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(ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:30 pm
by David McCarthy
Hi Everyone,
The 'International Cultic Studies Association' (ICSA) a good topic to also explore on EMF, particularly that Joe is a member it will be good to hear his perspective.
From my personal experience and perspective I see red flags flying over the ICSA.
It attracts victims of cultic abuse by using and advertising the cult word, yet is at the forefront at diluting the meaning of the word Cult through the public media. This to me is muddying the waters.
Ask a person on the street to define what a Cult is? I think their perception is more likely to be Jonestown or Waco and not likened to a bad 'group', or a bad marriage. :-? (all respects Joe)
The ICSA calls organizations like RSE 'groups',See: ICSA View by: group ... &B1=Submit
The ICSA also refuses to name or list destructive cults (past or present) while actively dissuading those enrolled in its CULT recovery program NOT to sue 'the group' for damages :-(
The ICSA does have some good resources of information, but in the bigger picture the ICSA is first and foremost a 'group' of "interdisciplinary network of academicians" and a business that plays it safe.

Joe, anyone?


The Definitional Ambiguity of Cult and ICSA's Mission by Michael Langone:
The majority of those persons who attach the “cult” label to these phenomena share a disapproval of the group or organization they label. That is why some people have dismissed the term “cult” as a meaningless epithet hurled at a group one doesn’t like. Although this position may appeal to one’s cynical side, it ignores the reality that many common concepts are fuzzy. Lists of diverse phenomena could also be drawn up for terms such as “child abuse,” “neurotic,” “right wing,” “left wing,” “learning disabled,” “sexy,” “ugly,” “beautiful,” etc. We don’t banish these fuzzy terms from our vocabularies because, contrary to the cynic’s claim, most people most of the time use these fuzzy terms with enough precision to be meaningful and understood by others.
"ICSA has chosen the latter course (On Using the Term Cult). We acknowledge the term’s ambiguity, but we also recognize that, for better or for worse, “cult” is the term that our inquirers, particularly on Internet searches, are most predisposed to use. Although we try to focus the meaning of the term, we must, nonetheless, also try to respond constructively to the wide spectrum of phenomena that our inquirers collectively associate with “cult,” however misguided their linguistic usage may sometimes be."

Langone, Michael: "The Definitional Ambiguity of Cult and ICSA's Mission" ... ofcult.asp
The ICSA Describes itself as an "interdisciplinary network of academicians"
International Cultic Studies Association - Wikipedia, ... ssociation
International Cultic Studies Association:
from ICSA Website
ICSA does NOT maintain a list of "bad" groups or "cults." We non-judgmentally list groups on which we have information.
Groups listed, described, or referred to on ICSA's Web sites may be mainstream or non-mainstream, controversial or non-controversial, religious or nonreligious, cult or not cult, harmful or benign.
We encourage inquirers to consider a variety of opinions, negative and positive, so that inquirers can make independent and informed judgments pertinent to their particular concerns.
ICSA Home.
Jesuit Law Professor Alan W. Scheflin,former President of ICSA
Beware of Cults.png

Re: (ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:10 am
by joe sz
From my personal experience and perspective I see red flags flying over the ICSA.

not sure i want to get into this here w you again David. Your "experience" with the Catholic Church [per that dreaded thread] had "red flags" all over it too--Dr Langone is "Catholic", and you appear to have a toxic reaction to this 'religious' topic overall, one that I can understand, because your "experience" is not well-informed at this stage re Catholics or ICSA.

correction to your notion re "Jesuit" reference: The current president of ICSA is a Jewish woman, Dr Lorna Goldberg, a licenced therapist whom I have deep respect for. Lorna and her husband Bill have run one of the most effective post-cult therapies for ex-members for decades in New Jersey.

ICSA is not a vigilante group with an agenda to fight cults by any definition, especially your definition.

btw, I am not arguing with your definition, only that "cult" is a highly nuanced term that has a much broader meaning than any one definition.

