"Sadly, cult abuses abound, including mistreatment of young children, brutal sexual exploitation of women, criminal mishandling of publicly collected funds, systematic breakup of traditional family units, extraordinary financial enrichment of cult leaders and a host of other crimes. Whenever I raise serious questions about cult actions or cite the criminal actions of such groups, much of the academic community sneers at such evidence and label critics 'enemies of religion.' But truth has a curious way of surviving such mischievous intellectual games."--Rabbi James Rudin,
past Director of Interreligious Affairs,
American Jewish Committee
"I just wanted to let you know that your web site and especially the information at 'Cult Apologists'? is wonderful and I am so pleased to see it".
"In every single case since the Jonestown tragedy, statements by ex-members turned out to be more accurate than those of apologists and NRM researchers. Our conflicting biases [as New Religious Movement NRM scholars] should naturally lead to debates and controversy. It is indeed baffling that ...[amongst one] particular research network the strange, deafening, silence of conformity. Scholars in perfect agreement around a thorny issue are like the dog that didn't bark. They should make us curious, if not outright suspicious." (From "Integrity and Suspicion in New Religious Movement Research.")
-- Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi
Professor of Psychology
University of Haifa, Israel
author of The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Active New Religions
and Dictionary of Modern Religious Movements.
"A major obstacle toward the sort of progress desired is the cloud of secrecy that surrounds the funding of research on NRMs. The sociology of religion can no longer avoid the unpleasant ethical question of how to deal with the large sums of money being pumped into the field by the religious groups being studied...in the form of subvention of research expenses, subvention of publications, opportunities to sponsor and attend conferences, or direct fees for services, this money is not insignificant, and its influence on research findings and positions taken on scholarly disputes is largely unknown. This is an issue that is slowly but surely building toward a public scandal. I do think there needs to be some more public accounting of where the money is coming from and what safeguards have been taken to assure that this money is not interfering with scientific objectivity." (From "The Blacklisting of a Concept: The Strange History of the Brainwashing Conjecture in the Sociology of Religion.")-- Benjamin Zablocki
Professor of Sociology
Rutgers University, New Jersey
author of The Joyful Community and
Alienation and Charisma.