Author Topic: Cults watchdog faces danger of being shut down - The Guardian  (Read 1743 times)

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Cults watchdog faces danger of being shut down - The Guardian
3 March 2012, 7:10 pm

Since he escaped from a brainwashing cult 34 years ago, Ian Haworth has survived character assassination, lawsuits, bankruptcy and death threats.

But now the founder of the Cult Information Centre, which educates the public about the threats posed by pseudo-religious groups, finds himself under attack from an unexpected quarter. The Charity Commission is seeking to withdraw the centre's charitable status, a move that would in effect end its activities.

"If that happened, donations from trusts – which are our lifeline – would evaporate. We wouldn't be able to afford our office and we would no longer be able to operate," said Haworth, who established the centre as a response to his experiences in a Toronto-based cult and to the Jonestown massacre of 1978 that saw 918 people die in a mass suicide in Guyana, South America.

Set up as an educational charity, the centre – whose three trustees are anonymous owing to fear of reprisals – had an income of just over £40,000 last year. "Most people don't understand cults, so money is hard to come by," Haworth said. "We don't make any money. That's why there are not many people trying to get into this field. Now, if we don't know whether we are going to retain our charitable status, it makes life doubly hard."

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« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 09:24 by mefree »
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