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Diane Richardson on Mind-Control

Academic Studies


 

A series of exchange between Diane and Monica starts at this point. I tried to extract the most significant posts of this exchange, and I quote them here in full:


ao579@yfn.ysu.edu (Diane Richardson) 

5 Sep 1996 22:11:56 GMT 

Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology 
Subject: Re: KIM BAKER 
Message-ID: <50nj7c$12c@news.ysu.edu> 

Monica Pignotti (gemmampl@aol.com) writes: 

>Diane, would you like to suggest an ethical way to set up such an experimental, double-blind study. If you can, you will probably win a Nobel prize. Such an experiment would be grossly unethical. So we have to go on the information we have, which is clinical experience of people who have worked with people in cults and their families. That is the best we can do right now. To dismiss the entire topic just because such studies do not exist, is ridiculous.

Surely, as a social scientist with a master's degree, you're not suggesting that the *only* way to test such a statement is with a double-blind study, Monica?  

There are a number of other investigative methods put to use by social scientists, mental health experts, and others, to test the validity of such statements. Surely you've read the works of Marc Galanter, M.D., of New York University? 

A number of people who have "worked with people in cults" have reached conclusions that directly contradict the statements you have made here. Dr. Galanter's series of studies done with Moonies, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and Archives of Psychiatry, are classics in the field of cult studies -- which, by the way, includes a large body of peer-reviewed research in spite of your claims to the contrary. 

Stories from your "clinical practice" are nothing more than anecdotal evidence. The anecdote you have provided does not even address the question I posed. I have not claimed that some people are too "smart" to be lured into cults -- I don't believe that intelligence has anything at all to do with the attraction some people feel towards cults. 

Deirdre made that claim that "Those who believe they cannot be controlled are the easiest prey of all." I disagree with that statement. 

Do you have any evidence to prove that people who believe they cannot be controlled are the easiest prey of all, Monica? Right -- I didn't think you did. 

Diane Richardson
referen@neont.com 

 

referen@neont.com (Diane Richardson) 

Tue, 10 Sep 1996 23:21:31 GMT 

Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology 
Subject: Re: Monica's Critique of Galanter's Studies 
Message-ID: <514u8m$cqb@clark.zippo.com> 

gemmamp1@aol.com (GEMMAMP1) wrote: 

>This is from a 1994 paper I wrote on cults, critiquing Galanter's work: 

>In his book, Cults -- Faith, Healing and Coercion, Marc Galanter provides us with material gleaned from fifteen years of research on the subject. Professor Galanter had the unique opportunity of studying active members of a number of cults in their natural environment. In studying group cohesiveness, he distributed a seven page questionnaire to 119 subjects from the Divine Light Mission. This questionnaire measured subjects' perceptions of their psychological well being before and after joining the group. (Clearly, this was an extremely biased group in that they were still active members and one must question using these subjects' perceptions as a valid measure.)  

Galanter was studying *group cohesiveness* in this study. Are you suggesting that members of the group are not the best determinants of whether the group is cohesive or not? 

Or do you believe that others (you, perhaps?) are better qualified to determine whether or not a group is cohesive? 

As part of the study, Galanter administered a multiple-choice questionnaire to measure their sense of well-being within the past two months as compared to how they felt before they entered the cult. Galanter was not attempting to measure whether these people were  happier in the cult than they would ever be in their *lives*, just whether they were happier once they joined the cult than before they joined. 

Once again, I must question whether you believe that others are more qualified to determine whether or not an individual is *happy*. Isn't well-being nothing BUT a personal perception? Would you have others (who? -- social scientists?) decide for others whether or not they are happy? Perceptions are, by nature, biased. Do you honestly believe that people are stupid enough to be "mind-controlled" into thinking they are happy, when you know the *real* truth -- that they are not happy? 

Or is this comment merely an artifact of your *own* bias against cults and cult members? 

[snipped Monica's summary of Galanter's study] 

>Using a scale to measure psychological well-being, he found the that 9% who actually joined scored lower on this scale, confirming his suspicions that "the sect tended to attract people who were experiencing distress" (Galanter, 1989, p. 142) He also found that "those who were likely to join were unhappy young adults with limited feelings of affiliation toward friends or family [and] who were sufficiently responsive to the group to become strongly engaged early on in the workshop sequence" (Galanter, 1989, 142). Conversely, he found that those who did not join the group scored significantly higher on scales that measured affiliation toward persons outside the group, i.e., friends and family. Galanter's results that the people who did not join scored considerably higher on a scale that measures strength of "outside affiliations" supports our hypothesis that lack of supports is a contributing factor to vulnerability to cults. However, there are problems with the fact that he studied people currently involved in the Unification Church. According to former members of this group, part of the indoctrination process used is to isolate members from their friends and family, who are seen as being "under the influence of Satan". Therefore, someone who has joined the Unification Church might report lower affiliation with outside sources than actually was the case, prior to joining. 

