Frequently Asked Questions
An Apologetics Index research resource
Frequently Asked Questions
Apologetics Index, Listings, Miscellaneous, Research,
Updated Dec. 19, 2005What is AI?
See About AIWho is behind AI?
This website is published in Amsterdam, Netherlands, by Anton and Janet Hein. See About the publishersWho is "AL"?
Beats us. There is no "AI" here. Some people mistake the letters AI - which stand for Apologetics Index - for AL. If you're one them, cut it out... :)How are you funded?
Apologetics Index is a private endeavor, not funded by any church, movement or organization. The cost of operating AI and its related sites is covered by donations and income from advertisements and affiliate links (e.g. Google and Amazon.com). Note: some people designate gifts for our offline ministry.How can I help
We're glad you asked. See this page.May I link to your site?
Yes. Please check our Linking PolicyWill you include a link to my site?
Depends. You're welcome to suggest one. Priority is given to sites that deal with the subject matter addressed in the Apologetics Index. Links are included at my discretion.
ListingsI disagree with something you said or published about [...]
We get a lot of mail from people who disagree with the inclusion of certain listings in the Apologetics Index, or who do not agree with our views on one subject or another. You are welcome to write and tell us why you disagree. As we receive more email than we can possible reply to, you may not receive an answer (or a timely one), though. Please note that we am not impressed with flames or threats (legal or otherwise), and we are not interested in "prophecies" dreams, or your views on things that go 'bump' in the night... Also, actions of a certain cult apologist led me to post the following notice: Note (in response to mail from some cult apologists): Threats of legal action are not accepted via email. However, emailed threats and other intimidation attempts will not be considered private and confidential, but instead will be made public, and will be used as evidence in any subsequent legal action. More disclaimer stuff...Why do you link to [site]? Surely you don't agree with [...]?
Information provided by Apologetics Index is offered to facilitate research. Our primary audience consists of Christians interested in sharing their faith through the correct use of apologetics. Listing links to sites, articles, or other items does not indicate automatic agreement with everything the publishers of those pages believe, offer, provide, link to, grow, bake or sell. Original information on this site is personal opinion protected under freedom of speech laws in the sovereign country of the Netherlands, where this site is located. If you can not handle free speech and freedom of expression, check with your Internet Service Provider to arrange a refund, or click here. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.Why don't you include [...]?
If your "favorite heretic" isn't listed, don't despair. It's doesn't necessarily mean that I'm not interested or concerned. It's just that there are only so many hours in the day. What we have online is but a fraction of the material we want to make available over time. We work on this site whenever I can, but have to do so within the limitations of Chronic Fatique Syndrome (Anton) and Fibromyalgia (Janet). Then again, keep in mind that we'm not into conspiracy theories, and don't see a "demon behind every bush." Hardly a day goes by without someone emailing us about such-and-such's alleged involvement with the "Illuminati", telling tales, or demanding "accountability" of this-or-that ministry or individual. We do not wish to take part in those type of crusades.
MiscellaneousDo you support religious freedom?
Yes. Many cultists and cult-defenders equate criticism with intolerance or religious persecution. However, the publishers of Apologetics Index supports religious freedom. See Religious Freedom, Tolerance, and IntoleranceAre you anti-religious?
No. Incredibly, many cultists and cult-defenders somehow equate criticism with being ''anti-religion'' or ''anti-religious.'' However, as Christians, the publishers of Apologetics Index are not anti-religious. See Religious Freedom, Tolerance, and IntoleranceAre you a criminal?
In 1995, I (Anton) plea-bargained to a criminal charge in the USA.How can you run a web site if you are disabled?
In April, 2000, I posted information about this issue online at Apologetics Index in response to revelations made by my critics - knowing full well that it would not satisfy them and that they - and others - would use the information for additional attacks. I posted the information in order to openly and honestly provide my side of the story. [...more...]
