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'Victims gradually lose their ability to make independent decisions and exercise informed consent.'
- Dr Margaret Singer



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The Spirit of Things
ABC Radio National
'Life After a Cult'
Rachel Cohn
March 25, 2012

Source | Audio mp3 | Transcript

What happens to people who have left 'high demand' groups, as cults have been dubbed in the academic literature, and ventured to live 'on the outside'?

Fear, shame, and a high degree of dependence can make maintaining relationships and a job very difficult. Lorna Goldberg is president of the International Cultic Studies Association and, together with her husband William, counsels ex-cult members in a support group they have run since 1976.

Regardless of size, cults can have dire effects on followers, and author Maggie Groff decided to write about them in her first novel, Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute.


Lorna Goldberg
President of the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), psychoanalyst in private practice and Dean of Faculty at the New Jersey Institute of Psychoanalysis. Since 1976 Laura and her husband William Goldberg have held a support group for former cult members.

William Goldberg
Psychoanalyst in private practice and former Director of Training and Staff Development in the Rockland county (NY) Department of Mental Health, where he directed several outpatient clinics and treatment programs. Adjunct Instructor in the Social Work Dept of dominican College, and the International Cultic Studies Association Today's Mental Health Columnist.

Maggie Groff
Author of Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitting Institute, a novel about a secretive American cult that move to the Gold Coast. She has written non-fiction books, Mothers Behaving Badly and Hoax Cuisine.


Disclaimer:This news page is about groups, organizations or movements, which may have been called "cults" and/or "cult-like" in some way, shape or form. But not all groups called either "cults" or "cult-like" are harmful. Instead, they may be benign and generally defined as simply people intensely devoted to a person, place or thing. Therefore, the discussion or mention of a group, organization or person on this page, is not necessarily meant pejoratively. Readers are encouraged to read widely on a topic before forming an opinion. Never accept information from a single source at face value. This website only holds a small amount of information and should not be relied on as a complete source. For example, if you find older information, this should be weighed up against newer information as circumstances can change.
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ABC Radio:
5 Apr 2018
16 Oct 2010
14 Oct 2010


CIFS Conference:
Brisbane 2012 *
Canberra 2011
Seminar 2011
Brisbane 2010


Visions of Paradise


Cults: After-Effects




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