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Hazhar Ramazan Ahmed,was born in Kurdistan region of Iraq. He has a master’s degree in English language and a diploma degree In Science of Islamic Religion. He was a teacher for more than 7 years in higher school education. He has been is journalist for more than 8 years and he is member of the International Federation of Journalists He is a leader of a nongovernmental organization, Islamic Culture Association in Kurdistan, the aim of which is to tell people about the risks of radical clusters. He wants to tell and show to people that we have to love and respect each other because God created all human beings.and God is not the God of Muslim people only.

Ashley Allen, MSW, LMSW, completed her Master’s in Social Work at Monmouth University where she was also

selected to coordinate and present the School of Social Work’s Annual Clinical Lecture Series. Her lecture series focused on children born and/or raised in cultic groups with a special focus on issues of human rights. She has presented on cults, with a particular focus on second-generation adults (SGAs) at various mental-health agencies, universities, and at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) annual conference in New Jersey. Ms. Allen gained a breadth of experience volunteering at the Cult Clinic of JBFCS in NYC for three years and has gone on to work as a therapist with former cult members in community mental health. Ashley is currently serving as Outreach Coordinator for ICSA, on the Board of Directors for reFOCUS, and as an adjunct instructor at Middle Tennessee State University. Email: AshleyAllenICSA@protonmail.com Phone: 931-450-4392 [NY Committee]

Linda Attoe, M.A., R.P., Psychoanalyst, has a private Psychotherapy practice in the Greater Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada. Her affiliations include: The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, The International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, The Canadian Art Therapy Association, and the Canadian Association for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. Linda, a fourth generation member of the Closed Brethren, left this group in 1995. In her Private Psychotherapy Practice, Linda works with individuals, couples, and families and she has a particular interest in working with those who have left or are contemplating leaving high demand groups.

Thomas M. Baier, MHS, LPC, CAC, CCS. Tom Baier is a behavioral health consultant and trainer. He serves as adjunct faculty for the Villanova University Certificate Program in Alcohol and Drug Counseling where he served as Program Coordinator for 10 years as well as teaching in the Drexel University College of Nursing & Health professions in the behavioral health tract. Mr. Baier serves on the board of directors for the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB) which credentials professionals for work in the substance abuse treatment field and other areas of behavioral health and where he is a three-term past-president and has served on the Ethics Committee for the past 20 years. Tom is the 1991 recipient of the Lorraine Hinkle Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to the field of drug and alcohol treatment awarded by Villanova University and holds a Master’s degree in Human Services (MHS), is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), and holds PA State Certificates as an Addiction Counselor (CAC), and Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS).

Eileen Barker, PhD, PhD h.c., OBE, FBA, is Professor Emeritus of Sociology with Special Reference to the Study of Religion at the London School of Economics, University of London. Her main research interest is minority religions and the social reactions to which they give rise. She has over 350 publications (translated into 27 different languages), which include the award-winning The Making of a Moonie: Brainwashing or Choice? and New Religious Movements: A Practical Introduction. In the late 1980s, with the support of the British Government and mainstream Churches, she founded INFORM, an educational charity, based at LSE, which provides information about minority religions that is as accurate, objective and up-to-date as possible. In 2000, Queen Elizabeth appointed her as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for ‘services to INFORM’, and she received the American Academy of Religion’s Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion. She was the first non-American elected President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. A frequent advisor to governments, other official bodies and law-enforcement agencies throughout the world, she has made numerous appearances on television and radio, and has given guest lectures in over 50 countries. In 2013 Dr. Barker received ICSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dylesia Barner, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker and a second-generation adult survivor. She received a Master of Social Work from Norfolk State University in 2013 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication from Old Dominion University in 2011. From ages 15-18, Dylesia was a member of a cult of Christianity in Virginia. Having the perspectives of a survivor and a mental health provider, she is passionate about raising awareness about spiritual abuse and how to counsel those who are experiencing or have experienced it. dylesia@dylesiabarner.com 
Tara Beazley. Currently within the UK, professionals work with children and young people who are/at risk of being sexually exploited. Existing models of CSE are able to explain the different tactics used by perpetrators to lure in young people, to initiate them into sexually abusive behaviours and to keep them within these situations. As professionals we are able to highlight the difficulties in helping young people away from being sexually exploited due to the coercive control perpetrators have over their victims. My experience has highlighted that both coercive processes in recruiting children and young people are similar. This link between these different types of abusive experiences can help professionals to increase their existing knowledge. This may help them to safeguard children and young people from recruitments into cults in their own practise.

Eric Bernasek is a freelance writer and copyeditor who lives with his wife and son near Montreal, Quebec. Eric first came in contact with the Hare Krishna movement while in college in Hartford, CT. That initial exposure would eventually lead to full-time involvement. Just before leaving ISKCON, he was employed as a copyeditor and proofreader for the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, ISKCON’s official publishing house. Though the majority of his time in the movement was spent in temples on the East Coast of the US, primarily Hartford and Boston, Eric spent over three years in Hungary, on a farm the movement touts as being self-sufficient. It was during this time that he began to reconsider his involvement in the organization. 

Serge Blisko is head of an Inter-ministerial office: Mission for Vigilance and Combating Sectarian Aberrations (MIVILUDES), established under the authority of the Prime Minister in November 2002, responsible for observing and analyzing any sectarian aberrations that may occur, in other words, the criminal offences that may be committed by certain movements under the pretext of assisting in the personal or spiritual development of vulnerable persons. MIVILUDES is responsible for “observing and analyzing the phenomenon of sectarian movements, the actions of which are detrimental to human rights and fundamental freedoms or pose a threat to public order, or are contrary to laws and regulations” (Decree No. 2002-1392, art. 1, para. 1).Serge Blisko (born 6 January 1950, in Nancy) is a physician (MD). From 1983 on, he held local and national mandates. He was a member of the National Assembly of France from 1983 to 1986 and again from 1997 to 2012.  He was mayor of the thirteenth borough of Paris from 2001 to 2007. He is chairman of the board of Sainte-Anne Hospital in Paris specializing in psychiatry , neurology, neurosurgery, neuroimaging and addiction.

Robin Boyle Laisure, JD, Professor of Legal Writing, St. John’s University School of Law, is on the editorial board of ICSA’s International Journal of Cultic Studies. She lectures on topics concerning cults and the law. Her recent article, Employing Trafficking Laws to Capture Elusive Leaders of Destructive Cults, is published by the Oregon Review of International Law (2016). She also wrote Current Status of Federal Law Concerning Violent Crimes Against Women and Children: Implications for Cult Victims, published in the Cultic Studies Review (2002). Two articles have appeared in the Cultic Studies Journal: How Children in Cults May Use Emancipation Laws to Free Themselves (1999) and Women, the Law, and Cults: Three Avenues of Legal Recourse – New Rape Laws, Violence Against Women Act, and Antistalking Laws (1998). In 2005, she received the Faculty Outstanding Achievement award from the President of St. John’s University.

