Cynthia Kisser Interview #2

This is a continuation of an interview with Cynthia Kisser who was the executive director of the Cult Awareness Network. She continues to speak about cults and various things regarding them.

0:00Copy video clip URL This is overlap from the first video of the interview where Cynthia Kisser again talks about cults that most people wouldn’t consider a cult. She is then asked about how debt works going into a cult responding that “most cults don’t like putting out money,” she says that bearing that in mind if they really want someone they will put out money to help clear their debts.

2:05Copy video clip URL Kisser is asked about Amway and Mormons. “[With Amway] you run into a gray area you see some of the techniques being used… but groups like that, again if they don’t have a tight mind control system… then a person come back from that conference… and any initial manipulative effect fades.” She then talks about Mormons and how, although some people consider them a cult because of the non-traditional aspects of their religious doctrine, they don’t actually seem to be a “hard cult” in the scientific sense because she has not seen any evidence of mind control techniques. She talks briefly about Jesus People USA, saying her main focus would be on looking at the businesses that they run to see if it’s paid or not, but stresses that she does not have enough information to make a definitive statement on whether or not they use mind control techniques and thus fit her definition of “cult.”

6:52Copy video clip URL She is asked about the relation between cults and organized religion. She talks about how if they stand the test of time they may become legitimate religions after their founder, who initiated the mind control, is dead.

9:06Copy video clip URL She talks about the future of cults, and says they will be a problem in the future as they are getting more and more deceptive. The best defense is for individuals to be aware and educated so they know how to avoid being mind controlled. She also says organizations need to look at their own practices to make sure they aren’t accidentally doing mind control techniques or associating with organizations that do. She goes on to talk about child abuse and sexism in cults and then speaks about First Amendment rights issues and how it’s a very complicated evolving issue, because our democracy is so free and open then makes it difficult to outright ban belief systems. “Are cults violating First Amendment rights, or are critics of cults violating First Amendment rights?” She says much of this is being decided in the courts, but so far there are very mixed results and no definitive consensus or official recognition of mind control.

14:55Copy video clip URL The interviewer returns to the question of individualism. Kisser on almost all the same points that she had previously brought up with regards to this particularly that many cults pander to their target audience.

17:22Copy video clip URL Video ends.



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