Articles/Books


Please send suggestions on articles and books to add to this list.

Prepared by Michael Langone, PhD.

Because ICSA is concerned with helping people harmed in cultic environments, our publications naturally lean toward covering human rights violations and related abuses perpetrated by cultic groups, particularly when associated with highly manipulative forms of influence.

A few articles provide philosophical or practical overviews of key issues.

Scheflin, A. Freedom of the Mind as an International Human Rights Issue

The Council of Europe Report on Sects and NRMs

Barthelemy, D. Cults: Freedom of Belief and Freedom of Religion

Stender, F. Some rigors of our Time
Comments - Stender's "Some Rigors of our Time"

Devi Dasi, R. Fundamental Human Rights in ISKCON

Langone, M. Human Rights and Cults (ICSA conference presentation)

Zablocki, B. Proposing a "Bill of Inalienable Rights" for Intentional Communities

One should keep in mind that the rights of group members can also be violated, e.g., because a group is innocent of wrongdoing for which it is blamed, because proper procedures have not been followed in attempts to correct wrongs or bring wrongdoers to justice, because related groups are unthinkingly lumped together and treated as more similar than they are. (Also see the bibliography provided by Inform below.)

Fautre, W. Cults and Religious Freedom Around the World (ICSA conference presentation)

Langone, M. The PRC and Falun Gong

Coughlan, T. The Spread of Asatru in Vinland

Because societies have special responsibilities for children, a number of ICSA articles have examined abuses perpetrated against children.

Asser, S., & Swan, R. Child Fatalities from Religion-Motivated Medical Neglect

Kendall, L. Physical Child Abuse in Sects

Bardin, L. Child Protection in an Authoritarian Community:Culture Clash and Systemic Weakness

Boyle, R. Current Status of Federal Law Concerning Violent Crimes Against Women and Children: Implications for Cult Victims

Boyle, R. How Children in Cults May Use Emancipation Laws to Free Themselves

Kent, S. House of Judah, the Northeast Kingdom Community, and‘the Jonestown Problem’: Downplaying Child Physical Abuses and Ignoring Serious Evidence

Landa, S. Children and Cults: A Practical Guide

Manca, T. Innocent Murderers: Abducted Children in the Lord's Resistance Army

Webster, G., & Butcher, J. The Assessment of Problem Sexual Behaviours Amongst Children: A Human Rights Centred Approach

Articles examining governmental and public policy aspects of the issue include:

de Cordes, H. Preventing Cultic Sectarian Deviations in Europe: Policies that Differ

Kropveld, M. A Comparison of Different Countries' Approaches to Cult-Related Issues

Kropveld, M., Government and Cults

Mutch, S., Cults and Religious Privileges in England and Australia:Can the Wheat be Separated from the Chaff?

Mutch, S. Cults, Religion, and China: Policy Frameworksfor the Regulation of Religious and Quasireligious Groups

Wilshire, D. Cults and the European Parliament: A Practical Political Response To An International Problem

Given the prominence of cult issues in Japan since the Aum Shinrikyo poison gas attack, it is not surprising that ICSA has published articles by attorneys and scholars addressing cult abuses in Japan.

Hirata, H. The Crimes and Teachings of Aum Shinrikyo

Japan Federation of Bar Associations. Aid and Assistance for Consumer Damages from Religious Activities
Kito, M. Aum Shinrikyo and Its Weapons of Mass Destruction

Sakurai, Y. Conflict Between Aum Critics and Human Rights Advocates

Sakurai, Y. Illegal Missionary Work Lawsuits and Exit Counseling for Unification Church Members

Takimoto, T. The Japan Society for Cult Prevention and Society

Yamaguchi, H. Cults in Japan: Legal Issues

Yamaguchi, H. Japanese Activities to Counter Cults

Yamaguchi, T. Court Decisions Concerning the Legality of "Exit Counseling"

Some ICSA publications have looked at abuses in specific groups or influence situations.

