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Unread December 22nd, 2005, 09:48 AM
Lil'Pon Lil'Pon is offline
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Default Legal issues concerning cult escapee organizations

There has been much internet discussion about cult de programmers, organizations and individuals who help people who have been involved in cults for many years (or even lifetimes) to break free from these destructive groups. I am curious what you might have to say about any legal issues involved in helping escapees from destructive cults. Many cults threaten cult de programmers with lawsuits, asserting claims such as such people are religious bigots, or are against religious freedom, and similar false accusations.

I know of one such organization called The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) which runs regular workshops for former members of high-demand, “cultic” groups – they have done so for many years and are comprised of social workers, Licensed family therapists and ex cult members and their aim is to assist former cult members, namely second and third generation cult members, to adjust to normal life outside of the cult.

Can these groups be successfully sued throughout the US? I know of one example - a cult in Florida, supposedly the largest and oldest cult in the US (won’t mention their name I’m sure you know who it is), which sued and then bankrupted the former Cult Awareness Network several years ago - then the cult actually purchased the organization and all of their files for a song and now use the CAN as a propaganda tool for the cult. They also use CAN records to investigate any of their members who may have contacted the former CAN people for assistance in escaping.

This cult has the requirement for any new members to join that he or she sign a contract which gives the cult permission to both imprison the member for breaking the cult rules, and also permission for the cult, if there is a mental or physical breakdown of the member, to allow the cult leaders to forcibly remove the member from any psychological, psychiatric or medical treatment. Is such a contract legal?

Just curious if you know what legal considerations if any a group which assists present and former cult members need to consider before getting into this difficult, sad yet very necessary area of practice.

Last edited by Lil'Pon; December 22nd, 2005 at 12:26 PM.
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