Kaiwind.com (October 19, 2010) – On October 11, the founder and Executive Director of the Rick A. Ross Institute (RI) in New Jersey, as well as a famous expert on cultic studies Rick A. Ross attended a seminar, introducing his journey on the road of cultic studies, sharing his research experiences and the achievement in helping individuals and families affected by the cults during the last 30 years.
Mr. Rick Alan Ross has involved in more than 500 cases to help the individual or families, and the success rate is 75%. Mr. Ross says that the best weapon against cults is education, to educate the mass, families and community groups, to tell them how to determine whether a group is a destructive cult when facing it.
Mr. Ross and his RI have been using three principal criteria to define whether a group is a cult, which were developed by the noted psychiatrist and writer Robert Jay Lifton in 1981. Firstly, a charismatic leader who increasingly becomes an object of worship as the general principles that may have originally sustained the group lose their power; secondly, a process of coercive persuasion or thought reform; and finally, economic, sexual, and other exploitation of group members by the leader and the ruling coterie. According to Mr. Ross, Lifton's three criteria are three major standards, all cults may have their own characteristics, but as long as an organization matches these three criteria, it means the group has the characteristics of cults, and this group accords with the definition of a cult.
To educate the public, one important way is to deliver speeches. Mr. Ross highlights that universities are the main places for the recruitment of cults. Based on this, back in the early 1980s, Mr. Ross especially compiled a booklet on cults for the high school students in Phoenix to help them understand the purposes and methods of cults. Subsequently, he has made many speeches in universities almost throughout the U.S., Canada, Italy, Switzerland and the Middle East, including the University of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon University.
One of effective methods of educating the public is to use the Internet. Mr. Ross expresses that the Internet has changed the world a lot. It is the main source of information for cultic studies, as well as the main channel for the mass accessing to public resources and communicating with each other. But some cults just like Scientology and Falun Gong have used the Internet to mislead the public. People should reveal such ridiculous untrue statements through taking full advantage of the Internet. RI contains thousands of individual documents, including news stories, research papers, reports, court documents, book excerpts, personal testimonies and hundreds of links to additional relevant resources.
One of the most important actions for the cults bating the public criticism is malicious prosecution and abuse of process. Mr. Ross, with the honor of "America's number one cult buster" by the British FHM magazine, has been suited for five times with no one losing. Mr. Ross says that cults do not expect to win the lawsuits, they just want to use the huge costs and time consuming litigation to intimidate organizations and people who criticize them.
Mr. Ross introduces the cult Falun Gong's status in United States and Canada in recent years briefly. He says 90% of Falun Gong members in North America are Chinese and most are female over 50 years old. They have received well education and certain economic foundation. There are two tendencies on Falun Gong related reports. One is that the concern of the mainstream media on Falun Gong reduced, the related reports decreased. The other is that Falun Gong sets up Epoch Times, New Tang Dynasty Television and organized Shenyun shows to control information source. Some people worry the rise of China and Falun Gong just makes negative publicity overseas by using this. Mr. Ross says Falun Gong group has the cultic characteristics and is good at using Internet. Falun Gong leader Li Hongzhi's teachings are against the homosexuality and mixed-blood, which are criticized by many people.
Mr. Ross says that the cults and new religions in history will keep thriving and the research on cults is also a long-term work, perhaps a lifetime work. Making people aware of cults, learn to distinguish cults is the foundation of all.
Rick Alan Ross is the founder of the Rick A. Ross Institute. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in November 1952. In 1982, a member of a controversial religious group infiltrated the staff of a Jewish nursing home where Ross' grandmother was a resident. He brought this to the attention of the director and working with the organized Jewish community in Phoenix, ended the problem. Since then he has been concerning the cultic issues. Now Mr. Ross is giving lectures in the universities and colleges around the world. He also helps the local police of America and the FBI carry out investigation and obtain evidence.
Rick Alan Ross founded the website of RickRoss.com in 1995, then CultEducation.com and CultNews.com successively in 2000. In 2003, he established the Rick A. Ross Institute. The website of RickRoss.com maintains a large archive on the Internet about destructive cults, controversial groups and movements and provides a broad range of information and services easily accessible to the public for assistance and educational purposes.
(Kaiwind.com, October 19, 2010)