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Unread February 25th, 2006, 02:54 PM
Da Friendly Puter Tech Da Friendly Puter Tech is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 60
Default Re: Legal issues concerning cult escapee organizations

Hey Lil' pon,

As you said yourself - the cults - especially scientology (I have no trouble naming them), sometimes sue people fighting against them.

There are some lawyers that specialize in suing for cults too, they are often scientologists themselves. Because in all honesty scientology was damn smart - smarter than many cults - when they decided to focus their recruitments on well educated affluent or famous people.

I have no clue if the "contracts" that scientology members sign are "legal". I think maybe they serve more of a emotional purpose - the cult member having in mind that they signed this contract, so they cant possibly leave and then they wont even try. A contract like that in the light of some of the emotional horrors members go through, its not surprising if it has a strong effect. This is like having someone sign a suicidal contract - the contract has no "legal" standing, but is still often followed.

Some of the things I usually consider when I talk to other ex members, or people who work to help those in cults are -

People fighting against cults often have personal experience with cults, and they tend to easily get very, very angry at the cult leaders. If they express their anger or even rage at the cult they can easily do or say something that can look really bad in a court. I have seen a few examples of this happening. So, make sure the people that work on a specific case has enough of their past pain healed to act professionally and calmly around the cult no matter what.

Parents who are trying to help a current cult member also sometimes fly off the handle - its understandable but it is a risk element. The lawyers can have a field day with it in court if they want to.

Watch out for email communications - even anonymous email communications can and has been used in a court of law. Keep it calm, civil, focus on provable facts, and on helping whoever the helpers are there for.

When anything is said or written about the cult - make sure its provable to avoid slander suits.

Also - in general, be aware of the laws governing how you interact with the group, and then follow them. Maybe consult with a lawyer about what risk factors are there before starting to tangle directly with a cult that is strong enough to hire an expensive lawyer.

Those are just teh things I have noticed as I have moved around in the field.

Da Friendly Puter Tech
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