown to Off site link: contain much fiction. Most of his Off site link: Wikipedia listing is regarding the false claims in the book (and investigation into them), and other false claims.

Anthroposophy. Danger Cult. See Anthroposophical Society.

Anthroposophical Society. Danger Cult. Also called Anthroposophy. Founded by Rudolf Steiner in 1912 as an alternative to Theosophy (from which he started to split around 1907). Teaches New Age concepts including karma and reincarnation.

Antitheism. Danger False Religion A form of atheism which rises to the level of a false religion, rather than just a religious worldview. It takes the form of actively attacking any belief in God, and is inherently hypocritical in nature, because it is founded on religious belief itself. Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and science educator Bill Nye are notable adherants of this false religion.

Aotearoa Ploughshares. A Christian group, possibly a sect, that focuses on peace. Came to notoriety in April 2008 when three of their members (apparently acting on their own behalf) ironically mounted an attack on the Waihopai Spy Base, resulting in a deflated dome over one of the two satellite dishes. In March 2010 they were Off site link: found not guilty by a jury because they claimed that their actions were for the greater good, saving lives in Iraq. They did not have to pay the approximately $1 million in damages they caused. In October 2010 the government Off site link: brought a civil case against them for a total approaching Off site link: one and a quarter million dollars. The case has resulted in a Off site link: law change, so it shouldn't happen again.

Apostolic Movement. See New Apostolic Reformation.

Applied Kinesiology. Danger Alternative pseudo-medical practice, associated with chiropractic. A 1993 survey showed 72% of New Zealand chiropractors used applied kinesiology. See this Off site link: Applied Kinesiology article on the Off site link: Quackwatch web site for more information.

Applied Scholastics. Danger Front group for the dangerous Scientology cult.

Argyria. Danger A side effect of colloidal silver ingestion where a person's skin turns a blue-black colour. The discolouring is more pronounced on skin which is habitually exposed to sunlight, such as the face and hands.

Arise Church. Caution A "megachurch" founded in Wellington in 2002, now with 12 branches around New Zealand. The church intends to open a branch in Auckland in 2022. Main leaders include founder John Cameron (wife Gillian) and his brother Brent Cameron. In April 2022 Arise Church hit news headlines for allegations of mistreatment of interns. The articles (for example, Off site link: David Farrier, and Off site link: RNZ) include examples of several techniques of mind control, including fear, guilt, and intimidation, love bombing, relationship control, reporting structure (which the church calls "uplining"), shunning, and time control, and reports that the Cameron brothers are prone to violent outbursts and physically and sexually assaulting people (eg, "sack tapping"). Arise Church has stated it has "two independent reviews currently underway" (April 2022). Arise Church is rated Caution because of the quantity and seriousness of these reports.

Armstrong, Garner Ted. Danger Garner Ted Armstrong died on 15 September 2003 age 73. Youngest child of Herbert W Armstrong, father of Mark, David, and Matthew. Expected to succeed his father as leader of the Worldwide Church of God, Garner Armstrong fell from grace ("accused of improprieties"), being disfellowshipped several times from 1966 to 1978. In 1978 he formed the Church of God International, which in turn had many breakaway groups, especially in the early 1990s when the Worldwide Church of God was reforming. In 1995 Garner Ted Armstrong quit the CoGI after he was accused of sexually harassing a female nurse – a charge he denied. He went on to organize the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelical Association (GTAEA). From this sprung the Intercontinental Church of God in 1998. Mr Armstrong has been assigned a Danger rating because of his teachings, not because of any danger he personally posed to anyone.

Armstrong, Herbert W. Danger Herbert W Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God (a former cult, originally named the Radio Church of God). Born in Des Moines, Iowa on 31 July, 1892. Dropped out of high school supposedly following his uncle's advice that only people without ambition needed education (things were very different back then). In Oregon in the 1920s he accepted Jesus Christ as his saviour and in the 1930s started a radio show and a magazine – The Plain Truth. In 1947 he moved to southern California and started training leaders and led the Worldwide Church of God through rapid expansion in the 1950s and 1960s. Said to have visited Auckland around 1980. Herbert Armstrong died in 1986 aged 93, opening the path for God to work to reform the group. He is assigned a Danger rating for his teachings, and for founding and encouraging a cult.

Arnott, John. Danger Pastor of Toronto Airport Vineyard Fellowship, a branch which was expelled from the Vineyard Movement for its Holy Laughter Movement activities, which John Arnott was instrumental for introducing. (Hence why HLM is sometimes called the Toronto Movement.) Quote John Arnott, referring to his methodology for spreading HLM:

Another thing that hinders is people pray all the time. Praying in English or even praying in tongues. Mention the Holy Spirit and they start praying in tongues, you know. Our experience is that that will hinder substantially your ability to receive. And so I say to people, `Look don't pray.'

Compare this to 1 Thessalonians 5:17 – "pray continually".

Aromatherapy. Caution A basically New Age practice with some scientific support for a few practical aspects; for example, lemon oil has been shown to reduce stress in mice, lavender and tea tree oils have anti-bacterial properties. However, many scientifically unsupported New Age claims are made for the healing power of aromatherapy, which earn it a Caution rating. Wikipedia also lists some Off site link: safety concerns; for example, phototoxic reactions with lemon oil, lavender and tea tree oils are oestrogen mimics, some oils can interfere with prescription medications.

Art of Living Coalition. Danger New Age group (and possible cult) founded by [Ms] Frankie Lee Slater. It is not thought to be in New Zealand at present. Also see Art of Living Foundation (immediately below).

