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This is a historical document for Factnet. This document was written in the summer of 1993.

Since then, the organization's legal name has been changed to F.A.C.T.Net, Inc. (Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network, Incorporated), and considerable progress has been made in putting some flesh on these bones. This document is still only a partially valid as a statement of the FACTNet vision because the vision and mission has expanded in so many years since this document was written.

F.A.C.T., Inc. 1993
Because no one has the right to control your mind


F.A.C.T. is a nonaligned, nonprofit, research and educational public service.

F.A.C.T. consists of an electronic lending library, electronic mail service, and electronic news transfer service.

F.A.C.T.'s goal is to help protect freedom of thought, freedom of choice, freedom of association and freedom of speech from advances in coercive psychological tactics and systems.

F.A.C.T. draws upon and welcomes individuals and organizations from diverse religious and secular backgrounds to unite in a common defense of human rights.

Coercive Psychological Systems

F.A.C.T uses "coercive psychological systems" as an umbrella term to include all types of unethical mind control such as brainwashing, thought reform, destructive persuasion and coercive persuasion. Because different terms are used in different contexts, it was necessary to select one umbrella term to encompass all references to this growing danger. The media and general public call it "mind control" or "brainwashing." Social scientists use the terms "thought reform" and "coercive persuasion," among others. In the courts, all of these terms may be used separately or in combination with traditional legal terms such as fraud, false imprisonment, undue influence, involuntary servitude, intentional infliction of emotional distress, outrageous conduct, or other tortious acts.

While there are important technical differences in the definitions used by professionals in psychology, psychiatry, and sociology, for the purposes of F.A.C.T.'s organizational statement "coercive psychological systems" will be used to include all of the terms currently used to describe coercive psychological tactics and systems whether in political, economic, personal or asserted religious applications.

The Definition

Coercion is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as "1. To force to act or think in a certain manner, 2. To dominate, restrain, or control by force, 3. To bring about by force."

Coercive psychological systems are behavioral change programs which use psychological force in a coercive way to cause the learning and adoption of an ideology or designated set of beliefs, ideas, attitudes, or behaviors. The essential strategy used by the operators of these programs is to systematically select, sequence and coordinate many different types of coercive influence, anxiety and stress-producing tactics over continuous periods of time.

In such a program the subject is forced to adapt in a series of tiny "invisible" steps. Each tiny step is designed to be sufficiently small so the subjects will not notice the changes in themselves or identify the coercive nature of the processes being used. The subjects of these tactics do not become aware of the hidden organizational purpose of the coercive psychological program until much later, if ever. These tactics are usually applied in a group setting by well intentioned but deceived "friends and allies" of the victim. This keeps the victim from putting up the ego defenses we normally maintain in known adversarial situations.

The coercive psychological influence of these programs aims to overcome the individual's critical thinking abilities and free will-apart from any appeal to informed judgment. Victims gradually lose their ability to make independent decisions and exercise informed consent. Their critical thinking, defenses, cognitive processes, values, ideas, attitudes, conduct and ability to reason are undermined by a technological process rather than by meaningful free choice, rationality, or the inherent merit or value of the ideas or propositions being presented.

How Do They Work?

The tactics used to create undue psychological and social influence, often by means involving anxiety and stress, fall into seven main categories.

TACTIC 1. Increase suggestibility and "soften up" the individual through specific hypnotic or other suggestibility-increasing techniques such as:Extended audio, visual, verbal, or tactile fixation drills,Excessive exact repetition of routine activities, Sleep restriction, and/or Nutritional restriction.

TACTIC 2. Establish control over the person's social environment, time and sources of social support by a system of often-excessive rewards and punishments. Social isolation is promoted. Contact with family and friends is abridged, as is contact with persons who do not share group-approved attitudes. Economic and other dependence on the group is fostered.

TACTIC 3. Prohibit disconfirming information and non supporting opinions in group communication. Rules exist about permissible topics to discuss with outsiders. Communication is highly controlled. An "in-group" language is usually constructed.

TACTIC 4. Make the person re-evaluate the most central aspects of his or her experience of self and prior conduct in negative ways. Efforts are designed to destabilize and undermine the subject's basic consciousness, reality awareness, world view, emotional control and defense mechanisms. The subject is guided to reinterpret his or her life's history and adopt a new version of causality.

TACTIC 5. Create a sense of powerlessness by subjecting the person to intense and frequent actions and situations which undermine the person's confidence in himself and his judgment.

TACTIC 6. Create strong aversive emotional arousals in the subject by use of nonphysical punishments such as intense humiliation, loss of privilege, social isolation, social status changes, intense guilt, anxiety, manipulation and other techniques.

TACTIC 7. Intimidate the person with the force of group-sanctioned secular psychological threats. For example, it may be suggested or implied that failure to adopt the approved attitude, belief, or consequent behavior will lead to severe punishment or dire consequences such as physical or mental illness, the reappearance of a prior physical illness, drug dependence, economic collapse, social failure, divorce, disintegration, failure to find a mate, etc.

These tactics of psychological force are applied to such a severe degree that the individual's capacity to make informed or free choices becomes inhibited. The victims become unable to make the normal, wise or balanced decisions which they most likely or normally would have made, had they not been unknowingly manipulated by these coordinated technical processes. The cumulative effect of these processes can be an even more effective form of undue influence than pain, torture, drugs or the use of physical force and physical and legal threats.

How does Coercive Psychological Persuasion Differ from Other Kinds of Influence?

Coercive psychological systems are distinguished from benign social learning or peaceful persuasion by the specific conditions under which they are conducted. These conditions include the type and number of coercive psychological tactics used, the severity of environmental and interpersonal manipulation, and the amount of psychological force employed to suppress particular unwanted behaviors and to train desired behaviors.

Coercive force is traditionally visualized in physical terms. In this form it is easily definable, clear-cut and unambiguous. Coercive psychological force unfortunately has not been so easy to see and define. The law has been ahead of the physical sciences in that it has allowed that coercion need not involve physical
force. It has recognized that an individual can be threatened and coerced psychologically by what he or she perceives to be dangerous, not necessarily by that which is dangerous.

Law has recognized that even the threatened action need not be physical. Threats of economic loss, social ostracism and ridicule, among other things, are all recognized by law, in varying contexts, as coercive psychological forces.

Why are Coercive Psychological Systems Harmful?

Coercive psychological systems violate our most fundamental concepts of basic human rights. They violate rights of individuals that are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and affirmed by many declarations of principle worldwide.

By confusing, intimidating and silencing their victims, those who profit from these systems evade exposure and prosecution for actions recognized as harmful and which are illegal in most countries such as:
fraud, false imprisonment, undue influence, involuntary servitude, intentional infliction of emotional distress, outrageous conduct, and other tortious acts.


1. The use of coercive psychological systems is no longer a small or isolated problem.

For many people, "brainwashing" or the Jonestown or Waco groups come to mind when they think of the dangers of coercive psychological systems. But the growing use of coercive psychological systems is no longer a small problem confined only to prisoners of war or ultra-extremist groups. It is estimated that there are 3,000-5,000 groups and organizations in the United States using coercive psychological systems. In the United States alone over the last 20 years, some 20 million Americans have suffered directly as victims or indirectly through their connections to victims in the home or corporate workplace.

Almost everyone today is familiar with someone who has been the victim of a destructive cult or some other group or individual that used coercive psychological systems to control that individual. Groups and organizations using these rapidly advancing systems of psychological coercion do so clandestinely, to unduly influence and enslave their targets for economic, political, or personal agendas.

These organizations amass billions of dollars each year. The cost to the lives, health, and assets of their victims is incalculable.

Some of these organizations claim religious or nonprofit status, thus avoiding hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. Some are rapidly growing, well-financed, and part of even larger, wealthier international organizations.

2. There is little public awareness of the nature and danger of these systems.

The newer coercive psychological systems are more sophisticated and dangerous because: They bypass the victim's awareness.
They are done by trusted "friends" in small, carefully-engineered invisible steps. They are done to groups as well as to individuals.

They undermine the individual's ability to make rational, free choices.

According to Dr. Margaret Thaler Singer, one of the world's leading experts on coercive psychological systems, who has studied approximately 3,500 victims of these systems during her 40 years of research:

" . . . most citizens like to think that their own minds and thought processes are invulnerable. `Other people can be manipulated but not me,' they declare. People like to think that their opinions, values, and ideas are inviolate and totally self-regulated. They may admit grudgingly that they are influenced slightly by advertising. Beyond that, they want to preserve the myth in which other persons are weak- minded and easily influenced, but they are strong-minded. People cherish a fantasy that manipulators confront, browbeat, and argue people into doing their bidding. They envision Big Brother coming in storm trooper boots, holding guns to their heads, and forcing persons to change their beliefs, alter their personalities, and accept new ideologies. Orwell drew on the wisdom of the ages; most manipulation is subtle and covert. . . . This myth of invulnerability needs to be examined over and over to prevent Orwell's 1984 world from ever happening."

To make matters worse, currently there are not even laws specifically recognizing or prohibiting these systems or their rapidly developing second generation advances. Even the U.S. Bill of Rights and Constitution and the Geneva Convention treaty do not delineate the property rights of mind, association and free will that are surreptitiously stolen by these highly profitable and dangerous systems.

