Valuable Resource: – FREE Sign-up!

The email alert feature of has proved to be a very timely and valuable resource. The emails contain a listing of the subjects or groups referenced near the top followed by headlines and links either directly to the source article or back to CULTSNEWS .com. Yes, it is rare that something “free” actually contains value. However, over the last few months, this service has allowed me to follow news stories about groups I was already aware of and introduced me to developing stories about other groups. Not once have I regretted sharing my email address in return for the quality content provided.

The founders of are Patrick Ryan and Joe Kelly. I first met them at the 2014 International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) conference in Washington, DC. They were both cordial and helpful in answering my questions. Again, in 2016 at the ICSA conference in Dallas, TX; we met and I felt encouraged talking to Pat. He seemed to recognize we were both warriors on the same team. It wasn’t until I approached Pat about doing an interview for this blog did I realize how experienced and accomplished they both have become over the years. Through email, Pat was kind enough to offer answers to the following questions.

1. What is your background story that brings you to providing this cult resource website/service?

Patrick Ryan is a graduate of Maharishi International University. He has been a cult intervention specialist (exit counseling, mediation, religious conflict resolution, thought reform consulting) since 1984. Mr. Ryan is the co-founder of TM-EX, the organization of ex-members of Transcendental Meditation. He established ICSA’s online resource (1995-2013), and has presented 50 programs about hypnosis, inner-experience, trance-induction techniques, communicating with cult members, conversion, cult intervention, exit counseling, intervention assessment, mediation, religious conflict resolution, thought reform consultation, eastern groups, transcendental meditation and workshops for educators, families, former members and mental health professionals at ICSA workshops/conferences. Mr. Ryan received the AFF Achievement Award (1997) from AFF, the Leo J. Ryan “Distinguished Service Award” (1999) from the Leo J. Ryan Foundation, and a Lifetime Achievement Award (2011) from ICSA. Websites:;;

Joseph F. Kelly, a graduate of Temple University, has been a thought reform consultant since 1988. He spent 14 years in two different eastern meditation groups. He has lectured extensively on cult-related topics, and is a co-author of Ethical Standards for Thought Reform Consultants, published in ICSA’s Cultic Studies Journal. For many years, Mr. Kelly has also co-facilitated ICSA pre-conference workshops for ex-members. Recently, he helped to initiate ICSA’s monthly meeting in Philadelphia.

2. How long have you provided CULTNEWS101 and your other websites? Explain each of them…

We began archiving hardcopy cult-related articles in the early eighties; in the mid-eighties we started our electronic archive (now 50K+ articles) and email news distribution. The news distribution has taken different forms over the past thirty years including: a joint effort with Carol Giambalvo, two ex-member newsletters (AFF News Briefs, TM-EX News), via the web by building ICSA’s (AFF) online resources, in publication of ICSA Today’s (Joseph Kelly, past news editor), and in public meetings via ICSA’s monthly meetings.

For the past few years we have focused on providing email resources to cult awareness and education organizations such as ICSA, InfoCult and Inform. Recently we began offering our daily service to former members, families, educators, students, the media and others.

News, Intervention, Recovery resources about cults, cultic groups, abusive relationships, movements, religions, political organizations and related topics.
(March, 2014) to help families and friends understand and effectively respond to the complexity of a loved one’s cult involvement.
(March, 2012) assists group members and their families make the sometimes difficult transition from coercion to renewed individual choice.
(March, 2012) news, links, resources.
(March, 2012)

Also on:
Facebook – Google+ – Flipboard – Twitter

Cults101 Bookstore (500 books/videos)
March, 2012 created before 2000, content incorporated in

3. What motivates you to provide such a consistent quality service?

Our passion is to provide resources to help families effectively respond to the complexity of a loved one’s cult involvement, tools for former member recovery, and prevention education.

4. Have you seen an increase in traffic over the last two years since Scientology has been exposed in so many media outlets?

5. Where do you see your efforts directed in 2017?

In addition to our news distribution, we are focused on creating and facilitating new ICSA’s workshops for families and former members in the US and Europe.

6. Do you see any signs that the increasing exposure of Scientology has had any lasting effect on their continued viability as a closed sub-culture? Has the recent flood of survivors going public actually hurt them or made them stronger?

I wish I could say that the increased exposure will have a lasting effect, but my experience indicates that where there is money, large sums of money, the group endures (Christian Science, Transcendental Meditation, Unification Church, Hare Krishna).

From a meta view, what we can expect (hope) is that for its own survival, Scientology like most groups, will change in time. Maybe not in the near future, but over time. I think the efforts of the brave will have an impact in the long run – if they stay focused on harm mitigation. The entire anti-cult movement has had little success in ending groups, but has succeeded in facilitating change, and harm reduction.
After my exit from Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) in July of 2008, it took me awhile to admit and understand I had been in a dangerous and unsafe group. Once I admitted that fact, I began searching for answers to many questions. If you are a survivor of an unsafe group or have a friend or relative caught in one; take time to explore the resources mentioned above.

*** Sign up for the email alerts by sending an email to: .***

You will find answers to many of your questions. Then in turn you can share this resource with others.

Follow this blog on Twitter- @religiouscults and

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Thank you, for taking time to visit and read this blog. Please, consume the information on this site responsibly. The author is not a licensed mental health professional and encourages those that need professional help to seek it. The intent of the material is to inform and be a resource. Be sure to tell every member that you know at WOFF about this blog. There are readers at WOFF. Jane told me and Josh confirmed it.

Comments are invited from all readers, including present or former members. Polls are not scientific and no private information is gathered.

Look on the right side of any post for the option to subscribe by email for notifications or RSS feeds notifying of new postings. It is a great feature. Also, find more posts by selecting “Categories”.
Guest posts reflect the opinions of the writers. Their opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of John Huddle or any other persons affiliated with this blog.
Please, take time to read the Terms of Use for this personal blog. As mentioned, for posts written by John Huddle, any information about WOFF is from his memories and recollections as perfect as that may be or not be.
Scripture references are Amplified Version unless otherwise noted. (Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation ) This is post number 584.

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One thought on “Valuable Resource: – FREE Sign-up!”

  1. When will this man ever get a life and move on? He is annoyingly obsessed with this church, and we do not believe him. Sounds like the “Word of Faith ” rules that he posted were his own rules… Get a life John, and stop trying to make so much money off these stories you created and your fiction based book.

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