My work over the years has often angered various groups, organizations and their supporters, which has led to heated emails, called "flames"and even a few nasty websites and/or related criticism on the Internet. This material often focuses upon the negative or "sinful" nature of my work and correcting/critiquing what is seen as faulty reasoning, wrong conclusions and/or a perceived lack of expertise or professionalism. Such commentary frequently includes personal attacks.
It seems that this often passionate criticism deserves some recognition.
warming up on low burn
|Rick Ross's Flaming Website Awards:|
|One Flame||Two Flames||Three Flames||Four Flames|
This rambling thread was written by "2012CT", someone that was banned for "trolling" at the Ross Institute message board. This anonymous author admits "I am a troll", but insists that somehow he is an "academic troll", whatever that is. Since 2012CT is an anonymous troll no one can confirm his claims. He likes to copy and paste from other sources in what seems like a bad case of "sour grapes". 2012CT quotes or cites Steve Hassan, another "Flaming Web site" award winner. This rant only rates two flames, due to its boring repetition and lack of originality. My response to critics (1998) has been posted publicly along with my CV since the 1990s.
Update: After receiving his Flaming Website award seemingly forever anonymous "2012CT" decided to continue his copy and paste effort. Among his latest lifted additions is a court motion filed by lawyers representing the notorious self-help guru James Arthur Ray, who was convicted of negligent homicide concerning three deaths. Ray's lawyers sought to have me disqualified as an expert at his trial, but I was qualified and accepted as an expert by the judge in the Ray case despite that effort in February 2011. Anonymous 2012CT still rates only two flames despite calling attention to my official recognition as an expert witness in court.
Note: 2012CT did correctly call attention to the incorrect date of an archived Associated Press report about my expert status in the Ray case. I have been qualified and accepted as an expert witness in court cases in ten states, including United States Federal Court through what is called a "Daubert hearing," which is a court proceeding specifically used to challenge and confirm experts.
A group called FD3, led by Kent Caruso with Lielle Arad and her boyfriend Alan Tratner are not happy that the Ross Institute message board contains critical inforamation about them. So the trio launched a tirade against me at their Green2Gold Web site. It contains the usual Scientology screed plus an attack against an FD3 member's supposedly "militant Muslim" mother concerned about her daughter's involvement in the alleged "cult". Nothing new here, other than a false claim of "kidnapping" and a delusional rant about "torment...threats, extortion and intimidation..", but it certainly rates three flames.
A devotee of an obscure South African trance channeling group called "Destini" is unhappy about the message board discussion concerning his fellow believers. He posts a long rant mostly lifted from the Scientology Web site (past "Flaming Web site" award winner) "Religious Freedom Watch". The blogger's article titled "The Cult of the Deprogrammer: Rick Ross" rambles on quoting cult apologists Jeffrey K. "Madden" (actually Jeffrey K. Hadden), Eileen Barker, Nancy Ammerman and fugitive sex offender Anton Hein of "Apologetics Index" (another award winner). Nothing new here and/or reflecting "self-honesty", but deserving of three flames for length anyway.
Self-styled "New Age" guru Natasha Lakaev, leader of " Universal Knowledge," has created a "Rick Ross" page at her Web site. The page is filled with links to various Web sites already recognized here through awards. Lakaev says,"If you`ve made it onto the Rick Ross website you must be doing some good." However, copying links doesn't really demonstrate "universal knowledge," nor for that matter any original thinking. That's why Ms. Lakaev's page only rates two flames.
This British message board features self-described "skeptics" who are not that skeptical about a self-proclaimed "Buddhist" healer named Christopher Hansard. Hansard has been described as something like a con man and predator though at the Ross Institute message board. Disgruntled former participants banned from the message board appear to have come here to vent and rant. One post describes me as a "Cult Education Cult leader," while another claims that I endorse "mob rule." The first post says "RR is your genuine USA opportunist [with]...a history of mental disturbance, theft, bank robbery, credit card fraud and kidnapping." Not very original given Scientology Internet screed, but worthy of two flames.
This rather long rant was concocted by an angry anonymous opponent (later identified as "Cara James") of a group called the "Science of Identity" led by Chris Butler. The author is apparently a friend of "Justin," a disgruntled former message board participant who used the name "SoI KILLS". He or she wants everyone to know that I make my "living from donations...charging for...opinions and cashing in on families who are desperate to save their children from cults..." The author also warns that the Ross Institute "forum should be approached with extreme caution, if at all." Instead, those interested in information should go to sites like his where "a dedicated opposition do much better..." But despite its length this rant only rates two flames, one flame less than Steve Hassan, who the author lauds as "better company than [anyone] on Rick Ross' forum."
SIST followers are upset that I have commented publicly about their leader, and have gathered information about him for the Ross Institute archives. The leader of SIST has a penchant for changing his name. First it was " Rama Behera," then "Samanta Roy" or "R.C. Samant Roy" and now he goes by the name of "Avraham Cohen," claiming that he is somehow "Jewish."
