Saturday, January 18, 2014

Ted Patrick, Father of "Deprogramming",

1980, Ted Patrick, Father of "Deprogramming", by Frank K. Flinn,

In San Diego, September 26, Ted Patrick, 49, noted deprogrammer, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Norbert Ehrenfreund to one year in the San Diego County jail and five years probation. Patrick was also subject to a $5,000.00 fine. During his probation Patrick will not be allowed to leave San Diego County without notifying the sheriff. He must also report to Judge Ehrenfreund every 90 days, and is prohibited from "deprogramming" during his probation term.

In sentencing Patrick, Judge Ehrenfreund said, "Punishment is needed to deter him and to protect the community. He will be a danger to society unless he changes his way of deprogramming. The forcible abduction of adults cannot be tolerated, even under the guise of deprogramming, or even if the parents want it done."

Prior to Patrick's sentencing, Judge Ehrenfreund received many pleas urging leniency. However, many religious and civil rights leaders urged that Judge Ehrenfreund take into account Patrick's violent methods and his disregard of the First Amendment.

On August 29, Patrick was convicted of false imprisonment and kidnapping in the sidewalk abduction of a Tucson Arizona woman. A jury of seven women and five men deliberated almost three days before finding Patrick guilty of four counts of conspiring to abduct Roberta McElfish last March 27. The conviction is on appeal and Patrick is free on $25,000 bail.

Mrs. McElfish testified that her relatives believed she had joined a religious cult by the name of the "Wesley Thomas Family." She also testified she is a practicing Roman Catholic and never joined any cult. She was being conveyed by force by her brothers and sisters to Chula Vista, California, where Patrick was waiting to "deprogram" her. En route she managed to escape. Patrick's connection with the case was established by testimony of Mrs. McElfish relatives who were named un-indicted co-conspirators. Allegedly Patrick was paid $7,000 in advance.

This is Patrick's first felony conviction. Previously he was found guilty twice of misdemeanor false imprisonment. In 1974 Denver Judge Zita Winsheink sentenced Patrick to a five-month jail term and a $1,000 fine. Patrick had attempted to "reprogram" Ms. Dena Thomas, then 22, and Ms. Kathy Markis, then 23, back into the Greek Orthodox faith and lifestyle which they had left. Judge Weinsheink also ordered Patrick not to engage in deprogramming after she agreed to allow him on a work release program.

Meanwhile Patrick was convicted in May, 1975, for falsely imprisoning a 19 year-old member of the Hare Krishnas in Fullerton, California. Patrick spent 60 days in Orange County jail. The Fullerton conviction violated the terms of his parole in Denver.

On August 29, 1979, Salt Lake City Dep. Dist. Attorney Joseph Tesch obtained a judicial warrant for Patrick's arrest on a charge of kidnapping in the third degree. The case involves a 19 year old member of Hare Krishna sect.

Patrick is recorded on a Salt Lake City TV interview saying that members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, or Mormons, are "mindless robots" (Inquiry, October 15, 1979). Patrick believes that the Mormon Church is the "biggest cult" in the nation. Asked by the interviewer whether he has deprogrammed any Mormons, Patrick replied, "Yes, I have deprogrammed about four."

Father of Deprogramming Network

Theodore Roosevelt Patrick, who also goes by the code name, "Black Lightning," first gained public attention as an aide to Governor Ronald Reagan at the beginning of the 1970s. While still an aide to Reagan, he began investigating the religious group known as the Children of God. In 1972 he left Reagan's service. Although he has no more than a high school education, he set himself up as a "specialist" in retrieving
"children" from various religious groups. (The average age of members of new religious groups according to several recent surveys is 24 years of age.)

Patrick sees it as his mission to suppress what he considers "cults" and "pseudo-religions." He charges that the "cults" use " mind control" and are guilty of "psychological kidnapping." Patrick thinks he has a special mission to rid the U.S. of what he calls "Fifth Column Cults." He often lumps all the religious groups together under the label "Manson-like."

In his book Let Our Children Go! (E.P. Dutton, New York, 1976), ghost written by Tom Dulack, Patrick recounts his exploits in crusader terms. Patrick freely admits to using physical violence, enforced incarceration, shame inducement, along with food and sleep deprivation, the very things he accuses the "cults" of using.

Patrick is known to have hired cycle gang members (one he names "The Goose") to perform what he calls "the snatch." According to Patrick, members of new religious groups, and some old ones, have been "zapped" and turned into "zombies." His horror-movies diagnoses nonetheless have won the support of many professionals. Best known is Dr. John Clark, Harvard psychiatrist, who frequently testifies against the new religions and favors anti-cult bills.

Patrick's exploits have led to a number of "deprogramming" organizations in the U.S., England, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. The first was Free COG (Free the Children of God), which Patrick set up with William Rambur in San Diego. Rambur has since renounced Patrick's strong-arm tactics. Spin-off organizations include CERF (Committee to Reunite Families), headed by Rabbi Marc Davis and Dr. George Swope in New York State, and the Freedom of Thought Foundation, now defunct, which was centered in Tucson, Arizona. The Foundation, headed by used car salesman Joe Alexander, Sr., and attorney Michael Trauscht, served as a "deprogramming" processing center.

Deprogrammers, often making between $7,500 and $25,000 per "deprogramming," have gotten the cooperation of clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, legislators and police in their crusade against the "cults."

Deprogramming for Everyone

Deprogramming strategy in the 1970's was summed up by George Swope in a CERF memorandum dated January 30, 1976, "Because we cannot be effective using the buckshot approach, we must zero in on ONE cult. If our government investigates one cult and finds grounds for prosecution, we can move on to other cults. The cult we have chosen is (Rev. Sun Myung) Moon's Unification Church."

Though Unification was the "target cult," the deprogrammers have had "buckshot" results. Patrick, who boasts of deprogramming over 1,600 "cult" members, has deprogrammed not only Children of God, "Moonies," and hare Krishnas but also Evangelical Protestants, Roman Catholics, Old Catholics, Episcopalians, Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons.

In the Catholic Register (Toronto, March 22, 1977) Debbie Dudgeon, a Roman Catholic convert, recounts how Patrick abducted her from Bethany House in Orangeville, Ontario. Ms. Dungeon was imprisoned in Patrick's basement in San Diego. Patrick, Ms. Dudgeon says, told her, "You can be hypnotized by a single word of the Mass." Ms. Dudgeon escaped from Patrick's house with the assistance of a Catholic priest in San Diego.

As a result of the Dudgeon case and other kidnapping forays into Canada, the Canadian Ministry of Immigration declared Patrick a persona-non-grata. Mr. Bud Cullen, current Canadian Minister of Employment and Immigration, stated in an official letter dated November 24, 1978, that should Patrick return to Canada he "would be guilty of an indictable offense under the Criminal Code of Canada." Nonetheless, Patrick reportedly has made several entries onto Canadian soil, sometimes with assistance from lower level Canadian immigration authorities.

The Houston Chronicle (May 7, 1977) reports how Patrick attempted to "deprogram" Peter Willis, 23, with the help of Willis' mother. Willis is a member of the charismatic Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Houston. Bishop J. Milton Richardson, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, asserted that Redeemer Church is "a bonafide Episcopal Church in good standing in the Diocese of Texas."

"Congress shall make no law..."

Besides the "deprogramming" network, another spin-off of Patrick's anti-cult activities has been laws introduced in state legislatures to stem the tide of what some people believe is a religious menace. Attempts to pass such laws have been made in Ohio, Vermont, and other states.

The most recent attempt is a law passed by the New York State Assembly which would allow family members to get a conservatorship over a relative who "has become closely and regularly associated with a group which practices the use of deception in the recruitment of members and which engages in systematic food or sleep deprivation or isolation from family or unusually long work schedules; and ... has undergone a sudden and radical change in behavior, lifestyle, habits and attitudes" (N.Y. House Bill 11122-A, March 25, 1980).

New York Governor Hugh Carey, noting the opposition of the New York Catholic Conference, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the New York State Bar Association, vetoed the bill as "unworkable and unconstitutional." During debate on the bill, some New York assemblymen said its standards could apply to the New York Assembly itself (New York Times, July 9, 1980).

Besides legislative actions against the "cults," there have been numerous fishing investigations. Most notable are the hearings conducted by a U.S. Senate Committee headed by Senator Robert Dole, R-Kansas.

There is CERF correspondence to show that the deprogramming organizations were behind the scenes during the Dole hearings.

Most recently U.S. Rep. Richard L. Ottinger, D-New York, has called for further congressional action to find a way around the First Amendment. Even though Governor Carey of New York found the New York anti-cult bill unconstitutional, Ottinger maintains that "the New York Legislature's conservator approach is one that deserves our serious attention nationally" (Congressional Record E 3573, July 24, 1980).

The first clause of the First Amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." The clause is the most absolute statement in the Constitution. Yet many who desire to get around this absolute prohibition are of the opinion that the Bill of Rights is an "appendage" to the Constitution proper.

Against this opinion Leo Pfeffer, professor of law at Long Island University and considered by many, including Supreme Court judges, to be the foremost authority on the First Amendment, has written that the Bill of Rights was the precondition for the original colonies' ratification of the Constitution itself. "Only by promising the addition of such a bill, Pfeffer states, "were the protagonists (at the First Constitutional Congress) able to obtain the requisite number of states" (Religious Freedom, Skokie: National Textbook Co., 1977, p. 21).

Following Patrick's lead, "deprogrammers" justify their actions by saying that they are not against "freedom of religion" but for "freedom of thought." Their actions indicate, however, that in order to get "freedom of thought" they must violate religious freedom and take the law into their own hands.

In sentencing Patrick in 1977 Denver Judge Zita Weinsheink said, "We have a country of law, not of men. Anyone could set himself up as deprogrammer and decide that your church or my church isn't the right one."

Do "Cults" Use "Brainwashing"?

Ted Patrick won widespread support because he has convinced many people, including psychologists, that the "cults" can "brainwash" their members. The Jonestown tragedy has lent support to his claim, but columnist Jack Anderson continues to reveal strange twists in that story.

Patrick attributes almost magical powers to "cult" proselytizers. They can "zap" (the lingo in Patrick's) someone with a look, a word, a gesture and even a ritual object. Robert Jay Lifton, Yale professor psychiatry, has been the one most responsible for elevating the colloquial term "brainwashing" to "scientific" respectability in Thought Reform and Psychology of Totalism. But he admits the term was invented in the 1950s by journalist Edward Hunter to translate another Chinese colloquialism--hsi nao, lit., "wash brain." Other eminent scholars have challenged the use of the word "brainwashing" to describe religious conversion. Dr. Thomas Szaz, professor of psychiatry at SUNY, Syracuse, wrote in The New Republic (March, 1976), "Like many dramatic terms "brainwashing" is a metaphor. A person can no more wash another's brain with coercion or conversation than he can make him bleed with a cutting remark."