3. Society urgently needs to be updated on information and advancements concerning these systems.

These technologies are no different from our other technologies. They have not stood still over the last 45 years.

The Korean War "Manchurian Candidate" misconception of the need for suggestibility-increasing drugs, physical pain, captivity, and torture to achieve coercive psychological influence may have been valid 40 years ago. But systems have advanced. The crude, obvious, and inefficient methods that were needed thenare not required in the more refined second-generation coercive psychological programs.

These newer and more dangerous systems are distinguished by their transcendence of the need to use physical force or constraint. They can alter attitude in addition to behavior and ideology. They are distinguished by their clandestine, non-confrontational method of application to groups or in group settings, as opposed to the older systems' overt, confrontational methods directed primarily at individuals.

With the sophisticated second-generation technologies, you can change a person's attitude without his or her knowledge or volition. You can create new "attitudes" and cause the victims to do things "willingly" that they may formerly have detested, such as betray friends and family or violate laws. The ability to change attitude (which usually changes behavior) without the knowledge or volition of the target is key, because "attitude" can include appearances of sincerity and enthusiastic commitment to some idea or organization. Sincerity and commitment are attitudes and, as such, can be influenced by the new technologies.

As one could imagine, this technology can wreak havoc on many levels when applied to converting recruits, building new member "sincerity," building employee loyalty, improving productivity, or maintaining profits using a membership, work force, or citizenry victimized by coercive psychological systems. When these systems have been effectively used, we are obliged to rethink our ideas of apparent sincerity. There may now be a technologically created "sincerity" in the unknowing victim that is so passionate, so zealous, so engrossing, and sometimes so fanatical that it can convince anyone who has not examined the antecedent coercive psychological processes by which it was manufactured.

Unfortunately public awareness and our laws have not caught up to the advances and capabilities of the developing coercive psychological systems. The information we need to defend ourselves against their unfair and dangerous use must constantly be updated and made widely, easily, and quickly available to professionals who must educate us, to lawmakers who protect us, and to victims who need this information for their recovery.

4. Underfinanced victim and grassroots human rights organizations need help to combat aggressive disinformation campaigns by wealthy users of such systems.

Those who have warned of the dangers of coercive psychological systems have had to pay a heavy price.

Professionals who have been the targets of both professional and personal attacks include: Adjunct Professor of Psychology Margaret Thaler Singer at UC Berkeley, Professors of Psychiatry Louis J. West at UCLA, John G. Clark of Harvard and Martin J. Orne at the University of Pennsylvania, Professor of Law Richard DelGado of the UW Madison, and Professors of Sociology, Richard Ofshe at UC Berkeley and Ronald Enroth of Westmont College.

Margaret Thaler Singer has been a favorite target. A dead rat with a stake though its heart was left on her doorstep. Her home has been vandalized, rats released in it, and some of her research stolen. En route to an educational conference on this technology, she was detained by British immigration police based on an anonymous tip that she was a member of the IRA.

The specialists who discover and disclose coercive influence systems are not the only ones feeling the consequences of calling attention to this threat. A Catholic priest, Fr. Kent Burtner, has been picketed and libeled in publications by users of these systems. Stories were published about Episcopal Vicar Michael Rokos claiming that he was a convicted sex criminal.

Leading trial lawyers like California's Charles O'Reilly have had to try cases related to these systems as if they were living under siege in a war zone. Outspoken former victims have fared no better. Many have had death threats; some have been physically assaulted.

Those who continue to speak out become targets of sophisticated intelligence programs to silence them. Expensive lawsuits are filed. False studies and witnesses are created. Spurious complaints are filed against the victim's lawyers with state bar associations. Manufactured complaints are frequently registered with medical licensing boards or other regulatory agencies against professionals who dare testify for the victims.

With no inexpensive and easily accessible source of information, resources, and services, there is wasteful duplication of effort and costs. Each victim's lawyers and advocates "reinvent the wheel" as they learn to deal with harassment and sophisticated misuse of the justice system.

5. These evolving unethical influence systems pose a grave threat to our most basic civil rights.

Coercive psychological systems attack our ability to make good choices. These systems, when applied correctly, have the power to bypass our most basic freedom of thought and rationality, and thereby undercut all of our other freedoms.

A fundamental principle of democratic society is the Jeffersonian concept that man is a rational animal and that democracy will work if citizens are allowed to be rational. Thomas Jefferson said, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." John Dewey distilled this principle even further when he said, "The human power to respond to reason and truth protects democracy."

Democracy cannot work unless we protect this underlying assumption of rationality and the individual's capacity for rationality. Good decision-making depends on the availability and quality of information and on free and unimpaired use of one's rational faculties.

If we do not protect the conditions under which rationality can exist, we risk inadvertently destroying or harming ourselves with our own "bad" or "uninformed" decisions. Systems of psychological coercion undermine the conditions necessary for democracy.

Coercive psychological systems are "invisible force" systems which often appear to have the "willing" cooperation of their victims. Unethical individuals and organizations using these systems become wealthy and powerful through the advantage they gain by unfair psychological manipulation of their victims. Armies of zealous true believers, manufactured under coercive psychological influence, along with the wealth and power of the manufacturing organizations, pose an immediate potential for grave social and political harm. Many experts consider these systems and their ongoing advancement to pose a critical "new technology" challenge to both democratic freedom of thought and our freedom to choose, join, or maintain any social, political, or religious affiliation without compulsion or coercion.

In the United States, coercive psychological systems radically violate the constitutional "voluntarism principle" -a key concept behind the free exercise clause of the Bill of Rights-which states that belief should be free and not coerced. The free exercise clause was designed to guarantee freedom of conscience by preventing any degree of compulsion in matters of belief, whether economic, social, political, religious, or otherwise. Can there be true freedom of belief if freedom of thought is not first protected?

Coercive psychological systems are the ultimate theft of freedom-theft of free will, informed consent, individual conscience, freedom of association, and ability to think rationally. Applied politically, the use of coercive psychological systems is high treason. Totalitarian in approach and antithetical to our most basic human rights, coercive psychological systems may be the road to involuntary servitude and high-tech slavery in the information age.

6. Prior information management solutions have not been able to serve fast enough to stem the growing tide of abuse.

Piecemeal, low-technology solutions for information gathering and information transfer have not been able to keep up with the growth and evolution of organizations using coercive psychological systems. As police agencies are outgunned by wealthy criminal organizations armed with high-tech weaponry, so agencies trying to deter human rights abuse are disadvantaged by slow, often unnetworked, access to information.

F.A.C.T. solves the major problems that have plagued human rights groups in the area of information networking, specifically: There are tremendous development, training, and maintenance costs required to create databases and get effective telecommunications on line. This also requires time and personnel skills that most organizations do not possess.

Non-technical users of information access systems are often bewildered by old-style command-line interfaces and densely elaborate user manuals. They lack the in-house technical expertise in computers, programming, and telecommunications to produce a more usable alternative. Those resources are present in the F.A.C.T. project.

Most individuals and organizations with similar purposes do not want to set up and maintain the levels of computer and physical security systems, not to mention lawsuit defense, needed to keep such a service running.

Most individuals and organizations with similar purposes are not able to handle the estimated $20,000-50,000 in annual liability insurance it costs to run a BBS project of this nature. The volunteer labor available to most individuals and organizations with similar purposes is not qualified to handle computerized information because of the innately restrictive nature -until now-of computer information and computer communications. F.A.C.T.'s easy-to-learn and easy-to-use system will facilitate use of unskilled volunteer labor.

F.A.C.T. is not just an external database. It is an empowering internal solution for individual organizations. For example, rather than spend hundreds of thousands of dollars acquiring computer equipment, networking software and the phone/modem equipment necessary to create and run one's own global communications and database system, other human rights organizations can hook up and have all the benefits of the system without its costs or problems. F.A.C.T.'s electronic support is a viable solution for organizations that struggle over information management and database storage issues, local area networks and their compatibility with systems that allow broad participation in the national and global information network, and other technical issues. F.A.C.T. provides a way to keep a local parallel-purpose organization's focus on providing service to its client base.

The most powerful long-term ethical weapon against users of coercive psychological systems is information. Information also is the most powerful healing tool for the victims of coercive psychological systems. Anything that more quickly, easily, and economically networks combined knowledge, experiences, and resources will make human rights organizations more effective in combating unethical users of psychological coercion systems and enable us to better serve the needs of victims.

Some of the wealthiest users of coercive psychological systems have formed cooperation pacts and are pooling defensive and offensive information and financial resources. To survive and fulfill our individual and organizational purposes, we can do no less. We need to cooperate-and do it faster and more effectively than ever before.

7. No other human rights organization is electronically networking in this area. Consequently, a critically important social need is going unfulfilled.

Important advances in other developing technologies, like genetics, have stimulated the legal, medical, religious and journalistic professions to establish guidelines, laws, educational programs, and methods to increase public awareness of new dangers.

Coercive psychological systems have gone all but unnoticed. For decades, scientific verification has accumulated on the dangers, growing refinement and increased exploitation of these technologies. But until F.A.C.T., no major human rights group focused on using high technology to electronically track and network information on these abuses. The absence of scrutiny has provided a window of opportunity in which exploitative groups have flourished. If coercive psychological systems come to look "normal" (or worse yet, invisible) to the public, to legislators, to educators and to other professionals, then we will have failed and great harm will befall a never ending stream of victims.