Bruce Raisley, a software developer in Arkansas, was a critic opposed to a vigilante group called "Perverted Justice" (PJ). PJ is known for its association with the NBC television program by "Dateline: To Catch a Predator". Raisley drew the attention of PJ founder Xavier Von Erck and things got ugly. Posing as a woman, Von Erck began an online affair with Raisley, a married man. Eventually Raisley would be photographed waiting to meet his pretended girlfriend at an airport. Von Erck further humiliated Raisley by posting everything about the affair publicly at a PJ Web site. The story was then picked up by John Cook of "Radar Magazine" in an article titled "Strange Bedfellows." A second report about PJ written by Vanessa Grigoriadis titled "To Catch a Predator': The New American Witch Hunt for Dangerous Pedophiles" run in "Rolling Stone," also included details about Raisley. The Cult Education Institute archived these two reports, which apparently incurred Raisley's wrath. Bruce Raisley then launched an Internet vendetta. First, he tried to bring down the Ross Institute Web site through a series of denial-of-service attacks. When that failed (see Google Groups discussion) Raisley switched to attacking me through multiple Web sites. Bruce Raisley's assorted Web pages make use of material already posted through the Internet by Scientology, such as the "Religious Freedom Watch" report. Using the alias "Dr. William Harris " Raisley claims he is now "the public's watchdog." He also seems to have a fascination with feces. Raisley has superimposed my face on a pile of poop and transformed me into the "South Park" character "Mr. Hanky." What Raisley lacks in originality and Web design capability, he makes up for in the time he is willing to spend on such an effort. Therefore it's only fair to award Bruce Raisley four flames.
Update: Bruce Raisley is now in prison serving a two-year sentence for for unleashing a virus and attacking news and information Web sites, including the Ross Institute. In addition to his prison term, Raisley was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $90,386.34 in restitution.
This page was put together by Rory Bowman an Oregonian and former school teacher who is now a "Macintosh consultant" based in the Portland/Vancouver area. Mr. Bowman is an ardent supporter of the "Mankind Project," so he didn't appreciate it much when critical information about that group began being shared at the message board of this Web site. Bowman wants people to know that I am a "sycophant" catering to my "many 'Christian' supporters." And that the Ross Institute database has somehow failed to properly expose and/or criticize "'fundamentalist' and 'evangelical' groups, including such sacred cows as...Roman Catholics and Mormons." He also says, "More than anyone else alive today, I believe that Rick Ross is abusing the corpse (and reputation) of a good woman, Dr. Margaret Singer." Margaret Singer was a friend and an Advisory Board Member of the Ross Institute until her death. Bowman then goes on to abuse Dr. Singer posthumously by claiming "at the end of her career" she was "dramatically insulted and dismissed by her peers." Margaret Singer was lauded by the New York Times as "a leading brainwashing expert" upon her death and praised by her peers for her professionalism and research. The "peers" Bowman refers to are probably better described as "cult apologists. He cites Wikipedia, which is less than a reliable source. Wikipedia's disclaimer notes that there is no "guarantee of validity" regarding any of its entries. Bowman deserves two flames, which is one more than the Wikipedia entry about me received. Bowman later bought the domain name "Rick Ross is a Dick.com" for his flaming Web site, which earned him another flame.
This page is by a disgruntled anti-AA crusader that goes by the name of "A. Orange." He wants everyone to know how mad he is about being banned from the message board after he and others angry at AA were not allowed to post the same rants repeatedly. In an interesting twist this bunch of "Internet trolls" is actually angry because I wouldn't call a group a "cult."
Under the heading of "heretics" an anonymous follower of Wayman Mitchell's Christian Fellowship Churches, which includes the "Potter's House," wants readers to know that I am "a Christ hating Jew who detests not only the Potters House Church, and the entire Pentecostal movement, but also any form of biblical Christianity." Of course the author doesn't mention criticism of his group by Christians regarding its teachings, authoritarian leadership, lack of meaningful accountability and abusive behavior. Instead, he cites without noting context, links and information within the Ross Institute database to support his claim of "some sort of bias," without mentioning the many links and information also included from a Christian and often evangelical perspective. In the end though the author of this page does encourage everyone to "pray" for me. Isn't that special? Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address.
This entry has at times been dominated largely by a few cult devotees and assorted would-be propaganda types. Wikipedia is supposedly an online encyclopedia, but its format allows anyone to contribute. And per its disclaimer information there has not "necessarily been reviewed by professionals with the expertise necessary to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information". Wikipedia therefore makes "no guarantee of validity." If you follow the linked discussion section you can see that this popular place on the Worldwide Web can become a venue for cranks and cultists who want to rant about someone or something they don't like. Wikipedia began as a good idea, but at times this would-be high concept place can become a bit confusing. The entry about me includes a collection of quotes and references from well-known cult apologists which means at times it may read more like a polemic than an encyclopedia entry. To better understand the problems at Wikipedia see the following link to Wikipedia Watch.
Something tells me that this site isn't too fond of either the "c" word ("cult") or people that use it. The wiki-folk have a section about me, but only relate a partial history of events. Is this edited deliberately or just an oversight? The section also includes a link to self-styled cult apologists "Religious Tolerance.org." The wiki-blurb tells the first half of the Jason Scott story and in the process takes a swipe at my past. Are ad-hominem attacks an expression of "knowledge"? The wiki-guys rate two flames. Wikiverse warns in its disclaimer, "...nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by professionals who are knowledgeable in the particular areas of expertise necessary to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information about any subject...Wikiverse CANNOT guarantee, in any way whatsoever, the validity of the information found here." Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address
Someone slammed a little Scientology-style graffiti on this board about the Jason Scott case and my past. Of course they left out all the facts per usual. Looks like a hot one though, four flames worth.
This somewhat heated response popped up on Steve Hassan's "Freedom of Mind" website after the Ross Institute (RI) posted a disclaimer regarding the cult specialist's fees. Complaints were received from families about the rates Mr. Hassan charged for services, which reportedly were $500.00 per hour and/or $5,000 per day. Some families mortgaged homes to pay him. Mr. Hassan refused to specifically respond to the substance of the complaints. That is, until a disclaimer went up that stated RI did not endorse or recommend Steven Hassan due to complaints received. After that was done for the first time Mr. Hassan publicly posted his fee schedule, which was reduced to $250.00 per hour and/or $2,500.00 per day. Once Steve Hassan reduced his fees and made this public, the RI disclaimer was taken down. Nevertheless Mr. Hassan appears to be miffed, and seems to think responding to complaints received about him is somehow a "personal attack."
