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Carol Giambalvo
Occupation Cult expert, consultant

Carol Giambalvo cofounded reFOCUS, a US support and referral network for former members of cults. She has served as a Thought Reform Consultant since 1984[1]. Giambalvo is on the Board of Directors for the International Cultic Studies Association. She also works as the Director of the International Cultic Studies Association's Recovery Programs. She considers herself an ex-cult member.[citation needed]

Giambalvo contributed to the book Recovery from Cults. With Herbert L. Rosedale she wrote The Boston Movement: Critical Perspectives on the International Churches of Christ.

Erhard Seminars Training

Carol Giambalvo initially became exposed to what she came to see as cult-like practices through her associations with Werner Erhard and Erhard Seminars Training.

A legal secretary in New York named Carol Giambalvo was typical of these enthusiasts. She signed her enrollment card in the Hunger Project at the end of her est training session in February 1978. Privately she thought that Erhard's grandiose pledge to end hunger within two decades sounded like a bit of a reach, but she was flushed with enough enthusiasm about est to begin signing up others in the antihunger campaign...Carol Giambalvo and her fellow volunteers were careful about what they told new recruits and potential contributors. Although they never bothered to explain that none of the money would be used to feed anyone, they also were intentionally vague about the real purpose of the Hunger Project. That's the way they had been trained by other Hunger Project officials.[2]

Giambalvo and The Hunger Project

Carol Giambalvo wrote The Hunger Project: Inside out], a critical analysis of the organization The Hunger Project, in December, 1988, based on her own personal involvement as a Hunger Project volunteer as well as numerous other sources. This article originally appeared in the Spiritual Counterfeits Project Journal.[3]

Giambalvo also published the article on her website.[4] After The Hunger Project organization complained to AOL, Giambalvo's website was temporarily shut down. She later agreed to modify the website, and provides copies of the controversial paper upon direct request only[5].

Giambalvo appeared on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation program the fifth estate, on October 23, 1986, in a documentary on The Hunger Project[6].




  • "Family Interventions for Cult-Affected Loved Ones", new edition, published by International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), author, formerly: "Exit Counseling: A Family Intervention", 1996, International Cultic Studies Association, author
  • "The Boston Movement: Critical Perspectives on the International Churches of Christ", co-editor
  • "Ethical Standards for Thought Reform Consultants", co-author
  • "The Forum: est in the heir", Spiritual Counterfeits Project Journal, Volume 8:1, 1988
  • "What Is a Thought Reform Consultant?", Carol Giambalvo, Joseph F. Kelly, Patrick L. Ryan, & Madeleine Tobias, ICSA

Conferences led


  1. "Carol Giambalvo". ICSA: International Cultic Studies Association. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-12. "Carol Giambalvo is an ex-cult member who has been a Thought Reform Consultant since 1984 and a cofounder of reFOCUS, a national support network for former cult members. She is on ICSA’s Board of Directors, Director of ICSA’s Recovery Programs, and is responsible for its Project Outreach. Author of Exit Counseling: A Family Intervention, co-editor of The Boston Movement: Critical Perspectives on the International Churches of Christ, and co-author of “Ethical Standards for Thought Reform Consultants,” Ms. Giambalvo has written and lectured extensively on cult-related topics. In 2008 Ms. Giambalvo received ICSA's Margaret T. Singer Award."
  2. Pressman, Steven, Outrageous Betrayal: The dark journey of Werner Erhard from est to exile. New York: St Martins Press, 1993. ISBN 0-312-09296-2, pg. 163.
  3. Spiritual Counterfeits Project Journal, Volume 8:1
  4. Carol Giambalvo's Cult Information and Recovery, Giambalvo, Carol, personal website
  5. Cult Information and Recovery Giambalvo, Carol, personal website
  6. Cult Information and Recovery, Giambalvo, Carol, personal website, "Awards" section
  7. See for example: "Evaluations: Estes Park Ex-Member Workshop, 2005". ICSA: International Cultic Studies Association. Retrieved 2008-12-12. "The workshops are organized and coordinated by Carol Giambalvo"

External links

See also

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