Articles From the October 1993 Unification News


If it Looks like a Deprogrammer, Walks like a Deprogrammer, then . . .

by Andrew Bacus

This is an excerpt from a letter sent to Herbert Rosedale of the AFC. The names of certain people have been removed to protect their privacy.

You'll have to excuse me for growing tired of your cynical and uncalled for attacks on minority religious groups. In light of your long time involvement with the American Family Foundation (AFF) and Cult Awareness Network (CAN), organizations whose activities have been condemned by civil libertarians, established religious leaders, mental health professionals and law enforcement agencies, you have no standing to accuse anyone of illegal or unethical conduct.

Your challenge to produce the names of 100 persons who have been kidnapped by AFF/CAN cohorts is incomprehensible. Are you serious? Have you ever heard of Ted Patrick? (In case you haven't, I have enclosed a picture of you and he together at a 1989 CAN conference.) He's the founder of the Cult Awareness Network. In his book he admits to hundreds of kidnapping and deprogramming attempts.

In addition, Galen Kelly, the former security director of CAN, admitted on the stand during his recent criminal trial that he had participated in approximately 40 kidnappings. (Though, according to his sworn testimony way back in 1981, he admitted to having participated in over 150 deprogrammings.) It surprises me that you now deny he is a "good friend" of yours in light of the fact that through the years you have provided pro bono legal advice to him and have regularly interacted with him during the numerous conferences you both have participated in together. Perhaps it now behooves you to attempt to distance yourself from Mr. Kelly considering the fact that he faces a possible life term for kidnapping a woman in Virginia whose choice of lifestyle he disagreed with.

Mr. Denis Whelen, another kidnapper who has been arrested several times, has acknowledged having participated in numerous deprogrammings. That's just three kidnapper/deprogrammers affiliated with AFF/CAN and we are already up into the hundreds. If we factor in Steve Hassan, Mark Bloxson, Bob Brandyberry, Michael Lisman, Rick Ross, Joe Alexander, David Clark (Member of AFF Board of Advisors), Daphne Greene (Former AFF President), Ken Conner, etc. we may make four figures.

Believe me, your decision to no longer look to me as a contact at the Unification Church concerns me not. As I indicated in my prior letter, several of the parents who you have "advised", have attempted to kidnap their children. Let's take a look through my Herbert Rosedale file and examine the recent inquiries (or references) you have made:

L.G. - You sent me a letter apparently at the request of the parents of LG. In your letter you made a number of accusations indicating that the Unification Church was involved in interfering with the relationship between Ms. G and her parents. You indicated that the Unification Church was involved in some type of illegal conduct concerning Ms. G. Your letter was carbon copied to Mr. Anders Blichfeldt who, according to the Danish Consulate, is an official with a group in Denmark called "The Dialogue Center". The Dialogue Center has been known to urge parents to kidnap and "deprogram" their adult children. Since you carbon copied your letter to him I can only assume that you have been in communication with Mr. Blichfeldt and are aware that he and/or his organization have advocated actions which are illegal in the United States. You must also know that kidnapping their adult daughter has been suggested to the Gades.

N.N.- I was contacted by Mrs. V.N. who said she was referred to me by you. She asked if I could help her establish better communication with her son, a member of the Unification Church. I helped set up a meeting between N. and his mother, and between N. and the Philippines Consulate. I encouraged N. to trust his parents. Three months later, N. was kidnapped, and according to his mother, was chained to a chair at his home in the Philippines.

V.A. - V. was the victim of a kidnapping attempt by three Serbian thugs who brazenly attempted to kidnap him out the front door of the Unification Church Headquarters in Manhattan, a few blocks from your office. V's father had apparently paid an initial fee of $3,000 to Galen Kelly to assist in the kidnapping, however, prior to the kidnapping Kelly was arrested and charged in connection with the DuPont kidnapping attempt. Following the violent attempt to kidnap V., he was arrested by the Immigration Service. [V. was arrested by the INS for a technical violation of his immigration status due to the fact that he had been denied access to his passport by his assailants.] I have learned from the Department of Justice that a few days later you sent at least two letters to the Justice Department requesting information about V.'s case. Tell me, did you first become involved with this matter before or after the attempt to kidnap V?

P. M. - Mr. M. was the victim of a kidnapping attempt shamelessly glorified in the November 1989 edition of the Cult Observer, a publication of the American Family Foundation (see attached). Sometime after the ill-fated kidnapping attempt, you contacted the HSA-UWC legal affairs office seeking to restore communication between P. and his parents.

B.Z. - You requested my help in improving the relationship between Ms. Z. and her parents. The Zs were referred to you by an organization in Switzerland known as SADK. SADK is a radical organization which has openly advocated kidnapping.

Do you detect a pattern there, Herbert? While it may be that you have been just an unwitting participant in your clients' illegal activities, it is equally possible, given the high percentage of these clients who enlist the aid of kidnappers, that you are a co-conspirator. In any event, I think it is clear that you are not going out of your way to advise parents against the "deprogramming option". Your speech at a recent CAN conference, attended by an associate of mine, wherein you affirmed the moral legitimacy of kidnapping, confirms that.