Note: Since these comments were posted Steve Hassan has removed his formerly public access posted fee schedule.
Anton Hein, an alumni of Teen Challenge and Youth With A Mission (YWAM) that describes himself as a "lay Christian minister," runs a Web site called "Apologetics Index" and a "house church" named "Bethlehem." Mr. Hein became increasingly upset when I asked him some simple questions about endorsements at his Web site. This included the subject of fees charged by Steve Hassan (see above ) and the American Family Foundation (AFF), now known as the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), hosting Hare Krishna representatives for panel presentations at its conferences along with well-known "cult apologists" that Hein has harshly criticized such as Eileen Barker and Dick Anthony. He never answered and instead insisted that asking such questions was somehow a "fight against cult experts." Hein wants visitors to his Web page to know that I am "a Jew" without "spiritual discernment." Hein includes other polemics at his Apologetics Index site. He often rants about the United States and its judicial system, despite his dependency upon gifts and advertising income from the US. This may be because in 1994 he was charged and convicted for a "lewd act upon a child" and served jail time in California. Hein is listed as a sex offender by the State of California. After his release he violated his probation. A felony warrant was then issued for his immediate arrest without bail. Hein now lives in Amsterdam. Until only recently (2004-2005) this information was not available through the Internet at government Web sites. Despite his plea Hein insists that he is "not guilty" and he has repeatedly attempted to place the blame for his crimes upon his 13-year-old victim and former niece, the child's parents and alleged injustice within US courts.
Notes: After receiving his award Hein has continuously changed the text of his award-winning effort over and over again. He changed "a Jew" to "operates from a Jewish perspective," noting that he has "Jewish friends," some he calls "Messianic." Later, he dropped those comments. Then he wanted everyone to know that I was "born to a Jewish family" and therefore don't have the proper "spiritual discernment" to do my work. But "for the record" he stated that he had "no issue with [my] religious background." In Hein's latest revised version he goes on for pages attempting to prove my alleged religious bias. But no matter how many times Mr. Hein changes his pages one thing will never change, he remains a convicted and registered sex offender that would be arrested if he tried to enter the United States (see CultNews report). His seemingly endless effort at editing has earned Anton Hein four flames.
Update: Hein now has his ramblings and rants about me organized largely on a page titled "Rick Ross - Problems with cult experts." Hein, who is an expert in nothing, goes on about how if you post the same headline and link to a news report that he copies and pastes into his Twitter feed you are somehow guilty of "plagiarism." This nut thinks that the news is his intellectual property. Pretty crazy, but that's what passes for logic in the deluded mind of this lunatic. No one should promote Hein, who is a convicted pedophile, by re-tweeting his Twitter posts. If Hein doesn't like that maybe he should go to the offices of Twitter in person to explain his unique understanding of copyright law. Wait a minute, if Hein entered the United States he would be taken into custody on an outstanding warrant issued for his immediate arrest. So Hein may get money from the US through Google ads and gifts, but he can't come to the US without going to jail. Anton Hein burns brighter than ever. Four flames just isn't enough for this guy, so we added a special fifth flame to recognize his exceptional effort. Flame on Anton!
The Order of Christ Sophia is led by self-ordained Peter Bowes, a former clinical psychologist forced to surrender his license for bad behavior. He decided to respond to the "slanderous attack" supposedly cooked up by Steve Hassan and myself. However, Steve has actually earned a few Hall of Flames awards himself and is no fan of mine (see Waco section below). The Bowes camp relied upon information from Scientology, other groups called "cults" and their apologists. They cited a lawsuit filed by NXIVM against The Cult Education Institute for "copyright infringement" as evidence of evil intent. These groups really network. Later Bowes apparently decided it would be better to delete the response completely and pretend there was no controversy surrounding his group.
Note: This attack was later toned down to draw less attention to critical information about the group on the Internet. Now the group refers to "so-called 'anti-cult experts'" without identifying anyone specifically.
Scientology sued the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) into bankruptcy and then a Scientologist bought its name. Now the "new CAN" has launched its very own Rick Ross page. They use the "N" word ("Nazi") to help readers put my work into the proper perspective. Nothing really new here, same old recycled personal attacks, but a few new links to other Flaming Websites. Is this the beginning of a fan club? Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address.
It seems my name is now at the top of the so-called "new Cult Awareness Network" "Into Infamy" list. The "new CAN" is an ongoing effort supported by the same old Scientology and its operatives. Interestingly, at another website Scientology says, "From all outward indications, The Cult Education Institute is performing precisely the same function as the old Cult Awareness Network" This "new CAN" attack offers well-worn Scientology spin about my past.
This website section is the creation of Laura Knight-Jadczyk and Arkadiusz Jadczyk who run something called "The Cassiopias." They are upset that the Ross Institute provided a link to information about them (now a dead link). First came threats and eventually this long rant. The Jadczyks include an eclectic assortment of conspiracy theories and ad hominem attacks garnered largely from Scientology sources and other angry groups. It does take some patience to wade through this one.
