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Reading List: Undue Influence 101

Reading List:  Undue Influence 101 - A Framework for Understanding Thought Control  

The following reading list was compiled by NJ Safe & Sound. The list includes many of the seminal papers in the cultic studies field, most of which are available on the ICSA website. ICSA thanks NJ Safe & Sound for permission to reproduce this list.

Almendros , C., Carrobles , J.A., Rodríguez-Carballeira , A. & Gámez-Guadix, M. Reasons for Leaving: Psychological Abuse and Distress Reported by Former Members of Cultic GroupsCultic Studies Review, vol. 8, No. 2 (2009), pp. 111-138.

Almendros , C., Gámez-Guadix, M., Rodríguez-Carballeira , A. & Carrobles , J.A. Assessment of Psychological Abuse in Manipulative Groups. International Journal of Cultic Studies, vol. 2 (2011), pp. 61-76.

Aronoff McKibben, J., Lynn, S.J, & Malinoski, P. Are Cultic Environments Psychologically Harmful?”Cultic Studies Review, vol. 1, no. 3 (2002)

Asch, S.E. Effects of Group Pressure Upon the Modification and Distortion of Judgments. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1952.

Asser, S.M. & Swan, R. Child Fatalities from Religion-Motivated Neglect. Cultic Studies Journal, vol. 17 (2000), pp. 1-14.

Bardin, L. Coping With Cult Involvement: A Handbook for Families & Friends. American Family Foundation, 2000.

Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging, “Undue Influence: Definitions and Applications,” March 2010.

Boyle, R.A. How Children in Cults May Use Emancipation Laws to Free Themselves. Cultic Studies Journal, vol.16, no. 1 (1999), pp. 1-32.

Boyle, R. A. Women, the Law, and Cults: Three Avenues of Legal Recourse—New Rape Laws, Violence Against Women Act, and Antistalking Laws. Cultic Studies Journal, vol.15, no. 1 (1998), pp. 1-32.

Brown, D., Scheflin, A.W. & Hammond, D.C. Memory, Trauma Treatment, and the Law. W.W. Norton & Company, 1998.

Brown, J.A.C. Techniques of Persuasion: From Propaganda to Brainwashing. Penguin, 1963.

Chen, T.E.H. Thought Reform of the Chinese Intellectuals. Oxford University Press for Hong Kong University Press, 1960.

Cialdini, R. B. Influence: How and Why People Agree to Things. Morrow, 1984.

Enroth, R. Churches That Abuse. Zondervan, 1992.

Festinger, L. A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance‬. Stanford University Press, 1962‬.

Ford, Wendy. Recovery From Abusive Groups. American Family Foundation, 1993.

Frank, J. Persuasion and Healing. Schocken Books, 1974.

Furnari, L. Born or Raised in Closed, High-Demand Groups: Developmental Considerations. ICSA e-Newsletter, vol. 4, no. 3 (2005).

Furnari, L. & Henry, R. Lessons Learned from SGAs About Recovery and Resiliency, ICSA Today, vol. 2, no. 3 (2011), pp. 2-9.

Giambalvo, C. Exit Counseling: A Family Intervention. American Family Foundation, 1995.

Giambalvo, C. & Henry, R. ICSA Recovery Workshops: The Colorado Model. ICSA Today, vol. 1, no. 1 (2010), pp. 2-9.

Goldberg, L. Raised in Cultic Groups: The Impact on the Development of Certain Aspects of Character. Cultic Studies Review, vol. 5, no. 1 (2006), pp. 1-28.

Goldberg, L. Reflections on Marriage and Children After the Cult. Cultic Studies Review, vol. 2, no. 1 (2003), pp. 9-29.  xx

Goldberg, W. Counseling Cult-Impacted Students, in M.R. Rudin (ed.), Cults on Campus: Continuing Challenge. American Family Foundation, 1991

Goldberg, W. Cults on Campus: How Can You Help? Campus Law Enforcement Journal, Vol. 16, No. 2, 1988.

Goldberg, W. Family Responses to a Young Adult's Cult Membership and Return, Cultic Studies Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1989.

Goldberg, W. Group Work with Former Cultists, Social Work, Vol. 27, No. 2, March 1982.

Goldberg, W. Psychotherapy with Targeted Parents, in A.J.L. Baker and S. R. Sauber (eds.) Working with Alienated Children and Families: A Clinical Guidebook. Routledge, 2013.

Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry. Factors Used To Increase the Susceptibility of Individuals to Forceful Indoctrination: Observations and Experiment. American Psychiatric Press, 1956.

Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry. Leaders and Followers: A Psychiatric Perspective on Religious Cults. American Psychiatric Press, 1992.

Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry. Methods of Forceful Indoctrination: Observations and Interviews. American Psychiatric Press, 1957.

Hassan, S. Combatting Cult Mind Control. Park Street Press, 1990.

Hassan, S. Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs. Freedom of Mind Press, 2012.

Hassan, S. Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People To Think for Themselves. Freedom of Mind Press, 2000.

Hearst, P.C. with Moscow, A. Patty Hearst: Her Own Story. Avon, 1988.

Hominek, David. Cults in American Society: A Legal Analysis of Undue Influence, Fraud, and Misrepresentation, Cultic Studies Journal, 12(1) 1995, 1-48.

Hunter, E. Brainwashing in Red China: The Calculated Destruction of Men’s Minds. Vanguard, 1953.

ICSA Board of Directors. Dialogue and Cultic Studies: Why Dialogue Benefits the Cultic Studies Field. ICSA Today, vol. 4., no. 3 (2013), pp. 2-7.

Jenkinson , G. An Investigation into Cult Pseudo-Personality: What is It and How Does It Form? Cultic Studies Review, vol. 7., no. 3 (2008), pp. 199-224.

Kendall, L. Physical Child Abuse in Sects. ICSA Today, vol. 2, no. 2 (2011).

Kent, S. A. Religious Justifications for Child Sexual Abuse in Cults and Alternative Religions. International Journal Of Cultic Studies, vol. 3 (2012), pp. 49-74.

Kropveld, M. A Comparison of Different Countries’ Approaches to Cult-Related Issues. ICSA e-Newsletter, vol. 7, no. 1 (2008).

Kropveld, M. Governments and Cults. ICSA e-Newsletter, vol. 7, no. 2 (2008).

Lalich, J.A. Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults. University of California Press, 2004.

Langone, M.D. Psychological Abuse. Cultic Studies Journal, vol. 9, no. 2 (1992), pp. 206-218.

Langone, M. D. (Ed.). Recovery from Cults: Help for Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse. Norton, 1993.

Langone, M.D. Responding to Jihadism: A Cultic Studies Perspective. Cultic Studies Review, vol. 5, no. 2 (2006), pp. 268-306.

Langone, M. D. & Ross, J.C. Cults: What Parents Should Know. Lyle Stuart, 1989.

Lifton, R.J. Cult Formation. Cultic Studies Journal, vol. 8, no. 1 (1991), pp. 1-6.

Lifton, R. J. The Future of Immortality and Other Essays for a Nuclear Age. Basic Bks., 1987.

Lifton, R. J. Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of Brainwashing in China. Norton, 1961.

Madoff, R. D. Unmasking Undue Influence, Boston College Law School From the Selected Works of Ray D. Madoff, Feb. 1997.

Malinoski, P.T., Langone, M.D., & Lynn, S.J. Psychological Distress in Former Members of the International Churches of Christ and Noncultic Groups. Cultic Studies Journal, vol.16. no. 1 (1999), pp. 33-51.

McDonald, J. P. ‘Reject the Wicked Man - Coercive Persuasion and Deviance Production: A Study of Conflict Management. Cultic Studies Journal, vol. 4/5, no. 2/1 (1987/1988), pp. 59-121.

Milgram, S. Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View. Harper & Row, 1974.

Mindszenty, J. Memoirs. Macmillan, 1974.

Mitchell, D., Mitchell, C., & Ofshe, R. The Light on Synanon. Seaview Books, 1980.

Nievod, Abraham.  
Undue Influence in Contract and Probate Law, Cultic Studies Journal, 10(1), 1993, 1-18.

Ofshe, R. Coercive Persuasion and Attitude Change, in E.F. Borgatta & M.L. Borgatta (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Sociology. Macmillan, 1992.

Ofshe, R. & Singer, M. T. Attacks on Peripheral Versus Central Elements of Self and the Impact of Thought Reforming Techniques. Cultic Studies Journal, vol. 3, no. 1 (1986), pp. 4-18.

Pratkanis, A. & Aronson, E. Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion. W.H. Freeman, 1991.

