Examples of How Inform Can Help

Inform receives enquiries about hundreds of different minority religions, new religious movements (NRMs) or 'cults'. Religions might be ‘new’ in the sense that they consist of converts (a first generation membership), or they may be new and unfamiliar to a particular national context but well-established elsewhere

Inform also responds to enquiries about movements that arose in the 19th century such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) and Christian Scientists, as well as to questions about new developments and movements within mainstream religious traditions.

Enquiries come from, among others, relatives and friends of new converts, current and former members of movements, government agencies, law-enforcement officers, social workers, clergy, lawyers, health professionals, therapists, counsellors, students, academics and the media.

All enquiries are treated with the strictest confidentiality.

To give you an idea of the sorts of enquiries we receive from the hundreds of individuals and organisations who contact us each year, here are some examples that reflect some typical concerns, but may be altered slightly to preserve anonymity.
  • A religious group wants to hire a room in our village hall. What does the group believe and is it likely to cause trouble?
  • My client wants sole custody of his children as his former wife is raising them in a secretive religious group. Can you tell me more about the group?
  • My son has disappeared into a mysterious eastern group and refuses to return home. What can I do?
  • A new group has applied for registration as a religion in our country, are they a genuine religion?
  • We are thinking of sending our top staff on a management training course, but someone says it's a cult. Can you write a report on the group for me?
  • I was born into a cult. Can you help me leave?
  • My brother belongs to a religion that claims to be a charity, but they only take money from people and don't give anything away.
  • I'm thinking of joining a spiritual discussion group but I'd like to find out more about it first. Can you help?
  • My daughter and her husband are members of a fundamentalist church and she is about to have a baby. We are worried that she will refuse the child proper healthcare. Can you give us the facts?
  • I spent ten years following a false messiah and now I can't get my life back together. Can you help?
  • I want to move to live on my guru's ashram but my parents are terribly concerned. How can I reassure them?
  • My partner is paying out thousands of pounds to find enlightenment. How can I stop him?
  • I was brought up in an exclusive Christian group and my parents are still members. They won't talk to me any more. How can I mend our relationship?
  • We have read in the media about child abuse in the church that our daughter has joined. Could these allegations be true?
  • My niece died in suspicious circumstances after taking out insurance made payable to her guru. Can I get this investigated?
Sometimes enquirers are experiencing emotional problems, and in such cases, the staff try to help so far as they can by listening and providing information, but it is Inform policy that those seeking emotional support should be informed about other professionals and organisations that can offer more direct emotional and practical support for such enquirers.
If you have a query concerning a religious movement, please contact us. Our dedicated helpline operates from 10.00am-4.30pm Monday to Friday or you can contact us by email or letter.
The information provided to private individuals for their personal use is normally free, but all donations towards our work are greatly appreciated. For more information about our funding please look here.