Dialogue Ireland

Based in Dublin, Ireland, Dialogue Ireland is “[a]n independent Trust promoting Awareness and Understanding of New Religious Movements and cultism at the service of the churches, religions and Irish society.”

On its website, the organization states:

Dialogue Ireland is not an “anti-cult” organization, nor do we attach a “cult” label to any movement or group. We acknowledge that “cultist” tendencies, i.e., psychological and spiritual abuses, can creep into any organization, including movements associated with our own churches. We do receive calls from people who perceive themselves or a family member as being victims of “cultist” activity on the part of a wide variety of sources. These people turn to Dialogue Ireland for guidance and support. Such situations can be unbelievably painful for the people involved. Some have compared it to the death of a loved one without the funeral. Fortunately, the experiences of most people joining new movements are much less dramatic than this.

As its name implies, the starting point of Dialogue Ireland’s mission is to seek relationships of dialogue with New Religious Movements. This will necessitate the study both of the movements themselves and where relevant the world religions that may have given rise to them. We recognize that the vast majority of these movements were set up with good intentions and acknowledge that in many instances the Church has much to learn from them. Also it is clear that the “seekers” who join these groups are genuine in their spiritual search. However, in the case of a small number of movements dialogue has proven difficult to achieve. On occasion we have had to engage in dialogue-in-confrontation, or debate publicly with representatives of a group. Our reason for taking such a step arises from the conviction that the public has a right to know how people can be affected by the activities of a particular organization. When we do reluctantly find it necessary to go public on a group, it is always the aim of Dialogue Ireland to speak the truth in a spirit of genuine Christian love for the members and leaders of the movement in question, as well as for the families of everyone involved. However difficult things may be, every group has the potential to change the direction of its policies and activities for the better.

– Source: Introduction, Dialogue Ireland

Mission

The role of Dialogue Ireland is:

– Source: Introduction, Dialogue Ireland

Background

Ireland, like most European countries, has in recent decades been experiencing the presence of New Religious Movements (NRMs), sometimes referred to as “cults” or (in some continental countries) “sects”. The term NRM can be understood to include spiritual as well as religious movements properly so called. “New” may refer to movements that have been founded mainly over the past fifty years, though older movements are sometimes included. However, the term also includes centuries-old movements that are new to Ireland or indeed to the entire western world.

Over time, many young people and their families who had become involved with some of these groups turned to the churches for guidance and support.

In the 1980’s, a number of people from different Christian churches became pastorally involved in this area. These included Fr Martin Tierney of the Archdiocese of Dublin, Mike Garde, a Mennonite and a Dominican, Fr. Louis Hughes. Subsequently, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin appointed Fr Tierney as Chairperson of a committee established to provide information and necessary pastoral care in relation to new religious movements. Later it was felt that this ministry should best be approached from an ecumenical perspective, and the leaders of the other mainline Christian Churches in Dublin responded positively to an invitation to participate in the work of the committee. Members of this committee established contact with the ecumenical Lutheran group, Dialogue Centre International in Denmark, which was already engaged in a similar ministry in Scandinavia. This link and the membership of the General Assembly of the European Federation of Centres for Research and Education on Sects (FECRIS) gives a connection to colleagues from Siberia in the East to ourselves in the West. The committee engaged Mike Garde as field worker, his role being to give advice, information and support to people seeking assistance. A further development took place in 2001, when Dialogue Ireland, though continuing to be supported by the churches, became an independent Trust, thus giving it greater freedom in carrying out its mission. Mike Garde is now the Director of Dialogue Ireland and is supported by a strong executive committee.

– Source: Introduction, Dialogue Ireland

Address & Contact Information

Dialogue Ireland

7/8 Lower Abbey Street,

Dublin 1

Ireland

Tel: (01) 830 9384

Fax (01) 874 4913

Mobile: (087) 239 6229

Website

Dialogue Ireland

See Also

Cult FAQ