To the Illinois Times
about Cults

David Bloomberg
P.O. Box 20302
Springfield, IL 62708

October 25, 1993

Letters to the Editor
Illinois Times
P.O. Box 3524
Springfield, IL 62708

To the Editor:

Wendy Stasell's article on campus cults [see "Cults on campus," Illinois Times, October 21, 1993] gave a good summary of the situation at the University of Illinois. However, the Daily Illini ran a several-page expose' of the Champaign-Urbana Church of Christ approximately four years ago.

At the time of that article, I wrote a letter to the editor about my next-door neighbor, who had been a member of the group for one school year. As your article mentions, they tell members to ignore outsiders, including friends and family. They also, according to this article and my friend, practice what I would call "seedy" recruiting tactics, including getting a recruit to bare his or her soul to a church member, who would secretly pass the information on to the Bible-study leader. The Bible-study leader would then pick out appropriate passages for that recruit, but act as if they were random, or straight from God. In this way, it would seem to the recruit that God was speaking directly to him.

So, if this cult was exposed four years ago, why are they still around, continuing the same practices? Is there anything that can be done about it?

It seems that cults are on the rise. This is something that will become especially widespread as we approach the year 2000, which holds a magical significance for many cults. Education is the best weapon against cults. There will always be somebody who is so vulnerable that they may be taken advantage of by a cult. However, by teaching the potential harms of cults we may be able to reduce the number of people who fall prey.

David Bloomberg, Chairman
Rational Examination
Association of Lincoln Land

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