Speakers

ICSA Santa Fe Conference - 2017
Speakers for the 2017 conference have not yet been identified.  Since some of those who presented in 2015 will probably participate in 2017, we have left the 2015 speakers' bios below.



Elizabeth Blackwell
was born into a Christian family who became heavily involved in a Bible-based doomsday cult. She was not permitted to obtain a formal education, nor was she allowed contact with anyone outside of the group. In 2009, she sought help in coming to terms with her cult experience and became aware of the many unique challenges and strengths inherent to former members, particularly those who were raised in high-demand groups. She has since been an active member of the International Cultic Studies Association, presently through service on the NYC Educational Outreach Initiative. She also serves on the board of reFOCUS, a cult survivor support network. Ms. Blackwell is currently an honor's student in the Psychology department at Columbia University. For her honor's thesis she is researching attachment to caregivers, and traumatic childhood experiences of both physical and psychological abuse in Nim Tottenham's Developmental Affective Neuroscience lab.

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. Last fall, Wendy resigned from her full-time career position to devote more time to she and her husband’s ministry to cult survivors. Wendy is also the author of I Can’t Hear God Anymore: Life in a Dallas Cult. She and her husband, Doug, live in the Dallas metroplex where they are active in cult awareness activities and facilitate a monthly support group for former members of cults. 

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 Preston, 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.

Leona Furnari, MSW, LCSW, is a psychotherapist in Boulder, CO, specializing in recovery from trauma,
including recovery from abusive groups and relationships. Ms. Furnari is a former member of an Eastern/New Age group, and it was that experience that led to her commitment to help others recover from abusive groups. She has been a regular facilitator/presenter at ICSA's former-member workshops and cult-education conferences since 1998. She has worked in child protection, community mental health, and as a school social worker. She is an EMDR International Association certified therapist and consultant. In 2010 ICSA awarded her the Margaret L. Singer Award for advancing the understanding of coercive persuasion and undue influence. 

Carol Giambalvo
 is a former cult member who has retired as a Thought Reform Consultant. She is a cofounder of reFOCUS, a national support network for former cult members. She is on ICSA’s Board of Directors, Director of ICSA’s Recovery Programs, and is responsible for its Project Outreach. Author of Exit Counseling: A Family Intervention, co-editor of The Boston Movement: Critical Perspectives on the International Churches of Christ, and co-author of "Ethical Standards for Thought Reform Consultants", and co-author (with Rosanne Henry, MA, LPC) of "The Colorado Model" in ICSA Today, 1(1), 2010. Ms. Giambalvo has written and lectured extensively on cult-related topics. In 2008 and 2010 (shared with the other Colorado workshop facilitators) Ms. Giambalvo received ICSA's Margaret T. Singer Award.

Lorna Goldberg, LCSW, PsyA,
 Board member and past president of ICSA, is a psychoanalyst in private practice and Dean of Faculty at the Institute of 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. In 1989, 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. 


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, This group has been meeting for over thirty-five years, and 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 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.

Janet Heimlich
is the founder and Executive Director of the Child-Friendly Faith Project, a national nonprofit organization that educates faith communities about child development, maltreatment, and protection. The mission of the CFFP is to end child abuse and neglect that is enabled by ideology. Ms. Heimlich is also an award-winning journalist and the author of Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment, which examines child abuse and neglect that is justified with religious doctrines. As a freelance reporter for National Public Radio, she won nine journalism awards given by the Dallas Press Club, the Houston Press Club, and the State Bar of Texas. In addition, Ms. Heimlich has written nonfiction articles for such publications as Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, and the Texas Observer.

Rosanne Henry, MA, LPC, is a psychotherapist practicing in Littleton, Colorado. For the past twenty years she has been active in the counter cult movement working closely with the former Cult Awareness Network and ICSA. She presently sits on the board of ICSA and heads the Mental Health Committee. She has facilitated ICSA’s Recovery workshops for twenty years. Rosanne’s private practice specializes in the treatment of cult survivors and their families. She is a former member of Kashi Ranch. In 2010 ICSA awarded her the Margaret L. Singer Award for advancing the understanding of coercive persuasion and undue influence.

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.comcultrecovery101.com.

Heidi I. Knapp
 is currently pursuing a B.S. in Psychology. Heidi has three certifications in Life Coaching. Her topics of study have included; Spiritual Abuse, Codependency, Healthy Boundaries for personal relationships, Stress Management and Skills for coping through crisis. She co-directs Becoming Free along-side her husband Pat with whom she co-facilitates support and recovery groups for those who have experienced spiritual abuse. Heidi contributes to the educational process of writing curriculum for these support and recovery groups. She has had personal experience with three different aberrant Christian groups. Heidi has spent 20 years of education on recovery issues and continues her education through accredited workshops. She is a member of the International Cultic Studies Association, The American Association of Christian Counselors, and The International Christian Coaching Association. Additionally, she has previously coordinated and lead support groups for parents raising special needs children. Heidi and her husband currently reside in Littleton, Colorado.

Patrick J. Knapp, M.A.
Philosophy of Religion, Denver Seminary. Pat’s initial interest in cult recovery stems from his own involvement in a harmful bible-based group (1970-1984). His recovery resulted from individual and marriage counseling, in addition to several years of work in and facilitating support groups for ex-members and their loved ones. His M.A. thesis was titled: “The Place of Mind-Control in the Cult Recovery Process.” Over the past 25+ years he has formally mentoring Denver Seminary students for spiritual formation. Pat is the founder of and co-directs Becoming Free. This is an organization committed to facilitating compassionate, safe support/recovery groups for those who have suffered previous involvement in abusive/harmful religious or spiritual environments. He and his spouse (Heidi) co-facilitate these 12 week support groups. He has done doctoral studies in Marriage and Family Counseling (Professional Track), at Gordon-Conwell Seminary in Charlotte, NC. He has also recently completed multiple counseling internships at addictions treatment centers and at a local counseling center. Currently he is pursuing a PhD in Pastoral Psychology, at Graduate Theological Foundation (GTF) and is involved in several writing projects examining spiritual abuse and recovery.

Michael Kropveld
 is Founder and Executive Director of Info-Cult /Info-Secte, based in Montreal, Canada, and sits on the board of the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA). Since 1980 he 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. Since the mid 1990s he has collaborated on the organizing of the ICSA annual international conferences on cultic phenomena. He has been an invited speaker worldwide, and has appeared on many radio and television programs locally, nationally and internationally. Among other publications he co-authored, in 2006, The Cult Phenomenon: How Groups Function / Le phénomène des sectes: L'étude du fonctionnement des groupes. Both versions are downloadable for free. He was awarded the 125 Commemorative Medal in 1992 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 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.

Luna Lindsey
 was born into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) and left the faith in 2001, at age 26. She now lives in Seattle, WA and writes about topics of interest to her, including psychology, mind control, social justice, culture, autism, and science fiction. Her book, Recovering Agency: Lifting the Veil of Mormon Mind Control, connects known mind control techniques to doctrines and policies of the LDS Church, and it has been helping exmormons recover from the totalist manipulation they experienced. http://www.recoveringagency.com



Eva Mackey Meyrat, MD
, is a second generation adult whose father was a tenured professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. Her mother was a devotee of an eastern cult that practiced a branch of Hinduism called Advaita Vedanta, a non-dualistic philosophy that teaches that the self is one with the ultimate truth or reality. Half of Eva’s childhood was spent in an ashram in India where she and the other children were unsupervised much of the day. Despite the upheavals and instability that characterized her childhood, Eva managed to get out of the cult at the age of 16 and eventually earned her MD from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Dr. Meyrat has a busy Family Practice and she lives near Dallas with her three small children.

Nancy Miquelon , LPCC
, is a Clinical Mental Health Counselor specializing in trauma recovery in adults and children. She currently practices in Dulce, New Mexico, home of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, and has been in practice since 1993. Nancy is a co-founder, and serves on the board, of reFOCUS, a cult survivor support network. She is a regular facilitator at ICSA's Recovery Workshop. In 2010 Nancy received ICSA's Margaret T. Singer award. Nancy was a member of the Emissaries of Divine Light.


Nathan Mollohan understands how certain religious beliefs and ideologies can be damaging to children and is passionate about protecting them from religious abuse. He gains this insight from personal experience, as he was raised in a fundamentalist, Christian household and attended various religious schools from kindergarten through high school. In 2017, Nathan joined the board of directors of the Child-Friendly Faith Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to end religious child maltreatment. He sees the opportunity to educate the public as a great way to drive for change and is excited to lend his knowledge and share his experiences to help improve the lives of children in harmful religious communities. Nathan lives in Cincinnati, where he is a manager at a large health system, teaches business statistics at a local university, and serves on the board of a large continuing care retirement community. He has had an extensive career in retail and restaurant management, including owning a pizza restaurant. He is married with one fun and energetic nine-year-old boy.

