Board of Directors

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.

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 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.

Steve K. D. Eichel, PhD, ABPP, Board member and past president of ICSA, is also 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. In 2016 he received ICSA's Herbert L. Rosedale Award at the Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas. 

Lorna Goldberg, LCSW, PsyA, Board member and past president of ICSA, is a licensed clinical social worker and psychoanalyst in private practice and Director, Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies. In 1976, she and her husband, William Goldberg, began facilitating a monthly support group for former cult members in their home, which, since the pandemic, has become virtual. 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. She co-chaired ICSA’s Mental Health Committee with Rosanne Henry 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, including: “Diana, Leaving the Cult: Play Therapy in Childhood and Talk Therapy in Adolescence,” International Journal of Cultic Studies, Vol.2, 33-43 (2011), and “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 (2012). She also wrote a chapter on guidelines for therapists in the book Recovery from Cults, edited by Michael Langone (1995). Lorna has co-written a chapter on psychotherapy with targeted parents with Bill Goldberg in the book Working with Alienated Children and Families , edited by Amy J.L. Baker & S. Richard Sauber (2012). She is also co-editor of ICSA's Cult Recovery: A Clinician's Guide to Working with Former Members and Their Families,  published in 2017. More recently, Lorna wrote a chapter on therapy with former members of destructive cults in the book New Religious Movements and Counselling, edited by Sarah Harvey, Silke Steidinger, and James A. Beckford (2018). 

Jackie Johnson, DSW, LCSW-R, is the Executive Director of ICSA.  A licensed clinical social worker with a certification in forensic social work, Dr. Johnson earned her Associate of Arts in Humanities at Dutchess Community College, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Bard College, Master of Science in Social Work at Columbia University, and her Doctor of Social Work in Clinical Practice and Leadership at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  Prior to becoming Executive Director of ICSA,  Dr. Johnson served as Chief of Treatment Services for the NYS Office of Children and Family Services, Deputy Commissioner for the Dutchess County, NY, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, and Regional Clinical Services Manager for Gateway Community Service Board in Brunswick, GA. Dr. Johnson is a second-generation survivor, having spent 43 years with Jehovah’s Witnesses. In her private practice, she focuses on assisting indoctrinated individuals find freedom from systems of control or coercive groups and relationships.  Dr. Johnson's research interests include the cognitive development and epistemology of female cult and abuse survivors.

Robin Boyle Laisure, JD,  Professor of Legal Writing, St. John’s University School of Law, is a member of the Board of Directors for ICSA. She has previously served as a member of the editorial board for the International Journal of Coercion, Abuse, and Manipulation and for the International Journal of Cultic Studies.  She lectures domestically and internationally on topics concerning cults, human trafficking, undue influence, and the law.  She is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law and of Vassar College.  After several years of practice at two large law firms in New York City, she began teaching law students at St. John’s in 1994. In 2005, she received the Faculty Outstanding Achievement award from the President of St. John’s University. Her publications relevant to cultic studies include: 

·        Human Trafficking, Cults, & Coercion:  The Use of Drugs as a Tool, International Journal of Coercion, Abuse, and Manipulation (2023).

·        Preventing Predatory Alienation by High-Control Groups:  The Application of Human Trafficking Laws to Groups Popularly Known as ‘Cults,’ and Proposed Changes to Laws Regarding Federal Immigration, State Child Marriage, & Undue Influence, International Journal of Coercion, Abuse, and Manipulation, 1(2) (2021).

·        With co-author Andrea Laisure, in ICSA Today 8(3) (2017): Staying Safe: Observing Warning Signs of a Dangerous Liaison.

·        Employing Trafficking Laws to Capture Elusive Leaders of Destructive Cults, Oregon Review of International Law, 17(205) (2016). 

·        Current Status of Federal Law Concerning Violent Crimes Against Women and Children: Implications for Cult Victims, Cultic Studies Review, 1(1) (2002). 

·        How Children in Cults May Use Emancipation Laws to Free Themselves, Cultic Studies Journal, 16(1) (1999).

·        Women, the Law, and Cults:  Three Avenues of Legal Recourse – New Rape Laws, VAWA, and Anti-Stalking Laws, Cultic Studies Journal 15(1) (1998).


Additionally, she has authored two books: Becoming a Legal Writer:  A Workbook with Explanations to Develop Objective Legal Analysis and Writing Skills, with Chris Coughlin and Sandy Patrick (Carolina Academic Press 2019), and Teaching Contract Drafting, appearing in the Elgar Guides to Teaching series (forthcoming Edward Elgar publisher 2023).

Ann McAlpin is a nonprofit executive, retired from ten years as Executive Director of CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County.  Ann is a Certified Board Consultant through BoardSource, a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), and a Certified Mediator through the Center for Dispute Resolution in Santa Monica. She has served on the state board for Texas CASA and currently serves on boards for Mosaics of Mercy and Young Texas Artists, in addition to the International Cultic Studies Association. Her career includes marketing and management positions with Hewitt Associates, Hewlett Packard and Apple Computers.

Debby Schriver, President of ICSA. 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 about 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 (coedited 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 (coauthored 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); and Rise and Shine, The Monica Abbott Story (The University of Tennessee Press, 2023). Schriver is actively involved in civic organizations, particularly those that direct their services to children. She is a Girl Scout volunteer; president of the Blount Mansion Association; founder of Keys to Me, a nonprofit foundation serving communities and individuals impacted by coercive control; board member for PBS; and 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 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. Along with her parents, Ann was one of the first people the founder designated to teach his philosophy. 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. 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. She attended ICSA’s Workshop for Those Born or Raised in Cultic Groups or Relationships from its first meeting in 2006, became a facilitator in 2012, and followed Carol Giambalvo as workshop coordinator in 2017. She is ICSA Today’s Managing Editor. In 2014 she received ICSA's Margaret T. Singer Award. She has served on ICSA’s Board of Directors since 2018.