There has been much hearsay evidence about the nature of religious conversion in the new movements. Recently, some hard data are emerging which question popular myths about the new religions. Using the Minnesota Multiphasic psychological test, Drs. J. Thomas Ungerleider and David K. Wellisch tested a broad sampling of "cult" members, including those who left voluntarily and those who had been deprogrammed. Ungerleider and Wellisch concluded their study with the statement, "No data emerged from intellectual personality, or mental status testing to suggest that any of these subjects are unable or even limited in their ability to make sound judgments and legal decisions as related to their persons and property" (American Journal of Psychiatry, March, 1979, p. 281).

Mounting Opposition to Deprogramming

"Deprogramming" is to the 1970s what McCarthyism was to the 1950s. Patrick sees the "cults" as a "threat" to the nation. After his Denver sentencing in 1977, Patrick said, "It's not just one child that is involved here. This nation is at stake." Patrick also believes the "cults" have infiltrated all levels of government including prosecutor Richard Huffmann's office in San Diego. Just as doubts grew about Senator Joe McCarthy"s tactics, so doubts have arisen about Patrick's ultimate intentions. There are indications that Patrick is not only
against the new religions but against all religion.

In an interview with Joseph O'Connell, professor of religion at the University of Toronto, Ms. Debbie Dudgeon says that Patrick told her, "St. Francis was probably the leader of a cult" (Religious Liberty in
Canada, ed. by M. Darrol Bryant, Torontos: Canadians for the Protection of Religious Liberty, 1979, p. 16). In a Playboy (March 1979) interview Patrick blurted, "Hell, Jimmy Carter's sister (Ruth Carter Stapleton) is one of the biggest cult leaders in the nation."

Patrick has called for a "national law of justification" by which he means that "a lesser evil is forgiven if it was intended to erase a greater evil." In other words, it's alright to commit a little crime to prevent a big one. Likewise, many engaged in deprogramming tactics think it is alright to "erase" the constitutional guarantee of "freedom of religion" in order to get "freedom of thought." It is just this sort of weird reasoning that has brought Patrick and his "deprogramming" brainchild into disrepute.

Almost fatalistically, "deprogrammers" believe everyone is already "programmed" anyway. To "deprogram" someone, then means to "reprogram" them into another "program." So why "deprogram" in the first place?

Patrick thinks that people are little more than computer terminals into which anyone, including Patrick himself, can punch the right or wrong information. If this is true, then the "freedom of thought" jingo is little more than a smoke screen.

Patrick bounces between all-or-nothing prescriptions and arbitrary favoritism. Ruth Carter Stapleton and St. Francis are "cult leaders" but Billy Graham and Oral Roberts are not. Kidnapping, false imprisonment, and forced deconversion are allowable according to Patrick's "law of justification" but religious proselytizing is not. Apparently, Patrick knows something which escaped the Supreme Court in Cantwell v. Connecticut, a case involving the Jehovah Witnesses, which ruled that right to proselytize belongs to the essence of religious freedom.

The violence of Patrick's tactics have turned the tide against him and against the whole enterprise of "deprogramming." In 1977 several members of the New England Psychological Association signed the following statement: "The terms 'mind control' and 'brainwashing' as applied to the practices of the Hare Krishna devotees, or any legitimate religious minority, are colloquial, non-professional terms which should not be wielded as legal weapons for religious or social persecution. Sociologist James T. Richardson says, "What some refer to as brainwashing may be, to the person experiencing it, just 'trying out something new'" (Society, March/April, 1980).

Theologian, clergymen and national religious associations have also come out strong against deprogramming. Noted Harvard theologian Harvey Cox, author of Turning East, condemned the "panic and punishment response" to the new religions (Dallas Times Herald, May 14, 1977). Instead of "repressive legal or psychiatric" measures, Cox recommends that parents, educators and religious leaders ask "where this religious hunger arises, why young people are finding the cults appealing and why they are not finding what they are looking for in most of our 'traditional institutions.'"

The National Council of Churches adopted a resolution, dated February 28, 1974, which declares, "Kidnapping for ransom is heinous indeed, but kidnapping to compel religious deconversion is equally criminal. It violates not only the letter and spirit of state and federal statutes but the world standard of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

The second Vatican Council contains a Declaration on Religious Freedom which reads: "It is therefore completely in accord with the nature of faith that in matters religious every manner of coercion on the part of men should be excluded."

Members of the legal profession have also questioned the legality of "deprogramming." Jeremiah Gutman, executive board member of the American Civil Liberties Union, wrote: "I don't know what a 'cult' is. I think
that way may have been a 'cult' two thousand years ago, is know as 'Christianity' today. I don't believe that the First Amendment permits definitions or distinctions (e.g., cult, denomination, sect or church) to be made within the area of religion" (Symposium on Religious Liberty Presented on Capitol hill, May 16, 1979).

At a Washington University, St. Louis, Symposium on Law and Religion in July, 1979, Professor Leo Pfeffer of Long Island University was asked to define "cult" from a constitutional viewpoint. He said: "I'll tell you what a 'cult' means. If you like another person, you call his faith a 'religion.' If you are indifferent toward him, you call it a 'sect.' And if you hate the person, you call it a 'cult.'"

Perhaps the trouble of the American public with the new religions boils down to the old adage: "My 'doxy is orthodoxy and your 'doxy is heterodoxy."

Awakenings, Persecution and Accommodation

One way to understand the surge of religious movements today is to see it as part of a recurring cycle in American history. The cycle alternates between periods of "awakening" and periods of secular interest. The first religious resurgence after Plymouth Rock was the Great Awakening associated with New England theologian Jonathan Edwards in the 1740s.

There were subsequent "awakenings" in 1820 and again the "revivalist" movement stated by Charles Finney in the late 19th century. Some think the 20th century is long overdue for one.

Just as there have been religious revival periods so there have been cycles of persecution. The first cycle was quite physical--the burning of the witches at Salem, Massachusetts. The second persecution cycle, while resorting to physical means, was more social. This was the ostracism which drove groups like the Mormons, the Amish and other sectarians farther west. The present cycle is more psychological. Instead of physically burning people at the stake or driving them west, people are saying that members of non-majority religious persuasions are "brainwashed" or "mentally ill."

Anson Shupe, Jr., claims that the current cycle of persecution will come to an end (Society, March/April, 1980). The historic pattern for marginal religious groups, Shupe says, is from sectarianism to respectability to innovation again, "There is no reason to expect that the current furor will not follow that pattern."

New religious groups are beginning a period of accommodation. Both the Unificationists and Scientologists have sponsored interfaith dialogues with members of other faiths, including critics. In the forefront of eumenical understanding between new and old religions, and religions East and West, is the Berkeley Area Interfaith Council. The council, headed by Ms. Bettina Gray, counts among its participating members besides mainline religions, Sikhs, Moslems, Scientologists and Unificationists. One thing that can be said with fair amount of certainty. Between the awakening and accommodation phase of the current religious cycle, Ted Patrick owns a large share of the middle phase--persecution.


Mr. Flinn is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School. He has written several scholarly articles on the new religions and has contributed to Women and Religion: A Feminist Sourcebook. He teaches religious studies at Maryville College in St. Louis, Mo. A Roman Catholic, he serves on the Committee to Defend the First Amendment in Washington, D.C.


Additional insight into "Father of Deprogramming":

(Qoute from Playboy interview, March 1978)

PLAYBOY: Don't the people in these groups say that they are there of their own choice?

PATRICK: Yes, but that's because they have been programmed to respond that way.

PLAYBOY: That's an easy out. How do you know that they have been programmed? Isn't it just your word against theirs?

PATRICK: No, and I can prove it with a simple discussion. I don't even need to deprogram a person to present proof that he has been programmed. All you have to do is put us in a room--a living room, a courtroom--and allow me to talk to that person, and I can show that he is under mind control. In almost every case, you'll see that he can't think for himself, that he can't make decisions. You'll see that he can't even answer a simple question that requires a yes or no answer, that it is psychologically impossible for that person to hold a normal conversation.

Additional insight into "Father of Deprogramming":

(Excerpts on Ted Patrick from Playboy interview, March 1978)

PLAYBOY: You're throwing out a lot at once. Let's take things one at a time. First, you talk about "cults" as if it were a brand name everyone were supposed to recognize. Just whom do you mean when you use the term cults?

PATRICK: I mean the Moonies, the Hare Krishna, Scientology, the Divine Light Mission, the Children of God, the Tony and Susan Alamo Christian Foundation, the New Testament Missionary Fellowship, the Way International and hundreds of other groups in the United States that use techniques of mind control that destroy their members' free will. NBC estimated that there were 10,000,000 cult members. My figure is closer to 20,000,000.


That was in 1978. How many more millions of people are being illegally discriminated against today by anti-cultists.

The American government recognizes the rights of new religions to exist. It does not accept the view of Ted Patrick, as his multiple felony convictions demonstrate!

In sentencing Patrick in 1977 Denver Judge Zita Weinsheink said, "We have a country of laws, not of men. Anyone could set himself up as a deprogrammer and decide that your church or my church isn't the right one."

At another conviction, Judge Ehrenfreund said, "Punishment is needed to deter him and to protect the community. He will be a danger to society unless he changes his way of deprogramming. The forcible abduction of adults cannot be tolerated, even under the guise of deprogramming, or even if the parents want it done."

The first clause of the First Amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establish ment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereoff..." Ted Patrick and his off-shoots fail to respect this law and is an affront toward all Americans!


Additional insight into the "Father of Deprogramming":

Excerpts from Christianity Today/April 22, 1983

"Eyebrows are raising now that Christians have become fair game in the 'deprogrammers' market. Recently Ted Patrick asserted that Jerry Falwell has more people under mind control than [Sun Myung] Moon and that 'Falwell leads the biggest cult in the nation.'"


"In 1981, a Soviet Jew from Chicago who had become a Christian was kidnapped and taken to New York for deprogramming. The boy, a teen-ager, eventually committed suicide."


"Moishe Rosen, founder and president of Jews for Jesus, says that Jewish Christians are likely candidates for deprogramming because many Jewish parents regard Christianity as a cult."


Jerry Falwell uses "mind control?" Billy Graham uses "mind control?" (Previous post.) Christianity is a "cult?" Hasn't anybody caught on yet that Ted Patrick and his off-shoots are just plain anti-religious?!!

Deprogrammers (today called "exit counselors") will deprogram anyone as long as the fee is paid. The religion doesn't matter. Catholics, Evangelists, Mormons,... And the way they drum up business is by scaring decent folk into believing their lies and distortions, via whatever channels available: newspapers, television, internet.

It was a big business for Ted Patrick. At over 2600 deprogrammings at $10,000 a piece, you can see why such people are strong believers in their anti-cult message. It's all free advertisement!


(Excerpts on Ted Patrick from Playboy interview, March 1978)

PLAYBOY: You're throwing out a lot at once. Let's take things one at a time. First, you talk about "cults" as if it were a brand name everyone were supposed to recognize. Just whom do you mean when you use the term cults?

