Apologies offered by fugitive sex offender that runs "counter-cult" Web site

CultNews/January 22, 2006

Last month CultNews reported about a fugitive sex offender wanted in the US that runs a religious "counter-cult" Web site from Amsterdam in the Netherlands.Anton Hein. That webmaster, Anton Hein, was convicted for a "lewd act upon a child," his 13-year-old niece and served jail time in California before being placed on probation, which he subsequently violated.

Hein a self-proclaimed "expert" and "minister" who received his religious training through an assortment of unaccredited places now presides over a Web site called "Apologetics Index" where he determines what is or is not "orthodox Christianity."

However, though Hein touts his "spiritual discernment" he apparently is unable to discern and/or recognize the facts regarding both his past and present situation.

Perhaps concerned about gifts and payments from advertisers that support his so-called "ministry" flowing from the United States, he is now willing to offer some apologies. Hein wants visitors to his site to know that he "made foolish decisions…and [has] only [himself] to blame." And that this included "some very bad judgment calls." The apologist also says that he "would not make such mistakes and errors of judgment again" and that he has "learned much from [his] experiences."

But what specifically has he really "learned"?

At his "publicly posted" page about his criminal record Hein still insists he was "not guilty" of any crime and that he only tried to "help" his niece by committing the "lewd act" he plead "guilty" to according to court records. Hein also slams the American judicial system claiming it was its inequities that essentially forced him to sign off on a guilty plea despite his supposed innocence.

So it seems that according to Hein his "foolish decisions" and "bad judgments calls" consisted of trying to "help" his niece, which was somehow misjudged as a "lewd act" and agreeing to a guilty plea despite his supposed innocence.

Not much to encourage anyone that Anton Hein has "learned much from [his] experiences."

Even the title of the page that contains Hein's public explanation of what he prefers to describe as "a legal problem," and "an incident that occurred in the context of a tragic family situation" is telling. That page within Hein's Web site is titled "About the ad hominem attacks," as if the real significance of this discourse is that others are attacking and/or somehow persecuting him. This sounds more like some "cult" exercising spin control, refusing to admit its mistakes and instead attempting to shift the blame and/or draw attention to others. Ironically, such a response could correctly be called an "ad hominem attack."

The only reassuring comments Mr. Hein makes in his most recent response concerning his sex offender status is that he does not "at all work with children" and makes it "a point never to be alone with children."

However, it would be more comforting to know that he was being formally supervised by probation authorities familiar with sex offenders and their pattern of behavior rather than only through "relationships of mutual accountability with other [unidentified] Christians" as Hein claims.

CultNews does not pretend to be expert on Christian theology. But isn't it elemental that Christians sincerely interested in dealing with their personal sins first admit them?

The historical formula within the bible appears to include some simple steps such as first confess your sin, repent, restore whatever you can and then go on and sin no more.

It seems that Anton Hein, despite his self-declared "spiritual discernment," has yet to discern this first step.

Note: Anton Hein often changes published statements after they are commented about. CultNews has preserved his original statements as they first appeared.

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