Speakers / Conférenciers

Subject to Change / Sujet à changement.
Les résumés et les bios sont dans la langue de la présentation / Abstracts and bios are in the language of the presentation.

Ashley Allen, MSW, LSW, completed her Master’s in Social Work at Monmouth University where she was also selected to coordinate and present the School of Social Work’s Annual Clinical Lecture Series. Her lecture series focused on children born and/or raised in cultic groups with a special focus on issues of human rights. She has presented on cults, with a particular focus on second-generation adults (SGAs) at various mental-health agencies, universities, and at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) annual conference in New Jersey. Ms. Allen gained a breadth of experience volunteering at the Cult Clinic of JBFCS in NYC for three years and has gone on to work as a therapist with former cult members in community mental health. Ashley is currently serving on ICSA’s NY Educational Outreach Committee. Email: aemeallen2004@hotmail.com Phone: 941-465-8696

Carmen Almendros, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Biological and Health Psychology Department at
the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. She is on ICSA’s Board of Directors, and is International Journal of Cultic Studies, Co-Editor. She published a book and several articles on psychological abuse in group contexts, cult involvement, leaving cults, and psychological consequences of abusive group membership. Her research interests also include the study of parental discipline and psychological violence in partner relationships. She is principal researcher of a project entitled: Psychological abuse, influence and adaptation to violence in partner relationships, which was financed by the Comunidad de Madrid and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She was the 2005 recipient of ICSA’s Margaret Singer Award, given in honor of her research into the development of measures relevant to cultic studies.

Emma Antelo is a PhD candidate in the Dept. of Social Psychology in the University of Barcelona. The subject of her thesis is the psychosocial consequences that survivors of group psychological abuse can suffer. She graduated in Criminology and Public Prevention Policies, and she is also studying a degree in Psychology. She is a member of the Invictus Research group. Contact: emmaantelo@gmail.com

Ron Avital LLM
, is a lawyer & mediator and Ph.D. student (Law). He is the owner of Law Office which provides consultation and litigation services, mainly in Civil & Family Law field. For several years Ron represent former cult’s victims and their relative in courts. Ron researches the legal aspect of cult’s phenomena in Israel mainly the constitutional aspects: deviation from constitutional rights, the scope of the right to freedom of religion and worship and the anti-destructive cult’s legislation attempts failure. He gave a legal commentary about court’s ruling in cult’s law cases in television and radio shows. Ron wrote adversary opinions also lectured in legislation issues. Ron.avital@gmail.com

Eileen Barker, PhD, OBE, FBA, is Professor Emeritus of Sociology with Special Reference to the Study of
Religion at the London School of Economics, University of London. Her main research interest is minority religions and the social reactions to which they give rise. She has over 350 publications (translated into 27 different languages), which include the award-winning The Making of a Moonie: Brainwashing or Choice? and New Religious Movements: A Practical Introduction. In the late 1980s, with the support of the British Government and mainstream Churches, she founded INFORM, an educational charity, based at LSE, which provides information about minority religions that is as accurate, objective and up-to-date as possible. In 2000, Queen Elizabeth appointed her as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for ‘services to INFORM’, and she received the American Academy of Religion’s Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion. She was the first non-American elected President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. A frequent advisor to governments, other official bodies and law-enforcement agencies throughout the world, she has made numerous appearances on television and radio, and has given guest lectures in over 50 countries. In 2013 Dr. Barker received ICSA's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dylesia Barner, LCSWis a licensed clinical social worker and a second-generation adult survivor. She received a Master of Social Work from Norfolk State University in 2013 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication from Old Dominion University in 2011. From ages 15-18, Dylesia was a member of a cult of Christianity in Virginia. Having the perspectives of a survivor and a mental health provider, she is passionate about raising awareness about spiritual abuse and how to counsel those who are experiencing or have experienced it. dylesia@dylesiabarner.com

Margarita Barranco. Affiliation: RedUNE. Psychologue clinicienne et Psychothérapeute. Experts sur la question des sectes coercitives et la manipulation psychologique depuis 1987, en tant que Psychologue dans AIS (Conseils et Informations sur les Sectes) jusqu'en 2000. Fondateur et RedUNE Psychologue (Prévention Faiblesse Abus et les Dérives Sectaires), jusqu'en 2015, passant en 2016 au Vice-président RedUNE. Expert en toxicomanie et des traumatismes et des situations de deuil. E-mail: margabarranco@gmail.com.

Lauren Beck is a Web Software Engineer who prefers the complexity of the biological mainframe, empowering individuals and communities to debug both new & ancient social software. Early involvement in a Bible-based group led her to the field of Cultic Studies. She currently assists in developing exit networks and community awareness in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. laurenbeck.stl@gmail.com

Jeremy Black. wellingtonblack@hotmail.com

Etan Blass runs a support and social group for ex-members in the London area. He is a former Ultra-Orthodox Jew.

Judith Bourque has written a ‘whistleblower’ book called Robes of Silk Feet of Clay, the story of her love
affair with the famed TM Guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who claimed that he was a celibate monk. After graduating from Massachusetts College of Art with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, she went to India to become a teacher of Transcendental Meditation, and then worked for the TM movement for two years. She was seduced by the Maharishi when she was 22 years old, and he was 52, and has an insider’s understanding of the fragility of young adults entering into a cultic environment. She is an award winning filmmaker, teacher of meditation and a relationship counselor. She worked for Swedish Television for many years as a film editor, as well as producing and directing independent documentaries. Her films include “Sowing for Need, or Sowing for Greed?” a documentary on genetically modified seeds, “The Real Patch Adams”, and “Hot and Cold Mandala”, an experiential infrared film. Judithbourque@email.com

Robin Boyle Laisure
, JD, Professor of Legal Writing, St. John’s University School of Law, is on the editorial board of ICSA’s International Journal of Cultic Studies. She lectures on topics concerning cults and the law. Her recent article, Employing Trafficking Laws to Capture Elusive Leaders of Destructive Cults, is published by the Oregon Review of International Law (2016). She also wrote Current Status of Federal Law Concerning Violent Crimes Against Women and Children: Implications for Cult Victims, published in the Cultic Studies Review (2002). Two articles have appeared in the Cultic Studies Journal: How Children in Cults May Use Emancipation Laws to Free Themselves (1999) and Women, the Law, and Cults: Three Avenues of Legal Recourse - New Rape Laws, Violence Against Women Act, and Antistalking Laws (1998). In 2005, she received the Faculty Outstanding Achievement award from the President of St. John’s University.

Russell H. Bradshaw, EdD [A.B. (Wesleyan University), EdM, EdD (Harvard University), Cand. Polit.
(University of Oslo)] was Associate Professor at Lehman College, City University of New York (retired September 2015). He has taught psychological and historical foundations of education and directed the MA program in Teaching Social Studies: 7–12. Dr. Bradshaw’s master’s and doctoral dissertations described alternative-living and child-care arrangements in Sweden (Samhem and Kollektivhus). During his undergraduate studies he received a stipendium to live in Samoa and wrote his honors thesis on religion’s effect on cultural stability and change in Western Samoan villages. Dr. Bradshaw’s continuing interest in alternative living and child-care solutions led him to an intensive experience of a Hindu-based religious cult in New York City. Dr. Bradshaw has received fellowships and grants from Wesleyan, Harvard, and Uppsala (Sweden) universities and from the City University of New York. He and his wife Gunilla currently live in Norrtälje, Sweden several months a year, where they are continuing their work for ICSA’s New York Educational Outreach Committee.

Chelsea Brass
, MPAff, is a survivor. Chelsea also serves as Chief Strategy Officer of the Center for Healthy Communities in Austin, TX, managing community-based projects and research for a local public health non-profit. Her graduate studies were completed at the University of Texas, Austin with a Master’s degree in Public Affairs, with a completed certificate in mediation, as well as completing the course requirements of the portfolio program from the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution from the UT School of Law. Publication credits include policy research projects focused on bi-national water quality agreements with Mexico and a 100-year analysis of the federal budget-making process. Chelsea has worked in several fields of policy including health and human services, behavioral and mental health issues, childhood health, socio-economic policy, and urban affairs. Chelsea has worked for a city public engagement office, for a state senator on health policy research, and for a state public health department as a policy analyst studying Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.

Kimberley Broom has a First Class Honours degree in Psychology, and is currently a third year Doctoral Candidate at the Metanoia Institute, London in partnership with Middlesex University, studying for qualification as a Chartered Counselling Psychologist, and currently volunteers as a Samaritan Listener. Her parents became Jehovah’s Witnesses when she was six months old, and she left the religion and was 'dis-fellowshipped' at the age of eighteen, leaving behind both parents and her entire friendship group. Kimberley continued to believe the doctrine until she was thirty two years old, and then gradually de-programmed, which allowed her to develop critical thinking skills while studying for Psychology BSc Honours. Doctoral research interest is related to increasing understanding of the processes related to identity and meaning making, inside and outside of a controlled religious group, and the role that psychotherapy might play in supporting second generation individuals as they negotiate issues relating to identity and self. kim.broom@ntlworld.com

Arthur Buchman is an American-born psychologist and leadership coach in private practice living since
1990 near Copenhagen, Denmark, where he also works via Skype. Born in 1942, he holds a BA in Economics and an MA in Psychology. Arthur specializes in helping people recover from depression, phobias, trauma, relationship conflicts, and cult involvement. He has experience in two different cults, a yoga group and a pseudo-Christian occult music group. Arthur has developed The Life Cycle of Cult Involvement that he has presented at ICSA and other international conferences. He has been ICSA Today's News Correspondent for Scandinavia. Arthur is currently writing a book and presenting a workshop titled, "The Instant Optimist - a practical method for building and maintaining a dependable positive attitude." Arthur Buchman is one of the few mental health professionals in Europe who has expertise as an ex-cult member and is available to travel to help people and their families to recover from a cultic experience. Website: www.arthurbuchman.com Email: arthur@arthurbuchman.com Phone: +45 2825 4444.

Sofía Buelga is a Full Professor in the Social Psychology Department at the University of Valencia and director of the University of Valencia’s Official Master Degree in Psychological Intervention in Social Settings. She is member of the team investigation called Group Lisis (https://www.uv.es/lisis/sofiabuelga.htm). Furthermore, she is in charge of the unit psychosociology family research at the University of Valencia. Her scientific work has focused mainly on the analysis and prevention of school bullying, and cyberbullying, including the perspectives of victims, aggressors, and cyber(bully)-victims. Mainly, she analyses psychosocial manipulation in these contexts of maltreatment between peers. She is the author and coauthor of numerous international and national

Gerette Buglion is proprietor of Dream Haven of Vermont, www.dreamhavenvt.com which specializes in offering refuge for those who are healing from trauma related to a high control groups or cults. She works with individuals who are currently receiving counseling and have the support of their therapist to engage in a healing retreat and also works with family members and others who have been indirectly impacted by cultic dynamics or coercion. She is a certified Reiki Practitioner, has over 20 years of practice as a Dream Mentor, has been a professional housemother in therapeutic sessions and is a nature guide, cook and cleaner. All of these skills and more are integrated into the experience of creating self-designed retreats for guests. As a former member of a New Age/ Psychological cult for over 19 years she states, “When I snapped out of that destructive dependence in May of 2014, I began my life anew, deeply humbled and passionately riveted to the study of destructive groups. Throughout this time, reiki has been a foundation stone of my own healing process. Professional counseling for spiritual abuse, the healing balm of nature, the loving support of my family and friends and reiki, have nurtured me to a level of well-being that inspires me to turn with compassion towards others.

Ron Burks
, PhD, holds an MDiv and an MA in counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary and a PhD in Counselor Education from Ohio University. He worked for many years at Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center in Albany, Ohio. He and his wife Vicki wrote Damaged Disciples: Casualties of Authoritarian Churches and the Shepherding Movement, published by Zondervan. His other publications include a chapter on a connection between cults and addiction in the medical reference, Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook, published by Williams and Wilkins. He and Vicki now live near Tallahassee, Florida where both are licensed mental health counselors and operate an intensive outpatient substance abuse program at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Ron is a former president of the Wellspring board and is a clinical advisor to both Wellspring and Meadowhaven, a treatment center near Boston.


Vicki Burks, MEd.
Vicki completed her Bachelor and Masters work at Ohio University. Her masters thesis was on the similarities in control dynamics between perpetrators of domestic violence and cult leaders. She was a senior addiction specialist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. After spending 17 years in a high-control group, she co-authored, with her spouse Ron, Damaged Disciples: Casualties of Authoritarian Churches and the Shepherding Movement. She now does individual counseling and co- leads the intensive outpatient program at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital in Florida. She and Ron have four children and 11 grandchildren.

