Cult may infiltrate schools

Lancashire Online/October 15, 1999

Cult leaders are believed to be recruiting Preston sixth form students into their church, with promises of a Utopian existence. The International Church of Christ, which was condemned by cult experts earlier this year after they targeted students at the University of Central Lancashire, has reinvented itself as the International Campus Ministry of Christ.

And to boost membership, the cult is approaching students as young as 16 at Preston College's Fulwood campus.

Bill Turner, from the UCLA's multi-faith centre, said he had heard reports that it wasn't only university students who were being recruited.

He said: "We believe they have started up here because people from Birmingham, where we believe they are based, have come here. "Details about them are vague but we are urging students here, and at our associate colleges, to be very careful. We have heard that they are targeting Preston College."

Rod Hill, vice-principal of Preston College, said the matter was giving them cause for concern.

And Mike Turner, head of student services at the college, said: "We have heard that his group have transmogrified. We would urge any student approached to let us know about it."

Ian Howarth, of the Cult Information Centre, said: "The International Church of Christ has a habit of renaming itself but this change in tactic is worrying.

"They will target anyone. If you are lonely, they will befriend you. If you have an active social life, they will use you to target other people as well. Mind control is of paramount importance to them, because it works."

The International Church of Christ is believed to be behind the disappearance of UCLA student Pauline Dixon, 23. Her family claim she had joined the group shortly before vanishing.

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