Feb 8, 2016

Marginal Extreme Groups and Radicalization ... - Info-Cult Press Release

Marginal Extreme Groups and Radicalization Continue to Remain Areas of Concern As Montreal’s Info-Cult Marks 35 Years of Serving The Community

Montreal February 8, 2016 – Info-Cult turned 35 last year! Since 1980, the Montreal-based non-profit organization remains one of North America’s most prominent organization offering help and information about different cults, new religious movements and related groups and subjects.  To date, Info-Cult has responded to more than 80,000 requests covering over 4,000 groups and subjects! 

“Over the last 35 years there has been an increase in the number of religious, spiritual, political and psychological groups claiming to help people achieve their full potential.  This trend continued throughout 2015 as Info-Cult responded to approximately 1,000 requests,” said Mike Kropveld, Founder and Executive Director of Info-Cult.

“While we have one of the most extensive collections in Canada of material on thousands of different groups and cult-related subjects, Info-Cult has limited financial resources. Still, at times the situation can be overwhelming, as it feels like we’re in a David vs. Goliath situation in terms of trying to keep up with all of the groups that are sprouting up,” said Carolle Tremblay, President of Info-Cult’s Board of Directors.

For example, in 2015, Info-Cult dealt with approximately 1,000 requests concerning 130 groups and subjects of which 228 were catalogued. Info-Cult also responded to over 100 family-related concerns about a loved one who was involved in a particular group , as well as 30 professionals and government agencies seeking information about a group or help for a client.

Queries for 2015 focused on numerous issues including astrology, voodoo, Satanism, exorcism, healers and mediums. Recent concerns also touched on Ayahuasca tea ceremonies taking place both here and abroad as well as radicalization and extreme forms of belief. Other noteworthy cases included Chantal Lavigne and her death in a sweat lodge, Lev Tahor and the allegations of widespread child abuse and individuals getting involved in extreme groups and radicalization.

As well, Info-Cult Board members and staff wrote two texts (here and here) that focused on the recruitment by cultic groups and the similarities of the appeal of ISIS and related extremist groups where violence plays a role. This is obviously of grave concern as the issue of security threats emanating from extreme political views and extreme forms of belief here and abroad is a reality.

“Over the years we have established contacts with an extensive international network of individuals and private and public organizations so we can remain as informed as possible of different groups or trends that are arising. 2015 was a busy year and everything points to the fact that these trends will continue in 2016. Remaining vigilant and keeping up-to-date on marginal and extreme groups and disseminating factual information remains one of the strongest tools we have in our arsenal in terms of dealing with them,” said Carolle Tremblay.

For more information contact Info-Cult at (514) 274-2333 or visit Info-Cult’s webpage at:  www.infocult.org. You can also reach Info-Cult by e-mail at: infosecte@qc.aibn.com

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