Cristina Caparesi has a master’s degree in Science of Education and in Psychology with post masters in
Family Mediation and Psychodiagnostic/Psychological Evaluation. She works as project planner and Director of the Helping Centers for Job Harassment in the Workplace of the Udine Province and of CISL- Pordenone Province. She has an expertise in conflicts related to cultic affiliations and works as consultant of the Support Network Against Manipulation and Abuse in Groups for SOS Abusi Psicologici. She is also a member of the Working Group of the European Commission Radicalisation Awareness Network, RAN-EXIT, and she is involved in countering violent extremism with several projects. Editor of the online journal of SOS Abusi Psicologici, Manipulation and Abuse http://www.abusievessazioni.it/; she is an expert for the Criminal Court of Udine in the branch of education, with a specialization in criminology and problems related to cultic affiliations; Italian Co-correspondent for ICSA Today. She is a co-author, with Mario Di Fiorino and Steven Kent, of Costretti ad amare. Saggi sui Bambini di Dio, the Family (only Italian) [Compelled to love- Essays on the Children of God-The Family], and many other articles. Website: http://www.sosabusipsicologici.it/?lang=en Email: c.caparesi@gmail.com Phone: +39 3384440566

José Antonio Carrobles, PhD, is Full Professor of Clinical and Health Psychology and past Head of the Department of Biological and Health Psychology at the Autonomous University of Madrid. His work focuses in the areas of Psychopathology and Clinical and Health Psychology. He is President of the European Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Therapies (EABCT). He has directed numerous doctoral theses and is author of an important number and variety of articles and books in his areas of specialization. He has organized and participated in numerous national and international psychology congresses, among which stands out his participation as President of the Scientific Committee at the 23rd International Congress of Applied Psychology held in Madrid in 1994. He is a member of the editorial boards of several national and international journals.

Gina Catena, MS, NP, CNM, serves on ICSA's Advisory Board. She is Nurse Practitioner and Certified Nurse Midwife with a large medical group in the Bay Area, California. She has degrees from University of California San Francisco School of Nursing, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, and Dominican University of San Rafael. Gina writes and speaks about issues for those raised in cults, and about women's health. She was raised as one of the first enlightened children in the Transcendental Meditation (TM) Organization where she twice married, divorced and bore three children. Her adult children also now live successful cult-free lives.


Qingping Chen
, PhD, is a professor at the Institute of Psychology at Shaanxi Normal University in xi'an, China.Her research interest is clinical psychology. She has studied the cult problem for a long time, focusing on cult members' return and social-psychological rehabilitation. Dr.Chen has won a number of academic awards for her research.

Tianjia Chen
, PhD, Assistant Professor, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, is now councilor of Beijing Society for History and Sociology of Science. He received his PhD degree in History of Science from Peking University. His academic interests include cultural history of science and religion in China, pseudoscience and cult phenomenon, STS. For further information, please contact with him via email: ctj@pku.edu.cn

David Clark is a thought reform consultant from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Clark has been active in
this field for more than 30 years. Mr. Clark has been on the Board of the Leo J. Ryan Education Foundation and reFOCUS. He is FECRIS's New York main representative to the United Nations [2011- ] and science committee member [2015]. He was a contributing author for the Practical Guidelines for Exit Counseling chapter in the W.W. Norton book, Recovery from Cults. In 1985 he received the Hall of Fame Award from the original Cult Awareness Network He was a founding member of the original Focus and reFOCUS, a national support network for former cult members. David Clark was the 2004 American plenary speaker at Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the Ukraine for the F.P.P.S. International Scientific-Practical Conference with the presentation title of Thought Reform Consultation, Youth Cult Education Preparation and Sect Family Intervention Work. He was also the April 21, 2006 United States of America plenary speaker for the International Scientific Conference of Cardinal August Hlond Upper Silesian School of Pedagogy in Mysolwice, Poland. Mr. Clark also contributed to a May 16, 2006 History Channel special on Opus Dei and was featured in John Allen's important book, Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church. He spoke on exit counseling/thought reform consultation at an international conference, Myth and Reality of Psychological Abuse and Practical Ways to Resist It, at the Russian State University of Humanities in Moscow (March 13-14, 2008). He spoke at a conference on cults and gangs, sponsored by Creighton University's Department of Psychiatry and the Douglas County (NB) Sheriff's Department (April 18, 2008). David has been the North American Vice President of the DIALOG Centre International since 2011. In 2016 he received an ICSA Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas.

José Miguel Cuevas Barranquero
, Psicólogo clínico y social. Doctorando en psicología social, está elaborando en la actualidad su tesis doctoral en torno al fenómeno de las sectas destructivas en la Universidad de Málaga. Es profesor del Departamento de Psicología Social de la Universidad de Málaga. Miembro fundador de la Asociación Iberoamericana para la Investigación del Abuso Psicológico (AIIAP). A nivel académico, tiene Máster en Terapia de Conducta y es Experto en Adicciones por la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. En el terreno profesional, desde febrero del 2001 se ha dedicado plenamente al campo de las adicciones, formando parte, como psicólogo del equipo profesional y multidisciplinar del O.A.L. Marbella Solidaria, en la provincia de Málaga, dentro del Plan Municipal de Atención a Adicciones de Marbella. Se ha especializado en la orientación y tratamiento de casos de persuasión coercitiva (dependencia grupal / sectas destructivas). Asimismo, ha asesorado a múltiples medios nacionales e internacionales en sus producciones sobre dinámica sectaria. Es autor del libro Sectas: cómo funcionan, cómo son sus líderes, efectos destructivos y cómo combatirlas.

Blandine de Dinechin. blde.dinechin@orange.fr. Conseillère conjugale et familiale. Membre de l'ANCCEF, Association nationale des conseillers conjugaux et familiaux, et de la FNCF, Fédération nationale Couples et Familles.

Ali Dizboni.
Le Professeur Dizboni est titulaire d'une maîtrise (1997) et d'un doctorat (2000) de l'Université de Montréal en Sciences politiques et Relations internationales. Il a soutenu sa thèse de doctorat sur Islam and War en obtenant la mention " excellente ". Il est chercheur associé à certains instituts scientifiques et universitaires tels que CEFIR, TSAS, ICAMES (l’Université McGill) Chair Raoul Dandurand, CIDP (l’Université Queen’s). Seul ou en collaboration, il a obtenu plusieurs subventions de recherche et de conférences nationales et internationales (British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, International Studies Association, ACFAS, Société canadienne pour l'étude de la religion, gouvernement du Canada -ministère de la Sûreté publique, CRSH). Dizboni a publié plusieurs articles et chapitres de livres dans les champs de la politique comparée et relations internationales. À titre d'exemple : " Une deuxième révolution? La réforme iranienne et la révolution du paradigme de l'islam politique "dans Mouvements sociaux et changements institutionnels (PUQ, 2005), "Canadian Involvement in Middle East" dans Going to War (2016, Presses de l’Université McGill & Queen’s), "Does Canada Educate Strategic Subaltern" Infinity Journal, 2016. “The Terrorist Resourcing Model applied to Canada” dans Journal of Money Laundering (2017); “La République islamique et le fait minoritaire” Diplomatie, Février-Mars 2017, no.37. Son Livre Islam and War (2011 a été nommé pour le prix Herbert Jacob (Law and Society Association É.U.). Depuis 2010, il a été un contributeur de chapitre à la collection annuelle de l’AFCES sur les études stratégiques (Éditions Bruyland, Bruxelles). Il vient de soumettre deux chapitres aux deux éditions universitaires (OUP et MQUP) sur présence musulmane au Canada et sur Relations stratégiques Iran-Russie.


Linda Dubrow-Marshall, PhD, MBACP (Accred.), is Research Co-Editor of ICSA Today and is a co-
founder of RETIRN, a private practice which provides services to individuals and families who have been affected by cultic influence and abusive relationships. She is the Programme Leader of the MSc Applied Psychology (Therapies) Programme at the University of Salford. She is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, United Kingdom as both a clinical and a counselling psychologist, and she is a registered counsellor/psychotherapist with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. She is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania, USA, and a registered psychologist with the National Register of Health Service Psychologists, USA. She attends as co-representative of RETIRN/UK as correspondent to the General Assembly of FECRIS (European Federation of Centres of Research and Education on Sects). Dr. Dubrow-Marshall is a Consultant in Clinical Hypnosis (advanced certification) with the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and is certified by the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Institute. She has a Certificate of Proficiency in the Treatment of Alcohol and Other Psychoactive Substance Use Disorders issued by the American Psychological Association She is a member of the Mental Health and Research Committees for ICSA.

Rod Dubrow-Marshall
, PhD, MBPsS, is 
Professor of Psychology and Visiting Fellow, Criminal Justice Hub, University of Salford, United Kingdom. Rod is a Social Psychologist who has been researching the psychology and aetiology of undue influence and cults or extremist groups for over twenty years, and he has developed the Totalistic Identity Theory as an evidence-based theory to explain and tackle ideological extremism and ideologically driven violence. He is also an active researcher in a variety of other areas including organizational behaviour and healthiness, the social psychology of identity and prejudice, and public policy and education. A graduate member of the British Psychological Society, Rod is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Cultic Studies Association and is also Chair of the ICSA Research Committee and Network and he is co-Editor of the International Journal of Cultic Studies (since its inception in 2010). In 2006, he was awarded The Herbert L. Rosedale Award, jointly with Dr. Paul Martin, for their psychological research on undue influence. Rod co-founded the Re-Entry Therapy Information and Referral Network (RETIRN) UK in 2004 with Dr Linda Dubrow-Marshall, where he serves as a consultant in helping individuals and families who have been adversely affected by destructive or damaging cults and other extremist and high demand/manipulative groups or relationships. He operates out of offices in Pontypridd, Wales and Buxton, Derbyshire, UK (please also see www.retirn.com). Rod has also served on more than a dozen Governing Boards of Schools, Colleges and Universities over the last two decades and he is currently a governor and director of the Akaal Primary School in Derby and is also a longstanding member of the Board of the homelessness charity the Wallich (headquartered in Cardiff, Wales). In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Buxton International Festival and is Chair of the Board of the Preston Guild Link charity (in Lancashire, UK) which is fundraising for the next Preston Guild cultural festival in 2032! Rod is also an experienced senior leader and manager in higher education having served for 15 years in the roles of Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Derby, Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and as Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of South Wales and Dean of Applied Social Sciences and Humanities at Buckinghamshire New University.

Doug Duncan, MS, LPC, was a member of an aberrant religious group for over twenty years. After defying the cult leader and marrying Wendy, they eventually left the cult and Doug began the task of rebuilding his life. He enrolled in a master’s program in counseling and earned a degree and license to practice therapy. After working on their cult recovery issues by reading all the available cult literature, attending conferences,
and becoming involved with ICSA, Doug and Wendy started a ministry to increase the awareness and understanding of cults. They are frequent presenters at churches, civic groups, and conferences, as well as facilitators of a support group for former members of cults and high-demand groups. Additionally, Doug offers individual counseling to ex-members. 
Wendy Duncan, MA, LBSW, has a Master’s Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a licensed social worker in the state of Texas. She has spent most of her career in the mental health field.Wendy and her husband, Doug, are former members of a pseudo-Christian, Bible-based cult and several years after leaving, they became active in cult awareness activities. They are frequent presenters at ICSA conferences. Wendy co-facilitates a monthly support group for former members of cults in the Dallas metroplex. Wendy is also the author of I Can’t Hear God Anymore: Life in a Dallas Cult. Website: www.dallascult.com Email: info@dallascult.com Phone: (214) 607-1065. Dallas, Texas

Laura Dyason is a PhD Candidate at the University of Sydney in the Department of Studies in Religion. Her research focuses on the development of the self in second generation members and how SGA former members manage their changing identities when they leave their group. Her interest in SGAs stems from her family’s multi-generational involvement with the Exclusive Brethren, a closed sectarian movement which she left at age 20. Laura has a Bachelor of Social Science (Sociology), a Graduate Diploma in Social Science (Psychology) and B.A. (Hons). Her doctoral research is on The Development and Management of Identity in Second Generation Former Members of the Exclusive Brethren. ldya7795@uni.sydney.edu.au ; lauradyason@hotmail.com.