PATRICK: I mean the Moonies, the Hare Krishna, Scientology, the Divine Light Mission, the Children of God, the Tony and Susan Alamo Christian Foundation, the New Testament Missionary Fellowship, the Way International and hundreds of other groups in the United States that use techniques of mind control that destroy their members' free will. NBC estimated that there were 10,000,000 cult members. My figure is closer to 20,000,000.

That was in 1978. How many more millions of people are being illegally discriminated against today by anti-cultists.

The American government recognizes the rights of new religions to exist. It does not accept the view of Ted Patrick, as his multiple felony convictions demonstrate!

In sentencing Patrick in 1977 Denver Judge Zita Weinsheink said, "We have a country of laws, not of men. Anyone could set himself up as a deprogrammer and decide that your church or my church isn't the right one."

At another conviction, Judge Ehrenfreund said, "Punishment is needed to deter him and to protect the community. He will be a danger to society unless he changes his way of deprogramming. The forcible abduction of adults cannot be tolerated, even under the guise of deprogramming, or even if the parents want it done."

The first clause of the First Amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establish ment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereoff..." Ted Patrick and his off-shoots fail to respect this law and is an affront toward all Americans!

The point that you miss is that while under the First Amendment people are free to believe whatever they want, they are not free to act however they choose. When a group such as the Moon organization uses deception as a recruitment tool and then imposes undue influence in order to gain control over a person from the inside out and then turn him or her into a worker-drone, this is not freedom of religion. This is fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress . . . at a minimum.


PATRICK: No, Billy Graham is not a cult leader... However, Billy Graham does use many of the same techniques as the cults to get a lot of money from people. Billy Graham's whole thing is making money, and he is a genius at it. But I've never seen Billy Graham do anything to help anybody...

Graham had an embarassing moment in Germany. He had tried to start what he called the "biggest evangelization cruzade ever made". Almost no one came. As the hour of the show neared, Graham's team toured the homeless and asylum shelters and got a handful of people to attend - but as far as I remember, the hall was still mostly empty. The whole thing was even more an embarassement when he conceded that the money collected wasn't
used for charity, but to finance the show itself.

Additional insight into "Father of Deprogramming":

(Qoute from Playboy interview, March 1978)

PLAYBOY: Don't the people in these groups say that they are there of their own choice?

PATRICK: Yes, but that's because they have been programmed to respond that way.

PLAYBOY: That's an easy out. How do you know that they have been programmed? Isn't it just your word against theirs?

PATRICK: No, and I can prove it with a simple discussion. I don't even need to deprogram a person to present proof that he has been programmed. All you have to do is put us in a room--a living room, a courtroom--and allow me to talk to that person, and I can show that he is under mind control. In almost every case, you'll see that he can't think for himself, that he can't make decisions. You'll see that he can't even answer a simple question that requires a yes or no answer, that it is psychologically impossible for that person to hold a normal conversation.


Steven you might be interested in this:

The Constructive Destruction of Belief: A Manual of Technique


To Ted Patrick, the first Deprogrammer, and Bob and Cheryl who finally made it 'Out.'


There has been a marked increase in public awareness regarding the subject of Deprogramming in Great Britain. Recently FAIR (Family Action for Information and Rescue) organized a visit to this country by American Deprogrammer Carl E. Waranowski who gave details of US methods to FAIR members. There has also been some media coverage on the need to Deprogramme cult members.

POWER (People's Organized Workgroup on Ersatz Religions) feels that the time is now opportune to set the wheels in motion for getting Deprogramming underway, to this end POWER has organized this course as an introduction to Deprogramming and has prepared this manual based upon techniques as they are practiced in the USA.

This manual is intended to serve as a very basic outline. Talks will be given to amplify the points made here as well as providing an opportunity for interesting personal anecdotes to be related to participants.



Although well established in the USA the subject of Deprogramming is relatively new in Great Britain, However, with the growth of ersatz religions in this country, some method is needea to combat the pernicious influences they increasingly exercise over the young and guilible, Deprogramming is such a weapon.

Why is Deprogramming [used]? In order to undersand why one must first define Deprogramming.

Deprogramming is the skilled application of any technique necessary to bring about in a subject the total rejection by him of those attitudes, beliefs, ideals and loyalties which are considered undesirable. In addition, their replacement by those qualities that are considered necessary.

At this time subjects are usually young people and those seeking deprograrnming actions are their parents or close relatives. This will, no doubt, change as the greater possibilities of Deprogramming are recognised.

So why is Deprogramming, or Deprog as it is known amongst professionals, necessary? Times have changed and where youth at one time used to got involved in more or less harmless, if
boisterous, physical activities such as motor cycle gangs, hooliganism and street fighting etc. as a passing phase, these days the emphasis is on involvement in beliefs and ideologies. This would be harmless enough if the spectra of mind-control was not entered into it as is the case in ersatz religions.

It is a well-established idea that Society has a duty to protect its citizens. Equally parents and relatives have a duty to protect their young ones, even from themselves and against their wishes it this is optimum. The flower of youth must be protected if it is to flourish and blossom into a mature and sane adulthood. For this no price is too heavy.

This then is what makes Deprog necessary and it is the evil that the Deprogramming Technician (Deprog Tech) works to root out.

The Technique

In the normal course of events the Deprog Tech will be approached by the parents, close relatives or friends of the subject who is involved in a cult. These become the Technician's clients but the relationship, while professional is also personal as the client is dependant on the Technician for their peace of mind.

...the initial contacts it will be found that ... are in a confused state regarding the steps that they sould he taking. It is, therefore, the duty of the Technician to pacify them, ... and [bring] them into a realisation that a Deprog tech can return their loved one to them.

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Technically, this could be described as kidnapping. Still, there is always the possibility that the police will be called in at this or a later stage, the Technician will need to be alert to certain factors in his favour. The principal of these is the dread the police have of becoming involved in domestic disputes. They usually make every effort to avoid being dragged in, and, if forced to act, attempt to maintain the neutral role of simply restoring calm and preventing hostilities, it is therefore wise, should this occur, for the Technician to remain in the background as much as possible, allowing police attention to be focused solely upon the domestic [confusion] confronting them.

The possibility of police intervention should also act as an incentive to the Technician to accomplish a secure, fast and successful Deprog since this will produce a grateful and normalised subject only too anxious to see ... clients and the Technician as the source of his salvation.

There are two types of involvement in ersatz religions, those in which the subject lives at home with his family and attends activities of the cult and those which require toial participation by the subject including absence from the family unit and severance of all ties. In both cases a convincing strategy is needed, but in the latter there are, obviously, greater obstacles to be overcome. Using a real or artificial family crisis (such as the sudden death or serious illness or someone close to the subject) the subject can be tricked into leaving the cult's centre and forcibly taken by the parents to the Deprog site.

One very successful ruse has been used in the USA. In this case the parents contacted the subject and, appologising for previous upsets, declared that they now understood the subject's viewpoint and proposed a reconciliation over dinner on neutral ground. The subject was met by the parents and after entering the parents car was overcome and driven off with the Technician. Needless to say a satisfactory Deprogramming was achieved, with the subject eventually expressing much gratitude.

The Technician must always have at least one Deprogramming Assistant for the sessions to follow. The Assistant should be of a sizeable stature and very firm. Recruitment should be conducted
carefully so as to exclude the criminal element. Ideally a Technician or Assistant will have a background as a former policeman, prison warder, male nurse ... or a cult member. In the
first of these cases, the person will [have] training and experience enabling them to handle subjects with understanding, but displaying an Iron fist ... velvet glove. [...]

The initial confrontation will include the subject, the clients, the Technician and the Asssstant. The purpose of this meeting is to convince the subject that he is faced with a united front and has no possible allies to assist him with a contemplated escape. It will also serve to show that the Technician is acting with the full approval of the clients and the subject will, by sheer force of numbers, be completly dominated.

At the conclusion of the initial confrontation the clients will depart leaving the subject in the hands of the Technician and his Assistants.

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... personlity conflicts and drives neutrallsed. At this stage the subject can be likened to a new-born child needing only love and education to mould his personality. This latter is accomplished by ... clients in Phase Two.

4 -

There are certain basic ... fundamentals relating to Phase One which are always present. The father of Deprogramniing Ted Patrick, has performed an incalculable task in using and refining a number of techniques. These consist of the followirig:

Food Termination

... phase, the subject is given no food and ... only ... allowed is water. As the Deprog usually only lasts a few days, there is no danger of the subject suffering too seriously from a medical point of view, however, should it [be continued] for a course of weeks, small quanties of food should be given to the subject, where possible as a reward for making progress. The subject should be informed that food will be forthcoming as soon as his resiseance is broken down.

Sleep Withdrawal

The subject is allowed no sleep during the Deprog, ... subject ... asleep, he should be immediately awakened. There are several methods for ensuring that the subject stays awake. Some of these are physical discipline, rubbing subject down with ice-cubes, packing ice-cubes under subject's armpits and on the nape of the neck, making the subject stand upright without support so that when he falls asleep he drops to the ground waking himself up again or throwing the subject into the air and letting him fall to the ground. The main objective is to ensure that the subject gets no steep and it is left to the Technician and his Asst/s to achieve this.

Shame-inducement Through Nudity

At some stage in the Deprog this technique may be used. The subject is stripped with the assistance of the Asst/s. Most subjects are very body conscious and having to stand naked in front of their opponents causes a person to become a temporary introvert. The Asst/s must also take advantage of this weakness to bring home forcefully to the subject even the smallest flaw in his physical make-up.

It should be noted-that the subject must be accompanied when making any visit to the toilet. Apart from this, by the way, no other hygiene is allowed,

Physical Correction

This is a very sensitive area heavily associated, in the public's mind, with punishment. Great difficulty can be predicted for any attempt to point out the wide gap between the two for the
benefit or parents or authorities. The usual outcome of such attempts will be greater misunderstanding and emotional upset together with a lessening of respect for the Technician and the
subject of Deprogramming itself.

For these reasons we advocate a firm policy of no public discussion. If a statement has to be made we advise that the response should be an emphatic denial that physical methods of this
nature are ever employed or, indeed, that they have even been contemplated. Within the profession, however, we all know that from time to time it will be found necessary to use physical
correction on a subject of either sex. Of course, we also know how difficult it it can be for a Technician to ... himself to do it, but do it he must, and it is a mark of his disciplined
application that he ... to apply it in a clinical fashion without lapsing into the use of brutal [methods].

It goes without saying that in keeping with the above approach any physical correction should be adidministered with as little bruising as possible and the avoidance of fractures or internal

Verbal ...

It is a ... ... ... to a torrent of verbal ... delivered at ... volume and ... ... ... be employed in order to keep the stress on the Technician to the minimal whilst ensuring maximum impact on the subject. This verbal takes the form of a frequently repeated patter of derogatory statements ... the subject's allegiance to the cult, its beliefs and leaders. Obviously this also contains anything ... client wishes the subjects [to be] Deprogrammed from. The following are useful additional topics used successfully by Ted Patrick ...

