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Wider Issues in the Millennium Debate

For security forces, accustomed by their very nature to be on the lookout for potential sources of disorder, events such as these helped give millennial religious movements in general a dangerous veneer and transform them into a threat to public security. This point is amply illustrated by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service report, which flags up ‘the challenge of contending with religious movements whose defining characteristic is an adherence to non-traditional spiritual belief systems’ as an emerging, but previously overlooked, security issue of the age, and then cites Branch Davidians, the Order of the Solar Temple and Aum Shinrikyô as examples in this respect.