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Faith Christian Church

Former members of Faith Christian Church (FCC), a campus ministry at the University of Arizona at Tucson, call it an overcontrolling and manipulative “cult.” But Michael Langone, executive director of the International Cultic Studies Association, characterizes FCC as a “high-demand or high-control group.” He explains, “One of the problems with the term ‘cult’ is, in the minds of a lot of laymen, it has lot of connotations as something sensational. You know, weird groups, weird people who suck blood from cats in cemeteries.” Rather, Langone added, FCC uses persuasion over time to establish its authority. A former member says FCC doesn’t use professionally trained pastors because it believes that “seminaries equal cemetery,” and “they [FCC] would just say that [outside logic] wasn’t aligned with the Bible, and that everything Steve Hall preached was aligned with what the Bible said.” The former member called this a form of brainwashing, but Langone said that the change does not happen overnight. It’s “a gradual process, it’s like a wearing away of someone’s autonomy and capacity to think independently and critically. That’s what makes it insidious.” The school administration has not received any formal complaints about FCC, which was formerly called Maranatha Christian Church of Tucson. (Arizona Daily Wildcat, 10/10/12) [IT 4.1 2013]

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