Cult watcher Steve Hassan is specifically recommending and promoting a fugitive sex offender through his Freedom of Mind website. Hassan recommends through numerous links, the website of convicted pedophile and wanted fugitive Anton Hein.

CultNews has previously reported about Anton Hein, who is a self-proclaimed expert and supposed lay minister. Hein runs a website called “Apologetics Index.”

Anton Hein pleaded guilty to sex charges in the United States that involved lewd behavior with his niece, a 13-year-old child. He served jail time in California before he was released on extended supervised probation. Hein violated his probation by leaving the US. He now lives in Amsterdam. A fugitive warrant has been issued and remains currently in effect for the immediate arrest of Anton Hein.

Hein now apparently makes a living from a combination of Dutch welfare benefits and revenue from online Google ads featured at his “counter-cult” website. Steve Hassan helps him by including numerous links to Hein’s site and apparent endorsements naming Hein as a credible resource.

Hein reciprocates by endorsing and promoting Hassan.

Anton Hein runs a group of websites including, www.cultfaq, and he also controls religion news Twitter feed.

220px-steven_hassan_headshot_02Steve Hassan (photo left) says he is opposed to sexual abuse and is a supporter of the Child-Friendly Faith Project. Hassan states at his website that this is “focused on ending child abuse and neglect within religion affiliated groups by educating the public.” Hassan also is currently involved in an effort to end sexual exploitation through human trafficking.

However, Steve Hassan states, “I recommend subscribing to the free Religion News report, compiled by Anton Hein Apologetics Index.” And at the top of one page Hassan posts, “Click here to read a review of Releasing the Bonds on the Apologetics Index!”

Hassan literally linked to Hein

antonhein2How can Hassan on one hand be opposed to sexual abuse and exploitation and then on the other hand recommend a sexual predator convicted for abusing a child?

Hassan features links to Anton Hein’s website Apologetics Index at numerous pages within his site Freedom of Mind concerning various groups of interest such as the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God, where he recommends Hein (1996 photo right) as a resource.

Steve Hassan features links to Hein’s website on no less than 38 pages at Freedom of Mind.

There is a connection bettween Hassan and Hein. That is, they each promote the others interests. Hassan promotes Hein by recommending him as a resource and providing links to his site, while Hein reciprocates by promoting Hassan.

It is understandable that someone like Anton Hein, seeking recognition and validation, would want to associate himself with professionals. This might appear to imbue him with an aura of credibility.

How can Steve Hassan credibly be fighting against the sexual abuse of children and the victims of human trafficking, while simultaneously promoting a convicted sexual predator?

Isn’t this just a bit inconsistent, hypocritical and/or unethical?

CultNews contacted Steve Hassan’s office by email and phone for comment. His office advised that Mr. Hassan was not immediately available to comment on this article.

Update: Steven Hassan now also links to Anton Hein’s website through his Web page “The Truth About Steven Hassan.” Hassan recommends the fugitive sex offender as a “useful page” supplying information about “How to Select a Cult Expert.” Hein recommends Hassan.

Note: Some years ago upon discovering the fugitive status and detailed criminal record of Anton Hein the Cult Education Institute (CEI), formerly known as the Ross Institute of New Jersey, purged any links to Anton Hein’s website from its database. Since that time CEI and CultNews has endeavored to make Hein’s background more publicly known. This has been done through the CEI archives and CultNews reports. Anyone involved in cultic studies can readily discover Hein’s criminal history of child sexual abuse and know about his current fugitive status.

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Someone at the National Post in Canada isn’t exercising much due diligence these days concerning sources for news articles posted at the newspaper’s Web site.

An “uncategorized” article titled “Priest whose church was burned by mob jailed for breach of building code” was picked up on Thursday by the Post from the blog of a fugitive sex offender wanted on a warrant issued for his immediate arrest in the United States.

antonhein2.jpegFormer US resident Anton Hein (1996 police file photo left) is hardly a credible source for much of anything, but he runs a blog and assorted Web sites for profit from the Netherlands. Hein relies upon his Internet presence to sell Google ads and other assorted advertising for an income.

