It’s not in our line-up yet, but based on a recent article about the drama that unfolded at the recent International Cultic Studies Association annual conference in Montreal, we might have to find a way to add this event to our programming. The conference, which featured current cult members, ex-cult members, academics and so-called “thought-reform” counselors, was allegedly an “emotional tinderbox” filled with heated and sometimes hostile arguments among the attendees.
Representatives from groups such as Hare Krishna movement or the Unification Church clashed with ex-members, and other ex-cult members reflected on their time inside a Christine commune or a UFO cult in a three-day event that took place in a Chinatown hotel. Academics tried earnestly to balance to discourse, approaching cult life from a research point-of-view. Still, tensions ran high as attendees wrangled with what their spiritual ideals, or lack thereof, meant to them.
Speaking of spiritual thought, one of the most-watched videos on FORA.tv last week featured a panel that questioned the future of organized religion and spirituality in an event titled “Beyond Religion – The Rise of a New Spirituality.”