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James T. Richardson New Religious Movements Collection, 1830-2014 | Special Collections & University Archives

By Stephanie Griswold

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Collection Overview

Title: James T. Richardson New Religious Movements Collection, 1830-2014Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1972-2010

Primary Creator: James T. Richardson (August 25, 1941)

Extent: 25.02 Linear Feet

Arrangement: I. Religious Movements Files, 1830-2014 II. Governments and New Religious Movements Files, 1971-2013 III. Richardson Office Files, 1972-2011 IV. Legal Papers, 1975-2009 V. Academic Papers, 1956-2014 VI. Thematic Files, 1973-1995 VII. Private Organization Files, 1977-2003 VIII. Periodicals, 1965-2008 IX. Audio/Visual Files, 1972-1998 X. News Articles, 1972-2005

Date Acquired: 01/27/2017. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Christianity and other religions--Judaism--History--20th century--Sources, Guyana--Religion--Sources

Languages: English, French, Polish, Romanian, German, Spanish;Castilian, Russian

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The James T. Richardson New Religious Movement Collection contains records of his scholarly research and activity to include newspaper clippings, photos, audio and video recordings, personal papers, organizational documents, federal agency records, and related anti-cult and scholarly papers spanning over the last fifty years. It is evident by the contents of this collection that several New Religious Movements directly contributed primary source materials about their activities to Richardson. Those sorts of documents make this particular collection unique. Some of the most notable documents are from groups such as the Rajneeshees, the Aggressive Christianity Missionary Training Corps, the Hare Krishna and Jesus People movements, Scientology, the Unification Church (Moonies), Aum Shinrikyo, and the Family International (Children of God). There are a significant number of folders with information about the Branch Davidians and Peoples Temple, though the materials do not appear to be directly from those sects. Other themes found in this collection include ritual abuse, famous news cases (e.g. the “Dingo ate my baby” case in Australia). There are a large number of documents from both the Anti-Cult Movement as well as the Religious Libertarian/Religious Freedom Movement. There are also folders that contain information about lesser known groups with both benign and controversial histories. There are ten series in this collection: Religious Movements Files (1830-2014), Governments and New Religious Movements Files (1971-2013), Richardson Office Files (1972-2011), Legal Papers (1975-2009), Academic Papers (1956-2014), Thematic Files (1973-1995), Private Organization Files (1977-2003), Periodicals (1965-2008), Audio/Visual Files (1972-1998), and News Articles (1972-2005). Religious Movements Files (1830-2014): This series is arranged by sect with folders labeled thematically. It is a rather large series and contains materials for over 40 different groups of various movements, from new age to Christian, eastern traditions, UFO worship, etc. This series spans 17 boxes. Governments and New Religious Movements Files (1971-2013): This series is arranged by country, mostly European. This contains papers from and about these governments and their relationships with alternative religions and fringe sects. Most of these documents are in English with few exceptions. Richardson Office Files (1972-2011): The contents of this series are broad. It includes general correspondence, comic cartoons, university materials, etc. Most of these folders are not specific to any sect or to the direct study of New Religious Movements. Legal Papers (1975-2009): The majority of this series are documents about major legal cases, particularly in the United States but do not include media coverage of those cases. That can be mostly found in series 10. Academic Papers (1956-2014): This series contains academic works from Richardson and many other scholars at different levels of their careers, from master’s theses and doctoral dissertations to published articles of well-established scholars. The scholars in this series are from different disciplines with varying specialties and include notable names such as Stuart Wright, Anson Shupe, and David Bromley, to name a few. Thematic Files (1973-1995): This series is arranged by topic. The materials in this series often have no author or organizational indicators so are not included in series 2, 4, 5, 7, or 10. Topics include Christchurch abuse scandal, abortion, deprogramming, etc. Private Organization Files (1977-2003): The organizations found in this series are mostly groups that fall into either the anti-cult or religious freedom movements. The materials are mostly primary source documents directly from the organizations and discuss their activities in regard to various sects and incidents over the last several decades. Periodicals (1965-2008): Many of the periodicals found in this series are major titles; Time, Newsweek, etc. However, a bulk of the series also includes sect-specific periodicals, including Hare Krishna’s Back to Godhead, issues of the Utah Lighthouse Ministry’s Salt Lake City Messenger, periodicals from the Rajneeshees, Scientology, the American Family Foundation, and the Family International (both Activated and Good News among others). Audio/Visual Files (1972-1998): In this series are VHS, 3 ½ inch floppy discs, photos, slides, and cassette tapes from various groups as well as interviews Richardson conducted with members of several groups. News Articles (1972-2005): This series has both newsprint and photocopied news articles. The scope of this series is wide; it is separated by material, topic, group, and physical size.

Biographical Note

James T. Richardson was the director of the Judicial Studies Program at the University of Nevada, Reno and a professor of sociology. He also holds a Doctorate of Jurisprudence. He studies new religious movements and cults, their organization and recruitment activities, and their relationship to government and government regulation. More generally, he works with social psychology and law. He has written and edited various volumes on law and religious topics, including Saints Under Siege about the 2008 Texas raid of the Yearning for Zion Ranch, and is likely best known for his book The Satanism Scare. This collection includes correspondence with various institutions, news articles, Anti-Cult documents, scholarly statements, official statements and publications from several New Religious Movements, cassette tapes, 3 ½ inch floppy discs, VHS, and photographs and slides, as well as information on related religious groups. Topics of particular interest are primary sources papers and videos from the Aggressive Christianity Missionary Training Corps; a wide breadth of primary source documents from the Family International; and a large number of publications from the Hare Krishna/ISKCON movement, Jesus Movement, and some Black Panther newspapers (particularly about the People’s Temple).