This Web site was run by the so-called "Generals" Jim and Deborah Green who control a corp. of followers from within two compounds in New Mexico. The Greens were very unhappy about information posted about them at this website. Some of the report ACMTC posted was from Scientology or the "Cult Awareness Network," while other information is just made up. Eventually it seems the Greens decided they would rather go even more underground and pulled the entire website from the Internet. Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address.
This page is produced by Scientology and contains the usual personal and professional attacks regarding my work and background, which Scientologists have compiled and used over the years. This rant includes seventeen pages, but the last page has an additional attachment attacking The Cult Education Institute. That supplemental is 196 pages long. It says, "From all outward indications, The Cult Education Institute is performing precisely the same function as the old Cult Awareness Network" (CAN). This is perhaps the finest tribute Scientology has ever offered regarding my work. And the considerable energy that went into their effort here makes me feel that I must be doing something right.
This release was produced by the Endeavor Academy (the followers of Chuck Anderson aka "The Master Teacher") in Wisconsin. The Academy became quite upset after a television report was broadcast about, I participated in, produced by CBS "48 Hours." Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address.
This page was created by a Landmark fan who took that organization's course called "the Forum." This site used to have a pretty nasty attack against me. However, it seems that eventually the creator decided it was better not to let visitors know that there was such a critical archive, so the attack was dropped from this site. At one time this site included criticism from Nancy Ammerman about my work at Waco along with comments about the Jason Scott case. Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address.
Once there was a page linked to the Sterling official website titled "higher purpose.com," which is now the official website for the Sterling Institute of Relationship, founded and led by Justin Sterling. The page was titled, "Cult Awareness Network Bulletin--Rick Ross Modern Day Inquisitor." This document was composed and released by the "new Cult Awareness Network," which is reportedly run by the Church of Scientology. This was a personal attack. However, like some other Web sites Sterling decided to delete it, in an apparent effort to keep would-be members from learning about the problems and complaints that have haunted the organization since its inception. Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address.
Pastor Cohen Reckart a proponent of "messianic Judaism" warns the faithful, "Rick Ross, a Jewish antichrist, has been attempting by several means to destroy certain pastors, church members, and churches within the United Pentecostal Churches International (UPCI), through his antichrist methods of "deprogramming." His attacks and antics against Apostolics and attempts to destroy churches and pastors should not go unnoticed. We dare not ignore them because his participation at Waco with the ATF and FBI shows he cares not for the lives of innocent people. His antichrist Jewish agenda includes death where he can hide behind the role of government as his arm of enforcement against alleged cults. He has attacked Apostolic Churches and many former members of UPCI and other Apostolic Churches are using his services to attack back at pastors and churches with great hatred and vengeance. Be aware, be forewarned, and be prepared." The link to this colorful and unintentionally humorous rant later went dead. Apparently Pastor Reckart eventually preferred to not note criticism of so-called "Messianic Judaism," rather than warn his faithful to be prepared. Note: Check this award winning link.
The person behind this website wants to remain anonymous. However, its creator is "Dr." Brett Mason. His doctorate could not be verified, but he did achieve mirror site status. Mason says he has "personally been, and [is] still involved...with...groups and people" that have been called "'cults.'" The information posted at Mason's website about my past was originated by the Church of Scientology and "The New Cult Awareness Network." Mason does seem to work quite closely with Scientologists, though he claims to be a "Christian." He wants visitors to his website to know that I am an "avowed Jew" and one of the "'pea brains' who have repeatedly...provided so-called information and accused Christian groups and people as 'cults.'" "Dr." Mason edits his website and parses his words to deliberately mislead visitors, and often he just makes things up.
A disgruntled member of Jesus People USA (JPUSA) in Chicago, Illinois composed this website. That JPUSA devotee, Marty Philips, was upset by the posting of a personal story at my site, submitted by his wife's estranged mother. For a better understanding of the background see "A Mother's Story." Later Marty "lost the vision for community" and heard "God...calling [him] back to Michigan." He left JPUSA. About the same time other long-term members of the Chicago religious community also left, many claiming they had been psychologically and emotionally abused. But Marty still defends JPUSA and continues to blame his wife's mother for their estrangement.
This site was a typical Web page constructed by Scientology and/or its proponents. Scientologists are very aggressive about dealing with designated "enemies" and critics (i.e. called in their Scientology speak "suppressive persons" or "SPs"). But after some time they pulled the plug. The site is now dead.
Lois T. was once a devoted follower of Phil Aguilar the founder and leader of "Set Free." Historically, Lois has sent in some award winning flames (four out of a possible four-flame award level). Here is an example--"Why don't you get a life. Who the hell cares what Phil went to prison for--22 years ago. All you guys are the same. You probably sit home and play with yourselves while you talk and write about others." Ironically, Lois later lost the faith and abandoned her hero Aguilar.
This website put together by John Woodman is supposedly his objective critical response to my report about Youth with A Mission (YWAM). However, it is actually little more than a subjective apologetic, which is often unintentionally a bit funny. Sadly, it also offers evidence that YWAM participants that have been run through the organization's Discipleship Training Program (DTS) may largely lose their ability to critically think. And this seems to include lasting residual damage if not sorted out after leaving the group. Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address.
Another page dedicated to defending YWAM in response to my report. Someone in Germany composed this one. According to its creator, "YWAM leadership has decided not to try to respond [to my report]." And in the end the plug was pulled on the whole page.
Ken Parks of ETC Ministries launched an attack page in response to posts about him at the Ross Institute message board. Parks is mad at critics who run a Web site warning people about him called "Ministry Warning." Parks' rant is essentially a rehash of an old Scientology screed, with some added insights from "Flaming Websites" winners Apologetics index and Steve Hassan.
