Sep 11, 2022

New ICSA Executive Director, Jacqueline Johnson

Dear ICSA Colleagues and Friends,

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to our next Executive Director, Jacqueline Johnson.  Jackie brings to ICSA academic credentials, high level administrative experience, a social work perspective, and relevant personal experience. She is a second-generation adult (SGA), raised in Jehovah’s Witnesses.  She understands first-hand what many of our ICSA members face on a daily basis.  She knows our field.  In Jackie’s words, she has “experienced how validating and powerful ICSA has been in her life and would be honored to participate in leading this organization.” 
 many roles and professional experience will become apparent as she serves the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA).  She has strong experience in the public and private sectors. Her most recent accomplishment was service as the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health for Dutchess County, New York.  There she created, managed, and monitored a county-wide system of care for behavioral health service provision, incorporating public, private, and not-for-profit provider agencies into an accessible network to meet the needs of all county residents.  Her private counseling practice keeps her sharp and in tune with the needs of individuals in crisis. 

Jackie earned her Associate of Arts in Humanities at Dutchess Community College, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Bard College, Master of Science in Social Work at Columbia University, and her Doctor of Social Work in Clinical Practice and Leadership at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  Her academic work has given her an appreciation for ICSA's scholarly foundations and the skills and knowledge to grow our organization, expand our outreach, and increase support for our mission and goals.

Jackie starts work on October 1, 2022. She brings to ICSA the desire to understand the needs of diverse and sometimes conflicting groups of members.  She agrees with ICSA’s philosophy of dialogue. She honors our past and is excited to build on our legacy for a strong future. Jackie’s priorities are strengthening ICSA’s organizational structure, ensuring transparency, expanding engagement with ICSA members and friends, and marshalling support to achieve and sustain our mission. 

Her academic work, leadership experience, and personal history, aligned with her passion for the mission and work of ICSA, make her the right person to move our organization to the next level of excellence.

Please join me in welcoming Jackie Johnson as Executive Director.



*|International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA)|*

PO Box 2265
Bonita Springs, FL 34133   USA

Sep 5, 2022

Cambodian cult members leave ‘doomsday farm’

Authorities warn action will be taken against those remaining at farmhouse in the remote west

Khem Veasna, President of the League for Democracy Party
Khem Veasna, President of the League for Democracy Party. (Photo: Screenshot)

UCA News reporter
September 05, 2022

The number of people holding out at a ‘doomsday farm’ awaiting an apocalypse has fallen to about 1,000, from more than 20,000, as followers of a self-declared brahma (heavenly king) began leaving en masse as the deadline to disperse passed.

Authorities had warned harsh action would be taken if followers of Khem Veasna — president of the League for Democracy Party (LDP) — failed to disperse by midnight Sunday from his farmhouse in the remote west, which was locked down and ring-fenced with military vehicles.

The 10-day standoff began after Khem Veasna claimed only his farm near Mount Kulen in the western province of Siem Reap would escape global floods, which would occur by Aug. 31. A one-month extension to remain was then requested from authorities but refused.

Siem Reap governor Tea Seiha said as of Sunday all but 1,000 people had left the farm and those who remained were required to leave, “if not, we will implement the measures.”

Khem Veasna said officials held no influence over his congregation because of his godly powers. He also declared “a black hole forming within his spine was telling him about a looming apocalypse” and that strange signs appearing in the sky were “omens of an approaching flood that would swallow all of Earth — except for his farm in Siem Reap province.”

But local authorities and Prime Minister Hun Sen dismissed his prophecies as a cheap political stunt and urged his followers to leave peacefully. They included Cambodians who quit their jobs in South Korea, Thailand and Japan, flew home and joined the cult.

"Police are also receiving complaints from family members who claim missing relatives are doomsday followers" 

There were also reports of students skipping exams and joining the cult.

“Police have teamed up with provincial authorities to help people at the farm to return home,” Siem Reap provincial police chief Brigadier General Teng Channat told the Khmer Times.

“However, it is surprising that police are also receiving complaints from family members who claim missing relatives are doomsday followers residing on the farm,” he said.

Six women, all LDP members, were detained on Friday after they allegedly prevented people from leaving the farm and the pro-government Khmer Times also reported that Khem Veasna is believed to have “raise hundreds of millions of dollars” from his followers.

It said there were many families who claimed that relatives who joined the doomsday gathering had spent much of their own wealth such as selling property and other personal items to join the cult.

“No one is forcing me to remain here, and I am only staying here because my LDP family loves me unconditionally and gives me full freedom,” it quoted one young woman, identified as Picklika, as saying. “I am not going back home,” she said.