Postprint version. Published in Journal of Media and Religion, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 1, 2004, pages 1-20.
Copyright 2004 Taylor & Francis.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Douglas Swanson was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15328415jmr0301_1.
This article is a preliminary effort to make conclusions about how apostate religious organizations use the World Wide Web for information dissemination, evangelization, and proselytization. Ten Christian apostate group Web sites were subjected to a frame analysis that focused on perceived intent, protest, expression, justification, response options, and rewards offered. The analysis revealed most sites were perceived to use an information dissemination rather than evangelization or proselytization frame. Response options and rewards were mostly consistent with the expression of, and justification for, apostasy. However, only 2 of the sites framed apostasy at its highest level. Most did not address the critical issue of worship service attendance, and most may put followers in a potentially awkward and ethically inconsistent position by not asking followers to disaffiliate from the opposed religious group while actively seeking followers' disengagement from that group's theology.