Didn`t one of the owners of the Villa Bethania lose his wife and child to a cult? Very sad. Of course we had the Heaven`s Gate
comet cult here and lost the whole group. Bo and Peep, remember? It was the Hale-Bopp comet. Hale and Bopp live here
in Tucson which is an astronomy town.
You know of all the people on this forum - it's you I would worry about the most when it comes to these little "cultural revolutions", Renne.
Cults and psychological manipulation of certain vunerable sectors of the population is no laughing matter both secular and religious authorities take it seriously. I believe Roscoe posted up information awhile ago on the organisations dealing with study into cultic behaviour.
Council of Europehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gr ... _documents
The Council of Europe has defined its stance on the scope of religious freedom since 1953 through the "European Convention on Human Rights". In 1992 Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe responded to concerns about "sects and new religious movements" brought to them by concerned groups and families of ex-members. The Council asserted that existing measures on religious freedom made "major legislation on sects undesirable", yet they also recommended "that educational as well as legislative and other measures should be taken in response to the problems raised by some of the activities of sects or new religious movements". In 1999 the Council recognized that since its 1992 statement "a number of serious incidents have taken place which have prompted the Assembly to study the phenomenon once again." In response they reaffirmed the 1992 recommendation and concluded "that it is unnecessary to define what constitutes a sect or to decide whether it is a religion or not." In this recommendation the call on the member states to:
i. where necessary, to set up or support independent national or regional information centres on groups of a religious, esoteric or spiritual nature; ii. to include information on the history and philosophy of important schools of thought and of religion in general school curricula; iii. to use the normal procedures of criminal and civil law against illegal practices carried out in the name of groups of a religious, esoteric or spiritual nature; iv. to ensure that legislation on the obligation to enrol children at school is rigorously applied, and that appropriate authorities intervene in the event of non-compliance; v. where necessary, to encourage the setting-up of non-governmental organisations for the victims, or the families of victims, of religious, esoteric or spiritual groups, particularly in eastern and central European countries; vi. to encourage an approach to religious groups which will bring about understanding, tolerance, dialogue and resolution of conflicts; vii. to take firm steps against any action which is discriminatory or which marginalises religious or spiritual minority groups.
 European Union
On May 22, 1984 the European Parliament passed a resolution with the title "New Organizations Operating Under the Protection Afforded to Religious Beliefs" that expressed the Parliament's concern about the recruitment and treatment of the members of these new organizations.
In March 1997, a "Resolution on cults in Europe" by the European Parliament reaffirmed its attachment to the basic principles of democracy and the rule of law (such as tolerance, and freedom of conscience, religion, thought, association and assembly) as well as calling on its Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs to meet and work on collecting and sharing information that would enable the drawing of conclusions on the best way to restrain undesirable activities by sects and on strategies to raise public awareness about them.
On December 22, 1997 the Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs released an amended resolution named "Resolution on Cults in the European Union" and originally intended for voting on by the European Parliament in Strasbourg during the session of January 1998. The plenary of the European Parliament in July 1998 rejected the text of the resolution, with anti-cultists seeing it as too weak and religious-liberties activists considering it out of the scope of the European Parliament to decide. The resolution went back to the Commission for further consideration.
Main articles: About-Picard law and Status of religious freedom in France
Following the 1995 mass-suicides of adepts of the Order of the Solar Temple, the French Parliament set up a Parliamentary Commission, led by MP Alain Gest, and encouraged public caution towards groups that it classed as cults. In December 1995 the Commission parlementaire sur les sectes en France ("Parliamentary Commission on cults in France") published its report (also known as the Rapport Gest-Guyard). The document classified various movements and qualified as cults those movements which it considered represented a potential threat either toward the adepts themselves or toward society and the state. The Parliament also adopted legislation making it easier to prosecute alleged crimes committed by cults. However, both the reports and the legislation have proven controversial in some circles; Scientology, in particular, refuses to accept its classification as a cult. Whatever the stance adopted, the report provides a serious categorization of new religious movements and other cultic phenomena, and attempts to define what constitutes a "cult", notwithstanding the necessary respect of freedom of religion and the 1905 French law on the separation of Church and State.
French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin issued a circulaire in May 2005 calling for renewed vigor in the fight against cults, and indicating in passing that the list of cults published in the 1995 parliamentary report had become less relevant over time as the methods and forms used by cults evolved.
