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Before HBO Max: Explore NewsChannel 5’s Gwen Shamblin, Remnant Fellowship investigations

A new HBO Max documentary series is putting a renewed spotlight on controversial Christian diet guru Gwen Shamblin Lara and her Brentwood church, the Remnant Fellowship.

That series, “The Way Down: God, Greed and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin,” was produced by award-winning filmmakers Marina Zenovich and Nile Cappello.

It explores how Shamblin’s Christian-based diet plan, the Weigh Down Workshop, evolved into its own religion.

“Despite a carefully curated image,” Shamblin and Remnant Fellowship, “soon fielded accusations of emotional, psychological, and physical abuse, and exploitation for their alleged cult-like practices,” says the promotional description for the film series.

REVIEW: As the journalist who has probably done more reporting on Gwen Shamblin Lara and Remnant Fellowship than any other, trust me: #TheWayDown is PHENOMENAL! I want to be filmmaker Marina Zenovich when I grow up! Begins streaming Sept. 30th on @HBOMax. pic.twitter.com/P8BIV3a2F2 — Phil Williams (@NC5PhilWilliams) September 27, 2021

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In May 2021, Shamblin’s plane crashed into Nashville’s Percy Priest Lake, killing her, along with her husband, former Tarzan actor Joe Lara, and five church leaders.

It’s a story that’s quite familiar to longtime NewsChannel 5 viewers.

In 1997, anchor/reporter Amy Marsalis first introduced Shamblin’s Weigh Down Workshop “where counting calories and fat grams are not part of the daily ritual.”

Two years later, in 1999, Shamblin created the Remnant Fellowship.

A year later, three former Weigh Down Workshop employees sued Shamblin, alleging that they were fired from their jobs for resisting her efforts to force her religion on them.

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That lawsuit, which was ultimately settled, resulted in Shamblin giving hours of sworn testimony during a videotaped deposition.

In July 2001, relying partially on Shamblin’s deposition, NewsChannel 5 Investigates questioned Shamblin’s claims about money from the Weigh Down Workshop: “half of it goes to the government, the other half goes to keep it going so someone else can be helped.”

Then, in 2004, the Remnant Fellowship story took a tragic turn.

Church members, Joseph and Sonya Smith of Atlanta, were arrested for the child-abuse death of their 8-year-old son, Josef.

Following up on Josef’s death, NewsChannel 5 Investigates uncovered the church’s controversial practices for disciplining their children, including an internal recording in which Shamblin had praised the Smiths for how they treated Josef.

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That “Firm Beliefs” investigation also revealed other controversial practices, including demands that followers not take psychiatric medications to deal with mental illness.

In a follow-up to that 2004 report, NewsChannel 5 Investigates also revealed how Remnant Fellowship followers considered Shamblin to be a “prophet.”

The Remnant leader admitted during an interview with NewsChannel 5 that she would be willing to lie to protect her church.

Then, in May 2021, there was yet another tragic development.

A plane carrying Shamblin, Joe Lara and five Remnant leaders crashed into Percy Priest Lake shortly after takeoff from the Smyrna airport.

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Joe Lara was piloting.

Air traffic control recordings, obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates, did not reveal any sign that Lara knew that his aircraft was in trouble.

As part of the coverage of the crash, NewsChannel 5 Investigates reviewed the years of controversy that had surrounded Shamblin and Remnant Fellowship.

The filmmakers say they are continuing to work on additional episodes, partly focusing on the plane crash, which occurred as they were finishing production on the first phase of the project.

Source: newschannel5

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Terry Bradshaw is under fire for his ‘cringey’ Erin Andrews remark

Terry Bradshaw of Fox has been chastised for his comments regarding Erin Andrews and her country-themed clothes during an interview with Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White on the “Thursday Night Football” pregame program.

White and Andrews conducted the part in a horse stable to explore White’s passion of horses, which aired during the network’s pregame program before Tampa Bay’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night.