Russell H. Bradshaw, EdD [A.B. (Wesleyan University), EdM, EdD (Harvard University), Cand. Polit. (University of

Oslo)] was Associate Professor at Lehman College, City University of New York (retired September 2015). He has taught psychological and historical foundations of education and directed the MA program in Teaching Social Studies: 7–12. Dr. Bradshaw’s master’s and doctoral dissertations described alternative-living and child-care arrangements in Sweden (Samhem and Kollektivhus). During his undergraduate studies he received a stipendium to live in Samoa and wrote his honors thesis on religion’s effect on cultural stability and change in Western Samoan villages. Dr. Bradshaw’s continuing interest in alternative living and child-care solutions led him to an intensive experience of a Hindu-based religious cult in New York City. Dr. Bradshaw has received fellowships and grants from Wesleyan, Harvard, and Uppsala (Sweden) universities and from the City University of New York. He and his wife Gunilla currently live in Norrtälje, Sweden several months a year, where they are continuing their work for ICSA’s New York Educational Outreach Committee. [NY Committee]

Chelsea Brass, MPAff, is a health policy and planning professional and doctoral student in interpersonal communication at the University of Texas at Austin with a planned emphasis on public health and safety campaigns as well as a goal of designing clinical interventions for trauma center patients deemed at-risk of highly-controlling domestic violence. Chelsea received a Master’s degree of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and a completed a bachelor’s degree at the University of California at Santa Barbara in Global and International Studies, with a regional focus on South and Central America, an emphasis on socioeconomic and political processes. She serves on the advisory board of International Cultic Studies Association and the Open Minds Foundation. She is co-creator of the Coercive Control Collective, an organization focused on sharing research and news about the concept of coercive control and advocating for the use of a coercive control framework for understanding extreme forms of abuse across disciplines, including policy initiatives, education and prevention efforts in the United Stat

Samie Brosseau (born Batach Yaqara Brosseau), is the Founder and Director of Liberation Point, a New Jersey 501(c)

(3) which provides assistance to cult victims and their families. She was born into the Twelve Tribes (formerly known as the Northeast Kingdom Community Church) and managed to escape at age 18. She received her BS from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and currently resides in New York City. Her life is dedicated to helping cult victims successfully transition into their new life of independence through mentoring and various forms of assistance. She is currently developing a mentoring program for those born or raised in cults who are living independently for the first time. Website: www.liberationpoint.org Email: samie@liberationpoint.org Phone: (413) 306-1282

Jeff Bryson completed his BA in Bible and Religion at Ohio Valley College in 1986, and went on to complete an MAR in counseling with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from Harding School of Theology in 1992. Later in life, he began work on his doctorate at Capella University, graduating two months after his 50th birthday in 2014 with a Ph.D. in Public Safety, specializing in Criminal Justice. He began his career working in community mental health, and began specializing in the treatment of anorexia/bulimia and sex offenders over 20 years ago. In 2005 he joined Paul Martin and the team at Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center. Jeff was formerly in an employer cult and has faced a fundamental Christian cult in his family. His dissertation at Capella University was a qualitative exploration, Parental Use of the Sex Offender Registry: A Routine Activities Approach. Jeff holds the LPC and ALPS in WV, the IMFT in OH, is a Clinically Certified Sex Offender Treatment Specialist (CCSOTS), is a clinical member of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), and a clinical fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). He served three years on the AAMFT ethics committee (2015-2017), and was the chair of the committee his last year.

Arthur Buchman is an American-born psychologist and leadership coach in private practice living since 1990 near

Copenhagen, Denmark, where he also works via Skype. Born in 1942, he holds a BA in Economics and an MA in Psychology. Arthur specializes in helping people recover from depression, phobias, trauma, relationship conflicts, and cult involvement. He has experience in two different cults, a yoga group and a pseudo-Christian occult music group. Arthur has developed The Life Cycle of Cult Involvement that he has presented at ICSA and other international conferences. He has been ICSA Today’s News Correspondent for Scandinavia. Arthur is currently writing a book and presenting a workshop titled, “The Instant Optimist – a practical method for building and maintaining a dependable positive attitude.” Arthur Buchman is one of the few mental health professionals in Europe who has expertise as an ex-cult member and is available to travel to help people and their families to recover from a cultic experience. Website: www.arthurbuchman.com Email: arthur@arthurbuchman.com Phone: +45 2825 4444.

Gerette Buglion is proprietor of Dream Haven of Vermont, www.dreamhavenvt.com which specializes in offering refuge for those who are healing from trauma related to a high control groups or cults. She works with individuals who are currently receiving counseling and have the support of their therapist to engage in a healing retreat and also works with family members and others who have been indirectly impacted by cultic dynamics or coercion. She is a certified Reiki Practitioner, has over 20 years of practice as a Dream Mentor, has been a professional housemother in therapeutic sessions and is a nature guide, cook and cleaner. All of these skills and more are integrated into the experience of creating self-designed retreats for guests. As a former member of a New Age/ Psychological cult for over 19 years she states, “When I snapped out of that destructive dependence in May of 2014, I began my life anew, deeply humbled and passionately riveted to the study of destructive groups. Throughout this time, reiki has been a foundation stone of my own healing process. Professional counseling for spiritual abuse, the healing balm of nature, the loving support of my family and friends and reiki, have nurtured me to a level of well-being that inspires me to turn with compassion towards others.

Elizabeth R. Burchard
, LSW is a clinician in Northern New Jersey. She has a passion for challenging oppression and

abuse in relationships through psychotherapeutic counseling, advocacy, and education. She holds a BA in Biochemistry from Swarthmore College and an MSW from Fordham University. A member of a small New Age cult from 1977-1997, Elizabeth authored “The Cult Next Door: A Manhattan Memoir” about her experience. Since 2000, Elizabeth has spoken professionally about the intricacies of cult dynamics and refers to cultic groups as “domestic violence in a fabricated family.” Presentations have included local television and radio, Hunter College, Fordham University, Youngstown University, and an iTunes podcast interview with Maria Konnikova, author of “The Confidence Game.” Elizabeth has also participated in the ICSA Educational Initiative. Additional information: www.thecultnextdoor.com; thecultnextdoor@gmail.com.

Ron Burks, PhD, holds an MDiv and an MA in counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary and a PhD in Counselor Education from Ohio University. He worked for many years at Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center in Albany, Ohio. He and his wife Vicki wrote Damaged Disciples: Casualties of Authoritarian Churches and the Shepherding Movement, published by Zondervan. His other publications include a chapter on a connection between cults and addiction in the medical reference, Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook, published by Williams and Wilkins. He and Vicki now live near Tallahassee, Florida where both are licensed mental health counselors and operate an intensive outpatient substance abuse program at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Ron is a former president of the Wellspring board and is a clinical advisor to both Wellspring and Meadowhaven, a treatment center near Boston.

Robert Chaen. I am Cult Prodigal Coach and Ex-Cult Junkie. I’m seeking ICSA help in Asia where most cults originate. My brother and I were the World’s First 2 Chinese to be leaders of Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Meditation. We co-founded the Brahma Kumaris Malaysia in 1981. I was in the innermost circle of Foreign Service and the BKM is still has the most successful service results outside India HQ. BK has more than 825,000 students, with 8,500+ centres, it’s rich, an UN NGO – but it is a Doomsday Cult who have broken up countless marriages with strict principles of celibacy & renunciation. I have vast experience with Large Group Awareness Training, having met Alexander Everett, Robert White (LifeDynamics, I took all the 3 levels), Werner Erhard (est), and Chris Gentry (Asiaworks, biggest LGAT in Asia). I’m Host of Saving 72 Virgins (a cult awareness, rescue, and anti-sexual harassment platform) and Purple Army Youth, a youth CSR initiative tackling 3 Biggest Youth Problems: 1. Sexual harassment and addictions 2. Jihadists, extremist, racist cults 3. Mental illnesses; with 5 Youth Solutions: 1. Entrepreneurship 2. Learning 3. Charity 4. Mental Health 5. All Arts forms. ● www.RobertChaen.com

Mark Chatfield
is a graduate student in the Family, Youth, and Community Sciences at the University of Florida. He has a bachelor’s degree in Individualized Studies from Goddard College and his undergraduate thesis, Institutionalized Persuasion: The Technology of Reformation in Straight, Incorporated and the Residential Teen Treatment Industry, was self-published in 2014. He is a graduate of Straight, Inc. and is concerned about the potential for cultic dynamics and harm within totalistic treatment settings. He is interested in developing new ways to study and prevent institutional child abuse in the United States.

