A Montana-based sect is fighting to remain viable, six months after the death of its "Mother," the Jesus-channeling Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Several aspirants have tried to claim her mantle, but the sect's council of elders found them all to be charlatans, and membership rolls have dwindled. The church was similarly challenged in 1990, when Mother forecast nuclear doomsday and financed the construction of large underground bunkers on a mountainside north of Yellowstone National Park (which are still available). The council is having trouble, especially, finding volunteers to transcribe the 22,000 hours of video and audio in which Mother set out the justifications for the sect.
Televangelist Rod Parsley informed his flock in December that he urgently needed several million dollars because of financial problems attributed directly to Satan. According to a report in the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, Parsley's World Harvest Church was facing a $3 million deficit for the quarter ending in December after earlier in the year paying $3.1 million to settle a lawsuit over its day-care center's having too brutally spanked a boy. Wrote Parsley, "Will you help me take back what the devil stole?"
Crimestopper: In Frisco, Texas, in January, boutique owner Marian Chadwick, who was about to be robbed at gunpoint by a hooded intruder, pointed her finger at him and said: "In the name of Jesus, you get out of my store. I bind you by the power of the Holy Spirit." The man appeared stunned, then turned and walked out empty-handed, cursing.
A 20-year veteran Houston cop who wears badge number 666 told the Houston Chronicle in a December profile that once, 17 years ago, a dangerous perp who had been defiant that he would not be captured suddenly dropped to his knees and surrendered. He had glanced at the badge. Said he, "I ain't fighting the devil."