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March 4, 2007
I was ordained as a minister in the Universal Life Church around 1972, so I read Vince Beiser's well-crafted article with interest ("Bless This Church," Feb. 4). But I have to wonder if a magazine article on any subject can be run these days without including photographs of what apparently are personifications of that cheapest word in our cheap modern culture: "celebrities." Timothy B. Doe San Diego It's nice that the Universal Life Church has so many members. And I'm sure many more will join once they learn that no less a paragon of virtue than Courtney Love is one of the faithful.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 2008 | Liam Gowing
IT was magical. The capacity crowd -- packed into the Mayan Theatre for the masked wrestling-cum-burlesque-cum-comedy of Lucha VaVoom's Valentine's Day Spectacular -- was cheering wildly. There were tears in the eyes of the young lady in front of me and a look of exultation radiating from the gentleman beside her.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 1986 | BOB SCHWARTZ, Times Staff Writer
A Seal Beach man has been sentenced to 13 months in prison and three years' probation for his role in setting up a mail-order church that served as a tax evasion scheme for more than 3,000 people. Dennis D. Riness, 42, was also fined $5,000 and ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service by U.S. District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall for his participation in the Church of Universal Harmony, which operated in Tustin from 1978 until 1984.
MAGAZINE
March 4, 2007
I was ordained as a minister in the Universal Life Church around 1972, so I read Vince Beiser's well-crafted article with interest ("Bless This Church," Feb. 4). But I have to wonder if a magazine article on any subject can be run these days without including photographs of what apparently are personifications of that cheapest word in our cheap modern culture: "celebrities." Timothy B. Doe San Diego It's nice that the Universal Life Church has so many members. And I'm sure many more will join once they learn that no less a paragon of virtue than Courtney Love is one of the faithful.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 2008 | Liam Gowing
IT was magical. The capacity crowd -- packed into the Mayan Theatre for the masked wrestling-cum-burlesque-cum-comedy of Lucha VaVoom's Valentine's Day Spectacular -- was cheering wildly. There were tears in the eyes of the young lady in front of me and a look of exultation radiating from the gentleman beside her.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 1989 | Associated Press
Three former Orlando residents are on trial in U.S. District Court on charges of conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by recruiting church members to the controversial Universal Life Church and advising them how to write off much of their income. "The theme of the overt acts in this trial is 'there is a sucker born every minute,' and in Central Florida . . . there were a number of suckers," Bruce Hinshelwood, a federal prosecutor, told the jury in the trial of Scott Slayback Jr.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 1986 | SCOTT HARRIS, Times Staff Writer
Two men who helped operate an Orange County "church" that allegedly grossed $6 million by marketing "congregation charters" as a purported tax shelter have left the country, and extradition may be impossible, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday. Michael S. McGinnis, 39, co-founder of the so-called Church of Universal Harmony, and Stanley Wayne Cruson, 47, a regional sales director for the organization, are scheduled to be arraigned with three other defendants March 24 in U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 27, 2002 | SCOTT GOLD and ERIC BAILEY, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
First things first: Michael A. Newdow says he is not a nut. He's an eccentric, for sure, an emergency room physician by training who says he has given up working to "fight the government," an envelope-pushing free-thinker who equates believing in God with believing in Santa Claus. But Newdow, a 49-year-old single father who lives on the outskirts of Sacramento, also has an undergraduate degree from Brown University, a medical degree from UCLA and a law degree from the University of Michigan.
MAGAZINE
February 4, 2007 | Vince Beiser, Vince Beiser is a Los Angeles-based magazine writer whose work has appeared in Harper's, Mother Jones and Wired. And he's available to perform your wedding.
Andre Hensley was pacing the sidewalk, flustered, when I showed up for the annual convention of the religious order founded by his late father. Hensley, a fleshy, focused man of 49, was in pleated khakis and a blue shirt and tie, his receding hair combed back off a broad forehead.
NEWS
July 19, 1985
The Universal Life Church, best known for offering mail-order ministries, was granted a property tax exemption by a state appeal court. The 5th District Court of Appeal in Fresno overruled a decision by Stanislaus County denying the exemption for the church's headquarters in Modesto. The county claimed that the church was not entitled to an exemption because its church was used as an office.
MAGAZINE
February 4, 2007 | Vince Beiser, Vince Beiser is a Los Angeles-based magazine writer whose work has appeared in Harper's, Mother Jones and Wired. And he's available to perform your wedding.
Andre Hensley was pacing the sidewalk, flustered, when I showed up for the annual convention of the religious order founded by his late father. Hensley, a fleshy, focused man of 49, was in pleated khakis and a blue shirt and tie, his receding hair combed back off a broad forehead.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 27, 2002 | SCOTT GOLD and ERIC BAILEY, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
First things first: Michael A. Newdow says he is not a nut. He's an eccentric, for sure, an emergency room physician by training who says he has given up working to "fight the government," an envelope-pushing free-thinker who equates believing in God with believing in Santa Claus. But Newdow, a 49-year-old single father who lives on the outskirts of Sacramento, also has an undergraduate degree from Brown University, a medical degree from UCLA and a law degree from the University of Michigan.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 1989 | Associated Press
Three former Orlando residents are on trial in U.S. District Court on charges of conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by recruiting church members to the controversial Universal Life Church and advising them how to write off much of their income. "The theme of the overt acts in this trial is 'there is a sucker born every minute,' and in Central Florida . . . there were a number of suckers," Bruce Hinshelwood, a federal prosecutor, told the jury in the trial of Scott Slayback Jr.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 1986 | BOB SCHWARTZ, Times Staff Writer
A Seal Beach man has been sentenced to 13 months in prison and three years' probation for his role in setting up a mail-order church that served as a tax evasion scheme for more than 3,000 people. Dennis D. Riness, 42, was also fined $5,000 and ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service by U.S. District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall for his participation in the Church of Universal Harmony, which operated in Tustin from 1978 until 1984.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 1986 | SCOTT HARRIS, Times Staff Writer
Two men who helped operate an Orange County "church" that allegedly grossed $6 million by marketing "congregation charters" as a purported tax shelter have left the country, and extradition may be impossible, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday. Michael S. McGinnis, 39, co-founder of the so-called Church of Universal Harmony, and Stanley Wayne Cruson, 47, a regional sales director for the organization, are scheduled to be arraigned with three other defendants March 24 in U.S.
NEWS
November 4, 1987 | United Press International
Two Santa Clara County men were indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday on charges of taking part in an alleged scheme to use a church as a front to avoid paying millions of dollars in income taxes. Winston Mesch of Sunnyvale and James Hoffman of San Jose were each charged with three counts of filing false income tax returns while acting as ministers of the Church of Universal Harmony in San Jose between 1982 and 1984.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 11, 1997
Re "Murder Was Birthday Present, Jury Told," Aug. 5: About this so-called witchcraft link to murder, I must make the following comments as a practitioner of Wicca (witchcraft) and an independently ordained cleric. There are strict rules of conduct that this supposed witch has violated. There is the oldest law in modern witchcraft, which states, "Do as ye will, but do no harm." I do not want people linking true witchcraft to violent acts. Modern witchcraft is a gentle religion, which worships the powers of nature, believing that all life is sacred and interconnected.
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