Preventing Predatory Alienation by High-Control Groups: The Application of Human Trafficking Laws to Groups Popularly Known as Cults, and Proposed Changes to Laws Regarding Federal Immigration, State Child Marriage, and Undue Influence

International Journal of Coercion, Abuse and Manipulation Vol. 1 No. 2

St. John's Legal Studies Research Paper No. 21-0018

15 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2021 Last revised: 20 Jul 2021

See all articles by Robin Boyle

Robin Boyle

St. John's University School of Law; St. John's University - School of Law

Date Written: 2021

Abstract


Significant legal developments in the United States have taken place within the past year. First, United States v. Raniere was a criminal case launched against the founder of a purported self-help
organization, NXIVM, and several of his associates. The Raniere case established precedent for using the human-trafficking statutes, among other grounds, to pursue justice for victims of high-demand groups. Second, the number of asylum seekers is increasing annually, and some of these undocumented immigrants are escaping from their countries-of-origin cults, gangs, and other extremist groups. However, once they arrive in the United States, there are many statutory and court-imposed requirements for establishing asylum; lawmakers should clarify or eliminate some of these requirements in order to fulfill the original purpose of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Third, setting the minimum age for marriage would help to reduce the number of child brides who are often pressured by cults and high-control groups. Fourth, still in need of refinement is the legal
theory of “undue influence,” which potentially could aid cult victims in civil lawsuits against
overreaching organizations and individuals. And finally, pending in the New Jersey legislature is
the Predatory Alienation Bill, which calls for ongoing public-awareness campaigns, alienation
counseling, and other remedies.

Suggested Citation

Boyle, Robin and Boyle, Robin, Preventing Predatory Alienation by High-Control Groups: The Application of Human Trafficking Laws to Groups Popularly Known as Cults, and Proposed Changes to Laws Regarding Federal Immigration, State Child Marriage, and Undue Influence (2021). International Journal of Coercion, Abuse and Manipulation Vol. 1 No. 2, St. John's Legal Studies Research Paper No. 21-0018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3871858

Robin Boyle (Contact Author)

St. John's University - School of Law ( email )

8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11439
United States
718-990-6609 (Phone)

St. John's University School of Law ( email )

8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11439
United States
718-990-6609 (Phone)

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