email@example.com (Martin Hunt)
>Diane's groupthink-like baseless squeal to authority aside, can she, or anyone else, post scholarly rebuttals to Singer?
As I wrote to Monica Pignotti,
this is not an argument to authority,
it is an argument to *reality*.
I will begin posting scholarly rebuttals to the "brainwashing/mind
control" theory as espoused by Margaret Singer and Steve Hassan. The
entire project will be quite lengthy, solely because there is so much
of it. It will have to take place over the next couple of weeks.
All I ask is that you agree to read and discuss the rebuttals you have
requested, Martin. You have exhibited a tendency in the past to
demand information and then refuse to consider the information once
you find it's not to your liking.
If you are honestly willing to read this information and consider what
it says, I will be glad to key it all in. If you're merely looking
for an excuse to demonstrate your close-minded unwillingness to
consider anything that does not meet with your own prejudiced
opinions, I won't bother.
>Reading through Singer's journal publication history I do not get the feeling that she is all alone out on a limb. She appears rather the preeminent scholar in her chosen field.
Hardly. Her publication record is limited to publication in Cultic
Studies Journal, a publication of the AFF. I'm sure you're aware of
Dr. Singer's relationship with the AFF and can understand that her
papers undergo no rigorous peer-review scrutiny there.
Outside of the Cultic Studies Journal, I believe her theory of cult
mind control has appeared in only one solicited (not peer-reviewed)
article in the psychological literature. She has also written a piece
for Psychology Today, a popular magazine in which she presents her
Beyond that, she presents her theory in her books, which aren't, of
course, peer-reviewed before publication.
I have always hesitated criticizing Margaret Singer's work in the
past. In my opinion, she is an excellent clinical psychologist and
has without a doubt assisted many ex-cult members readjust to society.
But being an excellent clinician in no way guarantees that one is also
an excellent theoretician. Dr. Singer is no theoretician, nor is
>I'm assuming that if Singer's peers, if she has
any, must have at least said *what* they disagree with in her work and *why*. Or shall I just dismiss bland, unsupported assertions like
"Margaret Singer and Steve Hassan are so at odds with the larger academic community. They constitute a very small group whose theories are not accepted by their peers" out of hand.
Well, Martin, you could go to a library and find these things
yourself, couldn't you? I'm used to people on a.r.s. demanding that I
spoon-feed them information they are quite capable of finding on their
own. I'm somewhat surprised that, as an ex-cult member yourself, you
don't show the initiative or interest to explore this topic on your
My first post will be an excerpt from William Sims Bainbridge's new
book (1997), "The Sociology of Religious Movements." It will be
posted under the header "Enemies and Allies."