Priests & Politicians – the Mafia of the Soul

Priests & Politicians: The Mafia of the Soul
16 min read

“These politicians and these priests have been constantly in conspiracy, working together hand in hand. The politician has the political power; the priest has the religious power. The politician protects the priest, the priest blesses the politician – and the masses are exploited, sucked; their blood is sucked by both.”1 Osho

See also:

Osho: Only One Thing Can Prevent Politicians From Destroying the World
Democracy – The Primary Fatal Flaw
Democracy – Towards a Democratic Meritocracy
Mother Teresa: Deceiver, Charlatan, and Hypocrite
Time to Move Over, Old Man
A Complete Democracy Is Impossible without Economic Equality – Osho

We are asking three questions:

  • One, if this is illegal, why is no one prosecuted?
  • Two, if it is legal, who made those laws?
  • Three, then whose action or inaction allowed those lawmakers to have that power?

The Unfolding Story – Updated Regularly:

Read  2022 Edition HERE

February 3, 2023
Indian police arrest 1,800 men in crackdown on underage marriage
“More arrests are likely and will include people who help to register such marriages in temples and mosques. The nation is home to the largest number of child brides in the world at around 223 million, UN estimates.” – SCMP

February 2, 2023
Indian journalist freed on bail after being jailed for two years without trial
“Kappan, a Muslim journalist from the southern state of Kerala, was arrested in October 2020 as he was on his way to the northern state of Uttar Pradesh to report on the high-profile case of a Dalit girl who was gang-raped and later died…. In December 2020, the Kerala Union of Working Journalists alleged that Kappan had been ‘beaten thrice and subjected to mental torture during custody…. India has slipped 10 places in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom ranking to 150 out of 180 as critical journalists and media outlets have been harassed online and hit with criminal charges. Nine journalists are still in Indian prisons, according to Reporters Without Borders.’” – The Guardian

February 1, 2023
Revealed: how world’s biggest fossil fuel firms ‘profited in Myanmar after coup’
In the two years since a murderous junta launched a coup in Myanmar, some of the world’s biggest oil and gas service companies continued to make millions of dollars from operations that have helped prop up the military regime, tax documents seen by the Guardian suggest.” – The Guardian

February 1, 2023
California police kill double amputee who was fleeing: ‘Scared for his life’
“A southern California police department is facing national backlash after footage revealed that officers fatally shot a double amputee and wheelchair user who appeared to be hobbling away on the ground before he was killed.” – The Guardian

February 1, 2023
Wagner Commander Who Fled Russia Details Summary Executions 
An ex-commander with Russia’s notorious mercenary group Wagner who is currently seeking asylum in Norway described witnessing summary executions of fellow soldiers during an interview with The Moscow Times on Tuesday. Andrei Medvedev, 26, said that he witnessed a double execution at a Wagner center where the group was training inmates recruited from Russia’s jails.  ‘There was a case when they brought two prisoners who refused to fight and they shot them in front of others for refusing to follow orders,’ Medvedev said from Norway. ‘There were a lot of such cases.’” – Moscow Times

February 1, 2023
Brexit Is Costing the UK £100 Billion a Year in Lost Output
“An analysis by Bloomberg Economics three years after Britain left the European Union paints a bleak picture of the damage done by the way the split has been implemented by the Conservative government. Economists Ana Andrade and Dan Hanson reckon the economy is 4% smaller than it might have been, with business investment lagging significantly and the shortfall in EU workers widening.” – Bloomberg

February 1, 2023
Hong Kong is criminalizing CBD as a ‘dangerous drug’ alongside heroin
CBD was criminalized in the city and declared a “dangerous drug” on the same level as heroin and fentanyl…. It has surged in global popularity in recent years, with brands adding it to shampoos, drinks, body oils, gummy bears and dog treats. In the United States and Europe, you might find it sold in coffee shops and farmers’ markets, mom-and-pop and high-end department stores, and even drugstore chain CVS…. Possession and consumption of any amount of CBD is punishable by seven years in prison and a fine of 1 million Hong Kong dollars ($127,607). Manufacturing, importing or exporting CBD is punishable by life imprisonment.” – CNN