ICSA is primarily a forum for education about the cult problem on an international scale, one that invites a variety or points of view from academics, therapists, journalists, and ex-members. ICSA however is on record to address the harm that certain cultic behaviors can cause. By default, ICSA inherited some of the fallout when the old CAN [Cult Awareness Network] folded in 1996 under relentless Scientology lawsuits---over 50. ICSA took on the ex-member problem that CAN used to address by offering regional apparently tried to attend one ex-member session without satisfaction and that appears to be the source of your opinion now of I correct? maybe you can be specific about what happened, then I might be able to clear up how I see the problem.

Re: (ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:10 pm
by Virginia
and they're off......
This is why EE decided to remove the thread. Let me see if I can take any charge off of this topic:

Any well meaning group designed to help expose destructive practices is okay in my book. The argument of first exposing the destructive practices in your own back yard (organized religion) seems prudent to give the ICSA credibility. Maybe if they DID discuss the problems with the CC or the Jewish faith or any of the organized religions we could feel at least more fairness. I think Joe, trying not to speak for anyone else, that this is such a hot topic because of residual feelings left over from being embarrassed over our ability to be swept up in a cult/con game/hoax/group whatever you want to call it as RSE.

When we have someone from organized religion pointing out the lies and craziness of RSE we feel a little like, "hey, don't stand on your pulpit and tell me how dumb I was, you believe the Earth was created 5,000 years ago".

I have tried to discuss this with my partner who sadly was outed as a Christian by a personal friend of mine on EE and who consequently was attacked every time he tried to ask a question or point out a discrepancy in JZ's act. No one could get past the "well who are you to call us stupid" feeling, including me. It led to great contention as he tried to explain all the points he felt separated religion, his anyway, from a "cult". He did agree a however that metaphysical beliefs (unprovable) exist across the board, corruption, greed, politics, abuses also occur in almost every organized religion across the board.

However, one man's trip on the Mother ship for enlightenment is another man's cult, so I understand why the ICSA is hesitant to use that word for fear of alienating the people they are trying to help. My issue is not with that, but it does seem to be a major point of contention for David. My point of contention is that a group, that tries to help raise awareness about cults will have no credibility with cult members if they find out they are practicing cult members themselves. (Please Joe, spare us the 5 page reason of why the CC is not a cult, we know your feelings and research on that) I feel it is immaterial. Even if the CC is NOT a cult, if you are trying to reach out to people who are in a cult chances are they are there because organized religion failed them in some way, from unanswered questions to full scale abuse.

I explained it this way to my partner: If a group of ex church members (let's say Christian for this argument) got together and joined a support group due to the realization that said particular church had some abuses going on they would still probably continue to have some christian supportive language with each other. Perhaps they would quote the parts of the bible that inspired them and pertained to non judgment and loving their neighbor. They would still be primarily Christian at heart even though they had this falling out with their church. Most ex ramsters generally still have many new-age metaphysical, esoteric, God self-centric beliefs. Not all, but most, will not be going back to a church anytime soon no matter how badly it turned out at RSE. They are more likely to move on to some Landmark group or other self help organization, or sadly sometimes another "channel" which as crazy as it sounds is still preferable to them than organized religion. So when a religious person says "look, look at what JZ said now that is a lie" or "watch out for red flags everyone" it falls on deaf ears coming from a person in what WE perceive is in their own dysfunctional organization. Is this entirely fair? Maybe not. I would argue that as much as I have an aversion to what most Christians believe I am glad you can go for free. I am glad that people aren't using their life savings to go to the neighborhood church (as long as it isn't corrupt). I am glad that although they are still listening to a preacher at least the preacher isn't saying he is the only way they will ever ascend, or calling them whores and assholes, or hitting them. So in those regards, okay lessor of the two evils. When you get into the long history of the abuses of the CC and current abuses of the CC it does seem a strange pulpit from which to launch an attack on cults in this nation. It may not be fair, it may not be accurate, but to be sensitive to ex ramsters is to appreciate their general disdain for organized religion and not to keep rubbing their noses in why it is cleaner, better, and less cult like. There is no "cult lite". There is no, yeah its got some messed up things but its better than RSE". NO they are all flawed to varying degrees and to not have the eyes to see that what is right in front of them feels like a slap in the face to the decent, honest, kind people who to escape the fire and brimstone of the church sadly to found another fire. I BLAME religion as one of the major contributers to cult membership growing. If we could have found anything that made any sense to us in a church we would still be there, not looking for alternatives.

