Date: Sun, 08 Sep 1996 13:04:17 GMT
From: David Gerard <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Sydney picket Sep 7: CoS leaflet 'Beware CultAware'
This is the anti-CultAware leaflet the Ch*rch has been distributing far and wide in Australia - they've been distributing them to every letterbox in several suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and were handing them out furiously at the Sydney picket on Saturday 7th September.
The leaflet is printed on a glossy A4 sheet, folded into thirds. Printing is in black with green highlights. The pictures are the 'serpent around head' picture and a mug-shot picture of Joseph Szimhart, both from the anti-CAN issue of Freedom and also used in the Australian edition. (In which the mug shot was captioned 'Joseph Smizhart - Charged With Kidnapping'. We can guess who set up a charge on this one.)
Punctuation and spellings as per original. The text is a shorter version of the anti-CultAware article from the Australian edition of Freedom. Note that it says "CultAware Information Letter #1", which presumably is meant to suggest that one day they'll actually write a new article ...
For an example of a real-life exit-counselling (Tony refuses to be involved with any form of forced-deprogramming), check out Glen McClelland's story. It's all over the Web; I know it's on Tilman's personal stories page, and I'll be putting it on http://suburbia.net/~fun/scn/pers/ as soon as I get back to Melbourne.
There's an address at the bottom of the leaflet, reproduced at the bottom of this posting; I hope you will all write for more information about this evil psych front group.
[serpent around head picture]
What is CultAware?
Victims say that CultAware is a vigilante group promoting ideology of hate against beliefs.
Through the promulgation of false and misleading information on various beliefs and religious groups, CultAware has been said to undermine families.
According to victims, CultAware breaks up families through the organization and promotion of "deprogrammers" - kidnappers who attempt to brainwash individuals to give up their beliefs.
"I want to live my life the way I want to live and don't feel that (others) should be interfering with my freedom of choice of lifestyle as I am an adult capable of looking after my own life." CultAware victim
This mild-sounding expression of the desire for personal freedom belies the nightmare of threats and coercion that inspired it. The speaker has been the victim of a coordinated and relentless campaign to batter him into renouncing his religious beliefs. Not in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but in leafy Wahroonga, Sydney.
The offensive is being orchestrated by a small but vocal group that goes by the euphemistic name of CultAware.
"[Tony McClelland] has slanderously misused information about myself," says the victim of CultAware's campaign. "I have expressly asked this individual on many occasions not to publish these defamatory allegations. Instead, he has ignored these requests and continued to publish information of a slanderous and defamatory nature."
CultAware appears to be little more than a puppet to America's infamous Cult Awareness Network (CAN) - a group now declared bankrupt, long a subject of government investigation, criminal convictions and civil damages reaching into the millions of dollars. It was recently forced to liquidate and close down for its vile criminal actions.
Tony McClelland recently commented that if a person wanted fair information about a religious group, then he is not the man to provide this - Cult Aware only provide one side of the story. They are not interested in the truth as evidenced by their actions.
McClelland and his wife Joan tout themselves as "caring citizens". But a closer examination of their activities shows a very different picture. They lack any academic training in the field of religion or systems of belief, and primarily seek to employ the media as a weapon to strike out at religious groups for reasons best summed up as a perverted notion of self-aggrandisement.
CultAware victims tell the real story - the majority of families targetted are well off upper middle class families, who pay the exorbitant fees charged - often tens of thousands of dollars. Families have been harrassed with lies to create a climate of fear, then told to turn over the cash as the only way to help their relative.
There is no attempt at reconciliation of family members - or to increase understanding. Instead, the family unit is ripped apart.
(Footnote:) The violent act of "deprogramming" often includes kidnapping, beatings, sleep deprivation and humiliation. Although CultAware tries to lessen this by changing the name to "exit counselling", a common tactic is to involve the family so they are the ones using bodily force and harm against their relative - the relative then does not want to press charges against a family member, while the deprogrammer sits and watches and gives the orders. The facts remain the same - victims have experience the above. The deprogrammer then assaults the victim emotionally until the victim disavows his religious beliefs.
He is the chairman of CultAware.
Decide for yourself whether he can be believed or trusted?
This is what he said about Joseph Szimhart - whose photo appears below courtesy of ADA County Jail, USA.
[Joseph Szimhart mug shot]
"Joe Szimhart is a man of the highest ethics whose work is the antithesis of coercive persuasion and fanaticism. Joe has visited Australia, on a number of occasions, as an exit counsellor." Tony McClelland
For more information contact:
Victims of CultAware
P.O. Box 401 Camperdown, NSW, 2050.