Cults in Our Midst

Cults in Our Midst
Author: Margaret Thaler Singer
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Total Pages: 438
Release: 2003-04-11
Genre: Psychology
ISBN: 0787967416

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.

Cults in Our Midst

Cults in Our Midst
Author: Margaret Thaler Singer
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Total Pages: 410
Release: 1996-10-08
Genre: Medical
ISBN:

Explains how to recognize cults, and argues that cults are infiltrating the workplace in the guise of training programs and workshops.

Crazy Therapies

Crazy Therapies
Author: Margaret Thaler Singer
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Total Pages: 296
Release: 1996-09-27
Genre: Psychology
ISBN:

Generally these enthusiastic - and perhaps ill-trained - therapists are themselves convinced of the healing powers of an array of techniques, some dating back far into time, that range from hilarious to hazardous.

Bounded Choice

Bounded Choice
Author: Janja A. Lalich
Publisher: University of California Press
Total Pages: 354
Release: 2020-11-30
Genre: Religion
ISBN: 0520384024

Heaven's Gate, a secretive group of celibate "monks" awaiting pickup by a UFO, captured intense public attention in 1997 when its members committed collective suicide. As a way of understanding such perplexing events, many have seen those who join cults as needy, lost souls, unable to think for themselves. This book, a compelling look at the cult phenomenon written for a wide audience, dispels such simple formulations by explaining how normal, intelligent people can give up years of their lives—and sometimes their very lives—to groups and beliefs that appear bizarre and irrational. Looking closely at Heaven's Gate and at the Democratic Workers Party, a radical political group of the 1970s and 1980s, Janja Lalich gives us a rare insider's look at these two cults and advances a new theoretical framework that will reshape our understanding of those who join such groups. Lalich's fascinating discussion includes her in-depth interviews with cult devotees as well as reflections gained from her own experience as a high-ranking member of the Democratic Workers Party. Incorporating classical sociological concepts such as "charisma" and "commitment" with more recent work on the social psychology of influence and control, she develops a new approach for understanding how charismatic cult leaders are able to dominate their devotees. She shows how members are led into a state of "bounded choice," in which they make seemingly irrational decisions within a context that makes perfect sense to them and is, in fact, consistent with their highest aspirations. In addition to illuminating the cult phenomenon in the United States and around the world, this important book also addresses our pressing need to know more about the mentality of those true believers who take extreme or violent measures in the name of a cause.

Losing Reality

Losing Reality
Author: Robert Jay Lifton
Publisher: The New Press
Total Pages: 142
Release: 2019-10-15
Genre: Religion
ISBN: 1620975122

A definitive account of the psychology of zealotry, from a National Book Award winner and a leading authority on the nature of cults, political absolutism, and mind control In this unique and timely volume Robert Jay Lifton, the National Book Award–winning psychiatrist, historian, and public intellectual proposes a radical idea: that the psychological relationship between extremist political movements and fanatical religious cults may be much closer than anyone thought. Exploring the most extreme manifestations of human zealotry, Lifton highlights an array of leaders—from Mao to Hitler to the Japanese apocalyptic cult leader Shōkō Asahara to Donald Trump—who have sought the control of human minds and the ownership of reality. Lifton has spent decades exploring psychological extremism. His pioneering concept of the "Eight Deadly Sins" of ideological totalism—originally devised to identify "brainwashing" (or "thought reform") in political movements—has been widely quoted in writings about cults, and embraced by members and former members of religious cults seeking to understand their experiences. In Losing Reality Lifton makes clear that the apocalyptic impulse—that of destroying the world in order to remake it in purified form—is not limited to religious groups but is prominent in extremist political movements such as Nazism and Chinese Communism, and also in groups surrounding Donald Trump. Lifton applies his concept of "malignant normality" to Trump's efforts to render his destructive falsehoods a routine part of American life. But Lifton sees the human species as capable of "regaining reality" by means of our "protean" psychological capacities and our ethical and political commitments as "witnessing professionals." Lifton weaves together some of his finest work with extensive new commentary to provide vital understanding of our struggle with mental predators. Losing Reality is a book not only of stunning scholarship, but also of huge relevance for these troubled times.

The Psychology of Religious Fundamentalism

The Psychology of Religious Fundamentalism
Author: Peter C. Hill
Publisher: Guilford Press
Total Pages: 264
Release: 2005-03-31
Genre: Psychology
ISBN: 9781593851507

"This book presents an innovative psychological framework for understanding religious fundamentalism. Blending extensive research and incisive analysis, the highly regarded authors distinguish fundamentalist traditions from other faith-based groups and illuminate the thinking and behavior of believers. Offering respectful, historically informed examinations of several major fundamentalist groups, the volume challenges many commonly held stereotypes. In the process, it stakes out important new terrain for the psychological study of religion" -- BOOK JACKET.

Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism

Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism
Author: Robert Jay Lifton
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Total Pages: 525
Release: 2012-01-01
Genre: History
ISBN: 0807882887

Informed by Erik Erikson's concept of the formation of ego identity, this book, which first appreared in 1961, is an analysis of the experiences of fifteen Chinese citizens and twenty-five Westerners who underwent "brainwashing" by the Communist Chinese government. Robert Lifton constructs these case histories through personal interviews and outlines a thematic pattern of death and rebirth, accompanied by feelings of guilt, that characterizes the process of "thought reform." In a new preface, Lifton addresses the implications of his model for the study of American religious cults.

Terror, Love and Brainwashing

Terror, Love and Brainwashing
Author: Alexandra Stein
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Total Pages: 236
Release: 2016-11-03
Genre: Psychology
ISBN: 1317194500

Written by a cult survivor and renowned expert on cults and totalitarianism, Terror, Love and Brainwashing draws on the author’s 25 years of study and research to explain how almost anyone, given the right set of circumstances, can be radically manipulated to engage in otherwise incomprehensible and often dangerous acts. Illustrated with compelling stories from a range of cults and totalitarian systems, from religious to political to commercial, the book defines and analyses the common and identifiable traits that underlie almost all these groups. It focuses on how charismatic, authoritarian leaders control their followers’ attachment relationships via manipulative social structures and ideologies so that, emotionally and cognitively isolated, they become unable to act in their own survival interests. Using the evolutionary theory of attachment to demonstrate the psychological impact of these environments, and incorporating the latest neuroscientific findings, Stein illustrates how the combined dynamic of terror and ‘love’ works to break down people’s ability to think and behave rationally. From small local cults to global players like ISIS and North Korea, the impact of these movements is widespread and growing. This important book offers clarity and a unique perspective on the dynamics of these systems of control, and concludes with guidance to foster greater awareness and prevention. It will be essential reading for mental health professionals in the field, as well as policy makers, legal professionals, cult survivors, and their families, as well as anyone with an interest in these disturbing groups. Students of social and developmental psychology will also find it fascinating.

Let Our Children Go!

Let Our Children Go!
Author: Ted Patrick
Publisher:
Total Pages: 320
Release: 1979
Genre: Brainwashing
ISBN:

Factual stories about a former civil servant from California whose life's mission is to rescue young people who have fallen prey to pseudo-religious cults.