I think all of this can be solved. Joe, since you have never been to RSE and you are a Catholic and you are a man that has a calling to help others and has done so, and you are wonderfully educated on many subjects and you are well spoken and you have the ability to influence and enlighten please use those skills to take on the Church and weed out the corruption, the abuses, the cover ups, the chauvinism, the altered bible, the judgment, the lies and the finances of The Church. Please use your knowledge and skills to go there and debunk their practices. David, you won't be left out of my rant. You feel betrayed by Joe as not being completely transparent on his beliefs with you over these years. You feel that all along he was helping to debunk JZ he was practicing in a religion that caused you and many others great harm. The ICSA is at least trying to put some information out there. How many organizations are helping with this cult epidemic? How many support services are there available? There really isn't much. So we don't have to join or support the ICSA and we are allowed to reveal what about their organization puts us off, but they are not the enemy as much as at times it may feel that way. They believe that the word "cult" makes them likely to alienate those who may otherwise come forward. I believe their thinking is flawed and incorrect. I believe as you do to call a spade a spade and if someone gets put off by it initially they will appreciate the forthright language later when they need a lion in their corner and not a lamb.

This debate could go on indefinitely with the "why I'm not in a cult and you are" argument that gets played out across this country and world everyday and has led to almost every war and every act of genocide. I wish I had the answers to solve it all.

I do believe that EMF and EE are support groups for people processing out of a CULT called RSE. We need to stay on topic and continue to expose the lies, while offering a community of supportive friends. What else in the world is or is not a cult may just be a place we strictly avoid. When someone on EE comes out with a "how about trying this group over here" we debunk the new group. Perhaps we should just remove the post and not allow anyone to go there. This has been the single most divisive and destructive topic on our sites, and the most difficult to moderate. At times I feel like we are a Nazi state not allowing our members to discuss these things but we can't have a free for all. There are thousands of other sites to argue these points. I believe we have to stop this and stop it now. Our members are free to go down any rabbit hole they choose. If they ask "does anyone know about this or that organization" we don't mind doing the research for them but how can we possibly have the time to debunk everything. I for one think network marketing is a cult. We can't fight every war. We can only try to help share information we receive about RSE and only RSE. If people want to defend "Seth" or the CC or Landmark forum or Deepak Chopra we can not blow every whistle, we are only people trying to be there for THIS particular group.

I think we should consider being faster and stricter to delete posts that want to keep draining our resources (time and energy) and remind everyone that our only goal is to expose RSE. I don't think we have the time to take on the church, let Joe do that, its his religion, and let us stay focused on our mission statements.

Re: (ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:32 pm
by joe sz

thanks for your considerate response.

my sense is that David like so many others burned by cultic abuse by any name seek some kind of legal or social remedy to stop the cult madness and spare others the "rabbit hole-mad hatter-queen of hearts" experience. Unlike Alice, ex-cult members did not merely dream it although on hindsight it all feels like a nightmare with post trauma stress after shock.

healing comes in many guises and ex-members make choices in that regard. not all feel comfortable with the anti-religion model of the SKEPTICs as in Free Inquiry. If you do, join that discussion--ICSA may be too "soft" in a sense.

Another model is the Southern Poverty Law Center
SPLC is relatively well-endowed by lawyers/firms who donate and it does litigate against extremist "hate" groups, often compromising their function in society--this is the reverse of Scientology's pit-bull legal tactics to compromise ant-cult groups and old deprogrammers like me. many otherwise effective exit counselors in the past dropped away from this field due to Scientology or other cult intimidation--the court room is no fun when your entire household and future is at risk from legal bills--I have been there 2x. ICSA does not get into litigation against cults--for one thing, they operate on a shoe-string budget that demands an awful lot of vounteer good will for them to survive---eg, I have reviewed dozens of books for them and offer my time as a consultant on certain issues for no pay from ICSA.