F.A.C.T. was created because we are safe only when the human mind is free to reason and free to choose. Throughout history, man has had to fight coercive political or other social systems for freedom. Now, from a new arena, a formidable challenger has arrived.

Coercive psychological systems evolve from a technological process rather than from any specific system of ideas or beliefs. They may prove to be one of our most difficult adversaries. The reason is not hard to understand.

In a shrinking world with a growing population, we now face new political, social, personal, or "religious" power options capable of "invisibly" exploiting our physiological and psychological vulnerabilities. For those who might "enslave us to save us," this may be too perfect a tool, too inviting, and too profitable not to use and develop further.

If there ever is another World War it will not likely be fought on battlefields which dare not go nuclear. It will more likely be fought first on invisible battlefields for the conquest and control of the mind. F.A.C.T. aims to be an empowering critical solution and safeguard against such dangers.


F.A.C.T. is an electronic clearinghouse for education and research information that also provides database, networking, and telecommunication support services.

It electronically serves, supports, and cooperates with other individuals and organizations with similar purposes in fighting, exposing, or educating about human rights abuses involving coercive psychological systems.

F.A.C.T. provides a service to the public's expanding social justice interests, assisting them in finding partners and solutions for issues related to human rights abuses involving coercive psychological systems.

F.A.C.T.'s 24-hour computer bulletin board (BBS), FactNet, and fax-on-demand information services make an immediate difference because these services allow the public to use their phones and computers to quickly locate and receive the educational or research information they need to protect themselves and to help others.

F.A.C.T. is a community service resource which will benefit thousands of independent of independent organizations with similar purposes worldwide.

Lawyers and anti-abuse advocates can reference the most complete and updated database of cases, articles, documents, government files, expert witnesses, etc. for effective representation and assistance to victims.

Media reporters researching new articles can reference an extensive database of articles and exposés on the subject. Business management specialists can ensure that they are not using coercive techniques that could create legal jeopardy.

Social scientists can access up-to-date information on totalist groups. Victims and their families can quickly locate recovery resources and network with professionals and other victims for support.

Educators can access speakers and curriculum ideas to prevent victimization of the next generation.

Psychotherapists can use F.A.C.T.'s resources to understand victims and share effective interventions.

Any individual can easily and quickly get the facts and network with others dedicated to protecting our basic human rights.

Everyone is busy with their own emergencies. Lawyers and mental health professionals are busy with their own case loads. Time and resources are usually scarce, making it difficult to learn about or team up with others who are dealing with the same problems.

There is too much information and it's all in different places. Globally, there are hundreds of organizations and tens of thousands of individuals that assist victims of coercive psychological systems. F.A.C.T. can help these people and organizations know of and about each other, and communicate their needs and resources.

F.A.C.T. empowers other human rights organizations that operate at a disadvantage because of their lack of funding and dependence upon volunteer labor. Such organizations and groups must contend and do business with private-sector organizations which have much greater access to information and financial and communications resources. F.A.C.T.'s electronic information networking and database- creating services help empower these specialists and parallel-purpose organizations and individuals in the following ways:

F.A.C.T. will provide electronic bulletin boards on a variety of psychological coercion and related human rights topics.

F.A.C.T. will have a library collection of thousands of legal and professional papers and media articles on related human rights topics and issues.

F.A.C.T. 's library will house information about foundations and grant makers, and a collection of organizations' newsletters.

F.A.C.T. will provide an extensive calendar, listing human rights abuse conferences and events worldwide with short descriptions and names of contacts.

F.A.C.T. can conduct electronic surveys, petitions, and research on-line for organizations interested in sampling or studying the views of F.A.C.T. 's unique user base. F.A.C.T. will offer news summaries of significant national and international importance, in addition to special alerts regarding ongoing human rights catastrophes. F.A.C.T. will provide easy-to-implement classroom lesson plans for teachers interested in providing psychological coercion-related educational activities in their classrooms. These teaching resources will include a description of purpose, recommended grade levels, required resources, estimated time to complete, and a full step-by-step lesson plan for implementation. If desired by the teacher, F.A.C.T.'s BBS resources may be accessed during class time as part of the lesson. High school and college students can use it for writing research papers.

F.A.C.T. will provide access to its own searchable database of thousands of people, projects, and organizations involved in work related to this area of human rights.

F.A.C.T. will provide a platform of "Needs and Resources" where users can list the resources that they or their organization make available to the general public, be they material resources such as emergency victims' fund assistance, or human resources such as legal aid. F.A.C.T. 's services will help eliminate costly and wasteful multi-organization duplication of efforts.

F.A.C.T. 's one-call electronic information-sharing services will make finding and transferring information fast, easy, and economical.

F.A.C.T. users will be able to communicate with millions of computer users throughout the world via F.A.C.T.'s electronic mail gateway to the InterNet.

F.A.C.T. users will be able to send electronic mail, not only to other F.A.C.T. users (which they can do now), but also to anyone on most other networks or mail systems including EcoNet, MCIMail, SprintNet, FidoNet, PeaceNet, CompuServe, and others.

F.A.C.T. users will be able to send faxes simply by entering a fax number on the "To" line on the E-mail prompt. This will give subscribing organizations fax capability without the expense of a fax machine.


1. F.A.C.T. provides access.

F.A.C.T.'s electronic information service is committed to people, projects, and organizations working to curb human rights abuses in the area of psychological coercion. F.A.C.T. recognizes that to successfully curb human rights abuses in the "Information Age," one must have access to global communications and information networks. F.A.C.T. believes that such tools must be readily available to people and organizations working for social justice, and that the cost of such access must not exclude any people who need help. Information equity must be a factor in the design of information networking systems.

F.A.C.T. works to create access to such high tech tools, and it also helps develop partnerships between governmental and nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to provide continuing support for stopping psychological human rights abuses. In short, F.A.C.T. works to democratize and equalize the flow of information on this subject throughout the world.

2. F.A.C.T. empowers, corrects, and heals by sharing information.

F.A.C.T. wishes to bring about heightened public awareness through the concerted sharing of information on a broad public front. It seeks to expose and control the continuing exploitation and repression which characterize the use of coercive psychological systems.

The tremendous empowering effect of open and shared information was well understood by the authors of the U.S. Constitution. When they wrote the free speech clause as a basic constitutional right, they were certain that free speech and the open dialog and informed consent it naturally creates would become one of the most powerful disinfectants, protections, and insurances against totalitarianism, dictatorships, and all other types of human rights abuse. F.A.C.T. takes this rock solid principle and geometrically accelerates it with the empowering technology of the Information Age. To give you a clear vision of this empowerment potential, one computer operator and one automated document scanner connected to state-of-the-art optical character recognition (OCR) software can do the work in eight hours that 40 typists can do in the same period. This equipment could be run 24 hours a day. With state-of-the-art text indexing and search software and a well- organized database, one individual researcher could do what 30-40 traditional researchers could do by hand, and do it in a fraction of the time. On a well-organized and easy-to-use 24-hour computer BBS, tens of thousands of volunteers and interested individuals can synergistically coordinate their activities, energies, and resources with minimal time, scheduling, or distance coordination difficulties and with minimal costs.

Never before has there been such an opportunity to multiply our effectiveness through the use of high technology to level the playing field against large, wealthy, and powerful abusers of human rights.

3. F.A.C.T. cooperates. It does not compete.

Our key emphasis and guiding principle, which cannot be overemphasized, is cooperation-not competition. F.A.C.T. 's financial and physical existence is conditional at every phase of its growth. Even though we have some paid staff, F.A.C.T. can only be brought into full operation and grow to achieve its purposes through the willingness and efforts of volunteers and through cooperative teamwork with organizations and individuals of similar purpose.

F.A.C.T. will continually be aware that there are many similar-purpose organizations and individuals working one-on-one in live personal contact in the specialized areas of coercive psychological system abuse. But there currently is no nonaligned electronic library, news, mail service, and electronic clearinghouse which networks and links the multitude of resources which would be of use to all of those organizations, individuals, and ultimately victims. Therein lies F.A.C.T.'s true uniqueness, reason for being, and benefit.

We should be continually aware that cooperation allows each participant and contributor to the F.A.C.T. database to no longer feel so alone; to multiply themselves, their reach, and their ability to create a positive improvement. Through cooperation and the electronic communication advances of the Information Age, a few can do the work of hundreds and we all have a unique opportunity to demonstrate how cooperation and the creative synergy of good people can effectively and ethically overcome the often well-financed, well-organized, and ruthless abusers of human rights in this area. This cooperation can also consist of: Cooperative fund raising, grant writing and research projects, Revenue sharing from service fees for use of documents that have come from various individual or organizational contributors, Cooperative education of legislators and independent lobbyists for new laws against coercive psychological systems, Cooperation in providing public access to the databases of organizations with similar purposes, and fax-on-demand cooperation.

4. F.A.C.T. is a nonaligned, public service information medium.

F.A.C.T. is completely autonomous and has neither members nor affiliates, but works closely with other groups and individuals.

We are not trying to create a centralized organization, but rather a coordinated network of like-minded people. We are building electronically upon an existing human network which needs to become better coordinated so as to be even more effective. Our policy is to put existing groups and individuals in touch with one another. We exist to advise, not control, existing groups. We are also glad to receive advice.