The article picked up by the National Post isn’t an original news story and relied heavily upon other sources such as Compass Direct News.

Interestingly,  Crosswalk (an evangelical Christian Web site) chose to go with the report by Compass Direct News rather than Hein, an evangelical and self-proclaimed “expert”.

So why did the secular National Post favor this fugitive sex offender with a link advising its readers to go there if they wanted to “Read the full story”?

CultNews reported about a similar mistake like this before.

The New York Times once recommended  Hein’s Web site as a resource for information about polygamists.

Later the newspaper scrubbed that recommendation.

Don’t the mainstream media have the time or patience to better research sources these days?

Here is a basic tutorial on how to avoid the embarrassment of unknowingly promoting this fugitive sex offender.

1. Click on the link  “About Religion News Blog“. A link at the top of this page appears “Who Operates Religion News Blog“, which states,  “Religion News Blog is published by Apologetics Index”.

2. “Apologetics Index” is Hein’s main Web site. At the top of that page is the link “About Apologetics Index“. And then on that page is the link “About the Apologetics Index Team.” Finally at the end of this list appears the name Anton Hein the site founder and leader of the “team” who was “born and raised in Amsterdam…briefly lived in Switzerland, Germany, and England — as well as 16-years in the USA — before returning to Amsterdam.”

Of course Mr. Hein doesn’t mention his criminal conviction for a “lewd act upon a child” and his stint in jail before being placed on probation. Shortly after his release Hein chose to violate probation by “returning to Amsterdam” without permission, which is why a warrant was issued for his arrest.

3.  A simple Google search of either “Anton Hein” or his site “Apologetics Index” should yield on the first page of results links to articles exposing Hein’s background. Under Anton Hein is “Fugitive sex offender runs counter-cult Web site“.  A search for Apologetics Index yields an index page about Hein.

Mr. Hein has chosen to bury his name behind a virtual labyrinth of links imbedded on a “team” list.

However, you would think that a news outlet like the National Post would take some time and click through a few links to confirm the credibility of a cited source.

And when someone makes such an effort to obscure their name there just might be a reason for it.

Coincidentally,  Hein’s brother Ruud Hein (listed on his team) “is an extraordinarily skillful WordPress Web site programmer and SEO specialist”. A search engine optimization (SEO) specialist is someone that attempts to improve a Web site’s search results. And Anton Hein has launched a number of Web sites such as “Cult“, “Cult“, “Cult” and “” in an apparent effort to manipulate search results.

Isn’t it ironic that a man who would most likely be denied entry into Canada due to his criminal record and fugitive status can manage nevertheless to get into a prominent Canadian publication like the National Post as a cited source?

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antonhein2.jpegThousands on Twitter follow a convicted sex offender wanted by authorities in the United States.

Anton Hein (1996 photo right), a self-proclaimed “expert” and “minister” dispenses religious news and advice from Amsterdam. However, the preacher is a probation violator with a warrant issued for his immediate arrest.

Mr. Hein was convicted for a “lewd act upon a child”, his 13-year-old niece, and served jail time in California before being placed on probation. Shortly after his release Hein chose to violate probation by leaving the country to relocate in Amsterdam without permission.

Hein uses his Web site “Apologetics Index” and assorted blogs as profitable platforms for Google ads. The former US resident and Dutch citizen has also managed to collect disability payments in the Netherlands, though he seems to be quite able at managing his Web business.

Despite pleading guilty to sex charges Anton Hein incredibly claims that he is innocent of any crime and calls comments about his criminal conviction “ad-hominem attacks“.

However, Mr. Hein has been listed as a registered sex offender in California. And he also has the dubious distinction of being named at a Web site as one of the “ministers who have sexually abused children”.

Supposedly an evangelical Christian Hein seems to have somehow forgotten the proscribed process for addressing bad behavior according to the New Testament.

