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No religion exists in a vacuum. Learn about how surrounding culture and society has influenced and has been influenced by various alternative religions.

Review of Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology
Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of the Church of Scientology's leader David Miscavige, describes her life within the Church through both good and bad times, illustrating how she once embraced the teachings but has now fled abusive treatment.

Diversity in Modern Religion
The first in a series of articles on diversity and new religious movements, this article investigates the general influences which have encouraged Western culture to diversify religiously, particularly in the past several decades.

Scientologist Celebrities
Learn what Scientologist celebrities say about why they have embraced Scientology, as well as controversial incidents in their lives that are frequently linked to the Church of Scientology.

The Draw of New Religious Movements
New religions are constantly developing, and sizable numbers of people are converting from older, more traditional religions to these new faiths. Explore the reasons for this trend and what makes these new religious movements attractive to many.

Bob Marley, Reggae and Rastafari - Fusion of Religion, Art and Culture
Reggae artist Bob Marley introduced the Rastafari religion to many Westerners. Jamaican culture and history influenced this native religion which, in turn, profoundly affected Marley's self-expression.

Basics of Ital Rastafari Cooking
Rastas frequently follow a limited diet known as Ital (or vital) cooking. Learn about common foods both eaten and avoided by practicing Rastas.

Ital Cooking - Necessity or Religious Fervor?
The Ital Cooking practices of Rastafari are commonly viewed as religious taboos concerning pure and impure foods. John Pasmore demonstrates that Ital Cooking is strongly linked to Jamaican culture, encouraging the eating of available home-grown foods while avoiding expensive foreign ones.

Modern Concepts of Satan
A comparison of concepts of Satan in Christianity, LaVeyan Satanism, and common culture.

Finding Religious Truth in Fiction
A large collection of essays addressing various science-fiction works and the impact they have had on religious understanding and practice, as well as the influence older religions have had on various works of science-fiction.

Religion and Fiction
Religion is an important influence on my pieces of fiction. However, fiction can also be highly influential on religion. While fictional religion cannot be taken literally, many of the ethics, worldviews, practices and metaphysics can be (and are) adopted by people who find real world meaning in them.

How to be Taken Seriously Following an Alternative Religion
There's a lot of stigma attached with embracing trends and beliefs distinct from the mainstream. If anything, this can be more pronounced in dealing with religion because the topic is such an important part of many people's lives. Here are some tips on how to maturely embrace an alternative religion and diffuse some situations.

Ital Cooking
Ital cooking is a healthy approach to food that evolved out of the Rastafari Movement. It rejects a variety of things considered impure or unhealthy including preservatives and artificial flavorings. Many also avoid oils and meat, focusing on fruits and vegetables.

Lee Thompson Young, Suicide, and Yoruba Religion
The death of actor Lee Thompson Young has brought the indigenous religion of the Yoruba people into the spotlight. Could there be any connection between his tragic death and his religion?

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