News

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Kudos to ICSA and REGAIN member, Xavier Leger, who with two other Catholic activists alerted French bishops to spiritual abuse incidents within the Catholic Church.  They received a letter of solidarity from the president of the French Catholic Conference of Bishops. French bishops acknowledge and decry 'spiritual abuse' in some    The complaints had centered on groups such as the Legion of Christ, the Beatitudes community, and the Community of St. John—all of which had seen formal .

On October 3, 2013, Dr. Michael Langone, Rev. Robert Pardon, and Judy Pardon led a program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, "Confronting New Cults."  About 80 people - mostly seminarians - attended.

Rev. Robert Pardon and Judy Pardon began in January 2013 an ICSA support group for abuse victims at their MeadowHaven residential facility south of Boston. More info.

ICSA Today Vol. 4 No. 2, 2013, includes an article by Lawrence A. Pile, "Back from the Brink:  An Abusive Church Movement Recovers Its Balance."   ICSA members receive the magazine. 

ICSA Today Vol. 4 No. 1, 2013, includes an article by Rev. Richard Dowhower on a survey of former members' interest in and experience with helping sources at churches and synagogues.   ICSA members receive the magazine.

ICSA Today Vol. 3 No. 3, 2012, includes three articles on the Legion of Christ.  ICSA members receive the magazine.

Janet Heimlich started a nonprofit organization called the Child-Friendly Faith Project. The organization is holding its first conference on November 8, 2013, in Austin, Texas. Janet and Steve Hassan completed a video about the conference. Speakers include Janet Heimlich, Steve Hassan, Rita Swan, Justice Deborah Lehrmann, and others. The conference will explore “the unique challenges that professionals face in combating maltreatment in certain faith communities and cultures and how to overcome those challenges. And we’re pleased to announce that the State Bar of Texas will grant attorneys who attend the conference 3 CLE hours.”

Eileen Barker and Amanda van Eck Duymaer van Twist have informed us about a Call for Papers for the Inform 25th Anniversary Conference, Minority Religions: Contemplating the Past and Anticipating the Future, London School of Economics, London, UK, Friday, January 31, 2014, through Sunday, February 2, 2014. Submissions for papers (maximum 200-word abstract and 150-word CV) on topics relevant to the title of the conference are now being accepted. Please send these to inform@lse.ac.uk. The deadline for papers is October 1, 2013, with decisions by November 1, 2013. Unfortunately, no subsidies can be offered to participants, who will be responsible for making their own arrangements for accommodation. Registration will open on November 1, 2013.

ICSA's Annual Conference in Trieste, Italy (July 4-6, 2013) included a special track entitled, "Are There Cultic Aberrations in the Catholic Church?" Participants included clergy, researchers, mental health professionals, and former members of the Legion of Christ and other organizations. See ICSA's special Web site on Catholic aberrations
On March 1stGillie Jenkinson ran a workshop entitled, “Pathological Spirituality,” for the Royal College of Psychiatrists in London.

Steve Kent (Department of Sociology, University of Alberta, Canada) published an article relevant to SSHN: Kent, Stephen. (2012). Religious Justifications for Child Sexual Abuse in Cults and New Religions. International Journal of Cultic Studies 3, 49-73.