I think one problem here is that ex-members often retain that need of "absolute" answers to the human condition that continues to create cults. This need explains why some fall into a Fundamentalist church soon after leaving a cult and why others become hardened Skeptics on the other end of the spectrum. There is a sense of safety in the certainty of one's position. I am not certain of CC, ICSA, skepticism or any one group, but I feel a kind of strength navigating in the troubled waters as part of all that--the CC has some of the biggest storms brewing as you all know very well..this is my personal war in which I find my allies within the systems. I do not reject skepticism--I support it--but I do reject religious atheism [Hitchens, Dawkins, eg]

Any one of you on EMF or EE have the opportunity to get JZ/R in court which is where the SPLC model is most effective as a social service. All you have to do is channel Ramtha in public and put up a website. Many of you want to rely on government or the press or some major blunder that JZ will make in the future to end her madness. Thus far your appeals have basically fallen on either deaf or cynical ears. many of you look at what happened to Jeff Knight who was better positioned than any RSE ex-member to "take her down", and JZ weathered his effort with only a few financial bruises.

as far is this thread "red-flagging" ICSA is concerned, be careful not to dance all over your own feet.

Re: (ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:24 pm
by joe sz
Any well meaning group designed to help expose destructive practices is okay in my book. The argument of first exposing the destructive practices in your own back yard (organized religion) seems prudent to give the ICSA credibility. Maybe if they DID discuss the problems with the CC or the Jewish faith or any of the organized religions we could feel at least more fairness. I think Joe, trying not to speak for anyone else, that this is such a hot topic because of residual feelings left over from being embarrassed over our ability to be swept up in a cult/con game/hoax/group whatever you want to call it as RSE.
Your last point/ sentence nails it.

You are mistaken if you think ICSA ignores cultic issues in the CC. It has been ongoing...
Eg, read my review on amazon of ex-priest's book, who was at the last ICSA conference unlike any of you who red flag ICSA:
my review is 4rth or 5th ... ewpoints=1

By J. Paul Lennon, MA, STL.

Presentation by Paul Lennon at the International Cultic Studies Association Annual Conference in Montreal - July, 2012

The official Catholic Church stance on this issue is the following: “The Legion of Christ Produces Many Good Fruits; therefore it is a Good Religious Order Blessed by God.” The position was originally made clear at the end of the Vatican statement condemning the founder’s behaviors in May, 2006: “Independently of the person of the Founder, the worthy apostolate of the Legionaries of Christ and of the Association ‘Regnum Christi’ is gratefully recognized.”
When Pope Benedict XVI was interviewed in 2010 and questioned regarding the clergy sex abuse scandal and specifically about the Legion of Christ founder and the viability of the Legion he explained: “Naturally corrections must be made, but by and large the congregation is sound. In it there are many young men who enthusiastically want to serve the faith. This enthusiasm must not be destroyed. Many of them have been called by a false figure to what is, in the end, right after all. This is the remarkable thing, the paradox, that a false prophet, so to speak, could still have a positive effect.”
The belief held by Pope Benedict XVI, by his Delegate to the Legion of Christ, and by the Leadership of the order can be formulated as followed: The Legion of Christ Produces Many Good Fruits; therefore it must be good despite the corrupt and harmful life of the founder.
The author will first describe some the Legion’s “good” fruits, then explore them more in depth, and finally point out other, “bad” or ambiguous fruits, which the Legion produces.

The Legion’s Good Fruits
1- Rapid Growth in Members
Wikipedia describes Legion of Christ (LC)

Re: (ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:43 pm
by Virginia
I have read up on ICSA in more depth. At first I thought it was just a support group for ex members of cults and their families. It seems however they have gone off the politically correct cliff by thinking they can "work with cult leaders to make improvements" ????? Really? Lets just work with pedophiles to see if they can pick older kids. I also thought this was non profit but someone seems to be making some money here. David, could you tell me what the basic gist of these seminars are and who is actually making money off this (if anyone) and why they appear to out of touch with the subject matter? Are they trying to get people to feel safe by not accusing their group of being a cult? Or are they afraid to get sued by the cult leaders? Or are they just.....dumb? Joe, I am asking David his perspective, we know yours. I fear that if you are a member of a group that wants to work with cult leaders to improve the situation than you are just drinking a different flavored Kool Aide.