The Christian scriptures explain that the first step on a genuine path of repentance requires that the sinner admit the sin and take responsibility, something Anton Hein appears unable and/or unwilling to do.

Instead, Hein bashes the United States judicial system, as if the courts could somehow be blamed for his crime.

Wouldn’t it be a more meaningful response if Mr. Hein summoned up the integrity to exemplify the old adage “practice what you preach”?

Despite all these glaring personal and public contradictions, Anton Hein, sex offender and self-styled preacher, has successfully managed to garner a faithful following on Twitter.

Update: Anton Hein has posted that “RNB’s Twitter stream is edited by David Anderson.” However,  Twitter followers should know that everything at “RNB” including its “Twitter stream” is ultimately controlled and operated by Anton Hein.

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New York Times editors and researchers have selected a fugitive sex offender as an official resource about polygamists.

Anton Hein, a former U.S. resident and registered sex offender with an outstanding warrant issued for his immediate arrest regarding a parole violation, runs a Web site called “Religion News Blog.”

antonhein2.jpegHein recently announced that his site “has been selected (see listings under “Warren Jeffs Navigator”) as a resource by researchers and editors of the New York Times (selection by NY Times has been pulled since this report appeared on-line).

Sure enough a hyper link at Hein’s blog takes visitors to a page about polygamists within the New York Times proclaiming his site at the top of its “list of resources about Warren Jeffs as selected by researchers and editors of The New York Times.”

Isn’t it just a bit ironic though that the man (see photo) supplying news about polygamists who allegedly have sexually abused minor girls plead guilty himself to the charge of a “lewd act upon a child” in 1994? Hein then served jail time, but was eventually released to serve probation.

However, after completing his jail sentence in the U.S. Hein soon left the country heading home for Holland.

Subsequently, California authorities issued a felony warrant (see Anton Willem Hein) in 1996, which remains outstanding for his immediate arrest without bail.

Hein has admitted that he will “never again be able to enter the USA.”

Didn’t the editors of the The New York Times and its researchers, research this information?

Not unlike some of the more notorious polygamists recently in the press, Hein sexually abused his niece, who was at the time 13-years-old.

Hein also claims he is religious and says he operates an “independent, personal ministry.”

However, CultNews could not find any official recognition of Hein as a “minister,” other than his name listed as one of the “various ministers” that have “sexually abused children” at

Today Hein largely seems to target Americans through his for-profit Web site Apologetics Index, which is in English. Mr. Hein solicits gifts, which he prefers to call “donations.”

Again, much like the polygamists in Texas, Mr. Hein rails against what he perceives as the injustice of American law enforcement.

He says, “anyone who researches the U.S. justice system…knows the system’s shortcomings, and anyone who finds him or herself in a situation similar to mine will understand.”


Hein is a registered sex offender in the State of California. His offense is described at that state’s official Web site as “lewd or lascivious acts with child under 14 years.”

But like some polygamists Mr. Hein refuses to acknowledge that he is a sex offender. Instead, he prefers to bash the country that he relies upon for an income.

Hein has devoted an entire subsection within his Web site to what he calls “America’s…human rights violations” and “faulty ‘justice’ system.”

Nevertheless he wants to sell advertising to Americans and collect ad revenue from American companies like and Google.

Kind of like the polygamists that have often damned the “system” outside of their communities, while collecting welfare and food stamps.

Can it be there is some sort of strange logic as to why the New York Times editors selected Anton Hein as a source for information about polygamists?

Does the New York Times feel that since Hein has so much in common with the polygamists he can provide a unique perspective?

Note: Since this report was filed the New York Times has apparently reconsidered recommending Anton Hein as a news source about polygamists. CultNews can’t find any links at the NY Times Web site to Hein. If any readers see something new pop up please let CultNews know.