Money: Showing the subject how the money going inio the group passes mainly to the leadership, with very little reaching the lower levels.

Family: Pointing out how the subject was causing anguish to relatives and destroying the family group.

God: Referring to the [icons] of the cult as gods and making it appear that the subject was largely their dupe. Great emphasis sould be placed on degrading the leader.

Free Will: Arguing that the subjert and his follows are being totally controlled by the group, that they have no free will at all and that they are mindless robots.

Willpower: Emphasising that the Technician has tremendous strength of will and stamina and has always triumphed in every Deprog he has engaged in. No matter how hard the subject tries he will be unable to keep intact his own beliefs.

On occasion it will be found that the subject seeks to withstand persuasion by reciting or chanting hymns, creeds, mantras or prayers ... A useful method of enduring this tendency, as discovered by Ted Patrick himself is to fill the subject's mouth with ice cubes ensuring that the subject cannot spit them out. In another case, Ted Patrick used photos of cult leaders in place or toilet paper in front of the subject, leading to an immediate and total breakdown of the subject. These two examples are given to illustrate that the Technician needs to be imaginative, resourceful and flexible in his attitude.

Destruction of Holy Works

A very effective and necessary step in overcoming a subject's resistance by means of shock is the destruction of the cult's holy works by fire. This requires that ... book's and other liturature are actually burned in full view of the subject. The effect is to break down routine thought-patterns. Use of fire can have an hypnotic effect on [the] subject and achieves, in addition; the necessary result of destroying the material so that it is no longer accessible to the subject during Phase Two.

... One can take from a few days to a few weeks to complete. Needless to say, the Technician and his Asst/s need to operate a shift system so that at least one of them is constantly with the
subject in order to prevent escape or suicide etc.

It is essential that Phase One is completed before Phase Two is commenced. The Technician can easily recognize the completion of Phase One by:

1) The docility of the subject.
2) The [blankness, brightness] in the subject's eyes.
3) The ... of the subject.
4) Abject fear.
5) The totai renunciation of ... to by the subject and ... of its ... and senior members, including ... statements renowncing the beliefs.
6) A growing realization by the subject ... and finally triumphed over his ... irrationality.

6 -

The above should not be relied upon as [total] ... rejection of the cult ... A ... can be made in order to ... establish ... position. This consists of havlng the subject voluntarily defacate upon photographs of the cult leaders, copies of the holy gospels of [these] cults and other sacred artifacts, and secondly, writing an abusive letter to the leaders of the religion ridiculing them and announcing the subject's disavowal.

[At the] successful termination of Phase One the Technician will be able to arrange the happy reunion of the subject with his/her family.

Phase Two is entered upon with the return home of the subject. During this time, known as "floating", the subject should be kept fully occupied by his parents or close relatives.

... or re-education of the subject is left entirely in the hands of the clients. The Technician should, of course, be willing to offer his advice to the clients if it is required. In the event of progress through Phase Two proving to be slow or difficult the subject can be returned to Phase One at the Technician's discrimination.
As the subject has yet to find his feet and think for himself [he] is still vulnerable and suceptible to contacts from the cult. The subject should not be permitted to answer phone calls from the cult or meet members for some time. It is best that he is accompanied by at least one parent or relative, as much as possible during this stage. Emphasis should be placed upon the subject having plenty of sleep, a good diet and lots of activity while he/she is "floating".

Sex and the Deprog Tech

It cannot be sufficiently emphasised that parents or close relatives should not attempt to conduct Deprogramming upon a family member. Just as they were originally unable or unwilling to prevent the subject from entering the cult, so they will be unable to adopt, let alone maintain, the objectivity necessary to force the subject through nerve-wracking sessions. Even if the parents or close relatives had the nerve and stamina to carry out Deprogramming they would, without doubt, be unable to cope with one stage that often occurs.

This is the stage where the subject finds the Technician to be sexually attractive, a remarkably ... period in the Deprog ...... fascinating for the Technician. Nothing in the subject's
character or past behavior could be take ... as any definite indication of how the person will act during this period, the ... sexual ...may intensify or diminish, or it may ... itself in the form of unusual ... (hetero- or homosexual). Further, it may prove desirable in order to sustain the relationship built up between the Technician and subject. To deliberately encourage or discourage all alliances on the part of the subject ... No parent or close relative could, or indeed should, be expected to deal with a situation of this nature. It takes the practise and experience of a ... with his detached and benevolent viewpoint to know how best to help the subject through this difficult time.

There have been stories of subjects being hetero- or homo-sexually raped by Technicians, These would ... ... did not occur with such regularity. Frankly, we ... dismiss ... vicious ... hallucinations ... ... Deprogramming, or either vicious and deluded opponents of Deprogramming.

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7 -

in Ted Patrick's case, this can cost as much as 25,000 Dollars ...For someone starting a career as a Technician a realistic fee initially would be about 2,000, per subject. This can be increased as the Technician gains experience and establishes his reputation.

The war against the cults can not be confined to a few large centers of population. It must be conducted nation-wide. Deprog units must be established throughout the country. One of the keys to Ted Patrick's success was his pioneering work in buildingup such a network in the USA. After four years and 1,000 cases he had, by 1975, built up a network or over 300 highly trained
Technicians, having started in 1971 on his own.

It is strongly recommended that the Technician collects his full fee before embarking upon any aspect of the Deprog. This safeguard is necessary because frequently clients will initially promise to pay almost any sum, but after a successful completion will iry to haggle and claim tkat it was not as difficult or as lengthy as originally anticipated.

Legal aspects have been touched upon earlier, but it must be emphasised that the actual "kidnap" has to be done by the client in order to keep the Technician clear of legal entanglements. The
clients should also be used as far as possible as 'security guards'(although not actually present during the sessions) to guard the subject, and therefore be the persons responsible for his/her imprisonment.

It should be noted that the police tend to view cults and ersatz religions as potential threats to the State, challenging, as they usually do, the status quo. For this reason they will be biased in favour of the Technician and his clients. In addition, being adults and usually parents, they will naturally tend to identify and sympathize with the client rather than the subject.

Ted Patrick has, unfortunatly, had to wage from the beginning an unceasing battle in the US ... the unenlightened authorities who continually attempt to prosecute and persecute him. However,
being a professional, Ted has managed to emerge relatively unscathed through all this by an intelligent application of the legal guidelines set out above.

Some Successful Cases of deprogramming

There is no question that Deprogramming has had many successes in the United States and will be increasingly used in other countries. As the reader will by now realised, there can be no limits to the applications of Deprog. Many ... have been successfully carried out. here ... of the routine, day-to-day cases as gleaned from the press.

... Lockwood, now aged 23 and 3 former member of the Protestant cult the New Testament Missionary Fellowship whilst a junior at Yale University, was seized by his parents and Ted Patrick and driven off in a car. After a short and successful Deprog he is now back ... with his parents in Los Angeles (Time, March 12, 1973)

Debby Dudgeott, now aged 22, had been 9 member or the United Church ... since her childhood.

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(Toronto Star, August 10, 1974)

P. 10

Susan Judd, now aged 21, was a member of the Children of God cult. Susan was snatched by her mother from the Children of God commune and ... one week of a succcssful Deprog ... After her conversion, Susan began working to assist in the Deprogramming of others.

(San Diego Union, December 18, 1972)

The above successes illustrate the wide application of the techniques of Deprog. It can be safely stated that there is no belief or idea, religious or otherwise, that can withstand professional Deprogramming.

Philosophical and Moral Questions

These are no concern of the Technician and are best left to philosophers and moralists to worry about. The mission of the Technician is simply to serve the interests of his client with all
his professional skill in return for a well-earned fee. His only other duty is to ensure that the subject is brought to the required state.

We wish you every success in your career as a Deprogrammer.

Several groups in Great Britain are active in countering the menace of the cults. Amongst their many valuable activities they work to alert the public, and the Press and act as focal points in the anti-cult campaign. As such they provide in ideal recruiting ground for future Deprog ... as they are already active in the struggle. Some of these groups are:

... Church

FAIR c/o ... Paul Rose, House or Commons
EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE 19, Draycott Place, SW3...
CHURCH OF ENGLAND (ENQUIRY CENTRE) Church House, Deans Yard, ...
DR JAMES ___PORD'S ANTI CULT GROUP 44 old ... Durham. Cleveland.
... further reading
PATRICK, T. - Let Our Children Go! - E.P. Dutton, New York; 1976
W____ J. and LAZAR___, A. - Behaviour Therapy Techniques - Pergamon Press, New York;
REYNA, L.. - Conditioning therapies, Loaming Theory and Research
LEUBA, ti. -- The Psychology of ... Mysticism - Kigan

... Jesus (The Madness of Jesus)


Additional insight into "Father of Deprogramming":

Excerpts from The Christianity Cause/January/February 1987

"Deprogramming, or kidnapping? Education, or slander? Individual freedom, or religious persecution?

These are some of the questions confronting a growing number of Christian churches and ministries in the United States. With increasing frequency, they and their members are being attacked verbally, physically and legally by an expanding movement of "anti-cult" groups. Some believe these would more accurately be termed "anti-Christian" organizations.

"It's a very dangerous movement," said Dr. Donald Sills, president of the Coalition for Religious Freedom and a Baptist preacher for 25 years.

"These organizations could eventually have the power to illegitimately control religious groups in this country," he said. "I believe that they will end up destroying some very valuable ministries."

These organizations, led by the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) [a branch of the Citizens Freedom Foundation (CFF)], the American Family Foundation (AFF) and Fundamentalists Anonymous (FA), attack not only a wide spectrum of what Christians would define as "cults," but a long list of highly-respected Christian organization and churches as well.

The CAN publication "Organizations 1986," brands a number of groups, including Campus Crusade for Christ, Maranatha Ministries, Melody Green's Americans Against Abortion, World of Life, Great Commission International, the Navigators, Young Life and L'Abri, founded by the late Francis Schaeffer. Josh McDowell Ministries is called an "ultra, ultra-fundamentalist" group.

At the opening session of CAN's National Conference in October, even Billy Graham was analyzed as deploying deceptive psychological techniques at his crusades.

Meanwhile, Fundamentalists Anonymous newsletters suggest that when FA assistant executive director Jim Luce wrote in 1985 that "the fundamentalist mindset can be seen as a psychological . . . (and) social disease," he lumped a whole world of Christianity into a negative batch from Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell to Jimmy Swaggert and Pat Robertson.

"They're branding groups and individuals who believe in evangelism," said David Rodier, professor of religion at American University. "I don't see what's left of Christianity if you forbid evangelistic efforts."

David Arendale, executive director of Personal Growth Associates in St. Joseph, Mo., worked with CAN to produce a seminar on religious cults two years ago. But Arendale soon learned that the group disapproved of two organizations that he personally belonged to or financially supported--Campus Crusade and World Vision. After six months with CAN, he left.