Bergman, J. Lying in Court: An Analysis of the Theocratic Warfare Doctrine of the Jehovah's Witnesses

Mutch, S. Cultish Religious Sects and Politics - The Brethren vs. Greens Contest and Other Controversies Involving Minor Religious Sects Down Under

Ofshe, R. Coerced Confessions: The Logic of Seemingly Irrational Action

Temerlin, M., & Temerlin, J. Some Hazards of the Therapeutic Relationship

Tourish, D. Charismatic Leadership and Corporate Cultism at Enron

Young, T. Cult Violence and the Identity Movement

Some ICSA articles that provide empirical data or that address processes of influence are at least indirectly related to the issue of human rights abuses perpetrated by cultic groups.

Almendros, C., et al. Assessment of Psychological Abuse in Manipulative Groups

Almendros, C., et al. Reasons for Leaving: Psychological Abuse and Distress Reported by Former Members of Cultic Groups

Andersen, S., & Zimbardo, P. On Resisting Social Influence

Dubrow-Marshall, R. The Influence Continuum - The Good, The Dubious, and The Harmful

Eichel, S. D. Can Scholars be Deceived: Empirical Evidence from Social Psychology and History

Langone, M. Psychological Abuse

Singer, M. T. Undue Influence and Written Documents: Psychological Aspects

Zimbardo, P. Mind Control: Psychological Reality of Mindless RhetoricOther ICSA articles have explored legal issues related to abuse and rights violations.

Boyle, R. Women, the Law, and Cults: Three Avenues of Legal Recourse

Hominik, D. Cults in American Society: A Legal Analysis of Undue Influence, Fraud, and Misrepresentation

Kandel, R. Litigating the Cult-Related Child Custody Case

Nievod, A. Undue Influence in Contract and Probate Law

Rosedale, H. Legal Considerations: Regaining Independence and Initiative

Rosedale, H. Women and Cults: A Lawyer's Perspective

van Hoey, S. Cults in Court

ICSA's appreciation of the importance of dialogue and the presentation of opposing points of view has manifested directly in some of its publications.

Kropveld, M. An Example for Controversy: Creating a Model for Reconciliation

Langone, M. What Should Be Done About Cults?

Panel Discussion: Can Cultic Groups Change - The Case of ISKCON

Other Articles Brought to Our Attention

George, Robert P., & Swett, Katrina Lantros. (2013, July 25). Religious freedom is about more than religion. Wall Street Journal op ed by two U.S. congresspersons. Disseminated by United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Kent, S. A., & Willey, R. (2012). Sects, cults, and the attack on jurisprudence. Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, 14 (http://lawandreligion.com/sites/lawandreligion.com/files/2013%20Vol.%2014%20Kent.pdf).

Yi, J. S. (2012). Human trafficking and the Church of Scientology: Why the legislature should clarify and expand the TVPA and the impact it would have on the church. Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, 14 (http://lawandreligion.com/sites/lawandreligion.com/files/2012%20Vol.%2014%20Yi_0.pdf).

Libel Reform Campaign: Initial summary assessment of the Defamation Bill

Inform Bibliography

As noted at the beginning of this bibliography, ICSA's publications reflect the organization's focus on harm. Staff at Inform, headed by Eileen Barker, PhD, have kindly sent us a bibliography of nearly 400 articles and books pertinent to human rights, from which I have selected a few dozen that are relevant to the topic of human rights and cults, particularly the religious freedom dimension of the issue. I present these selections here unedited (there are a few duplicates from the ICSA list above). Nobody at Inform should be held responsible for whatever errors or omissions I have made in making these selections.

21. Barker, E., Rights and Wrongs of New Forms of Religiosity in Europe: Problems of pluralism in Europe at the Beginning of the 21st Century. Temenos: Studies in Comparative Religion Presented by Scholars in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweeden, 2001-2002. 37-38.

22. Barker, E., The Protection of Minority Religions in Eastern Europe, in Protecting the Human Rights of Religious Minorities in Eastern Europe, P.G. Danchin and E.A. Cole, Editors. 2002, Columbia University Press: New York. p. 58-86.

23. Barker, E., Misconceptions of the Religious “Other”: The Importance for Human Rights of Objective and Balanced Knowledge. International Journal for the Study of New Religions, 2010. 1(1): p. 5-25.

26. Beckford, J.A., States, Governments, and the Management of Controversial New Religious Movements, in Secularization, Rationalism and Sectarianism, E. Barker, J.A. Beckford, and K. Dobbelaere, Editors. 1993, Clarendon Press: Oxford. p. 125-144.

