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prisonchaplain

Of Cults & Deprogramming vs. Exit Counseling

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The word "cult" itself is explosive, particular with groups to whom the pejorative has been directed. Add to that words like "deprogramming" and the concern heightens even more. And yet, there are parents who believe their adult children have been "programmed," by religious cults, and who employ, at costs ranging from $2000 to $10,000+, to have their loved ones freed from the alleged brainwashing. The groups claim to be very effective, but such efforts have also been surrounded with controversy. See: Langone, Michael: "Deprogramming, Exit Counseling, and Ethics: Clarifying the Confusion" - Cult Observer 10(4), 1993

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Hey, PC, we have something in common. According to the website you linked, your church (Assemblies of God) and the LDS church are both listed as harmful cults! Welcome to the group!

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Beefche, yes, us and the United Pentecostal Church International, and the Southern Baptists, I believe. However, it's my understanding that this type of approach is used more often used against Scientology and the Unification Church, as well as against small, very controlling sects.

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I did not spend alot of time on that website. But, did check to see that they have a whole truckload of churches on there. I'm thinking if a church has any membership over 20, it may be on that list. /exaggeration.

I'm not sure what their criteria are for determining a harmful church. Again, I didn't spend a lot of time on it.

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PC that link you provided looks like these ‘deprogrammers’ are using ‘programming’ techniques to deprogram people, they are also charging, which in itself, makes the whole session suspect. Besides that, both you and beefche have pointed out several good, non-cult, faiths that are considered cults. It really makes me wonder what there real objective is$$$$$$

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In another string the issue of proselytizing came up. LDS do vigorous missionary work, and yet the training and approach is very "soft sell." No confrontation, no debate, and, after all, people of good will and sincere religion will at least go to the terrestial kingdom, and perhaps have a better opportunity to hear the gospel after death.

We evangelicals tend to be more aggressive, we can be confrontational, and we are willing to target particular groups. Also, we'll go illegally to lands that prohibit missionary work. Add to that mix the highly expressive and emotional religious experience in groups like mine (pentecostal), and some see mind control.

While it's not widely known in the west, there are some strong anti-missionary movements throughout the world. Who's to say that some would not be willing to use deprogrammers to "get their loved ones back." In my own congregation we had a 15-year old boy that was kicked out of his home for converting to Christianity. The parents disowned them. Don't you imagine that if they had the resources, they might have tried deprogramming first?

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