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Friends of Andrew Cohen

Friends of Andrew Cohen
Andrew Cohen's FACE Causing Concern / England
Ian Haworth, director of the Cult Information Centre, in London, says he has received complaints from families about their relatives' involvement in FACE — Friends of Andrew Cohen Everywhere, also known as the Impersonal Enlightenment Fellowship, and the Moska Foundation — a small religious group of upscale membership with a facility in London's chic Belsize park section. Cohen is a native New Yorker with a Jewish background who travels the world giving seminars that reflect the ideas of Eastern religions, with a touch of "psychobabble." The Massachusetts-based Cohen has about 800 disciples worldwide — 80 in London, where several are well-known entertainment and media names. [csr 1.1 2002]

The 46-year-old Cohen's mother is worried about his delusions of grandeur: "He thinks he is God," she says. "He behaves like an emperor. He makes people feel so guilty about themselves they hand over all their money." The middle-class members who live in one of eight flats in the neighborhood, and join for an hour of meditation morning and evening, and eat meals together, are expected to donate around $60 per month, but in practice give much more. There are countless meetings as well as weekly discussions where members challenge each other about how faithfully they are living out Cohen's teachings. Haworth is especially worried about this hothouse environment: "We've had allegations that community members live together so one can watch the other. . . The group is all-important and each person enforces following the group's ideas." (Charlotte Williamson, Evening Standard, London, 12/21/01, Internet) [csr 1.1 2002]