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Academic or Researcher

Those involved in research are exposed to cults in quite a different way to those in other areas, because they are used to seeking out information rather than having misinformation and propaganda foisted upon them.

This does not, however, mean that a researcher is safe from the clutches of cults, and there are purported academics who have been beguiled by cults and become their apologists. A harmful cult will try to win as many references and plaudits as it can, and the backing of an academic will suit its purposes nicely.

If you are researching something you suspect to be a dangerous cult, you may find FAIR News & Archive useful in showing the activities of a particular group, or cults more generally. If you consider the group to be harmless, perhaps some of the articles may surprise you.

Because totalitarian cults tend to use deception as part of their public relations, be wary of any information which you find produced by the group itself, or the apparently kind attention of its representatives, who are always interested and suspicious of anyone conducting research. Sometimes, as noted, cults have bought other researchers, so it is always worth corroborating any source material you may have. A group described as harmless in one source may have another very critical opinion of it elsewhere.

You should also be aware that some cults have a record of suppressing freedom of speech, and researchers who discover uncomfortable truths may be the target of harassment.