If F.A.C.T. is to survive as a medium for interorganization and interindividual networking, it must maintain a neutral, non-aligned status among the 400 non-electronic organizations worldwide and the tens of thousands of independent practitioners interested in assisting victims. In FactNet, individuals and organizations remain separate but have access to F.A.C.T.'s educational and research services and are synergisticly networked. They maintain their separate identities, disclaimers, etc. but gain the combined and shared knowledge, experience, and resources of all who participate in the BBS. F.A.C.T. will never lose sight of the fact that it is simply an electronic information library. F.A.C.T. so strongly believes in the urgency of information cooperation in this area of human rights abuse that it will assist any similar purpose organization or individual with all the legal, technical, and security information we have acquired if they want to set up their own separate BBS. As our first priority we want to empower victims and their advocates. As
long as it gets done ethically, we don't care who does it.

We resolutely believe that the information and services of F.A.C.T. belong to the people and organizations that use them. If F.A.C.T. should be attacked and stopped, by corporate resolution, in dissolution our assets would be shared and distributed to organizations with similar purposes.

5. F.A.C.T. is non-judgmental as concerns doctrine, ideology, and beliefs. We are concerned only with unethical processes used to create doctrines, ideologies, or beliefs and the identification of those using these unethical processes.

A. We wholeheartedly endorse complete freedom of belief, whether religious or secular. We recognize this freedom as the prerequisite to all other freedoms. We know that freedom of belief protects individuals against totalitarian systems which demand compliance and conformity. We do not seek to convert any victim of coercive psychological systems to any belief system.

We simply want to offer alternative information and explanations to help individuals understand and decide about the nature of their experience. After this point, if necessary, additional resources are available to assist individuals in transition from the snares and delusions of the coercive psychological system toward a more self-determined way of being.

B. The United States Constitution justly protects the holding of ideas that some might call mental, political, or spiritual poison. No matter how one might feel personally about these types of ideas, these ideas, of themselves, are not the real danger. Acting upon these beliefs is, of course, another story which is already well covered within the law.

When coercive psychological systems are present, it is not what someone believes but how they are made to believe it that is the real danger. The subtle and "invisible" sophistication of the advancing coercive psychological systems, properly applied, bypasses and renders meaningless the age-old social and legal warning of "caveat emptor" (let the buyer beware).

C. F.A.C.T. does not pass judgment on or endorse associated similar purpose projects or organizations using the BBS; we merely share information on projects, individuals, and groups that are in our database. Information in the F.A.C.T. database does not necessarily represent the opinion of F.A.C.T. or F.A.C.T.'s staff.

D. F.A. C.T. treats all of the information in its research lending libraries as allegations and makes no organizational claims for the factuality of any information or statement contained in any of its electronic lending research libraries. While we make every effort to provide accurate information, we disclaim liability for inaccurate or incomplete information, which has been provided to us through F.A.C.T. users, other databases, other organizations or additional sources. We can not verify all of this information.

E. F.A.C.T. provides all electronic information with the understanding and disclaimer that the user will evaluate and verify it carefully to make up his or her own mind as to its factuality or usefulness. Beyond the protection of law, the originators or contributors of documents to F.A.C.T.'s research lending libraries assume all responsibility and liability for their authenticity and/or factual verification.

6. F.A.C.T. fights and targets only the applications of coercive psychological processes and systems. While we may identify abusers, we do not fight organizations or persons.

We do this only through ethical use of educational and lawful processes. When an individual or organization stops using coercive psychological processes and systems we have no further active interest in that individual or organization. We will, however, maintain archival information on the abuse history of that individual or organization with proper notations that there have been no further reported abuses.

7. F.A.C.T. works within the law.

F.A. C.T. will not condone or use any unethical or illegal practice, such as forced deprogramming or kidnapping to expose or stop these human rights abuses. F.A. C.T.'s weapons in this fight are information and creativity in the networking of information to those who need it.

8. F.A.C.T. promotes open dialog.

F.A.C.T. has no hidden agenda. Our actions and finances are open to public scrutiny and, unlike organizations that use coercive psychological systems, we are open to criticism.

We accept that even organizations that abuse their members by using coercive psychological systems may contain some useful insights or purposes, but after years of research we have to conclude that the ultimate consequence of involvement with such organizations is often alarmingly destructive. We are open to electronic dialog with organizations that use coercive psychological systems and their supporters, to correct or amend any provably inaccurate information in our libraries. F.A.C.T.'s open dialog will allow even those individuals or organizations who have been identified as users of coercive psychological system limited electronic space to explain or argue their positions.

The BBS will run on a solid belief in the value and merit of theopen information and dialog process as brilliantly stated by John Stewart Mill in the second chapter of his essay, "On Liberty." In this chapter on freedom of thought and discussion, Mill is concerned with the pursuit of truth. With truth as the ultimate goal to be achieved, he advocates the toleration of competing doctrines and opinions so that, when all are fairly considered and submitted to arguments pro and con, the truth is more likely to be discovered. Mill advocates the toleration of individuals who differ in thought and speech, but not tolerance for competing doctrines or opinions as if they were all equally acceptable or preferable. He does not look upon pluralism with respect to matters of truth in the same way that he looks upon pluralism with respect to matters of taste.

Here are some crucial passages on liberty of thought and discussion from Chapter 2 of J. S. Mill's essay, "On Liberty." "But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. . . . We have now recognized the necessity to the mental well- being of mankind (on which all their other well-being depends) of freedom of opinion, and freedom of the expression of opinion, on four distinct grounds; which we will now briefly recapitulate. "First, if any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility. "Secondly, though the silenced opinion be an error, it may, and very commonly does, contain a portion of truth; and since the general or prevailing opinion on any subject is rarely or never the whole truth, it is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied. "Thirdly, even if the received opinion be not only true, but the whole truth; unless it is suffered to be, and actually is, vigorously and earnestly contested, it will, by most of those who receive it, be held in the manner of a prejudice, with little comprehension or feeling of its rational grounds."And not only this, but fourthly, the meaning of the doctrine itself will be in danger of being lost, or enfeebled, and deprived of its vital effect on the character and conduct: the dogma becoming a mere formal profession, inefficacious for good, but encumbering the ground, and preventing the growth of any real and heartfelt conviction, from reason or personal experience."

9. F.A.C.T. is secure.

Because of the possibility of harassment, there are individuals who wish to help yet remain unknown. F.A.C.T. will protect their anonymity with codes, encryption, and other special computer security procedures to the full extent of the law. F.A.C.T. will not distribute or use documents or other submissions in any way other than in the manner specified by the originator of that information. While overburdened with requests for help, the anti-psychological coercion movement has also been plagued by infiltration. Infiltrators encourage hostility between leading individuals and organizations in the movement. Infiltration breeds an air of secrecy. While we will use every ethical security safeguard, we will not subscribe to the "intelligence" and harassment tactics often used by the organizations that use coercive psychological systems.

10. F.A.C.T. organizes factual information.

F.A.C.T. organizes factual information into an instantly accessible, easily searchable, global on-line electronic database for a multitude of potential users and their specific needs. F.A.C.T. will strive to continue improving its computer and telecommunications network system by creating the easiest possible user-friendly graphic interface. The final F.A.C.T. system will employ a graphical user interface similar to the Macintosh desktop and a version that also runs in Windows and DOS. Information is arranged hierarchically through the use of files within folders. The Mac and Windows interfaces will use the simple and familiar point-and-click method to navigate through the system.The interface requires as little as five minutes to learn.

It runs on virtually all Macintosh computers (MacPlus forward) and PC compatibles. Older PC's, incapable of running Windows, access F.A.C.T. through simple menu commands. The complete user manual for all functions for this interface will be only a few pages in length.

F.A.C.T. knows the decisive weakness of organizations that use coercive psychological systems. They cannot stand up to the truth or alternative explanations of their own teachings and activities. We intend to act at all times in a proper and moral manner. Our campaign is not based upon hate, nor upon a thirst for revenge. It is based solely upon our belief in the fundamental human rights of free thought, choice, association, and speech, and our urgent concern for the future of ourselves, our families, our nation, and the world. We will strive to present only accurate and verifiable information.

11. F.A.C.T. listens to the people who use the databases and services for their suggestions for improvements.

12. F.A.C.T. designs the BBS so it can grow efficiently, particularly by growing into an instantaneous electronic transmission of multimedia (full image, voice, and video) and other new interactive educational or communication products.

13. F.A.C.T. will grow and connect to InterNet, SprintNet, CompuServe, Prodigy, Delphi and the other Super large BBS's so that you can access our BBS service anywhere in the United States and eventually the world on local lines or special 1-800 lines.

14. And finally, F.A.C.T. stays focused on its specific purposes.

F.A.C.T. is concerned with coercion perpetrated primarily by psychological force. We focus exclusively on this and leave the area of coercion perpetrated by physical force to Amnesty International and similar groups.

F.A.C.T. focuses primarily on the current second generation of this technology. The main focus of the resources of our computer BBS will be libraries, information, and services related to the most extreme applications of coercive psychological systems.

At the most extreme side of this continuum are brainwashing, thought reform, and the newer forms of second generation coercive persuasion and mind control. Moving toward less extreme applications, one will find systems involving covert trance induction to induce increased suggestibility and hidden subliminal messaging. Moving still further toward less extreme coercive psychological systems, one will find unethical high pressure sales, confidence tricks and unfair influence through propaganda and other information distortion and control techniques.