Charlene Edge
. After a successful career as a technical writer and proposal specialist for a high-profile software company, Charlene Edge took wing, leaving the industry to devote herself full time to writing. Her poetry has been published by Wordsmith (The Tampa Writers Alliance), the Rollins Book of Verse 1885-2010, heard on public radio, and, along with her fiction, has appeared in The Florida Writer magazine. Essays focused on her fundamentalist cult experience have been published in Shifting Gears: Small Startling Moments In and Out of the Classroom and in ICSA Today, magazine of the International Cultic Studies Association. She is a sought-after guest speaker for college-level religious studies, philosophy, and psychology classes. Charlene is a graduate of Rollins College and lives in Florida with her husband, Dr. Hoyt L. Edge, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Rollins College. They travel the world, and Charlene blogs about their adventures, as well as fundamentalism, cults, the writing life, and other musings on her website http://charleneedge.com. Her memoir, Undertow: My Escape from the Fundamentalism and Cult Control of The Way International,™ was published in  2016. 
crledge@earthlink.net. 

Steve K. D. Eichel, PhD, ABPP, ICSA President, is Past-President of the American Academy of
Counseling Psychology and the Greater Philadelphia Society of Clinical Hypnosis. He is a licensed and Board-certified counseling psychologist whose involvement in cultic studies began with a participant-observation study of Unification Church training in their Eastern seminary (in Barrytown, NY) in the spring of 1975. His doctoral dissertation to date remains the only intensive, quantified observation of a deprogramming. He was honored with AFF's 1990 John G. Clark Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Cultic Studies for this study, which was published as a special issue of the Cultic Studies Journal and has been translated into several foreign languages. In 1983, along with Dr. Linda Dubrow-Marshall and clinical social worker Roberta Eisenberg, Dr. Eichel founded the Re-Entry Therapy, Information & Referral Network (RETIRN), one of the field's oldest continuing private providers of psychological services to families and individuals harmed by cultic practices. RETIRN currently has offices in Newark, DE, Lansdowne, PA and Pontypridd, Wales and Buxton, England (U.K.). In addition to his psychology practice and his involvement with ICSA, Dr. Eichel is active in a range of professional associations. He has co-authored several articles and book reviews on cult-related topics for the CSJ/CSR. In 2016 he received ICSA's Herbert L. Rosedale Award at the Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Baoxiang Fan: Center for the Study of Cultic Groups & Religious Culture, Beijing Union University, P.R. China, director, associate research fellow, research direction: cultic governing, leading two research projects on provincial level with topic of destructive cults.


Hong Fan, PhD, Associate Professor, Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, the People`s Public Security University of China, Beijing.

Jose Fernández
has a Degree in Psychology from the University of Barcelona and is credited as a Psychologist and Psychotherapist by the EFPA (European Federation of Psychologists Associations). He has worked as such in private practice in Barcelona for the last 14 years at Pehuén Institute of Psychology with a constructivist and systemic approach, subjects on which he has postgraduate studies, as well as in hypnosis. He pursued these postgraduate studies, which were directed by PhD, Guillem Feixas, at the University of Barcelona. He is involved with hypnosis both as a therapeutic tool and as a field of research, having published on the matter in La Revista de Psicoterapia international journal, as well as in the International Journal of Cultic Studies. He is interested in psychological manipulation and abuse at schools (Bullying), workplace (mobbing), and home (psychological maltreatment). He is also interested in the implementation of codes of ethical practices in all kind of organizations and associations in Spain. He was a founding member of the Catalonian College of Psychologists Task Force on Hypnosis and is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Experimental and Applied Hypnosis, (AAHEA) of which he is its current secretary. He was a psychologist and exit counselor at AIS (Barcelona) for two years. Website: www.institutpehuen.com Email: jfernandez@institutpehuen.com Phone: 34938034914

Angel Garden started her career as a successful stand-up comedienne and actor. Her mediating skills and love for Ki Aikido led her to design highly praised community courses in assertiveness training. But her first love has always been filmmaking and journalism, which led her to create Amazon Films with her husband Steve Paris, through which they have made and released Yam, a full length comedy feature, “birth-trust”, documenting the first Holistic Birth Trust conference and many other environmental, and community shorts.On stumbling onto an extremely controlling group, the repercussions of this event allowed her to strengthen her investigative reporting and presenting skills. This gave birth to the acclaimed political satire show “Beehave”, which used the course of an education law change to lobby MPs in New Zealand. This then led to the creation of Amazon News Media, increasingly reporting on health, education, and community issues. Meanwhile Amazon Films is increasingly involved in projects focusing on the rights of children and young people. Angel is physically disabled and has three children. angelgarden@mac.com

Martin Geoffroy, PhD, is Professor of sociology at the Cégep Édouard-Montpetit, Longueil, Canada. he is also Director of the Centre d’expertise et de formation sur les intégrismes et la radicalisation religieuse (CEFIR). Dr. Geoffroy holds a Ph.D. from the Université de Montréal (2000), and specialises in religious radicalism. He studied Catholic extremism in Canada, and received several research grants for the study of minorities and of religious extremism in Canada. He is the instigator of the CEFIR, a research ade dinichinnd training center dedicated to the understanding of the various forms of religious extremism in contemporary society. In addition, he has a training in communication studies, and is thus a cautious analyst of media. martin.geoffroy@cegepmontpetit.ca. Professor, Cégep Édouard-Montpetit, and Director, Centre d’expertise et de formation sur les intégrismes et la radicalisation religieuse (CEFIR). 450 679-2631.

Débora Godoy Izquierdo, PhD, is Full Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Granada (Spain). She has taught a wide diversity of pre-graduate and post-graduate courses related to Health Psychology. Her main research lines are related to the psychological factors involved in the protection and promotion of health, well-being, quality of life, happiness, prevention, and treatment of disorders and diseases. Among other research lines, she is currently researching in love and romantic relationships and their relationships with abuse and violence against women. A particular focus is made on women and gender studies throughout her teaching and research. She has been principal researcher of a variety of investigation projects and has participated as researcher in others. She has numerous publications, including books and chapters in prestigious publishing companies, as well as scientific articles in well-known national and international academic journals. She has been the recipient of scientific awards and recognitions. Lastly, she has experience in academic administration tasks within the rector's office.

Juan Fco Godoy García, PhD, is Professor in Psychology at University of Granada (Spain). He has taught a wide diversity of pre-graduate and post-graduate courses related to Health Psychology in different Spanish, European, and North-American universities. His main research lines are related to the psychological factors involved in the protection and promotion of health, well-being, and happiness, prevention, and treatment of disorders and diseases, clinical neuropsychology, psychology of physical exercise and sport, and personal models of beliefs about health and disease. He has been principal researcher of a variety of investigation projects, has participated in the development of patents. and has numerous publications, including books and chapters in prestigious publishing companies, as well as scientific articles in well-known national and international academic journals. He has been the recipient of diverse scientific and professional awards. Lastly, he has ample experience in academic administration tasks at the levels of direction of departments and within the rector’s office.

Lorna Goldberg
, LCSW, PsyA, Board member and past president of ICSA, is a psychoanalyst in private
practice and Director, Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies. In 1976, she and her husband, William Goldberg, began facilitating a support group for former cult members that continues to meet on a monthly basis in their home in Englewood, New Jersey. In1989, Lorna and Bill received the Hall of Fame Award from the authentic Cult Awareness Network and, in 1999; they received the Leo J. Ryan Award from the Leo J. Ryan Foundation. In 2009, she received the Margaret T. Singer Award from ICSA. Lorna joined ICSA’s Board of Directors in November 2003. Along with Rosanne Henry, she co-chaired ICSA’s Mental Health Committee until her term as President of ICSA from 2008 to 2012. Lorna has published numerous articles about her therapeutic work with former cult members in professional journals, most recently: Goldberg, L. (2012). Influence of a Charismatic Antisocial Cult Leader: Psychotherapy With an Ex-Cultist Prosecuted for Criminal Behavior. International Journal of Cultic Studies, Vol. 2, 15-24. Goldberg, L. (2011). Diana, Leaving the Cult: Play Therapy in Childhood and Talk Therapy in Adolescence. International Journal of Cultic Studies, (Vol.2), 33-43. She also wrote a chapter on guidelines for therapists in the book, Recovery from Cults, edited by Michael Langone. Lorna has co-written with Bill Goldberg, a chapter on psychotherapy with targeted parents in the book, Working with Alienated Children and Families (2012), edited by Amy J.L. Baker & S. Richard Sauber. She is also co-editor of ICSA's Cult Recovery: A Clinician's Guide to Working With Former Members and Their Families, which is due to be published in 2017.

William Goldberg
, LCSW, PsyA, is a clinical social worker and psychoanalyst with over forty years’ experience working with former cult members. He and his wife, Lorna, co-lead a support group for former cult members, which has been meeting for over forty years. It is the oldest group of its kind in the world. In 2007, Bill retired from the Rockland County, NY Department of Mental Health, where he directed several programs and clinics. He is presently an adjunct professor in the social work and social science departments of Dominican College and he is on the faculty of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies. Bill has published numerous articles in books and professional journals, and he is one of the editors of a soon to be published book, sponsored by ICSA, which will focus on clinical work with former cult members. Bill is a frequent speaker at ICSA conferences, and he and Lorna have been the recipients of the Authentic CAN Hall of Fame Award and the Leo J. Ryan Award. In 2010, Bill was the recipient of ICSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also co-editor of ICSA's Cult Recovery: A Clinician's Guide to Working With Former Members and Their Families, which is due to be published in 2017. Website: BLGOLDBERG.COM. Email: bill@blgoldberg.com Phone: (201) 894-8515 Englewood, New Jersey.

Vega González Bueso, Degree in Psychology from the University of Barcelona. Diploma Specialist Clinical
Psychology from the University of Barcelona. Diploma in Nursing from the University of Barcelona. Master in Language Disorders, University Polytechnic of Catalonia. Graduate Judicial Expertise University Polytechnic of Catalonia. Currently Manager/ Director of AIS (Care and Research Social Addictions). Clinical psychologist specialist. Professor at the University of Valencia and the University of Barcelona in the subject Groups of Psychological Manipulation (coercive sects). Since 2003 also works within the scope of care and research for people affected by their membership in groups or sects using coercive psychological manipulation. Email: vgonzalez@ais-info.org Phone: 93301.30.24

Haikun Guo. Master, School of psychology, Shaanxi Normal University.

Jennie Hallberg is a Swedish psychologist in training, currently working with children and adolescents in the school setting. She works mainly from the perspective of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and related disciplines. She has been involved in the process of evaluating the project initiated by Hjälpkällan in Sweden aimed at supporting parents and relatives of people joining cults, and has been responsible for data collection and the subsequent analysis.

Christopher Hamacher
has been practicing Zen Buddhism since the late 1990s. Prompted by a number of incidents of student abuse by Zen teachers, Christopher has since been attempting to spread awareness thereof among the Zen community and exposing the cult-like elements within it; he presented a paper on that topic at the 2012 ICSA conference. Christopher lives and runs a Zen centre in Munich, Germany. He works part-time as a translator. christopher@zen-ostbahnhof.de

Farid Harouit est doctorant en civilisation britannique à l’université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris III. Ses travaux de recherche portent sur la dimension pakistanaise de la radicalisation islamiste violente en Grande-Bretagne à la lumière des attentats du 7 juillet 2005 à Londres. Il s’intéresse par ailleurs aux questions identitaires, à la politique étrangère du Royaume-Uni et aux politiques d’anti-terrorisme en Europe et aux États-Unis. Il est aujourd’hui enseignant indépendant et fondateur d’une école d’enseignement de langues étrangères. Il parle le français, l’arabe, l’anglais, l’espagnol et l’italien. F_harouit@hotmail.fr. Numéro de portable : +33676672574.

Petra Hólmgrímsdóttir was born and raised in Iceland. She has a BSc in Psychology and a BEd in Primary and Lower Secondary Education. Currently Petra is applying for further education and has her goals set on clinical psychology, with a focus on psychological trauma, abuse, and PTSD. At the age of 16 Petra got into a Bible-based cult and spent the next 11 years of her life in various Bible-based congregations in Iceland. She attended a bible school in Florida at the age of 17 and was a youth pastor for a few years. Her experience from those years in a cultic environment has given her a different insight to the mind control that goes on in manipulative groups and the effect on people‘s lives when they leave. Petra is working on founding a counseling program or exit counselling for ex-fundamentalists, since there is none in Iceland. She did a research/final thesis with her close friend and fellow psychology student, Sigríður Sigurðardóttir, at the University of Iceland - instructor: Ragna Benedikta Garðarsdóttir. The title is: "Religious abuse: A Study on mental health of former members of Christian fundamentalist groups in Iceland."