Subject/Index Terms

Christianity and other religions--Judaism--History--20th century--Sources
Guyana--Religion--Sources

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Accruals: 2017-002, 2017-008, 2017-018, 2018-002, 2018-037

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Acquisition Source: James T. Richardson

Related Materials:

Peoples Temple Collection

The Family International Records

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, James T. Richardson New Religious Movements Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Religious Movements Files, 1830-2014],
[Series 2: Governments and New Religious Movements Files, 1971-2013],
[Series 3: Richardson Office Files, 1972-2011],
[Series 4: Legal Papers, 1975-2009],
[Series 5: Academic Papers, 1956-2014],
[Series 6: Thematic Files, 1973-1995],
[Series 7: Private Organization Files, 1977-2003],
[Series 8: Periodicals, 1965-2008],
[Series 9: Audio/Visual Files, 1972-1998],
[Series 10: News Articles, 1972-2005],
[All]

Series 10: News Articles, 1972-2005Add to your cart.
This series has both newsprint and photocopied news articles. The scope of this series is wide; it is separated by material, topic, group, and physical size.
Box 36Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Abuse in the Media, 1987-1996Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Anti-Cult Movement in the Media, 1989-1998Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Astrology in the Media, 1992Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Comparative Religion in the Media, 1979-1996Add to your cart.
Folder 5: "Cult Bill" and Legal Issues in the Media, 1978-1983Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Deprogramming in the Media, 1973-1999Add to your cart.
Folder 7: "Dingo Ate My Baby" Case in the Media, 1994Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Faith Healing in the Media, 1984-1997Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Ginger Brown Kidnapping Case in the Media, 1989Add to your cart.
Folder 10: New Religious Movement Clippings, 1973-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 11: News Articles Bibliography, 1993-1994Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Polyandry in the Media, 1996Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Religion and Age in the Media, 1986-1989Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Religion and Europe in the Media, 1996-1997Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Religion and Family in the Media, 1985-2009Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Religious Intolerance in the MediaAdd to your cart.
Folder 17: Religion and Journalists in the Media, 1997Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Religion and Pop Culture in the Media, 1996-2000Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Religion and Psychology/Psychiatry in the Media, 1980-1995Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Religion and Race in the Media, 1996Add to your cart.
Folder 21: Religious Rights in the Media, 1989-1998Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Religion and the State ​in the Media, 1996Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Student Activism in the Media, 1984Add to your cart.
Folder 24: White Supremacy and Survivalism in the Media, 1984-1999Add to your cart.
Folder 25: WRNS NRM Archive Aum, Ho-No-Hana, Life Space, 1999-2000Add to your cart.
Folder 26: WRNS NRM Archive "Ten Commandments" Sect (in Uganda) and other African NRMs, 1999-2000Add to your cart.
Box 37Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Life Magazine and New York Times Fragments, 1972-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 2: New Religious Movements and Abuse News Photocopies Oversized, 1979-1996Add to your cart.
Folder 3: The Observer Magazine "Cults" Parts 1 and 2, 1995Add to your cart.
Box 38Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Abortion Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Ananda Marga Yoga Society Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Aum Shinrikyo Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Branch Davidians Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Christchurch Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Christianity Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: "Cult Bill" Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Deprogramming Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Exorcism Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Great White Brotherhood (Aus/NZ) Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: Hare Krishna Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Heaven's Gate Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: Mormonism Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Multi-sect Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: Native American Church Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: Northeast Kingdom Community Church Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 17: Occultism Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 18: People's Temple Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 19: Rajneeshpuram Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 20: Richardson Professional Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 21: Scientology Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 22: Synanon Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 23: Transcendental Meditation Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 24: The Unification Church Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Folder 25: White Brotherhood (Ukraine) Newsprint FragmentsAdd to your cart.
Box 39Add to your cart.
Folder 1: The Advisor- Journal of the American Family Foundation, 1979-1983Add to your cart.
oversize
Folder 2: Modern Jesus Army Streetpaper, 1993-1997Add to your cart.
Box 40Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Branch Davidians Oversize NewsprintAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: The Family International Oversize NewsprintAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Heaven's Gate Oversize NewsprintAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Mormonism (Fundamentalist and LDS) Oversize NewsprintAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments Oversize NewsprintAdd to your cart.
Box 41Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Multi-Topic Oversize Newsprint, 1973-1996Add to your cart.
Folder 2: New Religious Movements A-W Oversize NewsprintAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: New Religious Movements Topics Oversize NewsprintAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Occultism- Wicca, Paganism, and Satanism Oversize NewsprintAdd to your cart.
Box 42Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Peoples Temple Oversize NewsprintAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Rajneeshpuram Oversize NewsprintAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Scientology Oversize NewsprintAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Unification Church Oversize NewsprintAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Religious Movements Files, 1830-2014],
[Series 2: Governments and New Religious Movements Files, 1971-2013],
[Series 3: Richardson Office Files, 1972-2011],
[Series 4: Legal Papers, 1975-2009],
[Series 5: Academic Papers, 1956-2014],
[Series 6: Thematic Files, 1973-1995],
[Series 7: Private Organization Files, 1977-2003],
[Series 8: Periodicals, 1965-2008],
[Series 9: Audio/Visual Files, 1972-1998],
[Series 10: News Articles, 1972-2005],
[All]


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