These reports are frequently augmented, so use your REFRESH BUTTON.




Smoke, Mirrors and Disinformation…

The New Age Ties of the Apologetics Ministries








The American Family Foundation comes highly recommended by the apologetics organizations––Evangelical Ministries to New Religions/EMNR, Spiritual Counterfeits Project/SCP, and Christian Research Institute/CRI. Ronald Enroth, who is associated with all three organizations is on the American Family Foundation’s Advisory Board for the AFF publication––Cultic Studies Journal. [See CSJ advisory board listing below.] AFF also publishes a newsletter––the Cult Observer.


EMNR’s Craig Branch acknowledges in his EMNR bio that he holds a position at the American Family Foundation.


“K. Craig Branch is President of the Apologetics Resource Center [hotlink to Branch’s own apologetics web site/ org which is listed as a member org of EMNR]. He co-authored the book Thieves of Innocence with John Ankerberg [hotlink to Branch’s associate Ankerberg; a member of the secret Council for National Policy] and he has had articles published in the Watchman Expositor, Vantage Point, Christian Research Institute Journal, Spiritual Counterfeits Journal and New Man Magazine [NMM is the publication supporting the work of Promise Keepers]. Craig also serves as a Board member of Wellspring (a residential rehab center for victims of cult abuse) and as chairman of the Clergy Relations Committee for the American Family Foundation. Craig is an acknowledged expert in the area of New Age influences in education, and this knowledge of cultic influences was instrumental in passing an Alabama regulation protecting children from New Age practices in the public schools. Adding to his knowledge was the ten years he spent as a Unitarian prior to becoming a Christian. His expertise has led to his being a frequent speaker at colleges, seminaries and conferences. Craig is an ordained Minister in the Evangelical Church Alliance.”


We arrive at Branch’s Apologetics Research Center/ARC web site by clicking the hotlink on the EMNR web site. ARC/Branch is presently promoting two conferences on the his ‘UPCOMING APOLOGETICS CONFERENCES’ page.


Interestingly the first conference is offered by the apologists at the American Family Foundation. Consider that the AFF conferences are NOT Christian. They are led by psychologists and psychiatrists!! Through the EMNR/Evangelical Ministries to New Religions web site Christians are being directed to whoever the ‘experts’ are at AFF:


Upcoming Conferences…


AFF Conference American Family Foundation's 2002 Annual Conference, Orlando, FL  June 14-15, 2002   

See AFF web page for more information.


Understanding Cults and New Religious Movements: 

Perspectives of Researchers, Professionals, Former Members, and Families


Main Conference sessions include:


Friday, June 14, 2002

Brainwashing Social Psychology, and the Courts

Anyone Can Be Fooled

International Churches of Christ

Political Groups:  Deed and Creed

Advances in Social Science Research

Releasing the Bonds:  Empowering People to Think for Themselves

Clinical and Diagnostic Issues


Saturday, June 15, 2002

Harm in New Religious Movements: Perspectives from Sociology, Religious Studies, and Psychology

Research on the Jehovah's Witnesses

Cults and Terrorism:  Similarities and Differences

...And More!



See American Family Foundation, below.

Note: Paul Carden of Apologia will be a presenter at the AFF 2002 Conference.


APOLOGIA [Rich Poll, Paul Carden, Ron Rhodes] is also a member organization of Lausanne’s EMNR. Until recently Rich Poll served on the EMNR board of directors. The APOLOGIA web site posts this endorsement from the American Family Foundation’s Executive Director Michael Langone:



I find Apologia Report to be a useful adjunct to our own information collecting. Although we get a lot of articles from many different sources, I find that each of your issues has at least four or five entries that I have not seen. What adds to their utility is your summaries of the material. Keep up the good work!


Michael Langone, Ph.D., Editor, Cultic Studies Journal

Executive Director, American Family Foundation

(a secular cult-watching group)

Source: APOLOGIA web page




Spiritual Counterfeits Project recommends American Family Foundation’s authors…





In Review [two books recommended by SCP on the cults; emphasis added]

Combatting Cult Mind Control by Steve Hassan

Cults & Consequences: the Definitive Handbook


Since New Testament times, the Christian Church has set a standard of orthodoxy by carefully defining its beliefs and practice, often in response to heresy. In Jude, the writer urges, “Contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.”


In contemporary times, several evangelical organizations, dubbed “cult watchers” have sprung up to carry on this task. For these, the term “cult” defines any religious group which deviates from the norm of biblical teaching.


More recently, cult watchers from the behavioral sciences have defined cultism, not theologically, but by considering sociological and psychological factors. For these, the goal is to establish a norm of behavior in religious groups, particularly in the areas of recruitment and control. Groups deviating from that norm are, in this perspective, “cults.”


Two recently published books, written for a popular audience, deal with cultism from this behavioral viewpoint. Steve Hassan’s Combatting Cult Mind Control [1988] should be available from any major bookstore chain. Hassan was a member of the Unification Church (Moonies) for over two years and rose to the rank of Assistant director of the Church’s national headquarters. In chapter two, he describes his “life in the Unification Church,” how he had been “lied to, manipulated, and robbed of his identity.”…After being “deprogrammed,” Hassan earned a Master’s degree in counseling, became national Coordinator of FOCUS, a support and information network, and is active in helping people exit cults.


The book gives us three chapters, liberally documented with case studies, that describe cultic manipulation. Three other chapters deal with prevention and how to help others. There are valuable insights here for anyone interested in evangelism who understands cult theology but need to grasp the psychological dynamics of cults and cultists as well.


In the chapter “Unlocking Cult Mind Control,” Hassan outlines the eight “keys” for successful intervention he uses in his “non-coercive approach to exit counseling.” While his presentation is not a “sales Pitch” for his services, a word of caution is in order. Consult a pastor or spiritual advisor familiar with cults before engaging a professional to help a friend or relative involved. Hassan wrote the book “to contribute a practical , informative guide to the problems people deal with in encountering the influence of destructive cults” He has done just that. The volume will offer significant help to many and probably become a best seller in the process..


Cults & Consequences [Edited by R. Anres and J. Lane. Commission on Cults & Missionaries, 1989], published by the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles, is a compendium of contributions from several authors. While short sections are directed to the Jewish community, “Most of this book does not specifically address questions of theology,” but is concerned with the  “deceptive proselytizing and unethical conduct” of cults. True to its subtitle, this volume is a handbook, the table of contents reflecting typical questions the issue of cults raises: “What is a cult?” “Why do cults attract? “What can parents do when their child becomes involved in a cult?” The volume also covers questions about deprogramming and exit counseling, rehabilitation after leaving a cult, and legal issues.


The answers come as short entries by various contributors among them: Dr. Margaret Thaler Singer, Professor of Psychology at U.C. Berkeley; Dr. Michael Langone of the American Family Foundation; Steve Hassan, author of Combatting Cult Mind Control reviewed above; and Dr. Ronald Enroth, Professor of Sociology at Westmont College and member of the Board of Directors for SCP… The book may be ordered from the Jewish Federation Council of Los Angeles…


Combatting Cult Mind Control and Cults & Consequences are two books which will give us a better understanding of cults and call us to more careful scrutiny of our own evangelistic methods. -- Dave Sheffel



Editor’s Note: Hassan is no stranger to the American Family Foundation. The AFF 2002 conference Understanding Cults and New Religious Movements -- Perspectives of Researchers, Professionals, Former Members, and Families will include as speaker Steve Hassan whose topic will be: Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves. Others mentioned in this report are scheduled speakers: Michael Langone [AFF], Margaret T. Singer [AFF], Eileen Barker [LSE/CESNUR], Paul Carden [Apologia], and Paul R. Martin [Wellspring] whose topics will be: Brainwashing, Social Psychology, and the Courts and Advances in Psychological Research.


