Nancy Grim


When parents or their agents seek to "deprogram" their adult children through the legal power of a probate order, or through extralegal abduction or physical restraint, far-reaching legal questions emerge. Two recent cases add to the growing case law in this area. The opinions in Peterson v. Sorlien and Alexander v. Unification Church of America discuss the parameters of permissible conduct for deprogrammers and parents, the availability of tort remedies to a devotee in response to a deprogramming attempt, the relevance of the parent-child relationship and the religious involvement of adult offspring in determining tort liability of parents and their agents, the role of the religious organization supporting the lawsuit, and the availability of a legal response by deprogrammers.

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