Cults in our midst
Most people believe that cult members are mentally unbalanced or are misfits who live in remote places, like the doomed devotees of Jim Jones and David Koresh. We take comfort in the fact that the influences of cults are far removed from our everyday lives.Nothing could be further from the truth.Over the past two decades, in the United States alone, an estimated twenty million people have joined cults. Today, three to five thousand cults are working to recruit new members. At any point in time, two-and-a-half to three million Americans are active cult members. Often a cult is disguised as a legitimate business or organization: a restaurant, self-help group, psychotherapy clinic, or leadership training program could be a front for a cult. Anyone--no matter what age or income level--could be susceptible to the covert and seductive nature of a cult. People are especially vulnerable to these masterful manipulators during periods of traumatic life changes: a college student away from home for the first time, a grief-stricken widow in need of understanding and support, or a businessperson transferred by his or her employer to a new and unfamiliar community.The country's leading authority on cults, Margaret Thaler Singer, calls on her nearly fifty years of expertise to write the definitive book on cults. Written with author and former cult member Janja Lalich, Singer's first book is a shocking exposea that reveals what cults are and how they work. Cults in Our Midst offers vital information on how to help people escape cult entrapments and recover from the experience. This compelling book debunks commonly held myths and answers perplexing questions about cults such as: ** Why don't people justleave cults?** What characteristics do cults have in common?** Why isn't the U.S. Marines or Alcoholics Anonymous considered a cult?** Who are the people most likely to join cults?** Where can I go for help if someone I love is living in a cult?** What actions can w
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Fine run-through of the various mind-altering and brainwashing techniques employed by modern cults. Also, I was pleased to see a section devoted to those crappy new-agey motivational programs which are forever being pushed on me by devotees. (I work in a store with a large metaphysical section in an area with a large number of actual cult members. They can be hard to avoid.) However, if you're actually interested in the history and development of modern cults, this book will be disappointing. It's mostly strings of anecdotes with identifying details edited out, relayed with an off-putting tinge of hysteria. Quite probably I would be hysterical too, if, like the author, I'd spent years being terrifyingly hounded by cult members. But the constant THEY ARE EVERYWHERE AND THEY ARE COMING FOR YOUUUUU, while possibly valid, was slightly less than helpful in a serious study. I also found the section on the dangers of meditation to be a little weird. Again, she provided a string of unattributed anecdotes, including one strange quote from a women who had found herself accidentally Hindu, to bolster her claim that meditation alone can produce permanent mental damage. It wasn't very scientific, is I guess where I'm going with that - did these people have underlying problems? Were there any other factors involved? Is it a bad thing to find oneself Hindu? Bottom line: if you're a psych student interested in mind control, this is probably the book for you. If you're a white suburban Christian paranoid about weird asiatic cults stealing your children, ditto. If you're more into a sociological view of religious movements and the development of cults, you won't find what you're looking for here.
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Reviewed Jan 2004 A wonderful detailed book written as if you are attending a lecture by Singer. I learned of this book by reading her obit in the San Jose Merc and I thought, "this looks interesting." This is a must read for anyone whose loved ones have been trapped in a cult. Possible students leaving for college should be given a copy. I am disappointed that she would not give out more names or documented examples until I noticed the chapter notes at the end of book. Singer stresses many times how litigious many of these groups are, some cults may even become violent to outsiders. i was hoping to see how cuts could be combated and destroyed but not to be drawn in. The other thing I would like to have seen mentioned is what ex-members are supposed to do once out? I was most interested to learn that cults are not always religious - some are health clubs, therapy cults, even money making ventures. her chapter on the history of cults that have become mainstream companies is very informative. I would have also liked to learn what happens to people who commit crimes while under a cults influence. I learned so much while reading this and will keep it for reference in the future. 1-2004
Captive hearts, captive minds: freedom and recovery from cults and other ...
Madeleine Landau Tobias,Janja Lalich
No preview available - 1994
A Brief History of Cults
The Process of Brainwashing Psychological Coercion
12 other sections not shown