Ronald Enroth and associate Paul R. Martin at CRI and EMNR Conferences…


Ronald Enroth’s name appeared in the Christian Research Institute’s CRI JOURNAL masthead as Contributing Editor from SPRING 1991 until FALL 1994, although only one of the issues during this time frame carried an article ascribed to him–– ‘Ethical Problems in Exit Counseling,’ co-authored with William Alnor. Ronald Enroth was a speaker at EMNR’s Rockford Conference on Discernment and Evangelism, 1989 [Topic: Churches on the Fringe]; he spoke at the 1995 and 19997 EMNR Conferences.


Paul R. Martin was also listed in the CRI JOURNAL as Contributing Editor from SUMMER 1992 to SPRING 1996 and like Enroth, very few articles appearing in the journals are under his name. He was a speaker at EMNR’s Rockford Conference on Discernment and Evangelism [Topic: Psychological Aspects of Cultic Involvement], the EMNR conference 1994 [Topic: Rehabilitating the ex-cultist] and the 1995 EMNR conference. Personal Freedom Outreach is a member org of EMNR. Martin was a speaker at PFO’s Saint Louis Conference on Biblical Discernment in 2000 [Topic: Accepting the Validity of Mind Control] and Saint Louis Conference on Biblical Discernment 2002


Can it be assumed that both Enroth and Martin worked at Christian Research Institute [Walter Martin / Hank Hannegraaff] in a supervisory capacity?


The edited portion of ‘Ethical Problems in Exit,’ below, highlights certain details which CRI’s Alnor and Enroth bring out –– what do they know about the counter cult ministries and who do they recommend?


The following article can be read in full at the web location given for CRI files.




High praises for CAN and AFF — Craig Branch of EMNR and Bill Kellogg of SCP learn how to do exit counseling from AFF/CAN. Paul Martin of Wellspring and AFF becomes CAN board member.


Ethical Problems in Exit Counseling


by William M. Alnor and Ronald Enroth

Christian Research Journal, Winter 1992


…This article, the result of an informal but extensive inquiry, is about exit counseling. During the past year or so the authors have spoken with many of the chief exit counselors in the country, and have consulted with many experts concerning the topic. We have also consulted with various evangelical countercult and apologetics ministries familiar with exit counseling. In order to insure a balanced approach, we have also spoken with -- or read materials from -- some of the most vociferous critics of the practice (and of countercult ministries and organizations), including spokespersons from various "religious liberty" groups that are often funded by the cult groups themselves.




The result of our inquiry is that out of approximately 15 major exit counselors operating in America, only a few appear to conduct themselves in a manner that communicates a sense of integrity and ethical concern. The field of exit counseling is full of men and women operating like loose cannons in a shadowy world of secrecy that contains little or no controls on their activities and offers little or no enforcement of ethical standards. Further, the amount of money major exit counselors charge is often excessive and unjustifiable, especially since in many instances their clients are vulnerable parents -- driven by panic over the conviction that their children are involved in a cult. Fees in excess of $20,000 per case are not unusual.


Many exit counselors at times engage in activities that are unethical at best and illegal at worst. They do this by participating in cases where consenting adults (over 18 years of age) are physically accosted, tricked, and sometimes kidnapped; thrown into rented vans; and held against their will in some cases for weeks at a time. During these ordeals the exit counselors try to talk them out of their cultic involvement…




Although only a handful of exit counselors (in our opinion) are succeeding at being professional and ethical in their endeavors, it is nevertheless true that many other exit counselors, whose activities we cannot endorse, have sometimes had a beneficial effect in helping people leave cults…




We applaud several recent secular anticult organizations' efforts to clean up the field. In the past few years there have been initiatives within both the Cult Awareness Network and the American Family Foundation toward creating ethical standards by which exit counselors can police themselves. However, we are skeptical about these moves, particularly when the guidelines are only voluntary and enforcement is dubious. More troublesome is what appears to be a built-in conflict of interest; the monitoring committees are run by exit counselors who themselves may have a vested interest in keeping their fees high and who may be tempted to protect their colleagues. Moreover, some of these same exit counselors are under review by other cultwatchers over alleged unethical activities surrounding their businesses, personal lives, and exit counseling practices.


For example, according to Carol Giambalvo of Florida (a highly regarded exit counselor), a committee of exit counselors met during the Cult Awareness Network's 1991 annual conference in Oklahoma City to take up the issue of ethical standards…


Some Positive Developments


We know of Christian exit counselors who believe it is wrong to set a daily price on what they view as being the Lord's work. One Christian exit counselor from the Midwest, who wants little to do with the Cult Awareness Network due to its secular approach… Along the same lines, there are some interesting developments within the evangelical cult-watching community where some are becoming increasingly involved in voluntary (i.e., no kidnapping) exit counseling as part of their ministries. Craig Branch of the Watchman Fellowship (along with others associated with that ministry) already does limited voluntary exit counseling…Steve Hassan, a highly regarded Jewish exit counselor from Boston (and author of Combatting Cult Mind Control, [see Spiritual Counterfeits Project book review/endorsement of Hassan’s book above] has assisted Watters, even so far as conducting a seminar for Bethel ministries, teaching them how to assist people out of cults that utilize mind control. And Bill Kellogg, who heads the counseling ministries for the Spiritual Counterfeits Project (SCP) of Berkeley, California, has recently gotten involved in exit counseling. He has been drawing on the work of Carol Giambalvo (who wrote a helpful booklet offered by the Cult Awareness Network called Exit Counseling: A Family Intervention). Kellogg says that when people ask him what his fee is, he tells them they can make a voluntary gift to SCP if they want to.


Another positive development in the field of exit counseling is the fact that the largest rehabilitation center in America designed primarily for former cult members is the Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center in Ohio, a facility run by evangelical Christians. Because of Wellspring's effectiveness in helping former cult members acclimate to life outside the cults in a nonsectarian fashion, it has gained the respect and support of many of those associated with the secular Cult Awareness Network (CAN), the secular American Family Foundation, and even Jewish exit counselors. Many exit counselors, including those we have problems with, refer members of cults to Wellspring following the successful completion of their cases. Recently psychologist Paul Martin, the founder and director of Wellspring, was named as a CAN board member.




Steve Hassan was kidnapped and deprogrammed against his will in the mid 1970s after he became involved with Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. As a result, he doesn't endorse any kind of situation in which adults are kidnapped.


The Father of Deprogramming


It was Ted Patrick who first coined the term "deprogramming" in the early 1970s. His best-selling book, Let Our Children Go! (Thomas Congden Press, 1976), made the practice even more popular as it helped inspire several movies showing "deprogrammers" in a positive light.… Earlier, in 1974, Patrick helped found the Citizens' Freedom Foundation, which evolved into the Cult Awareness Network. [5] However, Hassan noted that "Patrick's success...was far from universal, and numbers of unsuccessful rescue attempts returned to their group and sued him as well as family members…




By the mid 1980s a new philosophy emerged in the place of deprogramming. The practice, known as "exit counseling," is based on the recognition of and respect for the conscious will of the cult member. The Cult Awareness Network no longer advocates deprogramming and its national board does not endorse abduction or false imprisonment, but rather voluntary exit counseling. It [CAN] has also for some time been distancing itself from Mr. Patrick…

See note RE: CFF, CAN and Ted Partick below




Additional problems facing the evolving "profession" of exit counseling (some of which we've already alluded to) are a lack of appropriate educational credentials, deficient accountability structures, inadequate follow-up, and the fact that certain evangelical exit counselors believe it "unethical" to guide cult members into a fuller understanding of correct biblical doctrine.


