Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress by Spiritual Counselors: Can Outrageous Conduct Be “Free Exercise”?

Part I explains the extent to which courts are competent to decide the threshold question of whether particular conduct is religious. Part II describes the balancing test put forward by the Supreme Court for evaluating free exercise claims, and derives criteria relevant to spiritual counseling from cases involving such claims. Part III summarizes the pertinent criteria and reviews the ways they may be employed to systematize the treatment of spiritual counseling cases.