I'm not at all sure *which* of Galanter's several studies you refer to here. Galanter did a study interviewing people as they were attending their first Moonie workshop, which is long before they become members of the cult. He interviewed individuals who left the workshop without continuing any contact with Moonies as well as the few individuals who  continued their relationship with the cult. How would these people know ahead of time that they were going to be Moonies? How would they know whether they should lie to Galanter's researchers about their outside affiliations or not? 

I have not read Galanter's book, only the original papers as presented in peer-reviewed journals. Perhaps we could have a better dialogue if you were to cite the specific studies to which you refer. 

>Another problem is that the presence of researchers who were there administering questionnaires at the workshop could very well have influenced the behavior of the workshop leaders. The very fact that researchers were present, made it easier for potential recruits to opt out than would have been the case if the researchers were not present. 

I would suggest you read Geri-Ann Galanti's paper "Reflections on Brainwashing," published in _Recovery from Cults_ (edited by Michael D. Langone, Norton, 1993). Dr. Galanti went to a workshop "undercover" and found little evidence of the "brainwashing" techniques ascribed to the Moonies at these events. (And yes, Dr. Galanti's reference to "brainwashing" matches your description of mind control). 

Perhaps the presence of researchers influenced the behavior of workshop leaders during Dr. Galanter's study. But that does not explain why the standard "mind control" techniques were not applied when Dr. Galanti attended one undercover.  

>Several former members have reported being stranded at the workshop site (which is typically in an isolated area two hours from the city they were recruited in) with no transportation home if they wanted to leave. The workshop leaders put considerable pressure on potential recruits to stay. Such pressure might have been less during this study so that they could look good for the researchers.

Read Geri-Ann Galanti's account. You've urged people to read the  book; perhaps you'd do well to reread it again yourself. 

> It is also necessary to note that, according to numerous former members (Hassan, 1988, and many others), the Unification Church has a policy of "heavenly deception" towards outsiders, meaning that it is morally justifiable to lie to people for their cause. One former member told me that "I wouldn't be surprised if they filled the workshop with long-term members who were not new at all." (Based on a personal conversation between a former member and Monica Pignotti.) As we mentioned earlier, we have to conclude that the credibility of responses obtained from current members is very questionable. 

Why would you suspect that a group of researchers could be so easily  deceived? I'm particularly interested in this suggestion of yours  since Galanter's group studied Moonies for well over a decade -- not  just one isolated group of culties in one specific location. 

Galanter's group began the study without any preconceived opinions  about whether the cult was good or harmful. Are you suggesting that  going into a study with a bias against the subjects will provide a  more objective study? 

Diane Richardson  referen@neont.com 

 

referen@neont.com (Diane Richardson)

Wed, 11 Sep 1996 04:18:46 GMT 

Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology 
Subject: Re: KIM BAKER 
Message-ID: <515flr$mpv@clark.zippo.com> 

gemmamp1@aol.com (GEMMAMP1) wrote: 

>Diane Richardson wrote: 

>Additionally, it is the general consensus among mental health professionals as well. Whether any of us care to admit it or not, Margaret Singer and her supporters are most  definitely in the minority in accepting the concept of cult mind control. Marc Galanter and others who represent the APA's viewpoint reject the notion of "brainwashing" and have solid evidence to support their opinions (unlike Dr. Singer). 

>What solid evidence? Specific references, please. I haven't seen any. 

I'd suggest you start with the studies conducted by Saul V. Levine,  M.D., of the University of Toronto. His work has been as extensive as  that of Dr. Galanter of NYU. Their conclusions, by the way, concur. 

Specifically, a good paper to start with would be Levine's "Cults and  Mental Health: Clinical Conclusions," published in the Canadian  Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 28, no. 12 (December 1981), pp. 534-539.   Levine reaches 10 conclusions, each of which are supported in the  paper. These conclusions are: 

1. Cults do not attract a more clinically disturbed population (than any other intense, demanding, dedicated movement); 

2. Cults do attract a group of individuals who experience specific painful feelings prior to their joining; 

3. Cults significantly reduce stresses of anxiety, depression, confusion in those members who experienced these; 

4. Cults can serve as a haven, and even a therapeutic milieu for members with serious psychiatric or behavioural disorders; 

5. Cults do not adversely affect their members clinically any more than any other intense, dedicated demanding movement; 

6. Cult do often contribute to the appearance of emotional problems in a significant number of ex-cultists; 

7. Cults do often contribute to cognitive and behavioural patterns which are of considerable concern; 

8. Cult do fulfill crucial needs, especially those of Believing and Belonging, and overcome alienation, demoralization, and low self-esteem; 

9. Cult wield extraordinary power over their "true-believing" members; 

10. Individual susceptiblity (auto hypnosis) and potent recruitment techniques combine to captivate the potential member. 

In his discussion of his tenth clinical conclusion, Dr. Levine writes: 

"There have been accusations about the use of hypnotic techniques,  programming and brainwashing in the recruitment and indoctrination  techniques utilized by the cults. Hypnosis refers to an altered state  of consciousness induced by specific external techniques which include  an individual's suggestibility. The fact is, while various potent  methods are indeed used, the major determinant of an individual's  commitment to a group is his own susceptibility needs, and  even "autohypnosis." That is, he often comes in "preprogrammed," with  an a priori conviction, search, and heightened expectations. An  altered state of consciousness in fact can occur in these intensely  pressured group experiences (31). Furthermore, the techniques  utilized and effects of stress on members have been seen in other  intense, pressured group situations such as political groups,  established religions, and some therapeutic approaches." 

>It is not, by any means, the "general consensus" of mental health professionals -- the subject remains very controversial with people on both sides of the issue. Drs. Robert Jay Lifton and Louis Jolyon West, to mention a few, are also on the side of Dr. Singer. 

Well, I'd venture to state that both the American Psychiatric  Association and the Canadian Psychiatric Association disagree with  your assessment. They have both issued statements urging their  members to deal with cult members as they would a member of any  mainstream religion and not to prejudge a patient's mental status  based on his religious affiliation.  

As Bernie stated in another post, this controversy ended years ago.  Those arrayed with Dr. Singer, Dr. West, et al., are in the decided  minority and their theories are most definitely not indicative of  currently accepted opinion on the subject. 

Unfortunately, most of my papers are not at hand at the moment. I  will be glad to provide you with a number of citations and excerpts  once I've relocated.   

Diane Richardson
referen@neont.com 

 

referen@neont.com (Diane Richardson)

 Wed, 11 Sep 1996 23:51:29 GMT

Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology 
Subject: Re: KIM BAKER 
Message-ID: <517jlv$22b@clark.zippo.com>  

gemmamp1@aol.com (GEMMAMP1) wrote: 

>Diane wrote: 

Monica:
>>>Diane, you must have missed my post -- perhaps it was on the other Kim Baker thread. I DID address Marc Galanter's research of which I am familiar and have criticisms of. Just because something was published in  a peer-reviewed journal does not mean that it is solid evidence. I think that even Dr. Galanter himself would object to your saying that his studies constitute "solid evidence" against mind control. Research in  this entire field is inconclusive on both sides and I think it would be irresponsible to claim anything else. 

>>One researcher's work does not constitute "solid evidence." However, others have conducted similar research and reached conclusions identical to those identified by Dr. Galanter. 

>If you are referring to Eileen Barker, perhaps you would be interested in  knowing that the U.K. government withdrew funding for her organization  because it was discovered that the Moonies were funding part of her  research. I have the full details in another post titled: EILEEN BARKER: Moonie-Funded Cult Apologist. 

No, I am not referring to Eileen Barker. I learned of her admission  that she accepted travel funding from the Moonies and consequently  never read anything she has written. Oops! I take that back. I  *have* read a paper she's written, but it was about cults in general,  not about the Moonies. 

>I don't know what studies you are referring to, since I did a full computer search (in a university library) of several databases of the literature and found no solid evidence, so I would appreciate it if you would give me specific names & dates. 

In another post I suggested you begin reading the studies done by Saul  Levine of the University of Toronto. I've provided you with a  citation to a review article written by him, published in the Canadian  Journal of Psychiatry, which summarizes his findings (and those of  other professionals) regarding the effects of cult membership on  individuals. 

If you bother to read the article, you will find that Dr. Levine's  research, which was completely independent of Dr. Galanter's, reached  the same conclusions as Dr. Galanter's group reached. That's called  replication, Monica, and I'm sure you realize the significance of  replicability in research. 

>Another criticism I have of Galanter that I later realized I left out of my critique is that he studied one cult, the Moonies in the study you refer to. The Moonies recruiting techniques have major differences from other cults, like Scientology and I don't think that the results of this study can be generalized to other cults. Michael Langone, did a very recent study comparing the after-effects of Boston Church of Christ members to members of a mainstream Christian Intervarsity group and found significant differences on several psychological scales. However, he was honest enough to say that his results were only on one cult and could not be generalized. This is the general consensus among researchers who study only one cult group. 

That's not correct, Monica. In your paper you also refer to Dr.  Galanter's research regarding members of the Divine Light Mission.  You know as well as I that Dr. Galanter did not restrict himself  solely to one cult in his studies. 

Additionally, Dr. Levine's work was done using other cults, but his  findings were the same as Dr. Galanter's. I could, of course,  continue to name additional researchers who have conducted similar  research and reached the same conclusions. There are quite a number  of them, although you still seem to hold to the belief that this is an  uninvestigated area for some reason. 

>What I still don't see is how Galanter shows anything for or against mind control. So what if only 9% joined? This was one particular group at one particular point in time and when compared to percentage of converts at a Billy Graham Crusade (2%) this number is considerably higher. His study does nothing to refute the existence of mind control. 

If "mind control" is so powerful (remember? you said "more powerful  than brainwashing") and so overwhelming, why do only 9 percent of the  people who are subjected to it succumb to it? 

That's the question I'm asking you, Monica. That's the question that  you don't appear to be able to answer. 

I'm not at all sure I understand the reference to Billy Graham. I was  not under the impression that Billy Graham has been accused of  practicing "mind control"? Do you believe that he does? 

Diane Richardson
referen@neont.com 

 

referen@neont.com (Diane Richardson)

Fri, 13 Sep 1996 06:28:10 GMT 

Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology 
Subject: Re: KIM BAKER 
Message-ID: <51ava3$302@clark.zippo.com> 

gemmamp1@aol.com (GEMMAMP1) wrote: 

>Diane Richardson wrote: 

>>If you bother to read the article, you will find that Dr. Levine's  research, which was completely independent of Dr. Galanter's, reached  the same conclusions as Dr. Galanter's group reached. That's called  replication, Monica, and I'm sure you realize the significance of  replicability in research. 

>Replication is when you do the same study or a very similar one. I don't  see where Levine has done this. That article just stated his clinical  opinion, which I responded to (the part of it you posted). I will get the  full article and let you know what I think after reading it. 

Great! Levine includes citations to the studies he conducted up to  that time in the references at the end of the review, along with a  number of other studies done in the area. 

Monica:
>>>Another criticism I have of Galanter that I later realized I left out of  my critique is that he studied one cult, the Moonies in the study you  refer to. The Moonies recruiting techniques have major differences from  other cults, like Scientology and I don't think that the results of this  study can be generalized to other cults. Michael Langone, did a very  recent study comparing the after-effects of Boston Church of Christ  members to members of a mainstream Christian Intervarsity group and found  significant differences on several psychological scales. However, he was  honest enough to say that his results were only on one cult and could not be generalized. This is the general consensus among researchers who study only one cult group. 

>>That's not correct, Monica. In your paper you also refer to Dr. Galanter's research regarding members of the Divine Light Mission. You know as well as I that Dr. Galanter did not restrict himself solely to one cult in his studies. 

>I meant that he only studied one cult in any one particular study. The Divine Light Mission study and the Moonie study were two different studies. The results cannot be generalized to other cults for either of these studies. 

That's not quite correct either. I'm not sure how many of Galanter's  studies you've looked at, but his investigations into cults were all  begun for the same reason and examined the same areas. Are you  suggesting that unless *all* cults are studied in *every* research  project, their results aren't valid? 

>>Additionally, Dr. Levine's work was done using other cults, but his findings were the same as Dr. Galanter's. I could, of course, continue to name additional researchers who have conducted similar research and reached the same conclusions. There are quite a number of them, although you still seem to hold to the belief that this is an uninvestigated area for some reason. 

>Again, I haven't seen his actual research. If it is contained in the article you referred to me I will get the article and see. Galanter's research, as I have previously commented, was flawed in that he studied a group that, putting aside the mind controls, has a proven track record of lying to outsiders (and this would include researchers). This is proven not only according to the testimony of ex-members (which you might not care to believe) but Moonies have actually been videotaped by reporters lying about who they were to outsiders and where their money was going.  They call this "heavenly deception". 

