HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 390 Designating Nov. 13 - Nov. 19, 1988 as +quot;National Cult Awar

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HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 390 Designating Nov. 13 - Nov. 19, 1988 as "National Cult Awareness Week": Whereas the basis for individual, religious, and political liberties granted by the Bill of Rights lies in freedom from tyranny over the mind of man; Whereas a cult is a group or movement exhibiting excessive devotion to a person or idea and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control to advance the goals of its leaders; Whereas cults use mind control techniques to manipulate their members, including isolation from friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgment and promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of leaving it; Whereas cults use deceptive and unethical manipulation to recruit, convert, and retain members who will devote their lives to proselytizing, soliciting money, and otherwise serving the objectives of their leader; Whereas, with exalted promises of self-fulfillment and personal growth, cult leaders use sophisticated and deceptive psychological techniques to maintain the obedience of their followers, causing them to sacrifice their personal liberties, decrease their capacity for independent thought, and reduce their ability to tolerate the diversity inherent in a pluralistic society; Whereas the mass suicide and murder of 913 people, including Congressman Leo Ryan, on Nov. 18, 1978, at Jonestown, Guyana, stands as the most profound warning of the potential abuse of mind control techniques; Whereas it is estimated that there are over two thousand and five hundred cults in the United States and between one million and three million cult members; Whereas the youth of our Nation face a continuing challenge by the proliferation of destructive pseudo-religious and pseudo psychological cults; Whereas the problems associated with cults include an increasing number of legal actions, disrupted lives, suicides, missing and abused children, and psychotic episodes; Whereas the process of ego-destruction and thought -reform used by cults is not widely understood; Whereas although cults pose important and unresolved legal issues, this nation has always condemned exploitation achieved through fraud and deception, particularly under the guise of religion or therapy; Whereas the practices of cults often involve violations of tax, labor, and immigration laws; Whereas, although government must be cautious when addressing the problems caused by cults so as to guard against the infringement of constitutional guaranties and civil liberties, government must at the same time assure that it is neither directly nor indirectly providing incentives for the proliferation of cults; Whereas in a free society, the least restrictive yet most effective remedy for the harmful use of mind control techniques is public awareness of the problem; Whereas further research and study of cults is needed so that legislators, the clergy, educators, mental health professionals, lawyers, the business community, young people, and parents are better able to identify and respond to the use of deceptive psychological techniques; Now therefore, be it resolved by the senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the tragedy at Jonestown, Guyana, Nov. 13 - Nov.19, 1988, is designated as National Cult Awareness Week" and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United Stated to observe the period with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. This is H.J. Res. 390, presented Oct. 28, 1987 by Tom Lantos, Mr Daub, Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Lewis of Ca., Mr. Murphy, Mr. Sunia, Ms. Kaptur, and Mr. Dymally) Introduced to the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service.

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