27. Beckford, J.A. and M. Levasseur, New Religious Movements in Western Europe, in New Religious Movements and Rapid Social Change, J.A. Beckford, Editor. 1986, Sage/Unesco: London. p. 29-54.

30. Besier, G., Current Problems of Religious Minorities in Germany, in International Perspectives on Freedom and Equality of Religious Belief, D.H. Davis and G. Besier, Editors. 2002, J.M. Dawson INstitute of Church-State Studies, Baylor University: Waco, TX. p. 121-128.

32. Bielefeldt, H., Freedom of Religion or Belief: A Human Right under Pressure. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 2012. 1(1): p. 15-35.

42. Bratza, N., The ‘Precious Asset’: Freedom of Religion Under the European Convention on Human Rights. Ecclesiastical Law Journal, 2012. 14: p. 256-271

43. Briggs, J. and V. Tofield, The Exclusive Brethren: Separatism and Human Rights in England and Wales. Paper delivered at Inform/Cesnur Conference, London April, 2008.

45. Brown, J.B., Jehovah's Witnesses and the Anti-cult Movement: A Human Rights Perspective. Paper delivered to CESNUR Conference, Palermo June, 2005, 2005.

55. Chen, C., Hare Krishna/Belgium. 2003, Brussels: Human Rights Without Frontiers.

67. Coleman, P.B., Censored: How European „Hate Speech“ Laws Are Threatening Freedom of Speech 2012, http://www.kairos-pr.com/en/publications.html: Kairos Publications.

73. Cranmer, F., Beating people is wrong: Campbell and Cosans, Williamson and their aftermath, in Law, Religious Freedoms and Education in Europe, M. Hunter-Henin, Editor. 2012, Ashgate: Abingdon. p. 410.

75. CSCE (Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe), Religious Liberty: The Legal Framework in Selected OSCE Countries. 2000, Law Library, Library of Congress: Washington.

80. Cumper, P. and T. Lewis, Religion, Rights And Secular Society: European Perspectives 2012: Edward Elgar.

82. Danchin, P.G. and E.A. Cole, Protecting the Human Rights of Religious Minorities in Eastern Europe. 2002, New York: Columbia University Press.

85. de Cordes, H., Belgian State v. Sectarian Deviations: A ten-year Commitment to the Protection of Human Rights. Paper presented at the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic's Institute for State-Church Relations conference "State-Church Relations in Europe: Contemporary Issues and Trends at the Beginning of the 21st century", Bratislava, 8-10 November 2007, 2007.

88. Denaux, A., Catholic Sects Too? Human Rights Without Frontiers, 1998. 10(1-2): p. 11-12.

90. Department of State, U.S.o.A., Annual Report on International Religious Freedom. 2000, US State Department: Washington, D.C.

91. Dericquebourg, R., From the MILS to the MIVILUDES France's Sect Policy Since the Fall of the Socialist Government. Paper presented at the CESNUR conference, Vilnius, April 2003, published by Human Rights Without Frontiers International http://www.hrwf.net and http://www.coordiap.com/Gnews02.htm;, 2003. 11 April 2003.

94. Durham, W.C., Religious Freedom and Religious Association Laws. Paper presented at the Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom, Brussels, August 5-7, 2004, 2004.

101. European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), et al., On the Relationship between Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Religion: The Issue of Regulation and Prosecution of Blasphemy, Religious Insult and Incitement to Religious Hatred. 76th Plenary Session. 2008 European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission): Venice. p. 19.

102. Evans, C., Freedom of Religion under the European Convention on Human Rights. 2001, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

107. Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group, United Nations Reports on China's Persecution of Falun Gong: A Collection of Excerpts from Annual Reports of the Special Rapporteurs of the UN Human Rights Commission, 2000-2003. 2003, San Diego: The Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group.

108. Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group, T., The Falun Gong Report: The Chinese Government's State Terrorism Against Women and Children. 2003, San Diego, CA: The Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group.

109. Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group, T., The Falun Gong Report: Stories of Conscience. 2005, San Diego, CA: The Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group.

