Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Foreign Affairs Committee o: September 30, 1983 regarding The Political Abuse of Psychiatry in the USSR and the material on deprogramming. You will see a striking similarity in the rhetorical treatment of the KGB toward dissidents and the

anti-cultists toward Krishnas, Moonies, Scientologists and other

members of minority religions. Our organization is aware of the similarities, since Hare Krishna devotees in Russia are presently undergoing the same tortures placed upon Soviet political enemies.

If on one hand we guarantee religious freedom yet we do not enforce it, then the Bill of Rights becomes subject to futher abuse and exploitation.

EX-MEMBERS OF RELIGIOUS GROUPS PILING SUIT

AGAINS. THEIR FORMER AFFILIATIONS

After a person undergoes a deprogramming he may decide to divorce himself from his new religion. Dr. Garden's studies show that oftentimes persons in this category were planning to leave the organization anyway, and use the deprogramming as a convenient excuse for separation."7 Aside from the reasons for leaving, ex-members then undergo a barrage of solicitation by anti-cult lawyers who have encouraged them to establish a case against their disassociated religious organization. Suits are filed on the grounds that the ex-member underwent false imprisonment, fraud, or emotional distress. Documented evidence shows that such actions are part of a conspiracy by anti-cult groups to cripple religious organizations' finances through legal battles. These cases cause religious organizations the burden of putting their practices on the witness stand. Based on the comprehension of the court it is determined whether a religious practice is valid or not. Here again we have a situation of the courts determining what is religion. In our faith tradition it is the infallible Lord who determines what constitutes religion. This is quite clearly described in the 5,000 year old Vedic teachings. It is not discounted that a judge could ascertain whether the practice of a religious organization is bonafide, but his judgement should be based on whether that religious organization follows the religious scriptures that it claims to follow. This, coupled with the Sherbert-Yoder test mentioned earlier, would help to insure that court rooms do not become the battleground for religious bigotry.

TAX EXEMPT STATUS OF ANTI-RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS

Earlier, we argued for the protection of religious organizations from subjective IRS investigation. Granting tax exempt status to anti-religious organizations which oppose first Amendment Rights appears inconsistent from our point of view.

As you may know, anti-religious organizations have sprung up in this country whose activities range from informational agencies to active "deprogramming" institutions. They have been granted tax exempt status by the federal government. Funds are used to promote deprogramming and disinformation about new religions in America. Leaders of anti-religious organizations like the Citizen's Freedom Foundation (CFF) have been convicted on charges of "deprogramm ing" and false imprisonment. These organizations feel that they have an integral part to play in the education of society as to the dangers of destructive cults. Ironically, members of these organizations are allowed into public schools to cast doubt and fear about the dangers of seeking out God and yet

religious groups are not permitted equal access to present their views. Anti-religious organizations claim that cults use mind control, brainwashing and coercion on their members. Yet the same organization promotes illegal kidnapping, false imprisonment and physical and mental torture of adult religionists. Also, having captured the emotional sentiments of misinformed parents, "deprograming" organizations eventually destroy the already fragile parent-child relationship should "deprogramming" attempts fail. Our studies show that in the Krishna Consciousness movement approximately 75% of "deprogramming" attempts are unsuccessful. far more relationships are thus broken than repaired.

In the interest of protecting religious freedoms, I suggest an investigation into the activities of "deprogramming" organizations; their use of conservatorships and government help in kidnapping adult religionists; and the use of the public schools in promoting "anti-cult" misinformation. Secondly, it should be observed by the committee that if such activities constitute a violation of First Amendment religious liberties, then steps should be taken to withdraw such organizations'

government sanctioned tax exempt status. (How can the government protect relgious freedom while promoting the attackers of those

freedoms?). This may require new legislation that would better clarify the qualification of organizations deserving the tax

exempt status with the federal government.

CONCLUSION

We have discussed the issue of "deprogramming" as it relates to government intervention into religious affairs with respect to First Amendment rights. As a society we are increasingly more concerned about the rights of women, the rights of ethnic minorities, and even the rights of animals. I ask this committee to become aware of the rights of minority religions and take the necessary steps to investigate and enact legislation needed to insure this sacred Constitutional right. What is restricted from one may soon be restricted from all. I pledge my support and fullest cooperation to your efforts.

ENDNOTES

* Dear Kelly, "Deprogramming and Religious Liberty." Civil Liberties Review, (July/August 1977) p. 28°

-Jeremiah s. Gutman, "Cults, Cultist and the First Amendment", from the Frist Amendment Symposium on Religious Liberty, Washington, D.C., 1979

3

Anson D. Shupe, "Deprogramming the New Exorcism," Conversion Careers: In and out of the New Religions, ed, James T. Richardson, Beverly Hills/London: Sage Publications, 1978) p. 147

Sharon L. Worthing, "The Use of Legal Process for De-Conversion," Government Intervention in Religious Affairs, ed. Dean M. Kelley, (New York: Pilgrim Press, 1982). p. 166

David G. Bromley, "Conservatorships and Deprogramming Lega and Political Prospects," The Brainwashing, Deprogramming Controversy: Sociological, Psychological, Legal and Historical Perspectives (New York and Toronto: The Edwin Mellen Press, forthcoming), p. 21

[ocr errors]

Jeremiah s. Gutman, "Legislative Assault on New Religions," The Brainwashing/Deprogramming Controversy, (New York and Toronto: Edwin Mellen Press, forthcoming.)

's. Res. 488, New Jersey Senate, 1982 Sess.

Jeremiah s. Gutman, "Legislative Assault on New Religions," p. 18

9...

William C. Shepherd, "The Prosecutor's Reach: Legal Issues Stemming from the New Religious Movements.", p. 197

"°study of New Religious Movements by the Government of Denmark, 1983

"william C. Shepherd, "The Prosecutor's Reach: Legal Issues Stemming from the New Religious Movements.", p. 193

120.s. Code Title 18, Section 241
13u.s. Code Title 18, Section 1201

*Letter from Philip B. Heymann to Adelo Connell regarding "deprogramming", 1-18-79

5

"Conversation with FBI investigator and Micheal Gough, husband of deprogramming victim Kim Gough, (August 1982)

1° Letter from E. Ross Buckley Attorney in charge Freedom of Information/Privacy Unit March 14, 1977

"'J. Gordon Melton and Robert L. Moore, "Deprogramming and the Anti-cult Movement," The Cult Experience, (New York: The Pilgrim Press, 1982), p.82

19

Based on information recieved from the citizens Freedom Foundation's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. (1982)

TESTIMONY OF

DR. BOB JONES, JR.

ON S. 2568

"THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1984"

BEFORE THE SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION

OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

JUNE 26, 1984

Mr., Chairman, and other members of the Committee, I consider it an honor and privilege for me to attend this public hearing and express a conservative point of view on s. 2568.

The members of this Committee well know what the intent, purpose, and scope of this legislation 18; so I will not bore the Committee with a layman's explanation of the Biu.

Although I am Chancellor of Bob Jones University and Chairman of the Board and served as President of the University for some twenty-four years, I come to you today in my role as a Minister of the Gospel for more than fifty years and one who has traveled in almost every state of the Union during the past two years. I come to you as one who has spent time with what the news commentators have referred to as the "silent majority." The conservative working class of America is, I think, the backbone of our great nation.

The average American citizen is frustrated because he finds his life regulated by a central government made up primarily of unnamed, faceless bureaucrats. Federal regulation has grown to such an extent that many citizens find their lives regulated from the cradle to the grave and, yes, now we even regulate people beyond the grave with

« AnteriorContinuar »