On educational credentials, we know of only one prominent exit counselor, Steve Hassan, who has advanced master's-degree level training in counseling. He is correct in calling for more professionalism in the field. This would give greater credibility to an occupation that is often associated with shadowy operations.



Mentioned in the CRI/Enroth and Alnor article above—Carol Giambalvo of AFF…


Giambalvo recommended by F.A.C.T. Net:  


Cult Expert, Exit Counselor, Author, Lecturer


Since 1984, Carol Giambalvo has done exit counseling, lecturing, and writing in the field of thought reform, as well as serving as director with several organization’s boards, organizing and conducting recovery workshops and working with hundreds of people who have walked away from destructive cults. Her various job titles include thought reform consultant, family intervention specialist, cult information specialist, author, and lecturer. Ms. Giambalvo has a deep commitment to the recovery of individuals who have been part of a thought reform program, a group that was psychologically or spiritually abusive, or an abusive relationship.

* * * *

5 Carol Giambalvo, "Exit Counseling" in its second edition.  Lecture "How Cults Do It" with Sandy Andron.  Boston Movement.


Carol Giambalvo, who also attended the CAN conference, found in it "an exciting opportunity to see old friends," as well as to share information. Her book, Exit Counseling: A Family Intervention (AFF, 1992), is doing very well in its revised second edition, and it has been the subject of inquiries by distributors in Australia, she's happy to report.


F.A.C.T.Net, Inc.

(Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network, Incorporated)


CONTRIBUTOR:  American Family Foundation (AFF)

LOCATION OF ORIGINAL:  American Family Foundation (AFF)

NOTES: Back issues and selected reprints of the Cultic Studies Journal are available from the American Family Foundation, P.O. Box 2265, Bonita Springs, FL  33959-2265.


CRI JOURNAL Spring 1993

RESPONSE [CRI’s letter section]


Notice: In the Summer 1992 JOURNAL I defended the assertion of our Winter 1992 article, ‘Ethical Problems in Exit Counseling,” that controversial deprogrammer Ted Patrick helped found Citizens Freedom Foundation (CFF), now known as Cult Awareness Network (CAN). However, documentation supplied to me by CAN indicates that Patrick neither called the founding meeting of CFF nor participated in the organization thereafter. Therefore we must retract this statement.



Editors Note: CAN is making the point that Patrick was not the founder of CFF but CAN is not refuting the fact that CAN emerged out of CFF; i.e., CFF=CAN=CFF, as reported in the CRI JOURNAL article by Enroth and Alnor, above.


Interesting footnote RE: Alnor and Enroth


William Alnor has long-since severed his associations with Christian Research Institute. He had worked at CRI as early as 1987 and about that same time, according to Constance Cumbey, “Bill Alnor went on to head EMNR (what a surprise-cec)”; leaving CRI sometime in the early 1990s.


Much of the material on his web site today –– The Alnor Report/Cult Link is about the people, ongoing problems at CRI and problems with Hank Hanegraaff. Alnor continues to recommend, however, the work of Ronald Enroth to his readers. See the article by Bill Alnor about the Ronald Enroth vs. Jon Trott of Jesus People USA/JPUSA* dispute.


“…I responded by launching my own investigation on Enroth's research and found that instead of his research being faulty, it was excellent and very easy to prove.  It was obvious that Enroth, in taking on this courageous project, had done the church a great service in tactfully and scripturally pointing out the problems of JPUSA in a loving, but respectful way.  I responded by reporting the truth to the ministry, and with presenting an audio tape of some deeply hurt former members of JPUSA to the entire board that I developed independently.  

“Further, I became very disturbed over the behavior of JPUSA -- and especially with that of Jon Trott, and that of various others who came to the defense of JPUSA -- some of whom had and still have a clear financial connection to the group.**  Among the defenders of JPUSA have been Bob and Gretchen Passantino, Elliot Miller of the Christian Research Institute, and Dr. Norman Geisler of Southern Evangelical Seminary…


Linked to Alnor’s article is a Response by Ronald Enroth on the same subject.


Editor’s Note:

Jon Trott of Jesus People USA/JPUSA –– on the Internet are several web sites which carry detailed histories of Jesus People USA. This would be interesting background information for us all; especially since Eric Pement of JPUSA’s Cornerstone magazine is on the EMNR board; especially since Jon Trott of Cornerstone will be working with John Morehead [EMNR President] to carry out the EMNR missiological paradigm [ministry to the frontiers of the New Religions] through Sacred Tribes <


The above illustrates the fact that Alnor continues to be associated with Enroth—Alnor carrying Enroth’s writing on his web site—the same Ronald Enroth who is on the Cultic Studies Journal advisory board for American Family Foundation. [see below]


returning to…

Paul R. Martin—Director of Wellspring

Board Member of Cult Awareness Network [CAN] 

Advisory Member of American Family Foundation / Cultic Studies Journal [CSJ]


In the Christian Research Institute’s article “Ethical Problems in Exit Counseling” Ronald Enroth and William Alnor recommend Paul R. Martin’s Wellspring Retreat Center:


“Another positive development in the field of exit counseling is the fact that the largest rehabilitation center in America designed primarily for former cult members is the Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center in Ohio, a facility run by evangelical Christians.”

They revealed another Paul Martin connection:


“Recently psychologist Paul Martin, the founder and director of Wellspring, was named as a CAN board member.”


Source: Ethical Problems in Exit Counseling, William Alnor & Ronald Enroth, Christian Research Institute CRI JOURNAL, Winter 1992. See more about the shady nature of Cult Awareness Network/CAN below.


Psychologist Paul R. Martin


Paul R. Martin, Ph. D., is a licensed psychologist and clinical counselor, and is a former member of an abusive religious group. He is the director of Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center in Albany, Ohio. Wellspring is a residential treatment facility that provides a program of counseling and instruction to victims of cultic abuse, religious abuse, and/or mind control. Dr. Martin presented: ‘The Non-Negotiable Factors in Cult Recovery’ to the Leo J. Ryan Foundation conference in Oct. 2001.


Ed. Note: There is an interlocking relationship between American Family Foundation, Cult Awareness Network and Leo J. Ryan Foundation, see below.


Paul R. Martin co-authored CRI Journal, Winter 1993 with Michael Langone who was identified as “executive director of the American Family Foundation”:


Deprogramming, Exit Counseling, and Ethics—Clarifying the Confusion’

 by Michael D. Langone and Paul R. Martin


Wellspring Retreat and Resource CenterDirector, Paul R. Martin


In their article for Christian Research Institute, above, Wellspring was recommended to Christian Research Journal readers by Alnor and Enroth as “a facility run by evangelical Christians.”


Wellspring is recommended by the CultInfo web site as a Resource-Support Group “run by mental health professionals.”  [Cult Info was formerly Cult Awareness Network/CAN and now Leo J. Ryan Foundation]


Evangelical Christians or mental health professionals?


