Groups List: M
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Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. See Yogi, Maharishi Mahesh.
Maiden, Grace. Grace Maiden was Gentle Wind Project's representative and contact person in New Zealand. She is given a Caution rating here because of that historical connection with Gentle Wind Project and its leader Mary Miller, not because she as a person is necessarily someone to be cautious of. Grace Maiden's current connection with Mary Miller is unknown.
Maitreya. The "leader" of the New Age cult Masters of Wisdom, and promoted by their front group Share International. Also called the "World Teacher" and "the Master of all the Masters." Spokesman Benjamin Creme has claimed the Maitreya is the Second Coming of Christ (and the fifth Buddha, Krshna, etc) and that he has lived undisturbed high in the Himalayas for the last couple of thousand years (and is now reported to be living in London). Maitreya supposedly suddenly appears to groups of believers around the world. While alleged photographs exist of the Maitreya, he may be just a fictional creation of Benjamin Creme.
Manifest Presence. The name of an annual conference led by Bill Johnson.
Manifesting. Occult spiritual practice where (most often) a girl repetitively writes whatever she wants to happen and after a certain amount of time it is supposed to happen. Manifesting is an application of the false Law of Attraction. This nonsense is sometimes presented as "science" (with some promoters even appealing to "quantum vibrations") but it's actually just another example of witchcraft repackaged. "Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord" – Deuteronomy 18:10-12a.
Mannam Volunteer Association, Mannam International Youth Coalition. Names of front groups for the Shincheonji cult.
Mannatech. Business cult/scam. American based company, makes various dietary supplements including Ambrotose. Mannatech operates as a business cult, featuring a pyramidal form (see Multi-level Marketing Scheme) to distribute its products, concealment of information from non-members (apparently the information is actually illegal in New Zealand to give to non-members, so that gives you some idea of how "on the level" they are), non-scientifically sustainable claims, etc. Mannatech is a scam because there is no scientific evidence that consuming Ambrotose does anything that consuming any sugary food won't also do, since the body converts sugars from one type to another as needed.
Jargon includes the term "glyconutrients" which is a genuine scientific word but misused by Mannatech. For example, Mannatech and its resellers push genuine glyconutrient science as evidence that Mannatech products work, and are either unaware themselves or hope the listener/reader will not realise that glyconutrient science does not provide evidence that Mannatech's sugar pills work, or that they work as claimed, or even that they could work in the way claimed. Read Ambrotose and Down Syndrome for an overview of this. Because of the deception involved this practice is highly misleading (and illegal, depending on the specific claims) and the New Zealand Cult List condemns it categorically.
In a July 2005 NZ Herald article, reporter Chris Barton asked George Howden, Mannatech's general manager in Australia, for "evidence that our diets are lacking in the glyconutrient sugars Mannatech says they are; and for scientific studies that show that by taking Mannatech products there are measurable health benefits." His reply was that he was not qualified to give that information. Without that sort of conclusive information readily available and the exorbitant prices charged Mannatech can only be described as a con.
From a New Zealand Press Association article, 9 March 2003:
New Zealand Aids Foundation executive director Kevin Hague said today the pills were "shonky" and had no scientific basis. ...
"Over the years there have been very many of these essentially 'snake oil' solutions to HIV," Mr Hague told NZPA. ...
Mr Hague said the foundation was angry that sick people and people with children suffering from illnesses and disease could be taken in by the claims attached to the pills.
He said the claims amounted to "cynical exploitation of the desperate and vulnerable".
Mannatech is only given a Caution rating here because it is likely to harm only your wallet, perhaps to the tune of $250-$350 per month (the NZ Herald claimed New Zealanders bought NZ$19 million of Ambrotose in 2004, TVNZ mentioned $20 million of products for 2005), although some long-time buyers of such products (not just Mannatech) are said to have serious problems with discernment. However, the rating of Danger was considered because of the claims made by resellers that it is able to cure life-threatening conditions, and for claims from Mannatech distributors that revelation from God was the source of discovery for Ambrotose, meaning it's a religious product being falsely marketed to a religious (in particular Christian) audience, playing on their religious beliefs. Christians market the stuff by claiming it is natural and therefore "God's way". Deception is not God's way.
