Susan Jean Palmer is a Canadian sociologist and author with a primary research interest new religious movements. She is a professor of Religious Studies at Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec, and an adjunct professor at Concordia University.
Palmer her Masters and PHD at Concordia University. She is known for her research on gender, family, and sexuality in new religious movements, in particular the Rajneeshees and Raelians. She is currently researching apocalyptic new religious movements in Quebec and their ties to the sovereignty movement and to Old France, supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is also involved in a membership survey of Falun Gong with Professor David Ownby, at the Université de Montréal.
Shortly before writing her book about them, Aliens Adored: Rael's UFO Religion, she was blacklisted by the Raelians, with whom she had been friendly and continues to be so. According to Palmer, the blacklisting was a measure that allowed her to reflect upon the misquoting her words out of context by journalists, which both she and the Raelians were displeased with.
- The Rajneesh Papers (with Arvind Sharma) (1993) Motilal Banarsidass Publishers ISBN 8120810805, ISBN 9788120810808
- Moon Sisters, Krishna Mothers, Rajneesh Lovers: Women's Roles in New Religions (1994) Syracuse University Press ISBN 0815603827, ISBN 978-0815603825
- Millennium, Messiahs, and Mayhem (with Thomas Robbins) (1997) Routledge ISBN 0415916496, ISBN 978-0415916493
- Children in New Religions (with Charlotte E. Hardman) (1999) Rutgers University Press ISBN 0813526205, ISBN 978-0813526201
- Aliens Adored: Rael's UFO Religion (2004) Rutgers University Press ISBN 0813534763, ISBN 978-0813534763
- Storming Zion: Exploring State Raids on Religious Communities (with Stuart A. Wright) (forthcoming 2011) Oxford University Press
- (2004) Aliens Adored: Raël's UFO Religion. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
- (1999) Children in New Religions. (ed., with Charlotte Hardman) New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
- (1994) Moon Sisters, Krishna Mothers, Rajneesh Lovers: Women's Roles in New Religions. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press.
- Susan J. Palmer (Summer 2001). "The Rael Deal". Religion in the News 4 (2). http://www.trincoll.edu/depts/csrpl/RINVol4No2/Rael.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
- Wood, Louise (February 2010). "Sect Under Siege" (PDF). Cardinal Cadence 38 (1): 13–15. "Under contract with Oxford University Press, Wright and Palmer are completing what they believe will be the first comprehensive study ever conducted of government raids on religious communities —from Central and West Texas to European locales. Storming Zion: Exploring State Raids on Religious Communities, is scheduled for publication in late 2011.".