At the least extreme end of the continuum one may find other unethical influence techniques and nonphysically coercive familial environments.


This project description is constructed around achieving and expanding upon F.A.C.T.'s statement of purposes. This is critical reading for organizations, lawyers, accountants, board members, public relations and marketing professionals, advisory board members, and other professionals or individuals we network with.

F.A.C.T.'s FIRST PURPOSE is to collect, index and computerize important legal, medical, media, and research information on coercive psychological systems and to make this information instantly, easily, and globally available. Access to the information F.A.C.T. collects will be through computerized telecommunications on our BBS or, for people without access to computers with modems, through "fax-on-demand" services from any telephone.

The master index will include, with a few security-related exceptions, all materials we have computerized on the database, plus indexes for non-computerized documents we have in process or in archive storage, plus indexes for documents held by other archives relating to coercive psychological systems.

The database contains information arranged in libraries that are electronically searchable with sophisticated query retrieval software. Rapid and flexible access to the database offers a number of specific benefits.

Expenses can be drastically reduced for legal research, expert witness costs, and other expenses related to pursing justice or assisting in education regarding coercive psychological systems. The difficulty and time required to locate information, support resources, or network assistance for victims and their representatives or advocate defenders will be drastically reduced.

The database will contain information in many library categories.

The next several pages will give the reader an idea of the extent and variety of the information available and some of its possible uses. A complete electronic legal library will contain civil and criminal legal cases in the United States and internationally having to do with this technology and its abuse. This legal library will include subsections containing:

  • Complete published legal decisions rather than just summaries.

  • Complete brief copies of legal cases where major victories or precedents were set against coercive psychological systems.

  • Witness, victim, and expert declarations and affidavits (including location and availability of originals).

  • Copies of key evidence submissions (including location and availability of originals). Complete briefs, declarations, affidavits, and arguments of opposing sides in the legal cases (including location and availability of originals). Organizations that use coercive psychological systems seem to reuse the same legal arguments. Having the complete arguments and counterarguments will assist victims' attorneys to keep legal research costs down. Findings published by national and international government investigations and agencies.

  • Evidence exhibits from government and other related private investigations that could be used in a court of law.

  • A list of legal and government resources which can handle and/or have handled these types of cases successfully.

  • A master list of every suit or complaint ever filed relating to these systems and clearly labeled whether it was dismissed, dropped, settled, in progress, or decided. The people involved in fighting these systems might be contacted to provide new information and services relevant to assisting a victim's particular situation, recovery or new legal discovery. A successful actions library will contain the advice of individuals who have successfully dealt with an organization, whether it was in the courts, in the media, or in their personal situations. People having problems with a particular group can read these highly personalized documents and better know what they are getting into and the proven best ways to deal with it. These success write- ups might cover how the organization behaves in court, how to deal with it successfully, and how to deal with harassment successfully. These library sections will include the history of a particular abuser organization's settlement strategies, particularly the amounts of past known settlements and current settlement offers.

  • A library will contain a history of complaints involving these systems filed with professional associations like the local or national medical associations or Better Business Bureaus as wellas with government consumer protection agencies. (Some organizations will not let us copy their complaints but may allow summarization as to quantity and content for research purposes.) A subsection of the legal library will focus specifically on cases or investigations involving abuse of children, custody cases, and other legal family issues relating to abusive use of these systems.

  • Successful and ethical tactics used to reunite families and get children out of the coercive environment will be shared.

  • This sharing can focus on the successful legal cases (evidences, witnesses, etc.) relating to child custody and inhibiting the coercive group from indoctrinating children who remain with a parent or guardian still in the group.

  • A service that will develop from our state-of-the-art indexing, text search, and text comparing software will be the word-for-word comparing of the legal documents submitted by organizations known to be using coercive psychological systems. These documents can be scanned for perjury and inconsistencies of statements and positions from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and case to case. This also will be an efficient way to catch false or altered certified documents or evidences submitted allegedly from other actions.

  • The database will contain professional medical, sociological, psychological, theological, and psychiatric studies and journals related to the subject, from countries all over the world.

This library will contain items such as the following:

  • A list of professional assistance and support resources from the various professions mentioned above who can handle or have handled these types of education, recovery, or expert witness situations successfully.

  • A list of professional journals and other professional sources which have articles related to coercive psychological systems.

  • A library of information focused on new developments and applications of coercive psychological systems. This will contain a sublibrary and electronic conferences on the effects of converging multiple technologies (i.e., psychology, electronics, advanced communication, computerization, etc.), and how they are combined to enhance coercive psychological influence.

A complete library of media and public relations coverage of coercive psychological systems will include:

  • Magazine articles,

  • Newspaper articles,

  • Transcriptions of nonfiction TV programs, films and radio shows
    on the subject, (When the multimedia technical capabilities are available, we will lend the actual audio and video as well.)

  • Nonfiction books written on the subject,

  • A public relations library of downloadable or fax-on-demand press releases, articles and short flyers related to education on the subject that can be used to quickly bring someone up to speed or jump-start reporters or free-lance writers with story ideas,

  • A lending library of fictional TV program transcripts, films, radio shows and books on the subject,

  • A list of writers, reporters or other media people who have provided educational or news coverage relating to this subject, and

  • As a special subsection of the media library, searchable hard copy archives of all the promotional and media materials produced by an organization known to use coercive psychological systems. This would allow us to search and identify the organization's current and past membership and their management and organizational histories. This could also provide key strategic documentation of individual or organization activities as described by their own promotional literature. For example, these lists could be invaluable to lawyers or prosecutors in discovering undercover operatives who are actually members of organizations using coercive psychological systems.

Future indexed sublibraries that will be developed either after the above main libraries or concurrently are:

  • A victims' personal debriefing library (primarily to assist researchers and investigators). A dangerous cultic, occult, or secret society group library with a subsection for each different group using the systems. This will also contain group-specific professional assistance resources related to recovery, education, litigation, etc.

  • A political abuse library:

  • Debriefings from international POW's and victims of Gulags or thought reform camps. Information on governmental experimentation or development of such systems. An indexed library of all research papers created from use of F.A.C.T.'s database to help future researchers save time.

Information services will be offered on the BBS, such as:

  • An electronic lending library,

  • Mailing hard copies,

  • Faxing (by request or on demand)copies of information,

  • Mailing computer discs, translated to various word processor formats if necessary, Mailboxes, and electronic conferences- individual or subject related,

  • An electronic newsletter,

  • Database searching services for individuals or organizations that don't have time or are unfamiliar with BBS text search software or that need search access to restricted libraries,

  • CD ROM discs with included text search software for large sections of the database,

  • Extremely low-cost optical text and graphics scanning and computer conversion services for other nonprofit organizations or for not-for-profit educators or researchers, Referring questions and requests to related organizations,

  • and Referring subject-related public speaking and employment opportunities.

F.A.C.T.'s SECOND PURPOSE is to monitor and expose use of coercive psychological system wherever we find it and to expose the true scope and growing use of these dangerous systems.

Monitoring will include summarizing the quantity and quality of suits, complaints, debriefings, etc.

A primary method of exposing might be a monthly electronic newsletter. Other efforts might include regular press releases and an annual "Big Brother Award." The award would name the individuals, corporations or governments voted or otherwise found to be using the most gross and dangerous applications of coercive psychological systems.

We will establish programs to acknowledge, reward, and encourage corporations, governments, groups and individuals that promote informed consent and the rational exercise of free will.

F.A.C.T.'s THIRD PURPOSE is to promote open dialog about and awareness of the facts concerning the growing dangers of these rapidly evolving systems.

Dialog will be promoted concerning all generations of coercive psychological systems by creating conferences, forums, and classes (electronic boxes) on the BBS. This will allow the various professional and nonprofessional interest groups and individuals to network easily and economically as well as to locate information, assistance, volunteers, etc. needed for their particular areas of interest or research. This section will assist with cost-effective electronic petitions, electronic surveys, and electronic research questionnaires by E-mailing them to the appropriate parties.

F.A.C.T.'s FOURTH PURPOSE is to develop and provide educational materials to help prevent personal, economic, social, religious or political abuse by users of coercive psychological systems.

There will be a special educators' library that will have downloadable programs to show teachers how to educate children and adults about coercive psychological systems. Programs will be developed for elementary, high school, and college levels. A special library will cover child abuse issues related to coercive psychological systems. A special library will inform children and young adults with materials designed for their level. The BBS access system will provide a simple and expedited route for young users.

A special library or conference will enable religious and other groups that do not use, condone or endorse coercive psychological systems to share the ethical guidelines and policy directives they use to ensure that individuals in their organizations do not intentionally or unintentionally introduce coercive psychological systems into their organizations. An example is the Roman Catholic Church's ecumenical guidelines on freedom and coercion in spiritual choice. A natural development from this library will be an ongoing interorganization conference to develop better ethical guidelines for society as a whole in relation to the techniques and systems of psychological coercion.

Another conference in this area will focus on improving the ethical guidelines and training and education of individuals and organizations in our own movement. A speakers' bureau will make experts and victims available to speak to schools, parent groups, etc.

