Over the years Info-Cult has evolved in response to the needs of the public.
At the end of the 1970's, the need for information about cults and new religious movements grew in Quebec and elsewhere around the world. This issue raised a number of questions, including:
To respond to these questions and better understand the phenomenon of cults, Hillel, a Jewish student group active on college and university campuses, organized conferences to sensitize students and the community at large to this issue.
The success of these conferences and the continued need for information and assistance to students and the general population inspired a handful of individuals to develop a proposal to set up a permanent resource centre on cults. The leadership of Hillel acknowledged the value of this proposal and presented a funding request to the Montreal Jewish community.
In 1980, the Cult Project was started. It offered a non denominational service to the community at large. Its operating costs and some of its activities were also subsidized by the provincial and federal governments.
In 1990, the Cult Project became Info-Cult, an independent, bilingual and non denominational organization. As indicated in its charter:
"To promote the dignity and integrity of the individual, the respect of collective and individual rights, the freedom of thought and expression, and the right of access to information, the objectives of Info-Cult are:
According to Info-Cult, particular care must be taken in the choice of words used to describe the cult phenomenon. Historically, the term "cult" has been used to describe a group of people having devotion to a person, thing, idea or the like. Today, however, many people use the word "cult" pejoratively and subsequently the use of the term has its limits. For example, it does not allow us to accurately describe groups that may or may not represent a risk for their members or for non-members.
Info-Cult focuses on the internal and external dynamics of groups to better understand:
Over the years, Info-Cult has become known and has established contacts with a number of public and private organizations in Quebec, Canada and beyond.
Since its founding in 1980, Info-Cult has continued to amass a diverse collection of documentation on the cult phenomena, making it the largest centre of its kind in North America.
Today, Info-Cult continues to reflect on the cult phenomenon and search for information on the subject. It also continues to offer support and assistance to the public.
For more information on the history of Info-Cult, one may also consult Chapter 1 of our book The Cult Phenomenon: How Groups Function.
5655 avenue du Parc, Suite 208
Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2V 4H2
(514) 274-2333, Fax: (514) 274-7576