This Web site is dedicated to the controversial founder and leader of the "Christian Fellowship Churches" (also known as Christian Fellowship Ministries, CFM, The Door, Potter's House and Victory Chapel). A page within the site is titled "CFM a cult? Say what??" Three subsections of that page are devoted to my work. Criticism of CFM, which has a history of bad press, lawsuits, complaints and church splits going back many years, is called "persecution." Other "Flaming Websites" already noted and awarded here are cited as additional sources on this page. I have received very serious complaints about CFM from concerned Christians. There are probably more former members of this group than current members. Wayman Mitchell rules over the organization as its apparent leader for life, and each of his pastors rule over their respective flocks like fiefdoms. CFM is criticized concerning its authoritarian practices, abusive behavior and the lack of meaningful accountability its pastors have to the general membership.
Apparently a follower of Rama Behera isn't happy about the subsection about his or her guru within the Ross Institute archives. This page is a fairly typical rant, which includes links to another of my fans Anton Hein at "Apologetics Index". This anonymously sponsored site offers a critique of my work and background. The author seems to think there is some sort of conspiracy between the Wisconsin newspaper "Shawano Leader," its award winning reporter Tim Ryan and me to go after Behera/Samanta Roy and his "cult." Most recently it was reported by CulNews that Rama Behera/R.C. Samanta Roy also appears to favor the name "Avraham Cohen" and reportedly passed himself off as a Jewish doctor.
This website is produced by Larry Yarber, an obscure group leader from Wisconsin, who is now in Colorado. He attacks "deprogrammers," lawyers, judges, psychologists and the courts. Yarber says I am a "liar," "antichrist" and compares me to Hitler. He devotes the first five pages of his website to cults and this rant. Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address..
Freedom Magazine is published by the Church of Scientology. The article featured on this page, "Deprogramming Decimated in America" essentially focuses on the Jason Scott case and Scientology's long legal war against the Cult Awareness Network.
This is an article previously published by "Freedom Magazine" --a publication of Scientology. This is largely an examination of my work at Waco. Needless to say, Scientology was not happy with that work.
This is a publication of Rev. Moon's Unification Church, within which I am featured as a "Faith Breaker." Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address.
Another web page by the Unification Church denouncing its critics, which includes me. They pulled the plug on this one, probably because even the "Moonies" thought it was redundant.
Richard Harrison, a self-proclaimed "wacko" watcher, honored me with an award as "Wacko of the Week." The award is posted with pride at the top of this page. I was later listed within the archives of his website, which is now defunct. Richard and I exchanged quite a few emails. And that exchange became a page within this website titled "Debate about Deprogramming." I am still waiting for Richard to respond to my last email, he apparently wanted to have the last word.
A report by Matthew Bulter of "The Conscious Reporter" was run at "Global Research," a Web site run by Professor Michel Chossudovsky. Chossudovsky' is known for his conspiracy theories, which include anti-Jewish rants and Holocaust denial. Butler mentions me in an article about a supposed "One World Religious Authority in Formation." He reports that this ominous cabal includes the Cult Education Institute within a "Dark Alliance between the anti-cult movement, government and media." Butler says "The Cult Education Institute is just one component in a bigger machine working against alternative spirituality, but the way its founder has successfully influenced the media and government is an example of how this larger machine operates." His polemic lists the usual personal attacks apparently lifted from a Web page run by Scientology and he throws in a barb or two from cult apologist Nancy Ammerman. Matthew Butler has previously written about how Britain's former Prime Minister Tony Blair is "Using Religious Extremism to Impose a New World Order." Mr. Butler seems to be a paranoid nut. And he apparently has run his rant at the right place within Professor Chossudovsky's Global Research site. Chossudovsky has been included on the short list of "Canada's nuttiest professors." This rant about me rates two flames.
This message board includes comments form Potter's House fans about me. They generally are unhappy that the Ross Institute archives has included critical information about the group. Such criticism is characterized as an attack against "all Pentecostals" and much is made of my Jewish community work and background.
This page is run by the followers of Brazilian Edir Macedo, something of a religious entrepreneur, with an empire of churches scattered around the world frequently targeting Hispanic/Latino populations. This page largely relies upon links to the Scientology-run "Religious Freedom Watch" site about me that includes a 196-page pdf document gathered by the Sci-fi group's professional snoops.
Swedish church leader Christopher Warren rants about a link to a critical Web site about him and his organization "New Covenant Church of God" called "NCCG Concern." Warren also doesn't appreciate people posting critical comments about him on the message board. The preacher goes on and on and on making bizarre claims like "Wikipedia appears as a cult" at the Ross Institute database, which it does not. Though a Wikipedia entry did rate a Flaming Websites award. Rev. Chris wants his readers to know that I have made "MANY blunders" and he is also miffed by the "so-called superiority of many Jews, when their cultural or ethnic traditions are challenged." Warren has fueled his attack with information from Scientology sites and though not original, deserves at least two flames, which is double what Wikipedia won.
The followers of Francis Shuckhardt (deceased 2006) and his so-called "Tridentine Latin Rite Church" don't appreciate criticism of their leader. They want the public to know in their "Answers to Accusation and Counterclaim" that I am self-proclaimed "cult expert" and "jewel thief who has been arrested three times." Ironic, considering Schuckhardt was a self-proclaimed "bishop" accused of sexual misconduct, running off with cash from his followers and later was arrested on drug charges. But despite this questionable exercise of rock throwing from within a glass house, these Schuckhardtites rate at least two flames.
