"Cult Alert!" flyers garnished lamp posts on Third and Market Streets the other night -- a siren song if ever we've heard one. (It seems like forever since SF's been plagued with a jazzy, crazy-ass cult. No offense, L. Ron.)

In case you missed them, or in case the quality of life sect tore them down, the missives cried out:

Cult Alert!

Please be advised:

Youth With a Mission (YWAM) has been under investigation as a dangerous cult. Several former missionaries have accused YWAM of using brainwashing methods in their Discipleship Training School (DTS). Rick Ross, an internationally recognized cult expert, was called on to investigate. In his report he stated: "YWAM practices the so-called "shepherding" leadership method. Implementing direct control over their members through "discipleship" training. This training appears to employ recognized techniques of thought reform and mind control…” See www.RickRoss.com [here] for the complete report. Or just Google: YWAM Cult.

Several complaints have also been filed with the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services regarding YWAM’s repeated harassment of homeless Catholics, and Gays.

Homeless people have described YWAM’s Reach-up program as "brainwashing" and "mind games."

In 2006 YWAM produced and directed the ABC TV mini-series Path to 9/11, which Democrat and Republican pundits alike derided [Bipartisan togetherness? Aw.] for its gross inaccuracies and distortion of the events leading up to the September 11th attacks. Some scenes are widely recognized as "complete fabrications."

If you have been harassed by YWMAers because of your religion or sexual orientation, please contact: 415-346-3740 or stop by the Coalition on Homelessness, 468 Turk Street.

If you are, or have been, a member of YWAM, we would also like to speak with you.

(UPDATE: The Coalition on Homelessness is NOT investigating YWAM. They have nothing to do with the mad "Cult Alert!" flyer poster, so please, Bay Area media outlets, stop contacting them.)