Sunday, December 22, 2002.
BRAINWASHING cults which prey on vulnerable
youngsters are to be targeted in a Government
Secretary David Blunkett is drawing up laws that will
create a new legal definition of cults distinguishing
them from mainstream religions.
Blunkett says the law needs to protect young people who
are being exploited financially and sexually.
move follows the death in mysterious circumstances last
year of a British man who claimed he had been molested
by Indian mystic Sai Baba.
Groups deemed to be cults will be unable to apply
for charitable status, which allows them tax perks, and
they will face close financial monitoring.
signs that recruits are being exploited for their cash
will result in prosecutions. Laws may also be made that
relate to detaining people through psychological
Other organisations that may be affected include
the US-based Church of Scientology and the
Scientology spokesman said last night: "We are not a
cult. We're recognised as a religion all over the