PR guy Mark Kamin is paid to provide spin for his clients, which he does here for Landmark Education. Landmark, formerly known as est, is a controversial seminar-selling, for-profit company with a troubled history of bad press, complaints and personal injury claims, run by the brother of 1970s pop guru named Werner Erhard. Kamin says his blog entry is supposedly in "response" to a comment about him. However, this propaganda effort seems more like damage control over a failed lawsuit filed by Landmark against me. Nevertheless, Kamin furiously attempts to spin this defeat into a diatribe. He even quotes a retired judge that conveniently came up with an article right after Landmark bailed on its court case. Mr. Kamin states that he's a Landmark graduate and therefore has the necessary experience to offer a qualified opinion about its training. But do you need to jump of the edge of the Grand Canyon to know that it's a bad idea? Filled with vitriolic personal attacks Kamin rates a solid three flames.
Scientology full-time staffer Leisa Goodman attacks academic Stephen Kent in a long rant that includes comments about the Jason Scott case. However, despite the fact that Mr. Scott later turned against his Scientology lawyer and claimed he was "used" by them in their war against the former Cult Awareness Network (CAN), Ms. Goodman doesn't mention such facts. Instead she goes on and on in a rambling tirade against the perceived enemies of Scientology and "religious freedom." For length alone this vitriolic polemic deserves four flames.
In an entry titled "Rick Ross on the Internet, this site says I have "an anti-Christ spirit" for archiving critical information about Teen Challenge and Calvary Chapel. But the author has no problem bashing Mormonism and Christian Science on the same page. It seems he gets heated though (two flames worth) when someone offers a critical perspective about a group he likes.
Mr. Parr holds forth about cults, brainwashing and what not. Amongst his shared insights is an account of my work, though it gets a few facts wrong. That is, specifically about the Jason Scott case. There were no "members of CAN (Cult Awareness Network)" directly involved in that intervention, nor was there a "basement" at the beach house Scott was held in by his family. Mr. Parr then gets his court cases confused. That is, between the criminal case, which did not include CAN and ended in "not guilty" verdict. And the civil case that did include CAN.There also were never any "conditions" that "did not allow Scott or his family to discuss the case." Mr. Parr did some pretty poor research, considering this is supposedly an academic educational site. Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address.
Irving Hexham is a religious studies professor at the University of Calgary and he runs a website called "Nurelweb." His site includes a "cult expert" list. But the professor put me at the bottom all alone in a distinct category called "self taught/proclaimed anti-cult experts." Of course the professor and his wife Karla Poewe are at the top of the page under the heading "academic experts employed by accredited academic institutions." Also listed under this title are well-known "cult apologists" Eileen Barker, Catherine Wessinger, James T. Richardson and now deceased Jeffrey K. Hadden. Time for an update professor. And shouldn't this lofty academic label be changed to simply read "self-proclaimed pro-cult experts?"
"The Gentle Wind Project" blew a bit roughly after a link to a critical website about the organization was posted on the Links page. The rather odd group decided to shoot the breeze about a "cult deprogrammer...from New Jersey." Guess who? They largely rehashed the much posted Scientology screed about my past. This purported "New Age cult/scam," is run by John and Mary Miller. They hawk so-called "instruments," which includes everything from a wallet sized "healing card...requested donation $450" to a "Healing Bar Ver 1.3...requested donation [was] $8,600" now reduced to "$7,600." The Millers also hold forth through seminars. But don't expect to see any scientific peer-reviewed study published about their paraphernalia within the pages of JAMA. Interestingly, since repeatedly being compared to "cults," the Millers have decided to offer free "cult deprogramming," though probably not to dissuade anyone from making further "requested donation[s]" to the Gentle Wind Project.
Note: The Gentle Wind project initially received a three flame award, but after the group sued me and the Ross Institute for "slander" and "libel," specifically citing the above paragraph as a cause of action, it seems they deserve an upgrade to four flames. The "rather odd" group has the dubious distinction of being the first recipient of a Flaming Website Award, to sue over it.
Jesus People USA (JPUSA) runs a magazine Cornerstone, which sponsors something called Cornerstone Apologetic Research Team (CART). JPUSA/CART is not happy that they are included within this website and consider the news reports and declarations about them archived as "heavy on the paranoia sauce." They rate relevant websites with stars, but award "no stars" to the Ross Institute. CART did manage to hand out multiple stars to noted "cult apologists" like Gordon Melton, Jeffrey Hadden, Anson Shupe and the Italian organization CESNUR, along with another Flaming Website award winner Anton Hein (see above), who managed to snag one star.
Long-time "cult apologist" Anson Shupe has an article featured at the website of his friend Massimo Introvigne. Massimo runs something called CESNUR, an organization closely associated with groups called "cults." Shupe broods about "deprogramming" and seems somewhat miffed that despite his professional effort subsidized by Scientology, my cult intervention work continues. He refers to the Jason Scott case, but of course ignores its final outcome. Shupe then supports his opinions largely with footnotes citing other "cult apologists," such as his old professional associate Gordon Melton. Both of these men have picked up substantial checks working for purported "cult" groups.
This website appears to have been the work of a Scientologist, or some member of another "cult" group. It substantially focuses on Scientology's perceived enemies. In a mocking parody I am out to get Santa, supposedly because he leads "the worst cult in the world." The page goes on to rant about a litany others, including child protective services and mental health professionals. Apparently everyone is out to get Santa and his helpers according to this paranoid fantasy. However, this site went the way of the Dodo. Too bad, it was at least an attempt at humor.
Anson Shupe, a noted cult apologist who has worked for Scientology, posted his polemical paper about the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) at the Web site of CESNUR (a controversial Italian organization run by Massiomo Introvigne). Within Mr. Shupe's paper I am criticized concerning my intervention work (e.g. Jason Scott case).