Rodríguez-Carballeira, A., Almendros, C., Escartín, J., Porrúa, C., Martín-Peña, J., Javaloy, F. & Carrobles, J.A. Preliminary Taxonomy of Psychological Abuse Strategies: Within Partner Relationships, at the Workplace, and in Manipulative Groups. International Journal of Cultic Studies, vol. 4 (2013), pp. 1-14.

Rogge, O. Why Men Confess. Thomas Nelson, 1959.

Rudin, M. (Ed.). Cults on Campus. American Family Foundation, 1992

Scheflin, A. W. Dissociation & the Law: Memory in Litigation. ISSD News, 20(1) (January/February 2002), pp. 8-10.

Scheflin, A. W. Dissociation & the Law: Science and the Law – Odd Bedfellows. ISSD News, 20(3) (May/June 2002), pp. 3-5.

Scheflin, Freedom of the Mind as an International Human Rights Issue, Human Rights Law Journal, vol. 3 (1983), pp. 1-64.

Scheflin, A. W. & Opton, Jr., E.M. The Mind Manipulators. Paddington Press, 1978.

Schein, E., Schneier, I., & Barker, C. Coercive Persuasion: A Socio-psychological Analysis of the “Brainwashing” of American Civilian Prisoners by the Chinese Communists. Norton, 1961.

Shaw, D. Traumatic Abuse in Cults: A Psychoanalytic Perspective. Cultic Studies Journal, vol. 2, no. 2 (2003), pp. 101-129.

Shaw, Daniel. Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation. Routledge, 2013.

Singer, M. T. Cults in Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace. Jossey-Bass, 2003.

Singer, M. T. Group Psychodynamics, in Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Treatment, 15th ed., Psychiatry Section. Merck, Sharp and Dohme, 1986.

Singer, M. T. Undue Influence and Written Documents: Psychological Aspects. Cultic Studies Journal, 10(1), 1993, 19-32.

Singer, M. T. & Addis, M. Cults, Coercion, and Contumely, in A. Kales, C.M. Pierce, & M. Greenblatt (eds.), The Mosaic of Contemporary Psychiatry in Perspective. Springer-Verlag, 1992.

Singer, M.T. & Lalich, J. Crazy Therapies. Jossey-Bass, 1996.

Singer, M. T., Temerlin, M. & Langone, M.D. Psychotherapy Cults. Cultic Studies Journal, vol. 7, no. 2 (1990), pp. 101-125.

Stout, M. The Sociopath Next Door. Three Rivers Press, 2005.

Swedish Government Commission. In Good Faith: Society and the New Religious Movements, Summary Report. Cultic Studies Journal, vol.16, no. 1 (1999), pp. 52-63.

Taylor, K. Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control. Oxford University Press, 2004.

Temerlin, J.W.. & Temerlin, M.K. Some Hazards of the Therapeutic Relationship. Cultic Studies Journal, vol. 3, no. 2 (1986), pp. 234-242.

Thornley, T. J. The Caring Influence: Beyond Autonomy as the Foundation of Undue Influence, Indiana Law Journal, 1996, Volume 71: Issue 2, Article 8.

Tobias, M. L. & Lalich, J. Captive Hearts, Captive Minds: Freedom and Recovery From Cults and Abusive Relationship. Hunter House, 1994.

Tourish, D. & Pennington, A. Transformational Leadership, Corporate Cultism, and the Spirituality Paradigm: An Unholy Trinity in the Workplace? Cultic Studies Review, vol. 1, no. 3 (2002). xx

West, L.J. & Singer, M.T. Cults, Quacks and Nonprofessional Psychotherapies, in H.I. Kaplan, A.M. Freedman, & B.J. Sadock (eds.), Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, III. Williams & Wilkens 1980.

Whitsett, D. & Kent, S. A. Cults and Families. Cultic Studies Review, vol. 3, no. 2/3 

Wrosch, A. P. Undue Influence, Involuntary Servitude, and Brainwashing: A More Consistent Interest-Based Approach, 25 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, 499 (1992). Available at:

Zablocki, B.D. Exit Cost Analysis: A New Approach to the Scientific Study of Brainwashing, Nova Religio, vol. 1, no. 2, April 1996, pp. 216-249.

Zimbardo, P.G. Mind Control: Psychological Reality or Mindless Rhetoric? Cultic Studies Review, vol. 1, no. 3 (2002).

Zimbardo, P. G., Ebbesen, E.B., & Maslach, C. Influencing Attitudes and Changing Behavior: An Introduction to Method Theory, and Applications of Social control and Personal Power. Addison-Wesley, 1977.