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Template:Dynamic list This list includes people that have researched cults and/or new religious movements. Individuals are listed below according to their academic background, area of research, or profession.


Name Lifetime Nationality Field Notes
Template:Sortname United States Anthropology Galanti is a faculty member in the anthropology department and Statewide Nursing Program at California State University.[1] Her research has focused on the areas of cults and deprogramming.[1] Galanti has published research in the Cultic Studies Journal on the subject of deprogramming and conversion.[2] She is the author of Caring for Patients from Different Cultures, published by University of Pennsylvania Press.[1]
Template:Sortname United States Communications Conway did her Master's Degree work at the University of New Mexico, and obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon; she began an interdisciplinary programs in communications at the University of Oregon.[3] With Jim Siegelman, she authored a 1978 study on effects of cults, titled Snapping.[4] Subsequently published again with Siegelman along with Carl W. Carmichael and John Coggins, in Update: A Journal of New Religious Movements.[5]
Template:Sortname 1935– United States Medicine Lottick is a medical doctor who has performed research in the area of assessing knowledge regarding cults by physicians,[6] and psychologists.[7]
Template:Sortname United States Philosophy Lewis, a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, has been a prolific author and editor of books on new religious movements such as The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements (2004); he also edits the Brill Handbooks on Contemporary Religion series and is co-editor of Ashgate's Controversial New Religions series.[8]
Template:Sortname 1926–1999 United States Psychiatry Clark was a doctor and professor at Harvard Medical School.[9] He authored an article on cults for the Journal of the American Medical Association.[10]
Template:Sortname United States Psychiatry Galanter is director of the division of alcoholism and drug abuse in the department of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine.[11][12] He is the editor of Cults and New Religious Movements: A Report of the American Psychiatric Association,[13] and author of Cults: Faith, Healing and Coercion.[14]
Template:Sortname 1934–2003 United States Psychiatry Halperin was a psychiatrist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.[15] His research into cults and cult recruitment was published in the behavioral science journal Group,[16] and in the book Cults and New Religious Movements: A Report of the American Psychiatric Association.[13]
Template:Sortname 1946– United States Psychiatry Hochman is affiliated with UCLA Medical Center, where he is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry.[17] His research into the subject of cults has focused on indoctrination and therapeutic abuse, and has been published in academic journals including Psychiatric Annals,[18] and Psychiatry.[19]
Template:Sortname 1938– Canada Psychiatry Levine is a professor of psychiatry in Toronto, Canada.[20] He has researched cults and deprogramming, with work published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry,[21] and the Canadian Psychiatric Association Journal.[22]
Template:Sortname 1926– United States Psychiatry Lifton is a psychiatrist who has focused his research in the area of coercive persuasion.[23] He wrote an article on the creation of cults for The Harvard Mental Health Letter,[24] and is the author of Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism,[25] and Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism.[26]
Template:Sortname 1941– United States Psychiatry Olsson is a psychiatrist affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine, where he is on staff as adjunct clinical professor of psychiatry.[27] He is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School.[27] In his research he has focused on the analysis of the framework and mindset of leaders of destructive cults and religious groups.[28][29]
Template:Sortname United States Psychiatry Perry is a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine.[30] He serves as chief of psychiatry at Texas Children's Hospital.[30] He sub-specializes within the field of child psychiatry and childhood trauma.[31] His study has included the area of children exposed to traumatic incidents as members of the group Branch Davidians.[32][33]
Template:Sortname 1924–1999 United States Psychiatry West was a psychiatrist affiliated with University of California, Los Angeles.[34] He held positions of professor and chairman at the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA.[35] He contributed research on cults to publications including the Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry,[36] and Cults and New Religious Movements: A Report of the American Psychiatric Association.[13]
Template:Sortname United States Psychology Anthony holds a PhD from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California[37] and has supervised research at the Department of Psychiatry of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley.[38][39] His research has been supported by agencies such as the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and he has frequently testified or acted as a consultant in court cases involving NRMs.[40] He has been a leading critic of brainwashing and mind control theories and has defended NRMs, arguing that involvement in them has often been shown to have beneficial, rather than harmful effects.[39][41][42]