"It had no Christian basis for what it was doing," Arendale said. "They were attacking groups I believe are OK."

Instead of a biblical definition of what a cult is, the anti-cult organizations resort to psychological and psychiatric understandings, employing such terms as recruiting, shepherding, indoctrination, mind-control and brainwashing.

Unfortunately, anti-cult leaders often use these terms to describe legitimate aspects of Christian activity such as witnessing, spiritual leadership, conversion, reproof, correction and Bible teaching.


The Cult Awareness Network and the American Freedom Foundation have also used the media to discredit a whole variety of religious organizations. Newspaper and television reporters seem eager to promote them as the "experts on cults.

"I suppose the worst-case scenario is that they will become the infallible certifiers of 'good' religion," Buzzard said. "They'll put a seal of approval on religions, sort of like an Underwriters Laboratory of Good Religions."

But perhaps even more frightening is that they are being given respect and credibility by an increasing number of lawyers, judges and legislators. This is quickly growing into a frontal assault on the First Amendment right to the "free exercise of religion."


Ted Patrick has successfully exploited "deprogramming" and his claim to be an expert in "cult brainwashing," receiving wide media coverage -- when not in prison. However, Patrick is a high-school dropout with no

professional credentials whatsoever. How was the American public ever duped by such a salesman? Perhaps because he appealed to our bigotry.

Some critics of Unificationism honor Patrick as a hero. I'd consider him un-American.



The Playboy Interview II, by G. Barry--Ed. Golson

Twenty-three interviews from the Playboy files--including a few (Ayn Rand and Salvador Dali in 1964, William Buckley in 1970) that were never printed in the magazine. Henry Miller, circa 1964, complains that civilization isn't breaking down fast enough, Ian Fleming chats (not very vividly) about writing the James Bond books. There's a very brief, awfully dated 1965 talk with Sartre. But, as usual, the most useful Playboy interviews are not those with relatively heavyweight types (Arnold Toynbee's here too), but those with controversial newsmakers and celebrities: G. Gordon Liddy in 1980; Ku Klux Klan leader Robert Shelton in 1965; Robert Garwood at the time of his court-martial; cult deprogrammer Ted Patrick in 1975; plus the more serious sides of Johnny Carson, Robert Redford, and Groucho Marx (who's more bitter than madcap). And the more recent entries include Lech Walesa Oust before martial law was imposed in Poland), the very ill Henry Fonds, and the pre-gubernatorial Ed Koch. Too dated by and large for rewarding browsing, then, but a generous, fairly representative sampling of a pop-journalism standby.

Ted Patrick's Let Our Children Go - Chapter 1

WHEN THE IDEA of my collaborating on this book was first proposed to me, I didn't know who Ted Patrick was. It had to be explained to me that he is a former civil servant from California whose life's mission is to rescue young people who have fallen prey to pseudo-religious cults-and to counter cult indoctrination by a process called deprogramming.

At first I was dubious, but I eventually agreed to the collaboration. It seemed challenging and intriguing to me, and since I'd recently published a novel dealing with the psychology of religious phenomena, I felt the subject was one I could approach with the sort of critical and objective point of view that would be important to a book like this.

I'd been interviewing Patrick night and day for about a week before I saw my first deprogramming. By that time I'd heard a considerable portion of his story, and I was unsure about a great deal of it. But the first time I met a boy who had been "abducted" by his parents and brought to Patrick, my skepticism was overwhelmed.

The boy indeed looked like a zombie. He seemed encased in a mental bell jar no one could penetrate. He would not eat or drink. He would not answer questions. He wouldn't talk at all. He kept drifting off into a sort of trance, and when, to discourage this, Patrick and the boy's parents would try to put him on his feet and walk him around, he would collapse as though he were made of rags.

Eventually Patrick broke him. The emotion of the moment, when the boy began to weep and embraced his parents, was so high as to be embarrassing to me. To be a witness to these convulsions of family feeling was almost appalling. I came away wondering what it was I'd actually experienced.

After that it grew progressively harder to remain skeptical of Patrick. I sat in on several more deprogrammings, and they deepened my sense of the ugly mystery attaching to the psychological incarceration of these children by the cults. I also came increasingly to realize that in these deprogrammings, families were being reconstituted. Under the unique pressures of these bizarre situations, blood relatives declared things to one another they would otherwise probably never had uttered in all of their lives. I saw one eighteen-year-old clutching his twenty-year-old brother by the shoulders and shaking him and crying, "Don't you understand, I love you! I want you back! I want my brother back!" For someone like me, who had not exchanged a spontaneous syllable of explicit affection with his own brother in, thirty years, this kind of moment was, to say the least, disturbing and impressive.

Friends keep asking me, "What really happens in a deprogramming? How does Patrick do it?" I can only reply, based on my experience with him, that he does what he says he does-beyond question. He really does expunge the effects of a young person's indoctrination. How he does it is something else. It has to do, I think, with the peculiar force of his personality.

It's not easy to convey the strange atmosphere of a deprogramming, the fierce intensity of the battle between Patrick and one of the cult victims. Patrick sits there for eighteen hours at a time with scarcely an interruption, knee to knee with his subject, and seems to impose his will on him. Wearing the subject down physically is no doubt part of it. There is, however, something more than simply exhausting the antagonist. It is almost as if Patrick transfers some kind of psychic energy from himself to whomever he's deprogramming, a spiritual transfusion with Patrick as the donor. When he is not deprogramming (which isn't often) nothing about Patrick would suggest a man who has the ability to alter people's lives. He likes soul music and rock; he likes good food and is proud of his cooking. He likes to dance, he's a good singer, a devoted family man. In public he can come across as a bit dogmatic; in private he's modest, soft-spoken, humorous, and shrewd.

Patrick is a black, fundamentalist Christian; I am white, a lapsed Roman Catholic. He admires Ronald Reagan: I campaigned for Eugene McCarthy and would do it again. He is a high school dropout; I teach English literature in a university. We are very different people. Nevertheless, if either of my own daughters got caught up in one of the cults discussed in this book, or one of the many that are not discussed, I would not hesitate to invade the cult with several large and brutal friends, forcibly remove her, and pay any amount of money to persuade Patrick to drop whatever he was doing and come deprogram her. And I would not rest easily until he arrived.

At 6:05 A.M., May 29, 1975, TWA flight 507 from Los Angeles touched down at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Weary from the long transcontinental voyage; jet-lagged, having eaten only a grapefruit from breakfast an hour before, a nineteenyear-old boy disembarked from the plane and walked on stiff legs through the arrival area looking for his parents. Though he had been a dean's list student for a year and a half at his New England university, he was now a dropout. His name was not Bernie Weber, but he will be called that.

There were a few other young men his age in the terminal sleepily checking backpacks through the ticket counters, lounging over coffee cups in the restaurants, or dozing in sculpted plastic chairs. Most were bearded, with long hair tied back with sweat bands _ and bandanas, and they wore scruffy jeans and sandals. In contrast, Bernie Weber was close-trimmed, clean-shaven, wearing a green sport jacket on the lapel of which was pinned a red and white badge with a design like a spider web identifying him as a member of the Unification Church, and as a disciple of Korean evangelist named Sun Myung Moon.

Bernie Weber had traveled from the Unification center in Los Angeles ostensibly to attend the marriage of a cousin and to see his grandfather from Israel who was visiting New York. The real reason for his journey across the country, however, was to withdraw nearly one thousand dollars from his bank account in order to donate it to the Unification Church.

Bernie's parents had not yet arrived to meet him. And so, with his cheap borrowed suitcase at his feet, the boy opened a paperback volume entitled Unification Thought and applied himself to understanding its contents.

Logos has the Polarities of Sung Sang and Hyung Sang, and positivity and negativity. Then what are the concrete contents of the polarity of the Logos? Its Sung Sang is reason and its Hyung Sang is law (principles). The unified body created through the action of give-and-take between the Sung Sang (Inner Sung Sang) and the Hyung Sang and the Hyung Sang (Inner Hyung Sang) is Logos.

His eyes watered; it was hard to concentrate. He did not know what he was reading. But so much the better, he assured himself. The more difficult it was, the more meritorious his struggle to understand. Nevertheless, he was tired. He had not slept on the plane, and he had a headache, and he was hungry. He wanted to go to a restaurant and drink a glass of orange juice, eat a doughnut. But he knew that was Satan talking to him, Satan tempting him. It was Satan tempting him to sit down too, and Satan interfering with his powers of concentration, confusing him, obscuring the truth of what he was trying to read, with burning eyes, in his blue and white primer. He would remain standing, and he would pray, to Sun Myung Moon, the Father, the Master, his Messiah; And deal Satan a blow.

"We're going to smash Satan today!" the other members of his family had screamed in chorus back in L.A. "Abaji! Mansei!" Sending him off, as they sent everyone off on missions, in the manner of Kamikaze pilots shouting "Banzai!" Arms thrust straight up above their heads. "Mansei! Mansei! Mansei!" Victory for the Father for ten thousand years. The Father, Sun Myung Moon, to whom Bernie Weber now, in

JFK, early in the morning, prayed fervently to fortify him against the temptation to sit down and drink a glass of orange juice.

Then his parents were there, Harold and- Valerie Weber, and his mother was kissing him, a handsome woman, smiling an artificial smile, trying hard to keep the anxiety from spilling over. She was intent on obeying the black man's instructions not to alarm her son or arouse his suspicions-as intent as was Bernie himself on deceiving her into thinking that he had come home to attend a wedding.

For a brief moment as she kissed him, and as he shook hands with his father--a slight, balding real estate broker from Paterson, New Jersey--he experienced a kind of emotional churning deep inside; like a motor that has lain idle for months turning over sluggishly once or twice, and he knew a moment of doubt, even fear, mixed with sorrow, regret and love as he smelled his mother's cologne and gripped his father's hand. But he suppressed the feeling; that was Satan too, and these middle-aged people whose name he shared were of Satan (though perhaps all unwittingly), just as everything outside of Moon was Satan. And a kind of glaze came across his eyes, and he turned away with a fixed vacant smile which caused Valerie Weber to turn away too, in order to conceal the despair she knew was in her face.

They walked out of the terminal; the boy between his parents, all of them speaking in stiff, grotesquely polite little bursts of irrelevancy, as though they were all utter strangers condemned to each other's company for an indefinite period of time.

Out in the airport parking lot, two members of the black man's team were waiting. The one giving the orders was a thin, _ stoop-shouldered Vietnam veteran who will be called Joe Franklin. Franklin had a young cousin who, like Bernie Weber, joined up, with Sun Myung Moon and told his parents he hated them. Now his cousin was back in school and living with his family again. The other person in the parking lot was Franklin's back-up, a deceptively sleepylooking eighteen-year-old named Kevin. Kevin himself was recently rescued from a small and barbaric cult of garbage-eaters in the Southwest. Now they were both waiting, sitting, in a rented blue Plymouth that was parked next to the Webers' Impala station wagon.

