Cults in Our Midst: The Hidden Menace in Our Everyday Lives

Margaret Thaler Singer, Author, Robert Jay Lifton, Foreword by, Janja Lalich, With
Margaret Thaler Singer, Author, Robert Jay Lifton, Foreword by, Janja Lalich, With Jossey-Bass $28 (381p) ISBN 978-0-7879-0051-9
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 03/01/1995
Clinical psychologist Singer, emeritus professor at Berkeley, and former cult member Lalich (coauthor of Captive Hearts, Captive Minds) here present an instructive report on the cult phenomenon, which they regard as a growing menace around the world. They define cults as organizations that feature ``coordinated programs of coercive influence and behavioral control,'' many religiously or politically oriented and increasingly centered on New Age self-improvement techniques that they claim are now being peddled to businesses. They enumerate the dangers of cults to the individual, particularly the attack on the sense of self; they analyze the leaders' techniques (almost all these groups are authoritarian), including isolation from family and friends, trance induction, guided imagery and indirect suggestion; they offer practical advice on methods of helping survivors to escape and recover. Includes an appendix of resources and organizations for those seeking help. (Apr.)
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