Template:Sortname Israel Psychology Beit-Hallahmi graduated with a B.A. degree from Hebrew University, and received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University.[43] He has served as Senior Lecturer in psychology at the University of Haifa, and has held faculty roles in clinical and research capacities at The University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania, Hebrew University, Michigan State University, and Tel-Aviv University.[43] Beit-Hallahmi is the author of Psychoanalysis and Religion: A Bibliography, and co-author of The Social Psychology of Religion; he edited Research in Religious Behavior.[43] He has published scholarship analyzing practices within standards of researching new religious movements.[44]
Template:Sortname 1954–2003 United States Psychology Chambers was a psychologist and faculty member in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Florida.[45][46] In addition to the University of South Florida, Chambers worked as a research consultant in the area of statistics in Lindale, Georgia, and served as a professor of psychology at Wright State University, and Shorter College.[46] Chambers performed research in the subject of group psychological abuse through development of the Group Psychological Abuse Scale with Michael D. Langone and Arthur A. Dole.[47]
Template:Sortname Italy Psychology [48]
Template:Sortname United States Psychology [49]
Template:Sortname United States Psychology [50]
Template:Sortname United States Psychology Kelley serves as dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences at Georgia State University and is a former professor of Nursing at Boston College. She is a recipient of the John G. Clark Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Cultic Studies for research into sexual abuse of children.[51][52]
Template:Sortname 1947– United States Psychology Langone is the Executive Director of the International Cultic Studies Association and has written widely on alternative religious movements.[53][54]
Template:Sortname 1933–2002 Netherlands Psychology [55]
Template:Sortname 1946–2009 United States Psychology Martin was a psychologist and the founder and Executive Director of Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center. He consulted with several institutions, published on cult-related subjects, and collaborated in fieldwork focusing on the prediction and treatment of psychological damage related to involvement with high-demand religious movements.[56][57]
Template:Sortname 1940–2006 United States Psychology [58]
Template:Sortname 1921–2003 United States Psychology Singer was Professor Emeritus in the University of California at Berkeley's Department of Psychology. She had published widely on cultic groups, coercion, pseudo-therapudic practices, and other areas.[59][60]
Template:Sortname 1956– United States Psychology [61]
Template:Sortname 1924–1988 United States Psychology [62]
Template:Sortname 1933– United States Psychology [63]
Template:Sortname United States Psychotherapy [64]
Template:Sortname 1946– United States Psychotherapy [65][66]
Template:Sortname United States Psychotherapy [67]
Template:Sortname 1954– United States Psychotherapy Hassan formed a method of counseling former members of controversial religious groups, called the Strategic Interaction Approach.[68][69] In his 2002 book The Psychology of Terrorism, author Chris E. Stout writes that Hassan, "bases his counseling of voluntary cultists on theory and research. To combat destructive mind control, he has developed the Strategic Interaction Approach. This approach is designed to free the cult member from the group's control over his or her life."[69] New York Magazine characterized Hassan as, "one of the country's leading experts on cults and mind control".[70] Hassan has often been cited as an authority on NRM and cult topics.Template:Ref label
Template:Sortname United States Psychotherapy [71]
Template:Sortname 1949– United States Religious studies Bonewits is a well-known author on neo-Pagan subjects. He is one of the founders of the New Reformed Druids of North America, founder and past-president of the Aquarian Defamation League, and founding member of ADF (Ár nDraíocht Féin).[72][73]
Template:Sortname 1945– United Kingdom Religious studies Chryssides is the author, contributor and editor for several references covering new religious movements. He is senior lecturer for Religious Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, and has served in various organizations related to the study of religion.[74][75]
Template:Sortname United States Religious studies Cowan teaches at Renison College, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and is one of the co-general editors of Nova Religio: The Journal of New and Emergent Religions.[76]
Template:Sortname United States Religious studies [77]
Template:Sortname United Kingdom Religious studies [78]
Template:Sortname 1957– Germany Religious studies Grünschloß, Professor of Religious Studies at Göttingen University, is a researcher with a focus on new religious movements (especially UFO religions), Buddhism, syncretism and related topics who has contributed to various encyclopedias, anthologies and scholarly journals.[79] He is also co-editor of the Marburg Journal of Religion.[80]
Template:Sortname 1958– Sweden Religious studies Hammer is a Professor of History of Religion at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, with a research focus on the application of critical theory in the context of religious change and innovation.[79][81]
