Oct 1, 2021

CultNEWS101 Articles: 10/1/2021 (Proud Boys, Odyssey Study Group, Missouri Religious Schools, Legal, Family Caring Research Study)

Proud Boys, Odyssey Study GroupMissouri Religious Schools, Legal, Family Caring Research Study

Washington Post: Huge hack reveals embarrassing details of who's behind Proud Boys and other far-right websites
" ... Researchers say it will allow them to gain important new insights into how extremists operate online.

"Epik long has been the favorite Internet company of the far-right, providing domain services to QAnon theorists, Proud Boys and other instigators of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — allowing them to broadcast hateful messages from behind a veil of anonymity.

But that veil abruptly vanished last week when a huge breach by the hacker group Anonymous dumped into public view more than 150 gigabytes of previously private data — including user names, passwords and other identifying information of Epik's customers.

Extremism researchers and political opponents have treated the leak as a Rosetta Stone to the far-right, helping them to decode who has been doing what with whom over several years. Initial revelations have spilled out steadily across Twitter since news of the hack broke last week, often under the hashtag #epikfail, but those studying the material say they will need months and perhaps years to dig through all of it."

Two former members of the Odyssey Study Group say they paid $400 a month to serve a cult founder who lived luxuriously at the Plaza Hotel.

" ... Two former members of the Odyssey Study Group say they paid $400 a month for the privilege of serving the late founders Sharon Gans and her husband Alex Horn, both of whom fled San Francisco amid allegations of violence, child neglect and "brainwashing," according to a lawsuit filed Monday in Manhattan's supreme court.

"Through methods traditionally utilized by cults to groom, intimidate, weaken, gaslight, and exploit their victims, OSG coerced and tricked its members," the suit contends.

'The members of the cult made Defendants Sharon Gans and others very rich.'"
"Beginning Oct. 1, unlicensed religious boarding schools in Missouri must notify the state they are operating as part of an attempt to address abuse and neglect at the often shadowy facilities.

Under a series of emergency rules filed this week by the Missouri Department of Social Services, the schools also will have to begin fingerprinting employees in order for the state to determine if workers are sex offenders or have other criminal records.

"The background checks are being conducted to help ensure that certain individuals who are associated with these facilities do not have a record of criminal conduct or substantiated incidents of child abuse or neglect which may pose a risk to the children served at these facilities," the new rule says.

The filing of the rules is the latest step in a series of actions by state lawmakers and local law enforcement agencies to shed light on more than a dozen reform schools that operate in the state. The schools have not had state oversight for four decades under a law that exempts faith-based facilities from regulation."

Please Participate in this important study!
Family Caring Research Study (Please, use the word CC94799 as a PASSWORD to the survey.) 

Who are we?
This study involves researchers from the Psychology Department of Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain) and the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA).

What are we doing?
We are studying the perceptions and experiences of family members or individuals concerned about a loved one who is or was in a controlling or abusive group or relationship. The study's purpose is to fill a research gap in this area. We hope to increase our knowledge of the specific concerns and needs of families, relatives and friends of those affected by an abusive situation. We want to find new and better ways of understanding family relationships under these circumstances. We hope that the information collected by this study will enhance attention to the needs of those who have/had a loved one in a controlling or abusive group or relationship.

What we ask from you?
You are invited to participate in the research project if you are/were concerned about the past or current involvement of a loved one with a group or relationship you now consider was/is overly controlling or abusive to its members. You may or may not have been involved yourself with the group or relationship. We ask you to respond to a web-survey, which you may complete at your convenience.

What is the web-survey like?
The survey is divided into various separated parts. Part I and Part II include some basic demographic questions (e.g., age, education) on you and your loved one. Part III of the survey includes some instruments inquiring about your concerns, responses and experiences about your loved one being involved in the group/relationship. Part IV includes brief instruments on problems you may have experienced. Finally, Part V includes some questions on the group/relationship your loved one is/was involved.

Overall, it is anticipated that the entire survey will take approximately 35 minutes to complete. Please note that your participation in this study is voluntary, and that you may withdraw at any time, without consequence.

What should you do if you accept our invitation to participate?

Here is the link to the survey: https://es.surveymonkey.com/r/familycaring (Please, use the word CC94799 as a PASSWORD to the survey.) 

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