Educational scholarships or grants (perhaps funded by F.A.C.T. participants) will be offered to qualified individuals doing advanced studies in these areas. Special cash awards or grants (perhaps funded by F.A.C.T. participants) will be given to educators or students for essays or programs they create or develop which effectively educate about coercive psychological systems.

F.A.C.T.'s FIFTH PURPOSE is to empower individuals and organizations, through education, to use existing social, legal, and legislative systems to exercise their legal rights to fight, stop, and/or punish the growing use of coercive psychological systems and the serious harm that results from such use to individual lives and to society.

A library will contain information on existing laws, proposed laws, and groups trying to establish laws on coercive psychological systems.

A special conference will assist academic, civil, and criminal investigators and researchers to contact and debrief witnesses and victims.

These same resources will assist duly authorized criminal and civil government investigators and prosecutors who are dealing with matters that concern coercive psychological systems.

Police departments, district attorneys, and government agencies and employees, such as social workers working with victims of coercive psychological systems, could log on to needed information and resources through their linkage to InterNet and SprintNet.

Confidentially coded former members' debriefings could be searched to assist the generally overloaded and underfinanced investigator in locating possible witnesses to criminal acts committed by users of coercive psychological systems. Former members who are willing could become "citizen investigators," using our system to assist the underfinanced and overworked government agencies to understand the group and its abuse, and help bring its abuse to an ethical end.

F.A.C.T.'s SIXTH PURPOSE is to assist in the networking of individuals and organizations for whom having, sharing, and using information on coercive psychological systems is critical to preventing, stopping, or recovering from abuse in these areas.

Special electronic "chat" boxes, subject-specific professional and nonprofessional electronic conference boxes, and individual mail boxes (security coded if necessary) will be set up to support the victim recovery process as well as the needs of victim advocates and other interested parties.

Electronic mailing list services will be provided to facilitate networking of interested individuals and organizations at maximum speed and ease with minimum cost. Special professional and nonprofessional BBS news, forums, and "classrooms" will be set up to promote off-line local events and support group get-togethers.

A monthly electronic newsletter will be established to support the courage and effort of those doing something about coercive psychological systems, and to promote networking among interested parties.

F.A.C.T.'s SEVENTH PURPOSE is to provide additional assistance for victim and anti-abuse advocates.

F.A.C.T. will maintain an emergency victims' assistance fund for use in any ethical capacity to provide crisis or longer term recovery assistance to victims. This fund may also provide financial assistance and awards in recognition of those who set important examples in education about or resistance to coercive psychological systems.

F.A.C.T.'s electronic networking will facilitate emergency fundraising to assist targeted individuals (victims, lawyers, expert witnesses, etc.) who are being attacked by users of this technology to discourage others from standing up or speaking out.

F.A.C.T. will coordinate with others to maintain a victims' legal assistance fund, and to support special projects and fundraising by other organizations with related purposes. F.A.C.T.'s resources position it to offer special low-cost database construction, research, and other services for individuals or organizations that prefer to subcontract such work.


F.A.C.T.'s business plan is constructed around a three-phase growth model. This model is flexible and will evolve with more detail as conditions or better suggestions indicate.


Phase 1 will run from fall, 1993 to spring, 1994. In this phase, F.A.C.T.'s pilot BBS will be used by and accessible only to those pre-screened individuals and organizations authorized to assist with or participate in F.A.C.T.'s private and secure final beta site testing. The goal of Phase 1 is to set up, test and debug all BBS equipment, software, security systems and organizational policies before we go on- line with our first
public in Phase 2.

Before the end of Phase 1, the decision will be made whether to set up F.A.C.T.'S international headquarters and main BBS in the United States or in Denmark. Danish law may allow F.A.C.T. to avoid some legal and insurance problems and costs that could arise if the BBS and the organization were headquartered in the United States or in a country with laws similar to those of the United States.


Phase 2 will run from spring, 1994 until late 1994 or early 1995.Phase 2 is dedicated to establishing FactNet's connections.

FactNet will be an economical global communications network and centralized BBS for a loosely knit network of almost 400 nonprofit organizations that are not now set up to be electronic networking, electronic communications, and electronic service organizations. These organizations, located worldwide, are already working, each in its own specialty, in related areas of exposing, monitoring and fighting coercive psychological systems. During Phase 2 F.A.C.T. will develop and add additional database libraries. It will test library access, news, mail and other cooperative support services for and with these "sister" organizations.

In Phase 2, F.A.C.T. will connect to the InterNet, the world's largest global information "highway." This will give all organizations using F.A.C.T. access to the InterNet's more than 14,000 "member" computer networks and an estimated 10+ million users.

In addition to the InterNet connection, F.A.C.T will have its own X-25 SprintNet connection which will allow users to call F.A.C.T. directly from most major U.S. and international cities on a local line with only a small service charge. For example, from most cities in the U.S. the charges would run from about $3.50/hr during off times to about $7.50/hr during prime business hours. This is only a fraction of Watts or other normal long distance costs.

In Phase 2, F.A.C.T. will work with participating organizations on service revenue sharing activities such as materials lending, and on cooperative fund raising. F.A.C.T. will help scan and index the general- subject and group-specific archives that each group has accumulated in its own area.


Phase 3 will begin in late 1994 or early 1995. Its focus is to market the approximately 400-organization network's and F.A.C.T.'s services directly to the public. In Phase 3, F.A.C.T. and its associated network of organizations will take on more of the high visibility Amnesty International type PR, activist and social education functions.

If F.A.C.T was on-line now, using the networking methods described, it would be available to the estimated 30 million global computer users already hooked up to computer networks. That number is expected to double in just a few years.


The first information to become available on-line through F.A.C.T.'s libraries will be public domain documents relating to coercive psychological systems, such as professional studies and research, court cases and legal documents, media stories, and government investigations and findings. To do the most good for the most victims (and potential future victims) in the fastest possible time, and to become known and credible as a resource in this field, F.A.C.T. must focus on issues that are important and widely publicized and about which it has expertise.

As F.A.C.T. begins, the criteria for the groups it will first consider are group that are: widely recognized as users of coercive psychological systems, widely reported in the mediaand topics of public discourse, of interest to governmental and other legitimate investigatory bodies, and ones that F.A.C.T. personnel or volunteers are qualified to address. Groups that meet these criteria include:

the Branch Davidians of Waco
the Children of God

Scientology is widely regarded by experts as the most dangerous and destructive of the groups currently using coercive psychological systems. It is also the group which F.A.C.T.'s current personnel know best from firsthand experience. For these reasons the first large body of information in F.A.C.T.'s database inevitably will be what we have already accumulated about Scientology.

We start from what we know, but this does not mean that F.A.C.T.'s interest is confined to or focused upon Scientology or any other group. Our concern is the danger to human rights posed by coercive psychological systems in whatever context they may appear.

Information on other groups using coercive psychological systems will be added to the BBS as it is made available to us and as leaders come forward with the needed expertise about other groups.


This document, in substance, was presented to the U.S. Supreme Court as an educational Appendix on coercive psychological systems in the case Wollersheim v. Church of Scientology 89-1367 and 89-1361. The Wollersheim case was being considered related to issues involving abuse in this area. In this document coercive persuasion is the professional term being used to describe the nature of coercive psychological systems. Updates added since the original submission of this document to the U.S. Supreme Court have been made in italics. Wollersheim case-specific details have been deleted.

Coercion is defined as, "to restrain or constrain by force..." Legally it often implies the use of PHYSICAL FORCE or physical or legal threat. This traditional concept of coercion is far better understood than the technological concepts of "coercive persuasion" which are effective restraining, impairing, or compelling through the gradual application of PSYCHOLOGICAL FORCES.

A coercive persuasion program is a behavioral change technology applied to cause the "learning" and "adoption" of a set of behaviors or an ideology under certain conditions. It is distinguished from other forms of benign social learning or peaceful persuasion by the conditions under which it is conducted and by the techniques of environmental and interpersonal manipulation employed to surpress particular behaviors and to train others.

Over time, coercive persuasion, a psychological force akin in some ways to our legal concepts of undue influence, can be even MORE effective than pain, torture, drugs, and use of physical force and legal threats.

The Korean War "Manchurian Candidate" misconception of the need for suggestibility-increasing drugs, and physical pain and torture, to effect thought reform, is generally associated with the old concepts and models of brainwashing. Today, they are not necessary for a coercive persuasion program to be effective.

With drugs, physical pain, torture, or even a physically coercive threat, you can often temporarily make someone do something against their will. You can even make them do something they hate or they really did not like or want to do at the time. They do it, but their attitude is not changed.

This is much different and far less devasting than that which you are able to achieve with the improvements of coercive persuasion. With coercive persuasion you can change people's attitudes without their knowledge and volition. You can create new "attitudes" where they will do things willingly which they formerly may have detested, things which previously only torture, physical pain, or drugs could have coerced them to do.

The advances in the extreme anxiety and emotional stress production technologies found in coercive persuasion supersede old style coercion that focuses on pain, torture, drugs, or threat in that these older systems do not change attitude so that subjects follow orders "willingly." Coercive persuasion changes both attitude AND behavior, not JUST behavior .