The French Parliament passed a law (the About-Picard law) in 2001 which (its proponents declared) aimed at repressing the excesses of groups infringing human rights and fundamental freedoms. The law makes it possible to prosecute organizations (rather than just individuals) for a number of crimes already represented in the criminal code; in the case of established criminal behavior by an organization, courts may disband the organization. Legislators rejected a provision criminalizing "mental manipulation", included in early drafts, because of concerns about the vagueness of this notion.
This legislation attracted some concerned remarks, but no condemnation, from the Helsinki International Federation for Human Rights, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, an Investigatory Commission for Violations of Human Rights hosted by the Omnium des Libertés, and from minority religious groups. The US government under the Clinton administration also expressed criticism. Critics argued that improper application of such legislation could result in the arbitrary banning of unpopular religious groups; and that the legislation fostered in the public and amongst officials an atmosphere of discrimination against members of emerging religions.
For more details on this topic, see Religious freedom in France, Parliamentary Commission on Cults in France, MIVILUDES.
In 1995, a parliamentary commission of the National Assembly of France on cults produced its report (in French: compare an unofficial English translation). The report included a list of purported cults compiled by the general information division of the French National Police (Renseignements généraux — a French police service) in association with cult-watching groups.
In May 2005 the then Prime Minister of France, in a circulaire (which stressed that the government must exercise vigilance in continuing the fight against the cult-phenomenon, said that the list of movements attached to the Parliamentary Report of 1995 had become less pertinent, based on the observation that many small groups had formed: scattered, more mobile, and less-easily identifiable, and that the government needed to balance its fight against cults with respect for public freedoms and laïcité (secularism). The Prime Minister asked his civil servants to update a number of ministerial instructions issued by previous commissions, to apply criteria set in consultation with the Interministerial Commission for Monitoring and Combating Cultic Deviances (MIVILUDES), and to avoid falling back solely on lists of groups for the identification of cultic deviances.
Subsequent French parliamentary commissions on cults reported on specific aspects of cult activity in 1999 and in 2006.
French parliamentary commission report (1999)
The French Parliamentary report of 1999 on cults and money concentrated its attention on some 30 groups which it judged as major players in respect of their financial influence. It underlined the non-exhaustive character of its investigations, seeing them as a snapshot at a point in time and based on informatiion available.
The groups examined included:
Au Cœur de la Communication (At the Heart of Communication)
Contre-réforme catholique (League for Catholic Counter-Reformation)
Dianova (Ex-Le Patriarche) (Dianova (formerly: the Patriarch))
Église du Christ (Boston Church of Christ)
Église Néo-apostolique (New Apostolic Church)
Fédération d'agrément des réseaux (ex-Groupement européen des professionnels du marketing) (Federation of the networks of agreement (formerly: European Grouping of Marketing Professionals (GEPM))
Fraternité blanche universelle (Universal White Brotherhood; compare Great White Brotherhood)
Invitation à la Vie (Invitation to Life)
Innergy (Insight Seminars)
Krishna (Hare Krishna movement)
Landmark (Landmark Education)
Mahikari (Sûkyô Mahikari)
Méthode Avatar (Avatar Method)
Moon (Unification Church)
Mouvement du Graal (Grail Movement)
Mouvement Raëlien (Raelian Movement)
Nouvelle Acropole (New Acropolis)
Office culturel de Cluny (Cultural office of Cluny – National Federation of Total Animation)
Ogyen Kunzang Chöling
Pentecôte de Besançon (Evangelical Pentecostal Church of Besançon)
Rose-Croix - AMORC (Rosicrucian Order)
Rose-Croix d'Or (Gold Rosicrucian Brotherhood)
Soka Gakkaï (Sōka Gakkai)
La méthode Silva (The Silva Method)
Témoins de Jéhovah (Jehovah's Witnesses)
Tradition Famille Propriété (Tradition Family Property)
 Canadian Security Intelligence Service (1999)
A Canadian Security Intelligence Service report of 1999 discussed "Doomsday Religious Movements espousing hostile beliefs and having the potential to be violent.." Groups classified as "Doomsday Religious Movements" included:
the Branch Davidians
Canada's Order of the Solar Temple
The report referred to Aum Shinrikyo at one point as the "Aum cult".