The Wellspring literature, Wellspring web site info and Dr. Paul R. Martin’s credentials speak for themselves:

The Wellspring Brochure states:


“…helping cult victims from post-exit trauma to traditional therapy… The center was designed to assist those still struggling with emotional, relational, and psychological issues after exiting a cultic situation… Wellspring’s treatment plan is a multifaceted approach. Clients receive daily counseling and workshops from professionals who, themselves, have been hurt by cults. Counselors help clients reconstruct their experience and then place that experience within the framework of the coercive persuasion model articulated in the early 1960's by Dr. Robert J. Lifton in his work Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism. The workshops supplement the counseling sessions, further examining the dynamics of cultic manipulation. The treatment staff also helps clients with theological issues if they so desire. Wellspring’s clinical success is documented in published outcome studies, and the center continues to participate in a research program conducted in conjunction with the Ohio University Department of Psychology.


Dr. Paul R. Martin’s Credentials


Paul Martin’s Licensures:

Ohio State Board of Psychology.

Licensed Psychologist in Ohio, License #3733.

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Ohio, License #E1458.


National Board Certified Counselors (January, 1983) #2557. American Association for Counseling and Development. Professional Memberships

Christian Association of Psychological Studies.

American Counseling Association.

American Mental Health Counselors.

American Psychological Association.

Ohio Psychological Association.

Ohio Mental Health Counselors Association.

American Association of Christian Counselors.

International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders.



Dr. Martin studied theology at Princeton Theological Seminary (1974) and Nazarene Theological Seminary (1972-1976).                                                                            


See also: Wellspring’s Lawrence Pile bio/intelligence connections


Paul Martin & the American Family Foundation


In 1986 Paul Martin was a presenter to the 2nd Annual Behavior Modification Conference. Martin is listed on the American Family Foundation/ AFF’s advisory board for their publication the Cultic Studies Journal.


“Dr. Martin is a member of AFF's Victim Assistance Committee and is helping to develop a post-cult assessment instrument that can help professionals working with cult-leavers who have received no exit counseling or rehabilitation (the vast majority). He is also collaborating with AFF's Michael Langone on a clinical inquiry to determine what cult-related distress looks like, what factors can be identified to predict cult-related damage, and whether or not certain kinds of treatment work.”


In the article which Dr. Paul R. Martin wrote for Christian Research Institute’s CRI JOURNAL in Winter/Spring 1989, he acknowledges his great respect for Margaret Thaler Singer:


Dispelling the Myths: Psychological Consequences of Cultic Involvement

by Paul R. Martin




Ex-cult members do not have psychological problems. Their problems are wholly spiritual.


Although often believed by both Christians and ex-cultists, myth #1 has no basis in reality. As a result of extensive research with some 3,000 ex-cultists, Dr. Margaret Singer observed significant instances of depression, loneliness, anxiety, low self-esteem, overdependence, confusion, inability to concentrate, somatic complaints, and, at times, psychosis. [1] In addition to Singer's authoritative research, there are many articles and books that describe the psychological distress of ex-cultists. (Many of these findings will be referred to in the body of this article.)


My own experience verifies the findings of Dr. Singer



AFF as recommended by EMNR’s APOLOGETICS INDEX [Anton Hein]…


Ed. Note: WARNING RE: APOLGETICS INDEX… Anton Hein fails to alert the unsuspecting reader that AFF is not a Christian organization in any sense of the word. The following Apologetics Index entry was taken word for word from the AFF web site. It appears that, according Hein, AFF is a recommended source. He includes the AFF address and phone number for contacting AFF. Hopefully, our report will expose the dangerous affiliation between EMNR and AFF.


Apologetics Index/Anton Hein’s entry for American Family Foundation:

Provides Information About Cults, Cultic Groups, Mind Control, Cult Abuse, etcetera.


American Family Foundation/AFF


AFF is a nonprofit, tax-exempt research center and educational organization founded in 1979. AFF's mission is to study psychological manipulation and cultic groups, to educate the public and professionals, and to assist those who have been adversely affected by a cult-related experience. AFF consists of a professional staff and a growing network of more than 150 volunteer professionals in fields ranging from education, psychology, and religion to journalism, law enforcement, and business.


AFF addresses the problems posed by cults and other destructive groups through programs and projects in three areas:


1.     Project Recovery improves the quality of services for former cult members, their families, and helping professionals by offering workshops, conferences, and a range of publications, videotapes, and other practical resources.

2.     Project Alert encourages public discussion of cults and related issues and educates youth, the general public, professionals, and the media. AFF develops and distributes preventive education materials and services to clergy and educators through its special program, the International Cult Education Program (ICEP).

3.     Project Discover conducts, encourages, and contributes to scientific research and writing projects designed to increase the public's and professionals' understanding of how cult victims can be helped and how cults affect individuals, families, and society.

Researchers seeking assistance and/or interested in learning more about AFF's research network should write Dr. Michael Langone at the AFF address, fax him at (941) 514-3451


- Contact Info -


XXXXXXX, Florida 34133



The APOLOGETICS INDEX also includes these entries:


Singer, Margaret Taler


Cult expert. Mental health professional. Supports brainwashing theory. Advanced the Theory of Systematic Manipulation of Social and Psychological Influence (SMSPI).

AFF Board Member. Member, FACTNet Board of Advisors

Berkeley, California

Tel: 510-XXXXX   Fax: fax (510) XXXXXX

Biographical information


And …

Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center


Wellspring provides an individualized program of counseling, instruction, restoration, and relaxation. Professionals counselors help rebuild lives after a negative group or relationship experiences. This site includes many articles on cults.

Paul R. Martin. Ph.D., Director

Albany, Ohio

Publication: Wellspring Messenger




AMERICAN FAMILY FOUNDATION publication: Cultic Studies Journal


CSJ Board


Note for future reference the names of Ronald Enroth/ Johannes Aagaard / Paul Martin/ Margaret Singer/ Louis Jolyon West

~ edited for purposes of this report


Johannes M. Aagaard, Ph.D.

Professor, Faculty of Theology, Aarhus University, Arhus, Denmark;

Director, Dialogue Center International see below

Susan Andersen, Ph.D.

Assoc. Professor of Psychology, New York University, NY

Sandy Andron, Ed.D.

Central Agency for Jewish Education, Miami, FL

Dean Borgman, M.A.

Associate Professor of Youth Ministry, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary*

Robert Cialdini, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology, Arizona State University

Rev. Walter Debold

Assistant Professor, Religious Studies Department, Seton Hall University

 Founded by Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton [1856]––a pioneer in Catholic education and the first American-born saint.

 Seton Hall is the largest and oldest diocesan university in the United States.

Ronald Enroth, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology, Westmont College

William Goldberg, M.S.W., A.C.S.W.

Program Supervisor, Rockland County New York Department of Mental Health

David Halperin, M.D.

Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY

John Hochman, M.D.

Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA Medical School

Steve Lynn, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology, State University of New York, Binghamton

Paul Martin, Ph.D.

Director, Wellspring Retreat & Resource Center, Albany, OH

Martin Orne, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, Unit for Experimental Psychiatry, The Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital;

 Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D.

Thomas S. Trammell Research Professor of Child Psychiatry; Vice Chairman for Research,

 Department of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine; Chief of Psychiatry, Texas Children’s Hospital

Herbert Rosedale, Esq.

President, AFF; Parker, Chapin, Flattau & Klimpl, New York, NY

Rabbi A. James Rudin

Director, Interreligious Affairs, American Jewish Committee, New York, NY

Robert E. Schecter, Ph.D.

Editor, The Cult Observer, Framingham, MA see below

Lita Schwartz, Ph.D.

Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Educational Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, Ogontz

Margaret Thaler Singer, Ph.D. see below

Emeritus Adjunct Professor of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Louis J. [Jolyon] West, M.D.  see below

Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute

Lyman Wynne, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY


*GCTS is a member of the Rockefeller-affiliated Assn. of Theological Schools/ATS [accrediting agency for seminaries].

GCTS was originally founded with funding from Pew [before the trusts were established]. Billy Graham and Walter Martin [founder-first president of Christian Research Institute/CRI] were members of the first GCTS board of directors.



Recovering From Churches That Abuse, by Dr. Ronald Enroth, of Santa Barbara, California's Westmont College, has been nominated for "Book of The Year" in the Christianity Today Readers'-Choice Book Awards. The book, about cultism in fringe Christian churches, was heralded by Danish cult expert Johannes Aagaard* as "a most essential tool for the discernment so much needed today.” [See Aagaard’s Dialog Centre which sponsors Buddhist-Christian & Muslim-Christian dialogues among other strange bedfellows]


[Enroth is a member of advisory committees of the American Family Foundation, publisher of The Cult Observer.] (From Churches That Abuse Nominated for Book of the Year, by Nat Hansen, The Horizon, student newspaper of Westmont College, 1/15/93)


Source: F.A.C.T.Net, Inc. (Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network, Incorporated)


CONTRIBUTOR:  American Family Foundation (AFF)

LOCATION OF ORIGINAL:  American Family Foundation (AFF)


Back issues and selected reprints of the Cultic Studies Journal

are available from the American Family Foundation, P.O. Box 2265,

Bonita Springs, FL  33959-2265.



Editor’s Note:



Notice that the notations at the bottom of the entry above about Enroth’s book, clearly identify F.A.C.T.Net as an affiliate/interlocking org of American Family Foundation. Margaret Thaler Singer is on the board of the American Family Foundation with Carol Giambalvo [Giambalvo is referenced in the Christian Research Institute’s CRI JOURNAL article, ‘Ethical Problems in Exit Counseling’ by Alnor/Enroth, above.]. Thaler Singer is on the board of F.A.C.T. Net  [see F.A.C.T.Net Board of Advisors below]


Johannes Aagaard––member of the American Family Foundation’s advisory board with Ronald Enroth for the AFF publication: Cultic Studies Journal is head of the International Dialogue Center in Denmark. Details of Aagaard and his Dialog Center are presented more thoroughly in EMNR Part I of this report.


Fact Net Board of Advisors


Margaret Singer, PhD, Berkeley, CA


A world-renowned cult expert, Dr. Margaret Singer is a clinical psychologist, recipient of the NIMH [Nat’l Institute of Mental Health] Research Scientist Award, emeritus professor at University of California, Berkeley, and author of numerous titles including Cults in our Midst. Dr. Singer works as FACTNet's scientific advisor.


Edward A. Lottick, MD, Kingston, PA


Dr. Lottick is FACTNet's medical advisor. He has been an active board member and activist against the dangers of cults since 1990, and has served as a director for other anti-cult organizations, such as American Family Foundation and the now-defunct Cult Awareness Network. Dr. Lottick's son, Noah, committed suicide under the influence of mind control at the age of 24, and was featured in Time Magazine article, "Scientology: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power," for which the magazine was sued for $40 million.


Patricia Ryan, MPA, Sacramento, CA


Patricia Ryan has been an active critic of the unethical and illegal practices of destructive cults and a spokesperson for the rights of cult victims since 1978. She has spoken at conferences worldwide about the dangers of destructive cults, and has been frequently interviewed by media. Ms. Ryan served for six years on the Board of Directors of the national Cult Awareness Network, including three years as President. She is Vice President for Behavioral Health and Governance at the California Healthcare Association and FACTNet's health industry advisor. Ms. Ryan's father, Congressman Leo J. Ryan (D-CA), was killed by followers of People's Temple cult leader Jim Jones, as he arrived in Jonestown, Guyana to investigate alleged human rights abuses there.


SCP & AFF’s Louis Jolyon West   



SCP Newsletter February – March 1980 VI/1…

Of Lakes and Lilies––Welcome to the 1980s  by Mark Albrecht


Periodicals…recommended by SCP

The American Family Foundation’s Advisor is an indispensible resource for those who are active in researching or opposing aberrant religious movements…[summarizing] current news of cult activities…




Paul R. Martin & Louis Jolyon West

Paul Martin’s Fall~1996 Wellspring Messenger [newsletter] carried “Pseudo-Identity and the Treatment of Personality Change in Victims of Captivity and Cults [Part II], co-authored by Louis J. West, M.D. and Paul R. Martin––excerpted with permission from Dissociation: Clinical and Theoretical Perspectives, ed. Sten J. Lynn and Judith W. Rhue, Guilford Publications, © 1994.




AFF Announcement ~ Louis Jolyon West, has died 


Louis West has died -- a cult expert and member of AFF's Cultic Studies Journal editorial advisory


LOS ANGELES, Jan 7 (Reuters)

Psychiatrist Louis Jolyon West, an expert on cults, torture and brainwashing who examined Jack Ruby and Patricia Hearst during their trials, has died at age 74, associates said on Thursday.


A spokesman for the University of California at Los Angeles, where West was in charge of the Neuropsychiatric Institute for 20 years before his retirement in 1989, said he died on Saturday of cancer at his home in Los Angeles.


West frequently worked as a court-appointed psychiatrist. After examining Ruby, the killer of President John F. Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, West concluded Ruby was suffering from ``major mental illness precipitated by the stress of (his) trial.''


The psychiatrist was also one of four experts who examined newspaper heiress Patty Hearst, who was kidnapped by the so-called Symbionese Liberation Army and who later joined its ranks as a bank robber.


The panel found her sane and fit to stand trial, but West wrote that she was ``psychologically damaged as a result of torture by the SLA.''


The experts also urged that Hearst receive treatment for her mental illness before her 1976 trial, but the court ignored the recommendation. ``The government finished the destruction of her life started by an anti-government group,'' West said after Hearst was convicted. Her prison sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.


A civil rights activist, West was the first white psychiatrist to go to South Africa to testify on behalf of black prisoners during the apartheid era.


During the Korean War he studied brainwashing and torture. He said at the time that American prisoners of war had falsely confessed to engaging in germ warfare because their captors had instilled a sense of guilt in them through solitary confinement, prolonged sleeplessness and physical abuse, which he called the classic tools of brainwashing.


In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, West said the behaviour of cult members and kidnapping victims was driven by the “three 'Ds' - debility, dread and dependence.''


"A prisoner is debilitated by inactivity, by sleep loss, or worse, by physical harm. He is filled with dread by constant threats of pain or death or harm to his family. He is rendered completely dependent upon his captors for information, food, shelter, life,'' West said.


West, who was born the son of poor Russian Jewish immigrants in Madison, Wisconsin, is survived by his wife Kathryn, son John and daughters Anne and Mary.  


Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication and redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.



Louis Jolyon West, M.D. (hallucination), died in January 1999. For 20 years before his retirement in 1989, Dr. West was director of the Neuropsychiatric Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he also served as professor of psychiatry and psychiatrist in chief, UCLA Hospital and Clinics. [Source: Britannica]



Dangerous Territory: Quicksand…


American Family Foundation/AFF = OLD Cult Awareness Network/CAN


Inter-related anti-Cult Orgs:


American Family Foundation

CAN/Cult Awareness Network

F.A.C.T. Net—Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network, Inc.