Anna Holmquist earned a BA in creative writing from Beloit College and currently resides in Chicago. She spent two years in a cult that she joined in college, and is a writer, songwriter and performer whose work often centers around controlling groups and her experiences. aeholmquist@gmail.com. Learn more at http://nightandgale.bandcamp.com/.

Laura Illig, born in 1995, graduated as Bachelor of Arts in Social Work/ Pedagogics in 2016. She is currently studying Social Work M.A. with clinical-therapeutic major in Aachen, Germany.

Håkan Järvå
, Former Scientologist and now a licensed psychologist in Sweden. Editor and co-author of
the book Sektsjuka (Cult Illness) and a former lecturer for the psychology department at the University of Gothenburg on the subject of manipulation, influence, and cult illness. He offers psychotherapy to former members of cults and is also employed as a consultant by the help organization for former cult members in Sweden, Hjälpkällan, to train their nationwide network of volunteer workers. He is currently involved in a project aimed at high schools in Sweden together with a professional magician with the purpose of educating and vaccinating teenagers against manipulation.

Gillie Jenkinson, PhD, is an accredited counsellor and psychotherapist in UK and is experienced in delivering counselling face-to-face as well as on the telephone and Skype. She served two internships at Wellspring Retreat Center, Ohio, and has many years’ experience working with trauma, including survivors of spiritual and cult abuse, and sexual abuse. She has developed an approach to counselling former members - "Time Away for Post-Cult Counselling." Gillie was a member of an abusive Bible-based cult in the 1970’s. She is a regular presenter at conferences and a published author, including a co-authoring a chapter entitled "Pathological Spirituality" for a medical text book entitled Spirituality and Psychiatry, published by RCPsych Publications in UK - 2009. She is the Mental Health Editor for ICSA Today. Gillie’s doctoral research dissertation is entitled: ‘Freeing the authentic-self: Phases of Recovery and Growth from an Abusive Cult Experience’. Website: www.hopevalleycounselling.com Email: info@hopevalleycounselling.com Phone: +44 1433 639032

Tony Jenkinson, MA (Cantab), graduated in mathematics at Cambridge University and is currently working towards a degree in Social Sciences and Psychology with the Open University. He is a tax consultant and a Director of Hope Valley Counselling Limited which specialises in assisting survivors of cults. He is a former cult member and lives in the Peak District in central England with his wife Gillie.


Arlette Joli, professeur honoraire agrégée de philosophie, docteur ès Lettres- sciences humaines. Membre du Conseil Scientifique et Technique du CAPRI. Présidente de l'Espace de Réflexion Ethique du Centre Hospitalier C. Perrens - Bordeaux. Responsable du séminaire Philosophie et Psychiatrie au CH. Perrens.

Jean-Pierre Jougla. jougla@wanadoo.fr. UNADFI. Domicile : 182 grande rue haute, 34200 SETE France. Tel 06 07 73 65 24. Avocat honoraire. Spécialisé dans l’aide aux victimes depuis 1975. Coordonnateur du diplôme universitaire « Emprise sectaire, processus de vulnérabilité et enjeux éthiques » université Paris-Descartes. Intervenant auprès de l’Ecole nationale de la magistrature et de la Protection judiciaire de la jeunesse. Auteur de nombreux articles sur la question de l’emprise. 

Elizabeth Kaluaratchige. Maître de Conférences à l’Université Paris-Diderot, Paris 7. Chercheuse Centre de Recherches Psychanalyse, Médecine et Sociétés (CRPMS), (axe de recherches Corps, Pratiques Sociales et Anthropologie Psychanalytique). Chercheuse dans Pôle de Recherches-Sciences de la Ville, Université Denis-Diderot Paris 7. Doctorat, Science de l’Education à l’Université Paris 5. Doctorat, Psychopathologie et Psychanalyse à l’Université Denis-Diderot Paris 7. Maîtrise, Ethnologie et Préhistoire Université Paris 1. Recherches et publications sont centrées autour des problématiques et thématiques de la clinique du corps, selon la dimension anthropologie psychanalytique du lien social en relation avec les pratiques de soins corporels actuels. Les principaux thèmes : La clinique de l’adolescent : la violence dans les banlieues. La clinique de l’adolescente : les transgressions et les actes sacrificiels. Interface psychopathologique de la psychanalyse et sociologie : “ psychologie des foules ” et “groupe psychology ”. Travaux sur le féminin (la religiosité, la spiritualité au féminin, le mariage, la domination masculine, l’exogamie/l’endogamie, les anthropologues femmes et le féminisme). Le corps féminin intriqué dans les troubles digestifs ; l’anorexie et l’orthorexie, les critères comportementaux dans les TCA, les représentations collectives du corps féminin, les soins psychiatriques et gastro-entérologiques. La clinique de l’isolement et l’engagement collectif dans le bouddhisme occidental et le phénomène “ auto-thérapie ”. Investigation sur le sentiment océanique, le “ maternel ” et la fonction paternelle dans le bouddhisme en Asie et en Occident, les dérives sectaires et le travail de la pulsion de mort dans le collectif. kaluaratch@outlook.fr

Christine Marie Katas
, MBA, PhD student at Fielding Graduate University. She is an educator, human rights activist, and author, having published 19 educational books. She is the founder of Voices for Dignity, an organization that creates educational content, media and activities to help create awareness about and empower survivors of cults, religious abuse, polygamy, prostitution, and human trafficking. She is on the board of the Sound Choices Coalition which advocates against polygamy, and she has appeared on the popular TV shows “Sister Wives” and “Escaping Polygamy.” Her own cultic experience was featured on the History Channel, Lifetime, Crime Investigation and other networks in the U.S. and abroad, but her story was misrepresented, motivating Christine to return to school to get a PhD in Media Psychology. Her special research interests include promoting media sensitivity to prevent victim-blaming, public humiliation and retraumatization. She is currently working on a guidebook to trauma-inform the media, and to help cult and other survivors navigate the process of going public with their stories in a way that empowers their lives. In addition to helping survivors rebuild happy lives, Christine educates and assists them in understanding how to take control of their media, maintain power over their personal narratives, and use digital media to foster their life victories.

Kathrin Kaufmann, born in 1992, graduated as Bachelor of Arts in Social Work/ Pedagogics in 2016. She is currently studying Social Work M.A. with clinical-therapeutic major in Aachen, Germany. 

Joseph F. Kelly, a graduate of Temple University, has been a thought reform consultant since 1988. He
spent 14 years in two different eastern meditation groups. He has lectured extensively on cult-related topics, and is a co-author of Ethical Standards for Thought Reform Consultants, published in ICSA’s Cultic Studies Journal. For many years, Mr. Kelly has also co-facilitated ICSA pre-conference workshops for ex-members. Recently, he helped to initiate ICSA’s monthly meeting in Philadelphia. joekelly411@gmail.com. Websites: intervention101.com; cultmediation.com; cultrecovery101.com.

Stephen A. Kent
, PhD, Professor of Sociology, University of Alberta, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the sociology of religion and the sociology of sectarian groups. He has published articles in numerous sociology and religious study journals. His 2001 book, From Slogans to Mantras: Social Protest and Religious Conversion in the Late Vietnam War Era, was selected by Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2002. In 2012 he received The Margaret Thaler Singer Award for advancing the understanding of coercive persuasion and undue influence from the American Cultic Studies Association. 

Chantal Kern born in 1995, graduated as Bachelor of Arts in Social Work/ Pedagogics in 2016. She is currently studying Social Work M.A. with clinical-therapeutic major in Aachen, Germany. 

Nedjma Khelifi-Otmane. nedjmaseghir@hotmail.fr. Doctorante à l’Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis en Pratique et Théorie du Sens : psychanalyse. 1, Square Buffalo 92120 Montrouge 06 11 17 81 15. Nedjma Khelifi-Otmane est actuellement doctorante à l’Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis en Pratique et Théorie du Sens : psychanalyse. Elle prépare une thèse sur le transhumanisme actuel et sa nouvelle représentation à l’époque du réel génétique : métamorphose, corps, lettre, sous la direction de Gérard Miller et en co-direction avec Gérard Wajcman. En tant que représente des doctorants, elle a co-organisé en mai 2016 une journée d’étude sur le thème « (S’) Exiler » (Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis). Elle a également communiqué à l’Université Paris 7 Diderot en 2016 lors d’une conférence intitulée Passionnément à la folie ?

Anne Khodabandeh. After twenty years in the terrorist cult Mojahedin-e Khalq, Anne (with her husband Massoud Khodabandeh) established the English language www.iran-interlink.org website in 2001 to expose the group as a cult and support former members. Anne works with families of MEK campaigning to rescue their loved ones. Anne has written extensively about the MEK and wider cult issues and authored two books (Saddam’s Private Army, 2003 and The Life of Camp Ashraf, 2011). (2010-2015) Trustee of The Family Survival Trust, Anne ran the Helpline during that time, giving advice and support to families affected by cults. Since January 2016, Anne has worked freelance under the UK Prevent Duty as Open Minds. With nearly forty years’ experience of research and experience as activists, campaigners, writers and practitioners, Open Minds has been established as a leading authority on cultic abuse and terrorism. In consultation with a leading UK Safeguarding expert, Anne developed the ‘cultic abuse’ model to explain how radicalisation takes place for the public sector (education, health, local government, etc. are now legally obliged to recognise, report and prevent radicalisation at work) as well as the voluntary sector, faith groups and businesses - which do not fall under the statutory obligation. anne.khodabandeh@gmail.com

Masaki Kito, Esq, is a founding partner of LINK LAW OFFICE Kito and Partners in Tokyo, established in
2001. He has been an advocate for the victims of various cultic groups for over 20 years in Tokyo. He was the vice chairperson of Consumer Affairs Committee of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) and the chairperson of Consumer Affairs Committee of Daini Tokyo Bar Association (DTBA). He is a member of the National Network of Lawyers against Spiritual Sales, Legal Team Representing Victims of Aum Shinrikyo, and the Japan Society for Cult Prevention and Recovery (JSCPR). He is one of the leading public commentators on cults in Japan, making frequent appearances in the various media, including TV and radio programs on NHK (Japan’s national public station) and commercial stations, major newspapers, and magazines. He is also renowned as a specialist of the broader range of consumer affairs and also a specialist of issues concerning the Internet. As an expert, he is frequently invited to meetings and study sessions hosted by diet members of both majority and minority parties (Liberal Democratic Party and The Democratic Party of Japan).

Michael Kropveld is Founder and Executive Director of Info-Cult / Info-Secte, based in Montreal, Canada. He also serves on the board of directors of the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), and as Chair of the ICSA Conference Committee, he has been involved in organizing the ICSA annual international conferences on cultic phenomena since the mid-1990s. Since the founding of Info-Cult in 1980, Michael has assisted thousands of former members and members of "cults," "new religious movements," and other groups, and their families. He has served as an expert witness on cult-related criminal and civil cases, and is consulted regularly by mental health professionals and law enforcement agencies. He is an invited speaker worldwide, and has appeared on many radio and television programs locally, nationally and internationally. Among other publications, he co-authored The Cult Phenomenon: How Groups Function (2006) / Le phénomène des sectes: L'étude du fonctionnement des groupes (2003). Both versions are downloadable for free here. In 1992, he was awarded the 125 Commemorative Medal by the Government of Canada "in recognition of significant contribution to compatriots, community and to Canada”, and in 2007 he received the Herbert L. Rosedale Award from ICSA "in recognition of leadership in the effort to preserve and protect individual freedom." 

