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Newsletter January, 1998

FACTNet Newsletter JANUARY 1998

This month at FACTNet

Welcome to the first issue of FACTNet's expanded newsletter! This newsletter will address the impact of cults and mind control in our society by providing important information and news.

FACTNet has come under a great deal of pressure lately, due to the intensifying litigation with Scientology and Scientology's harassment of FACTNet and FACTNet's directors. The litigation is going well despite its large expense, and the harassment is tolerable. The good news is that in response to this pressure, and as part of FACTNet's mission, we are redoubling our efforts to expand FACTNet's reach. We are increasing FACTNet's victim support, education, cooperation with kindred organizations, and the number of people involved in the FACTNet community.

FACTNet has already been reaching many people through the FACTNet web site. In 1997 the site received over half a million hits! To increase the education we provide on the net, we are now working to redesign the site with easier navigation, new features and sections, and more pleasing aesthetics.

FACTNet's reach has also expanded in terms of the FACTNet community. In addition to welcoming Bob Mintonto our Board of Directors, we have accepted a number of volunteers. We are now working to bring the new volunteers interesting and helpful projects. In addition, FACTNet has received generous financial

support from donors over the last couple months. Many thanks to all who contributed!

This broadened newsletter is another part of our efforts to expand FACTNet's reach. It will replace the less-extensive letters/FACTNews digest as FACTNet's monthly source of news, and will now be available in printed as well as electronic form. The printed version will allow FACTNet to reach a wider scope of readers, and we hope the expanded format will help FACTNet better inform our subscribers of the dangers of cults today.

Unless costs become too high, subscription to the newsletter will remain free of charge. If you would like to sign up a friend to receive a free subscription, just fill out the printed form at the end of the newsletter and remit it to FACTNet, or email manage@factnet.org. Meanwhile, if you publish a newsletter of your own, please sign up FACTNet to receive your publication!

I hope you enjoy the newsletter - please feel free to send FACTNet any suggestions or ideas. Thanks and best wishes for 1998!

Justine Janette, Executive Director


What is mind control?

Is there really such a thing as "brainwashing," or "mind control"? What kind of person is susceptible? What exactly is a "cult" and how are followers controlled? How can one recognize an organization that engages in such practices, and should such organizations be held responsible for the damage that intentional manipulation can cause?

The most insidious threat to our most basic freedom, freedom of mind, is a little-known phenomenon known as mind control. As used by FACTNet, "mind control" refers to all coercive psychological systems, such as brainwashing, thought reform, and coercive persuasion. Mind control is the shaping of a person's attitudes, beliefs, and personality without the person's knowledge or consent. Mind control employs deceptive and surreptitious manipulation, usually in a group setting, for the financial or political profit of the manipulator.

Mind control works by gradually

exerting increasing control over individuals through a variety of techniques, such as excessive repetition of routine activities, intense humiliation, and sleep deprivation.

As used by FACTNet, "cult" refers to a destructive group which uses mind control to deceivingly influence its members. It has become fairly standard to use this term for any organization or group which uses mind control on its members. Cults are not necessarily religious. A cult may form around any theme, such as a political, racial, psychotherapeutic, or even athletic agenda.

FACTNet, along with most cult experts today, determines whether or not a group is cultic strictly by the mind control tactics the group uses, not by the group's beliefs.

For the protection of our basic human and constitutional rights, FACTNet provides a fundamental education on the subject of mind control so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones from any individual or organization that is engaging in this kind of manipulation.

Cults' impact on families

Parents' involvement in cults can literally destroy a family. Individuals in cults do things willingly under the influence of mind control that they previously may have detested for the sake of the group's "higher purposes."

Reports of members of diverse cults committing illegal and reprehensible activities are widespread. Child abuse in cults is common, and children are often the cults' most devastating casualties.

Of the 912 People's Temple members who died in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978, 276 were children. Of more than 80 who died at Waco, 25 were children. Even children not harmed physically rarely receive formal education or develop correctly on emotional, social, and cognitive levels.

Similarly, young adults who have been recruited into cults can tear a family apart as parents, siblings, and friends struggle to understand and help. Studies report that the majority of cult members are recruited during high school or college years.


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This editorial/opinion/news alert has been provided or distributed by FACTNet, Inc. (Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network.) Since 1993 we have been the largest online news and referral service as well as research archive for defending freedom of thought and mind from all forms of unethical influence tactics, mind control and mental coercion/torture used in destructive cults and fundamentalist groups. FACTNet is a tax deductible, IRS Approved 501(c)(3) non profit organization.

For breaking news, personal stories, recovery information, support groups, expert referrals, message boards, newsletters and books relating to destructive cults and fundamentalism, mind control, mental coercion and unethical psychological influence, please visit our web site at http://www.factnet.org  If you would like to comment on this editorial/opinion/news or to share your personal experiences, go to one of our many various message boards at http://www.factnet.org/discus/ .

Re-distribution and re-posting of this document using proper net etiquette when doing so, is appreciated!

* E-mail: manage@factnet.org 
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PO Box 1314
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