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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 185329 Find in a Library
Title: Interacting with "Cults": A Policing Model
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:69  Issue:9  Dated:September 2000  Pages:16-24
Author(s): Adam Szubin J.D.; Carl J. Jensen III; Rod Gregg
Date Published: September 2000
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article guides law enforcement officials in assessing the possible threat to public safety of a "new religious movement" (NRM), using a case study from Garland, Tex.
Abstract: Most religious scholars avoid using the word "cult" because it carries negative connotations. The term "new religious movement" is used to refer to any young religious movement still in its first generation. This term is used throughout this article. The majority of NRMs stay within the law, practicing their religions peacefully and without harm to their followers or the community. In assessing the threat of an NRM to public safety, law enforcement agencies must be objective and accurate in determining whether an NRM is breaking any laws. Some common allegations against NRMs that law enforcement agencies must evaluate are the "brainwashing" of adherents, such that their freedom of choice is violated, and the charge that NRM's involve con games by opportunistic leaders. The Garland Police Department (Texas) had to assess the threat of an NRM when the Chen Tao religious movement arrived in its community. To safeguard Garland residents as well as NRM group members themselves, the department obtained accurate information about the religious movement, established a meaningful dialog with the group's members, mobilized community resources, and planned for the worst. This article details how the department avoided any serious confrontations with the NRM and between the NRM and the community. 23 notes
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Cults; Police crime-prevention; Religion; Religious freedom; Risk management; Texas
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