Ask Yourself

The following is a helpful list of questions to aid you in assessing a possible intervention/mediation: Is the person in a controversial group? What evidence do you have that the person is in the group? What evidence do you have to show the person is more than a casual member? Do you consider the group ...

Deprogramming: A Case Study Part II: Conversation Analysis

Steve K. Dubrow-Eichel, Ph.D. RETIRN Philadelphia Abstract This article continues the examination of a successful deprogramming of an International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) devotee (cultist) described in Cultic Studies Journal Special Issue Vol. 6, No. 2. The deprogramming was observed and audiotaped. A sample consisting of 1,938 speech fragments (3.8% of all “thoughts’) drawn ...

Deprogramming: A Case Study Part 1: Personal observations of the Group Process

Steve K. Dubrow-Eichel, Ph.D. This special issue of the Cultic Studies Journal is, to our knowledge, the only professional, detailed analysis of deprogramming, a central source of controversy in cultic studies.  The observer of the deprogramming, Dr. Steve Dubrow-Eichel, completed this study as part of his doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Dubrow-Eichel’s ...

How can I get my kid out of a cult?

Families and friends of a cult-involved person tend to ask the second question. Former group members and others interested in cults tend to ask the former question. However, since the answer to the latter question requires an understanding of the answer to the former question, we will first explain why people leave cults and then ...

Ethical Standards for Thought Reform Consultants

Cult Intervention, deprogramming, exit counseling RATIONALE (History of cult interventions, deprogramming, exit counseling) Thought reform includes the use of highly manipulative methods and processes such as undue social and psychological influence, behavioral modification techniques, disguised hypnosis and trance induction, and other physiological and psychological influence techniques. These techniques are used in a coordinated and systematic way ...

Religious Conflict Resolution: A Model for Families

Patrick L. Ryan and Michael D. Langone, Ph.D. Research suggests that in the West hundreds of thousands of individuals join and leave cultic groups each year.  Research studies also suggest that at least a sizeable minority of those who join cultic groups are adversely affected.  The families of these group members, and probably many other ...

The Definitional Ambiguity of “Cult” and ICSA’s Mission

Michael D. Langone, Ph.D. (This essay is a follow-up to “On Using the Term Cult.”) A central component of ICSA’s mission is to study psychological manipulation and abuse, especially as it manifests in cultic and other groups.  Different people, however, attach different and usually imprecise meanings to the term “cult” (On Using the Term Cult).  Those ...