“I do want to know how old you were when you first went on top of a horse, first rode one?” Andrews said after the interview, appearing on a screen behind Fox’s pregame crew as the sideline reporter.

Curt Menefee asked the question again, and Bradshaw answered that he was three years old before moving on to the controversial remarks.

Bradshaw replied, “You’ve got your cowboy boots on and your shirt on.” “You have a nice appearance. That was a great touch. That was a fun interview.”

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Bradshaw, a 73-year-old Hall of Fame Steelers quarterback and long-time broadcaster, made the remark to Andrews three days after Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden quit after emails containing homophobic and sexist language were leaked. Topless photographs of the Washington Football Team’s cheerleaders were shared between Gruden, former WFT CEO Bruce Allen, and others, and were the focus of a Washington Post investigation in 2020.

Another national NFL commentator, NBC’s Cris Collinsworth, attracted flak last year for making a sexist remark about female Pittsburgh Steelers supporters.

During the December 2020 broadcast, he stated, “Everybody’s a fan.” “It was the females I met in particular that impressed me. They’re asking really detailed questions about the game, and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Wow.’ You’re really astounded at how passionate the supporters are in this place.”

Collinsworth later apologized, claiming that he “insulted many” with the way he framed his comments. Andrews and Bradshaw had not publicly commented on their “Thursday Night Football” argument as of Friday morning.

Credit: nypost

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La Niña is on its way. What does this indicate for winter weather in the United States?

According to official forecasts, La Nia will most likely return for the winter.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center reported on Thursday that La Nia conditions have emerged and are likely to persist from December through February, with an 87 percent likelihood.

La Nia (Spanish for “little girl”) is a climatic phenomenon that happens every few years in the Pacific Ocean and has an influence on weather all across the world.

Temperature and precipitation are likely to be affected in the United States, which might have ramifications for hurricanes, tornadoes, and droughts.

Forecasters remind out that this is the second consecutive La Nia winter, a typical occurrence known as a “double-dip.” From August 2020 to April 2021, the most current period was in effect. (For more on what has transpired subsequently, see below.)

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Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, stated in a press release that “we scientists have been watching the possible formation of a La Nia since this summer, and it was a component in the above-normal hurricane season forecast, which we have seen unfold.” “During the winter, La Nia has an impact on weather across the country, and it will have an impact on our forthcoming temperature and precipitation forecasts.”

On October 21, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will announce its official winter forecast. Meanwhile, here’s a crash course on how La Nia works and what it means for different areas of the nation.

What exactly is La Niña?

La Nia, according to scientists, is not a storm that hits a certain place at a specific time. Instead, it’s a shift in global atmospheric circulation that has an impact on global weather.

Consider how a large construction project across town might alter traffic flow near your home, with people being rerouted, side roads carrying additional traffic, and typical exits and on-ramps closed, according to a NOAA webpage. “At different times of the day, different neighborhoods will be the most affected. The building project’s impacts would be felt through variations in usual patterns, but you wouldn’t anticipate the project to ‘strike’ your home.”

Let’s begin with a technical explanation: It’s part of the El Nio-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, which is characterized by contrasting warm and cool oceanic and atmospheric conditions in the Pacific.

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On average, La Nia and its counterpart, El Nio, chill and warm vast portions of the tropical ocean every two to seven years. (There is also a “neutral” state, which we’ve been in since the previous La Nia ended.)

Forecasters can formally proclaim a La Nia event when sea surface temperatures fall below a specific threshold, are expected to stay below that threshold, and cause a notable atmospheric reaction, such as changes in winds, according to the NOAA (which has a helpful flowchart).

Here’s how that works.

“Trade winds travel west down the equator in typical circumstances in the Pacific Ocean, transporting warm water from South America to Asia. Cold water rises from the deep to replace the warm water, a process known as upwelling “NOAA describes the situation. “El Nio and La Nia are two opposing climatic trends that deviate from the norm.”

