From the Editor:
Thank you for your
warm response to our first newsletter. Comments like "What a great newsletter"
and "Congratulations on CAN's first newsletter. It was informative, right to
the point ... excellent " were very well received.
The many names and
addresses of people who should be informed about the new CAN were also much
appreciated. One member sent in a list of 750 people to contact! All of them
are being sent our first newsletter and an invitation to join the new Cult
While it would be
impossible for us to tell you about every single caller who has been given factual
information or a qualified referral, as per the new CAN's operating basis, or
tell you about all of CAN's activities in promoting religious respect, please
read on for some recent highlights.
CAN in the
The media is learning
that the new CAN has a different philosophy. (Actually it is doing what the
old CAN was supposed to do but never did!).
The newspaper Cleveland
Plain Dealer recently ran an article which said about the new CAN: "...
the organization provides callers with information about religious groups and
refers callers to the group they are inquiring about for further information
or to people who are deemed experts in that area ...the new CAN's role is mediation,
to get families back together."
And a November United
Press International wire story said the new CAN is: "...a religious tolerance
organization that gives people reliable information and reconciles families
through mediation. The vile and hateful attitude is gone."
TV Show Promotes the
Recently a US National
TV News show presented a segment regarding the demise of the old CAN and the
rise of the new. While missing the point about the old CAN's criminal associations
and how it violated its tax exempt purpose so that its funders deserted it,
the show DID get it right that the new CAN is run by responsible, caring people.
And the American
public seemed to get that point as well - because the immediate results of the
show were double the number of weekly hotline callers and double the visitors
to the CAN Website!
One woman caller
from North Carolina (who made it a point to say she was not a member of any
religion) was especially indicative. She said she didn't understand the way
the TV piece was presented and "...1 think what youre doing is great and
1 think it's great that you bought out the old CAN... Good heck to you. 1 just
wanted to call and let you know that 1 support you."
Total calls to the
CAN hotline now exceed 4,500. The calls are as varied as is the wide array of
religious beliefs in the world. Some recent feedback:
"I never would have
called CAN except I heard that it was under new management so I knew you wouldn't
be close-minded and you wouldn't refer me to a kidnapper".
The Executive Director of an
international religious tolerance
organization wrote in saying:
"I've looked at your home page and
was pleasantly surprised to see the
changes in CAN."
A study released in December 1997 by the
Center for Studies on New Religions
(CESNUR) titled "Religious Liberty in
Europe" (authored by Professor Massimo
Introvigne, a CAN professional referral)
states that a network of psychiatric, legal,
media and socialist groups are pressuring
European governments to outlaw or curtail
well-known religious organizations. The
study also covers the myths of
brainwashing and mind control clearly
saying such theories are completely
unscientific. It calls for international
dialogue to prevent alarmist actions.
Please contact CAN if you would like a
copy or check out the webpage of
CESNUR at http://www.Lin.it/cesnur org.
A father called whose Catholic son wants
to marry a member of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons).
Quite concerned at the start of the call as
to whether the Mormon Church is a cult,
the father was given factual information
and encouraged to examine the actions of
the Mormon Church, not listen to the
rumours. He promised to find out more,
and most of all promised to support his
An elderly woman called into CAN very
concerned about a communal group in a
tiny village in Alaska where her 42 year old
son is living. CAN got the factual
information even speaking with the only
other pastor within miles of the place. The
mother changed from concerned to
pleased about her son's life choice.
CAN on the
CAN's webpage at http://www.
cultawarenessnetwork.org has hosted
more than 2,500 visitors. Our first
newsletter is posted there and this one
will go up right after
publication. More than that there is
excellent information debunking the
mind control and brainwashing myths
and decrying the horrors of
deprogramming, plus a list of many of
the highly qualified professional
referrals associated with the new CAN.
CAN is also referenced on other
websites including the largest religious
tolerance site on the web, The Ontario
Center for Religious Tolerance at
Their religious tolerance section lists
CAN as its first entry. Too long to fully
quote here, enjoy this excerpt: "The Cult
Awareness Network was once an anticult group that spread misinformation
and intolerance ...Their name, phone
number and website have been taken
over by a totally new group ...They
promote religious tolerance and are run
by a multi-faith board ....They have a list
of over 100 qualified religious scholars
...They have access to qualified
Feel free to E-mail CAN at
"firstname.lastname@example.org" to ask
us about anything we could help you
Continue to Help
Dr. Lowell Streiker (a PhD in Religion from
Princeton University and a Protestant
Pastor) has been of invaluable help to the
new CAN. He has recently worked with a
man from Colorado and his ex-wife,
getting them to agree to joint custody of
their child despite very disparate religious
views and earlier deep animosity over
such. Lowell has also taken numerous
phone calls from around the country,
giving people practical yet compassionate
advice about using communication to sort
out deep religious familial differences. A
number of callers have told CAN how
much they appreciated Lowell's help.
Another Coup for
the new CAN
The new CAN has just acquired the
former Los Angeles area phone number
for the old CAN. So, not only does the
new CAN have the Chicago number of the
former CAN national office, but anyone
calling the LA (818-845-4354) number of
the old CAN will now be put directly
through to the
Get your CAN
Get your 1998 CAN Membership card by
renewing your membership for $40. Your
CAN membership card is also a PHONE
calling card to use for long distance calls.
You top up the calling card via your
credit card and every use of the card
provides an additional nominal donation
Buy your 1998 annual membership for
$40 and get your CAN calling card
All annual memberships ALSO accrue
toward the purchase of your lifetime
membership - but why wait? Buy your
$500 lifetime membership now and help
fund the CAN 800 phone line and support
us in reconciling families and in getting
out factual information so people can
make up their own minds.