For Christians selling the stuff, it has been suggested the name should be Mammontech, from Matthew 6:24 "You cannot serve God and mammon (money)".
A probably related topic is the placebo effect, and it's interesting to note the more expensive the placebo the more likely it is to work. With Mannatech we're talking about very expensive sugar pills. (That's literal sugar pills, BTW, not "sugar pill" as a euphemism for placebo.)
Martial Art. A set of strikes, sweeps, throws, etc, originally used for unarmed (and sometimes armed) combat, with the idea of controlling and/or killing the opponent. Most involve a set of levels designated by a different colour of belt, normally starting at white and topping out with black, but the colours in between vary. Most martial arts are only used for sport these days, with judo actually being created as a sport. However, many martial art schools require a form of worship of the founder of the particular martial art.
Masonic Lodge. Cult. Also commonly known as Freemasonry.
Masons. Cult. Also commonly known as Freemasonry.
Masters of Wisdom. New Age cult. The Masters of Wisdom themselves are supposedly perfected beings with a divine plan for humanity. Leader is a man known as the Maitreya. Front group Share International. Spokesman is Benjamin Creme who has visited New Zealand.
Maxim Institute. An independent charitable trust with the mission "through policy and public debate to promote the principles of a free, just and compassionate society." They also state "Maxim Institute is not aligned to any political party or church." For more information visit the Maxim Institute web site.
Mazda. 1. Supreme deity of Zoroastrianism and creator of the Zend Avesta. 2. Japanese car manufacturer, maker of the RX7 and RX8, arguably cars of cult popularity.
McKean, Kip. Kip McKean founded the International Church of Christ in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, then led the group from its Los Angeles branch. Founded International Christian Church in Portland, Oregon, USA, in 2006, of which there is a branch in Auckland.
McKibben, Daniel. Daniel McKibben is the pastor of the Royal Oak Seventh Day Adventist Church. Promoting himself as an international speaker (without any mention of being an Auckland pastor), in association with Ross Patterson he actively promotes the false discoveries of Ron Wyatt, including his false claim of having found the location of 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. From the Answers in Genesis special report:
Another refutation was co-written by David Fasold, a former supporter of the site who has excavated at the site and concluded it isn't Noah's Ark; it's a natural formation, not man-made:
Evidence from microscopic studies and photo analyses demonstrates that the supposed Ark near Dogubayazit is a completely natural rock formation. It cannot have been Noah's Ark nor even a man-made model.
However, David Fasold is still quoted by Daniel McKibben and his colleagues as supporting the site being Noah's Ark. Similarly with their attempts to give support to their claims by references to geologist Dr John Baumgardner. Although he was initially enthusiastic about the site, Dr Baumgardner now categorically denies the formation is Noah's Ark, and goes much further:
I am almost 100% certain that Ron 'planted' them [the rivets allegedly found at the site]. ...
Also from these excerpts it should be clear that I consider Wyatt's misrepresentation of my views as morally wrong and dishonest. But his deception of multitudes of Christians who have not had the opportunity to check his claims firsthand as I have is an even worse crime.
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.
The NZ Cult List regards Ron Wyatt as a con artist. We hope that Daniel McKibben is not similarly deceiving people, but it doesn't look good. Misrepresenting evidence, and misrepresenting sources like he does with David Fasold, Dr John Baumgardner and many others is particularly bad, as is his engaging in teaching all this deception when he is a pastor. James 3:1 – Not many should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we will receive a greater judgment. Like Ron Wyatt, Daniel McKibben hasn't been given a Danger rating because his claims are not likely to do any damage other than to people's wallets.
McLaren, Brian. A leading proponent and heretical teacher of the Emerging Church and a supporter of Rob Bell. Amongst his false teachings, Brian McLaren has criticised Christians who believe in a literal return of Christ. As is common in the Emergent Church, Brian McLaren redefines Christian words and terms. He has stated that Jesus' use of the phrase "Kingdom of God" was political not spiritual, and that we will bring it to pass; "Salvation" means us saving the planet; "world" (eg, John 3:16) means Earth, not lost people. He has written "The challenge today is not whether you are right, but whether you are good." (From his book A New Kind of Christian, page 61.) Compare this with Jesus' words in Luke 18: "No one is good except God alone." As with Rob Bell, Brian McLaren supports the teachings of radical theological liberal ("Progressive" Christian) Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan (the former co-director of the Jesus Seminar). He visited New Zealand in October 2009.
