Program for 2023 Annual Conference



Wednesday, July 1, 2020




10 - 1

Education (Piotr Nowakowski, Facilitator)

·         Understanding Robert Cialdini's Seven 'Social Influence Processes': Examples from our lives (Russ Bradshaw)

·         Education is key to intervention; A unique college course approach to helping service providers understand, empathize and intervene in cultic situations (Kelly Fornwalt)

·         A Very Special Episode - Using Popular Culture to Change Perceptions About Coercive Control (Karin Robinson)

·         Positive Intervention Through (Coercive) Media Influence (Mark Giles)

·         Discussion on Using Media to Educate the Public


2 - 5

Research (Rod Dubrow-Marshall, Facilitator) 


9  5

Mental Health (Faciitator, TBD)

·         Intervention Roles of Mental Health Clinicians: Support Services for Individuals, Families and Intervention Teams (Margaret Eichler – 9 -12)

·         Clinical issues: working with first-generation former members (Linda Dubrow-Marshall; Nitai Joseph; Ashley McLean – 1:30 3:30)

·         Clinical Case Discussion (4 – 6; facilitator TBD)


9 - 5


Building Bridges; Leaving and Recovering from Cultic Groups and Relationships: A Workshop for Families (Rachel Bernstein; Joseph Kelly; Patrick Ryan)


9 - 5

Former Member (TBD)



Healing from sexual abuse related to coercive control (Steve Eichel; Doni Whitsett)


How Female Former Cult Members Can Reclaim their Relationship with Knowledge and Self-Identity: An Interactive Workshop (Jacqueline Johnson)


10 - 6

Misunderstanding Cults (Marie Andree Pelland, Facilitator)


Thursday, July 2, 2020

9:00 – 10:30

Welcome; housekeeping

Plenary address (TBD)


10:30 – 11:00



11:00 – 12:30

How in-depth knowledge of techniques used by dating violence perpetrators could help the support system of someone involved in a cult to intervene (Louisa Stoker-Braun)

How to appeal to the reconfigured consciences of ex-cult members (Hank Stoker)


Panel: The Mystical Geography of Quebec (Martin Geoffrey; Susan Palmer; Paul Garreau)


Spiritual Abuse Among Cult Ex-Members (Deborah Glasscock)

Authentic Healing: Reconnecting with One’s Self and God (Bob Pardon; Judy Pardon)


11 Years After the Raid:  Then and Now –– The Transformative Years (Debby Schriver et al)


Le modèle de la bergerie - Un outil destiné au criminaliste pour appréhender la dangerosité objective d'un groupe religieux minoritaire (Arnaud Palisson)

Otage du silence - Sacrifiée à une secte à l'age de 2 ans, Captive durant près de 20 ans (Myriam Keyzer)


Open Discussion: Born-or-Raised (Facilitators: TBD) [open only to those born or raised in cultic groups]


12:30 – 2:30

Lunch Break


2:30 –  4:00 

Panel - What Developmental Research Can Teach Us about Parent/ Child Separation: The Psychological and Neurobiological Implications for Those who are Born and Raised in Cults (Lorna Goldberg; Doni Whitsett)


Coercive Control, Cults and the Elderly (Debby Schriver)

Where opinion matters more then facts: A political cult's online science denialism, hate and misogyny (Angela Wilson)


3 MMM - 3 Minute Mental Makeover, a therapeutic tool (Gina Catena)

Embracing "I don't know": The crisis of authenticity when leaving a cult (Ryan Lee)


Panel - From Deprogramming to the Intervention 101 Approach - the evolution of cult interventions (Rachel Bernstein; Joseph Kelly; Patrick Ryan) 


A Different Understanding of Religious Abuse and Recovery (Pat Knapp)

Developing Safe Haven Churches/Synagogues (and other religious organizations) in Your Community (Wendy Duncan; Doug Duncan)


Plaidoyer Victimes – Part 1


La réalité sectaire comme une dépendance : fondements, similarités et enjeux psychosociaux (Jacob Amnon Suissa)

La vulnérabilité de nos sociétés face au phénomène sectaire (Marie-Hélène Frappier)


2:30 – 4:00

Open Discussion: First-Generation (Facilitators: TBD) [open only to first-generation former cultic group members]


4:00 –  4:30



4:30  - 6:00

Panel - Benefits and Challenges of Online Counselling (Lee Marsh; Frances Peters)


Nxivm: the (Stripe) Path to Success? (Stephen Kent, Moderator; Susan Raine;Ashley McLean; Robert Gray; Sarah Edmonson)


How my experience of well-meaning, but misguided manipulation in education and Bible based, Christian Brethren influenced my counselling practice and Christian faith (Roger Helyar)

Baby or bathwater: sorting out the difference over time (Peter Finn)


After "500" cult interventions, what did I learn? (Joseph Szimhart)

A life long career of 40 plus years of family requests for professional cult interventions and the United Nations considers FECRIS observations in our official United Nations publications (David Clark)


Coming too close: reporting on Centrepoint and other sex cults (Anke Richter)