February 1, 2023
Canadian province tries decriminalizing drugs to fight overdose crisis
The western Canadian province of British Columbia on Tuesday began a three-year pilot program to stop prosecuting people for carrying small amounts of heroin, meth, ecstasy, or crack cocaine, as part of an effort to fight a drug overdose crisis. B.C. accounts for about a third of the 32,000 deaths due to overdose and trafficking nationally since 2016, according to official data. The province declared drug overdose a public health emergency that year.” – Reuters

January 30, 2023
These politicians banned alcohol – now poisonous hooch is killing thousands
“The world’s largest prohibition experiment since the 1920s pushed liquor production underground. The consequences have been disastrous.” – The Daily Telegraph

January 30, 2023
Male Iranian protestors raped, ice placed under testicles in prison, says Amnesty report
“The three men, out of the many who are facing the death penalty in Iran for participating in anti-regime protests, have been charged with “corruption on Earth” and “enmity against God”…. One of the men named Mehdi Mohammadifard was reportedly raped by prison guards and brutally beaten, according to the Amnesty report. The rights organisation also learned that 19-year-old Mohammadifard has sustained anal and rectal injuries.” – Firstpost

January 29, 2023
‘It was all for nothing’: Chinese count cost of Xi’s snap decision to let Covid rip
“After three years of lockdowns, the country was ill prepared for its abrupt ‘freedom’. Now, with some estimating 1m deaths, public anger is growing…. As it became clear China’s government had opened up the country, knowing it wasn’t ready…. Melody, a Chinese woman living abroad, wrote… ‘It shows me: protecting lives was never the motor behind zero-Covid. Power was. Now the Chinese people also see it.’” – The Guardian

January 29, 2023
Violent History Echoes in the Killing of Tyre Nichols
“On April 3, 1968, shortly before the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would deliver what turned out to be his last speech…. A few days before, a Memphis police officer had shot and killed Mr. Payne in a doorway outside the housing project where he lived…. Three years after Mr. Payne’s 1968 killing, several Memphis law enforcement officers were charged in connection with the murder of Elton Hayes, a Black 17-year-old who was beaten to death in a ditch after a high-speed chase…. In 1974 a Memphis police officer pursued a Black 15-year-old accused of stealing a wallet containing $10 and shot him in the back of the head, killing him as he was running away…. The toxic line reaches much farther back, to 1866, when mobs led by white Memphis police officers…. For three days, the mobs rampaged, raping Black women and looting and burning Black people’s homes, schools and churches in the same part of the city where Mr. Payne and Dr. King were killed 102 years later. No charges were ever brought against any of the policemen….” – The New York Times

January 29, 2023
Inside The Online Community Where Home-Schoolers Learn How To Turn Their Kids Into ‘Wonderful Nazis’
“A Telegram group called Dissident Homeschool has been a resource for neo-Nazis who want to teach their kids hate at home…. Over the past year, the Dissident Homeschool channel has become a community for like-minded fascists who see home schooling as integral to whites wresting control of America.” – HuffPost

January 28, 2023
He was arrested for sharing a cartoon. Eleven years later, he can finally move on
“The simple act of forwarding a mild piece of political satire saw his life ripped apart – and what it says about the dire state of free speech in India…. Remarkably, there are still hundreds of cases like Mahapatra’s across India, where people are still facing prosecution by state governments on the basis of Section 66A, a law that no longer exists.” – Independent

January 27, 2023
Hitler didn’t build the path to the Holocaust alone – ordinary people were active participants
“The process by which this happened demanded effort, thought and consideration. Moreover, it required huge numbers of people – not just thousands, or tens of thousands even, but hundreds of thousands. These people gave Hitler the practical means to achieve his ideological vision. Hundreds of thousands of men and women who cooperated, in various ways, with the mass murder of 6 million men, women and children.” – The Guardian

