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Hot picks: David Icke, Iglesia ni Cristo, International Christian Church, International Church of Christ, Islam, Ivermectin


I Ching Systems. Danger This is what New Age cult/scam Gentle Wind Project was relaunched as after being shut down by the Maine Attorney General. The scam's website claims "A week after the government closure, Mary Miller and her associates opened a company now known as I Ching Systems, LLC." The company's contact address is in Massachusetts, USA, and sells "instruments" (not "healing instruments" now). Their sales listings now say "Like all of our technologies, this [instrument] is NOT designed to treat, diagnose or cure any physical, mental or emotional condition." The group claims a trademark on I Ching Artwork and the group is sometimes called I Ching Systems and Artworks.

Icke, David. Caution David Icke is a professional New Age conspiracist (conspiracy theorist) who has come up with the Reptilian Agenda – the idea that blood-drinking shape-shifting reptilian extraterrestrials want to control us. Other claims are just as bizarre: the Moon is hollow and Saturn's rings are artificially created by the reptilians, and are used to broadcast a "five-sense prison" to keep the world's population under control; the highest leaders in the world are just reptilians wearing holographic disguises (which are broadcast from the Moon and Saturn); the Queen mother was said to be "seriously reptilian" (this is the seriously adored mother of QEII who was described by Adolf Hitler as "the most dangerous woman in Europe"). David Icke has claimed to be a "Son of the Godhead" (where the Godhead is the "Infinite Mind"), while his first wife claimed to be an aspect of the Archangel Michael. David Icke has made false predictions. Off site link: Examples from Wikipedia:

He told reporters the world would end in 1997, preceded by several disasters, including a hurricane around the Gulf of Mexico and New Orleans, eruptions in Cuba, disruption in China, a hurricane in Derry, and an earthquake on the Isle of Arran. Los Angeles would become an island, New Zealand would disappear, and the cliffs of Kent would be under water by Christmas. The information was being given to them by voices and automatic writing, he said.

New Zealand and the rest of the world is still here (almost 20 years later, at time of writing). David Icke gets a Caution rating because while he's probably not physically dangerous, there are some people who take him and his crazy ideas seriously.

IDA. Caution 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"). Danger 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 Off site link: 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.

IM Academy. Caution A pyramid-style scam from the USA targeting Maori and Pasifika, particularly solo mothers, with a foreign exchange course. People who have signed up to the course have reported pressure and manipulation to sign up other people, and have said more in-depth resources can be found on YouTube. The NZ Herald reports:

UK, US, French and Belgian regulators have all issued warnings against IM Academy's predecessor, IM Markets Live, many saying the company was not authorised to offer financial services.

The US Commodities Futures Trading Commission fined the company US$150,000 in 2018 for illegally offering Forex and binary options to retail investors.

Soon after, the company rebranded to IM Academy.

The Belgian financial watchdog went as far to say that it had "features characteristic of a pyramid scheme."

IM Markets Live. Former name of IM Academy.

Infinity Forms of Yellow Remember. Danger Hot Topic 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).

Inner Healing Movement. Danger Includes Off site link: Inner Healing (on Apologetics Index; not believed to be in New Zealand), Theophostic Ministry and Sozo. All are strongly New Age.

Institute for Religious Science and School of Philosophy. Danger An early name for Religious Science.

Institute of Sathya Sai Education NZ Inc. Danger 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. Danger 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. Danger 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. Danger Alternative name for Religious Science International.

International Christian Church. Danger Cult founded by Kip McKean in 2006 in Portland, Oregon, USA. Also known as the SoldOut Discipling Movement and the Portland Movement. This cult is a successor to the International Church of Christ (ICOC) and operates similarly to how the ICOC did. It has a branch in Auckland which is led by Sean & Teigan Valenzuela, and which runs "Bible discussion" groups called The Risen, Kingfishers, and Terminators. It is active on tertiary education campuses in Auckland, for example, Massey U Ministry. For more information see the ICC Closeup.

International Church of Christ. Not Yet Rated Cult/former cult founded by Kip McKean in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and hence the wider 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 said to have faced massive internal changes that may result in the "cult" designation being changed.) Also see the more recent International Christian Church (ICC) above, which Kip McKean is now the world leader of.

International House of Prayer. See Tauranga House of Prayer.

International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Normally abbreviated to ISKCON. See Hare Krishna.

Iridology. Danger 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 Off site link: Cancer case prompts natural health concerns in March 2010, TV3's 60 Minutes item Off site link: Taking Care in May 2010, and this month (September 2012) by articles on Off site link: the NZ Herald and Off site link:

Ishayas' Ascension, Ishayas meditation. Danger New Age practice, also called Ascension of the Bright Path Ishayas or Ascension meditation.

ISKCON. International Society for Krishna Consciousness. See Hare Krishna.

Islam. False Religion Major world religion. Supreme deity is Allah. Followers are called Muslims. According to Off site link: Answering Islam's topical study on the Qur'an there is no real concept of salvation in Islamic teachings. Read more under their Off site link: salvation topic. Or read one Off site link: former Muslim's account of how he came to accept Christ as his saviour on Off site link: CARM's web site. More Off site link: personal stories are available on the Off site link: Arabic Bible web site in Arabic, English and French, including the story of Off site link: 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.

Ivermectin. Danger Drug used for deworming horses and cattle, and sadly popular with conspiracy theorists for treating COVID-19, something the drug cannot do. There are some uses approved for treating parasites (not viruses!) in humans, but the doses for humans are very different from those for animals which may weigh 500 to 1000 kg. Dr Bryan Betty, the medical director of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, has said "The spread of misinformation is frustrating and can be highly dangerous".

The FDA in the USA put it nicely when Off site link: it tweeted on the matter:

You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y'all. Stop it.

The FDA has also Off site link: pointed out some of the problems with taking ivermectin without a prescription:

Even the levels of ivermectin for approved human uses can interact with other medications, like blood-thinners.

You can also overdose on ivermectin, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), allergic reactions (itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (problems with balance), seizures, coma and even death.

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