I believe that ex-Moonies who were recruited into the cult in past  decades experienced deception that, by all reports, is much less  prevalent today. You haven't responded to my question about what you  think of Geri-Ann Galanti's paper "Reflections on Brainwashing" in   Langone's _Recovery From Cults_. Dr. Galanti is quite adamant that  she encountered none of the deceptive practices once so common with  Moonies when she attended the introductory workshop undercover. 

Are you willing to comment on Dr. Galanti's personal account of her  experience? 

>>>What I still don't see is how Galanter shows anything for or against mind control. So what if only 9% joined? This was one particular group at one particular point in time and when compared to percentage of converts at a Billy Graham Crusade (2%) this number is considerably higher. His study does nothing to refute the existence of mind control. 

>>If "mind control" is so powerful (remember? you said "more powerful than brainwashing") and so overwhelming, why do only 9 percent of the people who are subjected to it succumb to it? 

>Again, I have to point out that this is one cult at one particular point in time. The remaining 90% might not have been in a vulnerable time in their lives (such as going through a personal crisis, stress or transition period) and so they were not as vulnerable and able to resist. For those 9% it was a matter of being in the wrong place (meeting up with a Moonie recruiter) at the wrong time (a time of life crisis). Had those same 90% been approached at another point in their lives, they too might have succombed. Also, not every cult appeals to every person. A person who resists the Moonies might go for Scientology, and vice versa. Or someone might join a political cult who would have nothing to do with a religious cult. It has never been claimed by anyone that I know of (except cult apologists) that mind control is some magical spell that is 100% effective. This is a straw man that cult apologists set up, but this is not the claim that is actually being made. 

Sorry, Monica. I guess I misunderstood what you were trying to say in  previous posts. I understand what you mean now. 

>>That's the question I'm asking you, Monica. That's the question that  >>you don't appear to be able to answer. 

>I believe I have answered it. 

So let me get this straight. Mind control is more powerful than  brainwashing. It is effective on *all* people, but only at  particularly vulnerable periods of their lives. When these same  people are not vulnerable, mind control is not effective. Is that  right? 

>>I'm not at all sure I understand the reference to Billy Graham. I was not under the impression that Billy Graham has been accused of practicing "mind control"? Do you believe that he does? 

>That is my point! Billy Graham is NOT a mind control cult, and he only got 2% converts, while the Moonies got 9%, because, IMHO they do practice mind control. That's quite a difference. 

Ummmm, but there's a big difference between the states of mind of the  respective audiences as well, or at least I would assume so. 

Wouldn't you agree that many, if not most, of the people who attend  Billy Graham's rallies are already fully born-again Christians? One  would hardly expect born-again Christians to convert every time they  go to hear Billy Graham speak. 

OTOH, the people who attend the Moonies' initial workshops (as in  Galanter's study) are being introduced to the religion for the first  time. Billy Graham is, by and large, preaching to the choir in his  "crusades." The Moonies aren't doing this when they hold introductory  workshops. Do you see the difference? That difference is enough to  make the comparative statistics meaningless. 

Diane Richardson
referen@neont.com 

 

referen@neont.com (Diane Richardson)

Tue, 17 Sep 1996 06:10:19 GMT 

Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology 
Subject: Re: Diane's free speech (was Re: KIM BAKER) 
Message-ID: <51lfsq$gbp@clark.zippo.com> 

gemmamp1@aol.com (GEMMAMP1) wrote: 

>Diane Richardson wrote: 

>>As to my opinion of Margaret Singer, I have stated here in the past, and I will say again, that I hold Dr. Singer in the highest regard for  he work she has accomplished over many years of counseling ex-cult members. She has, without doubt, assisted more people to recover from their cult experiences than anyone else in the world. This does not mean, however, that I will accept unquestioningly any and all claims made by Dr. Singer about the existence of mind control without seeing solid research to back up such claims. A good clinician is not necessarily a good researcher.  

>Margaret Singer has also done research of her own, which she cited in her book. 

I'm afraid that my copy of Dr. Singer's book is now packed in a box  and 400 miles away. Would you please give me the full reference for  that cite? Without the reference, I have no means of knowing what the  research is to which you refer, unless it's her 1978 article in  Journal of the National Association of Private Psychiatric Hospitals,  which I don't think would qualify as "research," would you? 

>>From all that I have read, Dr. Singer presents no research to back up her theories. This does not mean that the theories are wrong, only that they have not been proven. 

