IJCAM is a free open-source journal that encourages, supports, and reports on the work of researchers, mental health professionals, and social scientists who have studied the common psychological dynamics underlying different forms of coercion, abuse, and manipulation across diverse contexts. Author Guidelines.
Bullet Point Overview
A growing body of research aims to develop and/or apply instruments that measure the abusiveness of cultic and related environments. (See assessment section in research collection.)
Several research studies have looked at prevalence and suggest that approximately one percent of the population has had some kind of cult involvement.
Various surveys listed in the research collection provide suggestive data on factors such as age of joining, time in, psychological distress, etc.
There is little formal research on the effectiveness of treatment of former group members.
There is little research on the experiences and needs of families concerned about a loved one in a group.
Academic disputes between so-called "pro" and "anti" cultists have died down in recent years and there is increasing communication between sociologists and mental health professionals.
Some researchers and professionals have begun to apply brain research to cultic phenomena, though such work is provisional and largely theoretical.
Cultic studies concepts have been applied to areas other than religion, including the new age movement, business, political organizations, families, terrorist groups, sex trafficking, women, and other areas.
Some have looked into the role of hypnosis and dissociation.
Clinical experts have written about the psychology of cult leaders.
Though attention has waned there is some research on cultic dimensions of recovered memories.
Some research, especially in sociology, focuses on a specific group.
Most of the articles and book reviews listed on this page have been published in ICSA periodicals. Those deemed to be most useful to researchers are in bold, though this is, of course, a subjective choice.
Academic Disputes and Dialogue Collection: Preface. Michael D. Langone, Ph.D. ICSA E-Newsletter, 4(3), 2005.
Are Cultic Environments Psychologically Harmful? Jodi Aronoff McKibben, M.S.; Steven Jay Lynn, Ph.D.; Peter Malinoski, Ph.D. Cultic Studies Review, 1(3), 2002.
Assessment of Psychological Abuse in Manipulative Groups . Carmen Almendros, Manuel Gámez-Guadix, Álvaro Rodríguez-Carballeira, and José Antonio Carrobles. International Journal of Cultic Studies, 2, 2011, 61-76.
Child Fatalities from Religion-Motivated Neglect. Seth M. Asser, M.D. & Rita Swan, Ph.D. Cultic Studies Journal, 17, 2000, 1-14.
Clinical Update on Cults. Michael Langone. Psychiatric Times, July 1996.
Cult Formation. Robert Jay Lifton, M.D. CSJ, 8.1, 1991 CSJ, 8.1, 1991 (1-6)
Group Psychological Abuse: Taxonomy and Severity of Its Components. Rodriguez, A.; Saladana, O., Almendros, C., Martin-Pena, J., Escartin, J., & Porrua-Garcia, C.
Prevalence. Michael Langone
Spiritual Harm in New Religions: Reflections on Interviews with Former Members of NRMs. Phillip Charles Lucas, PhD. Cultic Studies Review, 2(1), 2003, 30-37.
The Influence Continuum—the Good, the Dubious, and the Harmful—Evidence and Implications for Policy and Practice in the 21st Century - Roderick Dubrow-Marshall IJCS, 1.0, 2012 (1-12)
What Messages are Behind Today's Cults? Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D. Monitor of the American Psychological Association, May 1997, 14.
Overview of Cultic Studies Research. Rod Dubrow-Marshall, PhD
Brainwashing - Scientific Concept or Mere Label. Benjamin Zablock, PhD
Updating The Legal Concept of Undue Influence in the 21st Century. Alan Scheflin, JD, LLM
The Spectrum of Coercive Control. Rod Dubrow-Marshall, PhD
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