Presentations by Joseph Kelly

After the Cult

Patrick Ryan; Joseph Kelly

May 21-22, 1992, Stony Point, NY

 

Coping with Trance States; Hypnosis and Trance

 

After the Cult

Patrick Ryan; Joseph Kelly

May 21-22, 1993, Stony Point, NY

 

Coping with Trance States; Hypnosis and Trance

 

After the Cult

Patrick Ryan; Joseph Kelly

June 2-4, 1995, Stony Point, NY

 

Workshop for Loved Ones: “How to Help a Loved One Affected by a Cult”

Patrick Ryan; Joseph Kelly

June 7-9, 1996, Stony Point, NY

 

Former Group Members Workshop

Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly

May 30-31, 1997, Philadelphia, PA

 

Exit Counseling

Conference Women and Cults: Psychological Manipulation: The Abuse of Women

Patrick Ryan; Joseph Kelly

May 30-31, 1997, Philadelphia, PA

 

Panel: From Deprogramming to Thought Reform Consultation

Carol Giambalvo; Patrick Ryan; Hana Whitfield; Joseph Kelly

1998 Jonestown Memorial Conference, 20 Years After Jonestown: What Have We Learned About Cults

November 13-15, 1998, Chicago, IL

 

Thought Reform Consultation (Exit Counseling): Helping Families Address a Loved One’s Group Involvement

Patrick Ryan; Joseph Kelly

“Children and Cults” Conference

May 29-31, 1998, Philadelphia, PA

 

Workshop for former members of cultic groups

Patrick Ryan; Joseph Kelly

November 19–21, 1999, Stony Point, NY

 

Coping with Trance States; Hypnosis and Trance

 

Workshop for Former Group Members

Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly

1999 Conference: Cults, Psychological Manipulation & Society

May 14-16, 1999, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

 

Can Cultic Groups Change? The Case of ISKCON

Anuttama Dasa; Radha Dasi; Joseph Kelly; Michael Langone, Ph.D.

1999 Conference: Cults, Psychological Manipulation & Society

May 14-16, 1999, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

 

Thought Reform Consultation: A Panel Discussion

David Clark; Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly; Patrick Ryan; Hana Whitfield; Jerry Whitfield;

Mike Kropveld, Moderator

1999 Conference: Cults, Psychological Manipulation & Society

May 14-16, 1999, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

 

Thought Reform Consultation

David Clark; Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly; Patrick Ryan; Hana Whitfield; Jerry Whitfield

Conference: Cults and the Millennium

April 28-30, 2000, Seattle, WA

 

Workshop for Former Group Members

Coordinator: Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly; Wendy Ford Wolfberg, M.Ed.

Cults, Conversion, Science and Harm

May 4-5, 2001, New York City

 

Thought Reform Consultation

David Clark; Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly; Patrick Ryan; Hana Whitfield; Jerry Whitfield

Conference: Cults, Conversion, Science and Harm

May 4-5, 2001, New York City

 

Inner Experience and Conversion

Michael Langone, Ph.D.; Joseph Kelly; Patrick Ryan

Conference: Understanding Cults and New Religious Movements — Perspectives of Researchers, Professionals, Former Members, and Families

June 14-15, 2002, Orlando, FL

 

Exit Counseling Case Study: Psychotherapy Group

Carol Diament; Patrick Ryan; Joseph Kelly

Conference: Understanding Cults and New Religious Movements — Perspectives of Researchers, Professionals, Former Members, and Families

October 17-18, 2003, Enfield, CT

 

Workshop for Former Group Members

Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly

Conference: Understanding Cults and New Religious Movements — Perspectives of Researchers, Professionals, Former Members, and Families

October 17-18, 2003, Enfield, CT

 

Coping with Triggers

Joseph Kelly

Conference: Understanding Cults and New Religious Movements — Perspectives of Researchers, Professionals, Former Members, and Families

October 17-18, 2003, Enfield, CT

 

Workshop for Former Group Members

Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly

Conference: Understanding Cults and New Religious Movements — Perspectives of Researchers, Professionals, Former Members, and Families