This Web page once listed a complaint by photographer George Beinhorn who included me within an "Internet Hall of Shame" as a "weasel" for my use of a photograph taken by George of "Swami Kriyananda" (aka J. Donald Walters, founder of "Ananda Church of Self Realization") at my Web site. Mr. Beinhorn is a devoted follower of said "swami."
The Aquarian Concepts Community was exposed by Dateline after the tragic cult suicide of "Heaven's Gate" in 1997. It is essentially composed of the followers of "Gabriel of Sedona," previously known as Tony Delevin of Pittsburgh. They were upset by my work and decided to post a page about it, but later they pulled the plug.
This is the website essentially run by noted "cult apologist" Massimo Introvigne of Italy. His website actually contains four documents, which mention me--most prominently the 1990 U.S. 9th Circuit appeal response regarding the Jason Scott case. Other pages include Gordon Melton's--"Critique of Brainwashing," another appellate decision concerning the Cult Awareness Network and Mr. Introvigne's own critique about "brainwashing."
This was a Web page defending convicted felon and former prison inmate Tony Alamo written by attorney Nancy Ross of Ross & Green (also see another Ross & Green Report at Waco [link now dead]). Near the end of this report under the heading "First Amendment Victories" Ms. Ross cites the Jason Scott civil judgement against me. Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address
Ms. Pouw of Scientology in Chicago reports on the outcome of a libel suit filed against that organization by the old Cult Awareness Network. My name and past history is cited within the release and Heber Jentzsch (Scientology's President) is quoted repeatedly.
Professor Jeffrey Hadden (University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Deceased), a long-time cult apologist, offers his views regarding my work and website within his "Religious Movements Homepage." See his comments under "Major Anti Cult Sites."
Religious Freedom Alert--Germany
"Network USA," a website seemingly dedicated to exposing "big brother," includes "The Bizarre World of The Megiddo Connections" (i.e. FBI Project Megiddo report, which focused upon preparing for possible problems with extremist millennial doomsday groups and/or hate groups for the year 2000). The author of this piece wished to remain "anonymous." My name and work is woven within this tapestry of conspiracy theories regarding the Jason Scott case.
Within The "Etext Archives," under Politics/LaRouche, is posted a document (written by LaRouche devotee Warren A.J. Hamerman) titled "Cult Awareness brainwashers." This piece largely attacks former deprogrammer Galen Kelly, but manages to fit in a few comments about my work and background too. Another rant with a notable mention about my work is now up by Jeffrey Steinberg.
The Family, once known as "The Children of God," has within their official website a page titled "The Politics of Religious Persecution." They mention my work with Jason Scott, and cite cult apologist Gordon Melton, whose research they have funded in the past.
Jesse Walker wrote a piece posted by Reason Magazine titled "No Angels." Mr. Walker is an "associate editor" for this publication. He criticizes cult expert commentary given within news coverage after the Heaven's Gate suicide in 1997.
The Twelve Tribes Web site once contained an article titled "The Messianic Communities in the European Union: An Issue of Parental Authority." Twelve Tribes is a group that I have dealt with frequently over the years. The author of this article cites my work, deprogramming two children once hidden by their father Stephen Wooten and the group, but later recovered by their estranged mother a former member of "Twelve Tribes" with the help of the FBI. Again, the usual cult apologists are also cited within this article such as Gordon Melton, James Richardson, David Bromley and Eileen Barker. The article was later pulled and now the Twelve Tribes has an entire section with their response to various "controversies." Suffice to say that his group has a long history of abuse allegations and bad press.
Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address.
How Fresh Is This Guy?
According to website creator David Sollors--"I would be a liar if I were to deny that mockery was not a part of what I was doing. A big part." He hopes to "...somehow salvage this project of mine from its destiny as a mean spirited, puerile novelty site...by personally practicing introspection and self-critique...[and that his site] could become the unlikely standard-bearer of a new intellectual revolution." Hey, how fresh is this guy?
Cult Awareness Network blog
This is the so-called new "Cult Awareness Network" (CAN) "blog." The old CAN was bankrupted by Scientology lawyers through a multitude of lawsuits more than a decade ago and then a lawyer/Scientologist bought its name at auction. Today the "new CAN" is essentially controlled by Scientology. Something like the Ku Klux Klan taking over NAACP or Anti-Defamation League. This is little more than a rehash of Scientology's old rant at its "Religious Freedom Watch" Web site. My response has been up on the Internet for years. But because Scientology's old rant won four flames, it seems only fair to give this recycled version four too, even if it is repetitious.
This rather long-winded "scholarly" review regarding media coverage of the Waco Davidian Standoff was written by cult apologist Catherine Wessinger. The supposedly objective academic presented her paper on the 10th anniversary of the cult standoff at Baylor University, which is located in Waco. The anniversary event was sponsored by CESNUR, which at times works closely with Scientology. Ms. Wessinger snipes about "spurious self-styled experts" (i.e. her "scholarly" label for me) getting too much media attention. The professor then stuffs her footnotes with what looks like a Scientologist's historical guide concerning my past. Could it be that she is angry that the press doesn't quote her more?
Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address.
"This is a publication of Rev. Moon's Unification Church, within which I am featured as a "Faith Breaker." Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address."
The "anarchist" author of this screed wants readers to know about the "particularly ominous...role played at Waco by a leading 'deprogrammer'...Rick Ross, who admits to hatred of all religious cults and whose aim is to destroy cults..." He then goes on to cite the findings of "cult apologist" Nancy Ammerman" and concludes that "deprogramming...must be combated and uprooted."
