Designating Nov. - Nov. , 88 as ''National Cult Awareness Week''

                          HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 390

    Designating Nov. 13 - Nov. 19, 1988 as "National Cult Awareness Week":

Whereas the basis for individual, religious, and political liberties granted
by the Bill of Rights lies in freedom from tyranny over the mind of man;

Whereas a cult is a group or movement exhibiting excessive devotion to a
person or idea and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion
and control to advance the goals of its leaders;

Whereas cults use mind control techniques to manipulate their members,
including isolation from friends and family, debilitation, use of special
methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures,
information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgment and
promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of leaving it;

Whereas cults use deceptive and unethical manipulation to recruit, convert,
and retain members who will devote their lives to proselytizing, soliciting
money, and otherwise serving the objectives of their leader;

Whereas, with exalted promises of self-fulfillment and personal growth, cult
leaders use sophisticated and deceptive psychological techniques to maintain
the obedience of their followers, causing them to sacrifice their personal
liberties, decrease their capacity for independent thought, and reduce their
ability to tolerate the diversity inherent in a pluralistic society;

Whereas the mass suicide and murder of 913 people, including Congressman Leo
Ryan, on Nov. 18, 1978, at Jonestown, Guyana, stands as the most profound
warning of the potential abuse of mind control techniques;

Whereas it is estimated that there are over two thousand and five hundred
cults in the United States and between one million and three million cult

Whereas the youth of our Nation face a continuing challenge by the
proliferation of destructive pseudo-religious and pseudo psychological cults;

Whereas the problems associated with cults include an increasing number of
legal actions, disrupted lives, suicides, missing and abused children, and
psychotic episodes;

Whereas the process of ego-destruction and thought -reform used by cults is
not widely understood;

Whereas although cults pose important and unresolved legal issues, this nation
has always condemned exploitation achieved through fraud and deception,
particularly under the guise of religion or therapy;

Whereas the practices of cults often involve violations of tax, labor, and
immigration laws;

Whereas, although government must be cautious when addressing the problems
caused by cults so as to guard against the infringement of constitutional
guaranties and civil liberties, government must at the same time assure that
it is neither directly nor indirectly providing  incentives for the
proliferation of cults;

Whereas in a free society, the least restrictive yet most effective remedy for
the harmful use of mind control techniques is public awareness of the problem;

Whereas further research and study of cults is needed so that legislators, the
clergy, educators, mental health professionals, lawyers, the business
community, young people, and parents are better able to identify and respond
to the use of deceptive psychological techniques;

Now therefore, be it resolved by the senate and House of Representatives of
the United States of America in Congress assembled, that in commemoration of
the tenth anniversary of the tragedy at Jonestown, Guyana, Nov. 13 - Nov.19,
1988, is designated as National Cult Awareness Week" and the President is
authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of
the United Stated to observe the period with appropriate programs, ceremonies,
and activities.

This is H.J. Res. 390, presented Oct. 28, 1987 by Tom Lantos, Mr Daub, Ms.
Pelosi, Mr. Lewis of Ca., Mr. Murphy, Mr. Sunia, Ms. Kaptur, and Mr. Dymally)
Introduced to the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service.