Wednesday, November 18, 2015 – 7:30pm
Canada 2015. Dir: Mia Donovan. 90 min. DCP
VANCOUVER PREMIERE! In the 1970s, the youthful search for meaning could often land you in a cult. As membership in the Moonies, the Children of God, the Christ Family, the Love Family, the Hare Krishnas, and others increased, so too did panic amongst middle-class parents, reaching a fever pitch with the 1978 Jonestown massacre. Into this maelstrom stepped deprogramming expert Ted “Black Lightning” Patrick, “a 10th-grade drop-out with a PhD in common sense.” Patrick’s “reverse brainwashing” methods were unorthodox, if not plainly criminal, involving as they did kidnapping, forced confinement, repetitive interrogations, and sleep deprivation. Mia Donovan (Inside Lara Roxx) raises questions of the rights of the individual and free will in this fascinating documentary, which features interviews with the now 84-year-old (and unrepentant) Patrick, never-before-seen archival footage of deprogramming sessions, and current interviews with former cult members, some grateful for Patrick’s interventions, some not.
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Post-screening discussion with Dale Beyerstein, the Chair of the Philosophy Department at Langara College. Dale has also taught philosophy at Malaspina College, Douglas College, Kwantlen College and UBC. He is a founding member of the BC Skeptics, and a director-at-large of the organization.
Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.