Center for Assistance and for the Study of Cultic Phenomena
Founded in Montreal (Quebec, Canada) in 1980, Info-Cult: Centre for Assistance and for the Study of Cultic Phenomena, is a nonprofit charitable organization. Financed by the Quebec government’s Ministry of Health and Social Services as well as by contributions from individual donors, the organization provides help and information about groups, their ideologies and their structures. It houses one of the most important documentation centres specialized in this area. Being the only organization of its kind in Canada, Info-Cult also offers support and guidance services to former members of groups or their loved ones.
Info-Cult aims to promote the dignity and integrity of the individual, respect for individual and collective rights, freedom of thought and expression, and the right to access information.
In accordance with its charter, Info-Cult’s mandate is to:
- promote the study of cultic phenomena;
- sensitize, inform and educate the public about these phenomena;
- assist people with problems related to these phenomena.
Its perspective focuses on the understanding of the processes of engagement in and exit from various groups. Info-Cult pays particular attention to terminology being used and values a nuanced analysis that considers the internal and external group dynamics.
This approach allows it to better:
- understand the individuality of experiences;
- identify and understand settings that may involve risks of harm;
- equip individuals to face their own challenges;
- support individuals in the understanding of their experiences.
“Thank you very much for your time the other day. I really appreciate the time you took to speak with me… Kind regards.”
“I appreciate all that Info-Cult does and I’m thankful for your assistance more than a decade ago. It was a catalyst for a loved one to exit a sect. I say thank you every day.”
“I have read this and other articles you’ve sent, some of which I’ve emailed to clients, who, like myself, are former cult members. Thank you for your good work! All the best.”
– Former member of a group
“Thanks so much for helping me and my student RAs (Research assistants) yesterday. Info-Secte is an amazing asset.”
“Thank you so much for getting back to me. I would love to be able to speak with you directly as this is very important to me and has taken up much of my life (…). I see there are places I can make a donation to your organization and would love to do so simply because you took the time to get back to me. My email and questions were not exactly what we call to be normal questions so I thank you for not disregarding them.”
“Thanks for the info, will use all these resources. Nice to chat with someone that has a better understanding of what someone like me has been through. Thanks again.”
-Former member of a group
“I want to tell you that our son is now a practicing psychologist (…). You advised us (…) to stay cool because that it did not sound like he was involved with a cult, and you were right. Best wishes.”
“I hope all is well for you and Info-Sect (…). I just wanted to let you know that we appreciate this news service that you provide. We look at it and utilize / download many of the articles. Thanks so much.”
-Employee of a non-profit organization
“Thank you for your continued tireless devotion towards this important work.”