They have done this from the beginnings (remember Ruth Tucker), but obviously they are determined to engage in this even more in the future since it is very simple. A lot of these people are just as sucsceptible to flattery, love-bombing, honor-bombing, good food etc. as young students are. I remember how Heidelberg UBF sometimes invited a professor who spoke against the evolution theory. You have to understand that such people are pretty isolated in Germany. So he was happy to be so embraced by UBF. I remember when he was invited to UBF, they prepared a Korean lunch for him where we needed all the tables in the center to carry the many dishes and types of food. Of course he was overwhelmed by how he was treated and honored in UBF. How could he ever speak badly of UBF even if he later understood the problems? Nobody would feel well to criticize a group that treated and feasted you like that. You would feel like a betrayer. That's simple psychology. And not only the leaders, but also the simple members like me loved him so much and showed it to him because we were so happy to meet one respectable person who would not criticize UBF and defend our case (at that time we all were so convinced of UBF, our goal and content of life). Of course we would not tell him the stranger things we experienced and practiced in UBF. Now which human being would not become biased when he is treated that way? Scholars are not as objective and independent as people usually believe.
So we probably need to become accustomed to this new strategy in UBF. Mr. Armstrong will not be the only one they will win over with that strategy, and even if one day he would recognize he made a mistake by giving UBF credibility, then UBF will easily find another person to defend their case. In the last time, UBF becomes more "professional" and deceptive as a cult, adopting many cult practices from the Moonies, like front-groups, doing business with their own companies, finding cult apologists to improve public relations etc. It is amazing how many "honorable" persons, high-ranking politicians, former pastors, scholars etc. are willing to defend Moon. These people also don't know the Moon cult from the perspective of a simple member and have no background knowledge about cults. They do it for a mixture of naivety and honor, sometimes for other benefits (journeys, money). I'm sure UBF has payed Mr. Armstrongs journeys, whereas the ordinary member has to pay for himself.
Scholars also sometimes like to have an unusual and controversial position like defending cults as "new religions", simply because as a scholar your are nothing special if you hold an orthodox position, but if you have an unusual view, you are more interesting. It's like politicians - it's important they are in the media and people talk about them, no matter whether it's negative or positive. The only bad thing is if people don't talk about you. So sometimes they say something unusual even if it's silly just to get their names in the newspapers again.