"That's them, Kevin," Franklin said, pointing toward the approaching Webers. "You drive out the exit first and pay for both cars. Then go straight out to the Van Wyck and over the Whitestone Bridge. We'll be right behind you."

"Ted says the kid might know some karate."

"Don't worry about it. He won't pull no damn karate on me. Besides, the way they work those kids and starve 'em, he's in no condition to fight." Franklin put out his cigarette in the ashtray and nodded out the window to Jeff Weber, Bernie's younger brother, seated a few feet away in the back of the Webers' Impala.

Bernie and his parents drew nearer. Bernie seemed to suspect nothing. His brother Jeff, following instructions, opened the rear door but did not get out. Bernie handed in his suitcase, and, as his parents got into the front seat, he slid in beside his brother. He did not notice Joe Franklin stepping out of the adjacent Plymouth and walking briskly around to the station wagon, coming up behind him just as he was climbing in. Bernie reached out to close the door, but the handle was snatched from his grasp as Franklin yanked the door open and jumped into the seat next to him.

"Hi, Bernie," he said, smiling, offering his hand. "I'm Joe."

He locked the door, and the station wagon, with Harold Weber at the wheel, moved out behind the Plymouth, which had pulled ahead. It was accomplished just like that.

"Pleased to meet you," said Bernie. And for a long time he did not dare to say anything else. He was squeezed between his brother and the stranger and he knew he was in trouble--very serious trouble, the kind of trouble they'd warned him about at the center, endlessly explaining what he should do in case it happened. And now it had happened, and they were taking him some place to torture him in an attempt to "deprogram" him.

Ignoring the attempts of the others to, make cheerful small talk, he withdrew into himself, as he was conditioned to do, and stared sightlessly straight ahead, preparing himself for the impending ordeal. He prayed that he would be strong enough to resist them. He was wary but confident. Of course. Master would protect him. The truth would be his shield.

At eight-thirty that morning, in a house in Wallingford, Connecticut, the black man was awakened by the sound of the door chimes and he knew the Webers had arrived. He'd slept poorly in the warm, airless bedroom, but he could not open a window-all the windows in the house had been nailed shut the night before. It was a standard security measure-they all tried to go out the windows at the first opportunity.

He was in no hurry to rise. Joe Franklin could work on Bernie for a while. He preferred not to confront the victim until the young person became accustomed to the idea of his detention, and realized that they were not going to injure him, that they were only going to talk. In the past, when the black man appeared too early into the deprogramming, victims tended to panic; the cults lectured about him"Black Lightning" they called him-instilling an unreasoning fear of him in the kids, and on more than one occasion when he'd walked into the room the young person had lost his head, tried to bolt.

So he would let Joe have the first crack at Bernie. Joe was pretty good, but he talked too much, and tended to preach, which was a waste of breath in the beginning, when the victim's mind was still closed. At this stage, the mind was like a bottle with its cap screwed on tight. Nothing could go in. You had to unscrew that cap first, by asking questions, forcing him to start thinking again, inducing him to talk.

He lay in bed and thought about all there was to do that day in addition to deprogramming Bernie Weber. Two weeks before he had been convicted on a charge of false imprisonment, in Orange County, California, a very conservative part of the country. It was like being tried in darkest Mississippi. Worse. Sentencing was next week, an appeal had to be filed and the lawyer was hassling him for money. But there was no money; he was virtually broke.

And Denver. He was appealing last year's Denver conviction, also for false imprisonment, and the California case could be construed as a violation of his probation. A jail term loomed. And then the assistant U.S. Attorney in Seattle was threatening to appeal the Seattle acquittal in that Church of Armageddon case. Such appeals had happened only a few times in our history, and he wondered if there had been any communication between Seattle and the Denver D.A. It seemed likely.

The black man lay there and thought about how he could not afford to defend himself. And if he went to jail, what.would Ruth Ann and the children do? How would they live? And who would carry on the work while he was out of circulation?

Well, that was next week. Something would either turn up, or it wouldn't. It seemed out of his hands. More pressing was to coordinate the travel schedules of some twenty-four helpers in the next few days. The Goski family wanted to help with the four members of their family who belonged to the Brother Julius cult here in Connecticut. The plan was to snatch all four simultaneously. Dangerous and complicated, requiring split-second planning and flawless execution. It would be best to send them to New Jersey, to the place 'in the mountains. He would need at least twenty people for that. Then there was the girl in Boston in the Children of Gad. They were snatching her this morning. He would send her to Westchester; Joe could drive out that night and begin deprogramming her while he worked on Weber. And maybe Winnie, yes, fly Winnie back East from Kansas where she was completing her rehabilitation and have her assist Joe. Once the kids were out, they all wanted to help others get out, and it strengthened them to see what they had looked like, to hear a kid from another cult parroting the exact same Scriptural quotations, responding the same way they had responded, in the same words, to the same questions, no matter which cult they had belonged to.

Bill would be flying into New York from Dayton. John and Bob would be driving to Boston. A plane ticket for Winnie to LaGuardia. And he had to send somebody up to Syracuse to find that doctor's daughter who, like Bernie Weber, had been ensnared by Moon. And call the lawyer in California. And the reporter who wanted to come out today to interview him.

From the sounds of the voices he could tell that they'd taken Bernie down into the basement. It was safe for him to get up, have some breakfast, and get busy. The worst thing about going to jail would be the emptiness of the days, the absence of activity, movement, work, twenty hours a day, organizing, traveling, freeing up the gear-locked brains of the young and innocent victims of Sun Myung Moon and the Children of God.

"Let's get rolling," he said out loud. "Let's move on out!" And he padded into the bathroom.

There isn't much in the basement-a long heavy cream-colored couch against one wall, and a couple of green plastic bucket chairs brought down from the kitchen. A salt-and-pepper shag carpet wall to wall. A washer and drier combination in one corner. A wrought iron spiral staircase descending from the living room, and people coming and going sound like jailers as their shoes strike the metal. Three narrow oblong windows, -locked, up near the ceiling, are overgrown with weeds and uncut lawns: you would have to stand on a chair to unlock them and even then you couldn't squeeze your body through. In, spite of the carpet and the panelling on the walls, it is dark, humid, with a basement smell.

Bernie Weber is sitting on the edge of the couch, his ankles crossed primly, his hands folded between his knees, his spine rigid, trying to fathom the strategy of his abductors, tense, watchful behind his dilated eyes, fearful, wondering from what direction the first blow will come.

So far Bernie has said nothing. All the talking has been done by the heavy-lidded man with a drooping moustache, large white teeth, and prominent Italianate nose-Joe Franklin-who is sitting opposite Bernie in one of the green kitchen chairs. His manner is relaxed, low-keyed, congenial. But Bernie sees him as the Devil incarnate. He listens to Franklin for only a short while before deciding that he will not speak: They'd cautioned him in Los Angeles, "If you're kidnapped, don't say anything, not a word. We'll find you, we'll get you out, and we'll bring charges and put them all in jail." So he won't speak, he won't cooperate in any way. He will resist them with every fiber of his being, however long it takes.

"You see," Franklin is saying, smoking, smiling, his teeth white below the moustache, "You think Moon is the Messiah, don't you? Of course you do. They programmed you to believe that. I've heard 'em do it. I've infiltrated Unification centers all over the country: But Moon ain't no Messiah. You know what Moon is?" he questioned easily, pleasantly. "Moon is a pimp. He's a pimp, that's all, and you're nothing but a male prostitute. You've given yourself to him body and soul, and you go out- in the streets and sell yourself and bring the money back to him. You ain't selling plastic flowers and Cracker Jack. You're selling yourself, and you're giving the money to that pimp."

The boy's unblinking eyes do not flicker ,from Franklin's face. But he is nonetheless aware of his mother sitting on a cushion to the left of his feet, gazing up from the floor at him, and he cannot believe she will permit this man to call him a prostitute. He waits for her to object, but she says nothing, nor does his father, also seated on the floor,. cross-legged, on the other side. That they do not object is proof to him of their iniquity; what he has been told at the center is true: he has only one family, the Unification Church, and only one parent, Sun Myung Moon, to whom he now begins to pray.

"How much money did you bring in every day selling those damned flowers? Three hundred? Four? I know kids that sold six hundred in one day." Swiveling in his chair, Franklin addresses Valerie Weber. "I went out selling one day, I didn't even know what I was doing, and I brought in nearly two hundred bucks. It's a racket, is all it is." Swiveling back. "That ain't no church. It's just one big rip-off, and the guy doing the ripping off is Moon. Tell `me, Berniewhere do you think that money you raised went to? Huh? You told those poor old ladies on the street corner and in the parking lots that the money was for drug reform and prison reform and this and that and everything else. But you knew that was a lie, didn't you? They told you it was okay to lie because everyone outside of Unification Church is of the Devil, and it's okay to lie to the Devil. But where do you think the money went?"

The boy is not listening. He is summoning up a mental picture of the Master, the Father-the flat round face, the high cheekbones, the dark shadows of his slanted eyes, the beloved features he has contemplated for long hours on end, as they all did, until he felt faint and dizzy with the pure ecstasy of what was revealed to him in the depths of the photograph of this man who had come as the Third Adam to save the world. To block out the blasphemies spewing like smoke from the mouth of the diabolic man sitting across from him, he concentrates on the words of the Master: You may again want to ask me, 'With what authority do you say these things?' I spoke with Jesus Christ in the spirit world. And I also spoke with John the Baptist. This is my authority . . . If you believe the Bible you must believe what I am saying:

"You see," Franklin explains to the parents, who sit there as attentive and innocent as freshman in a lecture hall the first week of school, "he can't answer, 'cause he can't think anymore. He's been brainwashed. They tell him not to think because thinking's of the Devil. Moon says, `I am your brain.' Doesn't he, Bernie? Moon's taken his brain away, his power to think. But we're gonna give it back to him."

And the boy, aware of his parents, seeing them without looking at them-this Jewish boy, BarMitzvahed in Israel, raised in a Zionist atmosphere presses another button in his mind, and the Master's words return as from a computer:

The crucifixion of Jesus was a result of the faithlessness of the Jewish people. Everything that has happened to him on this dreadful morning has confirmed all he was taught since joining the Unification Church ten months ago.

Upstairs he hears voices, footsteps, the clink and clatter of silverware and dishes, water running in the sink. He wonders if Ted Patrick is in the house. Black Lightning. Will he be struck? He doesn't care. If he has to die for Sun Myung Moon, he will. He is prepared to die. It will be a privilege to die.

He puts himself into a kind of trance in which time seems to cease. In fact three hours go by, during which he does not speak, and does not move, ankles crossed, hands folded, spine arched, in a posture of intense militancy, a curious smile distorting his features, like a grimace, or the drawing back of the lips from a corpse's teeth when rigor mortis sets in.

"The way they get them is by on-the-spot hypnosis. Once they get them, they brainwash them. The technique is the same as the North Koreans used on our prisioners of war," says Ted Patrick.

