The social impact of cult groups

Allen Tate Wood argues that destructive cult groups are exerting unjust control over their members -

The impact of cult groups on society and the influence they exercise cannot and should not be underestimated. For anecdotal proof of this assertion, I refer the reader to a famous picture of former President Ronald Regan holding up a copy of the Washington Times circa 1982. The quote below the boldly claims, “This is the only newspaper I read”.

The Washington Times, however, was the brainchild of Sun Myung Moon. Had Regan taken the time to do more than the crossword puzzle and paid attention to more than just the cartoons, he might have discovered that Sun Myung Moon, a Korean industrialist and self-proclaimed saviour of the world, had spoken at length of his plans to end democracy in the United States. Ironically, Mr. Moon has been one of the chief supporters of Ronald Regan, George Bush and George W. Bush.

The Thirteenth Amendment put a formal end to slavery in the United States and its territories. In the last quarter century, however, many groups in the United States, i.e. paramilitary organizations, destructive cults, gangs, and criminal organizations have used the mantle of religion and along with it the protections and guarantees of the First Amendment in a deliberate strategy designed to defraud the innocent, the unwary, and the unsophisticated out of the protections guaranteed by the Thirteenth Amendment.

These same malefactors, in carrying out the mandates of their ends-justifies-the-means philosophy, have perverted the intent of the First Amendment by using it as a shield against criminal prosecution .The smoke-screen diversion is always the same: a battle cry against “religious persecution.” Neither the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights grants immunity from prosecution to religious leaders or groups who violate the laws of the land. On the contrary, fraud laws, banking and currency laws, as well as immigration and naturalization laws all work together to indirectly promote involuntary servitude, a type of slavery that serves as the lifeblood of many destructive cults.

Increasingly sophisticated technology of influence and persuasion is falling into the hands of destructive cult leaders, pyramid sales organizations, gang members and criminal organizations. To make matters worse, the social and economic conditions all over the world have people looking for easy answers, which leaves them vulnerable to the quick-fix philosophy espoused by cults and other groups. The denial attending this wide spread social phenomenon is baffling, heartrending and frightening .

The justice department’s failure to prosecute monolithic pseudo religious organizations, which continue to operate with impunity, only contributes to the growing cynicism of the youth culture, which increasingly sees government simply as the handmaiden of wealth and power.

For further information, please visit the following sites:

http://www.allentwood.com/

http://www.freedomofmind.com/

Allen Tate Wood has spent the last 30 years helping cult victims and their families overcome the negative influence of destructive cults. An authority on the subject, Wood has been invited to speak at universities all over North American and Europe.
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Let's face it: supporting Spurs is basically a form of charity

Now, for my biggest donation yet . . .

I gazed in awe at the new stadium, the future home of Spurs, wondering where my treasures will go. It is going to be one of the architectural wonders of the modern world (football stadia division), yet at the same time it seems ancient, archaic, a Roman ruin, very much like an amphitheatre I once saw in Croatia. It’s at the stage in a new construction when you can see all the bones and none of the flesh, with huge tiers soaring up into the sky. You can’t tell if it’s going or coming, a past perfect ruin or a perfect future model.

It has been so annoying at White Hart Lane this past year or so, having to walk round walkways and under awnings and dodge fences and hoardings, losing all sense of direction. Millions of pounds were being poured into what appeared to be a hole in the ground. The new stadium will replace part of one end of the present one, which was built in 1898. It has been hard not to be unaware of what’s going on, continually asking ourselves, as we take our seats: did the earth move for you?

Now, at long last, you can see what will be there, when it emerges from the scaffolding in another year. Awesome, of course. And, har, har, it will hold more people than Arsenal’s new home by 1,000 (61,000, as opposed to the puny Emirates, with only 60,000). At each home game, I am thinking about the future, wondering how my treasures will fare: will they be happy there?

No, I don’t mean Harry Kane, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker – local as well as national treasures. Not many Prem teams these days can boast quite as many English persons in their ranks. I mean my treasures, stuff wot I have been collecting these past 50 years.

About ten years ago, I went to a shareholders’ meeting at White Hart Lane when the embryonic plans for the new stadium were being announced. I stood up when questions were called for and asked the chairman, Daniel Levy, about having a museum in the new stadium. I told him that Man United had made £1m the previous year from their museum. Surely Spurs should make room for one in the brave new mega-stadium – to show off our long and proud history, delight the fans and all those interested in football history and make a few bob.

He mumbled something – fluent enough, as he did go to Cambridge – but gave nothing away, like the PM caught at Prime Minister’s Questions with an unexpected question.

But now it is going to happen. The people who are designing the museum are coming from Manchester to look at my treasures. They asked for a list but I said, “No chance.” I must have 2,000 items of Spurs memorabilia. I could be dead by the time I finish listing them. They’ll have to see them, in the flesh, and then they’ll be free to take away whatever they might consider worth having in the new museum.

I’m awfully kind that way, partly because I have always looked on supporting Spurs as a form of charity. You don’t expect any reward. Nor could you expect a great deal of pleasure, these past few decades, and certainly not the other day at Liverpool when they were shite. But you do want to help them, poor things.

I have been downsizing since my wife died, and since we sold our Loweswater house, and I’m now clearing out some of my treasures. I’ve donated a very rare Wordsworth book to Dove Cottage, five letters from Beatrix Potter to the Armitt Library in Ambleside, and handwritten Beatles lyrics to the British Library. If Beckham and I don’t get a knighthood in the next honours list, I will be spitting.

My Spurs stuff includes programmes going back to 1910, plus recent stuff like the Opus book, that monster publication, about the size of a black cab. Limited editions cost £8,000 a copy in 2007. I got mine free, as I did the introduction and loaned them photographs. I will be glad to get rid of it. It’s blocking the light in my room.

Perhaps, depending on what they want, and they might take nothing, I will ask for a small pourboire in return. Two free tickets in the new stadium. For life. Or longer . . . 

Hunter Davies is a journalist, broadcaster and profilic author perhaps best known for writing about the Beatles. He is an ardent Tottenham fan and writes a regular column on football for the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 16 February 2017 issue of the New Statesman, The New Times