Cult expert: Economic climate a breeding ground for cults

cult Global fears of economic or environmental upheaval feed the growth of gurus and damaging cults that prey on the weak, a French government expert on cults has warned during a visit to Australia.

>Georges Fenech, president of France’s Interministerial >Mission for Monitoring and Combating Cultic Deviances, said it was working for greater international co-operation in dealing with sectarian abuses. [Read more...]

Israel Police busts ultra-Orthodox cult suspected of abusing women and children

Israel Israel Police, in cooperation with Jerusalem district officers and social services, arrested nine members of a cult living in Jerusalem and in the Tiberias area over the past few weeks, on suspicion of carrying out emotional and physical abuse of women and children over a two year period.

Police and social workers familiar with the case described severe physical, emotional, and sexual violence, that landed several of the children in the hospital, some multiple times. [Read more...]

Israel: Welfare Ministry calls for legislation to fight cults

cults The Israeli government must create comprehensive legislation to combat the phenomenon of cults in Israel and provide a clearer definition of what constitutes cult activity, a report published Monday by a special Ministry of Welfare and Social Affairs task force has recommended.

Authored by the team of professionals that dealt with the fallout of Israel’s largest cult to date – that headed by Tel Aviv polygamist Goel Ratzon – the 48-page report focuses on four main areas: preventive action, therapeutic intervention, legislation and government involvement. [Read more...]

In thrall to a cult: how the unwary fall victim to mind control

cults Carli McConkey spent the best years of her life in a cult. She only escaped earlier this year. What’s frightening about her story is that this could happen to any of us.

Clinical Professor Doni Whitsett of the University of Southern California has been working with victims of cults and their families for 20 years. Carli’s is ”a tragic textbook case”, she says. [Read more...]

Ex-Scientologist Karen Pressley, Paul Grosswald and Steve Hassan talk

Video: Listen in on a casual conversation between cult expert Steve Hassan, ex-Scientologist Paul Grosswald — a long-time anti-cult activist, and ex-Scientologist Karen Pressley, who was a top person at the cult’s Celebrity Centre, a Seo Org member, and who worked directly for David Miscavige for 4 years.

Karen talks about her presentation at the ICSA conference with ex-Children of God member Miriam Boeri (who wrote Heaven’s Harlots), suppression of her new book by the Scientology cult, and its forthcoming release. [Read more...]

Professor looks at how cults respond to science

Benjamin Zeller Benjamin Zeller, a religious studies professor, often shared routine small talk with members of three well-known American cults during the five years he spent researching and writing his recently published book, “Prophets and Protons.”“It amazes me when I study these groups, how human we all are,” Zeller says. “So much of their lives are normal stuff. They struggle with questions we all struggle with.” [Read more...]