Claims in a lawsuit filed against cult specialist and court expert Rick Alan Ross and others were dismissed last month. United States Federal Judge Katharine S. Hayden ordered, “NXIVM’s claims against…Ross, the Ross Institute [now known as Cult Education Institute], [Dr. Paul] Martin, and Wellspring Retreat…dismissed in full.” The legal action was filed against Ross […]

Former White House director of public liaison Linda Chavez says, “As I have for the past few years, I will be emceeing an event that brings together tens of thousands of opponents of the Iranian regime…” But does Ms. Chavez know that the “convener of the Paris conference” she will emcee is a purported “cult” […]

As people become more aware of the bad behavior of Scientology through press reports, books and documentaries, some families and individuals directly affected by the organization may be asking, “How do I get someone out?” Moreover, former members of Scientology struggling to unravel what they perceive as its embedded programming may be wondering, “How do […]

By Gina Catena ABC’s KTVO-TV in Iowa March 11, 2014 reported on a “Pandit Riot” that took place at the gate to Vedic City’s pandit compound after TM officials arrived with sheriff support at 0600. They planned to remove one of the compound’s leaders for unspecified disciplinary action and possible return to India. According to […]

By Gina Catena

The TM Organization focuses upon FUNDRAISING for Pandits, while promising magic. Despite TM’s assertion, there is no evidence that Pandits’ impact global harmony. After years of fundraising for world peace through chanting Pandits, neither Maharishi’s Global Country of World Peace nor other TM nonprofits disclose finances related to these captive Indians.

In a recent TM Organization announcement, Raja (Dr.) John Hagelin encourages donations to support an 11-day national Yagya (prayer ceremony) to begin on September 19, 2012. The final date for payment for this particular yagya was to be September 13. For of a mere $1,250, a donor could designate someone to be named during the performance.

The message flatters donors for TM Pandits’ prayer ceremonies, “As a direct result of the generosity and vision of our donors, the Maharishi National Yagya program has grown into a powerful force for America.”

Hagelin credits the Pandits’ Yagyas with Iowa’s summer rains, and for redirecting this summer’s Hurricane Isaac :

“A few people have asked about Isaac. Originally forecast to be a Category 3 or 4 hurricane, it only reached Category 1. While the storm produced flooding in some of the most vulnerable areas, the City of New Orleans was largely spared.”

The Ross Institute of New Jersey (RI) has been a pioneer regarding free speech on the Internet and has faced legal challenges over the years, which have set significant precedents.

But before discussing the specific lawsuits filed against RI by controversial groups, some general historical background seems appropriate, to better understand the inception, purpose and function of RI (sponsor of CultNews) and its Internet archives.

Background

In 1995 I launched the Web site, culteducation.com. This was initially a personal effort to share collected files with the general public gathered about controversial groups and movements, some that have been called “cults.”

That Web site grew and evolved to become one of the largest and most comprehensive online sources of information about destructive cults, controversial groups and movements on the Internet.

Today RI contains thousands of articles and documents organized within hundreds of individual group and subject subsections.

RI also features a virtual library with hundreds of books made available online through Amazon.com and a public message board that contains the personal comments and recollections of thousands of people affected by controversial groups and movements.

By Jim Bergin, M.A., Gentle Wind Project Cult former member

A book review

Here they go again “ “Caught in the Act of Helping: How a government official destroyed 23 years of effort aimed at producing revolutionary, new stress relief technology” by Mary Miller (aka Moe Miller, Claudia Panuthos, Mary Elizabeth Carreiro, etc. of Gentle Wind Project (GWP): aka GW Retreat, Brothers & Sisters of the Spirit World, Family Systems Research Group, FSRG-I Ching Systems, and on and on) is a sadly predictable diatribe whose only redeeming value is as a pitiful example of cult post-apocalyptic strategy, whereby cult leaders display typical delusions of persecution and distorted reality when they are exposed and “caught in the act of manipulating.”

These delusory responses, as expressed in Miller’s book, arise due to the inevitable conflicts the cult has with reality. When cults, such as GWP, are exposed by former followers, as well as prosecuted by the justice system, the group and leaders must devise strategies to recreate their prevarications. Typically, these self-induced perceptions are ones of being surrounded by “peril” whereby the proclaimed enemy seeks to destroy the cult’s and its hapless followers’ path to “save the planet.” The cult, as usual, attempts to evade all blame, deflecting it to the outside world, as cited on every page of Miller’s missive.

By Joe Szimhart

Let us pretend that one day, say this day February 27, 2010, that a man was looking on line for something interesting to listen to. He finds a podcast interview on youtube.com with a psychologist, John Breeding, PhD, conducted by Stefan Molyneux, founder and director of a web enterprise at www.freedomainradio.com (FDR). The interview lasts nearly 54 minutes and its topic is “On the Myth of ADHD and antidepressants.” At first blush the man sees Molyneux, a balding man with close-cropped hair, a pleasant face and wearing a dark shirt fill the left side the screen. Molyneux is apparently parked in front of his computer attending to production by himself and sipping from a large cup now and then. On the right side of the screen is an image of Dr Breeding intermittently replaced by the FDR logo. So for over 50 minutes one sees Molyneux in his Canadian office location talking full face and taking sips from a mug whereas Breeding is on audio from Texas.

Breeding like Molyneux appears to promote a private agenda as an activist. Breeding is in the anti-psychiatry camp. Molyneux is known for his anarcho-capitalist’ utopian views. Breeding argues and even preaches that there is “no incontrovertible scientific evidence” to support medications that treat so-called brain diseases like ADHD, schizophrenia or mood disorders.

On November 30th NXIVM (pronounced nexium like the purple antacid pill), the brainchild of failed multi-level marketing guru Keith Raniere, experienced yet another legal defeat in its ongoing effort to end criticism of the company on the Internet.

In a federal court order handed down by New Jersey Judge Dennis Cavanaugh a motion filed by NXIVM to reinstate causes of action previously dismissed in June of 2007 has been denied. This included an effort to reinstate claims of “product disparagement” and “tortious interference” in a long-standing lawsuit filed against the Ross Institute of New Jersey (sponsor of CultNews).

Cavanaugh ruled that critical articles written by psychiatrist John Hochman and psychologist Paul Martin within the Ross Institute Internet Archives are “protected statements of opinion which cannot be the basis for legal claims of disparagement or tortious interference.”

Read the reports:

“A Forensic Psychiatrist Evaluates ESP”

“A Critical Analysis of Executive Success Programs Inc.”

“Robert Jay Lifton’s eight criteria of thought reform as applied to the Executive Success Programs”

Noted psychologist and cult expert Paul Martin, 63, passed away after an 8-month battle with leukemia on August 14, 2009.

Dr. Martin was the founder and director of the Wellspring Retreat in Albany, Ohio; the only licensed mental health facility exclusively devoted to the rehabilitation of former cult members in the United States.

Since its inception in 1986 Wellspring has helped more than 1,000 clients through its residential treatment program and countless others through educational outreach.

Dr. Martin was the son of Rev. Paul and Esther Martin both now deceased who served churches in Athens, Ohio. He is survived by his wife, Barbara of 42 years and his son, Timothy Paul, now a senior at Ohio University in Athens. Also surviving are his siblings: Miriam, of Olathe Kansas, Lois of Crossville Tennessee, and Stephen of Albany.

Paul and Barbara Martin worked together tenaciously and selflessly often struggling to make Wellspring a reality and keep it going.

The Martins devotion and dogged determination came from the special understanding and commitment they shared as former “cult” members themselves. Paul and Barbara were once actively involved in the Great Commission International, led by Jim McCotter.