Re: (ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:05 pm
by WofthesunEofthemoon
Hi, Virginia,

I must admit that reading the ICSA's self-remit, I, too, was startled by the statement that they are working with some group leaders - ie Hari Krishna sect, etc.

However, as their hands are tied with regard to doing anything about closing down, or eliminating these groups, perhaps getting leaders to reform is the best option for helping the cause of people who are either trapped in, or are willing members of these cults, by improving their lot.

Just a thought. I also noticed that they are asking for donations, but is that unreasonable, in order to keep a voluntary organisation afloat?


Re: (ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:38 pm
by HBfoster
Hi Virginia,
hope it is ok for another voice to chime in here?Often particularly in communal living groups, the biggest problem ( with a leader with ultimate authority) is that there is no outside input or alterntative voice of authority to point out when things are starting to go wrong, so sometimes discipline for example will becomes much harsher than if there is an outside voice saying "You are doing..what?"
If isca could be an outside voice that points out social norms then that may be very helpful.
Think it extremely unlikely that Joe has drunken "coolaid"; differences of opinion on all sides are probably pretty useful.

Re: (ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:03 pm
by Robair
Hello everyone
I haven’t been participating too much in this Debate since many of you have posted some good points and counterpoints and since I have a very strong opinion of ICSA and other organization like them it was better perhaps that I stay on the side line, But I guess no more.
For the last 5 years David and I with the help of many have kept EMF running the best we can with the resources that we have. Our goal is to help Ex Ramsters their family and friend deal with the devastating aftermath of coming out of RSE. But also we have promoted with our best efforts that RSE is a Vicious Cult and need to be shut down and have taking many steps to exposed RSE to the authorities. Even though we help stop the bleeding the main problem is that RSE and all other cults have to be SHUT DOWN.
ICSA never promoted that Cult need to be Shut down instead their solution to the Problem is to start a Company selling Band-Aids, to stop the bleeding and ignoring the main Problem The Cancer that cause the bleeding, Very simply put no more RSE and Cults no more need for organization Like ICSA that under the banner of helping are perpetuating the Cult problem so they can make money promoting their services.

Later I will also respond to Joe’s comment in his last post about EMF and EE, which I consider to be hit below the belt.


Re: (ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:47 pm
by Virginia
There is a difference between not being a "vigilante" organization, and feeding the problem by watering down the severity of the problem. I understand that the ICSA was not designed to be a legal service, that doesn't mean that they should undermine potential future cases with their belief that they can control these cult leaders. That in itself is in error since they are mostly sociopaths who enjoy going against the rules. I would love to know how these pow wows with this criminal element has helped any cult to become less destructive. It is just a case of "we are watching you" then there seems to be no need to then bring them in for a chat. Either you are a watch dog, or you commiserate. I know Joe and the ICSA would disagree with my view on this. I guess the philosophy of ICSA will prove flawed when they are subpoenaed by the DEFENSE during a case against cult leaders.

As far as Pope Benedict, YIKES, I wouldn't have brought him up if I were you. I think the response was so weak to this criminal co-conspirator of rape that you proved my case for me by showing that quote. Here is what Benedict really is, a sick criminal who talks out both sides of his mouth and needs to be arrested. ... d=10241536