Tianjia Chen
, PhD, Assistant Professor, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of

Sciences, is now councilor of Beijing Society for History and Sociology of Science. He received his PhD degree in History of Science from Peking University. His academic interests include cultural history of science and religion in China, pseudoscience and cult phenomenon, STS. For further information, please contact with him via email: ctj@pku.edu.cn

David Clark is a thought reform consultant from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Clark has been active in this field for more than 30 years. Mr. Clark has been on the Board of the Leo J. Ryan Education Foundation and reFOCUS. He is FECRIS’s New York main representative to the United Nations [2011- ] and science committee member [2015]. He was a contributing author for the Practical Guidelines for Exit Counseling chapter in the W.W. Norton book, Recovery from Cults. In 1985 he received the Hall of Fame Award from the original Cult Awareness Network He was a founding member of the original Focus and reFOCUS, a national support network for former cult members. David Clark was the 2004 American plenary speaker at Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the Ukraine for the F.P.P.S. International Scientific-Practical Conference with the presentation title of Thought Reform Consultation, Youth Cult Education Preparation and Sect Family Intervention Work. He was also the April 21, 2006 United States of America plenary speaker for the International Scientific Conference of Cardinal August Hlond Upper Silesian School of Pedagogy in Mysolwice, Poland. Mr. Clark also contributed to a May 16, 2006 History Channel special on Opus Dei and was featured in John Allen’s important book, Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church. He spoke on exit counseling/thought reform consultation at an international conference, Myth and Reality of Psychological Abuse and Practical Ways to Resist It, at the Russian State University of Humanities in Moscow (March 13-14, 2008). He spoke at a conference on cults and gangs, sponsored by Creighton University’s Department of Psychiatry and the Douglas County (NB) Sheriff’s Department (April 18, 2008). David has been the North American Vice President of the DIALOG Centre International since 2011. In 2016 he received an ICSA Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas. 

Anne-Marie Courage. For 24 years, Anne-Marie Courage worked in different French ministerial departments in particular the Ministry of Economic and Financial Affairs, the Ministry of Labor, Employment and vocational training. She is the current counsellor of economic affairs, labor employment and vocational training for the inter-ministerial mission for vigilance and Combating sectarian Aberrations (Miviludes). In this framework she has the duty to protect the legal rights of the citizens and to exercise oversight over the illegal activities as regards economic and financial issues, such as undue influence, financial crimes, to bring any violations of human rights protection rules to the attention of the judicial authorities.

Linda J. Demaine, JD, PhD (social psychology), is Professor of Law and Affiliate Professor of Psychology at Arizona

State University. She is founder and director of ASU’s Law and Psychology Graduate Program. Before arriving at ASU, Dr. Demaine was a behavioral scientist and policy analyst at RAND, where she led and participated in diverse projects, including an analysis of biotechnology patents and the strategic use of deception and other psychological principles in defense of critical computer networks. Dr. Demaine has held an American Psychological Association Congressional Fellowship, through which she worked with the Senate Judiciary Committee on FBI and DOJ oversight, judicial nominations, and legislation. She has also held an American Psychological Association Science Policy Fellowship, working with the Central Intelligence Agency’s Behavioral Sciences Unit on issues involving cross-cultural persuasion. Dr. Demaine’s research interests include the empirical analysis of law, legal procedure, and legal decision making; the application of legal and psychological perspectives to social issues; ethical, legal, and social issues deriving from advances in technology; and information campaigns and persuasion.

Sharon Doni (Israeli LCSW) has served as the clinical manager of the Israeli Center for Victims of Cults since 2010. Sharon counsels cult victims and their families, provides guidance to the center’s staff and is actively involved in the ongoing process of the assessment of various potentially destructive groups. With over 20 years of clinical experience working with adults and adolescents in individual and group settings, Sharon has gained an extensive skill set working with trauma, ranging from single event trauma to complex PTSD. She has worked with victims of physical and sexual abuse, cult victims and holocaust survivors. Sharon’s work is rooted on psycho-dynamic and humanistic theories as well as deep knowledge of the trauma field. Her work combines various healing techniques such as Focusing and EMDR that support the recovery of patients, especially trauma victims such as cult survivors. Sharon holds a BSc from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel and an MSCW from Bar Ilan university, Ramat Gan, Israel.

Linda Dubrow-Marshall
, PhD, Reg. MBACP (Accred.), is Research Coeditor of ICSA Today and is a cofounder of

RETIRN (please also see www.retirn.com), a private practice that provides services to individuals and families who have been affected by cultic influence and abusive relationships. Linda has developed a new MSc Psychology of Coercive Control program at the University of Salford and is leading the program with Rod Dubrow-Marshall. She is also the Programme Leader of the MSc Applied Psychology (Therapies) Program at the University of Salford. She is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, United Kingdom, as both a clinical and a counselling psychologist, and she is a registered counsellor/psychotherapist with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. She is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania, USA, and a registered psychologist with the National Register of Health Service Psychologists, USA. She attends as corepresentative of RETIRN/UK as correspondent to the General Assembly of FECRIS (European Federation of Centres of Research and Education on Sects). Dr. Dubrow-Marshall is a Consultant in Clinical Hypnosis (advanced certification) with the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and is certified by the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Institute. She has a Certificate of Proficiency in the Treatment of Alcohol and Other Psychoactive Substance Use Disorders issued by the American Psychological Association. She is a member of the Mental Health and Research committees for ICSA.

Rod Dubrow-Marshall, PhD, MBPsS, is a Professor of Psychology and is Visiting Fellow at the Criminal Justice Hub, in the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences at the University of Salford, UK. Rod is a Social Psychologist who has been researching the psychology and aetiology of undue influence and cults or extremist groups for over twenty years, and he has developed the Totalistic Identity Theory as an evidence-based theory to explain and tackle ideological extremism and ideologically driven violence. He is also an active researcher in a variety of other areas including organizational behaviour and healthiness, the social psychology of identity and prejudice, and public policy and education. A graduate member of the British Psychological Society, Rod is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Cultic Studies Association and is also Chair of the ICSA Research Committee and Network and he is co-Editor of the International Journal of Cultic Studies (since its inception in 2010). In 2006, he was awarded The Herbert L. Rosedale Award, jointly with Dr. Paul Martin, for their psychological research on undue influence. Rod co-founded the Re-Entry Therapy Information and Referral Network (RETIRN) UK in 2004 with Dr Linda Dubrow-Marshall, where he serves as a consultant in helping individuals and families who have been adversely affected by destructive or damaging cults and other extremist and high demand/manipulative groups or relationships. He operates out of offices in Pontypridd, Wales and Buxton, Derbyshire, UK (please also see www.retirn.com). Rod has also served on more than a dozen Governing Boards of Schools, Colleges and Universities over the last two decades and he is currently a governor and director of the Akaal Primary School in Derby and is also a longstanding member of the Board of the homelessness charity the Wallich (headquartered in Cardiff, Wales). In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Buxton International Festival and is Chair of the Board of the Preston Guild Link charity (in Lancashire, UK) which is fundraising for the next Preston Guild cultural festival in 2032! Rod is also an experienced senior leader and manager in higher education having served for 15 years in the roles of Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Derby, Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and as Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of South Wales and Dean of Applied Social Sciences and Humanities at Buckinghamshire New University. [IJCS Editors; Research Network; Directors]

Wendy Duncan, MA, LBSW, has a Master’s Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a licensed

social worker in the state of Texas. She has spent most of her career in the mental health field.Wendy and her husband, Doug, are former members of a pseudo-Christian, Bible-based cult and several years after leaving, they became active in cult awareness activities. They are frequent presenters at ICSA conferences. Wendy co-facilitates a monthly support group for former members of cults in the Dallas metroplex. Wendy is also the author of I Can’t Hear God Anymore: Life in a Dallas Cult. Website: www.dallascult.com Email: info@dallascult.com Phone: (214) 607-1065. Dallas, Texas. Doug Duncan, MS, LPC, was a member of an aberrant religious group for over twenty years. After defying the cult leader and marrying Wendy, they eventually left the cult and Doug began the task of rebuilding his life. He enrolled in a master’s program in counseling and earned a degree and license to practice therapy. After working on their cult recovery issues by reading all the available cult literature, attending conferences, and becoming involved with ICSA, Doug and Wendy started a ministry to increase the awareness and understanding of cults. They are frequent presenters at churches, civic groups, and conferences, as well as facilitators of a support group for former members of cults and high-demand groups. Additionally, Doug offers individual counseling to ex-members.

