CULT AWARENESS NETWORK




Volume I
Issue II

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 Awareness Network.

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 Print Media

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."

US National TV Show Promotes the new CAN
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."

HOTLINE NEWS
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".

          Buddhist caller


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."
International News
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.
CAN Counsels Families
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 son's choice.

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 Internet
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 http://www.religious tolerance.org.
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 volunteer mediators..."

Feel free to E-mail CAN at "can@cultawarenessnetwork.org" to ask us about anything we could help you with.
Religious Experts 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 new CAN!
Get your CAN Membership calling card NOW!
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 to CAN.

Buy your 1998 annual membership for $40 and get your CAN calling card right away.

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.

RENEW YOUR
CAN
MEMBERSHIP
TODAY!!!

VOL. I
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VOL. IV:
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