110. Fautre, W., ed. Japan: Abduction and Deprivation of Freedom for the Purpose of Religious De-conversion. 2011, Human Rights Without Frontiers International: Brussels.

113. Fautré, W., The Sect Issue in France and Belgium, in International Perspectives on Freedom and Equality of Religious Belief, D.H. Davis and G. Besier, Editors. 2002, J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, Baylor University: Waco, TX. p. 43-56.

115. Fautré, W., Religious Freedom, Intolerance, Discrimination in the European Union: Belgium 2002-2003. 2003, Brussels: Human Rights WIthout Frontiers.

118. Fefferman, D., ICRF White Paper: The Schengen Convention and the Case of Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. 2001. p. 10.

133. Fukuda, M., The "De-nationalization" of AUM Followers: Its Hidden Political Purpose", in Tsukuru. 1999.

140. Ghanea, N., Are Religious Minorities Really Minorities? Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 2012. 1(1): p. 57–79.

143. Goodman, L., A Letter from the Church of Scientology: a response to the article "The French and German versus American Debate over 'New Religions', Scientology, and Human Rights" by Stephen A. Kent. Marburg Journal of Religion, 2001. 6(2).

144. Goulka, J., et al., The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq: A Policy Conundrum. 2009, Pittsburgh, PA: The RAND Corporation.

145. Greer, S., Human Rights and the Struggle against Terrorism in the United Kingdom. European Human Rights Law Review, 2008(2): p. 163-172.

147. Gunn, T.J., The Complexity of Religion and the Definition of "Religion" in International Law. Harvard Human Rights Journal, 2003. 16(Spring): p. 189-215.

176. Introvigne, M., New Religious Movements and the Law: A Comparison between Two Different Legal Systems (The United States and Italy), in New Religions and New Religiosity, E. Barker and M. Warburg, Editors. 1998, Aarhus University Press: Oxford. p. 276-291.

179. ISKCON Communications Europe, Persecution of ISKCON in Armenia. ISKCON Communications Journal, 1994(4): p. 85-88.

180. Islamic Human Rights Commission, The Hidden Victims of September 11: The Backlash Against Muslims in the UK. 2002, PO Box 598, Wembley, UK: IHRC.

182. Japanese Victims' Association Against Religious Kidnapping and Forced Conversion, T., Kidnapping, Confinement and Forced Conversion: A Hidden Human Rights Abuse in Japan. 2010, Tokyo: HSA-UWC.

198. Kent, S., Scientology and the Human Rights Debate. Marburg Journal of Religion, 2003. 8(1).

199. Kent, S.A., Scientology: Is This a Religion? The Marburg Journal of Religion (on line), 1999. 4(1): p. 11 pages.

200. Kent, S.A., The French and German versus American Debate over 'New Religions', Scientologyand Human Rights. Marburg Journal of Religion, 2001. 6(1).

201. Kent, S.A., A Matter of Principle: Fundamentalist Mormon Polygamy, Children, and Human Rights Debates. Nova Religio, 2006. 10(1): p. 7-29.

203. Knights, S., Freedom of Religion, Minorities, and the Law. First ed. 2007, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 216.

209. Leigh, I., Balancing Religious Autonomy and Other Human Rights under the European Convention. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 2012. 1(1): p. 109–125.

215. Luca, N., Is there a Unique French Policy of Cults? A European Perspective, in Regulating Religion: Case Studies from Around the Globe, J.T. Richardson, Editor. 2004, Kluwer Academic/Plenum: New York & Dordrecht. p. 53-72.

220. Martin, J.P., ed. Twenty-Five Human Rights Documents. 1994 (2nd edition), Center for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University: New York.

222. Martínez-Torrón, J., Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Religion in the Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights, in State-Church Relations in Europe: Contemporary Issues and Trends at the Beginning of the 21st century, M. Moravčíková, Editor. 2008, Institute for State-Church Relations: Bratislava. p. 61-79.

249. Pachoud, D., Droits de l'homme et laïcité face aux sectes et extrémismes religieux, in Sectes et laïcité, MIVILUDES, Editor. 2005, La Documentation française: Paris. p. 305-312.