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Last month CultNews reported about a fugitive sex offender wanted in the US that runs a religious “counter-cult” Web site from Amsterdam in the Netherlands.Anton Hein, photo from California sex offender files (1994-1996)That webmaster Anton Hein was convicted for a “lewd act upon a child,” his 13-year-old niece and served jail time in California before being placed on probation, which he subsequently violated.

Hein a self-proclaimed “expert” and “minister” who received his religious training through an assortment of unaccredited places now presides over a Web site called “Apologetics Index” where he determines what is or is not “orthodox Christianity.”

However, though Hein touts his “spiritual discernment” he apparently is unable to discern and/or recognize the facts regarding both his past and present situation.

Perhaps concerned about gifts and payments from advertisers that support his so-called “ministry” flowing from the United States, he is now willing to offer some apologies.Hein wants visitors to his site to know that he “made foolish decisions¦and [has] only [himself] to blame.” And that this included “some very bad judgment calls.” The apologist also says that he “would not make such mistakes and errors of judgment again” and that he has “learned much from [his] experiences.”

But what specifically has he really “learned”?

At his “publicly posted” page about his criminal record Hein still insists he was “not guilty” of any crime and that he only tried to “help” his niece by committing the “lewd act” he plead “guilty” to according to court records.Hein also slams the American judicial system claiming it was its inequities that essentially forced him to sign off on a guilty plea despite his supposed innocence.

So it seems that according to Hein his “foolish decisions” and “bad judgments calls” consisted of trying to “help” his niece, which was somehow misjudged as a “lewd act” and agreeing to a guilty plea despite his supposed innocence.

Not much to encourage anyone that Anton Hein has “learned much from [his] experiences.”

Even the title of the page that contains Hein’s public explanation of what he prefers to describe as “a legal problem,” and “an incident that occurred in the context of a tragic family situation” is telling. That page within Hein’s Web site is titled “About the ad hominem attacks,” as if the real significance of this discourse is that others are attacking and/or somehow persecuting him.This sounds more like some “cult” exercising spin control, refusing to admit its mistakes and instead attempting to shift the blame and/or draw attention to others. Ironically, such a response could correctly be called an “ad hominem attack.”

The only reassuring comments Mr. Hein makes in his most recent response concerning his sex offender status is that he does not “at all work with children” and makes it “a point never to be alone with children.”

However, it would be more comforting to know that he was being formally supervised by probation authorities familiar with sex offenders and their pattern of behavior rather than only through “relationships of mutual accountability with other [unidentified] Christians” as Hein claims.

CultNews does not pretend to be expert on Christian theology. But isn’t it elemental that Christians sincerely interested in dealing with their personal sins first admit them?

The historical formula within the bible appears to include some simple steps such as first confess your sin, repent, restore whatever you can and then go on and sin no more.

It seems that Anton Hein, despite his self-declared “spiritual discernment,” has yet to discern this first step.

Note: Anton Hein often changes published statements after they are commented about. CultNews has preserved his original statements as they first appeared.


Anton Hein, a former US resident and registered sex offender with an outstanding warrant issued for his arrest runs a counter-cult Web site called “Apologetics Index” from Amsterdam.

Hein also runs the affiliated Web sites Cult FAQ and Religion News Blog.

Hein plead to the charge of a “lewd act upon a child” in 1994, served jail time and was given probation, but then violated the terms of his release.

A felony warrant (see Anton Willem Hein) was issued in 1996 and remains outstanding for his arrest without bail. Hein admits the likelihood that he will “never again be able to enter the USA.”

Anton Hein, California sex offender file photoMr. Hein is a registered sex offender in the State of California. His offense is described at that state’s official Web site as “lewd or lascivious acts with child under 14 years.”

Hein admits that the penal code states the offender must have the ”intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child” and he says “that is what the plea bargain form reflects,” which he signed.

The minor child involved was Hein’s 13-year-old niece.

Hein, who is Dutch, married an American citizen and moved to California in 1979.

But the marriage ended in divorce shortly after he was charged as a sex offender.

