THE ATTACKS ON KENJA
Where it began
Kenja's story, whilst shocking, is unfortunately not unique. Around the world and throughout human history, many groups and individuals who have sought to encourage greater spiritual understanding have been actively discriminated against and even attacked by those who stand to lose when individuality, spirituality and freedom are pursued. We hope that by telling our story, we can inspire hope in those who have unfairly come under fire, and enlightenment inthose who have ever feared or mistrusted on the basis of hearsay and smear.
Over the past 23 years both Ken Dyers and Kenja have been attacked by spurious “anti-cult” groups.
These attacks originated from an organisation in America called “Cult Awareness Network” which was a referral group for "deprogramming", the forcing of an individual to adopt another individual’s belief system. Deprogrammers initially employed techniques such as kidnapping, assault and sexual assault, often coming into conflict with American authorities.
The activities of the Cult Awareness Network and its “deprogramming” activities were exposed in the famous Dupont case in Virginia in the early 1990s.
Cult Awareness Network collapsed in America in 1995 after a legal case brought by Jason Scott against Cult Awareness Network in Seattle, whom they had kidnapped andattempted to deprogram. Australia however provided potentially prosperous new ground.
Their tactic was to target disgruntled and hostile ex-Kenja participants,subject them to “deprogramming”, and promote them almost like advertising in the press. This “networking” extended to a Member of Parliament. But their campaign against Kenja failed.
Throughout 1992, two disgruntled former Kenja participants – one who was asked to leave after striking a child and another for the inexplicable disappearance of Kenja funds in her possession on 3 separate occasions – tried through ties with the Anti-Cult Movement – to bring charges against Kenja for “brainwashing” them. This failed.
After that four young women, daughters of the women associated with this failed legal effort were canvassed to be part of new tactics in the campaign to destroy Kenja that police went to their homes, emerging with allegations against Ken. The girls had said in an interview with the politician who first interviewed them that they were“motivated by hate for the group basically”.
These same young women were part of a failed attempt to deprogram a young man who had been hospitalised for drug abuse (marijuana) and paranoid schizophrenia. Cult Aware personnel had influenced his mother to take the suicidal young man out of hospital and have him “deprogrammed”. He refused to denounce Kenja as a cult – but after a number of “deprogrammings” he apparently signed a letter denouncing Kenja after or during seeing the politician involved. He then committed suicide.
The young man had started a new life free of drugs with Kenja's help - some years earlier. He had been pulled back into criminality by his brother and left Kenja years previously.
It was after his suicide and the mothers’ failed legal attempt (mentioned before) that the girls spoke to the police.The case
Following the girls’ allegations, Ken Dyers was prosecuted in 1993 on 16 counts of sexual assault. The mothers of the girls were best friends and had both previously been asked to discontinue the Kenja training. The defence case was that the allegations were part of a conspiracy to frame-up Ken with sex allegations. Ken was acquitted by a jury on all counts except one, in a separate trial on one allegation – which was quashed in the High Court after a 10 year legal battle.Kenja’s battle during this first attack
During this first attack we undertook and won 3 actions by professional bodies against biased reporting in the media.Use of the word “cult”
During this period academics, particularly in America, argued the use of the word “cult” incited prejudice, hate and antagonism towards the groups, in the same way as racially stigmatized words.Click here to refer to the article by Professor James RichardsonThe second attack
A second attack against Kenja was launched with new allegations in 2005.
Once again the allegations originated from people who had previously been involved with the Kenja training and had been asked to leave the organisation. Ken again proclaimed his innocence and was determined to fight the matters in court once again.
In 2007 in very poor health and aged 85 Ken took his own life, unable to sustain the continuing attacks against him.
This was a terrible tragedy and a great loss of an inspiring and dedicated man. Ken had committed no crime. His insistence on a principled and ethical basis of conduct for those who wanted to be part of Kenja led some people to be hostile and disgruntled when asked to leave because of their unethical and dishonest conduct, and in the case of one man, criminal behaviour for which he was expelled from the organization. Those people wanted to discredit and destroy Kenja. They have not succeeded, despite their hostility which continues to this day. Kenja continues to thrive and bring creativity and joy to the lives of many despite these attacks and smears.
The Wikipedia entry on Kenja was substantially authored by the man expelled from Kenja in July 2002 because of his criminal activities and who was instrumental in organising the second round of attacks against Ken.
We are confident that this individual will soon be brought before the courts to answer for his misconduct, dishonesty and criminal activities.Present Legal Case
Legal proceedings have been commenced in the Supreme Court of New South Wales seeking redress against those who were responsible for the circumstances that led to Ken Dyers' death."Morals and sound policy require that the state should not violate the conscience of the individual. All our history gives confirmation to the view that liberty of conscience has a moral and social value which makes it worthy of preservation at the hands of the state. So deep in its significance and vital, indeed, is it to the integrity of man's moral and spiritual nature that nothing short of the self-preservation of the state should warrant its violation; and it may well be questioned whether the state which preserves its life by a settled policy of violation of the conscience of the individual will not in fact ultimately lose it by the process."
Fiske StoneFormer Chief Justice
US Supreme Court
1919Click here for the extreme ideological element in the historical attack on KenjaClick here for the Statement to the Mosman Community from the Kenja Organisation