When the trade winds are stronger than usual because to La Nia, more warm water is pushed toward Asia. Meanwhile, cold water is rising to the surface off the west coast of the Americas due to increased upwelling. (The nutrient-rich water also attracts cold-water animals such as squid and salmon to the California coast.)

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The jet stream moves northward due to cold seas, then weakens across the eastern Pacific.

So what does that actually feel like on the ground?

According to NOAA, La Nia has the greatest influence on North American rain, snow, and temperatures throughout the winter.

In general, La Nia winters are drier and warmer than average in the southern United States, and cooler and wetter in the northern United States and Canada.

More rain and snow may fall in the Pacific Northwest, sections of the Midwest, and the Tennessee and Ohio valleys than in an usual winter.

La Nia can also result in a more severe Atlantic hurricane season, as we’re witnessing this year.

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While La Nia occurrences are linked to specific climatic trends, such as temperature and rainfall variations in different regions of the nation, forecasters emphasize that they are a question of “probability, not certainty.”

If you’re wondering if La Nia will have an impact on your house this winter, NOAA experts provide the following advice:

“Maybe. Probably. Most likely not. The response is contingent on a number of circumstances, including where you reside, the strength of the event, and other climatic trends that emerge and impact the seasonal outcome.”

What about weather events such as snow, flooding and tornadoes?

Although snowfall is difficult to forecast, scientists believe La Nia will bring more snow to the Northwest, northern Rockies, and Upper Midwest Great Lakes area. The Southwest, central-southern Plains, and mid-Atlantic will likely get less rain than typical.

In general, La Nia causes more storms in the Atlantic but fewer in the eastern and central Pacific (El Nio does the reverse). Those Atlantic hurricanes, according to NOAA, develop in the deep tropics from African easterly waves, making them more prone to become big hurricanes that may reach the Caribbean and the United States.

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Tornadoes and which regions of the country are more likely to see them appear to be influenced by the position of the jet stream. The jet stream and severe weather are more likely to be farther north during La Nia winters.

La Nia could exacerbate California’s current drought, making the state’s wildfire season even more dangerous. According to Bloomberg, the majority of the state’s yearly water comes from rain and snow between November and April, which is also when La Nia is expected to move storm tracks north and away from the region that needs it.

While the southern United States may face protracted drought, the northern United States, particularly the Pacific Northwest, is anticipated to receive significant rainfall and flooding.

How long will it persist, and how frequently will it occur?

El Nio and La Nia episodes, according to the National Ocean Service, generally last nine to twelve months but can often span years.

Both tend to emerge in the spring, peak in intensity in the late fall or winter, and then go away in the spring or summer.

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In other words, La Nia will have the greatest impact on the United States between January and March, although it may persist until early spring.

Why is it called that?

South American fisherman had long seen warmer-than-normal coastal Pacific Ocean waters and severe declines in fish harvest around Christmastime, according to the background. After baby Jesus, they named the phenomena El Nio, which means “small boy” in Spanish.

As a result, when scientists discovered the polar opposite of El Nio in the 1980s, they named it La Nia. (Of course, these days, terminology concerning gender identity and expression is much more complicated.)

What does this have to do with climate change?

Scientists aren’t sure how a warmer planet might influence the ENSO cycle just yet.

“But keep in mind that just because we don’t have high confidence in how ENSO could evolve in the future doesn’t imply it won’t,” NOAA wrote in a blog post in 2016. “It just means there’s more work for scientists to undertake.”

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They are optimistic, however, that ENSO will continue to exist in the future. They also believe that global warming will have an impact on La Nia’s effects, particularly extreme weather occurrences.

Credit:NPR

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High-class issues plaguing Pete Buttigieg

It’s time for Pete Buttigieg to drive away from the Department of Transportation — if he shows up for work and can find a driver. Even by federal government standards, the head of a department disappearing during an emergency is a disgrace. For a technocratic Democrat in a technocratic government, it’s absurd.