Steve K. D. Eichel, PhD, ABPP, ICSA President, is Past-President of the American Academy of Counseling Psychology

and the Greater Philadelphia Society of Clinical Hypnosis. He is a licensed and Board-certified counseling psychologist whose involvement in cultic studies began with a participant-observation study of Unification Church training in their Eastern seminary (in Barrytown, NY) in the spring of 1975. His doctoral dissertation to date remains the only intensive, quantified observation of a deprogramming. He was honored with AFF’s 1990 John G. Clark Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Cultic Studies for this study, which was published as a special issue of the Cultic Studies Journal and has been translated into several foreign languages. In 1983, along with Dr. Linda Dubrow-Marshall and clinical social worker Roberta Eisenberg, Dr. Eichel founded the Re-Entry Therapy, Information & Referral Network (RETIRN), one of the field’s oldest continuing private providers of psychological services to families and individuals harmed by cultic practices. RETIRN currently has offices in Newark, DE, Lansdowne, PA and Pontypridd, Wales and Buxton, England (U.K.). In addition to his psychology practice and his involvement with ICSA, Dr. Eichel is active in a range of professional associations. He has co-authored several articles and book reviews on cult-related topics for the CSJ/CSR. In 2016 he received ICSA’s Herbert L. Rosedale Award at the Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas. [Directors]

Sharon K. Farber, PhD, is a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work in private practice in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY., treating children, adolescents, and adults. She specializes in treatment of trauma and trauma-induced disorders, such as eating disorders and self-injury. She has published several papers and three books, When the Body Is the Target: Self-Harm, Pain, and Traumatic Attachments, Hungry for Ecstasy: Trauma, the Brain, and the Influence of the Sixties and Celebrating the Wounded Healer Psychotherapist: Pain, Post-Traumatic Growth and Self-Disclosure. In her Ecstasy book, which Lorna Goldberg reviewed in the International Journal of Cultic Studies (Vol.5, 2014), she has a chapter called “Cult-Induced Ecstasy and Psychosis.” Her interest in cult involvement grew out of her experience of seeing her brother’s ability to think critically be taken away by Transcendental Meditation. She has written on cult involvement in her Psychology Today blog at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-mind-body-connection. She has done workshops for several years at the Cape Cod Institute and has presented a number of times at ICSA conferences on the question of forgiveness, cult-induced eating disorders and self-injury, and the use of expressive writing for healing from the cult experience. She has been trained in EMDR. She is an adjunct professor at New York University School of Social Work. She runs a group for clinicians who want to learn to write in a lively and engaging way about their work.

Jacqueline Fowler, LMT (licensed Massage therapist,) HAPP (holistic Alternative Psychology Practitioner) member MINDS association (changing one mind at a time) website: www.stressbustersinc.org I am a touch and talk therapist for PTSD. 501(c) 3 Mobile pain management clinic. My bio is on my website. 

Dr Campbell Fraser is a faculty member of Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. He is a leading authority on international human organ trafficking and in this role he extensively investigated the claims of so-called organ harvesting in China. His engagement with medical professionals in China have established Dr Fraser as a central target for reprisals, and this ongoing campaign has motivated him to spend the last two years observing the behaviors of the leadership and modus operandi of the movements making these claims. These investigations have given Dr Fraser a unique insight into the so-called organ harvesting phenomenon, and he regularly presents and consults to both

Leona Furnari, MSW, LCSW, is a psychotherapist in Boulder, CO, specializing in recovery from trauma, including recovery from abusive groups, spiritual abuse and harmful relationships. Ms. Furnari is a former member of an Eastern/New Age group, and it was that experience that led to her commitment to help others recover from abusive groups or cultic experiences. She has been a regular facilitator/presenter at ICSA’s former-member workshops and cult-education conferences since 1998. She has worked in child protection, community mental health, and as a school social worker. She is an EMDR International Association certified therapist and consultant. In 2010 ICSA awarded her the Margaret L. Singer Award for advancing the understanding of coercive persuasion and undue influence. Website: www.leonafurnari.com Email: info@leonafurnari.com Phone: (303) 444-0992 [Workshop Facilitators] 

Mark Giles, APR, BPE, CD, MDS, pcsc, is a military officer specializing in public affairs and influence activities, including psychological operations. Referred to as one of Canada’s chief cult experts, he recently returned from overseas service with the Canadian Armed Forces information operations cell in Latvia. Previously the head of communications for Interpol, the Canadian Forces Military Police and National Investigation Service, and Atomic Energy Canada (PHAI), he served for 10 years as a police officer with the Calgary Police Service and more than four years as a monthly columnist with Blue Line, Canada’s national law enforcement magazine. Raised in the Mormon Church, he stopped practicing in the 1980’s after spending two years as a full-time missionary in Belgium and France – resigning his church membership in 2001. Now a passionate presenter, he has spoken on cults, communication and control at the Canadian Public Relations Society conference in 2011, and the ICSA and Ex-Mormon conferences in 2016.

Lorna Goldberg, LCSW, PsyA, Board member and past president of ICSA, is a clinical social worker and psychoanalyst in private practice and Director, Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies. In 1976, she and her husband, William Goldberg, began facilitating a support group for former cult members that continues to meet on a monthly basis in their home in Englewood, New Jersey. In1989, Lorna and Bill received the Hall of Fame Award from the authentic Cult Awareness Network and, in 1999; they received the Leo J. Ryan Award from the Leo J. Ryan Foundation. In 2009, she received the Margaret T. Singer Award from ICSA. Lorna joined ICSA’s Board of Directors in November 2003. Along with Rosanne Henry, she co-chaired ICSA’s Mental Health Committee until her term as President of ICSA from 2008 to 2012. Lorna has published numerous articles about her therapeutic work with former cult members in professional journals, most recently: Goldberg, L. (2012). Influence of a Charismatic Antisocial Cult Leader: Psychotherapy With an Ex-Cultist Prosecuted for Criminal Behavior. International Journal of Cultic Studies, Vol. 2, 15-24. Goldberg, L. (2011). Diana, Leaving the Cult: Play Therapy in Childhood and Talk Therapy in Adolescence. International Journal of Cultic Studies, (Vol.2), 33-43. She also wrote a chapter on guidelines for therapists in the book, Recovery from Cults, edited by Michael Langone. Lorna has co-written with Bill Goldberg, a chapter on psychotherapy with targeted parents in the book, Working with Alienated Children and Families (2012), edited by Amy J.L. Baker & S. Richard Sauber. She is also co-editor of ICSA’s Cult Recovery: A Clinician’s Guide to Working With Former Members and Their Families, which is due to be published in 2017. [Directors; Workshop Facilitators]

William Goldberg, LCSW, PsyA, is a clinical social worker and psychoanalyst with over forty years’ experience working with former cult members. He and his wife, Lorna, co-lead a support group for former cult members, which has been meeting for over forty years. It is the oldest group of its kind in the world. In 2007, Bill retired from the Rockland County, NY Department of Mental Health, where he directed several programs and clinics. He is presently an adjunct professor in the social work and social science departments of Dominican College and he is on the faculty of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies. Bill has published numerous articles in books and professional journals, and he is one of the editors of a soon to be published book, sponsored by ICSA, which will focus on clinical work with former cult members. Bill is a frequent speaker at ICSA conferences, and he and Lorna have been the recipients of the Authentic CAN Hall of Fame Award and the Leo J. Ryan Award. In 2010, Bill was the recipient of ICSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also co-editor of ICSA’s Cult Recovery: A Clinician’s Guide to Working With Former Members and Their Families, which is due to be published in 2017. Website: BLGOLDBERG.COM. Email: bill@blgoldberg.com Phone: (201) 894-8515 Englewood, New Jersey. [Workshop Facilitators]

