President Joe Biden signed one of the largest stimulus packages in American history into law on Thursday, pouring nearly $2 trillion into a wide-ranging effort to crush the coronavirus and bring the pandemic-ravaged U.S. economy back from the brink of disaster. Appearing in the Oval Office with Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden said before signing the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that the bill is about bringing immediate relief to the millions of people in the U.S. battered by the pandemic. “This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country, and giving people i...
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An Ohio megachurch is the focus of an extensive investigation published by The Daily Beast on Saturday.
"Over the last two months, The Daily Beast interviewed 25 former Dwell followers, whose membership spans nearly four decades. While the details of their experiences differed, the result was the same: Dwell, they said, was a church that drew them in when they were young or lonely, showered them with attention and compliments, and quickly turned dark," Emily Shugerman reported. "A church that pressured them to relinquish all their free time, to cut ties with their outside friends and family, to move into group houses with their fellow members. A church that dictated who they could date, where they went to school, and how they groomed their body hair. A church that pressured them to stay in abusive marriages and blamed them when they were raped. A church that warned them that walking away from Dwell would be walking away from God. What they were describing, many of them said, was not a church at all, but a cult."
Executive Pastor Brian Adams told The Beast that "cult" was "an anti-Christian slur."
Dennis McCallum, the 70-year-old founder of Dwell, is thoroughly convinced that his church is fighting a war with Satan. In his book, Satan and His Kingdom—one of 14 books he has published on Christianity—McCallum claims that the devil is a living being, and that a 'spiritual war' is raging against him around the world. He claims Christians must act as soldiers, ready to endure extreme suffering, sacrifice their possessions, and follow their leaders’ orders," The Beast reported.
Dwell Community Church was into recently named Xenos Christian Fellowship.
"Younger, unwed Dwell members are prodded to move into “ministry houses” that sleep up to four per room. (Stapleton said a house leader told him the point of the cramped quarters was to prevent residents from masturbating.) Once there, members are expected to spend most of their free time socializing with house members or evangelizing to potential recruits," The Beast reported. "Members said the group inserted itself into many other areas of their lives, from who would be in their wedding to how they groomed themselves."
The Beast interviewed Dr. Janja Laclich, a sociologist and cult expert.
“People are giving up their own autonomy. They’re giving up their own decision-making. They’re pawns. And if they think about leaving then they’re going to lose everybody they know and their family," she explained. “It’s classic cult stuff.”
Watch NBC 4's February report on the church:
Special rangers in Texas have reportedly broken up a cattle rustling scheme involving a public official.
"The top seated official in the least populated county in the state of Texas was arrested Friday. Loving County Judge Skeet Jones is accused of livestock theft and organized criminal activity," News West 9 reported. "A special ranger with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association confirmed Judge Jones and three others, including a county employee, are accused of picking up estray cattle and selling them."
Jones was arrested along with Cody Williams, Jonathon Alvarado and Leroy Medlin.
"By law, if an estray (loose) livestock animal roams onto a property, the property owner must report the livestock to the the sheriff. The sheriff's office would then contact the livestock's owner and work toward reunification," the station reported. "Jones and Williams are officially charged for theft of three head of cattle and organized crime. Alvarado is charged for theft of one head of cattle and organized crime. Medlin is charged for organized crime."
Jones is the son of Elgin “Punk” Jones, who was the county sheriff for 28 years.
"For decades, a handful of prominent families in Loving County have feuded bitterly for control of the local government, with the Joneses finally largely coming out ahead. Skeet Jones has served as the judge for more than 15 years. His sister is the county clerk. His cousin’s husband is the county attorney. His nephew is the constable," NBC News reported.
Texas election lawyer Susan Hays says the scheme was "asinine."
“You can’t make this sh*t up,” she told NBC News. “It’s a pain in the ass to round up cattle and take them to market. And then to risk real trouble for it? It’s just asinine to me.”
Notorious political dirty trickster Roger Stone will have to choose between prison and his longtime friend, Donald Trump, a former federal prosecutor argued on Saturday.
"It was known as F.O.S. — or Friends of Stone — and while its members shifted over time, they were a motley cast of characters," The New York Times reported Friday. "At least three members of the group chat are now facing charges in connection with the riot at the Capitol in January 2021. They include Owen Shroyer, the right-hand man of the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones; Enrique Tarrio, the onetime chairman of the Proud Boys; and Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia."
The group chat was on the encrypted communications app Signal.
At least two members of the group are cooperating with investigators.
"While little is known about what was said on the chat, the membership list of Friends of Stone, provided to The New York Times by one of its participants, offers a kind of road map to Mr. Stone’s associations, showing their scope and nature in the critical period after the 2020 election. During that time, Mr. Stone was involved with a strikingly wide array of people who participated in efforts to challenge the vote count and keep Mr. Trump in the White House," the newspaper reported. "At least one of Mr. Stone’s Oath Keeper bodyguards, Joshua James, has pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy charges in the Capitol attack and is cooperating with the government’s inquiry. Kellye SoRelle, a lawyer for the Oath Keepers, was part of the Friends of Stone chat as well and is also said to be cooperating with prosecutors in the riot investigation."
Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner suggested that will create a dilemma for Stone while analyzing the case on his "Justice Matters" podcast.
"So this is also a really good development, that people are flipping on Roger Stone, because one day — one day — Roger Stone is either going to prison or he's flipping on Donald Trump," he said.
Giuliani testifies; friends of Stone are flipping; Ginni Thomas insurrects & Loudermilk gets quiet www.youtube.com