Families seek help from dangers of cults

AN anti-cult group is dealing with one family a day whose relatives have got embroiled with new religious movements, a Dail committee heard yesterday.

In one case last year a woman committed suicide by incineration after she got involved with a group who gave her great 'highs' but weren't there to help her when she experienced serious lows, Mike Garde of Dialogue Ireland told the Committee on Justice, Equality and Women's Rights.

In another case a woman had paid £15,000 for a trip to Egypt for some kind of therapy, but most people would find this was an excessive sum unless some kind of "mind control" was being practiced, he said.

Dialogue Ireland is calling for state funding to study new religious movements in Ireland, though it stressed many of these are genuinely spiritual movements.

It was important to teach young people about the boundaries between genuine help from some counselling, hypnosis and other therapies, and those groups which could be destructive through over-reliance on positive thinking, he said.