Meditation. A New Age technique for emptying the mind. May involve chanting a mantra. See also Transcendental Meditation and Transmission Meditation. Note that when Christians talk of, for example, "meditating on the Word of God" they are referring to concentrating on a passage of the Bible, using their full mental faculties to understand it. This is the complete opposite of emptying their mind. Romans 12:2 (NIV) is applicable.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
– Romans 12:2 (NIV).
Medium. A person who acts as an intermediary between the living and the dead. These people, including television mediums, tend to be just con artists using a technique known as cold reading to convince the gullible (and not-so-gullible) that they have real powers. For examples of mediums see Tyler Henry, James van Praagh or Jeanette Wilson.
Meyer, Joyce. Joyce Meyer heads Joyce Meyer Ministries (not surprisingly) and is one of the most popular television evangelists in the United States. Her television shows screen on New Zealand television and she was a featured speaker at the Parachute Music Festival 2007. Joyce Meyer is given a Caution rating here because of her Word Faith beliefs and teachings, not because she as a person is necessarily someone to be cautious of. As Apologetics Index puts it, "... Joyce Meyer's popularity lies in the fact that she promotes the aberrant and/or heretical doctrines of Word-Faith theology – with a particular emphasis on its most popular doctrines: 'positive confession' and 'prosperity teaching.'" Note that her positive confession only goes so far – Wikipedia points out that she "developed breast cancer in 1989 and was cured through traditional cancer treatment." CARM also has a number of serious concerns about Joyce Meyer.
Miller, Mary. In July 2018 it was reported she was deceased, probably late 2017. Formerly spokesperson, co-leader and co-founder of Gentle Wind Project and I Ching Systems. Founded GWP in New Zealand in early 2004, then returned to the United States where GWP was based, and I Ching Systems is still based. She was also known (or had been known at various times) as "Moe", "Mo", Claudia Panuthos, and Mary Elizabeth Carreiro (her original name, we believe). She was not a close relative or legal wife of GWP co-founder John "Tubby" Miller, but reportedly lived with him as part of a group of at least five women, most of whom changed their name to Miller. She had a degree in social work, although she hadn't practiced in about twenty years (her registration is in another state from where GWP is based). Contrary to her claims, she was an extreme New Ager. Extreme caution should have been exercised by any New Zealanders talking with her.
Mills, Joshua and Janet. Joshua Mills and Janet Mills are itinerant preachers pushing the False Revival Movement and have visited New Zealand. They claim many "signs" including gold dust appearing in meetings, which by itself qualifies Joshua Mills as a scammer and con artist. Also supernatural oil flowing from their hands – "enough to fill 15 bottles" – and feet, and what Joshua Mills claimed was Christ's blood appeared on his hand in one meeting in Auckland. (Why on Earth is Christ still bleeding? – Editor.) Joshua Mills also claims God miraculously transported him physically from Florida, USA, to China, where he handed out business cards at a prayer meeting. Joshua and Janet Mills endorse false prophet Bob Jones and occultist Patricia King, and in New Zealand are supported by Jack and Gaye Stradwick.
8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
– 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10 (NIV).
Mindbody. Submissions for this listing are now being accepted. Please see the Contact page.
Mind control. A suite of practices or mechanisms which cults (and sometimes sects) use to control the behaviour of their members. Mind control is not the same as brainwashing. For more information read the Cult Mind Control pamphlet (PDF 98KB) or see the Cult FAQ section on Techniques of mind control or read the Cultwatch article Mind Control Tool Box.
Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS). Scam product which Medsafe has warned could cause "severe harm to health". Distributed in New Zealand by Roger Blake and actively promoted by the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing. The product should not be taken as it is based on chlorine dioxide, a strong bleach. (The chlorine dioxide is produced by reaction of an acid with sodium chlorite in the MMS – not to be confused with sodium chloride which is table salt.) This NZ Herald article from October 2010 goes into more detail: "Medsafe said high oral doses could cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and symptoms of severe dehydration." However, this NZ Herald article from October 2016 "But the solution's packaging said these symptoms were normal and even proof that the MMS mixture is working".
