The Cornerstone of Liberty

The Cornerstone of Liberty

Freedom investigated the duplicity which permeated the deprogramming network starting with founder and three-time convict Ted Patrick, and deprogramming architect Louis Jolyon “Jolly&148; West. By 1996, the network disbanded following arrests of more than a dozen deprogrammers and a $4.85 million judgement against CAN and several deprogrammers for one failed kidnapping.

      After the tragic—and unnecessary—deaths of the Branch Davidians, ATF and FBI officials involved were sharply censured for giving credence to CAN, and for believing them. Government took a step back, Congress held hearings, and safeguards were put in place to ensure that in any similar circumstances in the future, actual experts on religion will be consulted.

      In the wake of Freedom’s investigatory exposes into CAN, between the late 1980s and early 1990s more than a dozen of the United States’ top deprogrammers—including CAN’s chief of security—were arrested and many convicted.

      By 1996, the Cult Awareness Network and several of its deprogrammers—including Rick Ross—owed $4.8 million in compensatory and punitive damages, awarded by a Washington State jury to a young Christian man who was subjected to a violent deprogramming attempt by Ross and two associates.

      Federal Court Judge John Coughenour pointed out that each of the defendants seemed “incapab[le] of appreciating the maliciousness of their conduct....”

      When CAN and Ross declared bankruptcy and appealed in an attempt to circumvent the punishment, the 9th Circuit Federal Appeals Court handed down a landmark decision upholding the verdict in all respects.

The Cornerstone of Liberty continued ...

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