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Family Action Information Resource

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Title: Family Action Information Resource  
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Family Action Information Resource

The Family Survival Trust
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Advice and support for the families and friends of cults members
Formation 1976
Type Families welfare where individuals are affected by religious cults.
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Membership 500 plus
Chairman Honorable Tom Sackville
Key people Audrey Chaytor, Lady Daphne Vane
Website familysurvivaltrust.org

In November 2007, FAIR (Family, Action, Information, Resource), Britain's main "anti-cult" group, re-established itself as The Family Survival Trust (TFST).

TFST continues to offer advice, support and information to families as well as individuals who feel they have been adversely affected by "cult" involvement, believing in the welfare and unity of the family as being of paramount importance in maintaining the quality of life in society. It holds regular seminars on related matters.

History

The Family Survival Trust evolved from FAIR ("Family, Action, Information, Rescue") Britain's first "anti-cult" group.[1][2] FAIR was founded in 1976 by Paul Rose, as a support group for friends and relatives of "cult" members,[1] with an early focus on the Unification Church, although in the years following this focus expanded to include other new religious movements (NRMs) and "cult" groups.[3] In the late 1970s, it started to publish FAIR News to provide information and reports on new religious movements.

FAIR has consistently objected to the "anti-cult" label and "has repeatedly pointed out that it is not anti-religious, but opposes practices detrimental to the well-being of the individual". It has also publicly disapproved of activities like "Moonie bashing".[4] However, NRM scholar David Chryssides has pointed out that "[a]lthough FAIR officials reject the term 'anti-cult', FAIR's main strategy seems designed to hamper the progress of NRMs in a variety of ways."[5] Yet Elizabeth Arweck adds that FAIR's "commitment to raise cult awareness was tempered by repeated warnings against witchhunts".[6] In fact FAIR changed its name to "Family, Action, Information, Resource" denoting a concern "more with the place of these cults in public life and governments than with the issues of recruitment and brainwashing, although these remain[ed] important.".[7]

FAIR has often been perceived as supporting "deprogramming", but has in fact publicly distanced itself from it.[8][9] Citing such reasons as high failure rates, damage to families and civil liberty issues, FAIR chairman Casey McMann said in 1985 that FAIR neither recommended nor supported coercive deprogramming and disapproved of those practising it, considering "coercive deprogramming a money-making racket which encouraged preying on the misery of families with cult involvement."[9] In 1985 members of FAIR who believed that the group had become too moderate created a splinter group called Cultists Anonymous.[9] In 1987, a FAIR committee member, Cyril Vosper, was convicted in Munich on charges of kidnapping and causing bodily harm to German Scientologist Barbara Schwarz in the course of a deprogramming attempt.[9][10] The hardliner Cultists Anonymous group was short-lived and rejoined FAIR in 1991.[11]

FAIR's applications for government funding were not successful; such funding has instead gone to INFORM (Information Network Focus on Religious Movements), set up in 1988 by the sociologist Eileen Barker, with the support of Britain's mainstream churches.[12] Relations between FAIR and INFORM have at times been strained, with FAIR accusing INFORM of being too soft on cults.[13] FAIR' chairman Tom Sackville as MP and Home Office minister abolished government funding for the INFORM in 1997 but funds was reinstated in 2000.[14] In his article for The Spectator (2004) he congratulated to the Archbishop of Canterbury declining to become a patron of INFORM. All allegations was marked by INFORM as unfounded.

Activities

The Family Survival Trust provides fact sheets and specialised information on cults and their characteristics, issuing warning leaflets to young people , provides a confidential helpline for individuals and families effect by cult involvement and organizes national conferences [15][16]

The Family Survival Trust;

  • offers support to families and individuals who have been adversely affected by cult involvement.
  • believes that welfare and unity of family is of vital importance in maintaining the quality of life within society.
  • does not seek to curtail political or religious freedom but aiming to help restore cult members to a state of mind in which rational decisions can be made.
  • believes that an individual's decision to leave a cult must be their own.
  • publishes quarterly newsletter, fact sheets, warning leaflets and information on cults and their characteristics.
  • is committed to a policy of education in order to raise awareness of the use of undue influence.
  • alerts government departments, the media and public bodies.
  • is part of an international network providing information and support for cult-affected individuals.

Related organisations

In 2008, FAIR News Publishing Limited was incorporated to continue the publication and dissemination of FAIR Newsletters.

External links

  • The Family Survival Trust Official site

See also

References

cs:Antikultovní hnutí lt:Antikultinis judėjimas nl:Oppositie tegen nieuwe religieuze bewegingen en sekten pl:Ruchy antykultowe

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