Cult Info à Leo J. Ryan Foundation


Brief history of the OLD CAN and the NEW CAN


The original of OLD Cult Awareness Network/CAN purported to be an organization set up to help victims and families of cults. Some of their radical techniques for rescuing cult members, including claims that the people they were rescuing were victims of torture and sexual abuse by CAN, came under attack.


In 1996 the Church of Scientology filed a lawsuit against the OLD Cult Awareness Network based on a member who had been kidnapped by CAN. The OLD CAN filed bankruptcy, closing its doors. The Church of Scientology then adopted the name new CAN/Cult Awareness Network. People who contact CAN today are getting their resources directly from the Church of Scientology.


Editor’s Note: Gordon Melton is listed on the new CAN/Cult Awareness Network’s Professional Referral page. He serves as a CESNUR apologist for the Church of Scientology.


Understanding Scientology’s Inner Workings–– an exposé  


Veritas web site: Scientology’s Greatest Secret?

Veritas Chart of Power



The OLD Cult Awareness Network/CAN, after filing bankruptcy due to several lawsuits lodged against it by the Church of Scientology in the mid-1990s, closed its doors and later emerged as the Cult Information Network/ Cult Info which more recently became the Leo J. Ryan Foundation. The LRF newsletter and web site retain the name Cult Info as projects of the Leo J. Ryan Foundation.


Beyond this point research becomes very murky as to what facts are reliable. Ongoing turf wars between AFF-associated people, such as Louis Jolyon West [possibly linked with intelligence] and the Church of Scientology [more intelligence] make it difficult to discern where the truth actually lies.


The following notation was found in the F.A.C.T.Net, Inc. files, placing Louis Jolyon West and Margaret Singer at an old CAN conference:


14 Cult Awareness Network Conference 1992


The Chicago-based Cult Awareness Network' s annual national conference will take place at the Ramada Renaissance Hotel in Los Angeles November 5-8. Entitled "Upholding Integrity: Cults Invade Our Communities, Our Families, Ourselves, "the convocation includes among program speakers and workshop presenters entertainer Steve Allen and such nationally recognized experts as Louis Jolyon West, M.D., of UCLA, Dr. Margaret Singer of the University of California (Berkeley), and Dr. Robert Cialdini of Arizona State University, author of Influence. [The last three speakers are associated with the American Family Foundation, publisher of The Cult Observer].


DESCRIPTION FOR BBS FILE LISTING:  The Cult Observer, Vol. 9 No. 7, 1992.
CONTRIBUTOR:  American Family Foundation (AFF)
LOCATION OF ORIGINAL: American Family Foundation (AFF)
NOTES: Back issues and selected reprints of the Cultic Studies Journal are available from the American Family Foundation, P.O. Box 2265, Bonita Springs, FL  33959-2265



A Church of Scientology web site makes the claim that from 1974-89 Louis Jolyon West received $5 mil in CIA funding:


“Between 1974 and 1989, [Louis Jolyon] West received at least $5,110,099 in grants from the federal government, channeled through the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a major funding conduit for CIA programs. Many millions more poured into the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute that West headed, including over $14 million in federal funds in one fiscal year before he stepped down.”


A Lyndon LaRouche publication, The New Federalist, carries an article warning about the Cult Awareness Network/CAN:

‘WARNING—The Cult Awareness Network Can be Dangerous to Your Health.’ [no date]


A flow chart shows a complicated web of interconnections—four levels—feeding into CAN [at bottom] from above, including funding from the Scaife Foundation, CIA and FBI involvement, and the Anti-Defamation League [ADL]. At the second level from the top is the American Family Foundation; at the top are two organizations: Tavistock Institute, London and the Frankfurt School for Social Research.




 Tavistock Institute


 Frankfurt School for Social Research

Hannah Arendt




Morris & McVeigh

[NY law firm for


Bodman Fund

Scaife Fund

Achellis Fund


American Family Foundation/AFF




 Department of Justice

Central Intelligence Agency/CIA

Federal Bureau of Investigation/FBI






 Son of Sam

 Lucis Trust /

Temple of Understanding

 Process Church

 American Jewish Committee

 Anti-Defamation League/ADL

 Jewish Community Relations Council Task Force on Missionaries & Cults








The article states:


“The American Family Foundation (AFF) is the “mother” of CAN. The AFF is composed of premier psychiatrists and psychologists [see AFF listing above] such as Dr. Louis Jolyn [sic] West and Dr. Margaret Singer, who were major participants in the CIA’s mass drug-pushing project. Known as MK-Ultra, the CIA’s project experimented with the use of LSD, the synthetic narcotic seminal in creating the rock/drug/sex counterculture…


“Trained in group dynamics at the British Tavistock Institute, the ‘mother’ agency for most of the post-war Anglo-American intelligence and ‘dirty tricks’ apparatus, West set out to employ the manipulation of group behavior with hallucinogenic drugs. He ran ‘field studies’ in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco in the early 1960s to study the effect of drugs on youth, at a time when LSD was making it into the ‘Bohemian’ groups via the numerous MK-Ultra experiments...


“Margaret Singer is considered the grande dame of the Cult Awareness Network. Singer, who is also an advisory board member of the American Family Foundation, got her start as an Army psychiatrist, studying Korean War veterans and prisoners of war. She worked in projects with Drs. Edgar Schein and Albert Biderman, both exposed in Marks’s The Search for the Manchurian Candidate as running the parallel military MK-Ultra programs…


“Together with Dr. West, she ran a survival and torture-resistance study for Air Force Intelligence at Stead Air Force Base in 1966… Also working with West, Singer studied the Haight-Ashbury hippie drug ‘culture.’ She interviewed hundreds upon hundreds of drug-crazed hippies and examined their LSD-induced religious experiences in order to build psychological profiles on them…


“Singer was also involved with the New Religions Movement at the Graduate Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California


“Rabbi Arnold James Rudin and his wife Marcia are leaders of the ‘interreligious’ group within the Cult Awareness Network and the American Family Foundation. Rudin…participated in the formation of the New Religions Movement in America, along with such pioneers of LSD-induced ‘religious experiences,’ as Timothy Leary’s sidekick Richard Alpert. The New Religious Movement, centered at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California, was a project which spawned numerous ‘religions,’ New Age beliefs, and helped revive ‘old religions,’ such as witchcraft and Satanism.


“At the 1981 New Religions Movement Conference, the Rudins ran protection for the growing Satanic and witchcraft networks by defining some cults and others as ‘conventional new religious movements’ which are ‘open and upfront about who they are and what life in the group would be like.’ Under the Rudin criteria, Satanism, WICCA, and other ‘old’ religions are classified as ‘conventional.’” [New Federalist Extra, “Warning: The Cult Awareness Network Can Be Dangerous to Your Health”]


For more information, the reader is advised to do Internet searches using combinations of:


Tavistock Institute, London ~ Frankfurt School for Social Research [Hannah Arendt] ~ Mind Control ~ development of brainwashing techniques ~ deprogramming ~ CIA’s famous MK-Ultra projects [brainwashing] ~ Stanford Research Institute/SRI ~ Cult Awareness Network/CAN ~Scientology… and drawn their own conclusions.


It is very likely that your search will take you to EMNR member––Apologia’s resource center: Apologetics Index [Anton Hein]. If so, great caution must be taken. AI carries some helpful background information, however, APOLOGETICS INDEX is pro-Lausanne Covenant, pro-American Family Foundation, and is therefore part and parcel of whatever these organizations represent. 


