Parents Form Group to Fight Religious Cults' Hold on Young

James P. Sterba

New York Times
2 September 1974


A few documents about CAN will be forthcoming. In the meantime, I post this one here, since posters in alt.religion.scientology claimed that anti-cult organizations didn't originate with Ted Patrick. This article proves that they did. CAN was just the new name for the CFF.


DENVER, Sept. 1--A small group of parents whose children have become members of fringe religious groups announced yesterday the formation of a national organization to fight the influence of so-called religious cults on young people.

The group called the Citizens Freedom Foundation, was organized by Ted Patrick, who has specialized in taking young people out of such groups, "deprogramming" them and returning them to their parents.

About 25 persons met in Denver this weekend to form the group. They said they would return to their homes around the country and organize locally. Many of them were parents whose children are or were members of the so-called cults. Six youths, some of whom Mr. Patrick had recently talked out of allegiance to their religious groups, including the Hare Krishna sect, also said they would work against such groups.

"It has become more and more obvious, considering the fact that there are now 5,000 cults registered as nonprofit organizations boasting a membership of over two million people, that our efforts to fight against this ever-increasing menace to our society must become a national one," Mrs. Henrietta Crampton of Redondo Beach, Calif., said in a letter to concerned parents.

Saying that the Federal Government has shown little interest in aiding distressed parents....

Mrs. Crampton said that Mr. Patrick had been the prime force in organizing the group. Earlier this summer in Denver, Mr. Patrick was found guilty of a charge of false imprisonment after he held two young women, who had left their homes and the Greek Orthodox faith against their parents' wishes for "deprogramming." They and three other plaintiffs have filed a $2.5-million civil damage suit against Mr. Patrick.


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