Re: (ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:58 pm
by Virginia

Re: (ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:56 am
by David McCarthy
Thank you everyone for your patience and contribution to this ICSA thread.
Much food for thought but a bitter medicine thats hard to sweeten . :idea:
I am going to keep my post as short and simple as possible (KISS)....
even though the issues and concerns at hand are complicated and easily hijacked if we are not careful.
First of all..
"The current president of ICSA is a Jewish woman, Dr Lorna Goldberg, a licensed therapist whom I have deep respect for."
Thank you Joe for the update.... I have made the correction in my original link to the website.
"because your "experience" is not well-informed at this stage re Catholics or ICSA."
Perhaps so....
I think the ICSA provides some very good information and resources/filters regarding cults and cultic abuse.
My contention and disagreement with Joe and the ICSA is that they refuse to name cults 'past or present' and actively discourage cult victims to take legal action.
And at this stage those 'red flags' are still flying over the ICSA.
Joe, I have taken your council while ' I hope' I am also staying true to my experiences and opinions.
That you see my 'dancing on my own feet' is understandable given your close links and volunteer consultancy work with the ICSA.
Yet...I could equally describe Joe and the ICSA as dancing on the feet of EMF and LARSE :-?
How so? Here is one example of real consequences and why I am critical of Joe and the ICSA ICSA as described in my title post.
On 27 October 2007 we held our second and final LARSE meeting in Yelm I called 'Cults in Our Neighborhood'.
see our poster at the bottom of my post.
This meeting in Yelm took enormous effort and courage by many to organize.
One person even traveled from the East coast to attend, but she sat outside in her car for the whole meeting just too frightened to come in... :sad:
Our meeting gained some welcome media attention and subsequently we were invited to speak on the Dave Ross Kiro 710 radio show in Seattle.
I regarded this interview as a major breakthrough to get media attention focused on RSE /JZ knight from a cults survivors perspective.
The first question from Dave Ross was directed at Joe: Simply put it was: IS RSE A CULT? a great question I thought to get the ball rolling.....
BUT.. was utterly shocked when Joe answered to the effect.. "I would better describe RSE as a BAD MARRIAGE" :shock:
I was so stunned that when it came my turn to speak my head was spinning.
I was actually ashamed of that interview...and never released it. It has taken me years to fully understand what happened.
Why am I bringing this occurrence up?
Joe as a member of the ICSA follows the party line of refusing to name cults or even categories one as a 'destructive cult' in the public media.
Because of the ambiguity in the concept "cult," ICSA tries to use the term judiciously and focus inquirers’ attention on potentially harmful practices, rather than a label. ... sacult.asp
Joe and the ICSA have "in my opinion" muddied the waters and confused the issues over the word cult
while discouraging cult victims to take legal action against cults/cult leaders.
This is just plain WRONG, at least in my opinion. And yes..I do have a right to voice it on EMF.
These issues I have too long kept silent on EMF not wishing to upset Joe who has provided so much valuable information on EMF.
Joe will call RSE a 'pissant Cult' on EMF but not to the media.
Likewise.. Joe and ICSA could easily name RSE a 'destructive cult' since they use the cult word in every respect to gain attention to the ICSA,
And calling them ' groups' with the poor excuse of claiming the CULT word is a 'misguided linguistic term', is hypocrisy and just plain wrong, as Joe's answer ws to Dave Ross painfully demonstrates.
JZ Knight gets very upset when anyone called RSE a cult and for good reason..IT IS EFFECTIVE :idea:
- RSE:
After 1992, journalists could be held libel for calling the school a
cult following a Superior Court ruling that provided a legal precedent,
ruling that RSE is not a cult:

This is a lie and clever disinformation / RSE scare tactics, As this court ruling demonstrates....
JZ Knight loses defamation lawsuit against the AARP for calling RSE a CULT
J.Z. Knight v. American Association of Retired Persons, Thurston Co. (Wash. Superior Court).
In 1995, the channeler of “Ramtha“ sued the AARP for defamation arising from an article in Modern Maturity magazine on cults.
Obtained summary judgment dismissing all of plaintiff's claims.
Plaintiff admitted that she was a public figure.
She was unable to show that any statement was publicized with actual malice.
No appeal was taken.K&L Gates : Professionals : Stephen A. Smith ... ional=3717
The AARP is not even a cult recovery and support organization, yet they had the integrity and balls to call a spade a spade with RSE.
RSE apologist Gordon Melton said in an interview "there are no such things as cults"
The ICSA calling RSE a 'group', or Joe calling RSE 'a bad marriage' is just as wrong.
but worse still... it muddies the already confusing waters of the cult poisons while they sell the filters....
So let's not dance around here on this issue.... at least on EMF.
Again..Thank you everyone for contributing to this thread... :idea:

