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i found the classifications interesting,
and a butt load of other groups
out there! $$$$$$$
And just to be fair and balanced, here's one of many listings of major religious classifications, and the number of adherents.
Probably a lot more $$$$$$$$$ given that many of these have physical places of worship and aren't just meeting in someone's living room.
That link is interesting onehand, I was surprised about judaism only representing <1%... could that be right?
THis Report does have the Name wrong for the Mafu Group. It was The Foundation for Self-Realization Beyond the Human Potential.
The one named for Inner Divinity was never formed.
It says they have over 15000 followers... not hardly.
"Mafu," the entity said to speak through channel Penny Torres, emerged in the mid-1980s during the growing popularity of "Ramtha," the entity said to speak through J. Z. Knight. In the process of developing as a channel, Torres had visited Knight, and as "Mafu" emerged, many people noted the similarity between his speech characteristics and gestures and those of "Ramtha."
Mafu described himself as a 32,000-year-old being who had incarnated on earth 17 different times. He began to manifest through Torres in 1986. Torres's attention had been occupied by some poltergeist activity, in which objects spontaneously flew around the room. She was then told by another channel, Pam Davis, that a master named Mafu wished to speak through her. The very next day "Mafu" first spoke to Torres and instructed her how to use a crystal to heal her son, who was sick with pneumonia. Later that year, in Davis's home, Torres began to channel, though it was not "Mafu" who spoke.
Then a month later "Mafu" again spoke through Torres and began to train her as a trance channel. She gave her first public channeling sessions in Santa Barbara, California, and within a short time was regularly conducting channeling sessions in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. As her popularity grew, she organized Mafu Seminars and began to give weekend programs around the country. In 1988 "Mafu" launched a more advanced study opportunity for people serious about his teachings, developing a course called "Advanced Realization Training Beyond the Human Potential." The course introduced people to a macrobiotic diet, meditation, and other advanced teachings.
The direction of the movement around "Mafu" took a new turn in 1989 when Torres visited India and had an intense religious experience. She took the vows of a renounced life (as a sanyassi) and accepted the mission as the "ordained leader of spirituality" for the present age. She also received her new name, Swami Paramananda Saraswati. Torres returned to the United States and established the Foundation for the Realization of Inner Divinity to supersede Mafu Seminars. The subsidiary, the Center for God Realization, now disseminates "Mafu's" teaching materials (tapes and books).
The foundation is headquartered at a campground near Ashland, Oregon, which serves as a retreat center. Mafu's continued teachings, most of which are disseminated in cassette tapes, are seen as forming a distinct path to realization. The foundation may be contacted at P.O. Box 458, White City, OR 97524.
I think the percentage of Jews is pretty accurate, after doing a quick Google search. I'm not surprised. I was raised Jewish. Jews don't recruit people to join the Jewish religion. One is technically Jewish if their mother was Jewish. If a person wants to convert to Judaism, there is a lengthy process involving taking classes. Also, Jews have been killed in great numbers due to persecution over the centuries, and I'm not just talking about the six million that Hitler killed.
Yes, I see your point about the persecution. How many are descended from jews (jewish mother/grandmother, etc) but are not counted in that statistic because they don't profess/practice judaism though I wonder?
What could any of these charts cite as membership figures except official, dues-paying members of various religions. There must be uncounted multitudes of people who don't attend or belong to any established religion. And as for "New Age" groups, most people I know might reluctantly accept that label, but do not belong long-term to any organized groups.
In fact, one of the major "New Age" teachings I heard along the way is this: We do not need any go-between such as a priest or minister or rabbi, to speak to our Divine self. We don't need to read ancient books to connect with God (or whatever name is used). We can learn to listen to the "still, small voice" within us (sometimes that voice can speak pretty loudly!) and have our own "conversations with God." So the people I know may have learned from various spiritual groups along the way, and they let their Divine nature lead them to various books, tapes, movies, etc. as a source of further learning, but THEY ARE UNCOUNTED as far as membership in specific groups. Just try counting Course in Miracles groups, Bible study groups, intuition groups, meditation groups, spirituality discussion groups, Native American-related circles, etc. Who could possibly count all the small groups that meet in living rooms? Plus, there are countless New Age/spiritual groups that offer classes and activities but don't try to keep people hooked for years as RSE does. Then there are centers that host New Age speakers, workshops, etc., but don't have any teachings of their own.
Maybe all this is why the pundits were so surprised by the numbers that "came out of the woodwork" to see What the Bleep. Whatever one thinks of that movie, it demonstrated a huge market that the Wall Street folks weren't aware of. Just watch as they try to tap into it!
I had to think about why I was so surprised about the <1% figure... it made me realize it must have something to do with the whole 'jewish conspiracy' thing (which I DO NOT buy into). We're always hearing how jews are everywhere, jews have their hand in everything... it's quite enlightening how I somehow accepted this even though I thoroughly disagree with the jewish conspiracy crap. Also makes sense why those who want to eradicate jews could be so successful since once you extinguish bloodlines you have in essence stopped judaism in it's tracks.
Of course you're right onehandontheelephant, about the figures being somewhat arbitrary. I thought the 'no religion' category could probably include some of the atheist and even new agers you describe. It takes a whole further step to actually label oneself 'atheist' even if one doesn't necessarily believe in god I think.
As a Jew by birth, I've always found it a bit chilling to hear about those "Jews control all the money, Jews control everything" attitudes...but my response is, If Jews control all the money, then why haven't I gotten my share?
You might find this interesting, although it is a generalization and overly simplified: Most Jews came here from Europe, where they were barred from most occupations. Money lender was one thing they were allowed to do. Maybe the money lender occupation is where a lot of the stereotypes began.
When Jews in my grandparent's generation came to America, they were eager to embrace the freedom of starting THEIR OWN businesses. All my aunts and uncles ran their own businesses (working long hours)rather than be someone else's 9-5 employees. Jews in general also highly value learning and culture; my parents drove long distances almost every weekend to take us to museums and educational events. People who run their own businesses potentially have more money to send their kids to college than people who work at Wal-Mart...
Obviously, the "Jewish conspiracy" stuff still pushes my buttons. I still remember how I felt years ago, living in a big city, when I found a swastika on my front door, or when I heard that some people actually think we Jews have horns hidden under our hair. Anyway, this is far enough to go off thread.