It appalls me you have no qualms at all about offering your professional opinion as a "cult expert" accusing minority religions of employing the practice of "mind control" (when, as you know, that theory has been rejected by the federal courts and the established religious and scientific communities), yet you have no problem with people who, far from using mere "mind control", will "physically control" someone and keep them locked up until they have recanted their beliefs.

This practice, referred to by its highly paid practitioners as "deprogramming" (but known by criminal prosecutors as kidnapping), is a total denunciation of a person's most fundamental rights. Its hard to believe that such a thing can occur in America, but as you are well aware, it does. You not only know about the violent kidnapping of members of religious groups, you know the kidnappers and unashamedly participate together with them in conferences and "educational" programs. You belong to the same "country club" as the kidnappers and it apparently doesn't bother you. Do you publicly condemn the practice of kidnapping? No. Do you work with authorities to expose known kidnappers? No. Do you tell CAN organizers that you will not participate in any conference to which deprogammers are admitted? No. That's not part of your agenda.

From your prior correspondence I know that you object to my linking AFF/CAN together. But AFF and CAN have for years worked together, employing common tactics to reach common goals. AFF and CAN share literature and other publications. They sponsor conferences together. Mailing lists are shared. There are common funding sources. You, President of AFF, have participated, usually as a featured speaker, in a number of CAN conferences. In fact numerous directors and advisors of AFF have, over the years, been featured speakers at CAN conferences. AFF's own literature announcing your appointment as President of AFF states, "Mr. Rosedale has been, and will continue to be, an active advisor and resource for the Cult Awareness Network...He will also continue to be a bridge between [CAN] and AFF as we pursue our common purpose." (emphasis mine). There are, therefore, objective reasons for my alleging that AFF and CAN are birds of the same feather. Wouldn't you agree?

However, while you are objecting to my linking of AFF and CAN together, you, and other members of AFF/CAN, routinely link thousands of diverse religious groups, political groups, support groups, diet groups, etc. together under the common tag, "dangerous cults". You cite the actions of one group, Jim Jones' People's Temple, as prima facie evidence that all groups designated as "dangerous cults" are potential mass suicide victims. That is the hallmark of bigotry. It identifies a fault or undesirable trait of a small number of people and attributes that fault, through the application of irrational generalizations, to condemn whole segments of society. Thus Jews are said to greedy. Blacks are said to be lazy. And members of minority or unpopular religious groups are said to be "brainwashed".

You simply make no effort at all to be honest and fair in your "education" of the public concerning "dangerous cults". Education is not the same as propaganda. Education requires the providing of objective information, including the other side of the story. Thus you and your organization will tell inquiring parents all about how the group their child has joined employs deception and mind control. However, you never provide them with materials or information that run counter to that position. Furthermore, according to former kidnapper/deprogrammer Mark Bloxson, CAN routinely refers parents to kidnappers who, for the right price, will "liberate" their adult children from the clutches of the "dangerous cult".

The theory of mind control has been rejected by the overwhelming majority of practicing psychologists, psychiatrists and sociologists. Courts have routinely rejected the testimony of so called "mind control experts" as not being credible. (The situation has gotten so bad for Dr.'s Singer and Ofshee, the two leading proponents of the mind control theory, that they have filed a RICO action against the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association in order to regain their credibility.) Do you tell parents that the "mind control theory" has been rejected by the courts and the overwhelming majority of mental health professionals? No, you do not. You identify each of those religious groups you destain as "cults", and accuse these groups of not providing their would be adherents with the full story so that they can make an informed decision about joining the group. But your organization is guilty of doing exactly what you accuse these groups of doing.

As for your assertion that my statement concerning AFF being linked to illegal kidnapping activities is false and libelous, I hereby reaffirm that statement and believe it to be true. Though I do appreciate the fact that your letter to me was prepared with the intent to carbon copy it to the Counsel General of Denmark and that you had to issue the obligatory general denials and blustery threats to save face.

I had the experience of having to pick up the trash thrown on the front lawn of the church's Mt. Kisco property on numerous occasions. I replaced stained glass windows that were broken by vandals. I picked up the beautiful statue of St. Regis that had adorned the property before vandals smashed it on the road. I scrubbed derogatory words (e.g. Moonie, Nazi, and others) off walls while passersby shouted hateful epithets from their cars. I wiped the tears from my children's faces after their 8 year old school friends ridiculed them for being "brainwashed". I have experienced first hand the result of your hateful rhetoric. I am tired of it.

I'm an idealist. It was idealism which caused me to join the Unification Church, not mind control, systematic control of social influences, or any other such nonsensical explanation you can cite. But idealism has always been opposed by those, such as yourself, so entrenched in the stagnancy and cynicism of the past, who can not see good, who can not stand change and who have lost all hope in a better world.



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