LARSE Cults in our Neighborhood poster October 2007.jpg
Left click to enlarge, Right click to download

Re: (ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:18 am
by joe sz
Thanks for replying, David. I wanted to wait for your response as a courtesy before I say anything more. No need to respond to this, but I recall that radio show--I wish we had a transcript--but I thought Ross's question came later in the interview when he asked me what we can do about cults in general--not what I thought of RSE.
My answer indicated that like bad marriages we cannot legislate against cults. Some people marry psychopaths or liars and are devastated just as some people that get drawn into bad cults and are devastated....All I gave was a soundbite about cults which is what short programs like that allow without elaboration. Sorry that stuck in your craw all these should or could have said something at the time.

This entire discussion about ICSA is going nowhere from my point of view. Dr John Clark started ICSA as The American Family Foundation in the late 1970s--Langone was his assistant til Clark died. Clark was a brave man who put up with quite a bit of harrassment from major cults--it probably shortened his life. I am bringing this up because there is a lot of history in that org that you may not be aware of. But I respect your opinion. As far as inviting "cult" members or leaders to speak, many years ago I led the first ICSA panel of invited "cult" members. There were 3 of them. One was a long time member of Anthroposophy, someone I have known for years. Another was a Hare Krishna member in full regalia. The HK was part of the HK reform movement, a small but effective group of cult members that began studying the cult problem....long story short, the HK reform is led by a member with a PhD in religious studies. This is a case in which the reformers are actually blending back into the mother religion in significant ways as the more "cultic" aspect of the old HK is falling apart. I saw one of the HK reformers in Montreal ICSA and introduced him to my daughters and wife. He was in full Hindu garb of a mainstream in India Krishna follower--nice guy.

If that disturbs you, I cannot change your perceptions with a brief statement and will no longer try.

For over a year I have been thinking of dropping from support of EMF by posting. I will no longer be posting on EMF.

But thanks for the ride and for letting an "outsider" in. I may have said enough and will concentrate on other things.

Re: (ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:07 am
by David McCarthy
maybe you can be specific about what happened, then I might be able to clear up how I see the problem.
Thank you Joe, I have done just that,
But please, do not be mistaken that this one incident is at the root of my contention with you or the ICSA as described in my title post...but more a symptom of it.
you should or could have said something at the time.
Yes perhaps....As always in hindsight... some understandings arrive in a flash while others may take years.
My answer indicated that like bad marriages we cannot legislate against cults.
I understand your point, its like saying you can't legislate against road accidents.
There are legal avenues to take on cults, so why not talk and advise about that ?
For over a year I have been thinking of dropping from support of EMF by posting. I will no longer be posting on EMF.
You are welcome back on EMF anytime Joe....


Lawrence Dominick Wollersheim is a former Scientologist. He sued the Church of Scientology in 1980.
In 1986, a jury awarded Wollersheim $5 million in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages for what jurors called intentional and negligent "infliction of emotional distress."

The Defense of Marriage Act

The Marriage Protection Act - Wikipedia,

Re: (ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:11 am
by joe sz
NEVER SAY NEVER...I have been checking in to read posts on EMF since I joined EE late in December. I decided to post again due to the ongoing litigation and knowing that I am on a subpoena list---I have not been served. I am also encouraged to see more new ex-members coming forth.
I will be posting on other threads as I think this one has run its course on "ICSA"


Re: (ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:39 am
by David McCarthy
Hi Joe, welcome back, not that you had gone afar ....... :-)
As this ICSA thread demonstrates, we may not agree on all things cults, and no need to on EMF.
But always a good and healthy debate when you are around :idea:
I know you have had other cults try to intimidate you with litigation and subpoenas,
Can you share with us on our legal thread your experiences?



Re: (ICSA) the International Cultic Studies Association

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:13 am
by Rooster
Hey Joe,
Missed you too! Glad you are back. You were very helpful to me. I thank you again!