Sunday, January 9, 2011

Donations and Fund-Raising in the Anti-Cult Community: A Warning

In several previous posts, I wrote that not all the people in the anti-cult community (including those who are mental health professionals) are trustworthy. Not all the anti-cult people are altruists. Not all of them do the anti-cult work in order to really help people (even if they claim so). Some of them have absolutely other goals such as to gain authority over people, get their money, and so on. However, they will not tell you what their real goals are and will pretend that they want to help people. This is why there is a need to be careful and not to trust everyone in the anti-cult area only because this person is anti-cult.

In two previous posts, I wrote about a person who has been trying to become an anti-cult leader for about 15 years:
Anti-Cult Activism and Anti-Cult Leaders: A Warning
Anti-Cult "Professor Moriarty"
He created some anti-cult organizations that collapsed. He had conflicts with people who co-founded anti-cult organizations with him. However, he continues his attempts to create new anti-cult organizations with the intention to gain a high position in anti-cult community and not with the intention to help people.

Several months ago, he did fund-raising in quite an odd way. He posted an announcement that somebody gave him something and that he wanted to sell it for raising funds. However, he never explained what the purpose of his fund-raising was. Since I knew about his plans to create a new non-profit anti-cult organization, I suspected that the purpose was fund-raising for this organization, but he never mentioned his purpose.

Recently, there has been another odd situation. Authors of a certain anti-cult blog are supposedly under a danger of being sued by the cult they criticize. They are very careful about their anonymity, but the cult lawyers demand their email provider to reveal their identities in order to sue them. In order to avoid it, they need to hire a lawyer and pay them a certain amount of money. Otherwise, in several days, their identities will be revealed.

The "anti-cult leader" aka "anti-cult professor Moriarty" volunteers to help them in fund-raising. In the same blog, he publishes a post, asking people to donate. However, since he does not want their identities to be revealed, he asks people to send money to him instead of sending it to the blog authors.

Well, there are some points that make this situation quite suspicious to me:
1. This person is not an altruist at all. Neither is he honest. He uses many tricks. He uses people for his own goals.
2. The timing is quite interesting because it is just the time he was going to start his new non-profit organization (but apparently did not start it yet).
3. The money goes directly to him, not to the blog authors. I have no idea what he is going to do with it.
4. Consider two situations: you are asked to donate for a new anti-cult non-profit organization (which you do not know much about) and you are asked to donate to support anti-cult blog authors who are in a danger to be sued by a cult, who are in a desperate situation and need money right now. How many people will donate for a new anti-cult non-profit organization and how many people will donate to the blog authors who are going to be sued? Obviously, much more people will donate in the second case.

Well, I do not know if the blog authors are really in the danger of being sued or not. I do not know how the "anti-cult professor Moriarty" is going to use the collected money. However, the facts listed above make me doubt that his real intention is to collect money for the blog authors and not for his non-profit organization. Actually, even if he is going to send the blog authors some of the collected money, there is no guarantee that they will receive all the money donated for them.

Some people might think that even if he collects money for his new non-profit organization, it is a good goal. The problem is that if he is dishonest in fund-raising, it is already a very bad sign. I am absolutely sure that he is unable to help people. He is able only to use people and damage them. Thus, his organization will be damaging and not helpful for people. In addition, it is quite possible that it will collapse quite soon because of his new conflicts with the co-founders. Do you want to donate for such an organization?

In conclusion, I want to warn people to be careful when they are asked to donate money for various anti-cult funds. Your money might be used not in the way you think they will be.