Cults in Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace / Edition 1

Cults in Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace / Edition 1

by Margaret Thaler Singer
     
 

Cults today are bigger than ever, with broad ramifications for national and international terrorism. In this newly revised edition of her definitive work on cults, Singer reveals what cults really are and how they work, focusing specifically on the coercive persuasion techniques of charismatic leaders seeking money and power. The book contains fascinating updates

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Overview

Cults today are bigger than ever, with broad ramifications for national and international terrorism. In this newly revised edition of her definitive work on cults, Singer reveals what cults really are and how they work, focusing specifically on the coercive persuasion techniques of charismatic leaders seeking money and power. The book contains fascinating updates on Heaven's Gate, Falun Gong, Aum Shinrikyo, Hare Krishna, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, and the connection between cults and terrorism in Al Queda and the PLO.

"What makes Cults in Our Midst so absorbing is Singer's ability to show the extremely damaging effect of cults as well as the lure that cults may have for the 'average' people in 'normal' life. Cults often emerge cyclically— but they never disappear. A 'good' time for cults is the end of the millennium, when people become obsessed with apocalyptic notions . . . [but] they never really disappear."
San Francisco Chronicle

"The definitive A to Z work on cults. . . . It would have been a tremendous resource and comfort to me and my family through our ordeals."
— Patricia Ryan, daughter of Congressman Leo Ryan, who was assassinated by members of Jim Jones's Peoples Temple

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780787967413
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
04/11/2003
Edition description:
Revised and Updated Edition
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
950,939
Product dimensions:
5.94(w) x 9.13(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Thaler Singer is a clinical psychologist and emeritus adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley. In her career she has counseled and interviewed more than 3,000 current and former cult members and their relatives and friends. An expert on post-traumatic stress as well as cults, she lectures widely in the United States and abroad. She is the coauthor of "Crazy" Therapies.

Table of Contents

Forewordxi
Acknowledgmentsxv
Introduction to the Revised Editionxvii
Introduction to the First Editionxxi
Part 1What Are Cults?1
1.Defining Cults3
Definitions and Characteristics
Cult Types
Who Joins Cults?
Why Do They Join?
2.A Brief History of Cults29
Cults in the 1800s
The 1960s: Fertile Ground for Cults
The 1970s: Cults to Expand Awareness
The 1980s: Psychological, Occult, and Prosperity Cults
Examples of New Cults
Cause for Concern
3.The Process of Brainwashing, Psychological Coercion, and Thought Reform52
Historical Examples of Brainwashing
Packaged Persuasion
Attacking the Self
How Thought Reform Works
Producing a New Identity
Impermissible Experiments
4.What's Wrong with Cults?83
Cults Threaten Legitimate Institutions
Cults Harm Our Children and Tear Apart Our Families
Cults Are Violent
Cults Engage in Conspiracy and Fraud
Small Cults Can Be Just as Harmful as Large
Cults Take Away Our Freedom
Cults Take Away Our Possessions
Cults Escape Scrutiny
What Is to Be Done?
Part 2How Do They Work?103
5.Recruiting New Members105
First Approach
Invitation
First Cult Contact
Follow-Up: Gaining Greater Commitment
Young and Old Alike Are Vulnerable
The Double Agenda
6.Physiological Persuasion Techniques125
Mass Marketing of Experiential Exercises
Techniques Producing Predictable Physiological Responses
Meditation May Not Always Be Good for You
7.Psychological Persuasion Techniques150
Trance and Hypnosis
Trickery
Revision of Personal History
Peer Pressure and Modeling
Emotional Manipulation
Psychotherapy Cults
8.Intruding into the Workplace182
Clarification of New Age
A Clash in the Workplace
Violation of Civil Rights
What Goes On in an LGAT?
Development of a New Age Training Program: A Case Example
Problems with Being "Transformed" at Work
Psychological Casualties
Buyer Beware: Thought-Reform Processes at Work
9.The Threat of Intimidation209
Co-opted Professionals
Intimidation and Harassment of Critics
Part 3How Can We Help Survivors to Escape and Recover?241
10.Rescuing the Children243
Children of Jonestown
Children of Waco
Children of Other Cults
Role of the Cult Leader
Role of Cult Parents
What Children Learn in Cults
After the Cult
Children Are Survivors
11.Leaving the Cult266
Why It's Hard to Leave
Ways of Leaving the Cult
Deprogramming and Exit Counseling
12.Recovery: Coming Out of the Pseudopersonality295
Recovering from Cult Aftereffects
Practical Issues
Psychological and Emotional Difficulties
Cognitive Inefficiencies
Social and Personal Relations
Philosophical and Attitudinal Issues
Helpful Tasks for Individuals Leaving Cults
There Is Life After the Cult
Postscript to the First Edition: The Millennium, Cults, and the End of the Century335
Postscript to the Revised Edition339
Chapter Notes357
Resources and Organizations379
Further Reading383
The Author385
Index387

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