Vega González Bueso, Degree in Psychology from the University of Barcelona. Diploma Specialist Clinical Psychology from the University of Barcelona. Diploma in Nursing from the University of Barcelona. Master in Language Disorders, University Polytechnic of Catalonia. Graduate Judicial Expertise University Polytechnic of Catalonia. Currently Manager/ Director of AIS (Care and Research Social Addictions). Clinical psychologist specialist. Professor at the University of Valencia and the University of Barcelona in the subject Groups of Psychological Manipulation (coercive sects). Since 2003 also works within the scope of care and research for people affected by their membership in groups or sects using coercive psychological manipulation. Email: vgonzalez@ais-info.org Phone: 93301.30.24 

Maureen Griffo, MA, MEd, an ex-member of The Church of Bible Understanding as well as several fringe churches, is Chair/Coordinator of reFOCUS and also was one of four collaborators who established the Leo J. Ryan Education Foundation. Ms. Griffo moderated an online chat/support group for former members for many years. Currently she is spearheading the ICSA New York City Educational Initiative. She has begun a support group on spiritual abuse (“Wounded Pilgrims”), which meets the first Friday of each month (starting in November 2017) at St. Andrews Roman Catholic Church in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. She has a Master’s in Sociology with a focus on cultic practices as well as a Master’s in Education with a focus on special education. She works with children with severe emotional and developmental disabilities in New York City. [NY Committee] 

Paul S. Grosswald is an attorney known for his work in fighting cultic groups. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Cult Information Service, Inc. and as legal advisor to the Intellectual Freedom Foundation, Inc. He is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey. Over the past twenty-five years, Paul has presented over 200 seminars teaching people how to protect themselves from cult recruitment by thinking critically and being good consumers. He has been interviewed by local and national news media, including Dateline NBC, Fox News Channel, WNBC-TV and Redbook Magazine.

Professor Marci Hamilton is the CEO and Academic Director of CHILD USA, which conducts evidence-based legal, medical, and social science research to identify laws and policies affecting child protection. With these facts, CHILD USA shines a light on the better pathways to truly protect all children from abuse and neglect. Professor Hamilton is a leading national expert on legal remedies to child sex abuse, including statute of limitation reform. Prof. Hamilton has been extensively quoted in national media, and is the author of two seminal books: Justice Denied, What America Must Do to Protect Its Children and God vs. The Gavel: The Perils of Extreme Religious Liberty, which was nominated by Cambridge for a Pulitzer Prize. Prof. Hamilton has received many honors and awards for her pioneering work to protect the vulnerable, including the Voice of Courage Award, Voice Today, 2016; the Annual Religious Liberty Award, American Humanist Association, 2015; the Free thought Heroine of the Year, Freedom from Religion Foundation, 2014; the Frank Carrington Champion of Civil Justice Award, National Crime Victims Bar Association, 2012; Pennsylvania Woman of the Year, 2012; and the E. Nathaniel Gates Award, Cardozo Law School, for outstanding scholarly work and public advocacy, 2008. Earlier in her career, Prof. Hamilton clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor at the United States Supreme Court and Judge Edward R. Becker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. She is a Penny and Robert Fox Family Pavilion Distinguished Scholar in the Program for Research on Religion, Fox Leadership Program, University of Pennsylvania and holds the Paul R. Verkuil Research Chair at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.

Steven Hassan, M.Ed., LMHC, NCC, Director of Freedom of Mind Resource Center, Newton, MA 02459. A licensed mental health counselor and former leader in the Moon organization, Steven has been helping people on cult issues since 1976. He has written three books that have received extensive praise from former cult members, families of former members, clergy, cult experts, and psychologists: Combating Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best-selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults (1988,1990, revised updated edition as ebook and paperback 2015)); Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves (2000); and FREEDOM OF MIND, Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs, a paperback and e-book (2012, 2013). Steven has pioneered a new approach to helping victims of mind control. His Strategic Interactive Approach (SIA) reflects the respect and care one must bring to the effort to help those involved free themselves. Unlike stressful, sensationalized and illegal deprogramming techniques, his non-coercive approach is an effective and legal alternative that has assisted thousands of families help individuals victimized by destructive group and cult-related mind control. This approach teaches family and friends how to strategically influence the individual involved in a group. In 2013, he participated in a California training for the Joint Regional Intelligence Center presented to law enforcement professionals and has been teaching about mind control in human trafficking and terrorism. In 2014 Mr. Hassan received ICSA’s Special Recognition Award and co-developed Curriculum for “Ending the Game” (ETG), a ground-breaking “coercion resiliency” curriculum that reduces the feelings of attachment to traffickers and/or a lifestyle characterized by commercial sexual exploitation, thereby reducing the rate of recidivism among sex trafficking victims. 

Abigail Dalgleish Hazlett is a researcher and victim advocate. Abigail has presented on the issue of sexual violence to a variety of audiences and, while in school, she co-founded a community organization focused on the prevention of sexual violence and advocacy for victims. Her undergraduate research examined Christian clergy’s training in handling sexual violence in their congregations. She hopes to use her research to develop a training that can be implemented into seminary school curricula. She now resides in Austin, Texas with her husband and two children. She will begin graduate work in Communication Studies at the University of Texas at Austin in Fall 2018, focusing on trauma’s impact on victims and their relationships, as well as institutional responses to trauma and abuse. She is co-creator of the Coercive Control Collective, an organization focused on sharing research and news about the concept of coercive control and advocating for the use of a coercive control framework for understanding extreme forms of abuse across disciplines, including policy initiatives, education and prevention efforts in the United States.

Janet Heimlich
is the founder of the Child-Friendly Faith Project, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to

end religious child maltreatment or RCM, child abuse or neglect that is enabled by religious belief. She is the author of Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment (Prometheus Books, 2011) which novelist Anne Rice called “well researched and well written” and was lauded by such experts as Bishop John Shelby Spong, Dr. Richard Dawkins, and Dr. Ronald Enroth. As a freelance reporter for National Public Radio, Ms. Heimlich won nine journalism awards, including the regional Katie and the Houston Press Club’s Radio Journalist of the Year. She has also written nonfiction articles for such publications as Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, and the Texas Observer. Ms. Heimlich lives with her teenage daughter in Austin, Texas.

Diane Hendel, FNP-C, MSN, MBA, is a primary care provider in an urgent care setting, an adjunct professor of nursing, and a hospice and palliative care nurse practitioner in the Washington, DC area. She is the co-founder of TM-EX, a nonprofit providing counseling and education to former members of Transcendental Meditation. She has been interviewed by, and appeared in, major media, including The Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, BBC Radio, and 60 Minutes Australia. In 1990, she sued the TM organization in Federal Court for racketeering and fraud.

Rosanne Henry, MA, LPC, is a psychotherapist practicing in Littleton, Colorado. For the past

twenty years she has been active in the counter cult movement working closely with the former Cult Awareness Network and ICSA. She presently sits on the board of ICSA and heads the Mental Health Committee. She has facilitated ICSA’s Recovery workshops for twenty-five years. Rosanne’s private practice specializes in the treatment of cult survivors and their families. She is a former member of Kashi Ranch. In 2010 ICSA awarded her the Margaret L. Singer Award for advancing the understanding of coercive persuasion and undue influence. She is also co-editor of ICSA’s Cult Recovery: A Clinician’s Guide to Working With Former Members and Their Families, which is due to be published in 2017. Website: www.CultRecover.com Phone: (303) 797-0629 [Directors, Workshop Facilitators, Mental Health Network]

Ashlen Hilliard has long been a student of cults, and an advocate for helping individuals navigate away from them into supportive and positive cultures. A long-time resident of Utah, she’s dedicated her life to helping individuals who have left the Mormon Church. She has a B.A in Communication from Florida College, with a minor in Religious Studies. Her passions include public speaking, intercultural studies, and educating others about cults. She gained experience in a variety of workplace settings and has continued research. Most rewardingly, she started volunteering with “Holding out Help,” a non-profit organization devoted to providing pathways of independence to those who have left abusive polygamous family situations in FLDS communities. Part of her task has been to assist in constructing and teaching classes that teach essential life skills such as budgeting or applying for college. She hopes to continue her education in the coming years, and provide new conversations to the International Cultic Studies Association community.

