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date: 11 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Of the various dimensions of the “cult” controversy, the legal arena is the most significant in terms of its direct impact on the organizational functioning of NRMs. This chapter provides a concise yet comprehensive overview of NRM-related legal developments in the U.S. and a survey of efforts to control new religions around the world. These developments are also analyzed in terms of the sociology of law, and points out that an important factor fueling anti-NRM sentiment in at least some countries derives from antagonism to American cultural influence.

Keywords: New Religions, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, social control, cult, brainwashing, anti-cult movement.

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