Michael Kropveld est fondateur et directeur général d'Info-Secte, situé à Montréal, au Canada. Il est aussi membre du conseil d'administration de l'ICSA (International Cultic Studies Association) et comme président du comité du Congrès de l’ICSA, il est engagé à organiser les Congrès internationaux annuels sur les phénomènes sectaires depuis le milieu des années 90. Depuis la fondation d’Info-Secte en 1980, il a aidé des milliers d'anciens membres et de membres de « sectes », de « nouveaux mouvements religieux », d'autres groupes, ainsi que leurs familles. Il a été appelé à servir de témoin expert pour des procès criminels ou civils et des professionnels de la santé mentale et des agences de sécurité publique le consultent régulièrement. Conférencier invité internationalement, il a participé à de nombreuses émissions à la radio et à la télévision tant aux niveaux local, national qu'international. Parmi d'autres publications, il a été auteur conjoint du livre Le phénomène des sectes : L'étude du fonctionnement des groupes (2003), et en version anglaise The Cult Phenomenon : How Groups Function (2006). Les deux versions sont téléchargeables gratuitement ici. En 1992, on lui a décerné la Médaille commémorative du 125e du gouvernement du Canada « en reconnaissance de sa contribution significative au bien-être de ses compatriotes, de sa communauté et au Canada ». En 2007, il a reçu le prix Herbert L. Rosedale de l'ICSA « pour reconnaître le leadership dans l'effort pour préserver et protéger la liberté individuelle ».

Masami Kubo is an artist based in New York City. Her parents were ‘matched’ and married in the Unification Church (also known as “Moonies”) in the 1982 mass wedding ceremony consisting of 2,075 couples at Madison Square Garden, NYC. Masami was born and raised in this movement in Seattle, Washington. She and her siblings were all sent to a church-organized boarding school in South Korea for several years before returning to America. Masami later joined a feminist activist organization in her teens, eventually left the church after high school, and moved to New York City to attend the Cooper Union School of Art. Masami’s art practice is informed by conditions and controversies surrounding the religious empire of the Unification Church. She uses her work as a platform to expand the story of her cult upbringing into a larger socio-political conversation. masami.a.kubo@gmail.com.

Stuart Lachs. slachs@att.net. 73, 2nd Avenue. New York City, NY 10003 USA. Tel.: (212) 254-0359. Stuart Lachs encountered Zen Buddhism in New York City in 1967. After more than 30 years of intensive practice in America and Asia, and having taught for a number of years ‒ as well as witnessing countless instances of questionable teacher behaviour ‒ he severed all ties to Chan/Zen Buddhist centers around 2000. Stuart's research interests are Chan/Zen Buddhism and the sociology of religion. He has been active in the Columbia University Buddhist Studies Workshop and the Princeton University Buddhist Studies Workshop. Later, he joined the Oslo University Buddhist Studies Forum where he has presented three times. He has a number of papers critical of Chan/Zen institutions and leaders available on the internet. He has presented papers at the annual conferences of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), the Association of Asian Studies (AAS) and at the International Association of Buddhist Studies (IABS). In 2014, Stuart's paper “The Zen Master and Dharma Transmission: A Seductive Mythology,” was published in Minority Religions and Fraud: In Good Faith (Ashgate, London), and in 2015, his “Denial of Ritual in Zen Writing” was published in The Ambivalence of Denial (Harrosowitz). Stuart enjoys corresponding with people who reply to his papers.

Helen Land, PhD, LCSW, is a professor at the School of Social Work at University of Southern California where she teaches courses on trauma recovery, and spiritually integrated psychotherapy. Her major scholarly areas are traumatic stress, neurobiologically- informed treatment, and spirituality and religion in psychotherapy. She has published widely, her most a recent book being Spirituality, Religion, and Faith in Psychotherapy: Evidence-based Expressive Methods for Mind, Brain, and Body, published by Oxford University Press. Her forth coming book is Vulnerable Groups at Risk for Spiritual Injury: Issues in assessment and treatment. Dr. Land is President of the Society for Spirituality and Social Work. She maintains a small private practice in Los Angeles. In addition, Dr. Land is a spiritual director. Email: land@usc.edu. School of Social Work, University of Southern California, School of Social Work, University of Southern California. MRF, Rm 214, MC-0411, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0411. Home address: 114 N. Norton Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90004. Telephone Numbers: 323-462-4890 (residence), 323-578-5956 (cell) 213-740-0299 (work).

Michael D. Langone
, PhD, a counseling psychologist, received a doctorate in Counseling Psychology
from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1979. Since 1981 he has been Executive Director of International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), a tax-exempt research and educational organization concerned about psychological manipulation and cultic groups. Dr. Langone has been consulted by several hundred former cult members and/or their families. He was the founder editor of Cultic Studies Journal (CSJ), the editor of CSJ’s successor, Cultic Studies Review, and editor of Recovery from Cults: Help for Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse (an alternate of the Behavioral Science Book Service). He is co-author of Cults: What Parents Should Know and Satanism and Occult-Related Violence: What You Should Know. Currently, Dr. Langone is ICSA Today’s Editor-in-Chief. He has been the chief designer and coordinator of ICSA’s international conferences, which in recent years have taken place in Barcelona, New York, Rome, Philadelphia, Geneva, Denver, Brussels, Atlanta, and Madrid. In 1995, he was honored as the Albert V. Danielsen visiting Scholar at Boston University. He has authored numerous articles in professional journals and books, including Psychiatric Annals, Business and Society Review, Sette e Religioni (an Italian periodical), Grupos Totalitarios y Sectarismo: Ponencias del II Congreso Internacional (the proceedings of an international congress on cults in Barcelona, Spain), Innovations in Clinical Practice: A Sourcebook, Handbook of Psychiatric Consultation with Children and Youth, Psychiatric News, and all of ICSA’s periodicals. Dr. Langone has spoken widely to dozens of lay and professional groups, including the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion American Association for the Advancement of Science, Pacific Division, American Group Psychotherapy Association, American Psychological Association, the Carrier Foundation, various university audiences, and numerous radio and television stations, including the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour and ABC 20/20. He is also co-editor of ICSA's Cult Recovery: A Clinician's Guide to Working With Former Members and Their Families, which is due to be published in 2017.

Michael D. Langone, PhD, psychologue clinicien, est directeur général de l’International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA). Il est éditeur et fondateur du Cultic Studies Journal (CSJ), de son successeur, Cultic Studies Review, et éditeur de Recovery from Cults. Coauteur des livres Cults: What Parents Should Know et Satanism and Occult Related Violence : What You Should Know, Dr. Langone a fait de nombreuses entrevues et conférences publiques en plus d’avoir publié de nombreux textes et ouvrages au sujet des sectes. En 1995, il a reçu le prix Leo J. Ryan du Cult Awareness Network (d’origine) et a eu l’honneur d’être professeur invité dans le cadre de la chaire Albert V. Danielsen à l’université de Boston.

Yuval Laor has written a PhD dissertation about the evolution of the human capacity for fervor and sudden religious conversion. Because evolutionary analysis is interested in extreme cases of the phenomenon being examined, Yuval’s research led him to study cults and cult psychology where high levels of fervor and sudden religious conversions can be observed. Having approached the subject of cults from the point of view of evolutionary developmental biology (sometimes called “Evo-Devo” the up-to-date understanding of evolution, very different from the gene-centered view of the subject) allows Yuval to offer novel insights regarding cult psychology and religious psychology in general. These insights primarily regard (1) the psychological state of fervor, and its connection with the more familiar state of being in love; (2) the strange emotion of awe, which resembles in some ways the emotion of love; and (3) the phenomenon of sudden religious conversion which shares certain properties with the way that becoming a parent allows people to change their lives suddenly and fundamentally.

Nelly Souron Laporte est avocate. Elle dirige un cabinet généraliste qui intervient dans les différents domaines du droit. Elle assure la défense pénale des prévenus ou accusés, œuvre pour l’indemnisation des victimes de délits et crimes. Engagée dans l’AVREF, Association d’aide aux Victimes de Dérives dans les mouvements Religieux, elle y tient le rôle de conseil juridique et, à ce titre, a acquis une expérience pratique d’aide juridictionnelle aux victimes de communautés abusives. 34, rue du Faubourg St Jacques 86100 – Châtellerault – France ; Tél. : +33 (0)5 49 01 78 23. nsouron@gmail.com


Monique Lauret
. Psychiatre, psychanalyste française, membre d’Espace analytique Paris et Membre de la Fondation Européenne de la psychanalyse. Installée à Toulouse, transmets et enseigne la psychanalyse, en France, en Europe et en Chine. Ses axes de pensée et de recherche sont les questions d’Ethique, de réflexion sur nos sociétés et de transmission de la psychanalyse.

Bin Li, Master of Education, PhD, Associate Professor, Center for the Study of Cultic Groups & Religious Culture, Beijing Union University, Beijing, P.R.C

Dr. Jianhui Li is a professor in School of Philosophy and Sociology, Beijing Normal University and a director of China Association of Philosophy of Biology. He has expertised in philosophy and sociology of science. He is the author or co-author of more than ten books, such as What is Science, Science and Superstition, Pilosophy of Science, Philosophy of Life Science, Being the Friend of Truth: Philosophical Thinking on Contemporary Science, Digital Genesis. Recent years, he had begun to focus on science and pseudo-science, science and religion, philosophy of science and science education, and how science is used and criticized by new arising cults. Email: ljh@bnu.edu.cn

Ruiying Ma, PhD, Professor at the Research Center of Cult and Social Psychological Problems, Shaanxi Normal University.

Arthur Mary
, PhD, lives in France where he works as a clinical psychologist in private practice. He holds degrees in psychology, philosophy, cultural anthropology, and medical hypnosis and has a Master's degree in clinical and intercultural psychopathology. He wrote a PhD thesis about cults from a psychoanalytical (Lacanian) perspective and some academic articles about cult influence, the notion of mind manipulation, and its roots within a cultural context, the social phenomenon of salafi movements (quietists, djihadists...). He is a researcher associated with the LIRCES (Interdisciplinary Laboratory Narratives Cultures and Societies, University of Nizza-Sophia Antipolis) and for two years has been a temporary lecturer and research assistant at LCPI (Laboratory for Psychopathologic and intercultural Clinical Approaches, University of Toulouse-Le Mirail). He is a member of ADFI (Association for the Defense of Families and Individuals). His interest in cults dates back to when he was a trainee in the department of victimology of the Hospital of Reunion Island, his homeland. In 2006, Juliano Verbard's small cult became a societal phenomenon on the island, and former followers were sent to this hospital department. Thereafter, Arthur conducted various academic researches and his PhD paper with former cult members and actual followers of controversial groups, both small and large groups, religious as well as political groups. Website: coming soon Email: a.mary@gmx.com Phone: +33 (0)6 84.57.86.30

Tony McAleer is the Executive Director of Life After Hate and EXIT USA. Tony was recruiter and leader in the skinhead and white power movement in North America for over a decade before undergoing his own personal disengagement and de-radicalization process. Tony is active nationally and internationally in the study of best practices for understanding and assisting people who have been in extremist political groups. Life After Hate and EXIT USA was founded by former leaders in the radical far right who actively assist individuals wishing to leave extremist groups and criminal gangs and are active in education, research and outreach. Currently, Life After Hate (in partnership with government, academics and civil right organizations) is developing a tool to measure the disengagement and de-radicalization of former members of far right extremist groups. Life After Hate's core value is compassion.

Katharina Sengfelder Meredith has a BA in Psychology, training as a support group facilitator for domestic violence, and experience with outreach and community awareness. She grew up in a small new age cult from age 10-20, where she was cut off from the outside world, taken to three different countries, and helped build a time machine. Her mother is still involved in the cult today. For the last 12 years she has been reading up on cults, talking to other people who have been exposed to mind control, and has been exchanging ideas with people studying the phenomena. In early 2015 she created the website www.mindcontrolandcults.com in an attempt combine academic knowledge with personal experiences. The website has a section specifically for people who were born and raised in cults, as well as information regarding recovery for everyone who has experienced thought reform, no matter in what setting.

Laura Merino Gómez. Psychologist and Psychotherapist. Degree from the University of Valencia. Master in Clinical and Health Psychology, Cognitive-Behavioural therapy. Assistant Psychologist in the Unit of tobacco addiction and alcoholism of the CAP of Mollet del Vallés (ICS), also in private practice. Currently, Ms. Merino Gomez works as a psychologist in AIS (Atención e Investigación de Socioadicciones), specializing in assistance and research regarding the sectarian phenomenon as well as social addictions.

Terho Miettinen. Master of Science (economics). Member of the board of directors and vice president of the Finnish organization UUT Uskontojen Uhrien Tuki. UUT is the only organization that helps the victims of religious movements in Finland. I was born into a Pentecostal family. At that time the Pentecostal movement in Finland was against life, beauty and all kind of enjoyment. I left the Pentecostal way of thinking 15 years ago.

