urther news about the declining state of affairs at the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) has developed since publication earlier this year of a Freedom Special Report on this anti-religious hate group. An outpouring of response from readers revealed widespread alarm about the unlawful and unconstitutional actions of CAN that strike at the heart of religious liberty, and willingness to do something about it. In response to reader interest and requests, we provide this update on the Cult Awareness Networks path of self-destruction.
- CAN had filed a lawsuit in 1994 against the Church of Scientology International, alleging that suits brought by individual Scientologists against CAN for its discriminatory conduct toward non-members were brought maliciously. CAN was given no less than three opportunities by the court to properly state a claim which could stand in a court of law.
But after three swings, CAN struck out. On May 10, Judge Julia M. Nowicki of the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago ordered the suit dismissed with prejudice, finding that CANs claims were wholly devoid of merit.
- In other litigation, Cynthia Kisser, CANs Executive Director, was asked under oath about the removal of CAN president Michael Rokos, who had been arrested for soliciting bizarre sexual acts from an undercover police officer. (See Exposing the Criminal Clique called CAN, Freedom, October, 1991.) Kisser testified first that she did not know if the statements were true, but that she believed Rokos was innocent.
But two of Kissers colleagues now dispute her story in their own sworn testimony. First, Galen Kelly, a notorious criminal deprogrammer and CANs former security chief, testified that Kisser had retained Kelly to investigate the charges against Rokos, and that he had done so and found them to be true, exactly as stated, and that he reported the results of his investigation to Kisser personally.
Then, CAN board member and past president Patricia Ryan testified that the board of directors, with Kisser present, confronted Rokos in 1990 with evidence of his arrest, which he initially protested as false. But when pressed, Rokos admitted that it was true and he was forced by the board to resign as president.
- Finally, it was learned that CAN Treasurer Ed Lottick lied about his own financial background. In deposition, Lottick was asked whether he had ever been prosecuted or found guilty of fraud. He swore that he had not.
However, when confronted with a conviction for fraudulent billings, Lottick was forced to admit that he had, in fact, been charged and had pleaded guilty.
From all indications, CAN the serpent of hatred, intolerance, violence and death is perishing from its own venom.