|8||A bill approving "deprogramming" of cult members that
breezed through the state Senate came under fire in an Assembly committee hearing Thursday
by churches and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Matthew Feldman, D-Bergen, would allow a relative of an adult cult member to force the person into court to prove they were not brainwashed into a change of lifestyle. A judge could order the cult member to undergo up to 75 days of deprogramming. A cult member who refused to appear could be arrested for contempt of court.
Assemblyman Martin Herman, D-Gloucester, said that the committee would hold the bill for further consideration because of questions raised about possible constitutional conflicts.
"You say that a person is kidnapped into a cult and here, we would be kidnapping a person out of a cult," said Assemblywoman Angela Perun, D-Middlesex. "Maybe that isn't right either." Ms. Perun noted that the bill would allow children cut out of wills to haul their parents into court to prove they weren't coerced into leaving their wealth to another.
Back to the Anti-Cult Page