Joan Capellini Scholarship Fund

In 2014 Mr. Robert Capellini founded an ICSA scholarship fund to help former cult members with financial need (e.g., unemployed, on disability) attend ICSA virtual conferences, webinars, and workshops. The fund honors his late wife, Joan, who was active in cult education for many years. (See eulogy from her husband below.)  Please consider donating to this fund.

If you are a former cult member and would like to apply for assistance from this fund, please complete our Capellini Fund Application  (make sure you read the introduction to the form). 

The fund assists only with event registration fees for online attendance to ICSA events  (conferences, webinars, and workshops) - NOT travel, accommodations, meals, general financial support, education or tuition, or ICSA memberships.  

Please keep in mind that funds are limited and are aimed at former cultic group members with serious financial need, (e.g., unemployed, on disability). 

We must, from necessity, operate on an honor system. Those who receive aid inappropriately remove aid for individuals who may be in dire need. 

Joan Capellini, RIP. From her husband Bob: The world lost a strong supporter of those who oppose destructive cults and who did much to alert many about the dangers of such organizations when my wife of almost 56 years Joan Capellini passed away on April 28, 2014. We became involved in cult awareness when our oldest son became a follower of Reverend Moon’s pseudo religion in 1978. Some may recall, that was the same year the tragedy in Jonestown occurred. When we learned of the details of what occurred there, and why, it prompted us to take some immediate action to save our son because many of the events and the methods taught to indoctrinate the poor souls in Jonestown were strikingly similar to what was happening to our son. With the aid of others, we rescued our son in December of 1978. My son and I returned home on Christmas eve – needless to say, that was a VERY merry Christmas in the Capellini household. He came home and was active in speaking to school assemblies and other local groups about his experience and warning his contemporaries about the dangers involved. Joan and I joined him in those talks and it soon became evident to me that Joan had the “touch” to reach people more efficiently than my son and I.

The erstwhile Cult Awareness Network (CAN) was formed on a national basis and Joan was elected President of our local chapter – she remained in that position from 1979 to 1988. During her term in office, Joan received a CAN Hall of Fame Award on October 22, 1988. She and I attended several national conferences around the nation and Joan was involved in several group discussions and activities helping to further the goals of CAN.

At home Joan spoke before many Service clubs, school organizations and church groups over the years. In our home, we hosted many parents and others to assist them in rescuing their loved ones from destructive cults. Joan was also featured in a week long expose of such cults on a local TV channel. She was on radio many times as well.  Joan was about 5 feet one inch tall and weighed no more that 103 pounds during our entire marriage – except when expecting each of our three children. She was small in stature but a giant when it came to informing the world about destructive cults and being instrumental in saving many from such a disastrous fate. In loving memory of my beloved Joan.

If you would like to donate to this fund, please go here.  Thank you.