Cults and Support for Former Cult Members

Information on Cults and Support for Former Cult Members
Check back often as this page will be updated often with new resources.

Upcoming ICSA Events

The Phoenix Project was created by Diana Pletts as a healing, liberating, and empowering experience. If you are a former member of a cult or high-demand group, we invite you to submit your work to be considered for the Phoenix Project Virtual Montreal 2021. 

We are seeking creative works that reveal the world of the cult survivor. This may include what it was like in the group, what it was like to leave, or the path to recovery ... Learn More 

Work will be displayed virtually at the ICSA Annual Conference 2021!

ICSA’s 2021 Annual International Conference conducted jointly with Info-Secte/Info-Cult of Montreal and the Association québécoise Plaidoyer-Victimes is online this year. While we will miss being in Montreal together, you will be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the conference from the comfort of your home.

Here are some things to look forward to:

There will be some new things this year, such as:


ICSA is an NAFC Approved CE Provider. CEUs provided by this ICSA Conference are approved for the NAFC CE Renewal requirement.

Featured Article

 International Cultic Studies Association E-Newsletter
25 September 2019

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Mind Control and the Battering of Women

Teresa Ramirez Boulette, Ph.D.
Susan M. Andersen, Ph.D.

This paper describes one variation in the battering phenomenon which was initially observed among low-income women. The strategies of coercion and deception utilized by the abusive male in these relationships are described and compared with similar strategies of mind control utilized in more traditional "cultic" systems. The debilitating effects of these techniques on the battered female are described, as is the battering male's own separation reaction, and the probable dynamics of the men and women involved in this pathological family system. Some preliminary assessment and treatment guidelines are offered.

Originally published in Cultic Studies Journal, 1986, Volume 3, Number 1, 1986, pages 25-35.



 Research and Articles

Leaving and Recovering From Cultic Groups and Relationships (Michael Langone, PhD; Patrick Ryan)

Using Legal Analysis to Address Claims of Spiritual Abuse, by Danya Shakfeh, Esq.

Cults and Sex Trafficking, Andy Vogel, MSW

Litigating Child Custody with Religious Cults by Ford Greene, Esq. "Litigating child-custody or visitation disputes is a complex endeavor. Because of the special protection the law accords religious beliefs, attorneys must carefully collect relevant facts and use appropriate language. Without questioning the truth or falsehood of a group's religious doctrines, attorneys should try to demonstrate that the group's practices are physically or psychologically detrimental to the child. Information from a variety of sources, including teachers, school psychologists, social workers, therapists, etc., should be considered. Several case examples are discussed."

Cults in Court - by Sara Van Hoey. Published by ICSA: "Harms associated with cultic groups have been addressed through various forms of self-help, conservatorship, habeas corpus proceedings, consumer protection legislation, and litigation."

Exit Counseling and the Decline of Deprogramming - by Stephen A. Kent and Joseph P. Szimhart. Published by ICSA: "An old model of forcibly deprogramming persons from controversial ideological organizations has given way to progressive, non-coercive models that emphasize dialogue within voluntary “exit counseling” settings. These non-coercive models approach counseling events partly as family crises that usually require careful preparation with relatives and friends. Counselors structure the meetings in ways that work within the value systems of the groups from which they are trying to remove their subjects."

"Antisocial Personality Disorder in Cult Leaders" John Burke, Ph.D., Kaiser Permanente. Published by the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) ... Read more

Mental Health Interventions in Cult-Related Cases: Preliminary Investigation of Outcomes by Steve K. Dubrow Eichel, M.S., Linda Dubrow Eichel, M.A., Roberta Cobrin Eisenberg, M.S.W. - Shared from the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) website. "Do our interventions work? This question is undoubtedly on the minds of many professional counselors and lay advisors engaged in clinical work with cultists, former cultists, and their families. Since October 1983, the associates of the RETIRN have maintained a record of all face-to-face consultations and subsequent interventions ..." continue reading

 To learn more about the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), the psychological manipulation and abuse in cultic groups or to find help for you or a loved one, please visit the ICSA website.








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