Feb 9, 2018

9 of 8,643 CultNEWS101 Articles: 2/10-11/2018

Book, New Religious Movements, Scientology, Jehovah's Witness, Pyramid Schemes, China

There are many different ways in which minority religions and counselling may interact. In some cases there can be antagonism between counselling services and minority religions, with each suspecting they are ideologically threatened by the other, but it can be argued that the most common relationship is one of ignorance – mental health professionals do not pay much attention to religion and often do not ask or consider their client’s religious affiliation. To date, the understanding of this relationship has focused on the ‘anti-cult movement’ and the perceived need for members of minority religions to undergo some form of ‘exit counselling’. In line with the series, this volume takes a non-judgemental approach and instead highlights the variety of issues, religious groups and counselling approaches that are relevant at the interface between minority religion and counselling.

The volume is divided into four parts: Part I offers perspectives on counselling from different professions; Part II offers chapters from the field leaders directly involved in counselling former members of minority religions; Part III offers unique personal accounts by members and former members of a number of different new religions; while Part IV offers chapters on some of the most pertinent current issues in the counselling/minority religions fields, written by new and established academics. In every section, the volume seeks to explore different permutations of the counsellor-client relationship when religious identities are taken into account. This includes not only ‘secular’ therapists counselling former members of religion, but the complexities of the former member turned counsellor, as well as counselling practised both within religious movements and by religious movements that offer counselling services to the ‘outside’ world.

"The exhibition condemns psychiatry as the "industry of death" which "denies the most basic of human rights". On graphic, even potentially disturbing posterboards, it attacks electro-shock therapy and suggests naturopathy as one alternative for the mentally ill."

"But visitors to the 'mental health exhibition', in a shop unit at the Highbury Mall in Birkenhead, Auckland, would need sharp eyes to realise that the displays hosted by an incorporated society called the Citizens Commission for Human Rights were backed by the Church of Scientology."

"...[T]wo former Scientologists–one a woman, the other her colleague– who’ve known Haggis for decades. They each worked for Hollywood guilds that Haggis belonged to..."

"Each of these former Scientologists told me similar stories: a very high placed Scientology executive had asked them recently for dirt on Haggis. “Anything to do with women,” the exec said."
"A recently released Federal Bureau of Investigation file on the Church of Scientology shows that more than twenty years before Central Intelligence Agency accused WikiLeaks of being a “non-state hostile intelligence service,” the FBI received an official inquiry asking if the COS was one."

This is the story of growing up as a Jehovah's Witness and how a young man got out, and life after. 

Pyramid schemes cause huge social harm in China

"THE authorities call them “business cults”. Tens of millions of people are ensnared in these pyramid schemes that use cult-like techniques to brainwash their targets and bilk them out of their money. In July 2017 victims of one such fraud held a rally in central Beijing, an extremely unusual occurrence. The police quickly dispersed it and the government, in panic, declared a three-month campaign against the scams. Hundreds of them were closed down and thousands of people arrested. But the cults are adopting new guises. The problem may still be growing."

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