Who We Are
Founded in 1979*, the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is a global network of people concerned about psychological manipulation and abuse in cultic and other high-control environments. ICSA is tax-exempt, supports civil liberties, and is not affiliated with any religious or commercial organizations. ICSA is unique in how it brings together former group members, families, helping professionals and researchers.
ICSA's mission is to provide information, education, and help to those adversely affected by or interested in cultic and other high-control groups and relationships.
What We Do
ICSA fulfills its mission by applying research and professional perspectives to:
Help former members of cultic and other high-control environments
Provide guidance and support to families of people involved in high-control environments
Educate the public about psychological manipulation and the harmful effects of high-control environments
Encourage, support, and conduct research to advance understanding of psychological manipulation and high-control environments
Support helping professionals interested in this area
ICSA’s main event is its annual international conference, which takes place on alternating years in Europe or North America. ICSA's annual conference is the conference to attend if you are interested in cultic studies. In recent years about 125 persons have volunteered to speak at the annual conference.
With the help of volunteers, ICSA conducts a variety of regional conferences and webinars (see Events) and local meetings.
Documents Pertinent to ICSA's Philosophy and History
Your financial support enables ICSA to:
Respond each year to thousands of e-mails and phone requests for assistance and/or information
Organize conferences, local meetings, special events to inform and help former group members, families, helping professionals, researchers, and others
Conduct recovery workshops for former group members and family workshops for those concerned about a loved one
Maintain a website and e-library with more than 25,000 documents
Sustain a volunteer network of hundreds of skilled people contributing each year to events, publications, research, artistic endeavors, study groups, and other efforts
Provide training and consultation to helping professionals interested in cultic studies
Encourage, support, and conduct research
Publish periodicals that are vital to this field, ICSA Today and International Journal of Cultic Studies
Your contributions also enable ICSA to help those in financial need by offering:
Fee discounts or waivers to workshops, conferences, and events
A wealth of e-resources
Access to a network of helping professionals, many of whom offer discounted or pro bono professional services
* ICSA was founded as American Family Foundation. The name was changed in 2004 for a variety or reasons - see "name change" document.