January 27, 2023
Burning of Qur’an in Stockholm funded by journalist with Kremlin ties
“Permit for demonstration at which anti-Islam provocateur burned Muslim holy book was paid for by far-right journalist linked to Moscow-backed media.” – The Guardian

January 27, 2023
India and Pakistan came close to nuclear war: Pompeo
“India and Pakistan came ‘close’ to a ‘nuclear conflagration’ in February 2019, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said in his new memoir. This happened after Delhi launched strikes against militants in Pakistani territory following an attack on Indian troops in Kashmir. Pakistan had then said it had shot down two Indian military jets and captured a fighter pilot.” – BBC

January 25, 2023
Censorship, arrests, power cuts. India scrambles to block BBC documentary.
“The film had already been banned, the social media posts censored. Now, the students huddled without light or electricity around glowing smartphones to watch what their government had deemed to be subversive foreign propaganda. China? No. They were in India, ostensibly the world’s largest democracy, and watching the BBC.” – The Washington Post

January 22, 2023
Lost photos from Warsaw Ghetto Uprising reveal horror of Jews’ last stand
“Images found in attic taken by Polish firefighter who risked his life to record how Jewish Poles fought the Nazis despite impossible odds…. The Warsaw ghetto, set up in 1940, was the largest in Europe, and at its peak held almost half a million Jews, packed into a small neighbourhood and forced to live in appalling conditions. Around 260,000 were deported from the ghetto to the Treblinka extermination camp and murdered. After mass deportations in 1942, those remaining inside the ghetto began to make preparations for an uprising, smuggling in weapons and explosives.” – The Guardian

January 21, 2023
Canada Settles $2 Billion Suit Over ‘Cultural Genocide’ at Residential Schools
“Thousands of Indigenous students educated at about 130 residential schools from the 19th century through the 1990s were forbidden, sometimes through coercive violence, from speaking their ancestral languages and practicing their traditions. Indigenous children were sometimes taken from their families by force and sent to the schools, which were largely run by churches…. Thousands of students are believed to have died at the schools from disease, malnutrition, neglect, accidents, fires and violence.” –  The New York Times

January 20, 2023
I Hate to Tell You This, But the Most Destructive Force on the Planet Is the GOP
What the Standoff Over the “Debt Limit” Really Means, And Why It Matters More Than You Think” – Eudaimonia and CoJanuary 18, 2023
New Photo Shows Serious Injuries On Memphis Man Who Died In Police Custody
“The family of a young Black man who died in the custody of Memphis, Tennessee, police is outraged and looking for answers — starting with the release of body camera footage that may help explain what happened to 29-year-old Tyre Nichols during a routine traffic stop this month.” – HuffPost

January 17, 2023
Russians are living in a frightening, distorted reality
“Propaganda is not limited to news bulletins and talk shows — it also permeates documentaries, cultural programs and even sports coverage. New Year’s Eve, when millions of Russians tune in to listen to popular songs and watch favorite movies, was also filled with propaganda messages…. Western politicians and commentators who blame Russian society for tolerating this regime for such a long time should not forget about their own leaders who did exactly the same.” – The Washington Post

January 17, 2023
Conservative Pundit Spots George Santos Lie That Shows He’s A ‘Complete Sociopath’
“Conservative commentator Charlie Sykes on Monday said the scandal engulfing Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) was ‘testing the Republican Party’s capacity for lies and for sleaze, which we know is pretty considerable.’… ‘So, it’s going to test Kevin McCarthy’s capacity for going along with the embarrassment. We already know what his capacity for tolerating lies and sleaze is,’ Sykes said.” – HuffPost

