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.
Foreword xiAcknowledgments xvIntroduction to the Revised Edition xviiIntroduction to the First Edition xxiPart 1 What Are Cults? 11. Defining Cults 3Definitions and CharacteristicsCult TypesWho Joins Cults?Why Do They Join?2. A Brief History of Cults 29Cults in the 1800sThe 1960s: Fertile Ground for CultsThe 1970s: Cults to Expand AwarenessThe 1980s: Psychological, Occult, and Prosperity CultsExamples of New CultsCause for Concern3. The Process of Brainwashing, Psychological Coercion, and Thought Reform 52Historical Examples of BrainwashingPackaged PersuasionAttacking the SelfHow Thought Reform WorksProducing a New IdentityImpermissible Experiments4. What's Wrong with Cults? 83Cults Threaten Legitimate InstitutionsCults Harm Our Children and Tear Apart Our FamiliesCults Are ViolentCults Engage in Conspiracy and FraudSmall Cults Can Be Just as Harmful as LargeCults Take Away Our FreedomCults Take Away Our PossessionsCults Escape ScrutinyWhat Is to Be Done?Part 2 How Do They Work? 1035. Recruiting New Members 105First ApproachInvitationFirst Cult ContactFollow-Up: Gaining Greater CommitmentYoung and Old Alike Are VulnerableThe Double Agenda6. Physiological Persuasion Techniques 125Mass Marketing of Experiential ExercisesTechniques Producing Predictable Physiological ResponsesMeditation May Not Always Be Good for You7. Psychological Persuasion Techniques 150Trance and HypnosisTrickeryRevision of Personal HistoryPeer Pressure and ModelingEmotional ManipulationPsychotherapy Cults8. Intruding into the Workplace 182Clarification of New AgeA Clash in the WorkplaceViolation of Civil RightsWhat Goes On in an LGAT?Development of a New Age Training Program: A Case ExampleProblems with Being "Transformed" at WorkPsychological CasualtiesBuyer Beware: Thought-Reform Processes at Work9. The Threat of Intimidation 209Co-opted ProfessionalsIntimidation and Harassment of CriticsPart 3 How Can We Help Survivors to Escape and Recover? 24110. Rescuing the Children 243Children of JonestownChildren of WacoChildren of Other CultsRole of the Cult LeaderRole of Cult ParentsWhat Children Learn in CultsAfter the CultChildren Are Survivors11. Leaving the Cult 266Why It's Hard to LeaveWays of Leaving the CultDeprogramming and Exit Counseling12. Recovery: Coming Out of the Pseudopersonality 295Recovering from Cult AftereffectsPractical IssuesPsychological and Emotional DifficultiesCognitive InefficienciesSocial and Personal RelationsPhilosophical and Attitudinal IssuesHelpful Tasks for Individuals Leaving CultsThere Is Life After the CultPostscript to the First Edition: The Millennium, Cults, and the End of the Century 335Postscript to the Revised Edition 339Chapter Notes 357Resources and Organizations 379Further Reading 383The Author 385Index 387