Facilitators



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 serves on the ICSA’s Educational Outreach Committee and is on the board of reFOCUS, a cult survivor support network. Ms. Blackwell is a graduate of the honor's program in the Psychology department at Columbia University. For her honor's thesis she researched attachment to caregivers, and traumatic childhood experiences of both physical and psychological abuse in Nim Tottenham's Developmental Affective Neuroscience lab. (ewb2127@columbia.edu).
  


Leona Furnari, MSW, LCSW
, is a psychotherapist in Boulder, CO specializing in recovery from trauma, including recovery from abusive groups and relationships. She has been a facilitator at ICSA’s recovery workshops for 15 years; she also has worked as a school social worker and in community mental health. She is a former member of an Eastern/New Age group. (www.leonafurnari.com)



Lorna Goldberg, MSW, LCSW, PsyA, is a psychoanalyst in private practice with children, adolescents, and adults. She has co-led a support group for former cult members and families with her husband, William, for over 40 years. She is a past president of ICSA and serves on its Board of Directors, and is Director of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies, Teaneck, New Jersey. She has written extensively for social work and ICSA publications and is coeditor of Cult Recovery: A Clinician’s Guide to Working with Former Members and Families (2017, ICSA). (Lorna@blgoldberg.com)

Bill Goldberg, MSW, LCSW, PsyA, a psychoanalyst in private practice, has co-led a support group for former cult members and families with his wife, Lorna, for over 40 years. Until his retirement, he was Director of the Community Support Center and The Young Adult Center of the Rockland County (NY) Department of Mental Health. Mr. Goldberg is an Adjunct Professor in the Social Work Department of Dominican College and icoeditor of Cult Recovery: A Clinician’s Guide to Working with Former Members and Families (2017, ICSA).. (Bill@blgoldberg.com)

Rosanne Henry, MA, LPC
, a member of ICSA’s Board of Directors, is a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of cult survivors and their families. She is a former member of Kashi Ranch, and for the past 20 years she has been helping those harmed by cults through her work with the Cult Information Service (formerly the Cult Awareness Network) and ICSA. She is coeditor of Cult Recovery: A Clinician’s Guide to Working with Former Members and Families (2017, ICSA). (rosanne@cultrecover.com)

Nitai Joseph
was born into the fringes of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Hare Krishna) and later joined an offshoot sect, living as a monk for nearly 7 years. As assistant to the guru and a member of the inner circle he experienced and witnessed the damages of cultic exploitation. After leaving the temple and subsequently the entire group, Nitai quickly began seeking out support and education and participating in ICSA events. He now studies psychology at Columbia University. (nj2365@columbia.edu)

Eva Mackey, MD,
is a second-generation former member 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 husband and four children. (eva_mackey@yahoo.com)

Ck Rardin was born in California. His parents raised him in a cultic Catholic group and when he reached adolescence, they signed over their parental rights to the group. Ck was then sent to the cult’s headquarters in Itaquera, SP, Brazil. He stayed in the group till age 26 when he gathered the courage and strength to leave the organization on his own. After leaving he became a Certified EMT, then was certified and joined the ASCP (American Society of Clinical Pathologists, with which he maintains his certification). He now runs his own IT consulting firm in upstate New York and spends much of his time involved in recovery from his experience, working to expose these groups (for example assisting in research for MTV's production of "The Cult Question") as well as helping others in their recovery.


Ann Stamler, MPhil,
is Associate Editor of ICSA Today, a magazine about cultic issues for professionals, former members, families, and the general public. She was born and raised in Aesthetic Realism, a New York-based cultic art/therapy movement, and attended Brooklyn College and Columbia Graduate School while still in the movement. Since leaving it at age 41 she has written and spoken on her experience. She serves on ICSA’s Educational Outreach and Conference Coordinating Committees. She has attended this workshop since its inception in 2006 and became its coordinator in 2017. (asxmbr@gmail.com)


Sara B. Waters, MS, MA,
is a psychotherapist and licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) and credentialed substance misuse counselor (CASAC) in New York City, with 18 years of experience in the mental health field. She was raised as a “missionary kid” in France in a high demand, fundamentalist, evangelical group and missionary boarding school. She left the group as a teenager and is intimately familiar with the trauma of religious psychological abuse, parental rejection, and loss of community. Sara specializes in treating posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and recovery from high-demand and abusive relationships. She maintains a private practice in Manhattan, conducts empirical research in psychology and is completing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at The New School for Social Research. (sarawaters@protonmail.com)