January 16, 2023
Call for new taxes on super-rich after 1% pocket two-thirds of all new wealth
“Oxfam has called for immediate action to tackle a post-Covid widening in global inequality after revealing that almost two-thirds of the new wealth amassed since the start of the pandemic has gone to the richest 1%. In report to coincide with the annual gathering of the global elite at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the charity said the best-off had pocketed $26tn (£21tn) in new wealth up to the end of 2021. That represented 63% of the total new wealth, with the rest going to the remaining 99% of people.” – The Guardian

January 16, 2023
Western firms facilitating production of Myanmar junta’s weapons, says report
“Companies in 13 countries across Europe, Asia and North America are assisting Myanmar’s junta – either indirectly or directly – by supplying materials to the stated-owned entity that produces the military’s weapons, a report by the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M) has found. The weapons are then being used to commit human rights atrocities…. Dozens of companies based in Austria, France, China, Singapore, India, Israel, Ukraine, Germany, Taiwan, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the US were supplying raw materials, machines, technology and parts to the Directorate of Defence Industries (DDI), a state-owned company responsible for producing military equipment for Myanmar’s armed forces…. the Austrian company GFM Steyr is believed to have provided computer numerical control machines for the manufacturing of gun barrels. Dassault Systèmes in France is said to have supplied 3D electromagnetic simulation and analysis software, and computer aided design (CAD) software for 3D modelling. The Germany-based Siemens Digital Industries Software is thought to have provided multiple types of software, and Ukraine’s Ukrspecexport is believed to have supplied types of transfer technology for the production of 2SIU self-propelled howitzers, BTR-4 armoured personnel carriers and MMT-40 light tanks.” – The Guardian

January 16, 2023
The richest one per cent in India own more than 40 per cent of the country’s total wealth finds Oxfam inequality report
“Richest 1% globally have taken nearly two-thirds of all new wealth worth $42 trillion created since 2020…. While the bottom half of the population together share just 3 per cent of all wealth, according to a new report…. ‘A one-off tax on unrealised gains from 2017-2021 on just one billionaire, Gautam Adani, could have raised Rs 1.79 trillion, enough to employ more than five million Indian primary schoolteachers for a year,’ the report said.” – Independent

January 16, 2023
Australia’s richest 1% pocketed $150,000 a minute over past decade, Oxfam research finds
“The Australian data showed that a wealth tax of just 2% on the country’s millionaires with wealth over $7m, 3% on those with wealth over $67m, and 5% on billionaires would raise $29.1bn annually, enough to increase income support payments to the Henderson poverty line of $88 a day for 1.44 million people. By contrast, the federal government is pressing ahead with the Morrison-era stage three tax cuts, which will result in $243bn of lost tax revenue in the decade after they come into effect.” – The Guardian

January 16, 2023
Tracking rising religious hatred in India, from half a world away
“Naik, 29, is the founder of HindutvaWatch.org, one of the most robust real-time data sets of human rights abuses in the world’s largest democracy….
After 2017, India’s crime bureau stopped collecting data on hate crimes, news reports show…. The stop has created a gaping void of information, the scholars added, and most attempts to report on hate crimes in India have quickly been shut down or disappeared. Enter Naik.” – The Washington Post

January 15, 2023
Saudi prosecutors seek death penalty for academic over social media use
“A prominent pro-reform law professor in Saudi Arabia is facing the death penalty for alleged crimes including having a Twitter account and using WhatsApp to share news considered “hostile” to the kingdom, according to court documents seen by the Guardian…. Last year, Salma al-Shehab, a Leeds PhD student and mother of two, received a 34-year sentence for having a Twitter account and for following and retweeting dissidents and activists. Another woman, Noura al-Qahtani, was sentenced to 45 years in prison for using Twitter.” – The Guardian

January 15, 2023
‘We have no one’: The women and girls sold as brides in Kashmir
“For as little as $35, Indian women and girls are being sold by traffickers and forced into marriages against their will.” – Aljazeera

