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Phact - lecture on "Harmful cults" Feb 15th. 2pm

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  • eric
    People, Don t miss our coming meeting Feb 15th 2pm with a lecture by Joe Szimhart on Harmful Cults at the Philadelphia Community College. (more details at
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 8 10:21 PM
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        Don't miss our coming meeting Feb 15th 2pm with a lecture by Joe Szimhart on "Harmful Cults"  at the Philadelphia Community College.  (more details at the end of this email)
         The newest issue of Phactum is out.  If you don't subscribe or have an expired date on the address label on your issue, just send $15 (payable to Jack Rohr) per year plus any donation to  PhACT P.O. Box 1131 North Wales PA 19454-0131  That's not asking for much. 
      Send me any submissions to our PhACT lending library.
      It looks like things are on for PhACT manning a booth at the March 13th National Science Teachers convention at the convention center. This effort is mostly paid for by CSICOP.   We learned from last years convention for just PA that many teachers are worried about the freedom to teach the central tenet of biology and not sure how to respond to all kinds of goofy misinformation infecting the minds of their students.  Anyone with good ideas on this subject, we have an email discussion list at:
      Phact member Debbie Goddard managed to get Darwin Day (this Feb 12th) listed on the Penn State U. calendar.
         The JREF "Amazing Meeting" was really great. For those skeptical about my claim of going, I offer the following photographic proof:


      Feb 15th at 2pm

      see following link for directions


        "Harmful Cults" by Joe Szimhart :

      Joe Szimhart has worked as a consultant internationally regarding harmful cults since 1986. He began helping people to reject cultic influences in 1980 as a deprogrammer or exit counselor. He has lectured and written widely on this topic and has appeared in dozens of media presentations. His reviews and articles have appeared in the Cultic Studies Journal (www.csj.org) and the Skeptical Inquirer regularly. He has had a long career as an artist. Currently he is employed at a psychiatric emergency hospital as an intake and crisis manager. He resides in Pottstown, PA with his wife and daughters. He maintains a website about his cult related work at <www.users.fast.net/~szimhart>

      Joe will present a summary of the cult controversy and how it has changed in the past 30 years. He will address social, medical, scientific and legal aspects of the problem, and he will comment on recent news about the Raelian "cloning" sect with short video clips. Reading list to be provided.

      Longer bio:
      Joe Szimhart Careers Description:Cult Information Specialist/Thought Reform Consultant engages in consultation, education, research and non-coercive intervention regarding controversial, high demand groups, cults, psychotherapies, or relationships that use undue influence or thought reform and mind control techniques. As an artist he continues to produce and exhibit paintings, drawings and prints. Currently, Szimhart is employed by a psychiatric emergency hospital.

      Joe Szimhart's deep interest in the problem of harmful cult activity began in 1980 when he rejected a system of esoteric sects that he pursued. He began helping persons to exit cults by the end of 1980. His professional career began in 1986 when he first worked with intervention specialists (deprogrammers and exit counselors) nationally. Szimhart was chairman of an interdenominational cult information group in Santa Fe, NM from 1985-92, and he supported a local CSICOP group during that period. His continuing education in the field comes from extensive research, experience, conferences and workshops.

      Szimhart has appeared in court as a witness on behalf of cult victims four times and has defended himself successfully against civil and criminal charges connected to his work with victims.

      He has personally helped many hundreds of people impacted by a wide spectrum of cult activity.

      He has lectured widely at colleges, prep schools, high schools, Native American tribal centers, and conferences about the dangers of groups that use thought reform and mind control. Szimhart has also delivered papers for the Association of Sociology of Religion in 1996 & 1997. He has lectured many times for American Family Foundation conferences and for many unrelated cult-awareness organizations.

      Since 1983 he has appeared on dozens of TV and radio programs worldwide and has been consulted by the media regularly, including 20/20, A Current Affair, TV2 Chicago, the Canadian Broadcasting Network and the Black Entertainment Network. The October 17, 1994 NBC TV movie that has aired repeatedly, "Moment of Truth: A Mother's Deception," is based on a Szimhart case--he consulted for the production. More recently he has been consulted by Dateline re. Rama Lenz; Court TV re. Chung Moo Quan. He appeared on A&E TV in June 1997 criticizing Church Universal & Triumphant's Elizabeth Prophet. In 1991, September DETAILs magazine feature article on Szimhart called "New Age Exorcist." He has been consulted by Newsweek, the London Telegraph Review, The New Mexican, Forbes, the Washington Post , the West Australian, the New York Times and the Pottstown Mercury to name a few.

      Several books have mentioned Szimhart including: Understanding the New Age by R. Chandler (1988), What Do We Mean When we Say God? by D. Sullivan (1991), Captive Hearts, Captive Minds by Tobias & Lalich (1994), Snapping (1995) by Conway & Siegelman. Many of Szimhart's book reviews and articles have appeared in the Cultic Studies Journal, the Skeptical Inquirer and other publications.

      Szimhart wrote the introduction for Cult Encounter by Helen & Rick Larsen [1997], and for 400 Years of Imaginary Friends: A journey into the world of adepts, masters, ascended masters, and their messengers by Kenneth and Talita Paolini [2000].


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