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If you want to strike off a firestorm of argument and flames between cult apologists, their critics, and anti-cult activists, you only have to say three little words: "Cult Awareness Network." Even now, ten years after the group was crushed by an avalanche of Scientology lawsuits, cult members and cult apologists alike will froth at the mouth and scream about how CAN was an EVIL TERRORIST NETWORK OF DEPROGRAMMERS THAT PERSECUTED INNOCENT RELIGIOUS GROUPS!!! You name it, CAN was blamed for it: kidnapings, libel, slander, flouridation of water…and nearly all of these accusations were false and untrue. CAN really got under the skin of the cults because they exposed the truth about the religious facade used by cult groups, which is why they were targeted for elimination. After years of efforts, millions of dollars in litigation, and devastating non-stop personal attacks against the group's members, the group finally folded and was forced to auction off its assets in 1996. CAN's most precious asset, its personal and confidential files, were purchased for $20,000 by a member of Scientology. The name "Cult Awareness Network" itself was assumed by Scientology, and for the past ten years the Cult Awareness Network has been staffed by Scientologists.
Today the "new" CAN will waste no time telling you how the "old" CAN was an EVIL TERRORIST NETWORK OF DEPROGRAMMERS THAT PERSECUTED INNOCENT RELIGIOUS GROUPS!!! But don't worry if your relatives are considering joining a cult. The "new" CAN will provide you with all the information you need to prove that your relatives aren't really being seduced by a cult – they're making informed, independent decisions that are free of propaganda. Really. No kidding. It's all smiles and happiness now!
For another look at the collapse and takeover of the "old" CAN, read In Retrospect: Cult Awareness Network.