Hein then returned to the Netherlands, ultimately violating the terms of his release, which required that he be supervised within the United States.

He married again in 2002, this time to an English citizen living in Amsterdam.

Hein says he operates an “independent, personal ministry” from “an orthodox, evangelical Christian point of view.” He also leads “an English-language house church” in Amsterdam called “Bethlehem.”

However, CultNews could not find any official recognition of Hein as a “minister,” other than his name listed as one of the “various ministers” that have “sexually abused children” at

Hein’s father was a part-time “street preacher” and as a child he attended a “floating Sunday school” on a houseboat run by two evangelical American women in Amsterdam. After that he went on to become “involved with a variety of Christian ministries” including “Teen Challenge,” “Youth With a Mission” and the controversial “Vineyard Christian Fellowship.”

Today Hein largely targets Americans both through his Web site, which is in English and to attend his house church.

“Many people who visit us are…expats, tourists,” he says and they are often brought in through his Web site with an invitation to “a safe place to ‘park’ for a while.”

But is Anton Hein safe?

Not with minors according to the State of California Penal Code and the terms of his probation.

California law specifically states, “Sex offender registrants whose sex crime was against a victim under age 16 are prohibited by law from working, as an employee or volunteer, with minors…”

Despite his plea agreement though Hein insists he is “innocent.”

“As a result of my plea bargain, I spent six months in jail. Those who follow U.S. child abuse cases, real or alleged, know that is a very short period of time compared with the usual lengthy sentences.” And he claims that he “had no choice in that matter.”

It does appear that Hein got a good deal from the prosecutor given the serious nature of his offense. But the terms of his plea don’t negate it, they rather suggest the reason for his choice.

Mr. Hein was essentially forced to publicly explain his criminal record after some folks unhappy with his counter-cult work exposed it online through the Internet.

However, at times that posted response sounds more like an attempt to indict his victim and her family instead of an explanation. For example, he wants everyone to know that “the girl” (as he refers to his niece) was “sexually active” and given to “running away from home, smoking marijuana at school, and becoming promiscuous.”

But it wasn’t the girl who was charged and convicted of a sex crime it was Anton Hein.

Hein also notes “those who claim I fled ‘justice’ have not been paying attention.”

“Anyone who researches the U.S. justice system and the plea bargain approach knows the system’s shortcomings, and anyone who finds him or herself in a situation similar to mine will understand,” he concludes.

Perhaps this explains why Mr. Hein has devoted an entire subsection within his Web site to what he calls “America’s…human rights violations” and “faulty ‘justice’ system.”

Hein doesn’t appreciate the US judicial system, but he does want American dollars.

Mr. Hein says that he has been “declared 100% disabled…due to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” and that he “live[s] on disability pay.” He also solicits and receives gifts or “donations” from the United States.

Hein provides for overseas funds transfers at his Web site.

He states that his site is “nonprofit” and “not financially sponsored by any church, ministry, organization or individual. Therefore, the publishers of Apologetics Index rely on donations.”

However, he uses his Web site to sell advertising and once again the money appears to come largely from America., Google and other American companies currently pay Hein for ad space at his Web site.

He also quotes his own individual rates for running a single ad at $70 per week or $200.00 per month, three months runs $550.00.

Anton Hein doesn’t like to discuss his past and considers recent disclosures about him “propaganda.” He warns, “Only Satan and his ilk are interested in portraying sins – real or perceived…parading them as juicy bits of gossip, or using them in ad hominem attacks.”

Hein ultimately concludes, “I do not intend to engage such people in discussions on this issue…As a Christian I try to live my life in a way that is pleasing to God. When I fail, I confess my sins and know them to be forgiven.”

Maybe God has forgiven Anton Hein, but the United States and the State of California have not and there is nothing satanic about making such distinctions.

Note: At times Anton Hein has changed his posted public statements after they have been reviewed and/or criticized. CultNews has copied all the material from Mr. Hein’s Web site that is quoted within this article.