Generally most of us are shocked every few years when we hear about incidents like Waco, or the Solar Temple but say to ourselves it won’t happen here! Many people think that the cult issue is no longer with us. They remember the cult scares of the 70s, 80s and 90s, with the Moonies and Scientology being the prominent groups that are remembered. Now with the collapse of religion in general there is no sense of the danger cults involve. It is only when someone close to them suddenly changes and joins a group that they become aware.
Unlike the drugs issue which is quantifiable, Cults are not so easy to evaluate. How many are there? What numbers are involved? We have no statistics, but from research in other countries we can say that up to 1–1.5 % of the population are caught up. That means that up to 60,000 people could be involved. Just because we are not aware of anyone being involved should not blind us to the need for this to be given some space in either the RE programme or at least somewhere on the school programme. I am getting calls on a daily basis from families whose adult children have joined this group or that and say to me, “if only they had had that talk!” These people turn to Dialogue Ireland for guidance and support. Such situations can be unbelievably painful for the people involved. Some have compared it to the death of a loved one without the funeral. Fortunately, the experiences of most people joining new movements are much less dramatic than this. Also the general culture is becoming more aware of the real possibility of mind control as we see ostensibly normal young people taking part in suicide missions where they are educated within very narrow parameters about a particular religious tradition.
Advice and information:
We provide advice and information to government departments, the media who are an essential element in opening up cultist issues in society. We also provide this service to schools, families and individuals about cultist groups. We try to help people clarify whether the problem they are encountering result from involvement with cultism or other issues. We refer people on to counsellors who understand the issues related to cult involvement.
Specific support Groups:
We also facilitate support groups for those coming out of a particular movement as a way to help them resolve the issues their involvement resulted in. We provide an initial support to the group then they become self supporting.
Dialogue Ireland has developed an expertise in regard to Islamism here in Ireland as part of our work in regard to Cultism.
Following our Wordpress blog will provide background to current developments. The history of the developments in this area and the fact that Ireland is the HQ of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. Mike Garde, Director of Dialogue Ireland can give background to this development generally since engaging with this issue since Sept 11, 2001. Ireland has no centre doing research on this phenomenon. See other similar reports from other countries on our site.
Prime Time had a detailed look at this issue in Dec 2006 which was broadcasted
in the Christmas week and hence did not receive the attention it deserved.
We are awaiting a detailed research paper on the Muslim Brotherhood in Ireland
by NEFA which has been delayed. Dialogue Ireland is not interested in Islam as such, but Islamism. We are only concerned about the cultist aspect of Islam. We see the solution to radical Islam is moderate Islam.
Thought Reform Consultancy:
Formerly it was believed that a person who joined a Group was programmed and as a result he needed to be 'deprogrammed.' This then led to 'exit counselling' where it was assumed that the only direction a person could go in was out. Now the issue has developed to the point where we talk about Thought Reform.
Here the idea is that the person is presented with alternative information about the group he is in. It involves getting the whole family involved in the process. It is entirely voluntary which means the person does not have to escape back to the group with his horror story about being deprogrammed. This can take years to organise, but it allows for differences to be resolved within the family, and it can lead to healing in relationships which have no connection to the cult issue.
Contacts with government:
This is done on behalf of the victims and survivors and their families who obviously do not go to their TD to raise the issue as there is a stigma associated with joining a cult. Ireland is one of the only countries in Europe that has not addressed the issues of "cults" in a systematic manner. We have attempted for over a decade to get a hearing from government, but without success
There is a requirement for the study of cults in an academic context, with researchers, and resources made available to provide support for the many families who have had to bear the wounds of battle without assistance. The Belgian government for example has a committee that provides this service and it has an interdepartmental team that looks out for cultist issues within Belgium. Also the introduction of World Religions as part of the Junior and Leaving Cert Syllabii requires some kind of Third level centre where the world religions issue can be addressed.
Fees and Support:
DIRECTOR DIALOGUE IRELAND
Phone: 353 -1- 8309384 or mobile 353 - 87 2396229 7/8 Lr Abbey St; Dublin 1
Charity number: CHY 14004
IRELAND and IRISH representative on the General Assembly of the European Federation of Centres for Research and Education on Sects ().