Cathrine Moestue
, Cand.Psychol., grew up in Oslo, Norway in an upper-middle-class family with four siblings. While attending Folkuniversity in Stockholm (1984–85), she encountered teachers who claimed to have a program to “save starving children” and lured her to participate. The group, which drew on communist teachings, isolated her from her family and made her feel guilty for her privileged upbringing. After years of working hard to “save the world,” she became disillusioned and, after several attempts, in 1992 she successfully escaped this destructive group by running away. She worked in the advertising industry and managed a radio company before earning her degree in psychology at the university of Oslo and becoming a psychologist and eventually seeking therapy to deal with her traumatic experience. She is a psychologist in private practice in Oslo and is currently working on her memoirs.

Rev. Radu Petre Muresan. Petre Radu Muresan est maître de conférences à la Faculté de Théologie orthodoxe (Université de Bucarest), Département de missiologie et d'œcuménisme et prêtre orthodoxe. Il est diplômé de la Faculté de théologie orthodoxe de l'Université de Bucarest en 1997 et, en 1998, il est diplômé des Etudes Approfondie de la même Université. Il a reçu des bourses de recherche au Centre orthodoxe du Patriarcat œcuménique de Genève et à la Faculté de Théologie Catholique de Fribourg (Suisse). Il a obtenu un stage de recherche à l'Observatoire des Religions en Suisse. Il détient un doctorat en théologie orthodoxe avec une thèse sur le discours eschatologique des groupes chrétiennes adventistes et son impact dans la société roumaine. Actuellement, il prépare le deuxième doctorat au sein de l'Institut d'Études œcuméniques, Faculté de théologie catholique, Université de Fribourg (Suisse). Ses domaines d'intérêt sont les Nouveaux Mouvements Religieux, les mouvements centrifuges dans l'Eglise Orthodoxe Roumaine, les alternatives spirituelles en vogue en Roumanie (mouvements de type New Age, scientologie, néo-paganisme, techniques alternatives de guérison). Il est l'auteur de plusieurs articles et études publiés en Roumanie et à l'étranger. Il est marié et il a quatre enfants. radupetremuresan@gmail.com

Stephen Bruce Mutch PhD, LLB, (UNSW), is Honorary Fellow in the Department of Modern History,
Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. A retired solicitor and parliamentarian, Stephen served in the New South Wales Legislative Council (State Senate) and then the Australian House of Representatives from 1988-98. His 2004 doctoral thesis is entitled Cults, Religion and Public Policy: A Comparison of Official Responses to Scientology in Australia and the United Kingdom. Dr Mutch has taught Australian politics, public policy and foreign policy. His research interests include cults, sects, new religious movements and secularism, from a comparative policy perspective. He also conducts colloquiums for the Macquarie University Global leadership program on Religion, Secularism and the State. He is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Cultic Studies and the Polish quarterly, Society and Family.

Jill Mytton
, M.Sc., C.Psychol., is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist. Currently, she is a visiting Lecturer in the School of Psychology, London Metropolitan University and at the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling, London, where she is also a research supervisor for doctoral students. She is currently studying for a doctorate at the Metanoia Institute affiliated to Middlesex University. She is listed on the British Psychological Society media list for Cults and Thought Reform and has been involved in several TV and Radio broadcasts. Her primary research interest is the mental health of Second Generation Adults, i.e., those born or raised in cultic groups. She has presented at several conferences, including: INFORM London, April 2008, the annual Division of Counselling Psychology conferences in Dublin, 2008 and Leicester 2012, the ICSA Annual Conferences in Geneva 2009 and Montreal 2012. She was born and raised in the Exclusive Brethren, leaving at the age of 16, when her parents decided to leave. Apart from a small private practice, she also runs an email support group for former Exclusive Brethren and has become a point of contact for leavers of several groups.

Kimiaki Nishida, PhD, is Professor of Social Psychology in the Faculty of Psychology, Rissho University in Japan. He is also President of the Japan Society of Cult Prevention and Recovery. He is a leading Japanese cultic studies scholar and a standing director of the Japanese Group Dynamics Association. His studies on psychological manipulation by cults were awarded prizes by several academic societies in Japan. And he has served as an expert for some courts seeking an explanation of cult mind control.

Piotr T. Nowakowski, born in 1974, Ph.D. Hab. in social sciences, Associate Professor at the John Paul II
Catholic University of Lublin – Off-Campus Faculty of Law and Social Sciences in Stalowa Wola (Poland). Areas of academic activity: social prevention, social work, pedagogy of social rehabilitation, public security, pedagogy of mass media, philosophy of education; author of headings in the Universal Encyclopedia of Philosophy (published by: Polskie Towarzystwo Tomasza z Akwinu). Books written: Sekty: co kazdy powinien wiedziec (Cults: what one should know, 1999), Sekty: oblicza werbunku (Cults: faces of recruitment, 2001), Fast food dla mózgu, czyli telewizja i okolice (Fast food for mind, i.e., television and surroundings, 2002), Modele czlowieka propagowane w wybranych czasopismach mlodziezowych: analiza antropologiczno-etyczna (Models of man propagated in selected youth magazines: the anthropological and ethical analysis, 2004). Books edited: The phenomenon of cults from a scientific perspective (2007), Sekty jako problem wspólczesnosci (Cults as a problem of contemporary reality, 2008), Higher education in Nigeria: selected aspects (2010), Wokól pigulki gwaltu (Talking about date rape drugs, 2011). Dr. Nowakowski is ICSA Today’s News Correspondent for Eastern Europe. [Education Network]

Daniel O’Brien, MaEd, is an educator in Southern California where he teaches psychology, physical and life sciences at the secondary level. A former member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, O’Brien joined the religion in his early twenties and remained in it for two and a half decades. He served as a congregation elder for the last 20 years he was a Witness up until the time he left due to suffering a crisis of conscience concerning the conflict between his personal beliefs and the hypocrisy of the leadership of the Jehovah’s Witness religion and their damaging, destructive policies and practices. As a writer and speaker, O’Brien focuses on how to heal emotionally and psychologically after leaving a cult, how to live a meaningful, authentic life and developing and implementing strategies to reach family members still in high-control, authoritarian groups. An experienced educator with more than two decades of experience in the classroom, Daniel has a Master's of Education degree which he earned at Concordia University, Irvine. Prior to that, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Music Education.

Robert Örell
works as director at Exit Sweden headed by the NGO Fryshuset. He has over fourteen years of experience on work with disengagement from political extremism and criminal gangs. He has experiences from social work with supporting victims of crime, parental support, networkingm and management. Robert is involved in national and international networks focused on sharing knowledge and best practices in the field of radicalization, disengagement, and intervention. He has arranged several international conferences and workshops. He is adviser on the work of setting up Exit organizations in several countries, as well as participated in and worked with several EU projects. Since 2012 Robert has been a member of the steering committee of the European Commission’s RAN (Radicalization Awareness Network) where he co-chairs the working group RAN Exit. Since 2016 Robert has also been part of the expert pool at the RAN Center of Excellence. In 2016-2017 Robert is working together with the Swedish National Coordinators office to set up a national practitioners network for spreading and sharing best practices. During 2014 he supervised the work at the family support hotline project Sy.Realize concerning foreign fighters. Robert has studied social pedagogy, has completed basic psychotherapy training, and has taken a certificate in Terrorism Studies at the University of St. Andrews. In April 2016 Robert made a TEDx talk at the event in Vilnius on the topic: “A Way out From Violent Extremism” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNIgKsb1QbA.


Jessica Ortega-Barón was licensed in Psychology and she made the Master Psychological Intervention in Social Contexts at the University of Valencia (Spain). Nowadays is a personal researcher in training in the Social Psychology Department at the University of Valencia (Spain). She is member of the team investigation called Group Lisis (https://www.uv.es/lisis/jessica.htm) this team researches about the coexistence at the school, violence and well-being of children and adolescents. Her research interests focus mainly on violence in adolescence from the perspective of the victims and aggressors and, specifically, on the analysis of risk factors and protection from bullying and cyberbullying, as well as the prevention of these growing social problems.

Tareq Oubrou, Grand Imam de Bordeaux. - Né le 31/10/1959, de nationalité franco-marocaine. Formation initiale scientifique (Biologie). Mufti du CRAISOF (Conseil Régional des Associations Islamique du Sud-Ouest de France). Recteur de la Grande Mosquée de Bordeaux. Président d’honneur et ex-président de l’association « les imams de France ». Administrateur de l’observatoire du pluralisme des religions et des cultures : PHAROS. Président d’IDEMM ( Institut de Découverte et d’Etude du Monde Musulman). Imam engagé dans le dialogue interconvictionnel, notamment islamo-chrétien. Président du Comité d’Ethique du Secours Islamique France (SIF). Aumônier de la prison de Gradignan (Gironde). Ecrivain, auteur de nombreux articles et plusieurs ouvrages : Loi d’Allah, loi des hommes, Liberté, égalités et femmes en islam, Tareq Oubrou (avec Leïla Babès), Albin Michel (coll. Spiritualités), Paris, 2002 ; L'Unicité de Dieu. Des Noms et Attributs divins (opuscule 1/10), éditions Bayane, Saint-Denis, 2006 ; Profession imâm, Oubrou Tareq (avec Cédric Baylocq et Michaël Privot), , Albin Michel (coll. Spiritualités), Paris, 2009 ; Un imam en colère, Oubrou Tareq (avec Samuel Liéven), , Bayard, Paris, 2012 ; Le prêtre et l’imam, Oubrou Tareq avec Christophe Roucou (directeur du Service national pour les relations avec l’islam (SRI), entretiens avec Antoine d’Abbundo, préface Jean-Louis Tauran cardinal français de la Curie romaine, président du conseil pontifical pour le dialogue inter-religieux et camerlingue de l’Eglise romaine. Bayard, Paris, 2013. La Vocation de la Terre Sainte. Un juif, un chrétien et un musulman s'interrogent, Oubrou Tareq (avec David Meyer et Michel Rémaud), Édition Lessius (coll. L'Autre et les autres, no 15), Namur, 2014 ; La féministe et l’imam, Oubrou Tareq avec Marie Françoise Colombani, à paraître vers mars 2017, édition Stock. Distinctions : Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (2013). Prix du Juge Falcone pour les droits de l’Homme (2014), discerné par le conseil de l’Europe et la ville de Strasbourg.

Adriana Pacheco. PhD criminologie, École de criminologie, Université de Montréal. Intérêt particulier de recherche : la violence en contexte religieux, notamment envers les enfants. Adriana Pacheco: Originally from Mexico, immigrated to Canada in 1993. PhD in criminology, University of Montreal (2010). Principal field of research interest: crimes committed with religious motivations, particularly violence toward children.

Susan J. Palmer, PhD, is a researcher and writer in the field of new religious studies. Her best known books are Moon Sisters, Krishna Mothers, Rajneesh Lovers (Syracuse, 1994); The New Heretics of France (Oxford University Press, 2011); Aliens Adored: Rael’s UFO Religion (Rutgers, 2004). Millennium, Messiahs and Mayhem (co-authored with Thomas Robbins, Routledge, 1998); and Children in New Religions, co-authored with Charlotte Hardman, Rutgers, 1999). Palmer received her PhD in Religious Studies from Concordia University in 1992. She lives in Montreal where she teaches at Dawson College and Concordia University in Religious Studies.

Rev Paula Parish-Foley was born in Englandm UK 1955. In 1956, with her family, she immigrated to Australia. By 1976 she was an owner/manager of West Beach Beauty Salon, Adelaide South Australia. She came to faith in Christ through a conversion experience, left her business to study and work as a nurse, and later received a call to Church Ministry. She was ordained as a Minister in Australia in 1980 and worked throughout Australia in the Ministry until 1989, when she was called to serve with the Church ecumenically in the United States of America. In 1994, personal circumstances led her back to the UK. Her qualifications are, Certificate in Theology with Westminster College, Cambridge England, Bachelor degree in Pastoral Counselling & Theology with Vision Christian University USA, and Master of Arts with Distinction in Counselling in Professional Development with the University of Derby England. Her thesis was: Spiritual Abuse: In the Christian Church & Implications & Counselling Practice. She currently works as Church Pastor/Minister of several churches and counsellor, working with abuse victims. She is an avid researcher of abuse and cultist behaviours. She is also a survivor of domestic abuse and spiritual abuse from a Christian cult. www.escape-abuse.co.uk

Tenzin Peljor. tenzin.peljor@gmx.de. Kinzigstrasse 29, 10247 Berlin, Germany. Tel.: 030 21 23 88 33. Tenzin Peljor was born in Gotha, East Germany and studied Computer Science and later Theatre Studies in Berlin. He encounterred the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) of Buddhism in 1995/1996, received the name Kelsang Tashi, and then served as an NKT teacher and taught the Foundation Program of NKT in various cities in Germany. He left NKT in 2000, and in February 2002 he received novice ordination in Nepal by Dagom Rinpoche and received the name Losang Gelek. In summer 2002 Tenzin distanced himself from Dorje Shugden, and for four years he had to recover and ""reboot"" his spiritual path. He received much support and help from many different Lamas from all four Tibetan Buddhist schools. In March 2006, along with 180 other monks, he was fully ordained and given the name Tenzin Peljor by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Tenzin operates an English-language website, buddhism-controversy-blog.com, which addresses certain controversial issues related to Tibetan Buddhism, Tibet, the Dalai Lamas and Buddhism in general, and aims to protect honest seekers from unreliable, less differentiated, semi-true or twisted information. He currently lives in Berlin as the resident monk of the Bodhicharya Buddhist Center.

