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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Q&A: What happened at Barnet's polling stations this morning?

Eager democrats who arrived early in the morning to vote in the London elections were turned away. 

What’s going on?

When polls first opened at Barnet’s 155 polling stations at 7 this morning, many registered voters found that they were not on the station’s voting lists, meaning they were unable to cast their vote. Many reports suggested that the overwhelming majority were turned away. Rules were later relaxed in some, but not all, polling stations to allow those who arrived with their polling cards (which explicitly state they are not needed to cast a vote) to vote.

Why is this happening?

It is, needless to say, unclear. But some reports have suggested that polling station staff only had the updates to the electoral register (that is, those who have newly-registered) rather than the entire register itself. Which makes you wonder why nobody realised before 7am that there might be rather more people wanting to vote in Barnet than the lists suggested.

Is this a conspiracy?

No, of course it’s not. And if you think it is, take the tinfoil hat off and stop watching Russia Today. Barnet is a Tory-led council. If this mess harms any party it is likely to be the Conservatives. We don’t know how Barnet voted for mayor in 2012, but we do know the votes of Barnet plus predominantly Labour-supporting Camden: Boris Johnson got 82,839 first preference votes while Ken Livingstone received 58,354. But remember London’s not just electing a mayor today. It is also electing the members of the Greater London Assembly – and one of them represents the constituency of Barnet and Camden. The incumbent, Andrew Dismore, is from the Labour Party, and is running for reelection. He won fairly comfortably in 2012, far outperforming Ken Livingstone. But Tory campaigners have been talking up the possibility of defeating Dismore, especially in recent days after Labour’s anti-semitism ructions (Barnet has London’s largest Jewish population). Again, if there are voters who failed to vote this morning and cannot to do so later, then that will hurt the Conservatives and help Dismore.

Is it the fault of nasty outsourcers?

Seemingly not. As we’ve written before, Barnet Council is famous for outsourcing vast proportions of its services to private contractors – births and deaths in the borough are now registered elsewhere, for example. But though postal votes and other areas of electoral administration have been outsourced by Barnet, voter registration is performed in-house. This one’s on the council and nobody else.

What has Barnet done about it?

The council initially issued a statement saying that it was “aware of problems with our voter registration lists” and admitting that “a number of people who had not brought their polling card with them were unable to vote”. Which was a bit peculiar given the polling cards say that you don’t need to bring them to vote and there were plenty of reports of people who had polling cards also being denied their democratic rights.

As of 10.40am, the council said that: “All the updated electoral registers are now in place and people can vote as normal.” There appear to be no plans to extend voting hours – and it is not possible to reopen polling tomorrow morning for the frustrated early birds to return.

What does this mean for the result?

It’s very hard to form even a vaguely accurate picture of how many voters who would otherwise have voted will not vote because of this error. But if the margin of victory in the mayoral election or the relevant GLA contest is especially slim, expect calls for a re-run. Frustrated voters could in theory achieve that via the arcane procedure of an election petition, which would then be heard by a special election court, as when Lutfur Rahman’s election as Mayor of Tower Hamlets was declared void in April 2015.

Some have suggested that this may delay the eventual result, but remember that counting for the London elections was not due to begin until Friday morning anyway.

Is there a dodgier barnet than this Barnet?

Yes.

 

Henry Zeffman writes about politics and is the winner of the Anthony Howard Award 2015.