email@example.com (Martin Hunt) wrote:
>firstname.lastname@example.org (Diane Richardson) wrote:
>> I'm wondering where you comments on the
excerpts I've already posted are, Martin. I thought you'd agreed to comment on them, but I haven't seen any lately. Perhaps zippo isn't picking up all your posts again?
> I've commented on a few, and I did agree to
comment on the critiques of Singer you agreed to post, but I haven't seen any yet. If you find a critique of Singer, I'd be happy to review it. Is she really an academic outcast? I cannot find a single scholarly critique of her theories....
I've never claimed that Singer is "an academic outcast." I
she is respected as an outstanding therapist, with a long record of
assisting ex-cult members.
Singer developed her theory of "mind control" years before she
published "Cults in Our Midst." That book was written for the
public, not as a scholarly treatise. Dr. Singer presented her theory
of "mind control" to her professional colleagues years before
explained them to the general public in her book.
In addition to Dr. Singer's long career as a therapist, she was quite
active as an expert witness in cult-related litigation. I believe she
appeared as an expert witness in more than 30 different cases. As an
expert witness, Dr. Singer presented to the court her "mind
theory. She was often quite successful in presenting her theory as
proof of cult abuse. Larry Wollersheim's lawsuit against the CoS in
the 1980s is probably the best-known example of her success as an
expert witness. The jury bought her theory that Wollersheim was
mentally harmed by his cult experience and awarded damages to him for this harm.
Dr. Singer's last appearance as an expert witness was in the criminal
case the U.S. government brought against Steven Fishman for mail
fraud. Fishman's defense against the charges was that he was not
responsible for his actions because he was insane. He presented a
long history of mental instability, which was not challenged, to prove
he was insane. He also wanted to present Dr. Singer as an expert
witness to explain how the CoS used "mind control" techniques to
him to commit illegal acts which he would not have committed if he had
not been subjected to "mind control."
The government prosecutor (*not* the CoS) challenged the validity of
Dr. Singer's "mind control" theory and objected to her appearing
expert witness to present her theory to the court. The government
contended that Dr. Singer's theory was not accepted by the majority of
her colleagues as valid and presented evidence to support their
After hearing arguments from both sides, the federal judge hearing the
case ruled that Dr. Singer's "mind control" theory was not
the majority of her peers. Dr. Singer was allowed to appear as an
expert witness *only* to testify about Steven Fishman's mental status
-- his history of mental instability. Dr. Singer was *not* permitted
to present her "mind control" theory as an explanation for why
Fishman committed mail fraud.
When the judge issued this ruling, Steven Fishman then opted to plea
bargain rather than continue on to trial without being able to present
Singer's "mind control" theory as a defense.
As a result of the judge's ruling, Dr. Singer sued the APA, who had
testified that her "mind control" theory was not considered
was not endorsed by the APA. She sued the APA for interfering with
her ability to earn money as an expert witness in cult-related court
cases. Dr. Singer's lawsuit was dismissed. She has not been able to
appear as an expert witness on "mind control" since that
This brings up a related matter. Several people here are making
pointed accusations against those who have provided testimony to
support the CoS in litigation for a fee. The epithets being flung
about include "cult whore," "paid dupe," "cult
apologist," and most
recently "moral coward."
While I can understand the fierce emotions leading to the use of such
loaded language, I'm not sure how anyone can rationalize away the fact
that folks like Margaret Singer and Vaughn Young engage in exactly the
same activity for the opposing side.
The only explanation for this seeming hypocrisy is that Singer and
Young are doing what is "right," while Hadden is doing what is
"wrong." Monica appears to be convinced that Hadden even *knows*
doing wrong, but does so nonetheless.
Professor Hadden may have received a fee for providing his services as
an expert in a legal action -- although I'm just guessing he was
paid, since I don't know that as a fact. I do know for a fact that
Dr. Singer and Vaughn Young have been paid to provide the same expert
services for the other side.
I know you've addressed this question previously, Martin, but if I
remember correctly, your comments were that what Vaughn Young did in
his spare time was no concern of yours, while what Hadden did in *his*
spare time was and should be a matter of great concern to everyone.