Cults On Campus News & Off Campus News - CultsOnCampus.com
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Cults On Campus News

Updated November 18, 2008






Campus News


2007

  • November 26, 2007 New questions about a controversial yoga group - Reported by: Joe Ducey - ABC15 (KNXV-TV) Phoenix, Arizona (Video included.)

    ...Dahn Yoga claims to promote health and empowerment.

    But experts said that beneath the calm lies a cult.

    "A destructive, deceptive, mind control cult," said cult expert Steve Hassan.

    The ABC15 Investigators uncovered a link to a younger population operating on college campuses.

    ...Dahn Yoga's expanding influence at the college level, through the Body and Brain Clubs...

    ...Statement from Arizona State University...


  • October 24, 2007 Cults target college students in recruitment, Maxwell Nerenberg, The Daily Orange, Syracuse University, New York

    Cults have never been a big problem at Syracuse University, but they are present, said Thomas Wolfe, dean of Hendricks Chapel...

    ..."We have (in the past) become aware of groups where it's clear they don't have the student's best interests in mind," Wolfe said...

    ...At first, cults offer unconditional love and acceptance, Wolfe said. They then slowly cause members to lose perspective. Members often feel safe telling secrets they would otherwise never reveal, and groups can use this to exert control over their members, he said.

    Some try to make members drop out of college, Giambalvo said...


  • October 17, 2007 Conquering coercion, Amanda Wilcosky, Staff Writer, The Post, Ohio University

    Wellspring Retreat helps former cult members recover...

    ...Wellspring is the only residential facility in the world that treats people who have been in cults or abusive relationships, said Donna Adams, Wellspring's clinical director...

    ...The Wellspring model describes to individuals how they were recruited and how group dynamics kept them from thinking independently, Martin said...

    ...Martin, Adams and Orchowski agreed that those who become involved with cults or abusive groups do not have a predisposed weakness and should not be stigmatized...


  • October 12, 2007 Professor warns that cults may target students, Janna Brancolini, Daily Trojan, University of Southern California

    ...As part of Parents Weekend, the USC Department of Sociology presented "Sects in the City: Protecting Your Children from Cults" ...with the aim of educating parents about how to help their children avoid cult recruitment techniques.

    "Cults are known to recruit on college campuses," said the presenter, Doni Whitsett, a professor in the School of Social Work and an independent clinician...

    ...groups on and around USC's campus - including the LaRouche movement and the Los Angeles Church of Christ - have been accused of cult activity in the past...

    ...Los Angeles Church of Christ ... a branch of the International Church of Christ...


    • Read Comments On Article Above, Daily Trojan

    • October 18, 2007 Cult Article Unfairly Targets Los Angeles Church of Christ, Letter to the Editor, Daily Trojan, University of Southern California

      Rabbi Susan Laemmle Dean of Religious Life

      Revd. Elizabeth Davenport Senior Associate Dean of Religious Life

      ...If it comes to the notice of the Office of Religious Life that a group has violated the terms of the Ethical Framework, prompt action is taken to rectify the situation, and if any students feel that a religious group is making unreasonable demands on them, the deans of Religious Life strongly encourage them to come and talk about it.


  • June 28, 2007 Fellowship Or Foe?, Kelly Wilson, The Diamondback, University of Maryland, Maryland

    The Washington University Bible Fellowship, a small, university-focused evangelical church on Metzerott Road, has become the home to a number of students, and is described by many of them as a "close-knit community."...

    ...recently accusations of member abuse and cult-like behavior have been raised by students at the university...

    ...Another student, who also asked not to be named because he is a current member of the local UBF, said the amount of control in the church makes it impossible for a trusting relationship to form...

    ...Denny Gulick, a mathematics professor at this university who runs a training session on cults for resident assistants, said the accusation is a complicated one.

    The word "cult" has to do only with a pattern of behavior, Gulick said, and nothing to do with religious beliefs. He said such a group replaces the rules of typical society with its own, operating through the domination, manipulation, coercion and control of its members, which can have serious and detrimental effects on the people involved...


    • July 5, 2007 Letters to the Editor, The Diamondback, University of Maryland, Maryland

      UBF a harmful group

      Amy Young, Former UBF Member

      ---

      UBF experience a good one

      Megan McCarty, Graduate Student



News

2008

  • On TV November 22, 2008 Jonestown Paradise Lost - History Channel
  • ...U.S. Government information and eye witness accounts, this special follows Congressman Leo Ryan's fatal journey into "Jonestown" ...Using extensive and fact backed dramatic re-enactments, as well as archival footage, and heart-rending interviews, we go beyond "official reality" and deep into the inner workings of this tragic cult... - Running Time: 120 minutes


  • Video November 13, 2008 Escape From Jonestown - CNN
  • Thirty years ago, 900 people died by murder and suicide. Now CNN special correspondent Soledad O'Brien with their untold stories as "CNN Presents: Escape from Jonestown."


