Cults are now taking aim at elderly victims - 1987-08-22
"The best way is to make cults obey the existing law, or to catch them breaking it," says Peter Georgiades, chairman of the American Bar Association's Subcommittee on Cult-Related Litigation. Many cults give law-enforcement agencies plenty of material to work with. Groups have been prosecuted in the past for myriad offenses: tax evasion; breaking zoning laws; mail fraud; keeping children out of school; stockpiling weapons (purportedly in preparation for Armageddon); drug trafficking; kidnapping; rape; child abuse; medical neglect; prostitution; extortion, and immigration abuses. In one case the crime was murder.
Some cult members have chosen to seek retribution through civil suits. Earlier this year, more than 500 people filed a $1-billion class-action suit against the Church of Scientology, the group founde by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, charging that confessions they made in private were being used to coerce them and extort money from them.