Template:Sortname 1943– United Kingdom/Canada Religious studies Hexham is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.[82]
Template:Sortname 1942– Netherlands Religious studies [83]
Template:Sortname 1942– United States Religious studies Melton is author of, co-author of, or contributor to many standard references and articles on emergent and established religious groups, including the Encyclopedia of American Religions. He is the Director of the Institute for the Study of American Religions based in Santa Barbara, California.[84][85]
Template:Sortname United States Religious studies Saliba is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Detroit Mercy as well as a Catholic priest and a Jesuit.[86] He advocates a conciliatory approach towards new religious movements, arguing that "dialogue is more useful than diatribe".[87] He notes that for most people membership in a NRM is temporary, and maintains that NRMs can act as a temporary safe haven for young adults, enabling them to stabilise their lives.[87][88] He is critical of the anti-cult movement and has remarked that "the neutral stance of the social sciences is a stance which has often been interpreted as favoring the NRMs".[89]
Template:Sortname United States Religious studies [90]
Template:Sortname 1938– United Kingdom Sociology Barker is Professor Emeritus of the Sociology Department at the London School of Economics. She is founder and chairperson of INFORM (Information Network Focus on Religious Movements), past-Chairperson of the British Sociological Association's Study Group for the Sociology of Religion, past-President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and past-President of the Association for the Sociology of Religion. Her work has included hundreds of articles, books, reviews and consultations with governments.[91][92]
Template:Sortname United Kingdom Sociology Beckford is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Warwick, a Fellow of the British Academy, and a former President of both the Association for the Sociology of Religion and the International Society for the Sociology of Religion. He has authored or edited a dozen books about new religious movements and cult controversies and has contributed about 100 journal articles and book chapters to the field.[93][94] He is associated with Eileen Barker's INFORM (Information Network Focus on Religious Movements), a UK charity that disseminates information on NRMs to government and the public at large.[95]
Template:Sortname 1941– United States Sociology Bromley is a professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, a past president of the Association for the Sociology of Religion, and a former editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.[84][96][97] His publishing has concentrated both on new religious movements and the anti-cult movement that arose to oppose them; he and Anson Shupe became "the primary social science interpreters of that countermovement in a series of books and articles".[97]
Template:Sortname United Kingdom Sociology Clarke is Professor Emeritus of the History and Sociology of Religion at King's College, University of London, a professorial member of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oxford, and the founding editor of the Journal of Contemporary Religion. His publications include Japanese New Religions: In Global Perspective (editor), New Religions in Global Perspective: A Study of Religious Change in the Modern World and the Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements (editor).[98][99]
Template:Sortname Canada Sociology Dawson is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Waterloo. His publications include Comprehending Cults (1998), Cults and New Religions (2003) and Religion Online (2004); in addition, he has authored numerous scholarly articles and book chapters on the study of new religions, religion and the internet and related topics.[100]
Template:Sortname 1933– Belgium Sociology Dobbelaere is an Emeritus Professor of both the University of Antwerp and the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. He is past-President and General Secretary of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion. His teaching focus was sociology and the sociology of religion. His research fields have included changes in religious participation and new religious sectarian movements.[101]
Template:Sortname 1938– United States Sociology Enroth is a widely published author and educator who has done work in the area of abusive evangelical Christian congregations and new religious movements. He is professor of sociology at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California.[102][103][104]
Template:Sortname 1937–2003 United States Sociology Hadden was Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, and founder of an internet resource on new religious movements, the Religious Movements Homepage Project.[79][105]
Template:Sortname United Kingdom Sociology Hunt is a Professor of Sociology at the University of the West of England whose primary research interests in the field of alternative religion include the Charismatic movement and the "New" Black Pentecostal Churches.[106][107]
Template:Sortname 1955– Italy Sociology Introvigne is the director of the Center for Studies of New Religions (CESNUR) in Turin, Italy; his publications include over thirty books on the history and sociology of religion (among them the Enciclopedia delle religioni in Italia), as well as over a hundred scholarly articles in various languages.[79][108]
