APne 09/01 0047 Colorado Cults WH OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- An Omaha private detective who expe

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

APne 09/01 0047 Colorado Cults WH OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- An Omaha private detective who expects to be indicted by a Colorado grand jury for the alleged kidnapping of a religious cult member called Colorado a haven for religious cults. Dennis Whalen said on Monday that Denver authorities have helped make Colorado that way by vigorously prosectuing people who try to help cult victims. Whelan, the subject of a grand jury investigation for the alleged kidnapping of a Unification Church member in Denver, said he can think of no other reason why about 15 of the largest cults in the United States are based in Denver. "I don't know why one big city in the Midwest has such a big concentration of cults unless they feel safer there," Whelan said at a news conference organized by an organization calling itself the Cult Rescue Defense Committee. Committee members said they said they hope to raise money to pay for the legal defense of Whelan and others who may be indicted in the alleged May 26 kidnapping of Britta Adolfsson, a 29-year-old Unification Church member. Whelan, 52, said the Unification Church is a religious cult. Church members are sometimes called "Moonies," after their leader, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon of South Korea. Whelan said he expects to be indicted with five other Omahans for their roles in what they call the rescue of Ms. Adolfsson. The five, who attended the press conference with Whelan, are James Hilzendeger, his son-in-law; Lawrence "Mick" Whelan, his son; Pat Kinney; Judy Kowal, and Jay Hinchman. A day after the alleged kidnapping, Denver authorities arrested Whelan and Hilzendeger and charged them with second-degree kidnapping, conspiracy to commit second-degree kidnapping and false imprisonment. Charges against both were dismissed when the case was submitted to the grand jury. Norm Early, Denver County district attorney, told the Omaha World-Herald in a telephone interview that cult members move to Colorado for the same reasons many other people do -- quality of life and scenic beauty. He also said his office would not tolerate kidnappings in Denver. "We are not going to have people being kidnapped from the streets of Denver ... for the pecuniary gain of Mr. Whelan or anyone else," Early said. He said the grand jury probably won't complete its investigation until mid-September.

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank