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Anson D. Shupe
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Anson D. Shupe

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Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the Joint campus of Indiana University and Purdue University in Fort Wayne. Though seen by many as "one of the most respected sociologists of religion today, having published widely cited articles on the Unification Church, new religions, Mormon business activities, family violence, and religious malfeasance" (Kent and Krebs), he is also considered by many cult experts to a cult apologist.

Shupe testified against the real Cult Awareness Network which at the time was an anti-cult organization, but which is now under control of the Church of Scientology (using the name, logo, phone numbers and addresses of the real CAN).

In 1980, Shupe was the co-author of a study of the "counter-cult" movement, referring to the people in it as The New Vigilantes (Shupe and Bromley, 1980). He was cognizant of APRL's ties with Scientology, stating in a 1984 publication that "[b]oth Scientology and the Unification Church were extremely active" in the organization (Shupe, Bromley, and Oliver, 1984, 142). Moreover, both Shupe and Lewis were to publish articles against CAN (Shupe, 1994/1995?); in Scientology's Freedom magazine (Church of Scientology International [1994/1995?] 1994a, 1995b).
When Scholars Know Sin, by Stephen Kent and Therese Krebs

When asked about how he gathered his evidence against CAN, Shupe admitted that he had never attended a CAN meeting, did not know the names of its officers, had not conducted formal research on the organization since 1987, and had not formally interviewed anyone on the "countercult" movement since 1979. Moreover, he had never subscribed to CAN's newsletter, although he "was able to obtain copies now and then from various people around the country" (Scott v. Ross, et.al., 1995a, 83-87).

Shupe claimed, however, that he had kept informed about CAN's activities -- through contact with his colleagues, one of whom was J. Gordon Melton, through mailings that he received from Robertson's Friends of Freedom and publications from the "countercult" organization called American Family Foundation. He also claimed that he kept informed about CAN through "miscellaneous newspaper articles". Shupe also mentioned that he had belonged for a period to the Friends of Freedom and currently was on AWARE's board of directors. In deposition he stated that he thought Friends of Freedom "was a good source of information," but in trial testimony indicated that he had "a certain amount of skepticism" about its material because he realized that its director, George Robertson, "was not what I would call a neutral party in all this."
When Scholars Know Sin, by Stephen Kent and Therese Krebs
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Update

The preliminary program for the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of ReligionOff-site Link (Houston, Texas, October 18-22, 2000) lists the following session:

CAN, We Hardly Knew Ye: Sex, Drugs, Deprogrammers' Kickbacks, and Corporate Crime in the (Old) Cult Awareness Network." Anson Shupe, Indiana-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Kendrick Moxon, and Susan E. Darnell, shupe@ipfw.edu

This paper, which is bound to further confirm Shupe's reputation as a cult apologist, is said to be an abbreviated chapter from a forthcoming book on the anticult movement by the same authors. It is based in part on 400 boxes of papers (including confidential correspondence) Scientology's CAN wrestled from the real CAN in legal proceedings.

Kendrick Moxon is a top Scientologist, as well as a leading Scientology lawyer. He was a key player in the demise of the real CAN (See: Scientology's Revenge).

Susan E. Darnell manages a credit union in Gary, Indiana and is a civil rights advocate journalist. She has worked with Shupe on a number of projects.
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- Articles -
Secular When Scholars Know Sin: Alternative Religions and their Academic SupportersOff-site Link Includes details of Shupe's role in the demise of the real CAN. Indepth article by Stephen Kent and Theresa Krebs
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