Template:Sortname 1928– United States Sociology Johnson is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Oregon, former chair of both its Sociology Department and Department of Religious Studies, and former editor of Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. He is past-president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, the Association for the Sociology of Religion, and The Religious Research Association. His work focuses on church-sect typology, new religious movements and mainline U.S. Protestant denominations.[109][110]
Template:Sortname Canada Sociology Kent is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.[111] A specialist in alternative religions, he has published research on such groups as the Children of God and Scientology, and has cautioned against downplaying the risks associated with involvement in such groups.[111][112]
Template:Sortname 1945– United States Sociology Lalich is a widely published author and educator who has done work in the area of cults and psychological influence. She is the head of the Cult Recovery and Information Center in Alameda, California.[113][114]
Template:Sortname 1956– United States Sociology [115]
Template:Sortname 1941– United States Sociology Ofshe is a widely published author and expert witness who has done work in the area of cultic mind control and the use of hypnosis for recovering repressed memories. He is a professor emeritus of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.[116][117]
Template:Sortname United States Sociology Palmer teaches in Montreal, Quebec as an Adjunct Professor at Concordia University and as Professor of Religious Studies at Dawson College; she is the author of more than sixty articles as well as the author or editor of eight books on new religious movements.[8]
Template:Sortname United States Sociology Richardson has done work in the area of minority religions and connections between law and religion. He directs the Grant Sawyer Center for Justice Studies at the University of Nevada (Reno).[118][119]
Template:Sortname 1943– United States Sociology Robbins is an independent scholar affiliated with the Santa Barbara Centre for Humanistic Studies; trained at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, he has held teaching and research appointments at Queens College, the New School for Social Research, Yale University and the Graduate Theological Union and is a leading contributor of social scientific literature on new religious movements.[120]
Template:Sortname 1948– Netherlands Sociology Schnabel is a prolific author and research professor who has done work in mental health and religion. He is director of the Social and Cultural Planning Office at the University of Utrecht, and sits on the board of the History and Culture Research Institute.[121][122][123]
Template:Sortname 1948– United States Sociology Shupe is a Professor of Sociology at the joint campus of Indiana State University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has done fieldwork on a number of new religious movements, in particular the Unification Church, and has also studied the anti-cult movement; he and David G. Bromley became "the primary social science interpreters of that countermovement in a series of books and articles".[124][125]
Template:Sortname 1952– Denmark Sociology Warburg is a professor at the University of Copenhagen's Department of History of Religions. She specializes in the sociology of religion with emphasis on emergent religious sects and religious minorities. She has written extensively on the effect of technology on religion and new religious movements.[126]
Template:Sortname 1926–2004 United Kingdom Sociology Wilson was Reader Emeritus in Sociology and an Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College at Oxford. He taught at Oxford for over 30 years, and was visiting professor at various universities world-wide. He was Honorary President of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion. His work was in the typology of sects, the secularization of religious groups, and relationships between minority groups and governments.[127][128][129]
Template:Sortname 1941– United States Sociology Zablocki is the head of the Sociology department at Rutgers University. He has published on communes, leadership roles in new religious movements, and the academic debates regarding brainwashing and methodology in the study of new religion.[130][131][132][133]

See also


  1. Template:Note labelSteven Hassan is the author of the book Combatting Cult Mind Control;,which was recommended in the American Journal of Psychiatry "to professionals in health-related fields, clergy, attorneys, judges, and others whose responsibilities bring them into contact with cults, their members, and the families whose lives are affected.";[134] and in The Lancet for "professionals in mental health, particularly those involved with students".[135] In 2003, the news agency Reuters described Hassan as a "cult expert";[136] the same characterization has been made about Hassan by The Toronto Sun,[137] the Sydney Morning Herald,[138] The New York Times,[139] The Globe and Mail,[140] the Herald Sun,[141] and Newsweek.[142] In the book Theorising Religion: Classical and Contemporary Debates edited by James A. Beckford and John Walliss, Hassan is described as a "scholar" belonging to the faction of "cult bashers".[143]


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