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Richard L. Dowhower
Born United States
Occupation Pastor, Educator

Richard L. Dowhower is an educator and religious scholar. He was actively involved in educating both his parish and the public about what he defined as "cults". In 1979, testified at a hearing on cults convened by the Pennsylvania state legislature, and also before his own denomination's department of Church in Society[1].

Dowhower's has focused his work on educating military chaplains. He has presented to U.S. Navy chaplains in Philadelphia in 1979, in Groton-New London, Connecticut, in 1981, and at their school in Newport, Rhode Island in 1985-198, and 1990. The United States Navy Chaplains School considers Dowhower as a "Subject Matter Expert" on the subject of destructive cults[2].

Dowhower has also given presentations at the Pastors' Conference of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches, the Bowie Interfaith Clergy Association, Maryland, and the Lutheran Social Services of Allegheny, Pennsylvania Region.

Dowhower has also worked with campus pastors and college students Bucknell University, Dickinson College, and Thiele colleges, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Maryland. He has also worked with high school students in the central Pennsylvania communities of Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg, Shippenburg, Hamburg, and Lansdale. Rev. Mr. Dowhower continued his parish work and cult education ministry while serving as pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in Bowie, Maryland, and as an active member of International Cultic Studies Association's Clergy Education Committee.

Dowhower has served as a consultant to Germany on their "Commission on So-Called Sects and Psycho Groups". In March 1998 he met with the commission as Maryland House Joint Resolution #22 was in the midst of the legislative process[2].

In April 1999, Dowhower was interviewed by 60 Minutes II on a story they were doing on Michael Bray, who advocates death for physicians who perform abortions[3].

He has counseled former members of controversial groups including Scientology, Lifespring, ritual abuse victims, and International Church of Christ.







  1. Dowhower profile, ICSA.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Prepared Presentation to The Task Force to Study the Effects of Cult Activities on Public Senior Higher Education Institutions, Maryland Cult Task Force, Reverend Richard L. Dowhower, D.D., June 7, 1999
  3. The Lutheran, ELCA, June 1999
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