7 Nov 2010

Rifqa Bary, the Xenos Christian Fellowship cult, and fake Muslim apostates

The Examiner - September 1, 2009

Rifqa Bary and the Xenos Cult - Part 1

by Davi Barker | SF Muslim Examiner

Anyone watching the blogosphere now knows Rifqa Bary. Born Muslim, she converted to Christianity and fled her home in New Albany Ohio and went to Orlando Florida to the home of a pastor she met on Facebook. This video surfaced on August 10th, Rifqa's 17th birthday, which began the the cacophony.

There were immediately two competing narratives. Rifqa's attorney John Stemberger asserts that Rifqa suffered a history of physical and sexual abuse, and she is now fighting for her life. Anti-Muslim bloggers like Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs and Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch immediately jumped into the fray. In this narrative an extremely devout Muslim family from a radical Ohio mosque are trying to fly their apostate daughter back to Sri Lanka for an “honor killing.” The Bary family insists that they've never made any such threats, that the girl is free to practice any religion, and they just want their family whole again. In this narrative a cult of Evangelical Christians used the Internet to brainwash her into leaving her religion and her family and move the Florida.

On the Evangelical side this is an opportunity to dump on Islam, and the girl is the frosting that makes the guano palatable. On the Muslim side the focus is on defending Islam, and there's little regard for the details of the case. But I found serious problems with both narratives. Now, I think I've found something few others are talking about.

The first thing that was clear was the Rifqa learned about "honor killings" from Christians not from Muslims. Periodically in the video, when she's flustered, she looks over to someone off camera. This is a tell when someone has been coached. They seek visual confirmation by making eye contact. At the five minute mark she says, "It's in the Quran." Which it's not, but then she looks off camera and says, "You can, like, give them knowledge about it." She gestures, and a man answers unintelligibly. Then she says to the reporter, "He really will explain it and break it down. They have to do this!" Who ever that man is... he is the coach. And we know it's not the pastor because he's holding her, but I'm certain he had a hand in it. He's quoted as having said, "These are the last days, these are the end times, and this conflict between Islam and Christianity is going to grow greater. This conflict between good and evil is going to grow greater." Do you see why it makes no sense? If this is her religion, her upbringing, her life... she would be fluent in it's details. She wouldn't need someone else to explain it for her.

But that's not enough. Blake Lorenz had only had her for a few weeks in Florida. That's time for coaching, but not for brainwashing. So, I looked to her church activity in Ohio. Only a few articles briefly mention that she attended Church called Xenos Christian Fellowship. A little Googling on this group immediately brings the whole picture into view. Message boards and articles about the Xenos Fellowship are filled with comments about the group's cultish tendencies, specifically it's manipulative efforts to isolate people from their friend's and family.

Xenos means "Alien" as in the members of the Church, called "Xenoids," should be aliens in this world, seeking only their home in Heaven. Ex-Xenoids speak of years of rigid social control and peer pressure before they could get out and ostracism once they left. Stories emerge of "Leaders" running a "Ministry House" where groups of older members live together and host "Home Church" to "Cell Groups" of high school and junior high aged members. The group takes 13 and 14 year old girls out on "Bible Study" camping retreats with college aged boys.

Ex-leaders describe a community where adults and youth are discouraged from socializing outside the fold without bringing another Xenoid along. Where leaders conspire to orchestrate the romantic relationships of members by pairing "workers" together and breaking off "fringe" members. Others describe losing loved ones to the Church, their siblings, or children or even spouses being so engrossed in the Church they abandon all other ties. They describe the Church as preying on confused teenagers, exploiting their weaknesses and then jumping in to "save" them. Even worse they have on staff an on call psychologist to keep people in line.