June 13-14, 2003, Orange, CA

 

Exit Counseling Case Study: Eastern Group

Patrick Ryan; Joseph Kelly

Conference: Understanding Cults and New Religious Movements — Perspectives of Researchers, Professionals, Former Members, and Families

June 13-14, 2003, Orange, CA

 

Workshop for Former Group Members

Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly

Conference: Understanding Cults and Other Charismatic Groups — Perspectives of Researchers, Professionals, Former Members, and Families

June 11-12, 2004, Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

 

Coping with Triggers

Joseph Kelly

Conference: Understanding Cults and Other Charismatic Groups — Perspectives of Researchers, Professionals, Former Members, and Families

June 11-12, 2004, Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

 

Former Group Members

Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly

AFF Conference: Understanding Cults, New Religious Movements, and Other Groups

October 14, 2004, Atlanta, GA

 

Coping With Triggers

Joseph Kelly

AFF Conference: Understanding Cults, New Religious Movements, and Other Groups

October 14, 2004, Atlanta, GA

 

Question and Answer Session for Families

William Goldberg, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.; Patrick Ryan; David Clark; Joseph Kelly

Conference: Psychological Manipulation, Cultic Groups, and Other Alternative Movements

July 14-16, 2005, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, (Spain)

 

Experienced exit counselors and a psychotherapist who has worked in this field for more than 25 years will field questions from family members concerned about a loved one’s group involvement.

 

Exit Counseling Panel

David Clark; Joseph Kelly; Patrick Ryan

Conference: Psychological Manipulation, Cultic Groups, and Other Alternative Movements

July 14-16, 2005, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, (Spain)

 

Three experienced exit counselors (thought-reform consultants) will discuss their work, to help attendees appreciate the variety of approaches in this field and the kinds of issues that families, group members, and thought-reform consultants encounter. Among the issues to be discussed from the different perspectives of the speakers are:

  • The ethics of an intervention
  • Assessing a family situation
  • Determining whether an intervention is appropriate
  • Family preparation
  • The phases and dynamics of an intervention
  • Alternatives to interventions
  • Issues confronted after an intervention

 

Ex-Members: Coping with Triggers

Joseph F. Kelly; Patrick Ryan

Conference: Psychological Manipulation, Cultic Groups, and Other Alternative Movements

July 14-16, 2005, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, (Spain)
“Floating” is a word often used in association with “trancing out,” “spacing out,” “being triggered,” or “dissociation.” Ex-cult members describe floating in several ways, including (but not limited to) feeling disconnected, feeling as though you’re watching yourself live your life, having spells during which you experience uncontrollable emotions (usually sadness or anger) that are not appropriate to what is happening at the moment.
Floating is also described as having exaggerated physical sensations, having anxiety or mild panic attacks, or having a fantasy or dream-like vision, almost like a dream that invades

your waking state. Most ex-members report that these experiences make them feel as though there  is something drastically wrong with them; they feel as though they may be going crazy.

 

The purpose of this presentation is to take the fear out of these experiences and bring about some understanding that they are not abnormal.

Triggered experiences are common to people who have been through a traumatic experience or prolonged periods of stress.

Life in a cult is stressful and, for some former members, extremely traumatic. In addition, cults induce altered states of consciousness in many ways. Some cults produce trance induced experiences through meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, guided visualization, auditing, and/or decreeing.

 

Other cults produce dissociative states when they put members through long, confrontational (“struggle”) sessions.  Still others overload the senses through rhythmic drumming, music, information overload, or simply through long, emotionally laden sermons or lectures.

 

Periods of floating are usually brought on by a trigger. Dr. Margaret T. Singer speaks  of  the importance of being able to define and label these varying experiences. To define the word trigger, she uses the following examples: “It triggered my memory of . . .”; “it reminds me of . . .”; “it made me recall or re-experience memories.”

