There really hasn’t been much more to say on Zach’s story, since last time I posted. By my calculations, his six-week extension hasn’t ended, and won’t for at least a couple more weeks.
The second state investigaton of Love In Action/Refuge (LIA/R) is ongoing, and there’s been little news about it that I can find beyond this local report that offers a bit more information.
The Department of Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities wants to know if Love In Action International is conducting improper counseling sessions with unlicensed personnel.
…Rachel Lassiter, a spokeswoman for the mental health department, said Love In Action was sent a letter Monday seeking information about it practices.
People are still blogging about Zach and LIA/R, however. E.J. has an interesting post up about attenting an "open meeting" held by LIA/R (apparently a reaction to the attention now focused on them). I put the words "open meeting" in quotations because I’m not sure how open a meeting can be considered when the participants have to sign a confidentiality agreement.
A clipboard was being passed around, and one of the other "casual observers" was being pointed by Tommy Corman, Love In Action’s media relations coordinator, to sign the non-disclosure agreement it contained. "Why do I need to sign a confidentiality agreement?" the woman asked. "I am not required to sign anything and I’m not going to sign anything." Without incident, Corman walked away. Later, I would overhear the woman being told by another observer that as guests of Love In Action/Refuge, we would have to sign anything that they asked us to.
What’s reassuring — besides E.J. making it through what was basically a group therapy session (see E.J.’s post for more on that — he doesn’t divulge what was said in the meeting because of his beliefs about the sanctity of group therapy) is that E.J. saw Zach at the meeting, and that Zach appears OK and seems not to be buying what LIA/R is selling, though it’s hard to tell because as E.J. says "One thing about cults: you can never really tell what the damage will be until months, years later."
I just hope Zach makes it through the experience with his spirit intact. From what I gather, he probably will. I get the sense that he’s just riding this out, and probably looking forward to the time when he can get away from LIA/R, and probalby his parents too.