Art of Living Foundation. Danger New Age group (and possible cult) started by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. It is present in New Zealand. A former member says "AoL people act like any other cult, and spiritual, emotional and mental abuse is rife!" and has recommended Off site link: as being very helpful in their recovery from being in the group. It is described thus:

This blog was created with the sole purpose of providing former Art of Living members and currently doubting ones a space for healing, finding answers, understanding processes that we went through as active members and as "drop-outs", sharing, supporting each other, with understanding, compassion, and above all, freedom and forgiveness.

Ascension of the Bright Path Ishayas. See Ascension Meditation.

Ascension meditation. Danger A particular form of Eastern/New Age meditation claimed by some practitioners/teachers (monks) to be non-religious. Also called Ascension of the Bright Path Ishayas and Ishayas' Ascension. Ascension meditation was highlighted in a New Zealand Listener article in November 2018 about Ishaya monk Sally Lewis in which she said it's being taught in six New Zealand prisons by herself and partner and fellow monk Greg Hopkinson, largely due to the influence of A Mindful Choice, a 2016 movie they produced purporting to show its "calming and transformative effects" in a particularly violent Mexican prison.

Association For Better Living And Education. Danger Scientology front group led in NZ by Kevin Owen.

Association for Gnostic Studies. Not Yet Rated Unknown if they make any claims of being Christian or compatible with Christianity. They practice what they believe is astral travel. See Gnosticism in the Glossary.

Astral Travel. Danger New Age and occult practice involving projecting the mind elsewhere while in a state of altered consciousness through meditation.

Astrology. Danger The occult belief system that the position and motion of the stars and planets – especially when we were born – affect our daily lives. Something for Christians to completely avoid. MM Outreach Inc has a useful article: Off site link: Astrology: A Christian Analysis. Also see horoscopes.

Atheism. False Religion Danger Hot Topic Printable version Atheism is a false worldview, at the heart of which is the philosophical viewpoint there is no God (or gods). This viewpoint can be considered a religious belief because of two things:

  1. It says something about the existence of God – a religious statement.
  2. The atheist must believe there is no God; they cannot know there is no God. This is because knowing there is no God is a universal negative; to do so would require omniscience. The atheist would basically have to be God to know there is no God.

Therefore atheism is a belief ultimately based on a philosophical viewpoint, not on any conclusive evidence that God does not exist. Because of the faith required to hold that philosophical viewpoint, atheism has belief at its core, and atheists absolutely require faith to hold their belief. Atheists generally don't like to have it pointed out to them that their atheism is faith based and will often strongly deny it, even when it's clearly explained. This is reflected in the book title Off site link: You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think. Atheism takes more misguided faith than they care to admit, and more faith than it takes to believe that God does exist, as is made clear in the book Off site link: I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist. Quite simply, Christianity is far more rational than atheism. The book Off site link: Christianity for Skeptics puts atheism in perspective:

Atheism is a journey without a destiny, a body without a soul, a religion without reason, life without meaning, a faith without hope, and a universe without God.

Apart from just being a false religious worldview, atheism can also at times be considered a false religion, especially when it takes the form of vehement antitheism. See Off site link: Is Atheism a Religion? (It also explains why atheism is a blind faith but Christianity is not.) There are several varieties or degrees of atheism, which lie outside the scope of this listing. Atheism is also listed in the Glossary. See Off site link: CARM's Atheism section for more information, including several videos, or Off site link: Randy Bailey's story of abandoning atheism to accept Jesus Christ as his saviour. He writes:

The greatest truth that I have learned since I have "come home" again, is that all of the arguments and debates in defense of an atheistic worldview exist for one sole purpose: justification of sin. The reality is that, although I wanted to present my atheism as the result of learned, intellectual inquiry, the reality was that I – just as all atheists do – was defending my choice of refusing God and living a sinful lifestyle.

Attrill, Gerald Hart. Danger Now called Jessa O' My Heart, Gerald Hart Attrill is the founder and leader of the cult Hermes Far Eastern Shining.

Auckland Goodwill Unit of Service. Danger A strongly New Age group. Believes there are many ways to God, practices meditation, etc.

Auckland International Christian Church. Danger Cult, a branch of the International Christian Church. The branch is led by Sean & Teigan Valenzuela.

Auckland Society of the New Church. Alternative name of the New Church in New Zealand, a Swedenborg group.

Auriculotherapy. Caution New Age practice. A form of acupuncture where needles are stuck into the outer ear.

Austen, Jill. Danger Jill Austen (deceased 9 January 2009) was a false prophet (false prophetess?) and was part of the False Revival Movement. She claimed to speak with the angel Gabriel and other spiritual beings.

Avatar Masters Training. Danger Hot Topic Described as "a New Age re-spawning of Scientology using the same methods of mind control, but the guru is prevented from using the copyright terms. Founder Harry Palmer is ex-Scientology." Runs introductory mini-workshops for which they charge a small fee. They are quite keen on getting their training used in large NZ companies. As well as Avatar, registered trademarks include ReSurfacing, Thoughtstorm, and Star's Edge International.

Awake! magazine. Danger Published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, who are better known as the Jehovah's Witnesses cult.

Awaken Internship. Not Yet Rated Course offered by Tauranga House of Prayer.

Awakenings Life Skills Centre. Not Yet Rated Probable Swedenborg related group.

Ayurveda, ayurvedic medicine. Danger "An ancient system of healthcare" from India. Unfortunately some treatments are toxic. For example, ayurvedic pills have been found to contain as much as 10mg of lead in each pill, and lead poisoning from ayurvedic treatments can occur. Note that the heavy metals in such pills are not listed in the ingredients, so partakers are not aware they are poisoning themselves. Also, some of the herbs used contain toxic compounds. See Wikipedia's Off site link: Ayurveda article for more information.

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