This session will discuss triggers and how to manage them.
Communicating with Cult Members

Linda Dubrow-Marshall, Ph.D.; Patrick Ryan; Joseph Kelly; David Clark

Conference: Psychological Manipulation, Cultic Groups, and Other Alternative Movements

July 14-16, 2005, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, (Spain)
Mini-Workshop for Ex-Members – I, II

Lorna Goldberg, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.; Joseph F. Kelly

Conference: Psychological Manipulation, Cultic Groups, and Other Alternative Movements

July 14-16, 2005, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, (Spain)

 

This mini-workshop is for former group members only, not family or friends. This workshop is an abridged version of weekend workshops AFF has been running for more than 10 years. Topics to be discussed include:

  • the nature of psychological manipulation and abuse
  • coping with depression and guilt
  • effects of hypnosis and trance techniques
  • coping with feelings of anger
  • coping with anxiety
  • decision-making
  • dependency issues
  • reestablishing trust in yourself and others
  • the grieving process
  • reintegration/identity issues
  • spiritual and philosophical concerns

Evolution and Variation Within a Movement: The Case of ISKCON

Anuttama Dasa; Hanuman Dasa; Merudevi Dasi; Joseph Kelly; Michael Kropveld; Michael Langone,Ph.D.

Conference: Psychological Manipulation, Cultic Groups, and Other Alternative Movements

July 14-16, 2005, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, (Spain)

`
ISKCON, the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, is informally known to nonmembers as “the Krishnas” or the “Hare Krishna organization.”

 

In 1999 at its annual conference in Minneapolis, the International Cultic Studies Association (then known as AFF—American Family Foundation) organized a panel that brought together an exit counselor, Joseph Kelly; AFF’s Executive Director, Michael Langone, Ph.D.; ISKCON’s Director of Communications, Anuttama Dasa; attorney and ISKCON devotee Radha Dasi; and moderator, Steve Dubrow-Eichel, Ph.D. The title of this panel was “Can Cultic Groups Change:

The Case of ISKCON.”

 

The idea for this panel came out of informal discussions that leaders of ICSA (AFF) had had with Anuttama Dasa and several of his colleagues. The ICSA (AFF) leaders became convinced that Anuttama and  others within ISKCON were genuinely trying to reform the organization to free it of the kinds of abuses that had fueled much external criticism of it in the 1970s and 1980s.

 

Joseph Kelly, an exit counselor who had helped several families get loved ones out of ISKCON, had told his colleagues within AFF that considerable variation existed within ISKCON. Some temple heads abused those under them; others did not. Indeed, Mr. Kelly had (and has) a good friend who has been a long-time Krishna devotee.
Some experts in ICSA (AFF) had believed for many years that cultic groups could vary significantly across geographical locations and over time. This nuanced perspective was contrary to the black-and-white views that were thought to be widely held within the so-called “anti-cult” movement.

 

However, AFF leaders believed that it was time to challenge this limited view by having a public dialogue with members of a controversial organization.
To the surprise of many, the audience favorably, even enthusiastically, responded to the panel discussion. Radha Dasi’s critical look at the role of women in ISKCON was especially popular. Audience members found that they and their ISKCON guests shared a common concern for the mistreatment of individuals.  The ISKCON members’ saffron robes, Hindu beliefs, and nonmainstream lifestyle were not concerns. ISKCON members and conference attendees were

both troubled by violations  of human dignity and rights. In that, they found common ground.

 

Since that panel discussion,  ICSA (AFF) has held several additional sessions on ISKCON, with attendees reflecting a variety of views, including  those of former members of ISKCON, who still see serious problems with the organization, although they respect the motivations and honesty of people such as Anuttama. One of these former members, Nori Muster, author of  Betrayal of the Spirit, has spoken at ICSA (AFF) conferences and has published an article in  Cultic Studies Review, “Authoritarian Culture and Child Abuse in ISKCON” (Vol. 3, No. 1).