The intelligentsia is blaming the supply-chain disaster on middle-class false awareness. ‘Most of the economic problems we’re dealing with (inflation, supply chains, and so on) are high-class issues,’ says Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain.

If the peasants can’t find veggies on the stores, Ron, let them devour the wealthy. Because only the wealthy are concerned about commodity prices growing at a higher rate than they have since 2008. When the price of fuel, veggies, and infant formula continues to climb, only the wealthy are aware. Only the wealthy — or at least the well-educated, which has come to signify the same thing these days — are literate enough to be concerned about inflation’s more certain consequences.

It’s part of the amateurishness of those who dominate us that they occasionally let their manners slide, revealing their contempt for the governed. In the past, this has never gone over well in other civilizations. It didn’t go over well with the crazed King George. There’s no reason to believe that Americans will continue to swallow this garbage indefinitely.

Klain’s move is almost as stupid as assigning Buttigieg to Transportation in the first place in terms of intelligence. Why would an administration that purports to prioritize infrastructure hand over a $87 billion budget to someone whose previous experience — as mayor of that major transportation center, South Bend, Indiana — didn’t even include command of South Bend Transpo and its 18 bus routes?

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Although Buttigieg may not know the difference between a rotating system and a refrigerated container, he did finally back Biden for the Democratic candidacy in 2020. This reflects the distinctively American practice of giving ambassadorships to fundraisers and supporters rather than to experienced diplomats who have spent years mastering the local language and even living in post.

I mean “unique” in the sense of “unique among liberal democracies.” The brown envelope and reciprocal back-scratching are used by a lot of banana republics, kleptocracies, and dictatorships. When the Biden administration, like the Trump administration before it, imports this sort of behavior into domestic politics, it aspires to a new low in public ethics. We don’t need Michael Sandel to tell us that’meritocracy’ has failed miserably. In plain sight, a new governing elite is tightening its fortifications and climbing the ladders.

Twenty years ago, American politicians promised their citizens that Brazil will become more like us if they supported globalization. Today, we are becoming more like Brazil: a low-trust society with seemingly insurmountable class and race divides, in which the wealthy live in private areas guarded by a military police force, and politics has devolved into a theatrical performance.

That leads us to another possible rationale for Buttigieg’s appointment to the Transportation Department by Biden’s staff. Buttigieg isn’t only pallid and stale; he’s also homosexual. The media did not hail him as an expert when he was selected in February 2021. They hailed him as a hero of the civil rights movement.

According to ABC News, ‘Pete Buttigieg makes history as the first out homosexual cabinet member.’ Of course, the phrase ‘openly’ has more weight in this context than an 18-wheeler. But that’s the purpose, just as the goal of the unnecessary list of personal pronouns is. It’s politics as symbols, as a virtues-based play.

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The same could be said for the pictures that would have marked Buttigieg’s tenure at Transportation if they weren’t for the impending sight of a chastened Buttigieg returning to South Bend and overhead shots of the Port of Los Angeles showing acres of containers going nowhere.

The first of these photos, obtained by CNN, shows Buttigieg unloading his bike from an SUV and then riding out to a cabinet meeting. The Department of Transportation has to deny it since it resembles a theatrical production.

Buttigieg and his husband Chasten pose with their baby twins in the second of these photos. This was a medical marvel, because neither Pete nor Chasten are what we now refer to as “womb-owners.”

We’ll probably never know how the woman who owns the womb feels about giving up her offspring. The Buttigiegs claim to have adopted the twins through traditional means. Maybe they did. We have their word, and it is up to each of us to determine whether or not we should believe them.

These are really ‘high-class concerns,’ such as performative riding, performative politics, and performative procreation. However, the aristocratic liberals who control us believe that this is more essential than, example, good office performance. What about the rest? Allow them to have cake and painkillers.

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