Frances Peters (1959) She is a certified coach/counsellor at FreeChoice, in the Netherlands. She is a member of the ICSA. She is a former, second generation Jehovah’s Witness. Together with her husband and two children, she left the group in 2004. In 2007 she was officially disfellowshipped. In September 2011 she published an article for the Magazine ‘Tijdschrift voor Coaching’, about the influence of cultbehavior on identity development (‘Gezocht: Nieuwe Identiteit). Mieke Barendregt and she host a support group of former members of cults, abuse groups and/or relationships (OwnFreeChoice Praatcafé) since 2012. She is also part of a team of professionals (www.ontmaskermanipulatie.nl) to provide more information about cult behavior.

Daniel Picotin has been a practicing attorney at the Bordeaux Appeal Court since 1981. At the same time, he was been active in Politics in different authorities: General Counsel of Gironde, Regional Counsel of Aquitaine, Mayor until 2008 and Deputy. For this last part, he was an active participant at the committee of inquiry of the National Assembly : “ les sectes en France” in 1995. He founded the association INFOS SECTES AQUITAINE (Regional branch of the centre against mental manipulations) in 2001 and was its President until 2015. Daniel PICOTIN has been militantly against the sects and the mental manipulation for many years. As such, he officially imported in FRANCE the practice of the “exit counseling” on the occasion of a famous case : “les reclus de Monflanquin” (see book of DE VEDRINES “Nous n’étions pas armés” published by PLON limited 2013; “We weren’t armed” published by SHYSCRABER publications limited 2015.) with his team, he realize each year some exit counseling in France and in Europe. In order to achieve this, he presides the “SOCIETE FRANCAISE DE RECHERCHES ET D’ANALYSE EN EMPRISE MENTALE “ (S.F.R.A.E.M.) since 2011 et has participated to the creation of “CENTRE D’ACTIONS ET DE PREVENTIONS CONTRE LA RADICALISATION DES INDIVIDUS (C.A.P.R.I.) which he is the Vice-President since 2015. Since 2009, he has created a class of law of sectarian aberrations both in civil law and criminal law, this class is provided in lawyer schools. He will also teach soon in Universities within the creation of an university degree about the “psychopathologie et droit des problématiques sectaires”. He became an independent French specialist in the area of the influence and mental manipulation, he has published under the auspices of C.C.M.M. in 2012 un “manifeste pour une legislation efficace de protection des victimes d’emprise mentale” in 2014, the ’”exit counseling: le conseil en sortie d’emprise mentale”. He pleads regularly before the criminal courts against “Gurus” and “prejudicial manipulators.”
Daniel PICOTIN est avocat à la Cour d’appel de BORDEAUX depuis 1981 ; en même temps, il a été un homme politique dans différentes instances : Conseil Général de la Gironde, Conseil Régional d’Aquitaine, Maire, Député jusqu’en 2008. A ce dernier titre, il a participé à la Commission d’enquête de l’Assemblée Nationale « les sectes en France » en 1995. Il a fondé l’association INFOS SECTES AQUITAINE (branche régionale du Centre Contre les Manipulations Mentales) en 2001 et en a été Président jusqu’en 2015. Daniel PICOTIN milite depuis de nombreuses années contre les sectes et la manipulation mentale. A ce titre, il a importé en FRANCE officiellement la pratique de l’ « exit counseling » à l’occasion de l’affaire dite des « reclus de Monflanquin » (cf livre des DE VEDRINES « Nous n’étions pas armés » aux éditions PLON en 2013 ; « We weren’t armed » published by SKYSCRABER publications limited 2015.) ; avec son équipe, il réalise depuis chaque année des exit counseling en France et en Europe. Pour se faire, il préside la « SOCIETE FRANÇAISE DE RECHERCHES ET D’ANALYSE EN EMPRISE MENTALE » ( S.F.R.A.E.M.) depuis 2011 et a participé à la création du CENTRE D’ACTION ET DE PREVENTION CONTRE LA RADICALISATION DES INDIVIDUS ( C.A.P.R.I.) dont il est Vice-Président depuis 2015. Depuis 2009, il a créé un cours de droit des dérives sectaires civil et pénal dispensé en Ecole d’Avocats. Il va prochainement enseigner en Université dans le cadre de la création d’un diplôme universitaire sur la « psychopathologie et droit des problématiques sectaires ». Devenu un spécialiste français de la matière de l’emprise et de la manipulation mentale, il a publié sous l’égide du C.C.M.M. en 2012 un « manifeste pour une législation efficace de protection des victimes d’emprise mentale » et en 2014, l’ « exit counseling : le conseil en sortie d’emprise mentale ». Il plaide régulièrement notamment devant les juridictions pénales à l’encontre des « gourous » et « manipulateurs préjudiciables ».

Robert T. Ptaszek, PhD, is the Head of the Department of Interreligious Dialog and Alternative Religious Movements in the Institute of Cultural Studies at the Faculty of Philosophy at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (KUL). Dedicated to the study of doctrinal content of all alternatives to Christianity, this Department is the first and only one of its kind in Poland. From 2011 to 2014 Professor Ptaszek’s Department convened yearly conferences on topics related to this field of research. Their scholarly outcome filled first volumes of the new book series Alternative Religiosity (Polish: Religijność Alternatywna), created in 2012 and edited ever since by Prof. Ptaszek. He authored over 130 publications, including many lexicographical articles pertaining to his fields of expertise. They are philosophy of religion, alternative (new) religious movements, interreligious dialog, and philosophy of culture. His main work is the book New Age of Religion? The ‘New Age’ Movement and Its Doctrine under Philosophical Scrutiny (Polish: Nowa era religii? Ruch New Age i jego doktryna: aspekt filozoficzny), 2nd edn., Lublin 2015.

Muzammil Quraishi, PhD. Senior Lecturer in Criminology & Criminal Justice, Social Sciences Directorate, University of Salford, UK. Muzammil undertook his PhD at the Centre for Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Wales, Bangor. His research focused upon the qualitative experiences of Muslim populations as both perpetrators and victims of crime in Britain and Pakistan. Prior to joining the University of Salford, Muzammil was Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations (CRER) at the University of Warwick working on the ‘Muslims in Prison Project’ which was the first major study to evaluate the qualitative experiences of Muslim prisoners in the UK and France. Muzammil has developed specialist knowledge about Muslim populations and crime including working with ex-offenders, advising prison research on countering racism and advising policy makers on challenging Islamophobia in criminal justice contexts. He is co-investigator on a new major study with Dr Matthew Wilkinson at SOAS, University of London examining’ Muslim Converts in Prison’ to commence in September 2017. A full research profile and publications can be accessed at this link:http://www.seek.salford.ac.uk/profiles/QURAISHI824.jsp

Álvaro Rodríguez-Carballeira, PhD, is Full Professor of Social and Legal Psychology at the University of
Barcelona (Spain). From 1999 to 2008 he had been Head of the Social Psychology Department at this university. He has been Director of the “Invictus Research” group (http://www.ub.edu/grupvp) since 2003 and is the coordinator of the PhD Program in Social and Organizational Psychology at University of Barcelona. He is a member of the board of the "Spanish Scientific Society of Social Psychology." His research interests include the psychology of influence, harassment and violence, especially in group settings (cults), workplace, intimate partner, and terrorism. He has been involved in many projects and published many articles in these areas. During the 1980s, before and after a 1985 internship at ICSA, he worked with families and victims affected by cult membership. Dr. Rodriguez-Carballeira was awarded ICSA’s 2011 Margaret Singer Award "for advancing the understanding of coercive persuasion and undue influence".

Patrick Ryan
is a graduate of Maharishi International University. He has been a cult intervention specialist (exit counseling, mediation, religious conflict resolution, thought reform consulting) since 1984. Mr. Ryan is the co-founder of TM-EX, the organization of ex-members of Transcendental Meditation. He established ICSA's online resource (1995-2013), and has presented 50 programs about hypnosis, inner-experience, trance-induction techniques, communicating with cult members, conversion, cult intervention, exit counseling, intervention assessment, mediation, religious conflict resolution, thought reform consultation, eastern groups, transcendental meditation and workshops for educators, families, former members and mental health professionals at ICSA workshops/conferences. Mr. Ryan received the AFF Achievement Award (1997) from AFF, the Leo J. Ryan "Distinguished Service Award" (1999) from the Leo J. Ryan Foundation, and a Lifetime Achievement Award (2011) from ICSA. pryan19147@gmail.com. Websites: intervention101.com; cultmediation.com; cultrecovery101.com.


Omar Saldaña, PhD.,
is a researcher specialized in the study and measurement of psychological abuse applied within groups. He is an associated professor at the Department of Social Psychology and Quantitative Psychology at the University of Barcelona, Spain. He is a member of the Invictus Research Group, which is focused on the study of psychological abuse in different settings. He is also a member of the Spanish Scientific Society of Social Psychology (SCEPS) and of the Task Force on Psychological Manipulation Processes on Cults and Other Social Organizations at the Official School of Psychologists of Catalonia (COPC). 

Juanjo Santamaria Lorenzo, PhD, Degree in Psychology and Master in Clinical Psychology (University of Barcelona), specialist in behavioral addictions, new technologies and mental health, and eating disorders. Currently he is a post-doctoral researcher at AIS (Atención e Investigación de Socioadicciones), Barcelona, Spain. He has previously worked as a Clinical psychologist and researcher at the Bellvitge University Hospital-IDIBELL, Barcelona, Spain for more than 8 years, and has been involved on both national and international research projects. He has also worked as assistant professor in the University of Barcelona. He has published more than 30 research articles in scientific journals.

Luis Santamaría del Río
is Licentiate in Theology (SThL) and Masters in Social Communication (Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain). He is also a member of the Red Iberoamericana de Estudio de las Sectas (RIES) [Ibero-American Network for the Study of Sects] and of the Spanish Society for Religious’ Sciences (SECR) [Sociedad Española de Ciencias de las Religiones]. He has studied the cultic phenomenon for several years and has published a number of scholarly articles on this topic. He has recently published a book entitled ¿Qué ves en la noche? Religión y sectas en el mundo actual [What do you see in the night? Religion and sects in today’s world]. He is ICSA Today’s News Co-Correspondent for Spain and Latin America.

Félicité Sawadogo originaire du Burkina Faso, est doctorante en Droit des Affaires à l'Université de Bordeaux, rattachée à l'Institut de Recherche en Droit des Affaires et du Patrimoine (IRDAP). Elle a servi quinze ans comme travailleuse sans protection sociale dans une chaîne de restaurants dépendant d’une organisation internationale laïque aujourd’hui dénoncée comme communauté abusive qui recrute au nom de l’Eglise catholique et maintient sous emprise de jeunes femmes originaires des pays du Sud. Elle a réussi à s’en échapper et à reprendre des études. Elle s’est engagée afin d’agir pour les droits de ces personnes dans l’association SOLIDARIETAS TM dont elle est Secrétaire Générale. 5, Allée Danielle MITTERRAND 33600 PESSAC Tél.: +33(0) 6 18 27 97 55 sawfelisctm@yahoo.fr

Leanne Smith earned a BA from the University of Washington Tacoma where she majored in
Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in politics and values, and minored in human rights. She has been a legislative coordinator for Amnesty International since 2005. Her interest in cultic studies comes from her experience growing up in the Jehovah’s Witness religion.

