Undue influence takes place when a person to commit a deed that he or she would not have done normally. This protection and redress at law not only relate to living individuals but also to wills of deceased individuals who suffered in such a way.
Interestingly, in at least English Law where there are claims of undue influence against religious organizations, it is presumed in the first place that there WAS undue influence and the responsibility is automatically placed on religious organization to prove that there WAS NOT undue influence. I find it VERY hard to believe that the BKWSU could ever hope to defend itself in a court of law. See, class 2 cases below.
A person who has been induced to enter into a transaction (e.g., a gift, contract or guarantee) by the undue influence of another (the wrongdoer) is entitled to set that transaction aside as against the wrongdoer.
Undue influence has been defined in English law as 'the unconscientious use by one person of power possessed by him over another in order to induce the other to enter into a contract'. It also extends not just to individuals and families but also to unrepresentative and political bodies. The public at large is barely aware that our democracies are being reshaped by non-elected bodies, such as the BKWSU, whose principal loyalty is to their religion and yet have become involved in the political processes influencing even the delivery of public services such as healthcare or education (GRC/Janki Foundation, Living Values etc).
Different classes of undue influence;
CLASS 1: ACTUAL UNDUE INFLUENCE
In these cases it is necessary for the claimant to prove affirmatively that the wrongdoer exerted undue influence on the complainant to enter into the particular transaction which is impugned.
CLASS 2: PRESUMED UNDUE INFLUENCE
In these cases the complainant only has to show, in the first instance, that there was a relationship of trust and confidence between the complainant and the wrongdoer of such a nature that it is fair to presume that the wrongdoer abused that relationship in procuring the complainant to enter the impugned transaction.
In class 2 cases therefore, there is no need to produce evidence that actual undue influence was exerted in relation to the particular transaction impugned: once a confidential relationship has been proved, the burden then shifts to the wrongdoer to prove that the complainant entered into the impugned transaction freely, for example by showing that the complainant had independent advice.
Note that it must also be shown that the transaction was manifestly disadvantageous to the party alleged to be influenced.
Such a confidential relationship can be established in two ways:
Certain relationships as a matter of law raise the presumption that undue influence has been exercised. The relationships where undue influence is presumed have been held to be; e.g. trustee & beneficiary and religious adviser & disciple.
If the complainant proves the existence of a relationship under which the complainant generally reposed trust and confidence in the wrongdoer, the existence of such relationship raises the presumption of undue influence.
'Undue influence' is probably the least misleading of the various terms which have been used to denote the manipulative techniques used by cults. The problem remains that these techniques are quite clever and subtle, and very difficult to explain satisfactorily to anyone who has not themselves experienced being in a cult. Consequently, critical ex-cult members are often not taken seriously when they try to communicate their concerns. Many ex-members experience prejudice and misunderstanding when they try to explain to the wider world how cults work and the dangers they pose. Which in turn makes it easier for cults to thrive. 'Undue influence' could extend over other areas of a person's life, to the extent that, in some cases, they leave their family and job and end up working full-time for the cult, effectively becoming servants of the cult.
For discussion of one such case;
http://www.csj.org/infoserv_articles/le ... r_suit.htm
If we correlate this to discussion of undue influence in new religious movements;
How does our experience add up?1) Mind control (undue influence) - Manipulation by use of coercive persuasion or
behavior modification techniques without informed consent.
2) Charismatic leadership - claiming divinity or special knowledge and demanding
unquestioning obediance with power and privilege.
3) Deception-recruiting and fund raising with hidden objectives and without full
disclosure of the use of mind controlling techniques; use of front groups.
4) Exclusivity - Secretiveness or vagueness by followers regarding activities and
5) Alienation - Separation from family, friends and society, a change in values and
substitution of the cult as the new family; evidence of subtle or abrupt personality
6) Exploitation - Can be financial, physical, or psychological.
7) Totalitarian Worldview (we/they syndrome) - Effecting dependence, promoting goals
of the group over the individual and approving unethical behavior while claiming