January 15, 2023
Black WWII soldiers asked a White woman for doughnuts. They were shot.
“About two weeks after the end of World War II in Europe, French women were serving U.S. soldiers coffee and doughnuts in a Red Cross tent in France. Two Black soldiers went inside to get some. This was a breach of norms: In a segregated army, many White American soldiers did not want Black men talking to French women. The Black soldiers — Allen Leftridge and Frank Glenn — were challenged by a White sergeant, according to a witness. When a White armed guard arrived, he fatally shot the two men.” – The New York Times

January 14, 2023
How to Help Girls Enduring the Unendurable
“One unpublished survey found that a majority of women in the Kibera slum here in Nairobi had their first sexual experience through rape or sexual assault. The World Health Organization estimates that almost one-third of women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, with rates particularly high in developing countries. A 2013 United Nations survey found that almost a quarter of men in six Asian countries acknowledged that they had raped someone. This is part of the unfinished business of #MeToo, and it could use more American leadership. For many years, the bipartisan International Violence Against Women Act has languished in Congress; it would make permanent an office in the State Department for women’s issues and elevate issues of gender violence.” – The New York Times

January 14, 2023
Christian missionaries target the birthplace of Buddha in Nepal
“Most of the surge in Christian numbers in Nepal is from among members of the community who call themselves Dalits – traditionally at the bottom of the Hindu caste hierarchy – or from indigenous people. They may believe in miracles as Pang suggests, but for them conversion also offers a chance to escape entrenched poverty and discrimination.” – BBC

January 14, 2023
Brazil’s military blocked arrests of Bolsonaro rioters, officials say
“When top Lula administration officials arrived at the army headquarters Sunday night with the aim of securing the detention of insurrectionists at the camp, they were confronted with tanks and three lines of military personnel. ‘You are not going to arrest people here,’ Brazil’s senior army commander, Gen. Júlio César de Arruda, told new Justice Minister Flávio Dino, according to two officials who were present. That act of protection, which Lula administration officials say gave hundreds of insurrectionists time to escape arrest, is one of several indications of a troubling pattern that authorities are now investigating as evidence of alleged collusion between military and police officials and the thousands of rioters who invaded the institutions at the heart of Brazil’s young democracy.” – The Washington Post

January 13, 2023
She Witnessed Mao’s Worst Excesses. Now She Has a Warning for the World.
“Her voice drops, barely audible among the din of cutlery and diners in the restaurant: “When you do things in the spirit of Mao, that scares me,” she says, referring to China’s top leader, Xi Jinping…. Today, Ms. Chen’s voice has been drowned out by party historians who gloss over events like the Great Leap Forward and dismiss the estimates of tens of millions of dead as “historical nihilism” intended to undermine the party. ‘They say history is on their side and that means they are right,’ Ms. Chen said about China’s Communist Party. But, she added, ‘If you know the past and the way they did things then, you can understand better what is happening now.’”  – The New York Times

January 13, 2023
Jailed for life for stealing $14
“In California, if a person commits two felonies that are classed as ‘serious’ or ‘violent’, and then go on to commit any other crime, no matter how small, they will be given a life sentence. It’s a law stemming from a tough crackdown on crime in the 1990s when a wave of crime in the state caused public outcry and was used by politicians determined to respond in kind.” – The Guardian

January 12, 2023
Survey finds ‘classical fascist’ antisemitic views widespread in US
“The survey shows ‘antisemitism in its classical fascist form is emerging again in American society, where Jews are too secretive and powerful, working against interests of others, not sharing values, exploiting — the classic conspiratorial tropes,’ Matt Williams, vice president of the ADL’s year-old Center for Antisemitism Research, told The Washington Post.” – The Boston Globe

January 11, 2023
The Philippines Is Losing Its ‘War on Drugs’
“New President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has promised a more compassionate approach, but that’s not what it looks like in the slums of Manila…. By the time Duterte stepped down as president in the middle of last year at the end of his six-year term, official government figures in the war on drugs were 6,252 deaths. But human rights groups and International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan have a higher estimate of between 12,000 to 30,000 deaths. This includes the many so-called extrajudicial executions (EJKs) in which masked motorcycle riders shoot people for reasons that are often opaque. “Riding in tandem” has become a euphemism for motorcycle assassins. According to documents lodged at the ICC by Khan, these unidentified perpetrators are ‘apparently acting in coordination with police.’” – Foreign Policy

