THE MANITOBAN –VOL LXXVIII
October 17, 1990
More on the UBF
Mr. Brandt insists that we should “vigorously defend the rights of those whom we disagree.” I am 100% in favor of that attitude. We should support their rights to present, in a reasonable fashion, their beliefs. The UBF has been banned from campus not for their beliefs, as Brandt hastily assumes, but for their methods of persuasion and coercion, which have been deemed excessive.
I believe that anyone should have the right to believe that racial minorities are inferior. But for him to push his beliefs on children during recess? No. Brandt himself says that the UBF are not dangerous to people of normal discretion and intelligence. But groups that use harassment and persistent pressure to recruit don’t always ask their recruits if they have normal discretion and intelligence before beginning their persuasion. Not everyone has had the experience and education to discern between dogma and rational argument. Especially the large proportion of university students who have led sheltered lives.
Yes, I should be allowed to get up on a soapbox and tell a crowd that the moon is made of green cheese and random drug-testing should be made on law students. But I don’t think I should be allowed to wait outside your apartment day and night with my soapbox. Or sit in a car in front of your house all evening to follow you with the same soapbox.
Maybe we all should have the right to express our views. But not pressure vulnerable others to believe. Would you like Hitler to teach you children in elementary school?
In response to Randall Brandt’s letter, “UBF easily banned” (Manitoban , Oct 10, 1990, p.7) which was written in regards to part one of my opinion — “Shepherds no band of simple country folk” (Manitoban , Oct 10, 1990, p.5), I would like to correct some of Brandt’s statements.
- Brandt refers to freedoms of speech– expression– religion, yet my opinion (particularly part two, “Cult personality draws people to fellowship,” (Manitoban, Oct 10, 1990, p.7) attempted to address the antithesis of freedom and rigid sectarianism.
- Brandt’s jumping-to-conclusions regarding ” campus communists…the NDP… Young Conservative Groups.. Jewish or Catholic chaplaincies” is wholly alarmist and was not any part of my opinion.
- The accusation of Brandt of “hearsay…unsubstantiated allegations … spreading vague rumors” is quite false, as in fact, this writer relied heavily on personal experience and knowledge and– to prevent possibility of personal bias– this writer drew on discussions and was prepared with a very brief digest of the following published sources: (a) “Brainwashing, ex-adherent calls flock’s methods” Winnipeg Free Press (WFP), Sun Oct 6, 1985, p 17. (b) “My Answer” WFP, Sat Nov 9, 1985, p 42. (c) “U of W bans Korean cult recruiters from campus” WFP Sat Oct 25, 1986, p 1. (d) “In God’s Name” WFP Sat Oct 25, 1986, p 47. (e) “Cult goes fishing on campus” Toban Mon Nov 27, 1987 p 4. (f) “Christian cult poised to invade campus ” Winnipeg Sun (Sun), Thurs Jan 21, 1988, p 3. (g) “Nothing Christian about cult’s kind of fellowship” Sun Tues Jan 26, 1988, p 3. (h) “Cult Stalks campuses for Followers” Sun Tues April 17, 1990, p 4-5. (i) “They can turn your mind upside down” Toban Sept 5, 1990, p 12-13. This writer apologizes if Brandt was skeptical, and hopefully space considerations will permit this list to be published so that one and all can read other sources to make up their own mind.
- Brandt’s comment regarding “not dangerous to people of normal discretion and intelligence” is perplexing. The word “normal” can imply that some persons are unfit as human beings and, in the past, some people have considered “normal”not to include the mentally ill, visible minorities, gays and lesbians, nor “witches” nor medieval times. Perhaps Brandt should learn about a “normal,” “respectable” person who underwent a personal religious crisis in Crisis of Conscience by Raymond Franz. Franz rose to become a member of the worldwide governing body of Jehovah’s Witness and suffered shunning by the religion. Anyway, thank you to Brandt for reading my opinion and for your interest and (perhaps not quite) constructive criticism.
As Greg mentioned this is just a brief list of media reports (newspaper clippings) of Canada UBF exposed. Here are the newspaper clips that are yet to be recovered:
- “My Answer” WFP (Winnipeg Free Press), Sat Nov 9, 1985, p 42
- “Christian cult poised to invade campus ” Winnipeg Sun (Sun), Thurs Jan 21, 1988, p 3.
- “Nothing Christian about cult’s kind of fellowship” Sun Tues Jan 26, 1988, p 3.
- “Cult Stalks campuses for Followers” Sun Tues April 17, 1990, p 4-5.
With these newspapers and the ones that have been recovered there were altogether at least two dozen media reports. Yes at least two dozen. There are probably even more newspaper clips that existed that we don’t even know about that are buried somewhere like lost treasure.