STILL AN ACORN; NOT YET AN OAK Thirty years at the helm of ReGAIN: the Evolution of a small  Information,  Education, Prevention, Guidance, Support and Healing organization, which may inspire others (Paul Lennon)


Plaidoyer Victimes -Part 2


Il faut refonder une grammaire de confrontation (Régine Zimmermann)


Friday, July 3, 2020

9:00 – 10:30

Panel – Music as a Therapeutic and Psychoeducational Tool in Recovery Work With Former Cult Members: A Workshop (Debbie Carroll; Lorna Goldberg)


Countering Violent Extremism Down Under: The Cultic Studies Connection (Stephen Mutch)

Abeyance in the Khalistani Movement (Maryam Razavy)


My 20 Years in the Sullivanian Cult (Ellie Bernstein)

The Secret Life of A Cult Member (Alice Graves)


Scientology's Legal System (Phil Lord)

The Long Game: Leaving Scientology as a Teenager (Naomi Raddatz; Chris Shelton)


Psycho-Medical Assessments of Refugees: signs of trauma in cult survivors from West Africa (Agnieszka Grochowska)

Will I ever heal?  A therapist’s personal reflections on being raised in - and leaving - an evangelical missionary community (Sara Waters)


L’intervention étatique en contexte sectaire : perspectives canadienne et québécoise (Carolle Tremblay ; Sarah-Michèle Vincent-Wright)

Questions et enjeux sur un procès de dérive sectaire devant la Cour d'assises (Daniel Picotin ; Mikael Sainte-Croix)


How to prevent and stop cults without becoming one? (Jeremy Sherman)

Bullet Journaling for Self-Connection and Personal Empowerment (Sara Claggett)


10:30 – 11:00



11:00 – 12:30

Cutting down cultic ties: The Israeli center for cults victims's creative multidisciplinary approach (Sharon Doni)

Cheetah House: Support for meditators-in-crisis (Britton Willoughby)


Some insights from crowd/group psychology on cultic studies (Stephen Parsons)

Self-Persuasion and Self-Deception in Extreme Influence (Linda Demaine)


A Narrative Exploration into Counsellors' experiences of the influence of a fundamentalist religious upbringing on mental health and wellbeing in adulthood (Gill Harvey)

Distorted Discipleship in Christian churches: is there a place for healthy mentoring today? (Kenneth Garrett)


Panel - Recent Legal Developments in the U.S. (Robin Boyle)

The Church of the Ecumenical Redemption International: Court Management of a Pseudolaw-Employing Simulated Religious Community (Donald J. Netolitzky); Getting the Ghet: Analyzing the Need for State Intervention in Jewish Divorces (Lea Lavy)


The Cult of Trump: How to speak respectfully and strategically to promote re-evaluation (Steve Hassan)

Cultic Dynamics in Politics: Left and Right (Michael Langone)


La victimisation en contexte sectaire : Construire un portrait statistique de l’expérience de victimisation de membres et d’anciens membres canadiens (Marie-Andrée Pelland ; Céleste Goguen)

Analyse d’expériences de victimisations par des figures d'autorités religieuses dans les provinces de l’Atlantique (Canada): Un silence systémique prolongé (Marie-Andrée Pelland ; Christine Thériault)


11:00- 12:30

Freedom Is Our Paradise: A Support Group for Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses (Jacqueline Johnson) [open only to former members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses]


12:30 – 2:30

Lunch Break


2:30 –  4:00

What's It Been Like For You?: A Former Cult Member & Rescuer Friend (now a Psychotherapist) Compare Their Subjective Experiences and Short and Long-Term Impacts (Lynn Marsh; Christine Cole) – 60 minutes

Family Social Workers’ Approach toward the Problem of Cults and Related Phenomena (Piotr Nowakowski)– 30 minutes


Panel  Research on psychological abuse and control (Carmen Almendros; Ruben Garcia) 


All In: The Effects of Undue Influence on Members of Corporate Cults (Melissa Wells)

Therapeutic Milieu for Substance Abuse Treatment in Prisons and Jails:  Implications for Coercive Control (Jeff Bryson)


When you Find Yourself in a New Reality: Exploration of the complexities of the exit process for those born and raised in a high demand Word of Faith group and church-school (Laurissa Watson)

Intergenerational connection: Grandparents and their Potential Impact on the Second Generation (Lois Kendall)


Panel - Children in Sectarian Religions and the Relative “Success” of State Interventions (Susan Palmer; Shane Dussault; Marie-Eve Melanson; Mateus Grillo; Shannon Clusel; Andrew Ames)


Les violences basées sur l’honneur en contexte sectaire : un concept pertinent (Madeline Lamboley ; Marie-Andrée Pelland)

Machine jihadiste: événements, affects et sens (Maria Mourani)


Open Discussion: Born-or-Raised (Facilitators: TBD) [open only to those born or raised in cultic groups]


4:00 –  4:30



4:30  - 6:00

Oppression and Resistance in the Culture of Second-Generation Adults (SGA) (Michael Martella)

