Systematic Abuse in Cults: Testimonies and Evidence

Acts of the conference

Systematic abuse in cults: testimonies and evidence


Saturday 7 May 2011

Kilinskiego hall of the Polish Craft Association (Związek Rzemiosła Polskiego)

Ul. Miodowa 14, 00-246 Warsaw


organized by the

European Federation of Centres of Research and Information on Sectarianism



Ruch Obrony Rodziny i Jednostki [1] (RORIJ)

and sponsored by the

College of Education and Administration in Poznań

and the

French Government






Welcome by Tom Sackville, President of FECRIS (United Kingdom)


Welcome by Ewa Tamara Szuber-Bednarz, PhD, Dean of the Department of Law and Administration  of the College of Education and Administration in Poznán (Poland)


Welcome by Mirosław Mariusz Piotrowski, Member of the European Parliament for Law and Justice, member of the Committe for Foreign Affairs and originally from the League of Polish families (Poland)


Welcome by George Fenech, President of MIVILUDES [2]  (Mission Interministérielle de Vigilance et de Lutte contre les Dérives Sectaires, France)


Dariusz Hryciuk, MA, Centre for the Prevention of Psycho-manipulation, Lublin (Poland):

Outline of the situation of the cult problem in Poland


André Frédéric, MP and Vice President of the House of Representatives (Belgium):

The evolution of the cult phenomenon in Belgium and the law on abuse of weakness


Dariusz Krok PhD hab., Professor of Opole University (Poland):

Psycho-manipulative influence as a form of abuse in cults: Theory and research – Presentation


Carmen Almendros, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain):

The clinical and legal implications of psychological violence in group contexts


Christian Szurko National Co-ordinator of the Charity DialogueCentreUK (United Kingdom):

Returning to reality: some observations about the journey back


Anne Khodabandeh-Singleton [3], author and ex-member of the armed Iranian cult the Moujahidin-e-Khalq (MEK [4]) (United Kingdom):

Preventing another Waco – my efforts to dismantle the dangerous destructive Rajavi cult in Camp Ashraf, Iraq


Doni Whitsett, PhD, LCSW, Clinical Professor of Social Work, University of Southern California (United States):

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other consequences of cult involvement – Presentation


Daniel Picotin, lawyer at the Bordeaux Bar, member of CCMM (France):

The difficulties met by witnesses in giving evidence in obtaining legal recourse


Testimony of two witnesses: Isabelle and Dominique Lorenzato [5] (France)


An Occult, Evil, Indian Cult [6] – Testimony by an ex-member (United Kingdom)


Achille Aveta, former Jehovah’s Witness, freelance journalist and author (Italy):

Ostracism – harsh practice of systematic abuse


Anna Lobaczewska, President of Ruch Obrony Rodziny i Jednostki (Poland):

To bring back to life: The fate of a young man and the harm caused by his membership in Chaitanya Mission (Testimony)


Stephen Kent, PhD, Professor of sociology, University of Alberta (Canada):

The history of credibility attacks against former cult members – Presentation


Book presentations by authors:


Ireneusz Kaminski, Coordinator of the Study Centre on NRM in the Nicolaus Copernicus University,Toruń (Poland), author of the book:

Present-day theories on cults, new religious movements and psycho-manipulation


Maria-Pia Gardini, ex-scientologist and authors with the journalist Alberto Laggia (Italy) of the book:

The courage to speak up: ex-scientologists speak


Conclusion by Tom Sackville


[1] Association for the Defence of the Family and the Individual

[2] Interdepartmental mission of vigilance and struggle against cultist excesses

[3] The Private Army of Saddam Hussein (2003) ( How Rajavi changed Iran’s Mojahedin from armed revolutionaries to an armed cult.

[4] The Mojahedin Khalq cult (MKO, MEK, NCRI, Rajavi)

[5] Cult of Robert Le Dinh alias Tang, French cult. Guru condemned in September 2010 to 15 years imprisonment (rape and sexual aggression)

[6] Sahaja Yoga of Sri Mataji Nirmala Devi