The organization, based in Berkeley, California, has its roots in the Jesus People movement of the late 1960s, but the Spiritual Counterfeits Project itself was formed in 1973.
In the name of truth, sophisticated lies are fed to unwary people who live in and shape our world. SCP’s mandate is to communicate with our generation by creating crossover material that alerts and informs about the very real dangers of the latest deceptions. It is a critical mission at a critical time.
History of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project
SCP has been involved in two high-profile lawsuits:
Malnak v. Yogi, was SCP’s legal challenge to Transcendental Meditation (TM) in the public school [See Malnak v. Yogi, 440 F. Supp. 1284 (1977) and appeals court opinion: 592 F. 2nd 197 (1979)].
TM represented itself as a non-religious activity and was promoted as the Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI). According to SCP, TM was not religiously neutral and SCI was based on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Hindu faith. The judge concluded that TM/SCI are “religious in nature within the context of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, and the teaching thereof in the New jersey public schools is therefore unconstitutional.”
Witness Lee et al v. Neil Duddy et al, was a religious defamation case brought by the so-called Local Church – which theologically is a cult of Christianity – against the author of a book titled, The God-Men and against SCP. While the book was published by InterVarsity Press, author Neil Duddy was said to have relied in SCP’s research.
The Local Church was of the opinion that Neil Duddy, and by extension SCP, had committed libel by declaring its teachings to be heretical.
The legal tactics employed by the church depleted SCP’s financial resources to such an extend that it was unable to pay its defense lawyers. When the latter withdrews from the case, SCP decided to file for a reorganizational bankruptcy. This resulted in SCP being officially cancelled out as a defendant in the lawsuit. When the case was heard, in May 1985, it was uncontested by any of the defendants, none of whom appeared in court. The judge awarded the case to the Local Church, with damages against the defendants.
Brooks Alexander, at the time SCP’s president, addressed the case in an article titled, “When Talk Isn’t Cheap and Speech Isn’t Free: The Abuse of Libel Law.”
Among the expert witnesses who testified on behalf of the Local Church was J. Gordon Melton, a United Methodist minister, is the Director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion. His input in this case contributed to Melton’s reputation as a cult apologist, and demonstrated his self-professed inability to discern between heresy and orthodoxy.
Spiritual Counterfeits Project is the only major apologetics ministry to provide a free-of-charge telephone hotline to the public: (510) 540-5767.
The Access Line is open to the public at no charge three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. West Coast Time (or 5-8 Eastern Standard Time). It is only one of our ministries interfacing with public need and making available our over 6,000 files on different cults and groups around the world. But we are more than just information brokers. Most of those of us on staff became Christians after having gone through any number of New Age and cultic alternatives. So we can speak from experience with insight.
– Source: Access Counseling Hotline, SCP website
Other materials, such as books, audio/video, and information packets are also available.