>The studies by Galanter, Levine, Barker and others are also not "proof" of anything. I have detailed my criticisms of them elsewhere on ars, but I will say just briefly here that Levine's study was in no way comparable to Galanter's and was definitely not a replication because his sampling methods and measures were completely different from Galanter's study.  (the study I refer to is in Adolescent-Psychiatry, 1978, Vol.6 75-89).  

Once again, I will have to defer my response regarding Levine's  studies (I believe he did more than one, did he not?) until I once  again have access to my papers.  

The fact remains, however, that a number of other researchers have  conducted studies similar to those done by Dr. Galanter, and which  reached conclusions in agreement with those of Dr. Galanter. 

For example, Michael D. Ross in Australia conducted a study in which  the entire population of the Hare Krishna Temple in Melbourne were  tested on the MMPI, the General Health Questionnaire, and the Eysenck  Personality Questionnaire. He found that this group was, in all  respects, no less stable or less capable of making decisions for  themselves than the population at large. He concludes: 

In short, the popular view of Hare Krishna devotees as brainwashed and maladjusted individuals who have been snatched from their families was shown to be fallacious. 

In his discussion, he makes the point that: 

Deprogramming and other actions against these individuals and their right to practice a particular religion cannot be justified on the grounds that they have been "brainwashed." . . because this sample included all members of one temple and was not subject to selection  bias, the argument that my sample is unrepresentative would not appear to be applicable. Furthermore, I suggest that individuals who seek help because they have difficulties after leaving the Hare Krishna movement may well be unrepresentative.  

Once I have access to all of my papers, I will, of course, be able to  provide you with many, many more studies, all of which reach similar  conclusions. This area is not, as you claim, a new area that remains  as yet uninvestigated -- it has been investigated to death.  

>His study amounted to a qualitative analysis of people who had cult experiences. Most of Levine's opinions were based on his clinical experience, which was only with 50 ex or current cult members, while Singer has experience with over 2000. 

Was Dr. Singer's sample a random sample of cult members? Or was her  sample a *very* self-selected sample of those who sought counseling  from her? If Dr. Singer relied solely on her patients as research  subjects, Dr. Ross's statement, as quoted above, seems quite  appropriate. 

>His sample was self-selected, and in his own words, "skewed". Levine was very honest about the limitations of his study and I'm sure would be horrified to see it being touted as proof of anything. 

I believe that Dr. Levine speaks for himself quite well on this point.  In discussing the conclusions he reached (which I posted earlier), Dr.  Levine cites: 

"These conclusions are not based on epidemiological studies of a  cross-section of members of various cults. They are based on the  author's and other studies of cult members (7, 8, 9, 10), interviews  and/or work with 453 young people in a variety of cults, membership on  a government commission exploring cults and other "mind-bending"  groups (11), extensive clinical work with 83 excult members, interview  and/or work with approximatelv 100 parents of cult members,  interview with cult leaders, deprogrammers, adversaries and  supporters, and attendance of many rituals, classes, meetings of a  wide variety of such groups, and participation in many professional  forurns, conferences and meetings dealing with the subject. Most of  the members inter-viewed, worked with, observed and surveyed, belonged  to Hare Krishna, Divine Light Mission, Unification Church (Moonies),  3H0, Process Church, Foundation Church, Scientology, Children  of God, Jesus People, Born Again Christians, Jews for Jesus, as well  as members of five Orthodox Jewish Yeshivot (seminaries). The  interviews took place in Canada, the United States and Israel,  although members from the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia,  France and New Zealand also were interviewed. In addition, young  people have been studied in intense political and therapeutic settings  (Primal, EST, Therafields, PSI, New Left, Draft Dodgers, and so  on)." 

That's a few more than "50 or so cultists or ex-cultists." :) 

>BTW, I agree with much of what Levine says, even though none of it constitutes proof and what he says in no way refutes the mind control hypothesis. I thought his statement about the dangers of forcible deprogramming was excellent. 

You seemed to disagree with many of the conclusions he reached in his  Canadian Journal of Psychiatry article.  

Do you agree with Dr. Levine's conclusion that "the major determinant  of an individual's commitment to a group is his own susceptibiliy,  needs, and even 'autohypnosis.'"? 

If you agree with that statement, I cannot see how you can hold the  opinion that all people are equally susceptible to cult recruitment,  provided they are approached during a vulnerable period of their  lives.  

Diane Richardson
referen@neont.com 

 



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