 

In 2005, ISKCON is still evolving. The panel discussions at this conference (to be given in English, French, and Spanish, with some variation among speakers in the three languages) will elaborate on current ICSA (AFF) concerns, the history of ISKCON, the variations within the organization today (especially in Europe), and the diverse cultural contexts that affect ISKCON members and those who take an interest in ISKCON, whether critical or favorable.
The goal of these panels is to continue to advance the candid dialogue that began in 1998, a year before the first ISKCON panel at an ICSA (AFF) conference, to make the critical community aware of the changes within ISKCON.

 

Workshop for Former Group Members

Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly

ICSA Annual International Conference

June 22-24, 2006, Denver, CO

 

Topics discussed include:

  • Nature of psychological manipulation and abuse
  • Conditions of thought-reform programs
  • General recovery needs of former members
  • Coping with depression and guilt
  • Effects of hypnosis and trance techniques
  • Coping with feelings of anger
  • Coping with anxiety
  • Decision-making
  • Re-establishing trust in yourself and others
  • Dependency issues
  • The grieving process
  • Reintegration/identity issues
  • Spiritual and philosophical concerns

 

Coping with Triggers

Joseph Kelly; Carol Giambalvo

ICSA Annual International Conference

June 22-24, 2006, Denver, CO

 

Dissociation is a disturbance in the normally integrative functions of identity, memory, or consciousness. It is also known as a trance state. It is a very normal defense mechanism.

 

You‘ve all probably heard of how a child being abused — or persons in the midst of traumatic experiences — dissociate. Those are natural occurrences to an unnatural event.

What are some of the events in the life of a cult member that may bring on dissociation?

  • Stress of maintaining beliefs.
  • Stress of constant activities.
  • Diet/sleep deprivation.
  • Discordant noises — conflicts.
  • Never knowing what‘s next.

 

There are many, many ways to produce a dissociative or trance state:

  • Drugs,
  • Alcohol.
  • Physical stress (long-distance running).
  • Hyperventilation.
  • Rhythmic voice patterns or noises (drumming).
  • Chanting.
  • Empty-minded meditation.
  • Speaking in tongues.
  • Long prayers.
  • Guided visualizations. ―Imagine…
  • Confrontational sessions (hot seat, auditing, struggle sessions).
  • Decreeing.
  • Hypnotism or ―processes
  • Hyper arousal — usually into a negative state so the leaders can rescue you (ICC confessions).
  • Ericksonian hypnosis (Milton Erickson) hypnotic trance without a formal trance induction.

 

Why are we so concerned about trance states?

  • Individuals don‘t process information normally in trance states.
  • Critical thinking — the arguing self — is turned off.
  • Also turned off are reflection, independent judgment, decision-making.

 

In trance you are dealing with the subconscious mind, which has no way to tell the difference between something imagined or reality — it becomes a real experience which is interpreted for you by the group ideology.

  • Once in a trance, people have visions or may ―hear‖ sounds that are later interpreted or you in the context of the cult mindset — the ―magic‖ — while, in reality, they are purposely manufactured physiological reactions to the trance state.
  • While in trance you are more suggestible — not just during trance, but for a period of time up to two hours after.
  • When a person dissociates, it becomes easier and easier to enter into a dissociative state — it can become a habit — and it can become uncontrollable.

 

You may have heard it said that not everyone can be hypnotized … that you need to be able to trust the hypnotist‘s authority. While it‘s true that there are degrees of hypnotizability, dissociative states may be induced indirectly. What if instead of telling you that ―now we‘re going to hypnotize you, the leaders just say, ―Let‘s do a fun process — close your eyes and imagine …?

  • Are you told to trust your leaders?
  • Do they have your best interest at heart?

 

And what if they are using Ericksonian hypnosis, where there is no formal trance induction?

What is Ericksonian Hypnosis? It‘s an interchange between two people in which the hypnotist must:

  • Gain cooperation.
  • Deal with resistant behavior.
  • Receive acknowledgement that something is happening.

 

Ericksonian hypnosis involves techniques of expectation, pacing and leading, positive transference, indirect suggestion, the use of ―yes sets,‖ deliberate confusion, the embedding of messages, and suggestive metaphor.