Ann Stamler, MA, MPhil,
graduated from Brooklyn College summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1965, and earned graduate degrees in Latin from Columbia University. From birth until age 41, she was in the Aesthetic Realism movement, which her parents, both artists, had joined before she was born. In 1971, along with her parents, Ann was one of the first people the founder designated as teachers of Aesthetic Realism. During the years before and after the founder’s death she began to recognize cultic behavior in her fellow Aesthetic Realists, and chose to walk away from it in 1985. In 1987, she married Joseph Stamler, whom she had first met in Aesthetic Realism. For 22 years she was a senior executive of a nonprofit agency in New York that worked with the labor movements in the U.S. and Israel. She helped found a pluralistic Jewish High School in CT, and was elected three times to the legislative body of her town. Ann delivered a paper about her experience at a Cult Information Service conference in New Jersey in 2002. In 2006 , she received a notice of ICSA’s first annual workshop for Second Generation Adults, people born or raised in cultic movements. She attended the workshop as a participant from 2006 to 2011, and was invited to become a co-facilitator in 2012. She is ICSA Today’s Associate Editor. In 2014 she received ICSA's Margaret T. Singer Award.


Vincent Starnino, Ph.D. LCSW, School of Social Work, University of Indiana, IN vstarnin@iupui.edu. Education/Social Work Bldg. ES4138B, 902 West New York St., Indianapolis, IN 46202. (317) 278-2410. Vincent Starnino is a professor at the School of Social Work, University of Indiana at Indianapolis where he teaches coursework on psychopathology, qualitative research methods, and addictions in mental health. His major scholarly areas are moral and spiritual injury in veterans and consumers of mental health treatment and the strengths model in mental health. He is currently validating a treatment model for veterans experiencing moral and spiritual injury.

Alexandra Stein, PhD
, is a social psychologist who lectures and writes on cults and totalitarianism. Her latest book is Terror, Love and Brainwashing: Attachment in cults and totalitarian systems, published in 2017 by Routledge. As a young woman she was a member of a political cult, an experience she described in her first book, Inside Out. Formerly, she was a lecturer in social psychology at Birkbeck, University of London, UK and has also taught at the University of Minnesota, US and the University of Westminster, UK. She is a trustee of the Family Survival Trust, a UK organization that provides support and information about cults.

Aymeri Suarez-Pazos. est Président de l’AVREF, Association d’Aide aux Victimes de dérives dans les mouvements Religieux en Europe et en France créée en 1998 par des parents de victimes de communautés abusives et progressivement élargie aux victimes elles-mêmes. Titulaire d’une double formation d’ingénieur et d’une maîtrise en Lettres modernes obtenue en Sorbonne, Aymeri SUAREZ-PAZOS a développé des systèmes techniques avant de rompre avec un mode de vie qui lui était imposé au sein de l'Opus Dei et se tourner vers son choix de toujours: le théâtre. Il quitte l’Opus Dei après 14 années. Il est aujourd'hui comédien, écrivain, metteur en scène et, dans la vie privée père de deux enfants. Aymeri SUAREZ-PAZOS, c/o AVREF, 3, rue Xaintrailles, 75013 – Paris

Ji-il Tark, PhD, is a professor at Busan Presbyterian University, Korea and the chairman of the board and the chief editor of Modern Religion Monthly of Information Network on Christian Heresies, a leading center for Korean cultic studies researching Christian cults. He received Ph.D. in the History of Christianity from St. Michael's College, University of Toronto and published the books including Family-Centered Belief and Practice in the Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Unification Church (NY: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 2003). His father, a highly recognized researcher on new religious movements and cults in Korea, was killed by a cult member. tarkjiil@yahoo.com. Update people profile.

Beverly Shellrude Thompson
There are several themes running through Beverly’s life: trauma, healing, empowering others and empowering herself. Her parents were fundamentalist missionaries in West Africa. She attended a missionary residential school, Mamou Academy, where she experienced extensive emotional, sexual, physical, and spiritual trauma. As an adult she earned a Master’s of Divinity and for five years was a missionary with the C&MA, the denomination her parents were with. During that time, her memories of abuse and trauma began surfacing. Beverly left the denomination and church. She began a journey towards wholeness that included different healing mechanisms, including psychotherapy, group therapy for sexual assault survivors, trauma therapies and meditation. An advocate and activist for cultural change in boarding schools run by mission agencies, Beverly co-founded MK Safety Net, an advocacy and support group. She helped to launch an independent investigation into Mamou Academy. With others, she facilitated the start of an online support group, which eventually became a network of Facebook groups for former missionary kids from many denominations and schools. Her story is included in the documentary All God’s Children.

Carolle Tremblay
is an attorney in Montreal. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) with a minor in economics from Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec (1983) and bachelor’s degrees in law (B.C.L. and LL.B.) from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec (1984–1988). She is a private-practice lawyer specializing in family law with the Law Firm Joli-Coeur Lacasse. She has been involved in cult-related legal cases since 1994. Carolle is frequently interviewed by the media on cult-related matters and is President of Info-Cult/Info-Secte in Montreal, Quebec since 2003. In 2012 The International Cultic Studies Association awarded Ms. Tremblay the Herbert L. Rosedale Award in recognition of leadership in the effort to preserve and protect individual freedom.
Carolle Tremblay est avocate à Montréal. Elle détient un baccalauréat en service social et une mineure en économie de l’Université Laval de la ville de Québec (1983) et un baccalauréat en droit (B.C.L./L.L.B.) de l’Université McGill à Montréal, Québec (1984-1988). Elle œuvre en pratique privée se spécialisant en droit de la famille au sein du cabinet Joli-Cœur Lacasse. Depuis 1994 elle agit dans des litiges impliquant une problématique sectaire. Carolle donne souvent des entrevues sur des questions reliées aux sectes et est présidente d’Info-Secte à Montréal, Québec depuis 2003. L’ICSA (International Cultic Studies Association) lui a décerné le prix Herbert L. Rosedale en reconnaissance de leadership dans le domaine de la protection des droits et libertés de la personne.

Joni Valkila grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness. He was excommunicated at the age of 22 and has been shunned by his entire family since then. Joni holds a PhD from the University of Helsinki in Social Sciences. Since 2012 he has worked the director of UUT (Uskontojen uhrien tuki – Support Organization for Victims of Religion in Finland). He is one of the Nordic correspondents of ICSA Today.

Walter Van Herck, walter.vanherck@uantwerpen.be, associate professor at University of Antwerp, dep. Philosophy and Center Peter Giles. Main research focus: philosophy of religion. See my profile: www.uantwerpen.be/walter-vanherck for more information.

Rienie Venter is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology of Education at the University of South Africa. In her doctoral study Rienie focused on therapeutic guidelines for former cult members and their families. She has done research on the influence of cults on families and has recently focused on cultural ideologies and customs as a means of unethical control. As a registered educational psychologist, Rienie specializes in behavioural problems of adolescents, family, and marital problems, mind control, and unethical control in relationships. She is a member of two counter cult organizations in South Africa, RIGHT (Respect the Rights of Individuals), and CIEC, (Cult Information and Evangelical Centre). Both are organizations that act against harmful spiritual and psychological practices. Rienie has published 15 articles and has read three international and various national conference papers on mind control and high demand groups.


Cecilia Wemmert
, Medical student. cecilia.wemmert@umu.se. Department of Clinical Sciences, Umea University Professional development Building Qb plan 3 Norrlands University Hospital SE-90185 UMEA Sweden. Phone +4670 602 60 08. Cecilia Wemmert, is doing her last year as medical student on Umea University in Sweden, with planned graduation June 2017. Cecilia’s area of special interest is psychiatry, trauma and dissociation. Along with her medical studies she started a research project about health and treatment for former cult members. Cecilia is giving lecturers on undue influence and cults. cecilia.wemmert@umu.se

Doni Whitsett
, PhD, LCSW, is a Clinical Professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work where she teaches various courses in practice, behavior, mental health, and human sexuality. She has been working with cult-involved clients and their families for over 20 years and gives lectures to students and professionals on this topic. She has presented at national and international conferences in Madrid, Poland, Canada, and in Australia, where she helped organize two conferences in Brisbane. Her talks have included The Psychobiology of Trauma and Child Maltreatment (2005, Madrid) and Why Cults Are Harmful: A Neurobiological View of Interpersonal Trauma (2012, Montreal). Her publications include The Psychobiology of Trauma and Child Maltreatment (Cultic Studies Review, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2006), A Self Psychological Approach to the Cult Phenomenon (Journal of Social Work, 1992), Cults and Families (Families in Society, Vol. 84, No. 4, 2003), which she coauthored with Dr. Stephen Kent, and Why cults are harmful: Neurobiological speculations on inter-personal trauma. ICSA Today, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2014. 
Dr. Whitsett also has a specialty in Sexuality and was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Scholarship in 2016 to study, teach, and do research on this topic in China. Email: whitsett@usc.edu Phone: (323) 907-2400

Allen Tate Wood. Former vice president of the Dallas branch of the Cult Awareness Network. I am listed by Fact.Net as a cult expert. Early contributor to the American Family Foundation. I have given testimony on the Moon organization before the Frazer Committee, The United States Supreme Court and her Majesty’s High Court in London. I have been engaged in cult awareness education since 1975. Between 1986 and 2013 I worked as a drug and alcohol counselor in Texas, California, and New Hampshire. I did this addiction counseling and teaching in county jails, state prisons, probation and parole offices, and in private treatment centers. A lot of my teaching and writing has focused on the structural similarities between thought reform and addiction. I continue to remark on the functional similarity between doctrine for the ideologue and psychological defense structure for the addict. Both serve to protect an interior from new information. I have lectured on the psychology of the Cult Phenomenon in the UK, the US and Mexico. I am also the co-author of MoonStruck: A Memoir of My Life in a Cult ( an autobiographical tour de force) and two papers on the cult phenomenon: “Three Elements of Cult Counseling” and “My Four and One Half Years with The Lord of the Flies”. E-mail allentwood@hotmail.com. Web site www.allentwood.com 

Peng Xue: Center for the Study of Cultic Groups & Religious Culture, Beijing Union University, P.R. China, deputy director, senior engineer, research direction: cultic network communication, participated in two research projects on provincial level with topic of destructive cults.

Takashi Yamaguchi, Esq, practices law in Tokyo at the Link Law Office, founded by Masaki Kito. He
represents and advises the victims of various cultic groups, as well as individuals and entities confronted by those groups. He is a member of the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales, a board member and executive director of the Japan Society for Cult Prevention and Recovery (JSCPR), and one of the founders of the All Japan Network of Universities for Counter Cult Measures. He is Japanese English bilingual and is admitted to practice law in JAPAN and the State of California.


Zengyi Zhang, PhD, is a professor and the Chair of Department of Journalism and Communication at University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), Beijing. He was a professor and the vice-dean of School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, before he joined UCAS. He earned his PhD in philosophy at Peking University. He was a visiting scholar at the Center for the Studies of Science, Religion and Society (now the Blaise Pascal Institute), Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, from 1998 to 1999, and was also a visiting scholar at Program in Science, Technology and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2008 to 2009. His long research interest is the relationship between science and religion in history and contemporary society, on which he published a book entitled A Century long Controversies between Creation and Evolution in USA: the Demarcation of Science in Social Context (2006), and recently work on public understanding of science and religion through mass media and the Internet, especially focus on content analysis of media coverage of science and religion(including new religion).

Régine Zimmermann is a free-lance conference interpreter living in Geneva (Switzerland). She deals now with interpreting formation in the ethno-psychological context of Immigration. She has been personally affected by the adverse effects of aberrant behavior and spirituality within a new religious movement. Since that experience, she developed post-graduate expertise in the field of science of education and the Religious Fact and deals with the sectarian deviations specific to religious groups, through a transdisciplinary approach.

Régine Zimmermann 
est interprète de conférences à Genève (Suisse) et formatrice d'interprètes dans le contexte ethno-psychologique de l'immigration. Elle a été personnellement concernée par les effets délétères d'une spiritualité déviante pratiquée au sein d'un nouveau mouvement religieux catholique. Depuis cette expérience, elle a développé une expertise post-universitaire dans le domaine des sciences de l'éducation, du fait religieux et de la médecine légale (forensics). Elle traite des dérives sectaires dites «religieuses», par une approche transdisciplinaire et synthétique.

Bilal Zubair is working as a Lecturer of Humanities at National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan. He is presently Phd (International Relations) candidate at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. He is doing his PhD research on The Role of Culture on Strategic Communication. He other areas of research are Terrorism, Public Diplomacy and Discourse of on Power in International Relations. bilal_zubair2001@hotmail.com