Cults in our midst

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Jossey-Bass Publishers, May 1, 1995 - Psychology - 381 pages
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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User Review  - paperloverevolution - 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 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sgerbic - 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 ... Read full review


Defining Cults
A Brief History of Cults
The Process of Brainwashing Psychological Coercion

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About the author (1995)

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.

MARGARET THALER SINGER is a clinical psychologist and emeritus adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley. An expert on post-traumatic stress and cults, she lectures widely in the United States and abroad. She is the lead author of Cults in Our Midst (Jossey-Bass, 1995).

JANJA LALICH is a writer, consultant, and specialist in cults and psychological manipulation and abuse. She is also the coauthor of Captive Hearts, Captive Minds (1994) and Cults in Our Midst (Jossey-Bass, 1995).