 

Coping with Triggers

Joseph Kelly; Patrick Ryan

ICSA Conference

June 29-July1, 2007 Brussels, (Belgium)

 

How to be Helpful: The Importance of Information

Joseph Kelly; Patrick Ryan; Amanda van Eck Duymaer van Twist

ICSA Conference

June 29-July1, 2007 Brussels, (Belgium)

 

Four Approaches to Helping Families

Lois Svoboda, M.D., LMFT, Moderator; David Clark; Joseph Szimhart; Joseph Kelly/Patrick Ryan; Steve Hassan, M.Ed., LMHC, NCC

ICSA Conference

June 26-29, 2008, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

 

Each presenter has spent at least 20 years helping families concerned about a loved one involved in a cultic group. Yet they represent four distinct approaches to working with families (Kelly and Ryan work as a team). In this session, each of the four approaches will be briefly described, and then the presenters will answer questions from the audience.

 

 

Workshop for Former Group Members

Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly

ICSA Conference

June 26-29, 2008, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

 

  • Nature of psychological manipulation and abuse.
  • Conditions of thought-reform programs.
  • General recovery needs of former members.
  • Coping with depression and guilt.
  • Effects of hypnosis and trance techniques.
  • Coping with feelings of anger.
  • Coping with anxiety.
  • Decision-making.
  • Re-establishing trust in yourself and others.
  • Dependency issues.
  • The grieving process.
  • Reintegration/identity issues.
  • Spiritual and philosophical concerns.

 

 

Workshop for Former Group Members

Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly; Joyce Martella, M.A.

ICSA 2010 Annual International Conference: Psychological Manipulation, Cultic Groups, and Harm

July 1-3, 2010, NY, NY

 

The purpose of the workshop is to introduce former members to each other and prepare them for the conference and to discuss:

 

  • Triggers – why they happen so often at conferences and how to deal with triggers whenever they occur (taking the sting out of triggers!).
  • Setting up a support system for oneself.
  • Introduce former members to what happens at conferences and what sessions would appeal particularly to former members; ICSA‘s open policy;
  • safety issues for former members.
  • Overview of the Recovery Process.

 

Coping with Triggers

Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly

ICSA 2010 Annual International Conference: Psychological Manipulation, Cultic Groups, and Harm

July 1-3, 2010, NY, NY

 

Dissociation is a disturbance in the normally integrative functions of identity, memory, or consciousness. It is also known as a trance state. It is a very normal defense mechanism.

 

You‘ve all probably heard of how a child being abused—or persons in the midst of traumatic experiences—dissociate. Those are natural occurrences to an unnatural event.

What are some of the events in the life of a cult member that may bring on dissociation?

 

  • Stress of maintaining beliefs.
  • Stress of constant activities.
  • Diet/sleep deprivation.
  • Discordant noises—conflicts.
  • Never knowing what‘s next.

 

There are many, many ways to produce a dissociative or trance state:

 

  • Drugs.
  • Alcohol.
  • Physical stress (long-distance running).
  • Hyperventilation.
  • Rhythmic voice patterns or noises (drumming).
  • Chanting.
  • Empty-minded meditation.
  • Speaking in tongues.
  • Long prayers.
  • Guided visualizations.
  • Confrontational sessions (hot seat, auditing, struggle sessions).
  • Decreeing.
  • Hypnotism or ―processes.
  • Hyper arousal—usually into a negative state so the leaders can rescue you (ICC confessions).
  • Ericksonian hypnosis (Milton Erickson) hypnotic trance without a formal trance induction.

 

Why are we so concerned about trance states?

  • Individuals don‘t process information normally in trance states.
  • Critical thinking—the arguing self—is turned off.
  • Also turned off are reflection, independent judgment, and decision making.
  • In trance you are dealing with the subconscious mind, which has no way to tell the difference between something imagined or reality—it becomes a real experience which is interpreted for you by the group ideology.
  • Once in a trance, people have visions or may ―hear‖ sounds that are later interpreted for you in the context of the cult mindset—the ―magic‖—while, in reality, they are  purposely manufactured physiological reactions to the trance state.

