Pre-Conference Readings


This conference is designed to be a practical learning experience for former group members, families, and mental health professionals.  Most of the sessions are focused on discussion.

The following resources may help you take advantage of the discussions, as well as the informal conversations that occur during breaks and in the evening.  Focus on those articles that seem most relevant to your needs and interests.


2012 Paul Martin Lecture: Thought Reform and the Psychology of Breaking Away From Totalism - Ron Burks

A Safe Haven Church: An Introduction to the Basics of a Safe Religious Community. Rev. 
Neil C. Damgaard.  ICSA Today, 6(1), 2015, 2-7. 

An Investigation into Cult Pseudo-Personality: What is It and How Does It Form? - Gillie Jenkinson, M.A. Cultic Studies Review , 7(3), 2008, 199-224.

Are Cultic Environments Psychologically Harmful? Jodi Aronoff McKibben, M.S.; Steven Jay Lynn, Ph.D.; Peter Malinoski, Ph.D. Cultic Studies Review, 1(3), 2002.

Attacks on Peripheral versus Central Elements of Self and the Impact of Thought Reforming Techniques. Richard Ofshe, PhD & Margaret Thaler Singer, PhD Cultic Studies Journal, 3(1), 1986, 4-18.

Born and Raised in Aesthetic Realism. Ann Stamler, MA, MPhil .  ICSA Today, 2(3), 2011, 20-23.

Born or Raised in Closed, High-Demand Groups: Developmental Considerations. Leona Furnari. ICSA E-Newsletter, 4(3), 2005.

Coping with Cult Involvement: A Handbook for Families and Friends (by Livia Bardin, MSW) is available for $15 (USA only) in our bookstore. It is also available as a free online PDF.

Coping with Triggers & PTSD Symptoms. Carol Giambalvo

Cult Formation. Robert Jay Lifton, M.D. Cultic Studies Journal, 8(1), 1991, 1-6.

Cult Involvement: Suggestions for Concerned Parents and Professionals. Michael D. Langone, PhD. Cultic Studies Journal, 2(1), 1985, 148-168.

Cults: A Natural Disaster—Looking at Cult Involvement Through a Trauma Lens. Shelly Rosen, MSW. International Journal of Cultic Studies, 5, 2014, 12-29. 

Cults and Families. Doni Whitsett, Ph.D. & Stephen A. Kent, Ph.D. Cultic Studies Review, 3(2), 2004.

Dialogue and Cultic Studies: Why Dialogue Benefits the Cultic Studies Field. ICSA Board of Directors. ICSA Today, 4(3), 2-7.

Diana, Leaving the Cult: Play Therapy in Childhood and Talk Therapy in Adolescence. Lorna Goldberg. International Journal of Cultic Studies, 11, 33-43.

Family Dynamics During a Cult Crisis. Douglas Agustin.  ICSA Today, 2(2), 2-5.

Family Interventions for Cult-Affected Loved Ones. Carol Giambalvo

Family Responses to a Young Adult's Cult Membership and Return. Lorna Goldberg, MSW & William Goldberg, MSW. Cultic Studies Journal, 6(1), 1987, 86-100.

How Could Anyone Join a Cult?!! Maureen Griffo. 
ICSA e-Newsletter, 4(1), 2005.

ICSA Recovery Workshops: The Colorado Model. Carol Giambalvo; Rosanne Henry. ICSA Today, 1(1), 2010, 2-9.

Leaving and Recovering From Cultic Groups and Relationships: Overview (Power Point). Michael Langone Ph.D.

Lessons Learned from SGAs About Recovery and Resiliency. Leona Furnari, MSW, LCSW & Rosanne Henry, MA. ICSA Today, 2(3), 2011, 2-9.

Marriage After the Cult. Lorna Goldberg.  ICSA Today, 4(2), 2-5.

Moments of Grace. Nancy Miquelon. Cultic Studies Journal, 15(2), 1998, 109-119.

My Unexpected Journey. Cindy Kunsman.  ICSA Today, 6(1), 2015, 8-12.

On Using the Term "Cult." Herbert L. Rosedale, Esq. and Michael D. Langone, PhD.

Physical Child Abuse in Sects. Lois Kendall, PhD. ICSA Today, 2(2), 2011, 2-5.

Post-Cult Problems: An Exit Counselor's Perspective. Carol Giambalvo.

Prevalence. Michael Langone

Psychotherapy with Ex-Cultists: Four Case Studies and Commentary. L. Goldberg, MSW & W. Goldberg, MSW. Cultic Studies Journal, 5(2), 1988, 193-210.

Raised in Cultic Groups: The Impact on the Development of Certain Aspects of Character. Lorna Goldberg, MSW. Cultic Studies Review , 5(1), 2006, 1-28.

Recovery from Abusive Groups - Wendy Ford

Religious Conflict Resolution (Power Point). Michael Langone Ph.D.

Six Conditions for Thought Reform. Margaret T. Singer Ph.D.

The Impact of a Modern-Day Polygamy Group on Women and Children. Larry Beall, PhD. ICSA Today, 2(1), 2-8.

The Relational System of the Traumatizing Narcissist. Daniel Shaw.  International Journal of Cultic Studies, 5, 2014, 4-11.

The Results of the International Cultic Studies Association’s 2008 Questionnaire for Former Cult Members. Richard Dowhower.  ICSA Today, 4(1), 2013, 10-11.

The Role of the Family. Wendy Ford Wolfberg. Excerpted from Recovery from Abusive Groups. 

Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation (Relational Perspectives Book Series). Daniel Shaw

Vulnerable Characteristics. Robert Fellows, MTS. From Easily Fooled. Copyright Robert Fellows.

Why Cults are Harmful: Neurobiological Speculations. Doni Whitsett.  ICSA Today, 5(1), 2014, 2-5.

Why We Need To Become Spiritual Consumers. Rosanne Henry, M.A.; Sharon Colvin.

Writing Betrayal of the Spirit: Autobiographical Writing as Therapy. Nori Muster.  ICSA Today, 5(1), 2014, 6-8.