  • Video November 9, 2008 Witness to Jonestown - msnbc.com
  • Watch a sneak preview of the two-hour documentary - 3:22

    In 1978, more than 900 Americans in a group called Peoples Temple, led by Rev. Jim Jones, were poisoned by cyanide-laced punch in Jonestown, Guyana...

    ...survivors' stories...


  • October 12, 2008 Bent: Prosecution bringing end of the world - Eyewitness News 4, New Mexico
  • A self-proclaimed messiah being investigated for inappropriate contact with children says his "persecution" is bringing about the end of the world.

    Union County cult leader Wayne Bent is accused of molesting children whom he says he was only "healing".

    In a statement on his website, he says the investigation into his activities have caused such things as the crisis on Wall Street...


  • September 11, 2008 Beyond the Kool-Aid: Finding 918 Jonestown murders - Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
  • ...do you see the followers of the People's Temple as misguided cultists or victims of a mass murderer?

    If there's one takeaway from "The People's Temple," the powerful new oral-history drama at American Theater Company, it's that the final hours of Jonestown weren't the ultimate display of collective loyalty but brutal murders in a jungle crime scene...


  • August 18, 2008 Cult prayed for lifeless boy's resurrection, Associated Press via CNN

    BALTIMORE, Maryland -- After denying Javon Thompson food and water for two days because he wouldn't say "Amen" after meals, the 1-year-old's caretakers waited for a divine sign that their message had been heard: a resurrection...

    ...Queen Antoinette, the 40-year-old leader of a group that called itself 1 Mind Ministries, brought in her followers and told them to pray. God, she said, would raise Javon from the dead...


  • August 2008 Inside a Cult - National Geographic Channel (Video included.)

    Doomsday cult leader Michael Travesser prophesied that the world would end October 31, 2007 ... Go inside Travesser's cult to meet its leader, its followers and the dynamics that shape cult behavior.

    Young girls speak about laying naked with a cult leader and self-proclaimed son of God.

    Wayne Bent (aka Michael Travesser, aka Michael the Archangel).

    ...Today, there are a surprising number of active cults around the world....


  • July 2008 Unanswered Prayers: The Story of One Woman Leaving the International Church of Christ - by Drew Bratcher, Washingtonian Magazine, Washington, DC (Photos of Jenny Hunter included.)

    A straight-A senior at Georgetown went to a Bible-study group. But the promise of heaven wound up turning her life into hell...

    ...Not long after joining the International Church of Christ, Jenny Hunter stood on Key Bridge considering whether suicide was better than life as a church disciple...

    ...The church recruited on college campuses...

    ...In January 2006, a year after returning home, Jenny entered Wellspring, a cult-recovery center in Ohio...In her two weeks at Wellspring, she found people who understood what had happened to her....

    ...She has also started a nonprofit, the Alliance for Cult Recovery & Education, to inform college students about cults...



  • June 28, 2008 Utah official lectures at seminar on cults, By Thomas Burr, Salt Lake Tribune, Utah

    Many at conference wonder why the state has not been more vigorous in polygamist prosecutions

    PHILADELPHIA - Top officials for the Utah and Arizona attorneys general were peppered with questions about prosecuting polygamous crimes at a conference here focused on cultic groups.

    Abutting events on the lessons learned from the mass suicide at Jonestown and recovering from membership in a cult...

    ... In the aftermath of the raid by Texas authorities into the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints' Yearning for Zion ranch, polygamous sects are an issue of discussion at the International Cultic Studies Association meeting this weekend at the University of Pennsylvania...


  • June 11, 2008 School unaware of link to Scientologists, Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun, Canada

    ...A Vancouver principal said his school was uninformed when it invited a group affiliated with the Church of Scientology to speak to a student assembly last month about human rights....

    ...said he hadn't been aware that Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is part of the Scientology movement until it was brought to his attention by a staff member shortly after the group finished its presentation.

    "It was very unfortunate that they were not as forthcoming as they needed to be," he said of YHRI...


  • April 24, 2008 Ex-Scientology Kids Share Their Stories 20:00 - Nightline, ABC News By LISA FLETCHER, ETHAN NELSON and MAGGIE BURBANK (Video included.)

    Former Scientologists, Including Church Leader's Niece, Share Stories With 'Nightline'...

    ...Jenna Miscavige Hill, Astra Woodcraft, 29, was the daughter of Scientologists and as a child also went to Scientology schools and belonged to Sea Org...

    ...Now out of the Church, Woodcraft, Hill and other ex-Sea Org member started their Web site ExScientologykids.com...


2007

  • November 8, 2007 Video tape shows Jeffs admitting he's no prophet, ABC 4 News, Salt Lake City, Utah

    ST. GEORGE, Utah - The split-screen video shows Warren Jeffs in the upper right hand square wearing the jail-issued green and white "pajamas". On the left is his brother Nephi. The conversation was recorded January 25, 2007 in the Purgatory Correctional Facility in Washington County...