 

While in trance you are more suggestible—not just during trance, but for a period of time up to two hours after.

 

When a person dissociates, it becomes easier and easier to enter into a dissociative state—it can become a habit—and it can become uncontrollable.

 

You may have heard it said that not everyone can be hypnotized … that you need to be able to trust the hypnotist‘s authority. While it‘s true that there are degrees of hypnotizability, dissociative states may be induced indirectly. What if instead of telling you that ―now we‘re going to hypnotize you,‖ the leaders just say, ―Let‘s do a fun process—close your eyes and imagine …‖? Are you told to trust your leaders? Do they have your best interest at heart? And what if they are using Ericksonian hypnosis, in which there is no formal trance induction?

 

What is Ericksonian Hypnosis? It‘s an interchange between two people in which the hypnotist must:

  • Gain cooperation.
  • Deal with resistant behavior.
  • Receive acknowledgement that something is happening.

 

Ericksonian hypnosis involves techniques of expectation, pacing and leading, positive transference, indirect suggestion, the use of ―yes sets,‖ deliberate confusion, the embedding of messages, and suggestive metaphor.

 

 

What Can Families Do?

Linda Dubrow-Marshall; Joseph Kelly; Patrick Ryan

Cultic Groups in Society, “Prevention, Information, Assistance”

September 18-19, 2010, Istituto Madonna del Carmine “Il Carmelo”, Via Doganale 1 Ciampino, Roma, (Italy)

 

Family members concerned about a loved one‘s cult involvement or its aftereffects need to learn how to assess their situations more effectively and how to evaluate strategic options. This session will explore the problems families face and steps they can take to address these problems.

 

A Mediation Approach to Exit Counseling

Patrick Ryan; Joseph Kelly

2011 International Conference, Psychological Manipulation, Cultic Groups, Social Addictions, and Harm

Organized jointly by the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) and Atención e Investigación de Socioadicciones (AIS), with the collaboration of Info-Cult/Info-Secte and the University of Barcelona

July 7-9, 2011, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, (Spain)

 

Introduction and Overview for Former Members of Cultic Groups

Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly

2011 International Conference, Psychological Manipulation, Cultic Groups, Social Addictions, and Harm

Organized jointly by the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) and Atención e Investigación de Socioadicciones (AIS), with the collaboration of Info-Cult/Info-Secte and the University of Barcelona

July 7-9, 2011, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, (Spain)

 

Understanding and Coping with Triggers

Carol Giambalvo; Joseph Kelly

2011 International Conference, Psychological Manipulation, Cultic Groups, Social Addictions, and Harm

Organized jointly by the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) and Atención e Investigación de Socioadicciones (AIS), with the collaboration of Info-Cult/Info-Secte and the University of Barcelona

July 7-9, 2011, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, (Spain)

 

Dissociation is a disturbance in the normally integrative functions of identity, memory, or consciousness. It is also known as a trance state. It is a very normal defense mechanism.

You‘ve all probably heard of how a child being abused—or persons in the midst of traumatic experiences—dissociate. Those are natural occurrences to an unnatural event.

 

This session discusses how dissociative states may be produced, some of the events in the life of a cult member that may bring on dissociation, and how to cope with the ―triggers,‖ the stimuli that may bring on dissociative or trance-like states.

 

Workshop for Families and Former Members

Patrick Ryan; Joseph Kelly

January 29, 2012, Philadelphia, PA

 

Special Event: Jehovah’s Witnesses, Former Members and Families

May 12, 2012, Philadelphia, PA

 

  • About ICSA (who are we and why do we feel we can talk about the JW Organization)
  • Exploring a psychological perspective (experiences in the organization as women, men, lgbt)
  • Is the JW organization a cult? What’s a cult anyway?
  • How are cultic groups different from and similar to other kinds of groups?
  • Why do people leave?
  • Can departures be facilitated?
  • What problems do people have when they leave?
  • How can they manage these problems?
  • Disfellowshipping