Mystery woman in cult drive
This is Lancashire, 22 October 1999
A black-haired woman is believed to be behind a sinister plot to recruit youngsters into a cult.
The Citizen has learned that a woman calling herself Lucy Miller has been approaching students throughout Preston, trying to lure them into the Campus Ministries of Christ, a spin-off of the International Church of Christ, which moved in on Preston’s University of Central Lancashire Campus last year.
Lucy, who has approached several undergraduates in the town, claims to be a student and, like other representatives of the cult, will approach students in pubs, bars or even on their doorsteps.
The latest wave of cult members are believed to be targeting students as young as 16. A former cult member this week confirmed that the group was planning a return trip to Preston, using its new name. The new identity was adopted following bad publicity about its last visit to the town.
Ayman Ashkar, who claims the cult separated him from society within six days of joining the group, said: “They are very active now because they target students who are vulnerable. I have been told they are returning to Preston.”
An Internet site, written by ex-members, speaks of new members being ‘baptised so they can be saved.’
The International Churches of Christ is run by Kip McKean, who earlier this year spoke of the need to recruit more students as ‘rank and file members.’
Bill Turner, from the university’s multi-faith centre, said: “A heavy guilt trip is involved here, with people being promised a utopian existence if they wish to be saved. We would be grateful if anyone approached could pass on details to us.”
“Lucy is described as having short, dark hair, a pierced nose and was seen wearing scruffy gothic clothes.”