Susan Jungclaus Peterson was a twenty-one-year-old student at Moorhead State University who had lived most of her


Susan Jungclaus Peterson was a twenty-one-year-old student at Moorhead State University who had lived most of her life on her family farm in Minnesota. Though Susan was a dean’s list student during her first year, her academic performance declined after she became deeply involved in an international religious cult organization known locally as The Way of Minnesota, Inc. The cult demanded an enormous psychological and monetary commitment from Susan. Near the end of her junior year, her parents became alarmed by the changes in Susan’s physical and mental well-being and concluded that she had been ‘‘reduced to a condition of psychological bondage by The Way.’’ They sought help from Kathy Mills, a self-styled ‘‘deprogrammer’’ of minds brainwashed by cults. On May 24, Norman Jungclaus, Susan’s father, picked up Susan at Moorhead State. Instead of returning home, they went to the residence of Veronica Morgel, where Kathy Mills attempted to deprogram Susan. For the first few days of her stay, Susan was unwilling to discuss her involvement. She lay curled in a fetal position in her bedroom, plugging her ears and hysterically screaming and crying while her father pleaded with her to listen. By the third day, however, Susan’s demeanor changed completely. She became friendly and vivacious and communicated with her father. Susan also went roller-skating and played softball at a nearby park over the following weekend. She spent the next week in Columbus, Ohio, with a former cult member who had shared her experiences of the previous week. While in Columbus, she spoke daily by telephone with her fiance´, a member of The Way, who begged her to return to the cult. Susan expressed the desire to get her fiance´ out of the organization, but a meeting between them could not be arranged outside the presence of other members of The Way. Her parents attempted to persuade Susan to sign an agreement releasing them from liability for their actions, but Susan refused. After nearly sixteen days of ‘‘deprogramming’’ Susan left the Morgel residence and returned to her fiance´ and The Way. Upon the direction of The Way ministry, she brought this action against her parents for false imprisonment. Will Susan prevail? Explain.

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Smith and Roberson Business Law

ISBN: 978-0538473637

15th Edition

Authors: Richard A. Mann, Barry S. Roberts

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