Doctors in the USA and in Holland have diagnosed me as having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Due of the severity of my condition - which frequently results in me not being able to leave my home for days in a row - I have been declared disabled by the Dutch government, and thus receive monthly disability pay. Some cultists and cult defenders - unfamiliar with CFS, my medical reports, or the Dutch government's decision process - have suggested the fact that I operate this site means I can work and, in their eyes, am committing welfare fraud. However, even when challenged to contact Dutch authorities with their concerns, they have not followed through. Fact is that the social services professionals who handle my case are not only aware of my site, but actually encourage me to pursue my online activities. They, together with the medical professionals who track my condition, are better able to assess my health and abilities than the (mostly anonymous) cultists and cult defenders are.So do you have any, say, disclaimers?
Dec. 2005 update: The above was posted before I got married (in September 2002). Janet and I now operate this web site together. I do so full-time, and Janet - who is a licensed social worker - helps whenever she can. Since Janet's income is deemed sufficient for both of us, I stopped receiving disability payments since we got married. Healthwise, I have seen some improvement since the Spring of 2005. Janet's health has deteriorated since the early Summer of 2005.
You bet. This is how we keep the sharks away.What is your position on brainwashing or mind control?
Many groups use unethical persuasion tactics in recruiting and retaining members. These methods can range from love bombing to scare tactics (imposing high exit costs, e.g. convincing a person that leaving the group means losing one's salvation). While such psychological manipulation is a form of mind control, Apologetics Index does not hold the view that individuals who join - or remain with - cultic movements become irresponsible, mindless automatons, unable to think for themselves. Rather, we regard Phillip Zimbardo's view on this issue as realistic:
A remarkable thing about cult mind control is that it's so ordinary in the tactics and strategies of social influence employed. They are variants of well-known social psychological principles of compliance, conformity, persuasion, dissonance, reactance, framing, emotional manipulation, and others that are used on all of us daily to entice us: to buy, to try, to donate, to vote, to join, to change, to believe, to love, to hate the enemy. Cult mind control is not different in kind from these everyday varieties, but in its greater intensity, persistence, duration, and scope. One difference is in its greater efforts to block quitting the group, by imposing high exit costs, replete with induced phobias of harm, failure, and personal isolation.
Phillip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D., What Is The Message Behind Today's Cults?
On this subject, we recommend Steve Hassan's books, Combatting Cult Mind Control, and Releasing The Bonds: Empowering People To Think For ThemselvesWhat is your position on deprogramming or exit counseling?
While we recognize that some movements employ psychological manipulation tactics in their efforts to maintain members, we do not endorse or practice deprogramming - either voluntary or involuntary. We do endorse voluntary counseling that encourages and facilitates independent, critical thinking. This includes so-called exit counseling, particularly as offered by those counselors who subscribe to the ethical guidelines for Thought Reform Consultants.What's with the rainbow graphics? Are you "gay"?
The rainbow is a sign of God's covenant with Noah and his descendants. I (Anton) used the rainbow graphics simply because I think they look good - and I happen to like rainbows. I am not "gay." However, my circle of friends does include gays and lesbians. They know my thoughts on the issue of homosexuality. And they know I love them.Do you provide counseling?
Other than that, I like to think that over the years I got a little better at web design. Our latest house-look does not include rainbows.
If you need help in dealing with cults - either for yourself or someone else - see these resources.
ResearchDoes Apologetics Index provide custom research?
Many people ask for information about subjects not (yet) listed in Apologetics Index. Though some people assume this site is part of a fully-staffed organization, that is not so. See "About the Publishers." As I (Anton) am permanently disabled as a result of diagnosed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Janet has Fibromyalgia, we have a limited supply of time and energy. Therefore, we generally can not help provide information beyond what is posted at this site. If you need help finding resources on specific subjects, we recommend that you subscribe to the AR-talk mailing list, where many apologists and counter-cult professionals request and share research resources.
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