Tammy Ichinotsubo-Ezzi, PhD has been a psychologist in private practice in the state of California for 20+ years and a spiritual director for 10+ years with a focus on working with trauma survivors, particularly survivors of childhood abuse, spiritual/religious abuse and narcissistic family dynamics and other high-demand relationships. She is Board Certified as an Expert in Traumatic Stress through the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. She previously taught as an Assistant Professor at Alliant University, California School of Professional Psychology in Alhambra, CA and as a Lecturer at Antioch University and the University of California, Irvine. She also served as the Spiritual Development Coordinator at Mary and Joseph Retreat Center in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA for six years.

Laura Illig is a social worker from Aachen, Germany. She is currently pursuing a Master in clinical-therapeutic social work.

Nitai Joseph was born into the fringes of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Hare Krishna) and at 18 joined an offshoot sect called Sri Caitanya Sanga. Over the course of 7 years, he lived as a monk in their temples in North and Central America. As part of the group’s leadership, he held positions as the guru’s personal assistant, temple manager, administrator, editor, and so on. He later moved off the group’s properties but remained heavily involved. Slowly he came to realize that he had been the subject of extreme psychological and financial manipulation and began seeking out support and information to make sense of his past. Now living in Asheville, North Carolina, Nitai works and maintains a blog about his experience and cultic conditioning in general. He plans to make the most of a troubled past and return to school for psychology and enter into the realm cult awareness and recovery.

Elizabeth Kaluaratchige. Associate Professor (Maître de Conférences) in Faculty of Psychoanalytic Studies, Université Paris Diderot Paris 7, in Psychoanalysis and psychopathology. Researcher in Center for Research in Psychoanalysis, Medicine and Society (CRPMS), Clinical Psychologist in Paris. Doctorate in Educations Sciences, Université Paris 5 Sorbonne, and Doctorate in Psychoanalysis and psychopathology, Masters in Anthropology and Pre-history. Specialist in Anthropological psychoanalysis, Education Sciences, and in psychopathology. Publications on adolescents, children, buddhism, urban violence, religious problems.

Kathrin Kaufmann is a social worker from Aachen, Germany. She is currently pursuing a Master in clinical-therapeutic social work..

Stephen A. Kent, PhD, Professor of Sociology, University of Alberta, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the sociology of religion and the sociology of sectarian groups. He has published articles in numerous sociology and religious study journals. His 2001 book, From Slogans to Mantras: Social Protest and Religious Conversion in the Late Vietnam War Era, was selected by Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2002. In 2012 he received The Margaret Thaler Singer Award for advancing the understanding of coercive persuasion and undue influence from the American Cultic Studies Association.

Chantal Kern
is a social worker from Aachen, Germany. She is currently pursuing a Master in clinical-therapeutic social work.

Chae Young Kim
, Korean, is Professor of Religious Studies in Sogang University (Jesuit Foundation). He served as president for Korean Association for Religious Studies from 2014-2016. He is serving now as an editorial board member in international journal, Religion and British Journal of Religious Education. He published several English articles in The Heythrop Journal, The Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Journal of Dharma, and The Journal of Religion and Health and coauthored books on religious studies and philosophy of religion in Korean. He is the translator of William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience and Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death into Korean. He has been researching and writing on psychology of religion, contemporary Korean religious experience and its interpretation theories in relation to William James, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Carl Gustav Jung, and Bernard Lonergan.

Masaki Kito
, Esq, is a founding partner of LINK LAW OFFICE Kito and Partners in Tokyo, established in 2001. He has

been an advocate for the victims of various cultic groups for over 20 years in Tokyo. He was the vice chairperson of Consumer Affairs Committee of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) and the chairperson of Consumer Affairs Committee of Daini Tokyo Bar Association (DTBA). He is a member of the National Network of Lawyers against Spiritual Sales, Legal Team Representing Victims of Aum Shinrikyo, and the Japan Society for Cult Prevention and Recovery (JSCPR). He is one of the leading public commentators on cults in Japan, making frequent appearances in the various media, including TV and radio programs on NHK (Japan’s national public station) and commercial stations, major newspapers, and magazines. He is also renowned as a specialist of the broader range of consumer affairs and also a specialist of issues concerning the Internet. As an expert, he is frequently invited to meetings and study sessions hosted by diet members of both majority and minority parties (Liberal Democratic Party and The Democratic Party of Japan).

Janja Lalich, PhD, is a researcher, author, and educator specializing in self-sealing systems (cults, terrorist groups, situations of undue influence, and ideological extremism), with a particular focus on recruitment, indoctrination, and methods of influence and control. She is Professor Emerita of Sociology at California State University, Chico and has been studying the social psychology of controversial groups and exploitative and abusive relationships for 30+ years. Dr. Lalich has written and lectured extensively, has advised the international intelligence community on terrorism and indoctrination, and has served as consultant and expert witness in civil and criminal cases. Her most recent book, coauthored with Karla McLaren, M.Ed., is Escaping Utopia: Growing Up in a Cult, Getting Out, and Starting Over (Routledge, 2017). Her critically acclaimed book, Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults (University of California Press, 2004), is based on her comparative study of the Heaven’s Gate cult, which committed collective suicide in 1997, and the Democratic Workers Party, a radical U.S.-based political cult active in the 1970s and ’80s, of which Lalich was a leading member (giving her first-hand experience with cultic behavior). That book elucidates Dr. Lalich’s bounded choice theory, a major theoretical development that offers a new and sophisticated approach for understanding the internal dynamics of self-sealing groups. Dr. Lalich’s 2006 book, Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships (Bay Tree Press), is a fully revised and expanded edition of her first book, Captive Hearts, Captive Minds (Hunter House, 1995). Take Back Your Life is the number-one cult recovery resource used by clinicians, helping professionals, former cult members, and their friends and families. Her work has been translated into German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Serbian, French, Japanese, Russian, and Polish. Dr. Lalich has appeared on news programs such as Meet the Press, Anderson Cooper’s AC360 on CNN, the CBS Evening News, NPR’s The Morning Edition and BBC’s Thinking Allowed. She has been featured in or an adviser to numerous documentaries and other programs on the cult phenomenon, which have been aired on National Geographic, The Learning Channel, The History Channel, British and Japanese public television, and others. She has been interviewed by and quoted in major print media across the nation and worldwide, from People magazine to the Harvard Business Review Harper’s, from the New York Times to the San Diego Union-Tribune, and a variety of Internet-based outlets such as Vice.com, Al Jazeera America.com, Time/CNN Impact, and MSNBC.com.

Monique Lauret. Psychiatre, psychanalyste française, membre d’Espace analytique Paris et Membre de la Fondation Européenne de la psychanalyse. Installée à Toulouse, transmets et enseigne la psychanalyse, en France, en Europe et en Chine. Ses axes de pensée et de recherche sont les questions d’Ethique, de réflexion sur nos sociétés et de transmission de la psychanalyse.

J. Paul Lennon, STL, MA, After retiring from his “day-job” as a Child and Family Therapist in 2014, Paul has been contacted by individuals and parents involved with various Catholic and Christian groups. He still counsels and supports members and former members of the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi as well as members of other heretofore bona fide but high-demand Catholic groups, associations, and orders. He continues to coordinate ReGAIN, Inc, where he can be contacted. Presently living in La Antigua, Guatemala, he is available to residents and visitors involved with or concerned about questionable groups

Megan Lundstrom is the founder and director of national anti-trafficking non-profit, Free Our Girls. After graduating from UNC in 2016 with a BS in Finance, Megan is currently enrolled in the MS program for Sociological Theory. In addition to her role as executive director, Megan speaks extensively on her experiences as a survivor of domestic pimp-controlled sex trafficking, and uses both her lived experiences and expertise in the area to advise community sectors on improving existing systems, closing service gaps, and develop prevention and response protocols. Megan is a survivor consultant for the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign, co-facilitates an intervention program for commercial sex buyers in Colorado, and is the Larimer County CSEC HRIT Consultant.

Robert Marshall
received the 2016 Hazel Rowley Prize from BIO, the Biographers’ International Organization, for

American Trickster, his biography-in-progress of Carlos Castaneda. The documentary film rights for this project have been optioned by Grand Trunk Road Productions. His investigative feature, “The Dark Legacy of Carlos Castaneda,” was chosen for Best of Salon in 2007. He is also the author of the novel A Separate Reality, which was published in 2006 by Carroll & Graf and nominated for a Lambda Literary Award for debut fiction. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Salon, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Confrontation, Event, Public Books, Crack the Spine, Ducts, Eclectica, and numerous other publications. A visual artist as well as a writer, his artwork has been exhibited internationally, at venues including Studio 10 Gallery, Baxter Street, Richard Anderson Fine Arts, Art in General and White Columns. He was the founder of Writers Resist Trump and is the director of the Pretext Reading Series. He is the recipient of fellowships and grants from Macdowell, Yaddo, the Banff Centre, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. He lives in New York City.

Cyndi Matthews, PhD, LPC-S, NCC is an experienced counseling clinician working in private practice and a counseling professor at the University of North Texas-Dallas. Her passion for social justice and advocacy is exemplified in her counseling practice and current research, both of which focus on effective counseling interventions for marginalized populations, such as cult survivors, domestic violence survivors, and LGBT populations. Based on her scholarship and clinical expertise she has researched and developed theory for counseling with former second generation adult (SGA) cult recovery survivors. Website: www.drcyndimatthews.com Email: cyndersm@verizon.net Phone: (469) 316-7290

Eva Mackey Meyrat, MD, is a second generation adult whose father was a tenured professor of philosophy at the

University of Texas at Austin. Her mother was a devotee of an eastern cult that practiced a branch of Hinduism called Advaita Vedanta, a non-dualistic philosophy that teaches that the self is one with the ultimate truth or reality. Half of Eva’s childhood was spent in an ashram in India where she and the other children were unsupervised much of the day. Despite the upheavals and instability that characterized her childhood, Eva managed to get out of the cult at the age of 16 and eventually earned her MD from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Dr. Meyrat has a busy Family Practice and she lives near Dallas with her three small children.

Cathrine Moestue, Cand.Psychol., grew up in Oslo, Norway in an upper-middle-class family with four siblings. While attending Folkuniversity in Stockholm (1984–85), she encountered teachers who claimed to have a program to “save starving children” and lured her to participate. The group, which drew on communist teachings, isolated her from her family and made her feel guilty for her privileged upbringing. After years of working hard to “save the world,” she became disillusioned and, after several attempts, in 1992 she successfully escaped this destructive group by running away. She worked in the advertising industry and managed a radio company before earning her degree in psychology at the university of Oslo and becoming a psychologist and eventually seeking therapy to deal with her traumatic experience. She is a psychologist in private practice in Oslo and is currently working on her memoirs.

Mary Moore
is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker currently practicing in Maryland. She participated in Divine Light

Mission, later renamed Elan Vital and The Prem Rawat Foundation, from 1973 to 2001, having been recruited in her first year of college. While in the group, she pursued a career in accounting and software, helping to found and grow a company which went from 3 to 500 employees from 1981 to 1998. She worked as a Senior System Consultant, Software Designer, and VP of Marketing. The organization’s top management originated within the group, but is no longer affiliated, having been sold by the owners a few years ago. She realized she had been in a cult in 2004 after talking with a former member, reading Margaret Singer’s Cults in our Midst, and visiting the ex-member website. She attended an ICSA former member workshop that summer, then returned to college, obtaining Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work. She has attended four ICSA conferences, as a former member and mental health practitioner. She has developed a practice that focuses on couples’ therapy, trauma work using EMDR, play and sand tray therapy. She has begun co-facilitating a cult recovery support group in the Washington DC area since 2014. Website: marymoorelcsw.com Email: 1207.mary@gmail.com Phone: 410-980-3155
Anda Moranda. Graduating with honors from a Polytechnic University, Anda holds a Master´s Degree in engineering. Refusing the highest honor of joining the Communist Party as a student brought her praises from the religious friends despite the expected troubles. For several years Anda worked as an electronics engineer in her native country, under the constant watch and harassment of government officials and secret police. Her citizenship was taken away after she managed to leave her native country seeking medical help in the West. Anda arrived in the US where she was granted political asylum and later gained new citizenship. She left a successful career in the US, sold her house, her car and disposed of all her earthly possessions to follow in Jesus footprints to be able to fulfill the dream of her youth and entered a Christian ministry. Anda’s experiences with coercive control have led to an interest in using her personal story to educate others and raise public awareness. 

Anthony Murphy
, (MPhil), University of Eindhoven, NL, is 55 years old and works as the Head of Department at the

International Business and Management Studies (IBMS) Department at Eindhoven University in the Netherlands. In his former career, he had a commercial background working as an Investment Banker up until 1997 – after which he entered higher education. His academic specialization is in Political Economy. Originally from Liverpool, UK, he moved to the Netherlands in 2008 and has since been promoted to the position of HoD. He spent 9 years living in a high-control group from 1981 to 1990. He thinks that using his theoretical tools, combined with hindsight and personal experiences, enables him to share his important findings with others.

Dorca Musseb was born into a Jehovah’s Witnesses family in Puerto Rico. At 16, having moved to the U.S., Dorca resisted her intensely abusive environment and finally walked away. Struggling to survive, she built a new life that included studying art at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and securing a series of jobs as a motion graphic designer in the entertainment industry. She has attended ICSA’s annual SGA workshop since it started, and moderates a Facebook page for workshop participants.

Nori Muster, MS, is the author of Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life Behind the Headlines of the

Hare Krishna Movement (University of Illinois Press, 1997), Cult Survivors Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life (2000), and Child of the Cult (2010). She was an ISKCON member from 1978-1988, then earned her Master of Science degree at Western Oregon University in 1991 doing art therapy with juvenile sex offenders. She is currently a freelance writer and adjunct professor, based in Arizona. Her website for cultic studies information is surrealist.org/cults/

K. Gordon Neufeld, MFA, is the author of Heartbreak and Rage: Ten Years Under Sun Myung Moon, A Cult Survivor’s Memoir and Cult Fiction: One Writer’s Creative Journey Through an Extreme Religion. He was a member of the Unification Church from 1976 to 1986. Following his departure from the group, he graduated from the University of British Columbia Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing. His opinion piece about the Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s mass marriages appeared in First Things magazine in January, 2003. He has read from his work three times at ICSA conference Phoenix Project exhibits. Living Water (a story read at ICSA’s 2010 annual conference) was published in The Windsor Review in the Spring 2011 issue. He is working on a novel and a collection of short stories. Mr. Neufeld now lives with his wife and step-daughter near Schenectady, New York.

Piotr T. Nowakowski, born in 1974, Ph.D. Hab. in social sciences, Associate Professor at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin – Off-Campus Faculty of Law and Social Sciences in Stalowa Wola (Poland). Areas of academic activity: social prevention, social work, pedagogy of social rehabilitation, public security, pedagogy of mass media, philosophy of education; author of headings in the Universal Encyclopedia of Philosophy (published by: Polskie Towarzystwo Tomasza z Akwinu). Books written: Sekty: co kazdy powinien wiedziec (Cults: what one should know, 1999), Sekty: oblicza werbunku (Cults: faces of recruitment, 2001), Fast food dla mózgu, czyli telewizja i okolice (Fast food for mind, i.e., television and surroundings, 2002), Modele czlowieka propagowane w wybranych czasopismach mlodziezowych: analiza antropologiczno-etyczna (Models of man propagated in selected youth magazines: the anthropological and ethical analysis, 2004). Books edited: The phenomenon of cults from a scientific perspective (2007), Sekty jako problem wspólczesnosci (Cults as a problem of contemporary reality, 2008), Higher education in Nigeria: selected aspects (2010), Wokól pigulki gwaltu (Talking about date rape drugs, 2011). Dr. Nowakowski is ICSA Today’s News Correspondent for Eastern Europe. [Education Network] 

Paul Offit, MD, is a pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases and an expert on vaccines, immunology, and virology. He is the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine that has been credited with saving hundreds of lives every day. Offit is the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology, professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He has been a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Offit is a board member of Every Child by Two and a founding board member of the Autism Science Foundation (ASF). Pandora’s Lab is his ninth book.