258. Po, S., Scientology: Front Groups, an Occult System of Recruiting, and Infiltration Attempts, in The Phenomenon of Cults from a scientific perspective, P.T. Nowakowski, Editor. 2007, Dom Wydawniczy Rafael: Cracow p. 79-93.

262. Price, D., Islam and Human Rights: A Case of Deceptive First Appearances. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2002. 41(2): p. 213-226.

265. Rādhā Devī Dāsī, Participation, Protection and Patriarchy: An Internatioanl Model for the Role of Women in ISKCON. ISKCON Communications Journal, 1998. 6(1): p. 31-42.

266. Rādhā Devī Dāsī, Fundamental Human Rights in ISKCON. ISKCON Communication Journal, 1998. 6(2): p. 7-14.

267. Rahn, P., Proselytization as Secular Protest: Rearticulating the Falun Gong Message, in Proselytization Revisited: Rights Talk, Free Markets and Culture Wars, R.I.J. Hackett, Editor. 2008, Equinox: London. p. 301-320.

270. Ren, Y., "Falun Gong" Is a Cult IV. 1999, Beijing: New Star Publishers.

271. Richardson, J.T., Law and Minority Religions: "Positive" and "Negative" Uses of the Legal System. Nova Religio, 1998. 2(1): p. 93-107.

272. Richardson, J.T., The Waco Tragedy: A Watershed for Religious Freedom and Human Rights?, in Waco: Ten Years After, D.T. Stewart, Editor. 2003, Southwestern University: Georgetown, Texas. p. 21-41.

273. Richardson, J.T., ed. Regulating Religion: Case Studies from Around the Globe. 2004, Kluwer Academic/Plenum: New York & Dordrecht.

274. Richardson, J.T. and A. Garay, The European Court of Human Rights and Former Communist States, in Religion and Patterns of Social Transformation, D.M. Jerolimov, S. Zrinščak, and I. Borowik, Editors. 2004, Institute for Social Research: Zagreb. p. 223-234.

283. Robbins, T., State Regulation of Marginal Religious Movements. Syzygy: Journal of Alternative Religion and Culture, 1993. 2(3-4): p. 225-242.

284. Robbins, T., Cults, State Control, and Falun Gong: A Comment on Herbert Rosedale's "Perspectives on Cults as Affected by the September 11th Tragedy". Cultic Studies Review, 2003. 2(2).

288. Rosedale, H.L., Reflecting on Cultural Diversity in Response to Cultic Activity. Cultic Studies Review, 2002. 1(1).

289. Rosedale, H.L., Ideology, Demonization, and Scholarship: The Need for Objectivity—A Response to Robbins' Comments on Rosedale, the Chinese Government, and Falun Gong. Cultic Studies Review, 2003. 2(2).

292. Sakurai, Y., Conflict between Aum Critics and Human Rights Activists in Japan. Cultic Studies Review, 2008. 7(3): p. 254-278.

305. Shterin, M.S. and J.T. Richardson, The Yakunin vs Dvorkin Trial and the Emerging Religious Pluralism in Russia. Religion in Eastern Europe, 2002. XXII(1): p. 1-37.

317. State, D.o., Annual Report on International Religious Freedom 2001. 2001, Committee on International Relations US House of Representatives and Committee on Foreign Relations US Senate: Washington D.C. p. 639.

324. Sumimoto, T., The Infringement of Religious Freedom in Japan: Background and Future Prospects. Syzygy: Journal of Alternative Religion and Culture, 1997. 6(1-2): p. 33-42.

331. U.S., D.o.S., Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2001. Vol. II. 2001, Washington DC: U.S.Government Printing Office.

335. United Kingdom, F.a.C.O., Human Rights: Annual Report 2006. 2006, Norwich: The Stationery Office.

352. Wah, C.R., European Parliamentary Enquete Commisssions: Justification of a Two-Tiered System of Religious Freedom, in Protecting the Human Rights of Religious Minorities in Eastern Europe, P.G. Danchin and E.A. Cole, Editors. 2002, Columbia University Press: New York. p. 365-388.

369. Zhu, G., Prosecuting “Evil Cults:”: A Critical Examination of Law Regarding Freedom of Religious Belief in Mainland China. Human Rights Quarterly, 2010. 32(3): p. 471-501.