  • September 26, 2007 Jeffs Case 'Jane Doe' Speaks Out, ABC News (Photo & Video Included.)

    Victim in Jeffs Case Encourages Women in Polygamist Communities to 'Stand Up and Fight'

    Elissa Wall talks to the media outside a Utah courthouse after polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs was convicted of being an accomplice to rape for arranging her marriage when she was 14 to her 19-year-old cousin...


  • September 25, 2007 Polygamist Leader Convicted in Utah, Associated Press via ABC News (Video Included.)

    By JENNIFER DOBNER Associated Press Writer ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP)

    Polygamist Leader in Utah Convicted of Sex Charges in Arranged Marriage

    The leader of a polygamous Mormon splinter group was convicted Tuesday of being an accomplice to rape for performing a marriage between a 19-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl.

    Warren Jeffs, 51, could get life in prison after a trial that threw a spotlight on a renegade community along the Arizona-Utah line where as many as 10,000 of Jeffs' followers practice plural marriage and revere him as a mighty prophet...


  • Video August 17, 2007 Stephan Jones on The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos on CBC, Canada

    The Jonestown massacre is one of the most notorious mass suicides in history. More than 900 people died there. The quasi-socialist spiritual utopia turned hell on earth was founded by the Reverend Jim Jones.

    Stephan Jones, son to Reverend Jim Jones, talks about...wanting to murder his father.

    Stephan Jones did not take part in the suicide as he was away, playing basketball with the People's Temple Basketball team...


  • On TV June 14, 2007 Planet Aid Investigation, I-Team, CBS 3, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Video included)

    ...Planet Aid...

    You've seen them around the Delaware Valley, clothing donation bins to help the poor...

    ...And the secret ways that group is using the money, to fund unorthodox schools, have led some to call them a cult...

    These yellow bins are owned by an organization called Planet Aid...

    ...So called Training Colleges that are not in Africa, but rather California and in Massachusetts...

    ...British journalist Michael Durham - after years of research - says the fundraising and profits from the clothing donations are really going to a group called Tvind which has 860 million dollars in assets.

    Critics call Tvind a cult because they say it requires members to cut off from family and friends and restricts information from the outside world.

    Kai Nelson with Philadelphia's Planet Aid wouldn't address critics directly but defended his organization... saying again the oft-repeated claims that any proceeds go to help the poor in Africa...


  • On TV May 17, 2007 Highway Through 'Hallowed' Ground, By Dan Morris and Terry Moran, Nightline, ABC News (Video Included. Time 10:45)

    ...Mount Carmel is the infamous land outside Waco, Texas, where David Koresh and his Branch Davidian followers went down in flames in 1993 after a 51-day standoff with the federal government. Charles Pace brought his family there in the hopes of revitalizing the Branch Davidian faith and preserving the memories of those who died there...


  • Video May 8, 2007 Cancer Claims Yahweh Ben Yahweh, CBS 4, Florida (Photo included.)

    (CBS4) MIAMI The South Florida sect leader whose black supremacist teachings drew followers in the 1980's has died.

    71-year old Yahweh Ben Yahweh died in Miami from prostate cancer, according to his lawyer...

    ...Yahweh served 11 years of an 18-year prison sentence on a federal conviction for conspiracy...


  • Today in History - April 19 - Associated Press via sfgate.com

    ...In 1993, the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended as fire destroyed the structure after federal agents began smashing their way in; dozens of people, including David Koresh, were killed...


  • On TV April 9, 2007 Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple - PBS - American Experience (Photos included)

    - Video Temple Members' Stories

    - Temple Members' Stories - What was the appeal of Jim Jones' Peoples Temple? By the time of its deadly end in the Guyanese jungle, membership exceeded one thousand people.

    - Learn more about the Rev. Jim Jones


  • March 18, 2007 Heaven's Gate revisited, By J. Harry Jones, Union-Tribune STAFF WRITER, Union-Tribune, San Diego, California (Photos included.)

    Ten years ago, 39 members of the Heaven's Gate cult committed mass suicide inside a Rancho Santa Fe mansion...


  • March 16, 2007 I Narrowly Survived the Kanungu Inferno, Andrew Nkurunziza, The Monitor (Kampala) via allAfrica.com, Uganda

    EXACTLY seven years ago on March 17, 2000, more than 500 people perished in an inferno in Kanungu, south western Uganda...

    ...Police investigations after the fire discovered mass graves in different parts of the country, raising the death toll to over 1,000.

    Those who died included mainly Ugandan ... in a cult called the 'Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God'...


  • February 28, 2007 Remembering the Waco Siege

    by Justin Sturken and Mary Dore, ABC News

    A 51-day Standoff, Which Began 14 Years Ago Today, Resulted in the Deaths of 74 People, Including 25 Children. What Lessons Have Been Learned?...

    ...fire consumed the complex on April 19, 1993, after weeks of fruitless talks between Sage and Branch Davidian leader David Koresh...



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