APOLOGETICS INDEX adds disinformation to the public confusion about the OLD CAN…




APOLOGETICS INDFEX/Anton Hein is affiliated to EMNR’s member organization Apologia [Rich Poll, Paul Carden and Ron Rhodes] and also affiliated to Campus Crusade’s Leadership University/Leadership U.


Anton Hein’s entries to his index describe the OLD Cult Awareness Network/CAN as “legitimate” and describe the NEW CAN run by the Church of Scientology as a “hate group.” Hein presents the American Family Foundation in a positive light [for those families who have lost a family member to a cult––“help reclaim their loved ones”] and refers to a joint conference held by AFF and Cult Awareness Network [May 1999]; showing the symbiotic relationship between the two. Ronald Enroth was clearly the spokesman for the group:



Click on this link to see…

?         How Anton Hein/Apologetics Index directs readers to AFF/American Family Foundation and AFF affiliates

?         How Anton Hein/Apologetics Index casts AFF/American Family Foundation [including the old CAN] in a positive light

?         How Ronald Enroth appeared to be the spokesman for the AFF 1999 conference



Inter-Connections of the various Orgs:

AFF/old CAN/F.A.C.T. Net/Cult Info/Leo J. Ryan Foundation 


The OLD Cult Awareness Network/CAN, after filing bankruptcy due to several lawsuits lodged against it by the Church of Scientology in the mid-1990s, closed its doors and later emerged as the Cult Information Network/ Cult Info which more recently became the Leo J. Ryan Foundation. The LRF newsletter and web site retain the name Cult Info as projects of the Leo J. Ryan Foundation.


The following bits of information show that the OLD CAN which became Cult Info which became the Leo J. Ryan Foundation ARE, in fact, the American Family Foundation.


LJR/CAN ties

“Many of the same volunteers who organized the highly successful Cleveland Cult Awareness Network Conference in 1995 will assist the Foundation to sponsor a LJR conference in October 2001.”


The following clips from various article show that Leo J. Ryan Foundation is carrying on the work of the OLD CAN, which was/is directed by the American Family Foundation [Jolyon West, Margaret Singer, et al]


Leo J. Ryan's Name Abused?

Yet another attempt by Scientology to mislead the public?


August, 1999

By Rick Ross


Doug DeStafeno, a Scientologist (WISE, an association of Scientologists, 1997 listing), now owns a website that is using the name of deceased United Stated Congressman Leo J. Ryan—murdered by the followers of cult leader Jim Jones in 1978 near Jonestown.


An organization previously known as "Cult Info" first adopted the name of Congressman Ryan and became the "Leo J. Ryan Foundation" in an effort to honor his memory. That organization is focused on continuing the work of the now defunct "Cult Awareness Network" (CAN), which was sued into bankruptcy by Scientology lawyers.


It appears that Scientologists are not content with the destruction of the "old CAN". Now they seem intent on misleading the public regarding this new cult awareness organization by attempting to confuse people through the use of the same name.





A presenter at the 2001 Leo J. Ryan Conference was Paul Martin of the Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center and Advisory Member of American Family Foundation’s Cultic Studies Journal [CSJ].  Alnor and Enroth wrote in their article, above: “Recently psychologist Paul Martin, the founder and director of Wellspring, was named as a CAN board member.” Martin collaborated with Tavistock-trained, CIA-funded Louis Jolyon West on “Pseudo-Identity and the Treatment of Personality Change in Victims of Captivity and Cults”.


From: Mark Bunker <>



Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 18:58:38 -0500

Organization: LMT Media

Message-ID: <>


It was a wonderful event. I am sorry you were not there to have enjoyed the many fine lectures and panels. The LMT will be presenting some of the footage on our website soon and the rest will be made available through the LJR Foundation.




Paul R. Martin, Ph. D., is a licensed psychologist and clinical counselor, and is a former member of an abusive religious group. Dr. Martin is the director of Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center in Albany, Ohio. Wellspring is a residential treatment facility that provides a program of counseling and instruction to victims of cultic abuse, religious abuse, and/or mind control. Dr. Martin will present: The Non-Negotiable Factors in Cult Recovery.



“Many of the same volunteers who organized the highly successful Cleveland Cult Awareness Network Conference in 1995 will assist…” the Leo J. Ryan Foundation conference, Oct 2001


FACT Net offers [AFF] Cult Experts


?         Priscilla Coates–– former executive director of the Cult Awareness Network

?         Carol Giambalvo––AFF board member, Director of AFF project reFocus; former CAN deprogrammer and officer; job titles include thought reform consultant, family intervention specialist, cult information specialist,

?         Steve Hassan–– Resource Center for Freedom of Mind; former CAN deprogrammer

?         Janja Lalich–– She is also co-author with Margaret Singer of Cults in Our Midst and Crazy Therapies

?         Michael Langone, Ph.D.–– Executive Director of the American Family Foundation and editor of Cultic Studies Journal,

?         Robert J. Lifton, Ph.D.–– held the Foundations' Fund Research Professorship of Psychiatry at Yale University for more than two decades. He is the author of Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China, considered the basic text on the subject of thought reform and coercive persuasion.

?         Rick Ross––former CAN deprogrammer

?         Margaret Singer, Ph.D.–– Board of Directors of American Family Foundation and Board of Advisors of FACT Net; speaker for CAN conferences

?         Joe Szimhart

?         Louis Jolyon West, M.D.–– [deceased] professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the UCLA School of Medicine’s Neuropsychiatric Institute since 1969. He has studied the process of recruitment into religious, psychotherapeutic, and political cults, as well as the physical and psychological methods used to induce compliant behaviors in captives or other dominated persons; American Family Foundation


Fact Net archives



The facts behind the RTC. V. FACTNet case


At 9:00 a.m. on August 21, 1995, delegations of Scientology officials and lawyers, with federal marshals standing by, raided the homes of FACTNet, Inc. directors Robert Penny and Lawrence Wollersheim in Boulder, Colorado, seizing thousands of dollars in computer equipment and data that belonged to FACTNet, a nonprofit electronic library and archive.


A week before, FACTNet director Arnaldo Lerma’s home had been raided in Arlington, Virginia. Scientology claimed the issues were copyright and trade secrets. But the manner in which the raids were conducted made it clear that there was much more to it than that. FACTNet has been highly critical of Scientology. The purpose of the raids, and the ensuing lawsuits, was to silence FACTNet.


What is FACTNet?


Founded in 1993, FACTNet, Inc., is a small, underfunded, nonprofit electronic library and archive, a repository of information concerning not only free speech, free thought and privacy, but also thought reform and coercion, by which is meant those methods by which totalitarian governments and organizations attempt to curtail free speech, free thought and privacy.


Because in FACTNet’s view Scientology is a totalitarian organization whose fundamental practices involve coercive thought reform, FACTNet has gathered what is probably the largest electronic library and archive about Scientology in the world.


A history of harassment against FACTNet


But Scientology has been fighting FACTNet and its directors for years. All of them are former members who know firsthand how damaging the organization’s coercive methods can be…


Arnaldo Lerma, another FACTNet director, was also raided by Scientology and is now fighting a lawsuit for copyright violations in Virginia.



EMNR/Apologia declare END OF CULT WARS…


AFF, CESNUR and EMNR dialogue with Hare Krishnas


APOLOGIA  ~ Summer 1999


[written by Rich Poll, former EMNR board member, and Paul Carden]


Hare Krishnas Reforming?