Annemarie Smith, creator of Parents Against Xenos calls the Church the "Xenos Cult", and their leader, "The Devil Man." At her blog she describes her son's history with the Xenos Cult, which is not at all unlike Rifqa's story. Her son Tom, like Rifqa, was an honor roll student. A charismatic over achiever. But like Rifqa he was relatively new to the area, and needed friends. Members seek out candidates with family problems, or who just don't fit in somehow. Just as Muhammad describes his daughter, Annemarie described Tom as,"speaking as if reading from a script." Like Rifqa he was baptised in his new religion. He told his family that he did not feel as connected to them as to his new Church, and he could not have relationships that were not centered around God. So complete was the group's control over Tom that he called to threaten her into shutting down her website. But she continues in good faith that her son will come around. The leader then accused her of carrying on a, "terror campaign" when she stood outside the Church's meetings with signs saying, "I want my son back." In her crusade against the Xenos Cult Annemarie has pulled many from the flock, but not Tom.

Let me be clear. I subscribe to a principle which is as Islamic as it is American, that the accused be considered innocent until proven guilty. I consider the father innocent of the allegations of abuse until I see evidence. Similarly, I consider the pastor innocent of the allegations of brainwashing until I see evidence. I believe that this is most likely what happened to Rifqa. The flavor is different, but the results are the same.

Rifqa and her attorney, John Stemberger describe her family as "extremely devout" and try to connect the family with terrorism in the community. The Muslim response has been that Muhammad is not very devout. His daughter was a cheerleader, and his son drinks beer and parties.

I don't think this is a good argument. What you do by making this argument is you concede that devout Muslims are violent, and you throw the Bary family under the bus to save Islam from controversy. If you want to jump to the defense of Islam, just link people to the hundreds of scholars who confirm that the death penalty for apostasy comes from a time in history when apostasy was synonymous with treason. It has no place in the modern world. There is no compulsion in religion. Islam is not on trial here. We are talking about a specific person. And specific people are capable of murder. Do not allow this to be an argument about Islam. Stand up for justice for the girl!

The family insists that they've never made any threats. Character witnesses from amongst the family's friends and neighbors confirm that they are not as they are being portrayed. Sgt. Jerry Cupp of the Columbus Police Department told the Associated Press that Bary "comes across to me as a loving, caring, worried father about the whereabouts and the health of his daughter." , and police say they have found no evidense of abuse. But this does not support the allegation that Blake Lorenz brainwashed and kidnapped the girl into an Evangelical cult. Screenshots from Rifqa's Myspace show her proclaiming "JC" as her savior in 2007, long before she met Blake Lorenz. He may be a charlatan who's enjoying his moment in the spot light.

I believe the most likely culprit here is the Xenos Cult, a group that specifically emphasizes verses where Jesus tells the disciples to leave their family, disown their loved ones. Xenos tears families apart.

As Muslims I think we must suspend judgement, because if we deny the facts, and we bunker down in defense of Islam, and we're wrong, we will have lost all credibility. The Truth will out. A judge ordered the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the abuse allegations, while Rifqa is staying with a temporary guardian in Florida until the next hearing scheduled for September 3rd. If any of these allegations are true the Facebook records will show it. We must stand in defense of the girl, because Rifqa is the victim in any scenario.

We must contend with the reality that she is a 17 year old woman who in all likelihood genuinely believes her life is in danger. Even if she's wrong, that fear is real. Can we in good conscience force her to return to a family she's terrified of?If you ask me she needs a psychiatrist who specializes in cult deprogramming. Who ever the culprit is, she's probably suffering from extreme emotional and psychological damage. I think that we must seriously consider advocating for her emancipation?

For more info:

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The Examiner - September 3, 2009

Rifqa Bary Part II: The fake apostate conspiracy

by Davi Barker | SF Muslim Examiner


There is no might or power on earth or in Heaven greater than God.

I'm way out on a limb here, but I think I figured it out! Tell me if this makes sense... if you're just tuning in go back and read Rifqa Part I: The Xenos Cult [see article above]

WND located this photo of Tayee Adrian,
Rifqa's liason with Xenos Cult.

It's 2:44 am, and I haven't slept, but the trial is today and I don't have time to polish this, so here's some real gonzo journalism. I do this all for you, my dear reader.

The Franklin County Children Services in Ohio conducted a nearly month long investigation and concluded that the allegations against Muhammad Bary were unsubstantiated and it was safe for Rifqa to return home. Although they recommended therapy for the girl, and Muhammad agreed the whole family could use counseling.