As MMS falsely claims "to be effective against the flu, HIV and cancer" and malaria, it firmly qualifies as a scam, and a dangerous one. The product is also marketed as a water purifier and is falsely claimed to be a treatment for arthritis, shingles, chickenpox and other conditions, and to boost the immune system. A November 2014 NZ Herald article stated it is claimed to cure cancer, HIV/Aids, Ebola, malaria, asthma, autism, hepatitis C, acne, and flu. "The Ministry of Health ... asks that any adverse effects be reported to the New Zealand Pharmacovigilance Centre for Adverse Reaction Monitoring at Otago University." This NZ Herald article (broken link), also from October 2010, mentions that "Medsafe was continuing its investigations and said it supported the recommendations made by authorities in Britain, the United States and Canada that consumers who had MMS should stop using it immediately and throw it away." In November 2010 the product was featured on Close Up on TV One for trying to get around health product laws by stating that they are not allowed to claim it cures the common cold, HIV, etc.
According to The Guardian "MMS is banned in several countries, including Canada and Ireland. In the UK and US it is strictly controlled and has led to fraud prosecutions."
MLM. See multi-level marketing scheme below.
MMS. See Miracle Mineral Solution.
Moffat, Marion J. Rev Marion Moffat (all Scientologists call themselves "Rev") is the Chairperson of the Scientology cult in New Zealand. She apparently wanted to be listed here along with Mike Ferriss, so she recently contacted the company that hosts this web site in a failed attempt to circumvent free speech and have this site edited or removed. (This site does not breach any terms or conditions.) If she posed a serious or ongoing threat to free speech she might have been rated Danger, but as it is she's just a Caution.
Moon, Sun Myung. Sun Myung Moon founded the Moonies cult group. Self-styled "Reverend." Born 25 February 1920 in North Korea. In 1984 he was imprisoned for 11 months (or 13 months) of an 18-month sentence for tax evasion. He died 3 September 2012, aged 92.
Moonies. Particularly bad cult, known for its strong mind-control practices. Formally known as the Unification Church or the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. "Moonies" is a nickname derived from the name of the founder, Sun Myung Moon who started the cult in 1954. They have many front groups (especially in the USA) including Women's Federation for World Peace and the Family Federation for World Peace (two that are in New Zealand) and control many businesses in the United States (including the generally respected Washington Times). For a list of worldwide front groups see Freedom of Mind's Moonie front group list. The Moonies used Triangle TV ("Auckland's only regional TV station") to spread their message in Auckland, New Zealand, under the auspices of the Family Federation.
Moorhead, Caleb Jan. Caleb Jan Moorhead was a boy who died in May 2002 aged about 6 months, as a result of his mother's diet and both parents' stupidity. His parents' weird religious beliefs led to a strict vegan diet, without any meat, fish, or dairy products. Since vitamin B12 is only available from animal products, this resulted in Caleb not getting any vitamin B12 from his mother's breast milk, and as a result was suffering from broncho-pneumonia, anaemia and brain damage. Instead of accepting treatment his parents removed Caleb from hospital and put garlic in Caleb's booties and cayenne pepper on his chest. Idiots. As little as half an hour before dying, a B12 injection could have saved his life. He would probably have recovered from most of the brain damage. His parents were convicted of manslaughter and faced sentencing on 13 June 2002. For more info read this news article. As for the religious beliefs, note that Genesis 9:3 says that we are to eat meat now. "Every moving thing that lives shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things." (FYI listing.) More info can be found under vegetarianism.
Morehu, Kawana. Con man. A "self-proclaimed evangelist and missionary worker" according to the New Zealand Herald. Utilising his race and his claimed faith, he preys on Maori Christians in particular. He has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from investors but has not paid out any investments and has been connected to Nigerian 419 scams. Kevin Milne of Fair Go on TV One (13 October 2010): "He's so stupid that not many people believe what he says."