The reporter nods and writes in her pad. The black man lounges against the kitchen sink eating a ham and cheese sandwich and drinking a glass of orange juice. He is wearing light blue bellbottomed jeans, high-heeled patent leather shoes, and a short sleeved white turtleneck. At a first meeting he does not inspire either awe or confidence. He is five feet eight inches tall, forty-five years old, has a small pot belly, wears owlish horn-rimmed glasses. He also suffers from a speech impediment that converts th's to f's or Vs. Upon meeting him, many parents despair of his ever rescuing and deprogramming their child. Their shock and incredulity soon dissipate, however. He is, ultimately, a powerful and persuasive man.

"They don't let a kid sleep, they don't let him eat. They hit him with tape recordings of Scripture, lectures, discussions, workshops-night and day. They wear him down, wear him out. Pretty soon he believes anything. Some kids go out fundraising three days . after they join."

"What about freedom of religion?" the reporter asks. "Moon's got nothing to do with religion!" he replies emphatically. "Moon's a crook, plain and simple. They're all crooks. You name 'em. Hare Krishna. The Divine Light Mission. Guru Maharaj Ji. Brother Julius. Love Israel. The Children of God. Not a brown penny's worth of difference between any of 'em. I've taken 'em all on. Deprogrammed hundreds of kids from all those cults:"

He places several phone calls concerning his legal problems and travel arrangements for assistants scattered all over the country. At one point he takes a call and says, "I don't want to talk on this phone. Might be tapped. I'll call you later from a phone booth." The impression is created that the house is under siege.

The mother, father, and brother Jeff, along with Kevin, clomp up and down the circular stairs bringing reports of what's happening with Bernie, which is nothing. "He hasn't moved, he's not saying anything."

Patrick gazes out the kitchen window at the kneehigh grass in the backyard and drums his fingers on the Formica countertop. "Think I'll let Joe have him a while longer," he murmurs. "Tell Kevin to get some sleep. Has to be somebody awake all night with him."

Moments later, sipping coffee, he remarks to the reporter, "See, he's a robot right now." She does not take this down; she merely looks at him, quizzically, skeptically. "I tell the parents, `You're not dealing with your son at this point. You're dealing with a zombie. You have to do whatever's necessary to get him t back.' "

It is hot and humid outside, stifling inside. The Webers have brought a week's supply of food-cold cuts, loaves of bread, bottles of soda, milk, paper plates, and napkins-along with sleeping bags, blankets, pillows. The sink and counter begin to fill up with dirty dishes.

Everyone speaks in muted voices, and the people are as tense and and anxious as relatives waiting in a hospital lounge for news of a loved one on whom surgery is being performed.

"He's lost thirty pounds since he joined ten months ago," Mrs. Weber informs the reporter who listens sympathetically. Mrs. Weber is frying hamburgers, taking refuge from her fears in managing the kitchen.

"It's been ten long months of nightmare," confirms her husband. "This thing has turned our lives upside down."

"Hiring this man was the biggest decision we've ever had to make," his wife adds. "You take cream and sugar? We tried everything, talked to everybody -lawyers, psychiatrists, the police. We finally went to our rabbi and he said, `If you don't hire him to get your boy,"' she gestures at the black man who is again conferring on the phone near the kitchen door, "`you'll never see Bernie again. There's no other way.' "

"I don't believe he's going to break," Jeff Weber says. "He's strong. Strong and stubborn. Once he gets his mind set on something, he won't budge."

"Oh, he'll budge," Patrick says, overhearing as he hangs up. He looks at the tops of his patent leather shoes for a moment, then repeats, "He'll budge, all right."

At two, he decides to go down.

After six hours some of the recalcitrance has drained from Bernie's posture; his shoulders are slumped now, his spine slack, though his ankles remain crossed and his hands are folded as before. Lying on the floor is his notebook, which Joe Franklin has expropriated. In the notebook, the boy had written:

where am I?
So completely lost and
very far away
Oh God, have they buried me?
and do I dare dig beneath
storms and tempests
beyond consciousness
becoming one or
split into pieces
what's the glue?

Though Bernie doesn't realize it, those words in the journal reveal a lot about his treatment at the hands of Reverend Moon. "Brainwashing" is by now a vague, almost devalued word, but the process itself most definitely still exists. Dr. Robert J. Lifton of Yale, an authority on North Korean thought reform, prefers to describe the process as one of "ego destruction"-and that is clearly what Bernie is suffering from. Now it's up to Patrick to find the glue and help put the pieces back together.

Descending, his stacked heels clanging on the iron, the black man crosses the room with a briefcase in one hand, smiles, and says quietly, "Hello, Bernie. I'm 'Ted Patrick."

Bernie Weber has been expecting a gorilla. From the tales he's heard about Patrick, he has imagined a black giant, a nigger-thug-rapist, some hallucination of an "interior lineman for the L.A. Rams, a rawmeat eater.

Now, seeing him, meeting him, Bernie is almost moved to laugh with giddy relief. "This , is Ted Patrick?" he thinks. "I can handle him." He looks so innocuous, a pot-bellied absurd little man. In his relief, however, he fails to take into account the hard dwelling ledge of shoulders outlined beneath the tight white turtleneck, and the arms with muscles as clearly defined as strips of lath beneath the flesh, the substructure of a former middleweight boxer's conditioned physique. And, of course, he cannot guess that his adversary, having deprogrammed scores of people just like him, knows, and will continue to know every step the rest of the way, almost exactly what Bernie is thinking.

Because Patrick likes to work alone, the others-the reporter, Kevin, Bernie's family-at a signal from Joe Franklin rise and leave. They seem touched with a confusion of piety, solemnity, reverence, and a portion of guilt, as they withdraw, on tiptoe, eyes downcast, like mourners escaping from a wake.

Seated in front of the boy, so close that their knees almost touch, their eyes locked, Patrick gets right into it, disdaining preliminaries.

"You think you are a Christian. You think you are doing the Lord's work. You think you worship the Lord. But you don't worship the Lord. You worship Moon. Did the Lord ever tell you to hate your father and mother? Joe Franklin told me that when he asked you, `Do you love Moon more than your own father,' you said, `Yes.' You love Moon more than your own father and mother who birthed you into this world and gave you everything. Where does it say in the Bible that you should hate your father and mother? Where does it say that? And where does it say in the Bible that you should spend all your life, twenty hours a day, out on the streets cheating little old ladies, lying to them, robbing them of their money? Where does it say that? Christ told the rich man to give away everything he owned. But he didn't say, `Give it to Me.' And he certainly didn't say, `Give it to Moon."'

He talks quietly, slowly, almost inaudibly. As he talks, he works with a felt-tip pen on a photograph of Sun Myung Moon that he has taken from his briefcase. He draws a pair of horns on Moon's head, then a moustache, pointed ears, making a caricature of the Devil out of the image the boy has been conditioned to love and revere.

"Why would you give up your God-given mind, Bernie? God gave you that mind, a good mind, a brilliant mind. You are a brilliant boy, and you have everything going for you. Why would you give up that God-given mind to worship Moon? You're not doing the Lord's work. You worship this son of a bitch. See him?" He holds up the vandalized picture. The boy refuses to look. Patrick moves it to within a few inches of his eyes; he still refuses to look-the rigor mortis smile is on his face again. "There's your god. There's the son of a bitch. Recognize him? That's who you worship. Satan the snake."

Patrick pauses, rocks back in the chair, deliberately rips the picture into confetti and tosses the pieces into tile boy's lap. "There's your god. Satan the snake. You know, Moon doesn't speak English.". His voice is tilled with sorrowful contempt. "You think God can't speak English if He wanted to? Moon says he's God. But he can't speak English. Why's that, Bernie? Think about it. Why?" He waits. "Why?" There's a prolonged silence. Patrick is in no hurry. He rocks back and forth. "You're not going to talk. That's okay. You want to smile at me. Well, I'll smile right back at you. We'll smile together. I've got nothing else to do. I can stay here three, four months. Even longer. Nobody's going anywhere."

This registers on Bernie. He does not realize that the average deprogramming requires no more than three days. That five days is exceptional. That eleven days is the record. If he knew that, he might be able to make the physical and psychological adjustments necessary to withstand Patrick. But he doesn't know, and hearing Patrick talk about four months or more, he swallows, cringes, thinks, "There's no way I can hold out for four months." And makes up his mind that he will fast. "I'll fast for seven days," he tells himself. "Then they'll have to take me to a hospital. Once I'm out of here, I can call one of the centers. Escape."

His back is aching from the concentrated effort of physical resistance. It has been seven hours since he arrived, and he's tired. He shifts his position, crosses his legs, the confetti drizzles from his lap to the floor.

"God is a God of love. But Moon doesn't teach you anything except to hate. Hate your mother and father. Hate your brother. Hate food. Hate sex. Hate your school. Hate your government. You face is just filled with hate. That's Satan the snake speaking. That's not God. Satan the snake preaches hatred. Hatred is of the Devil. But your parents love you. Your brother loves you. They would do anything for you. What's the Fourth Commandment? Come on, Bernie, you know the Fourth Commandment? According to Moon, the Fourth Commandment is Hate thy Father and Mother. But that's not what God says . . ."

Like many of the other cults, the Unification Church employs the Bible as a point of departure for its doctrine. The vast majority of recruits are not schooled in the Bible, and thus are relatively easy prey to misinterpretations. Patrick knows it well, however, and he exploits his knowledge. Moon argues that the Bible has to be read selectively, that portions of it must be accepted as literal truth, while other portions cannot be taken that way. Patrick says, "It's either all true, or none of it is." And just as a recruit is victimized by becoming entangled in the webs and knots of Scripture, until he is totally confused, Patrick confuses him afresh, reversing the process, forcing him to make the mental journey back through that terrible labyrinth, bringing him back out the way he went.

"All we want you to do is think for yourself again, Bernie. To use your God-given mind. Now look. How can Moon be the Messiah if he was born of woman? How can he be the Second Coming of Christ? The Bible says Christ was born of a Virgin. We know Moon wasn't born of no Virgin."

Reaching for the. large white Bible in his briefcase, he opens it and leafs through the pages. "Let's just see what the Bible says about the Second Coming. Here it is. You want to read it? No? Okay, I'll read it."

"We didn't know anything about this Unification Church in the beginning." Valerie Weber is plastering together ham sandwiches in the kitchen. In the rear bedroom Joe Franklin, who will have to relieve Patrick during the night, is sleeping. Kevin, who has not slept for more than an hour at a time in three days, is lying face down on the floor in the living room. "At first," Mrs. Weber continues, "I suppose we didn't want to know the truth. We kept telling ourselves that it was all right, that it must be okay. We kept believing all the lies Bernie was writing to us about the good work they were doing. But then the signs began to become unmistakable. The letters he wrote, the way he sounded on the telephone. It wasn't Bernie. It was some weird stranger. Then he started trying to proselytize Jeff, and his little sister, who's only thirteen. That's when I knew we had to get help. But wherever we turned-the police, the FBI, the courts-it was the same old story. There was no help -except Ted Patrick."

