Friday, September 07, 2007

CAN Cult Awareness Network

It seems like I can't get away from Scientology. I was researching the members of the show Left, Right & Center and while reading about Arianna Huffington I discovered that she has an long time association with John-Roger the founder of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (acronym MSIA pronounced Messiah.)

The origin MSIA is rooted in the fact that John-Roger (nee Roger Hinkins) underwent an operation in 1963, which led to a nine-day coma and near-death experience. Shortly after this, Roger Hinkins started exploring channeling and through this encountered a higher consciousness named John within himself, and began referring to himself as John-Roger.

MSIA is considered by the Cult Awareness Network. and others to be "a suspicious organization". The odd thing about MSIA being called a"a suspicious organization" by the Cult Awareness Network is that while it was once an independent religious watchdog group it is now operated by associates of the Church of Scientology (COS). The 'new CAN' is said to be effectively a subsidiary organization of, and a front group for, the COS, as it exclusively promotes Scientology's point of view regarding religious groups and deprogrammers. Plus IRS records link the COS with CAN.

It appears to me that the old CAN was a victim of what is referred the Fair Game Policy. Which L. Ron Hubbard, formulated in 1965. The law is an ethical principle (ethics in Scientology is defined as the actions an individual takes on himself to ensure his continued survival) states that problematic Suppressive persons could be considered "Fair game" for retaliation. Because there was a great deal of animosity between the old CAN and the COS.

According to the (old) Cult Awareness Network, Landmark Education and Scientology were the two groups for which CAN received the highest number of inquiries from concerned relatives (about 25 per month per group.) In 1990, the old Cult Awareness Network established the "John Gordon Clark Fund", in honor of psychiatrist John G. Clark, who had given testimony about Scientology and other groups. Psychiatrists being a group that Scientologist and L. Ron Hubbard have particularly disliked.

According to The American Lawyer, "Starting in 1991, CAN was forced to fend off some 50 civil suits filed by Scientologists around the country, many of them asserting carbon copy claims and many pressed by the same law firm, Los Angeles's Bowles & Moxon. Scientologists also filed dozens of discrimination complaints against CAN with state human rights commissions nationwide, requiring the services of still more lawyers. The avalanche of litigation staggered the network. By 1994 CAN, which ran on a budget of about $300,000 a year, had been dumped by its insurers and owed tens of thousands of dollars to attorneys."

In 1995, CAN, Rick Ross and two others were found guilty of conspiracy to violate the civil right to freedom of religion of Jason Scott, was represented by Moxon . Jason Scott was a member of the Life Tabernacle Church. Ross was ordered to pay more than $3 million in damages; CAN was ordered to pay $1.8 million. The large damage award, plus a large number of additional civil tort cases brought against CAN by the Church of Scientology, drove the "old CAN" into bankruptcy in 1996, and its assets, including records, names and phone numbers, ended up in the hands of Scientologists.

On December 12, 1996, a usenet posting by 'lah' in the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology applauded Scientology for their "courageous action against the Cult Awareness Network", which she blamed of "promoting all sort of lies (including) cult activities." The posting was later reported by TIME magazine to be the account of one Sister Francis Michael of the Heaven's Gate group. This email was also reported on, and the full-text of the email was displayed, in an article entitled: "A message from the 'UFO Cult'."", in the Fairfield County Business Journal, May 1, 2000.

60 Minutes profiled the new management of the Cult Awareness Network, in a piece hosted by Lesley Stahl, entitled: "CAN: The Cult Awareness Network". The current influence by the Church of Scientology was investigated, and Stahl commented in a voice-over: "Now, when you call looking for information about a cult, chances are the person you're talking to is a Scientologist."

The Xenu story and the Fair Game policy was described by Stahl; examples of the Fair Game policy were given on-camera from individuals such as Stacy Brooks, as well as a private investigator hired by Kendrick Moxon. The piece concluded by displaying some of the pamphlets distributed by the (new) Cult Awareness Network, which included one called "Facts about Deprogramming" and another entitled "Fact vs. Fiction: Scientology: the inside story at last." Showing that the new CAN is now promoting Scientology.

The whole things seems to be a crazy conspiracy theory. A religious organization take over one of it critics and the start using them to spread its propaganda. If it wasn't for Wikipedia siting its sources I would find this hard to believe all I can say is you be the judge.

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