A small team of volunteers who share in the wish to preserve freedom of religion and belief help with the various administrative tasks required to ensure the good functioning of the organization, its websites, and any other work it does. Without them and their contribution, we would not exist.
Below are LaRI’s main current contributors:
Cliff is a senior business consultant who has consulted worldwide in multiple industry segments. He has a broad base of knowledge in industry, IT, and business—skills which he shares in a voluntary capacity with several different not-for-profit organizations internationally.
As the child of a Nazi Holocaust survivor, Cliff grew up with a clear understanding of religious intolerance. From this direct experience Cliff understood how damaging intolerance of any kind can be, particularly religious intolerance which is often used as justification for great crimes.
Born into the Jewish faith, Cliffs inquiring mind led him to question his personal relationship with divinity, spirituality in general and the role of religion in the awakening of consciousness. His spiritual journey spanned many years, during which he explored several traditional and alternate faith systems. During this journey Cliff experienced religious intolerance on a macro and micro scale, further deepening his understanding of this terrible injustice.
This journey led Cliff, and similarly his fellow contributors to LaRI, to stand united in their resistance of religious intolerance. Cliff is passionate about justice and freedom, and he believes people should be free to practice their individual belief systems without threat. He lends his skills to LaRI on various special projects.
Justin Norris has been a practitioner of alternative spirituality since 2002 and a volunteer director for several not-for-profit spiritual organizations since 2004. Through this involvement, he has experienced personally how anti-cult ideology is used to vilify minority spiritual groups and their members and violate their human rights.
This experience inspired him to help found the League against Religious Intolerance, which provides resources and advocacy for alternative spiritual practitioners facing persecution, and to study the sociology and history of new religious movements and the anti-cult. He publishes articles on these topics here on LariFreedom.org.
Justin’s family heritage is Jewish, and his grandparents immigrated to Canada from eastern Europe, where so many Jews perished during the Holocaust because of their religion. This background has also contributed to a deep feeling for the consequences of religious intolerance and reinforces his belief in the right of all people to practice the spirituality of their choice.
Justin earned an honors degree in English from the University of Toronto in Canada before going on to graduate studies at the University of British Columbia and a certificate in Marketing Management from the Sauder School of Business. He currently works as a technology consultant.
Jordan is a successful small business owner who regularly works on theses, dissertations, and corporate documents in a variety of fields. After graduating with an honors degree from the University of Toronto in Canada in Religion (Comparative) and English and starting his business, he also went on to volunteer with his wife in many different non-profits worldwide, and currently assists as a contributor with LaRI, which he helped found.
He brings a personal interest in the fight for religious freedom as his family is of Slavic Jewish origin, with one ancestor and her family fleeing to Canada from Ukraine after one of her sisters was attacked by soldiers during a pogrom, and the rest having also left from various parts of (mostly Eastern) Europe in order to avoid what was becoming an increasingly precarious situation for them at the time. Once in Canada, they still faced persecution in not being allowed in certain parts of the city (“No Jews Allowed” signs posted at the beaches and in some stores, clubs, restaurants, etc.) or the children being chased after school most days, until around the time WWII ended and the world became more clued in to what was going on.
From this background and family history, he understands the plight of peoples who are persecuted due to their ethnic or religious differences, and has faced much the same himself at times both for being of Jewish descent and having practiced various forms of religion and spirituality in his life.