She does not regret the decision to spend fifteen hundred dollars to try to rescue her son. She has been confirmed in tat decision by an NBC television special broadcast a few weeks earlier, a documentary on the Unification Church, which caused a furor and provoked an. unusually heavy viewer response: The Webers managed to obtain a videotape of the show.

"All of a sudden," she continues, "everybody was talking about cults. It seemed like everyone you spoke to knew someone who had a child in a cult." Nevertheless, she is apprehensive. So is her husband. "I just wish I had Ted's confidence," he remarks, shaking his head. "I'm not sure he can bring Bernie out of this."

Jeff, a serious, curly-haired, open-faced athletic teenager who has been reading a copy of Helter Skelter he found in one of the bedrooms, drinks from a Pepsi bottle and says flatly, "I don't think he'll ever break. He's stubborn as a mule."

At five o'clock, Patrick asks Bernie's father to run the videotape of the NBC documentary. Everyone goes down to watch it on the portable TV in the basement. Bernie Weber looks a little less glassy by this time. Without realizing it, he has altered his defensive strategy, choosing now to pose as a caricature of the attentive student, listening too intently to Patrick, mocking him by his appearance of excessive zeal to understand the black man's arguments: And now he is even talking a little; has conceded that his tactic of silence was not working; and was unworkableespecially if he was to remain there for four months. What he has not admitted to himself is that by altering his strategy, he has made a concession: Patrick is scoring.

There are other signs he is weakening. He has removed his jacket, removed his shoes, and sits far back on the couch now. And from time to time the muscles in his thin, tanned face relax, and the eyes actually seem to be receiving impressions, perhaps a clue that his mind is absorbing impressions too. Because he can't stand hearing Patrick read, he has been reading aloud from the Bible. But as yet he has not engaged Patrick in any debate.

The documentary comes on. He watches with apparent interest and curiosity. In L.A. they were not permitted to watch it. There is Moon, shrieking, his face distorted, on the stage in Madison Square Garden, and the voice of the interpreter: "Master speaks . . . `We can control the government . . . we can smash the world!'" Strutting up and down in a white robe; karate-chopping the air with his arms, stamping, shouting, arms thrusting up above his head, shouting again and again, "Mansei! Mansei! Mansei!" And the throng responding, echoing his Mansei's as from a single collective throat. And there are images of young people like himself, neat, clipped, combed, in jackets and ties and sports coats, the girls in prim kneelength skirts, their faces and smiles more plastic than the flowers they are hustling on street corners, in parking lots, at train stations, in shopping centers. And a grim shot of the railroad tracks in upstate New York on which a frenzied disciple lay down, stretching his neck across the tracks, and was decapitated by an onrushing locomotive. Testimony from parents. Testimony from deprogrammed young people-deprogrammed by Ted Patrick. It is a heavy, appalling, horrifying presentation, and everyone in the basement is sickened by it, and angered.

"You're never going back," Harold Weber vows to his son when it's over. "If we have to stay here forever with you, you "are never going back to that bunch." His son looks thoughtful, gazes at the narrow windows through which the late afternoon sun enters weakly through the weeds, does not reply.

It is nearly midnight. Plates smeared with spaghetti sauce clutter the kitchen table. The linoleum is dirty, greasy, slippery. Bags of rubbish are piled next to the bolted kitchen door. Everyone feels sullied. From the basement, Patrick's indefatigable voice can be heard, along with Bernie's 'indistinct replies. They are arguing now, Patrick interrogating, Bernie defending himself. From time to time Patrick plays a tape recording of someone he has deprogrammed from the Moon cult, trying to illustrate for Bernie how he has been duped. Valerie Weber slumbers on the living room couch. Joe Franklin, just awakened, wanders into the kitchen and rummages in the refrigerator, staring into the shelves for long moments as though regarding himself in a mirror. Kevin; red-eyed, roams from room to room, grumbling, searching vainly for a comfortable corner to settle into. He finally chooses an upholstered chair, and curls up in it. Harold Weber and Jeff sit cross-legged on the floor at the top of the stairs, straining to hear what is transpiring below.

In the dining room, the reporter muses over a black book, resembling a Bible, entitled Divine Principle. It is incomprehensible. It reminds her of Mein Kampf.. It is Sun Myung Moon's variation on, and answer to, and substitute for, Holy Scripture.

"Course nobody can understand the damn thing," Joe Franklin drawls. "That's the whole idea. Bernie's never read it. They, give them a study guide. It's all just a pile of junk."

The premises of the book are convoluted. Divine Principle seems to be based on the interconnected theories that Christ was not God; that His mission on earth was not to die on the cross, but to breed a new race of men, free of sin; that His mission was aborted by his murder, and that Sun Myung Moon is the New Messiah sent to complete the mission Christ failed to accomplish.

"Hell, even that ain't original," Franklin snorts. "We got a copy of a legal document from some group in Korea called. the Monastery of Israel. You know, Moon is always saying Divine Principle was revealed to him by God. But these dudes in the Monastery of Israel are suing him because they say they wrote all that shit down thirty, forty years before Moon ever published Divine Principle. He stole it from them, word for word." He is disgusted, cynical, tired. He _chews on a piece of cheese without appetite.

"What were you before you got into all this?"

"A Catholic."

"What are you now?"

"A Christian.

What are you?"

"Nothing," says the reporter with a yawn.

"That's okay," replies Franklin.

"Better to be nothing than to belong to one of these damn cults."

By three in the morning everyone is asleep except Patrick, Bernie, and Franklin: For twelve hours Patrick has not left his chair except once, to answer an important phone call and use the bathroom. He has eaten a sandwich brought down to him; drunk a can of Hawaiian Punch, and smoked a White Owl cigar. Bernie Weber has neither eaten nor drunk anything in the more than eighteen hours he has been in the house. He has gone to the bathroom once, with Patrick. He has been quoting Divine Principle in rebuttal to Patrick's attacks. But every paragraph and concept of Divine Principle he has employed has been refuted by Patrick, quoting from the Bible. Also, watching Patrick eagerly consume his sandwich, Bernie has altered his resolve to fast for seven days. "I can never last seven days," he thought "I'll fast three days. "It has furthermore become progressively difficult to pray to Sun Myung Moon. He is exhausted and confused. Moon, Christ, St. Matthew, Divine Principle, Luke, the Old Testament, Abraham, Adam, Logos, Genesis, Revelations, blood guilt, indemnity, Jews, Christians, cults, are all exploding in his head like kernels in a popper. Two days ago it was all so simple, clear, scientific even-the lines of logic direct. He wonders why he can't get back to that, and feels he could if they'd only leave him alone, stop badgering him, give him time to sort out his thoughts, let him sleep and purge his brain. He forgets that he got involved in the Unification Church the same way-that they wouldn't let him alone either, badgered him, wouldn't let him sleep.

At four, Franklin comes down to relieve Patrick, who curls up on some cushions near the washing machine and is asleep instantly. Franklin takes the chair opposite Bernie and smiles. "How we doin'?" he inquires pleasantly. "Ted tells me you're coming along just fine. You hungry? You want something to eat? Drink?"

Setting his teeth, Bernie shakes his head. But he is thinking, "Maybe I'll fast just for two days."

The sun strikes the empty platter and the empty cup, the pristine white paper napkin and the untouched silverware. His mother, father and brother have all eaten breakfast. He has declined:

They finally let him sleep for four hours on the couch ("That's about one more hour than they let him sleep when he was getting into the cult," Franklin says), and when he wakes up he asks if he can take a shower. Now, bathed but not refreshed by the cold water any more than by the sleep he's had he sits at the head of the dining room table, facing his family without expression his spine not touching the back of his chair.

It is already another hot day. Ted Patrick is on the telephone in one of the bedrooms. Kevin is sleeping in the basement on the couch. The reporter is toasting an English muffin in the kitchen. Joe Franklin sits in a leather chair in a corner of the living room where Bernie can't see him, smokes Winchesters and watches and listens to the family attentively.

No visible change is evident in the boy from the previous morning. He seems as remote, closed-off, isolated as before. But significant modifications have taken place in his brain. His mind is turbulent. Again and again and again during the night, Patrick had stung him with questions he was unable to answer. He found himself repeating over and over, "You don't understand. There's no point in trying to make you understand. You're distorting the truth. The answer to that is in Divine Principle." Sensitive finally to the inadequacy of these responses, he was baffled that he could not bring to bear on this black and devious heretic the hitherto, absolutely lucid truths of his religion. Then too, amazingly enough, this man Patrick seemed to know Divine Principle better than he did. Patrick made him feel tongue-tied and ashamed. How little he had really studied Divine Principle in all those months. Don't worry about it, Patrick had quoted his leaders mockingly. I If you don't get it now, you'll get it by and by. Which, though he'd denied it, was exactly what they had told him. He'd attended lectures and study groups and workshops about Divine Principle, but his firsthand knowledge of that crucial work was not substantial. And when he'd expressed doubts, when he'd been puzzled or confused, his leaders had assured him that Divine Principle was "deep." He couldn't expect to grasp it immediately. And when his doubts persisted, he was informed that Satan was invading him.

Compounding his ignorance of Divine Principle was his ignorance of the Bible. It seemed, incredibly enough, that he didn't know anything: It was humiliating how expert Patrick was, how easily he caught him up in contradictions, half truths, clumsy errors. Bernie had read extensively in Schopenhauer and Hesse. Compared to him, Patrick was a crude and vulgar semi-literate. Yet he understood the Bible and Divine Principle so thoroughly that Bernie was reduced to mumbling revolting inanities like, "The spirit has its own vocabulary," to explain passages in Moon's doctrine that amounted, on close inspection, to approximate gibberish.

In addition to his theological confusion, he is now profoundly uncertain about the nature of this man whom he has worshiped for nearly a year. The question this morning is less whether Moon is indeed the Messiah than whether he is even a holy; if mortal, man. Patrick had shown him newspaper and magazine stories revealing that Moon was living in lavish splendor in a millon-dollar estate in Barrytown, New York, while his folowers slept on floors and ate peanut butter, half froze to death selling plastic flowers, died of malnutrition and committed suicide in front of trains. And what did happen to the money they raised? Bernie knew it did not go for philanthropic purposes. Not much of it even went to convert disbelievers or unify the various Christian faiths as Moon maintained; that work was done by kids like him, for free. Where does the money go? Where does the money go? they kept pounding away at him. And he couldn't answer. A pimp, a crook, a con man. And he, Bernie Weber, a male prostitute.

"He's like a brick wall," his mother had exclaimed earlier while he was showering. But the twenty-four hours of hammering have produced a network of fissures behind the plaster on the wall. Indeed, as he sits of the table with his family, the plaster is about all that is holding the bricks together.

His father is reading aloud the letters Bernie had written from California, starting with those sent when he first joined the cult the previous August. He is
Religious Totalism - DELGADO
Sat Dec 15, 2007

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