Lived Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Former Cult Members  – Counseling Implications (Cyndi Matthews)


Panel - Brainwashing, coercive control and trauma coerced attachment – inter-disciplinary evidence and implications for policy and practice (Linda Dubrow-Marshall; Rod Dubrow-Marshall; Stephen Kent)


Panel: Intervention and Healing: Former Member Perspectives (Kristen Valus; Rebecca Leon; Julie Balassa)


Mind control and undue influence : the French government approach (Anne-Marie Courage)

Violence within Religious Movements: Means and Obstacles to Resolution (Aini Linjakumpu)


Psychosocial factors that make us vulnerable to Buddhist cultic groups: 'McMindfulness', The Happiness Trap, deception and hidden abuse (Michelle Haslam)The Effects of Dreams and Similar States Featuring Charismatic Leaders (Samantha Treasure)

Believing the Unbelievable (Gerrette Buglion)


Megachurch pentecôtiste en contexte québécois: le cas de l'Église Nouvelle Vie de Longueuil (Philippe Le Page)

Le développement d'une échelle d’analyse des processus collectifs menant à la violence d'origine sectaire (Pierre-Simon Cleary)


4:30 – 6:00

Open Discussion: First-Generation (Facilitators: TBD) [open only to first-generation former cultic group members]


Saturday, July 4, 2020

9:00 – 10:30

A proposal for a cult recovery educator practice using internet communication (Ron Burks)

Trance States (Patrick O’Reilly)


Doing Objective Sociology? What kind of a joke is this now? (Eileen Barker)

RAISED IN A CULT: Psychological and Social Adjustment of Second- and Third-Generation Former Cult Members (Sofia Klufas)


Panel - Gaslighting, Thought Stopping, and Hot Seats: 

Manipulation in Cultic and Spiritually Abusive Groups (Wendy Duncan, Moderator; Doug Duncan; Molly Koshatka; Cyndi Matthews)


The Uriah Syndrome: The Misuse and Abuse of Authority in the Church (Robert Dixon)

Without Fear of the Future: Left Behind Daughters in the Quiverfull Movement (Erin Pack)


Dispelling Misconceptions About Christian Dominionism (Andre Gagne)

“Jehovah’s Leninists”: cultic dynamics among political radicals (David Schmidt)


Panel - Au sujet de la radicalisation au Québec: théories du complot et engagement passionnel (Dianne Casoni ; Mathieu Colin; Solange Lefebvre)


9:00 – 10:30

Trauma, Healing and Forgiveness (Bob Pardon; Judy Pardon)

Susceptibility Factors - A Personal Reflection (Elizabeth Perry)


10:30 – 11:00



11:00 – 12:30

Counselors, Clients, and Cults: What former Cult Members Want from Therapy and What Mental Health Professionals are Doing in Session (Cyndi Matthews; Steven Powers)

Treating Cultic Abuse with Art Therapy (Nori Muster)


In the grand scheme of things (Steve Eichel)

The Life Cycle of Cult Involvement (Arthur Buchman)


Panel - Covert Dynamics of Cultic Manipulation (William Goldberg; Yuval Laor)


Involvement of Legal Professionals with Victims of Cults or Cultic Phenomena and Their Families (Masaki Kito)

Importance of Educating Legal Professionals and Working with Former Members (Yukari Yamamoto)


Do or Die: How the process of Radicalization Becomes a Passionate Endeavour (Dianne Casoni)

Prevent: Britain’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy contours and implications for practitioners and the public (Farid Harouit)


Panel - Intervenir auprès de groupes sectaies ou de communautés fermées – S’outiller pour protéger les enfants (Lorraine Derocher ; Sarah Dufour; Safa Ben Saad; Mike Kropveld (à confirmer)


11:00 – 12:30

Open Discussion: First-Generation (Facilitators: TBD) [open only to first-generation former cultic group members]


12:30 – 2:30

Lunch Break


2:30 –  4:00

The Deliverance Clinic and the Dissociative Client: Cautionary Tales (Frank Parrinello)

The Insatiable Desire to Possess: Mimetic Rivalry in Cultic Dynamics (Tammy Ichinotsubo-Ezzi)


Panel - Coercive Control and Persuasion in Relationships and Groups – Intersections and Understandings (Rod Dubrow-Marshall; Andrea Silverstone; Carrie McManus; Linda Dubrow-Marshall)


Panel - Moonie SGAs - Different experiences in the Church, leaving it, and thriving after (Lisa Kohn; Teddy Hose; Jen Kiaba) 


Panel - Social Contagion in Groups and Society (Joseph Kelly; Patrick Ryan; Doni Whitsett)


Le châtiment corporel des enfants en milieu protestant conservateur: risques de dérive violente et difficultés d'intervention (Adriana Pacheco)

Paradigmes, controverses & perspectives autour de la jurisprudence en matière de liberté religieuse (Antoine Tardif)


Open Discussion: Born-or-Raised (Facilitators: TBD) [open only to those born or raised in cultic groups]


4:00 –  4:30



4:30  - 6:00

Closing plenary  (TBD)