Vol. 3, No. 6
Annual Report: Letter
From the President
Herbert L. Rosedale, Esq.
On behalf of the thousands of people whom AFF has assisted
this year, I thank you for your continued interest in our work combating psychological
manipulation and cultic groups. Your support enables AFF to provide a full range of
services, including information and referral, public and professional education,
preventive education for youth, research and writing projects, and assistance to families and
former group members. A summary of the achievements to which you have contributed follows:
Information Service and Cult Information Line
Service has experienced unprecedented demand in 1997; requests for our
resources have doubled in less than two years. We anticipate ever-increasing demands on
our resources in 1998, in large part because of the expansion of our Internet services
AFF's Cult Information Line
We are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00
p.m. (eastern). Please note our new Cult Information Line:
Our experienced telephone consultants offer caring support and referrals and AFF's
balanced, nuanced, and research-based resources. Their work has been enhanced by the
- Marked improvement of the visual quality of our materials.
- Increase in the number of professionals volunteering their
www.csj.org-Information About Cults And Psychological
Manipulation-AFF's Internet resource:
- 100,000 visitors in 1997.
- 500 award-winning pages.
- "This Web site could save your life, or the life of
someone you cherish...Highly Recommended."-Reuters-Health Information Service.
AFF News Briefs-AFF's new e-mail newsletter:
- Provides timely, cost-effective announcements of AFF's
resources, programs, and current cult-related events.
Information Home Page-AFF's online cult-information resource for the media:
- Answers to the most frequently asked questions.
- Profiles and access to former cult members and families
available for interviews.
- Bibliographic information.
- Statistical information.
- Soon to include audio and video clips.
Press Information Briefs-Proactive e-mail and fax resources
for the press:
- Interview contacts.
- Notification of potential story leads.
- Announcements of AFF workshops, conferences and events.
Goal 2000-Cost-Effective Education
As more and more people get online, the demand for
cost-effective, electronic information is growing exponentially. By the year 2000-with
your help-we will electronically convert our resources, establishing a comprehensive,
online archive including:
We need additional financial support for substantial
investments in new equipment, software, and manpower.
Family Education Center
Thanks to a special grant, AFF will soon open a Family
Education Center (FEC). Under the direction of Michael Langone, Ph.D. AFF's FEC
will provide consultation and an exciting new generation of resources for families. AFF's
Family Education Center plans to:
- Provide families with as much information as possible about
helping options, including exit counseling-which
is a completely voluntary process.
- We applaud those exit counselors devoted to increasing the
professionalism of their field.
- Refine and further develop AFF's detailed curricula,
including new self-study guides.
- Based on the success of AFF's Family Workshops in New York,
Philadelphia, and Delray, Florida, we plan to expand the frequency of our local, regional
and national Family Workshops. The next family workshop is scheduled for the spring of
1998 in Maryland. Please let us know if you would like to host a Family Workshop in your
AFF's 1998 Annual Conference (May 29-30) in Philadelphia,
which will focus on children and cults, will also include support sessions for families
and former members.
Local and Regional Workshops
We are also developing streamlined curricula that will
enable us to send a two-person team to conduct affordable family and ex-member workshops
for small groups of people in any geographic area.
If you are interested in organizing a workshop in your
area, contact AFF.
Project Outreach - Ex-member Support
Project Outreach, led by Carol Giambalvo, continues its
work with ex-members.
Weekend ex-member workshops were held this year in
September (Colorado) and November (New York). The next scheduled workshop will be in
Colorado next July. There will be ex-member support sessions at AFF's Annual Meeting in
Philadelphia May 29-30, 1998.
AFF is also very active on the education front. Our
Director of Education, Ronald Loomis, conducts exciting programs for colleges and
universities. Thousands of schools, churches, colleges, and universities have benefited
from the preventive education videos, lesson plans, and other resources developed by AFF's
International Cult Education Program,
under the leadership of Marcia
Although the practical services described above are vital,
AFF's most distinctive contribution to this field is the linking of practical service with
professional study and research (most recently, for example, we published the second,
revised edition of our book
We study the field so as to increase our understanding.
Then we apply this improved understanding to the development of educational and
victim-assistance resources. The informal and formal feedback of the people we help then
gets factored into our continuing study and research, reported upon in the
Cultic Studies Journal, AFF News Briefs,
special reports, professional journals, and books. Thus, today we are more effective than
yesterday, and tomorrow we will be more effective than today.