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Article

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WHY WE USE SYMBOLS/ICONS IN OUR LISTS.

Please note:

ICSA does NOT maintain a list of "bad" groups or "cults."  We nonjudgmentally list groups on which we have information.

Groups listed, described, or referred to on ICSA's Web sites may be mainstream or nonmainstream, controversial or noncontroversial, religious or nonreligious, cult or not cult, harmful or benign.

We encourage inquirers to consider a variety of opinions, negative and positive, so that inquirers can make independent and informed judgments pertinent to their particular concerns.

Views expressed on our Web sites are those of the document's author(s) and are not necessarily shared, endorsed, or recommended by ICSA or any of its directors, staff, or advisors.

See:  Definitional Issues Collection; Understanding Groups Collection

Views expressed on our Web sites are those of the document's author(s) and are not necessarily shared, endorsed, or recommended by ICSA or any of its directors, staff, or advisors

Finding Information on Lesser Known Groups

Despite AFF's extensive resource holdings, AFF has over the years received inquiries on well over a thousand groups on which we do not have information. When little, if any, information is readily available on lesser-known groups, how does one go about finding information on these groups? Here are some steps to consider:

  1. Avoid "confirmatory bias" This term refers to the tendency to seek out or notice only that which confirms one's initial impressions. Remain open-minded as you collect information, and be prepared to change your mind as your research progresses.
  2. Examine the extensive links section of AFF's Web site. When possible, we try to link to sites that are critical and sympathetic toward groups. Do not underestimate what can be learned by examining the group's own site, if one exists.
  3. Study the group's own literature and talk to group members, keeping in mind what you have learned about cultic group dynamics from AFF's extensive resources. Do not take appearances at face value.
  4. Contact other organizations that monitor cultic groups. AFF's Web site has a list of such organizations throughout the world.
  5. Contact resource persons who may know about the group in question. Because there are so many groups, most resource persons specialize in specific groups or types of groups (e.g., eastern; Bible-based; new age; political; large group awareness trainings). Many individual resources can also be found on AFF's Web site. However, we do not endorse or necessarily agree with resources (persons and organizations) that we may list. We present them to facilitate your searching. We strongly advise you to be discerning and to consult multiple resources.
  6. Do computer searches through newspaper, magazine, and scholarly databases (e.g., Psychological Abstracts).
  7. Try to locate and interview former members or relatives of current and former members of the group in question.
  8. Do not be so concerned about getting information on a specific group that you forget that the key issue is understanding how you or your loved one has been affected. Study AFF's resources (topic index, group index, study guides, publication index, cults 101) on cultic dynamics and apply them to your specific situation.

AFF Research Service

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Our E-Library contains full text articles and other resources related to the information below.  Click here.

WHY WE USE SYMBOLS/ICONS IN OUR LISTS.

Please note:

ICSA does NOT maintain a list of "bad" groups or "cults."  We nonjudgmentally list groups on which we have information.

Groups listed, described, or referred to on ICSA's Web sites may be mainstream or nonmainstream, controversial or noncontroversial, religious or nonreligious, cult or not cult, harmful or benign.

We encourage inquirers to consider a variety of opinions, negative and positive, so that inquirers can make independent and informed judgments pertinent to their particular concerns.

Views expressed on our Web sites are those of the document's author(s) and are not necessarily shared, endorsed, or recommended by ICSA or any of its directors, staff, or advisors.

See:  Definitional Issues Collection; Understanding Groups Collection
 

Views expressed on our Web sites are those of the document's author(s) and are not necessarily shared, endorsed, or recommended by ICSA or any of its directors, staff, or advisors.

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WHY WE USE SYMBOLS/ICONS IN OUR LISTS.

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