Shirley MacLaine has outraged Jewish groups by claiming that victims of the holocaust could have been paying the price for past life sins.
Long known for her unorthodox ideas, the latest claims have been published in a memoir called ‘What If…’.
“What if most Holocaust victims were balancing their karma from ages before,” she writes, “when they were Roman soldiers putting Christians to death, the Crusaders who murdered millions in the name of Christianity, soldiers with Hannibal, or those who stormed across the Near East with Alexander? The energy of killing is endless and will be experienced by the killer and the killee.”
She adds that the victims could have been ‘balancing their karma’ for previous sins.
Speaking about the remarks, a spokesperson for the Jewish campaigning group the Community Security Trust said: “The first impressions are that these comments will offend and bemuse many Jews – and many other people too.”
On the subject of Stephen Hawking, she adds: “Did he ‘create’ the disease that has crippled him in order to learn to be dependent on caregivers and the kindness of strangers so that he could free his entire mind to the pursuit of knowledge?
“What if he inadvertently chose to set an example of himself to show the rest of us that cosmic travel and universal understanding are available, regardless of one’s physical condition or circumstance?
“If Jesus chose to die in a state of martyrdom, then Stephen Hawking could just as readily have chosen to live in a dual state of being: visibly physical weakness and unseen knowledge and power. What if all reality is an illusion?”
A spokesperson for the disability charity Scope told the Daily Mail: “She obviously has some very confused ideas that a lot of disabled people will be baffled by.
“It’s completely wrong to say people choose their disabilities, especially Professor Stephen Hawking, who has a genetic condition.”
It’s not the first time that the Baptist-raised star of films like ‘Terms of Endearment’, for which she won the Oscar for Best Actress, has made outlandish claims.
She has said that she believes she lived in Atlantis in a previous life, where she was the brother to a 35,000-year-old spirit called Ramtha.
MacLaine has also spoken widely her UFO sightings as a child in the 1950s.
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