Morgan, Wayne. Wayne Morgan is the leader of Soul Destiny, a New Age group. He claims to have "been studying different forms of Quantum Physics over the last 20 years" (note the capital initials). Wayne Morgan is rated Danger because of his bogus claims, his New Age and occult teachings and for alleged use of mind control techniques in leading the group.
Mormons. Cult. Nickname for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Morning Star Church/Morning Star International. Now known as Every Nation Church. The name possibly came from Revelation 2:28 – I will also give him the morning star – the idea being that the church will rule over the nations. The name change to Every Nation was announced in July 2004, after the name was revealed in a message from God.
Mother Jerusalem. Aka Chung Gil Cha, aka Zahng Gil Jah, aka Heavenly Mother. Present leader of the World Mission Society Church of God, based in South Korea. Followers believe she is a female incarnation of God.
Move To Improve. See Feldenkrais.
(The) Movement, The Movement Youth Trust. Youth group of Destiny Church, led by youth pastors Samuel and Kiri Tamaki. The Movement is also the name of their Friday night programme (one of several). The Movement is rated Danger for its connection to and because it represents Destiny Church.
Moxibustion. New Age practice that involves placing on the skin and igniting a cone or cylinder of moxa, a tuft of soft combustible substance popularly used in the Orient as a cautery and counterirritant. Used for conditions such as schizophrenia, back pain, arthritis, cancer and skin diseases, etc.
Multi-level marketing scheme. Also sometimes called pyramid schemes, there are actually (sometimes subtle) differences which mean that MLMs are legal in New Zealand, pyramid schemes are not. According to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs:
Multi-level marketing usually involves commercially viable products (eg, clothing, jewellery, cosmetics, health products, cookware) which present genuine business and income-earning opportunities through repeat sales to clients.
Pyramid selling schemes often involve "gimmick" products (eg, certificates) or grossly overpriced products or services that have little or no resale value (eg, personal development programmes, magazine subscriptions).
Note that an MLM can have a pyramidal form and still technically be an MLM not an illegal pyramid scheme. (Actually the "multi-level" means an MLM must have a pyramid shape.) The Consumer Affairs page mentioned above shows how many people would have to be involved for a 13 level MLM to work. MLM schemes in New Zealand include Amway, Enzacta, IDA and Mannatech*, while SkyBiz is an example of a probable pyramid scheme that has operated in this country. For more information on why they're probably not a good thing to get involved with see What's Wrong With Multi-Level Marketing?
* A 2002 investigation of Mannatech by the Commerce Commission for alleged pyramid marketing concluded Mannatech was not a pyramid scheme.
Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). Renamed Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) in the mid 1990s, apparently after people began to take the mickey out of MPD. At the peak of its popularity claims were made that up to 1% of the (American) population suffered from the condition. Now that the condition has fallen out of fashion amongst therapists the rate of MPD/DID diagnosis has fallen markedly. Apparently MPD/DID is still popular in certain Christian circles because the cause can be attributed to demons which need to be exorcised. However, demon possession/oppression is not the same as MPD. MPD should also not be confused with schizophrenia. MPD was/is very probably simply caused by bad therapy, rather than the claimed severe physical or sexual abuse in early childhood. Symptoms are not shown prior to therapy and are not exhibited in children. Closely linked to Recovered Memory Syndrome (RMS), both MPD and RMS require the combination of a highly suggestible patient with a bad therapist (who may or may not realise what he or she is doing to the patient). Please note that this listing is not a comment on the reality of the symptoms (see this reported case, for example) – just how they were caused. People with a diagnosis of MPD unquestionably need help.
Munroe, Myles. 20 April 1954 – 9 November 2014. A prosperity gospel preacher from the Bahamas, president and founder of Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Was awarded an OBE in 1998 for services to religion, and holds an honorary doctorate from Oral Roberts University – an institution with strong links to the Word Faith Movement. Has visited New Zealand.
Muslim. A member of Islam, a major world religion. The name means "one who submits to God".
Mystical School NZ. A highly occult training course masquerading as Christian teaching. The course teaches many occult activities including astral travel. Taught by John Crowder in association with NZ Revival Network and Godfuel Media Ministries.