This Institute has posted a report by Nancy Ammerman regarding Waco, which mentions me. The Institute doesn't seem to like the word "cult" and prefers to use the term "new religious movements" (aka "NRM") instead. It promotes a number of religion researchers who have often been called "cult apologists." Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address.
This page is sponsored by "Studies in Reformed Theology"--who appear to be proponents of Reconstructionism. This group has posted a previously published article about Waco by the John Birch Society magazine "The New American." The author, like many anti government types, has his conspiracy theories about this cult standoff. The link to this article went dead some time ago. It seems visitors and/or the host lost interest.
There was a "Waco Massacre/Holocaust" section within this site. It contained a section titled "Biased Information" and subtitled section "Witnesses Credibility," which in part critiqued my work regarding the Waco Davidians. Nancy Ammerman was quoted and former Davidian David Block was mentioned. It seems there were just too many Waco conspiracy sites even for the paranoid fringe. "Mind Prism" went dead.
This report was prepared by the law firm Ross & Green, which has often been associated with Rev. Moon's Unification Church). It's another Waco conspiracy work and tells the story of what went wrong at Waco. This report was posted at "LifeWay and StraightWay Services." Ross and Green also has a history of associating with Fred Newman of the New Alliance Party. They are now board members of the "new CAN." Reminds me of the old motto, "If your enemy is my enemy you are my friend." Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address.
Carol Moore is the author of the book "The Davidian Massacre" (published by "Gun Owners Foundation and Legacy Communications"). This page is an excerpted chapter ("BATF's Flawed Investigation"), which is largely a rehash of old Scientology material about me, combined with some observations from cult apologists like Gordon Melton and Nancy Ammerman and a good dose of conspiracy theories. Essentially the same material is also posted by Scott Ostrander and attributed to the "Committee for Waco Justice." Carol Moore also authored a Report on 1995 House Waco Hearings."
Scientology and Anti-Cult Movement:
This website, apparently by a Scientologist, features under the heading "Waco" "The Massacre of the branch Davidians" (1994) by Carol Moore. This report has been repeatedly discredited through independent investigations, court proceedings and objective fact gathering, but is an interesting look into the mindset of conspiracy theorists. Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address.
Branch Davidians--Jeffrey Hadden
At his "Religious Movements Homepage" Professor Hadden (University of Virginia, Charlottesville now deceased), a long-time cult apologist, lists my site regarding the Branch Davidians, but he cautions visitors that my page on Waco is "skewed toward [an] anti-cult bias." On Mr. Hadden's recommended reading list is Ms. Moore's "The Davidian Massacre," though he says--"This is a conspiracy theory volume, but one that deserves careful reading."
This long rambling piece by Daniel Brandt posted at "Astraeas Web" --is an ever-growing examination of supposedly interlocking conspiracies. And of course I am mentioned as part of the Waco conspiracy. Much of Brandts source material seems to come from Scientology propaganda, though ironically he writes negatively about the group and its founder. Interestingly, much of the "facts" cited by conspiracy theorists appear to circulate like urban myths--without any knowledge of their actual original source.
Public Information Network, Inc.
This page featured another rant about Waco, which included a mention about my work. This polemic by Daniel Brandt was posted by "Public Information Network Inc." Mr. Brandt has many fans amongst anti-government extremists and conspiracy theorists. But apparently the fans didn't write in enough to keep his article up.
Steve Hassan, cult expert and author, offers his criticism of my work related to Waco. Ironically, both Steve Hassan and myself are listed together on Rev. Moon's Unification Church page Faith Breakers, Dream Killers and Religious Bigots..." (i.e., Steve Hassan is the ..."Dream Killer" and I am the "Faith Breaker.") He concludes, "I think personally that the FBI made a major error to rely, or even to talk to [Rick Ross]. Because he was never in a cult himself. And in my experience, my ability, because of my first-hand experience...[gives me]...an awareness of what to say and how to say it...."Steve Hassan then laments,"I made numerous efforts to try to correct the situation...I approached my congressman...[who] wrote numerous letters and made many phone calls...encouraging them to get in touch with me. They did not. I faxed a letter to... President Clinton, a letter was faxed...directly to Janet Reno...[copies] of my book [were given] to Webster Hubble [and]...FBI negotiators in Waco...But I've never been called. I've never been contacted in fact, even though there was supposed to be a follow-up investigation..." Note: This award winning link has gone dead and the author's work is no longer available through a known Internet address.
Waco: The Rules of Engagement
"Waco: The Rules of Engagement" (a film documentary) website has a discussion board. An apparent conspiracy theorist (Fred Mrozek) and his friend Sharlene posted email exchanges with me about Waco on this board. Ironically, I appear within "Waco: The Rules of Engagement."
The "Second Amendment Foundation" (SAF) has its own website, which includes a letter posted that was supposedly sent to all members of Congress. This letter repeats the same attacks regarding my work concerning Waco as the Ross & Green (law firm associated with Rev. Moon's Unification Church) report. It also cites cult apologists Nancy Ammerman and Gordon Melton. The link to this article went dead some time ago. It seems visitors and/or the host lost interest. .
UK Pagan website--Murder in Waco
Yet more Waco conspiracies uncovered. This site has posted a page by Carol Moore discussing my work deprogramming a Davidian and responding to families affected by David Koresh. Again, Moore quotes cult apologist Nancy Ammerman. The link to this article went dead some time ago. It seems visitors and/or the host lost interest.
Copyright © 1996-2000 Rick Ross.