Judy Pardon, M.Ed
., has been a teacher and a counselor. Since 1992 she has been Associate Director of the New England Institute of Religious Research and Meadowhaven, where she has worked with former cult members, including some who have experienced profound trauma. She has also spoken widely on the subject and conducted training programs for human service personnel.  In 2014 Ms. Pardon received, with her husband Robert, ICSA's Herbert L. Rosedale Award. [Boston Local Meeting]

Robert Pardon, M.Div
., Th.M., is the Executive Director of the New England Institute
of Religious Research and MeadowHaven. During the past five years he has specialized in Bible-based communal groups. Much of his work involves counseling, support groups, working with those born and/or raised in groups, and helping former members rebuild their lives. To facilitate the recovery process MeadowHaven, a long term rehabilitation facility was opened in 2002. It can accommodate individuals or families who require long term (up to a year) care to recover from trauma and cult abuse.  
In 2014 Rev. Pardon received, with his wife Judy, ICSA's Herbert L. Rosedale Award.

Debby Schriver. A native of Chicago, Debby Schriver earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her major studies were in educational counseling psychology and early American literature. Schriver’s curiosity in the psychological and sociological ways that people develop, particularly during the formative years, found a professional home in higher education. At the University of Tennessee she served as Associate Dean of Student Conduct and Orientation for 13 years and Manager of Employee Training and Organizational Development for 18 years. Her books include: To Read My Heart, the Journal of Rachel Van Dyke 1810-1811 (Co-edited with Lucia McMahon, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000); In the Footsteps of Champions: The University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers, the First Three Decades (The University of Tennessee Press, 2008); Ice ‘n’ Go: Score in Sports and Life (Co-authored with Jenny Moshak, The University of Tennessee Press, 2013); Whispering in the Daylight, The Children of Tony Alamo’s Christian Ministry and Their Journey to Freedom (The University of Tennessee Press, 2018 release date). Schriver is actively involved in civic organizations, particularly those that direct their services to children. She is a Girl Scout volunteer, member of the Board of Directors for the YWCA (East Tennessee) and serves as a member of the Foster Care Review Board for the Knox County Juvenile Court.

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. 

Lois Svoboda, M.D., L.M.F.T.
, is a former family medicine physician who has been trained in Marriage & Family Therapy and worked as a medical family therapist for 23 years in Wichita Kansas. Since retiring to Fremont, Nebraska in 2004, she opened a counseling practice and is working with people who have exited cults. She has planned and been responsible for a full day workshop for former cult members in Omaha, Nebraska., as well as a one day symposium for medical, law enforcement, clergy, mental health professionals, and the public on Cults and Gangs in Omaha in 2007. She also worked at Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center in Ohio during Dr. Paul Martin's final illness, together with Patricia Cartledge. Dr. Svoboda is ICSA Today’s Family Editor. 

Joseph Szimhart 
began research into cultic influence in 1980, after ending his two-year devotion to a New
Age sect called Church Universal and Triumphant. He began to work professionally as an intervention specialist and exit counselor in 1986 on an international scale. From 1985 through 1992, he was chairman of an interdenominational, cult information organization in New Mexico. Since 1998 he has worked in the crisis department of a psychiatric emergency hospital in Pennsylvania. He continues to assist families with interventions and former members in recovery, including consultations via phone and Internet. He maintains a cult informational website, lectures, consults for the media, and has published articles, book reviews, and papers related to the cult problem. His first novel, Mushroom Satori: The Cult Diary, was released in 2013 through Aperture Press. He has an art studio at Goggleworks Center for the Arts in Reading, PA.

Madeleine L Tobias, MS RN CS, has been a psychotherapist working with ex-members since 1987. She
contributed a chapter to Recovery From Cults and has spoken widely about cults for many years. She co-authored (with Janja Lalich) Captive Hearts/Captive Minds and then Take Back Your Life. She worked as a Clinical coordinator and Military Sexual Trauma Specialist for the Veterans Administrations Vet Center in White River Junction, VT from 1994 - 2012. As an Approved Consultant for the EMDR International Association she provided EMDR (Eye Motion Desensitization and Reprocessing) for both traumatized veterans as well as clients in her private practice. During her work at the VA, she trained and utilized Cognitive Processing Therapy with both veterans and ex-members of cults. In September 2001, she participated in a team supporting and debriefing Veterans Administration witnesses of 9/11 in NYC and NJ. Mady is now semi-retired in Virginia. She is currently working on adapting the Veterans Administrations’ CPT manual for the treatment of ex-members of cults, and preparing a chapter on CPT for an upcoming book for ICSA. She provides consultation for EMDR and CPT for trauma survivors. She is a Hospice volunteer and serves on the Advisory Board of the Loudoun Medical Reserve Corp.

Doni Whitsett, PhD, LCSW, is a Clinical Professor of Social Work at the University of Southern California
School of Social Work. Dr. Whitsett teaches various courses in practice, behavior, and mental health. She has been working with cult-involved clients and their families for 20 years and gives lectures to students and professionals in this area. 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.