Keynote Speaker: Rick Ross


Cults: Cult intervention specialist, a veteran cult watcher

Keynote Speaker: Rick Ross

Program Titles

  • Deprogramming--that is, providing members with information about the cult and showing them how their own decision-making power had been taken away from them.
  • Just as most soldiers believe bullets will hit only others, not themselves, most citizens like to think that their own minds and thought processes are invulnerable. 'Other people can be manipulated, but not me,' they declare.
  • Breaking stories both about
  • America's number one cult buster.

Rick Ross: A controversial religious group infiltrated the staff of a nursing home where Ross' grandmother was a resident.

He brought this to the attention of the director and working with the organized community he ended the problem.

Ross' effort at the nursing home soon led to further work and the publication of a ground breaking brochure, which carried the ecumenical endorsements of most of the religious leaders.

It was titled, What in God's Name is Going On?

The brochure achieved wide recognition and Ross was soon appointed to a national committee focused upon the cult phenomenon.

Ross was later appointed to the Interreligious Affairs committee. And during the 80s he lectured and contributed to educational materials for the denomination.

In the early 80s Ross also became aware of serious problems regarding proselytizing within the prisons and jails. He again brought this to the attention of the organized community.

Hate groups, harassed, threatened and frequently targeted inmates. Prisoners also lacked any meaningful advocacy or consistent programs.

Ross' work on behalf of prisoners culminated in his election as chairman, of both the Religious Advisory Committee to the Department of Corrections and the International Coalition of Prisoner Programs.

During his time at Ross continued his cult-related work, studies and research.

He also became an instructor for the Bureau of Education and designed a course curriculum about destructive cults.

In 1986 Ross left the staff of to become a full-time, lecturer and cult intervention specialist.

He then began working privately with the victims of destructive groups and/or leaders.

His professional help is typically requested by parents, but often is sought by spouses and at times by the adult children of cult members. He has done hundreds of interventions.

Ross once cooperated with parents in involuntary "deprogramming" cases.

Such involuntary interventions were initiated by families and involved the restraint of a loved one. In this type of intervention the cult member was not free to leave and instead restrained under the supervision of their family. This restraint guaranteed an opportunity and adequate time to address family concerns.

However Ross, like other professionals working in this area, abandoned involuntary casework some years ago. He now restricts his intervention work exclusively to voluntary efforts, unless working with a minor child under the direct supervision of a custodial parent.

In voluntary interventions adult cult members are free to go at any time.

Cult members willingly agree to participate in Ross' current intervention work, despite the option to leave, usually because family members urge them to stay.

Ross states that amongst his current voluntary cases 75 percent not only decide to stay and discuss their family's concerns, but ultimately leave the group, which has drawn concern.

He has maintained this success rate consistently for some years. This is important, in a field where such definitive results are most often the bottom line.

Ross has worked throughout the United States and internationally.

He also continues to lecture and has been asked to speak at many universities and colleges. This has included such prestigious institutions as the University of Chicago, Dickinson College, Carnegie Mellon, Baylor, The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Duquesne, Knox College, Rutgers and the McCallie School.

Ross has been qualified, accepted and testified as an expert witness regarding destructive cults and controversial groups in eight states, typically concerning child custody and personal injury cases.

His work with law-enforcement has included consultation with local police departments across the United States, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) and the FBI.

His study of the once little known group led by David Koresh, began in 1988 as a direct result of repeated complaints.

Ross' work has been cited and/or his comments quoted in newspapers across the United States including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, USA Today, Dallas Daily News, Boston Herald, LA Times, Village Voice, Seattle Times, Phoenix Republic, Anchorage Daily News, Tampa Tribune, The Las Vegas Sun, Austin American Statesman, Richmond Times Dispatch and the Oregonian.

Ross has likewise been quoted within national magazines such as Newsweek, GQ, Details, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, American Lawyer and Slate.

Wire services such as Associated Press and Reuters have also carried his comments.

Time Magazine cited Ross as "a veteran cult watcher."

He has also been quoted within international publications including The London Times, The South China Post, Davar of Israel, Processo of Mexico, The Toronto Sun, Johannesburg Sunday Times and The Australian Courier.

Ross has appeared on more than 100 radio shows across the U.S. including National Public Radio, CBS and Pacifica and internationally on the BBC, RAI in Rome, CKO National Network of Canada and the Australian Broadcast Corporation.

He has appeared on American national network television on programs such as Nightline, Dateline, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Primetime, NBC Evening News, CNN, MSNBC, Oprah, 48 Hours and MTV News. Ross has appeared internationally on such television networks as NHK, Asahi and Nippon in Japan, CBC of Canada and TV 2 National News of Denmark.

He has also participated in documentaries for Post Newsweek, NHK and Court TV.

Ross has been retained as a paid professional consultant by CBS, CBC and Nippon television networks.

He also worked for Miramax/Disney as a technical advisor to the actor Harvey Keitel regarding his role in the Jane Campion film Holy Smoke.

Noted cult researchers and authors call Rick Ross, "The Mt. Everest of mind control Resources."

Rick Ross personally handles hundreds of complaints and inquiries each month. This work has often led to breaking stories both about "cult" abuses and celebrity, political and business involvement with groups often called "cults."

His mission is to study of destructive cults, controversial groups and movements.

Britain's FHM Magazine named Rick Ross "America's number one cult buster."

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