This article is an electronic version of an article originally published in ICSA Today, Vol. 02, No. 03, page 35. Please keep in mind that the pagination of this electronic reprint differs from that of the bound volume. This fact could affect how you enter bibliographic information in papers that you may write.
Edited by Mary O’Connell
For Lady Vane, no day is a typical one; each is varied and mostly enjoyed. They can be filled with household chores and community matters; responding to inquiries from friends and others seeking information and support, sorting piled-up files, and replying to emails, especially those concerning cult issues.
In between she catches up with publications from ICSA and other associations with which she is connected. Daphne continues to be curious about many aspects of life, especially the effects of “controlling mechanisms” on human behavior.
High on Daphne's list of enjoyments are meeting friends for lunch or for theater visits. She also much enjoys vigorous conversations with former teaching colleagues. She relishes her family as she does contacts with former colleagues of John, her late husband, and continues to focus on scientific developments from his field. Her garden is a source of great pleasure, as is walking in the nearby woods.
Lady Vane became involved with cult issues when her daughter’s lover was recruited by the Unification Church. Through this tragedy Lady Vane saw, firsthand, the destruction cults could reap.
Her response was to help establish an organization to help families affected by their loved ones' cult involvement. The organization, initiated by Paul Rose, then a member of Parliament, was Family Action Information and Rescue (FAIR), centered in the U.K. She served in this organization for many years and was Chair for two.
As Lorna Goldberg, President of ICSA, said of her at the 2011 ICSA Conference in Barcelona when Lady Vane was presented the Rosedale Award:
Lady Vane’s insights into and advice on the international dimensions of cult issues have been very valuable to ICSA and other organizations. A natural bridge builder, she has worked to strengthen links between various associations both in the States and Europe by becoming a welcoming and unifying presence at different conferences.
For all her accomplishments, Lady Vane is extraordinarily humble. As President Goldberg stated, “Despite her...credentials, Daphne always has been an unassuming, tolerant, and articulate advocate of dialogue and cooperation.” In the course of our interview for this profile, she mentions that she was married for 38 years “to a scientist,” never boasting that this scientist happened to be the 1982 Nobel Laureate for Physiology and Medicine, John Vane, now deceased.
Lady Vane has two children and a granddaughter, a trained and qualified Pilates teacher who created an innovative program for circus performers.
Lady Vane seems to embody the insight that remaining truly human and free means maintaining one’s humility before life in all its dazzling vicissitudes. In her acceptance of the Rosedale Award, given “in recognition of leadership in the effort to preserve and protect individual freedom,” Lady Vane remarked: “...when working, voluntarily or professionally, to help individuals in this context, it is useful to remember that there are no Absolute Solutions. Only cults have these.”