Beliefs

'IT WAS A LIFE-CHANGING DAY'
Many people who’ve faced a life-threatening situation promise themselves they’ll mend their ways if they survive. That’s a vow often forgotten. But Gerry Shannon’s life took a different direction.
'I THINK I'M GOING TO DIE'

When a 26-year-old American missionary set out for a lush island in the Indian Ocean last year, it was with one objective in mind: to convert the uncontacted Sentinelese tribe, who had lived for centuries in isolation. John Chau’s mission had ambitions for a great awakening, but what awaited instead was tragedy.

A SPOONFUL OF HORROR

From its practices of “free love” (that make the Playboy Mansion look like Disney world), the sexual mentoring, the “bible communism” and experimentations in selective breeding, to the half-a-billion-dollar silverware manufacturing giant that it later became, the tale of the Oneida community is a strange one.

GOOGLE 'EYE OF A NEEDLE'

Televangelist Todd Coontz has a well-worn routine: he dresses in a suit, pulls out a Bible and urges viewers to pledge a very specific amount of money. “Don’t delay, don’t delay,” he urges, calmly but emphatically.

ALL IN THE FAMILY

On our isolated commune, we kids were taught that the world was about to end. But my world ended when I was told to leave.

CRYSTAL RULES EVERYTHING AROUND ME

A new generation has gravitated toward crystals in hopes of finding on-trend spiritual solace. But for the veteran dealers and collectors at the country’s biggest gems and minerals showcase, a beautiful rock has timeless appeal.

THE MANY SHADES OF BELIEF

Young people are embracing alternative forms of worship and leaving brick-and-mortar church communities behind, in search of spiritual leaders who look like them.

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