Coercive persuasion or thought reform as it is sometimes known, are best understood as a coordinated system of graduated coercive influence and behavior control designed to deceptively and surreptitiously manipulate and influence individuals, usually, in a group setting, in order for the originatorsof the program to profit in some way, normally financially or politically. The essential strategy used by those operatingsuch programs is to systematically select, sequence and coordinate numerous coercive persuasion tactics over CONTINUOUS PERIODS OF TIME.

There are seven main tactic types found in various combinations in a coercive persuasion program. A coercive persuasion program can still be quite effective without the presence of ALL seven of these tactic types.

TACTIC 1. Increase suggestibility and/or "soften up" the individual in preparation for thought reform, specifically through hypnotic or other suggestibility-increasing techniques such as:

A. Extended audio, visual, verbal, or tactile fixation drills,

B. Excessive exact repetition of routine activities,

C. Decreased sleep,

D. Nutritional restriction.

TACTIC 2. Using rewards and punishments, efforts are made to establish considerable control over a person's social environment, time, and sources of social support. Social isolation ispromoted. Contact with family and friends is abridged, as is contact with persons who do not share group-approved attitudes. Economic, and other dependence on the group is fostered. (In the forerunner to coercive persuasion, brainwashing, this was rather easy to achieve through simple imprisonment.)

TACTIC 3. Disconfirming information and nonsupporting opinions are prohibited in group communication. Rules exist about permissible topics to discuss with outsiders. Communication is highly controlled. An "in-group" language is usually constructed.

TACTIC 4. Frequent and intense attempts are made to cause a person to re-evaluate the most central aspects of his or her experience of self and prior conduct in negative ways. Efforts are designed to destabilize and undermine the subject's basic consciousness, reality awareness, world view, emotional control, and defense mechanisms as well as getting them to reinterpret their life's history, and adopt a new version of causality.

TACTIC 5. Intense and frequent attempts are made to undermine a person's confidence in himself and his judgment, creating a sense of powerlessness.

TACTIC 6. Nonphysical punishments are used such as intense humiliation, loss of privilege, social isolation, social status changes, intense guilt, anxiety, manipulation and other techniques for creating strong aversive emotional arousals, etc.

TACTIC 7. Certain secular psychological threats [force] are used or are present: That failure to adopt the approved attitude, belief, or consequent behavior will lead to severe punishment or dire consequence, (e.g. physical or mental illness, the reappearance of a prior physical illness, drug dependence, economic collapse,
social failure, divorce, disintegration, failure to find a mate, etc.).


Programs identified with the above listed seven tactics have in common the elements of attempting to greatly modify a person's self-concept, perceptions of reality, and interpersonal relations. When successful in inducing these changes, coercive thought reform programs also, among other things, create the potential forces necessary for exercising undue influence over a person's independent decision-making ability, and even for turning the individual into a deployable agent for the organization's benefit without the individual's meaningful knowledge or consent.

Coercive persuasion programs are effective because individualsexperiencing the deliberately planned severe stresses they generate can only reduce the pressures by accepting the system or adopting the behaviors being promulgated by the purveyors of the coercion program.

The relationship between the person and the coercive persuasion tactics are DYNAMIC in that while the force of the pressures, rewards, and punishments brought to bear on the person are considerable, they do not lead to a stable, meaningfully SELF-CHOSEN reorganization of beliefs or attitudes. Rather, they lead to a sort of coerced compliance and a situationally required elaborate rationalization, for the new conduct. Once again in order to maintain the new attitudes or "decisions," sustain the rationalization, and continue to unduly influence a person's behavior over time, coercive tactics must be more or less CONTINUOUSLY applied.

A fiery, "hell and damnation" guilt-ridden sermon from the pulpit or several hours with a high-pressure salesman or other single instances of the so-called peaceful persuasions do not constitute the "necessary chords and orchestration" of a SEQUENCED, continuous, COORDINATED, and carefully selected PROGRAM of surreptitious coercion, as found in a comprehensive program of "coercive persuasion."

Truly peaceful religious persuasion practices would never attempt to force, compel and dominate the free wills or minds of its members through coercive behavioral techniques or covert hypnotism. They would have no difficulty coexisting peacefully with U.S. laws meant to protect the public from such practices.

Looking like peaceful persuasion is precisely what makes coercive persuasion less likely to attract attention or to mobilize opposition. It is also part of what makes it such a devastating control technology.

Victims of coercive persuasion have :

no signs of physical abuse,

convincing rationalizations for the radical or abrupt changes
in their behavior,

a convincing "sincerity,"

and they have been changed so gradually that they don't oppose
it because they usually aren't even aware of it.

Deciding if coercive persuasion was used requires case-by-case careful analysis of all the influence techniques used and how they were applied. By focusing on the medium of delivery and process used, not the message, and on the critical differences, not the coincidental similarities, which system was used becomes clear.

The Influence Continuum on the next page should help make the difference between peaceful persuasion and coercive persuasion easier to distinguish. (The continuum runs from top to bottom.) [table missing from ASCII version]


Not all tactics used in a coercive persuasion type environment will always be coercive. Some tactics of an innocuous or cloaking nature will be mixed in. Not all individuals exposed to coercive persuasion or thought reform programs are effectively coerced into becoming participants. How individual suggestibility, psychological and physiological strengths, weakness, and differences react with the degree of severity, continuity, and comprehensiveness in which the various tactics and content of a coercive persuasion program are applied, determine the program's effectiveness and/or the degree of severity of damage caused to its victims.

For example, in United States v. Lee 455 U.S. 252, 257-258 (1982), the California Supreme Court found that "when a person is subjected to coercive persuasion without his knowledge or consent... [he may] develop serious and sometimes irreversible physical and psychiatric disorders, up to and including schizophrenia, self-mutilation, and suicide."


A). Determine if the subject individual held enough knowledge and volitional capacity to make the
decision to change his or her ideas or beliefs.

B). Determine whether that individual did, in fact, adopt, affirm, or reject those ideas or beliefs on their own.

C). Then, if necessary, all that should be examined is the behavioral processes used, not ideological content. One needs to examine only the behavioral processes used in their "conversion." Each alleged coercive persuasion situation should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The characteristics of coercive persuasion programs are severe, well understood, and they are not accidental.


Coercive persuasion is not a religious practice, it is a control technology. It is not a belief or ideology, it is a
technological process. As a PROCESS, it can be examined by experts on its technology COMPLETELY SEPARATE from any idea or belief content, similar to examining the technical process of hypnotic induction distinct from the meaning or value of the post-hypnotic suggestions.

Examining PROCESSES in this manner can not violate First Amendment religious protections. Coercive persuasion is antithetical to the First Amendment. It is the unfair manipulation of other's biological and psychological weaknesses and susceptibilities.

It is a psychological FORCE technology, not of a free society, but of a criminal or totalitarian society. It is certainly not a spiritual or religious technology. Any organization using coercive persuasion on its members as a CENTRAL practice that also claims to be a religion is turning the SANCTUARY of the First Amendment into a fortress for psychological assault. It is a contradiction of terms and should be "disestablished."

Coercive persuasion is a subtle, compelling psychological force which attacks an even more fundamental and important freedom than our "freedom of religion." ITS REPREHENSIBILITY AND DANGER IS THAT IT ATTACKS OUR SELF-DETERMINISM AND FREE WILL, OUR MOST FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS.


F.A.C.T. focuses most of its efforts upon educating the public on the current state-of-the-art second generation systems because of their increased effectiveness and the growth in their use.

Coercive psychological systems can be spoken of in terms of advancing generations i.e., first, second, third, etc. Each advancing generation has grown more dangerous and powerful than the previous generation.

Pre-first generation coercive psychological "systems" refer to the period before the mid-1940's when the scientifically engineered first generation came to be recognized in the brainwashing and "thought reform" programs of the Korean War. Much can still be learned from studying these pre-first generation, less scientifically applied historical antecedents and empirically derived adaptations of coercive psychological influence. Good examples of this pre-first generation can be found throughout the centuries in some of the extremist social, political, or religious cults and initiatory secret societies.

First generation systems are popularly associated with the 45-year-old ideas and models of brainwashing, thought reform, the Korean War, and The "Manchurian Candidate" misconceptions. It is in the first generation that coercive psychological systems properly can be called a modern mind technology. First generation systems are often strictly and wrongly associated with mandatory use of suggestibility-increasing drugs, and/or the use of physical pain, captivity, and torture to achieve coercive psychological influence. Although these things were sometimes used in first generation programs, they were not always used. In first generation, in spite of the popular misconceptions, the use of suggestibility-increasing drugs, and/or the use of physical pain, captivity, and torture were not always essential for effective thought reform to have taken place. Unlike the more randomly applied, empirically derived, pre-first generation programs, it is important to understand that beginning with first generation programs, scientific methodology was engaged to greater and greater degrees to behaviorally engineer more detailed, effective, and complete SYSTEMS of coercive environmental and individual influence.

Second generation systems are partially distinguished from their cruder predecessors by their complete transcendence of the need to use any physical force or physical constraint. They also are able to alter behavior, ideology and attitude, not just behavior and ideology as in the older generation systems. They are further distinguished by their clandestine, non-confrontational method of application to groups and in group settings versus the older systems' overt, confrontational methods directed primarily at individuals. With the sophisticated second generation technological improvements of coercive psychological systems, you CAN now change a person's attitude without his knowledge or volition. You CAN create new "attitudes," which cause him to do things "willingly" that he may formerly have detested. The use of suggestibility-increasing drugs, and/or the use of physical pain, captivity, and torture sometimes found in first generation programs is not part of, or necessary for, the more advanced second generation coercive psychological influence programs to be effective.