January 9, 2023
Mass-market military drones: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023
“Turkish-made aircraft like the TB2 have dramatically expanded the role of drones in warfare…. The tactical advantages are clear. What’s also sadly clear is that these weapons will take an increasingly horrible toll on civilian populations around the world.” – MIT Technology Review

January 6, 2023
‘It never stops’: killings by US police reach record high in 2022
“Law enforcement killed at least 1,176 people or about 100 people a month last year, making it the deadliest for police violence.” – The Guardian

January 6, 2023
Harvard blocks role for former Human Rights Watch head over Israel criticism
“Kennedy School allegedly bowed to donors unhappy with organisation accusing Israel of apartheid in occupied territories…. The school has received tens of millions of dollars from supporters of Israel such as the billionaire Leslie Wexner who, the Nation said, was instrumental in bringing members of Israel’s military and intelligence services to study there. Another major donor, Robert Belfer, is also closely involved with the Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee, which have sought to discredit human rights groups over their criticism of Israel. Belfer is a member of the dean’s executive board of major donors who advise Elmendorf.” – The Guardian

January 6, 2023
The Big Rip-Off and the Failed Coup
“Trump knew in advance that he was likely to lose, and he made plans.  One of them was to fundraise from defeat.  Rather than conceding, the idea was to tell his supporters that Democrats were “trying to steal” the election.  Everything went as expected and planned: Trump lost; he claimed that he had won; and the fundraising began immediately with the pre-approved slogan about stopping the steal.  The goals were two: to get a lot of money for nothing, and to build support for extra-legal action to keep Trump in the presidency.” – Timothy Snyder

January 6, 2023
The Jan. 6 coup blared an alarm about rising fascism. Will we hear it?
“How anti-fascist organizing pushed back against the far right in the Reagan era. Two years after the failed Jan. 6, 2021, coup, the far right continues to escalate threats against marginalized groups and to our democratic system more broadly. The mass killing at Club Q in Colorado Springs, followed soon after by an attack on an electrical grid, which some suspect might have been motivated by a desire to disrupt a drag show in North Carolina, offer a grim foreshadowing of more violence to come. This is particularly worrying given Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) recent statement to the New York Young Republican Club that if she and Stephen K. Bannon had been in charge on Jan. 6, the mob ‘would have been armed’ and ‘we would have won.’” – The Washington Post

January 6, 2023
Jair Bolsonaro wrecked Brazil’s presidential palace, TV report suggests
“Journalist touring residence with new first lady is shown torn sofas, broken windows and art damaged by the sun.” – The Guardian

January 3, 2023
Myth America: Historians Take On the Biggest Legends and Lies About Our Past – Basic Books

January 2, 2023
How Russia’s War on Ukraine Is Worsening Global Starvation
Moscow blocks most shipments from Ukraine, one of the world’s largest wheat producers, and its attacks on the country’s energy grid also disrupt the flow of food. From March to November, Ukraine exported an average of 3.5 million metric tons per month of grains and oilseeds, a drop from five million to seven million metric tons per month before the war.” – The New York Times

January 1, 2023
‘You’re a slave’: Inside Louisiana’s forced prison labor and a failed overhaul attempt
“In recent years there has been a growing movement to prevent forced labor in prisons for little or no pay. But in a state that has one of the highest incarceration rates in the country, the debate is unsettled…. As many as 800,000 incarcerated people work in prisons across the country, providing more than $9 billion a year in services to those facilities and creating around $2 billion in goods and commodities, according to a study from the University of Chicago’s Law School and the American Civil Liberties Union. The average prison wage is 52 cents an hour, while seven states are not required to pay prisoners for work. Many spend half their earnings on taxes and accommodation, the research shows.” – Washington Post

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