While most evangelists are harmless, there are a few who cross the line between free speech and harrassement. Those are the fringe lunatics who try to skirt the laws and often clash with police, then claiming "persecution" when in reality they were the ones breaking the law.
What defines a "fringe lunatic"? There are characteristics that make it so that it clearly defines them. To "score" as a fringe lunatic, they must score three out of the following;
Characteristics of a fringe lunaticEdit
They are not mainstream ChristianityEdit
Even by evangelical standards they are considered "loopy". Their congregation will consist of few followers, mostly immediate family in an almost clan-like structure, very patriarchal. Rarely they will be affiliated with a more "mainstream" church.
The dogma will be puritan, over-zealous and over the top, almost to the point of self-loathing. Finding all churches to be "of satan" and "lukewarm" (buzzwords that should be kept in mind).
Activities fits the legal definition of harrassement.Edit
According to law, harrassement is;
- "Intent to harass, annoy or alarm another".
- "Strik[ing], shov[ing], kick[ing] or otherwise subject[ing] another person to physical contact, or attempt[ing] or threaten[ing] to do the same";
- "Follow[ing] the other person in or about a public place or places" (stalking);
- "engag[ing] in a course of conduct or repeatedly commit[ing] acts which serve no legitimate purpose"; or
- "convey[ing] a message without intent of legitimate communication.…"
Many of them, as it was mentioned will have some kind of criminal record or past brushes with Law enforcement. Mostly dealing with the "preaching" they have done. Be is campus police or a city's finest, they will have some court record somewhere speaking of their past "exploits".
Such records, are public, and should be studied to understand further the Modus operandi of a fringe lunatic, Which varies from one to the other, but is still consistent to the evangelical methods of preaching.
But what to do with such potentially dangerous individual? Evangelism, in the hands of the mentally unstable or those will little regard to law, becomes a tool, an outlet for those who suffer from paranoid delusions, and as such, it can get out of control, therefore, it's a must to warn the general public of such danger.
A history of mental illness or substance abuseEdit
Interesting enough, Many of them will have some history of substance abuse, in many cases it is still there but it is prescription drug abuse and therefore masked.
Others will have some kind of a mental illness in their background. The highly aggressive environment that an evangelical church serves well to mask any abnormality as either passing as holymen or "being possessed and in need of a savior".
As such, a religious experience can aggravate one who has a mental illness, especially if they have such a poor grip on reality to begin with.
How to deal with a "Rogue EvangelistEdit
Intelligence Gathering is crucial. Especially any article or court records. If it's on campus, search for other campus who had the fringe lunatic as a "guest".
Gaining this knowledge, make sure you have dates, especially recent ones to the activities of the individual(s) in question. Articles from the student papers comes extremely handy.
Also, there are many sites that offer for a fee a "criminal background check" on anyones. Those are a time-saver and will help in giving you an edge and critical information on the individual(s) concerned.
Deliver the information to key people.Edit
On campus or anywhere else, this information is critical if you wish to stop the insane ones. The key people to give such information, are the administration, law enforcement and the student/special interest group.
With that knowledge, urge them to put pressure on the administration, so that in the interest of public safety, these fringe lunatics are not allowed to set foot within campus grounds and that restraining orders are issued or that campus police act immediately on sight.
When the information has been issued, keep tract of the situation and keep all parties involved "in the loop" as to keep track of the situation.
Communication and exchange of information is key to insure success!! Make sure that all information involved can be confirmed for it's veracity and accuracy.
As you gather more intelligence, keep a database of confirmed facts in a file assigned to each individual. Keep this data backed-up and well stored, not to mention updated, as such data is precious to any activist that wished to know who they are up against.
The proof this concept works, can be seen at the "one people' s project" (http://www.onepeoplesproject.com/) with their rogue gallery, which has been a constant torn in the side of racists, KKK members and christian identity groups for years now.