That's bad for the anti-Muslim narrative, so John Stemberger filed a memorendum basically saying, "No it's not the Dad... it's the whole community!" Basically the Noor Islamic center is connected to Dr. Saqr, who's connected to Salah Soltan, who's connected to Al-Qaradawi, who's connected to Al Qaeda and Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and all the evil people in the world. He actually said this is the memorendum. "The Muslim Brotherhood... an international organization responsible for birthing virtually every Islamic terrorist organization in the world!"

Therefore Ohio is not safe. Carry out that arguement all 10,000 Muslims at the Noor Islamic Center Community are terrorists by association. Let's just take away all their kids and give them to good evangelical families? I'll tell you one thing reader... if she's not safe in Ohio, she's not safe in Florida. All it took was a little creative Googling and I was able to determine the likely address where she's staying... But I digress.

Oh my dear reader! I can play the association game. Check this out...

My contacts in Ohio on the case say that Xenos materials and a Flash drive containing the diary of Pastor Brian Williams were found in her bedroom and were turned over to police. They also confirm that I was right about the man in the room in the video as I described in Part I. That he was bald, had a goatee. They tell me he was also at the hearing on the 21st and addressed Muhammad Bary is "Brother" like a Muslim. But this guy was not a Muslim. He was interviewed after the trial in Florida twice by CBN:

Florida Judge Protects Terrified Christian Convert
Rifqa Bary - Prisoner of Islam

This guy is Jamal Jivanjee. Jamal Jivanjee claims to be a Muslim apostate from Columbus. He befriended Rifqa in Columbus long before she fled to Florida. He was also at the court house Friday August 21st. Bald guy with a goatee.

Ok... check this out.

If he's the coach in the first video, that means he went with Rifqa from Ohio to Florida. And that means that this is probably the guy that Lorenz is protecting when he says he doens't want to reveal who bought her the ticket.

"The pastor won't say who bought Rifqa's ticket. He is trying to protect the person" ~ Orlando Sentinal

I'd even bet (if I were a betting man) that there is no ticket and Jamal drove her the whole way.

But it get's better...

Jamal Jivanjee is on the board of directors of "illuminate" and on his bio he says he's a graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA where he studied Pastoral ministry. The President of the Liberty Theological Seminary and Professor of Apologetics at Liberty University is Ergun Mehmet Caner. Ergun Caner was interviewed by the Florida Baptist Witness early in the Rifqa contraversy but he dropped out of the frey.

Ergun claims to be another Christian convert from Islam from Columbus Ohio, and claims that he lives his life with a fatwa against his life from that community, which makes him uniquely qualified to speak about this case. This man is a complete charlatan! He is a fraud! He is a liar! A dajjal! I strongly suggest you take a look at this video. It's the first in an eight part series.


Ergun Mehmet Caner is FAKE apostate. He and as his brothers are these Christians that go around claiming to be ex-Muslim preaching lies about how aweful being a Muslim is. If you didn't watch the series here's some highlights. He claims his father built that mosque, and that he was trained to be the muadhin, but he misprounounces it! In part 2 he says the Shahada is "bismillakh aman arakhim mukhamdu alham arakhman arakhim." In part 3 he says that Ramadan is 40 days, and he says, "Jesus strapped himself to a cross so I wouldn't have a stap a bomb to myself." And he's always careful to point out that apostates risked their culture, families and lives for Jesus by leaving Islam. Wallahi! This man was never a Muslim.

So we're dealing with liars. And what's worse, they train other fake apostates! This is the sourse. This is the propagandist. The brainwasher. Ergun trains anti-Muslim propagandists. Jamal is a student of Ergun. Rifqa is a "friend" of Jamal. These are the people who turned typical arguments between a completely westernized teenage cheerleader and her liberal parents into death threats and honor killing from Islamic jihadists in Rifqa's mind.

Alhamdullilah! That's all I have for now. It's not proof yet, but I think this raises some serious questions about how all these people are connected. It's still just a theory. But I think it's a stronger chain of reasoning than "They're all TERRORISTS!" Hopfully it comes full circle in the trial today.

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