Quote of the Day:
'Victims gradually lose their ability to make independent decisions and exercise informed consent.' - Dr Margaret Singer
Articles and Publications of Interest:
This list of publications and researched articles has been selected for their informative content and insight into the cult phenomenon.
CultWatcher Handbook This booklet is a collection of papers and articles designed to give you an overall idea of the
identifying marks of a cult, and to impart some strategies should you in some way be affected by an extremist group.
Research Paper 'An exploration of the methods used by therapists to address instances of
re-traumatising in therapeutic meetings with former members of
psychologically abusive cults.' Full PDF File by Denis Healy Abstract:
Various authors have disagreed about whether or not cults are harmful to
individuals; whether members experience trauma during their time in the cult;
and whether they continue to experience cult related traumas in the post-cult life.
And, if this is the case, is there a special form of post cult post-traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD)? Does potential exist for re-traumatisation during therapy? And,
if it occurs, what is the therapists’ attitude to the incidence of trauma and what is
the recommended approach to address it? ... more...
'Memoirs of a Spiritual Refugee' by Mary Garden Published in the The Humanist, November/December 2009 A review of Jane Stork's book, Breaking the Spell: My Life as a Rajneeshee and the Long Journey Back to Freedom (Pan Macmillan, 2009). This is the story of a spiritual quest that led not to lightness or freedom but to darkness and imprisonment. The title is apt. For those of us who have spent time in religious cults—even if we emerged relatively unscathed—looking back it can seem as if we have been under a spell, and we can be long haunted by the mental seduction that took place.
The After-Effects of Cult Involvement as
Experienced by Former Members: An Investigation This Report, written on behalf of CIFS, aims to give former cult members and their families an
understanding of common cult practices and their after-effects. In addition, this Report hopes to increase awareness and educate the public regarding the potential dangers of becoming involved in cults.
Tabled at 'Public Benefit Test' Senate Inquiry 28-June-2010.
The Emotional Pain of Leaving a Cult A list compiled by the late Jan Groenveld. Jan Groenveld operated the Cult Awareness & Information Centre in Brisbane. She compiled a list of responses compiled from her counselling of people who have left cults.
Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups A checklist developed by Michael Langone. Published in the new book, Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias (Berkeley: Bay Tree Publishing, 2006).
The Trouble With Gurus by Mary Garden Published in the Australian Financial Review, 21 November, 2003 pp. 6-7 An inside look at the world of Indian Gurus. Quote: "If the guru is seen as infallible, then the disciples are always to blame: it is their karma. On the other hand, what the guru does is a divine lila (game) or 'test'. "
What Is A Cult? - 2006 This links to an introductory powerpoint presentation of what cults are and
how they operate.
Coercive Mind Control Tactics by Dr Margaret Singer Terminology note: Today Mind control or brainwashing in academia is commonly referred to as
coercive persuasion, coercive psychological systems or coercive influence. This short
description comes from Dr. Margaret Singer professor emeritus at the University of
California at Berkeley the acknowledged leading authority in the world on mind control and cults.
Cults and Families by Doni Whitsett and Stephen Kent (12 pages)
From: 'Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services' 2003 They conclude with discussion of therapeutic challenges that therapists face when working with cult-involved clients and make preliminary recommendations for treatment.
Churches that Abuse by Dr. Ronald M. Enroth. (231 pages)
"But when they violate that trust, when they abuse their authority, and when they misuse ecclesiastical power to control and manipulate the flock, the results can be catastrophic. The perversion of power that we see in abusive churches disrupts and divides families, fosters an unhealthy dependence of members on the leadership, and creates, ultimately, spiritual confusion in the lives of victims." The complete book is
available for download via this link
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.