May 15, 1999 was a historic date for all cult watchers. On this day in St. Paul Minnesota, two leaders of ISKON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness–– the Hare Krishnas) were featured participants in a public conference entitled ‘Cults, Psychological Manipulation & Society: International Perspectives.” The conference was sponsored by the American Family Foundation (AFF), the leading secular cult watchdog group in the U.S.


In attendance were officials, scholars and activists from Japan, France, England, Spain and Sweden –– along with members of the religious studies camp in the field of sociology (including Eileen Barker of INFORM/U.K. [board member of CESNUR with Massimo Introvigne and Gordon Melton] and Stephen Kent of the university of Alberts/Edmonton) as well as representatives of evangelical apologetics ministries (including Craig Branch [EMNR Board of Directors and head of American Family Foundation’s  Clergy Relation Committee] of the Apologetics Resource Center, Paul Carden of the Centers for Apologetics Research and Rich Poll of Apologia.)


[Carden, who formerly worked at Christian Research Institute/CRI, is also on the board of Apologia and has been a speaker at the American Family Foundation’s Conferences.]


One of the most remarkable sessions was the afternoon panel discussion of May 15 entitled “Can Cultic Groups Change? The Case of ISKCON.” (Ironically, at the same time, local Scientologists picketed outside with accusing AFF of bigotry.) On the panel were Anuttama Dasa (director of communications for ISKCON); Radha Devi Dasi, as ISKCON lawyer (J.D. from Harvard) and law professor: Michael Langone (AFF executive director); Joseph Kelly (exit counselor and former member of two eastern cults); and Steve Dubrow-Eichel (a psychotherapist whose Ph.D. dissertation described the deprogramming of an ISKCON member.)


This session was a couple of years in the making. Langone and other AFF-affiliated people have been in touch with Dasa for some time. We first met Dasa at an academic conference on new religions in Montreal (CESNUR 1997). We have found him to be most open and helpful in providing statistics and other information when we’ve sought his assistance

…we came away impressed with their openness and apparent sincerity.


Implies that Rich Poll, Paul Carden and associates––EMNR––are dialoguing with the ISKCON leadership.


We are watching to determine if ISKCON’s branches outside the United States respond in similar fashion…


[Poll reports here about disclosures that ISKCON is facing a lawsuit over child sexual abuse within the ISKCON ranks which has been reported in the news in recent years]…


Let us pray for––and reach out to––the members of ISKCON. Christ died for them, and we hope that this time of openness will lead to greater opportunities for evangelism.


––Paul Carden with Rich Poll


Editor’s Note:

The Scripture is clear — “Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing….” (II Cor. 6:17) — but it appears that Poll, Carden and associates at EMNR believe these false religions can be cleaned up. What saith the Scriptures? 


Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matt. 7:15-20




OLD CAN [AFF/Tavistock] & NEW CAN [Church of Scientology] dialogue to consensus…


Michael Langone [AFF/CSJ], Eileen Barker [LSE/CESNUR/EMNR speaker] and J. Gordon Melton [CESNUR/Transylvanian Society of Dracula/EMNR speaker] facilitate truce.


CESNUR Center for Studies on New Religions


“Combatants in Cult War Attempt Reconciliation Peacemaking conference is held near Seattle”

by Don Lattin ("The San Francisco Chronicle", Monday, May 1, 2000)


Seattle -- They're calling it the “Camp David of the cult wars.”


Leaders from both factions [American Family Foundation/ old Cult Awareness Network-CAN vs Church of Scientology/ new Cult Awareness Network-CAN] in the decades-long dispute over danger posed by new religious movements came together over the weekend at a woodsy retreat center on the shores of Puget Sound.


There were a few screaming matches, and a bit of the old backbiting and rumor mongering, but it was a largely peaceful gathering of defectors, devotees, heartbroken families and assorted cult experts.


“We've reached the point where we're no longer throwing bricks,'' said J. Gordon Melton, director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion [ISAR/Melton serves as the US CESNUR contact] in Santa Barbara, and someone long labeled as an “apologist” by leaders of the “alarmist” anti-cult movement.


Melton was among those attending a weekend conference at the Dumas Bay Centre south of Seattle, sponsored by the American Family Foundation and titled “Cults and the Millennium.”


Since [AFF’s] founding 25 years ago [1975; 1974 is the year cited for the founding of the old CAN], the foundation has been mostly identified with the cult watchdog faction that believes authoritarian and “totalist” groups -- whether they're organized around religion, politics or psychotherapy -- pose a real danger to their members and to the broader society. [CAN/AFF were the cult experts advising the ATF and FBI on dealing with the WACO scenario.] They've had little to do with the other camp in the cult wars -- scholars and current cult members who argue that most religious sects are relatively harmless and that the crusade against them violates constitutional guarantees of religious freedom.


Anti-cult activists warned of “brainwashing” and “mind control,” while their opponents tell tales of violent kidnapping and coercive “deprogramming.”


Fighting in the cult wars may have reached a peak three years ago [1997], when lawyers and other individuals linked to the Church of Scientology, one of the nation's most controversial and powerful new religious movements, sued the Cult Awareness Network into bankruptcy.


The network, which had been one of the most outspoken anti-cult groups, eventually had its name, files and hotline taken over in a campaign dominated by members of the Church of Scientology.


Today, those who call the [new] Cult Awareness Network hotline actually get an information and referral service run by the Foundation for Religious Freedom, a group linked to the Church of Scientology.


“That's a form of deception,” said Herbert Rosedale, president of the American Family Foundation. [not unlike AFF’s own deceptions!!]


Among those working the crowd at the weekend conference was Nancy O'Meara, a longtime Church of Scientology member and corporate treasurer of the Foundation for Religious Freedom. She insists that the “new” Cult Awareness Network provides a valuable service for family members who call the hotline concerned about relatives who have joined a cult…


…She said the “new” Cult Awareness Network is “completely independent” from the Church of Scientology, although “individual Scientologists support its activities.”


She and other Scientologists at the conference were not included as featured speakers, O'Meara noted, “but at least they let us attend.”


Leading the reconciliation between the two cult camps were Michael Langone, a counseling psychologist and executive director of the American Family Foundation, and Eileen Barker, a sociologist at the London School of Economics and founder of INFORM, a British charity[!!!!] that provides information about new religious movements. [Barker is on the board of CESNUR.]


They gathered four representatives from each camp for a pre-conference peacemaking session.


“We have a lot in common, and a lot of misconceptions about each other,” said Barker, who has been mostly identified with the religious freedom camp. “There are people who think I'm wicked for even coming here. Meanwhile, they (American Family Foundation) have been getting flak for inviting me.”


Barker and Janja Lalich, director of the Center for Research on Influence and Control in Alameda, agreed that one of the main differences between the two camps is they are “asking different questions” about the dynamics of cults, sects and new religious movements.


Many of the scholars studying cults and sects focus on more abstract questions, such as how religions are born and evolve over time.


Groups like the American Family Foundation, based in Naples, Fla., and the Teaneck, N.J.-based Cult Information Service [aka Cult Info and Leo J. Ryan Foundation, the evolutionary orgs of the old CAN], focus on the harm done to some people who join authoritarian sects. They deal with the real anguish of fractured families whose loved ones have been subjected to “mind control” or who have gone through life-changing religious conversions. 




More Smoke, Mirrors and Disinformation…

The New Age Ties of the Apologetics Ministries

CESNUR, Rockefeller & J. Gordon Melton (coming soon)