Third generation technology is a less defined and evolving term. It deals with the clandestine, non- confrontational possibilities of large-scale or mass-population application of coercive psychological systems by accident or plan through the simultaneous use of multiple converging technologies. It deals with the unforeseen coercive influence possibilities, synergies, and capabilities that will emerge as one combines advancing information and management control, computerization, electronic communications, and other media and nonmedia electronic technologies with the newer generations of coercive behavioral systems.


Q1.) Anybody can unfairly accuse or attack an organization or group they disagree with or dislike by calling it a cult or saying that they are using coercive mind control or coercive psychological systems as you call it. How does F.A.C.T. determine these things fairly and prevent this type of problem?

A1.) F.A.C.T. uses specific criteria to determine if a coercive psychological system has been used. It does not imply organizations or individuals are using coercive psychological systems or are destructive or dangerous cults without careful research and determination that the evidence fits definite criteria. These criteria are threefold: The first set of criteria comes from the description of "Tactics of Psychological Coercion" in Appendix 1.The second set of criteria have to do with defining common elements of destructive and dangerous cults. The following section will help clarify what some of those specific elements and criteria are.

Common Properties of Potentially Destructive and Dangerous Cults

The cult is authoritarian in its power structure. The leader is regarded as the supreme authority. He or she may delegate certain power to a few subordinates for the purpose of seeing that members adhere to the leader's wishes and roles. There is no appeal outside of his or her system to greater systems of justice. For example, if a school teacher feels unjustly treated by a principal, appeals can be made. In a cult, the leader claims to have the only and final ruling on all matters.

The cult's leaders tend to be charismatic, determined, and domineering. They persuade followers to drop their families, jobs, careers, and friends to follow them. They (not the individual) then take over control of their followers' possessions, money, lives.

The cult's leaders are self-appointed, messianic persons who claim to have a special mission in life. For example, the flying saucer cult leaders claim that people from outer space have commissioned them to lead people to special places to await a space ship.

The cult's leaders center the veneration of members upon themselves. Priests, rabbis, ministers, democratic leaders, and leaders of genuinely altruistic movements keep the veneration of adherents focused on God, abstract principles, and group purposes. Cult leaders, in contrast, keep the focus of love, devotion, and allegiance on themselves.

The cult tends to be totalitarian in its control of the behavior of its members. Cults are likely to dictate in great detail what members wear, eat, when and where they work, sleep, and bathe-as well as what to believe, think, and say.

The cult tends to have a double set of ethics. Members are urged to be open and honest within the group, and confess all to the leaders. On the other hand, they are encouraged to deceive and manipulate outsiders or nonmembers. Established religions teach members to be honest and truthful to all, and to abide by one set of ethics.

The cult has basically only two purposes, recruiting new members and fund-raising. Established religions and altruistic movements may also recruit and raise funds. However, their sole purpose is not to grow larger; such groups have the goals to better the lives of their members and mankind in general. The cults may claim to make social contributions, but in actuality these remain mere claims, or gestures. Their focus is always dominated by recruiting new members and fund-raising. The cult appears to be innovative and exclusive. The leader claims to be breaking with tradition, offering something novel, and instituting the only viable system for change that will solve life's problems or the world's ills. While claiming this, the cult then surreptitiously uses systems of psychological coercion on its members to inhibit their ability to examine the actual validity of the claims of the leader and the cult.

The third set of criteria has to do with defining other common elements of coercive psychological systems. If most of Robert Jay Lifton's eight point model of thought reform is being used in a cultic organization, it is most likely a dangerous and destructive cult. These eight points are:

1. ENVIRONMENT CONTROL. Limitation of many/all forms of communication with those outside the group. Books, magazines, letters and visits with friends and family are taboo. "Come out and be separate!"

2. MYSTICAL MANIPULATION. The potential convert to the group becomes convinced of the higher purpose and special calling of the group through a profound encounter/experience, for example, through an alleged miracle or prophetic word of those in the group.

3. DEMAND FOR PURITY. An explicit goal of the group is to bring about some kind of change, whether it be on a global, social, or personal level. "Perfection is possible if one stays with the group and is committed."

4. CULT OF CONFESSION. The unhealthy practice of self disclosure to members in the group. Often in the context of a public gathering in the group, admitting past sins and imperfections, even doubts about the group and critical thoughts about the integrity of the leaders.

5. SACRED SCIENCE. The group's perspective is absolutely true and completely adequate to explain EVERYTHING. The doctrine is not subject to amendments or question. ABSOLUTE conformity to the doctrine is required.

6. LOADED LANGUAGE. A new vocabulary emerges within the context of the group. Group members "think" within the very abstract and narrow parameters of the group's doctrine. The terminology sufficiently stops members from thinking critically by reinforcing a "black and white" mentality. Loaded terms and clichés prejudice thinking.

7. DOCTRINE OVER PERSON. Pre-group experience and group experience are narrowly and decisively interpreted through the absolute doctrine, even when experience contradicts the doctrine.

8. DISPENSING OF EXISTENCE. Salvation is possible only in the group. Those who leave the group are doomed.


Q1.) What is F.A.C.T.'s history and who are its Directors?

A1.) F.A.C.T. was incorporated in June 1993 as a Colorado nonprofit corporation. F.A.C.T. was developed as a separate research project beginning in mid-1992. Approximately $50,000 was invested from mid-1992 until October 1993 in research, consulting, labor, organizational design, and buying and testing needed hardware and software.

The founding Board of Directors of F.A.C.T. consists of Lawrence Wollersheim, Gerald Armstrong, Fr. Kent Burtner, and Margaret Thaler Singer Ph.D. Besides having more than 80 years combined experience in dealing with stress generated by organizations using coercive psychological systems, F.A.C.T.'s Board of Directors represent a highly qualified and balanced team with the essential skills needed to guide F.A.C.T. to the realization of its purposes. Mr. Wollersheim and Mr. Armstrong understand the victim perspective and problems. They were victims themselves, who also have been successful in the courts in obtaining large judgments or settlements against what is considered by experts to be the world's most dangerous and abusive organization using coercive psychological systems. Mr. Wollersheim has extensive business, organizational, and computer experience, having successfully owned and run several businesses, one of which maintained more than 50 employees. Mr. Armstrong has experience as a paralegal and archivist.

Fr. Kent Burtner brings a religious sensitivity and balance to the F.A.C.T. Board. He is also a Board member and treasurer for the Cult Awareness Network (CAN). He has lectured internationally to church and secular groups on the topic of coercion and serves on a church related crisis handling team that deals with coercive psychological systems and cult abuse.

Margaret Thaler Singer Ph.D. is the technical professional and balance on F.A.C.T.'s board. She is one of the world's leading experts on coercive psychological systems and has studied approximately 3,500 victims of these programs during her 40 years of research. She has published scores of journal articles, received numerous honors, and garnered national and international recognition among her professional peers and the public.

F.A.C.T.'s founding Board of Directors has a rock-solid reputation for uncompromisable integrity and security sensitivity. F.A.C.T.'s Directors have positive reputations and are highly trusted in the victim assistance networks and advocate organizations.

Q2.) Where does the information come from?

A2.) Creating and updating the F.A.C.T. database is an immense ongoing program. The database contains information about projects, organizations, people, and news media involved in monitoring, exposing, and fighting the use of coercive psychological systems.

These entries, with project description or main field of interest, contact information, etc., represent just a small fraction of actual resources in the database.

Initially F.A.C.T. will start with its own database. It is estimated that this database will contain 1-3 gigabytes and more than 25,000 searchable entries byt the end of 1993, and up to 25 gigabytes and 200,000 searchable entries at the end of 1994. F.A.C.T. will acquire additional listings from various other databases, by scanning the hard copy libraries of other organizations and individuals with similar purposes, as well as pursuing entries from all possible sources and from all countries. Information for new listings can be received by modem, phone, fax or regular mail.

Q3.) How will F.A.C.T. keep the information current?

A3.) Since updating the databases is an ongoing process, every 12 months a project, organization, or person listed in the database will receive a printout from F.A.C.T. requesting information on additions, deletions, changes, and comments. Returned forms will be scanned into the computer to update the system. Those who do not return the forms after several queries will be called by volunteers who request information for the update by telephone. It is imperative to do this to maintain current information in the database.

Q4.) Who will be calling F.A.C.T. ?

A4.) Within one year we are planning to handle 1,000 modem inquiry calls per week. Of these calls, we expect a substantial number will be from organizations with similar purposes using our database for their specific client service needs.

After the organizations with similar purposes, we expect the greatest number of users will be professionals such as elementary, high school and college teachers, psychologists, lawyers, reporters, editors, sociologists, religious professionals, psychiatrists, private and government investigators, politicians, etc. seeking the latest information, teaching aids, news stories, legal actions, legislative proposals, professional journals or specialized assistance resources on coercive psychological systems and the various groups using them.

Besides these professional users, toward the end of Phase 2 of F.A.C.T.'s growth, we expect a significant portion of the bulletin board's users to be former victims of destructive cultic groups and their computer literate friends, work associates, and families. In Phase 3 we expect increasing numbers of general public modem calls.

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