Robert Pardon, MDiv, ThM, is the Executive Director of the New England Institute of Religious Research (NEIRR) and MeadowHaven. During the past 10 years he has specialized in Bible-based communal groups and aberrational Christian groups. He also consults with law enforcement regarding destructive groups, and gives expert witness testimony. Both he and his wife, Judy, speak nationally and internationally on cults. Much of his work involves counseling, leading support groups, working with those born or raised in groups, and helping former members rebuild their lives. To facilitate the recovery process, MeadowHaven, a long-term rehabilitation facility, was opened in 2002. MeadowHaven can accommodate individuals or families who require long-term (up to a year) care to recover from trauma and cultic abuse. In 2014, Rev. Pardon received, with his wife, Judy, ICSA’s Herbert L. Rosedale Award.

Paula Rose Parish-Foley is an ordained Minister working with the Presbyterian Church in Wales, Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church in the UK. She is the lead Minister of 3 churches and preaches on the Methodist circuit in South Wales UK. Her experience as a religious cult member, together with working with ex-cultic members, has led her to a Master of Arts in Counselling at the University of Derby, UK. The subject of her thesis was, Spiritual Abuse in the Judeo-Christian Tradition. Paula Rose has worked with those harmed by high-control and cultic groups in her native Australia, the USA, and around the UK. Paula Rose specializes in conducting retreats which help to bring understanding of the high-control experience, enabling health and healing. Her own family was devastated by the effects of a cultic group the effects of which continue to this day. Paula Rose works in whatever capacity afforded to her for the spiritual freedom and health of others.

Diana Pletts, MA, is the founder and director of the Phoenix Project, an art and literary exhibit of works by ex-cult members. A former member of a group called the Path, Diana completed her cult-interrupted college education following exit counseling at Wellspring. Diana has worked as a writer and an adjunct college professor, and loves taking visual art classes at the local university. She was Arts Editor for ICSA Today for seven years. In 2015 ICSA presented Diana with the Margaret T. Singer Award.

Alisha Powell, PhD, LCSW, graduated from the University of Denver with her graduate degree in social work (MSW) and completed her undergraduate degree (BSW) at Oakwood University. Alisha also completed post-graduate studies in Marriage and Family Therapy and completed her doctorate in social psychology at Walden University. She has experience working in a variety of settings that have included long-term care, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and residential treatment centers working with clients from all walks of life. As a teenager, Alisha lived with her family on a compound, and she has personal experience as a former member of a cult. Alisha currently works as a therapist and as an adjunct instructor in social work. Her areas of special practice include couples therapy, assessment, mental health and working with minority populations. Alisha is also passionate about being a lifelong learner and has completed Level I and II of Gottman Couples Therapy Training and is pursuing a certification as a discernment counselor. In her spare time, Alisha enjoys traveling and trying new restaurants.

Karen Pressley established Bayshore Publications in 2017, which published Escaping Scientology: An Insider’s True Story (Sept. 2017), and Coming to Terms With Your Story: Writing to Heal, a 2018 release. Karen’s appearance in Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (Season 2, Episode 6, 2017) touches on her background as a 16-year Scientologist, when she recruited for Scientology before heading up its Celebrity Centre Network (1982-89). She later worked under leader David Miscavige at the International Management headquarters (1990-1998). Post-Scientology, Karen earned a MA in Professional Writing, and a BS in Communication from Kennesaw State University. She began her teaching career at Southern Polytechnic State University in Atlanta and the main KSU campus 2012 – 2015. KSU College of HSS named her “Outstanding Alumna of 2017.” Karen has published articles on Scientology including “Creativity and Cults from Sociological and Communication Perspectives: The Processes Involved in the Birth of a Secret Creative Self”, co-authored with sociologist Miriam Boeri for the Cultic Studies Review (Vol. 9, No. 1, 2010). Karen is regularly consulted on Scientology issues by former cult members and families. She is a guest speaker for radio, television, and conferences, and has spoken at nearly 100 events.

Laura Prickett
is a spiritual director, dream group facilitator, workshop leader, and former member of the International Church of Christ (ICC), a high-demand group that she joined at age 18. Laura holds a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Chaplaincy Institute, Berkeley, California, where she is enrolled in the Interfaith Studies program, leading to ordination as an interfaith minister. She holds a Certificate in Dream Group Facilitation from the Marin Institute for Projective Dreamwork, and a Master of Community Planning from the University of Rhode Island. She has led workshops and presentations at Unitarian Universalist congregations, the Chaplaincy Institute, and conferences of professional organizations, including the American Planning Association and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Laura was a member, leader, and missionary in the ICC from 1981 to 1989. After exiting the ICC, she established a career in community planning and worked at personal healing from a predominantly psychological perspective. However, her nighttime dreams continued guiding her toward spiritual and religious issues. She cultivated an independent spiritual path, and more recently felt called to study dreamwork, interfaith spiritual direction, and interfaith ministry. She is a member of Spiritual Directors International and the International Association for the Study of Dreams.

Danish Qasim is the founder of InShaykhsClothing.com a website dedicated to helping Muslims that have suffered spiritual abuse. Danish graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 2010 with a B.A. in Religious Studies. Upon graduating he dedicated himself to full time traditional Islamic studies. He is now completing his Master’s in education and community leadership at the Western Institute for Social Research in Berkeley, CA.

Joyce Ralph is a former member of a high-demand, high-control religious cult in southern California. Joyce grew up in Minnesota with no spiritual or religious guidance. At age 19 she joined the United States Marine Corps. She was stationed in southern California and had just served her 4 year commitment when a good friend recruited her into her first destructive group. She was drawn to the togetherness that was evident in the group. Not knowing anything about the Bible, she accepted the narcissistic behavior as normal. After 2 years she walked away and into the arms of another couple and another religious cult. This one even worse than the first one. After 5 years of spiritual, emotional and some physical abuse she found an opportunity to walk away. Because of the trauma however she was unable to speak having to force out anything she wanted to say. A neighbor directed her to Wellspring and they directed her to MeadowHaven. After years of therapy Joyce is now able to share her testimony and has gained her voice back. Joyce is now enjoying the creative arts to aid in her healing. Painting and photography are her favorites. She also recently joined a writing club to help her express herself through writing to tell her story. She will be returning to college in the fall after a 3-year break from her studies in Psychology. After living for many years in the south Joyce has made her home in Massachusetts. She continues to receive support from MeadowHaven. She has also added a new addition to her home, a retired-from-racing Greyhound named Chase!

Dingcheng Ren
, PhD, has paid attention to cults in China from historical, methodological, and life culture perspectives since the late 1990’s. He is a professor of the School of Humanities , University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has been a professor at Peking University, a visiting professor at the Oversea Programe of Stanford University in Beijing, a research fellow of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in Tokyo, and a guest professor of Foguang University in Taiwan. Prof. Ren’s current academic interests are focused on: (1) phenomena of victimizing members of groups by misusing traditional Chinese culture in contemporary China, (2) phenomena of manipulating members of groups misusing modern science, and (3) how to aid the members of groups to distinguish pseudoscience from science in order to avoid harm.

Patrick Ryan is a graduate of Maharishi International University. He has been a cult intervention specialist (exit counseling, mediation, religious conflict resolution, thought reform consulting) since 1984. Mr. Ryan is the co-founder of TM-EX, the organization of ex-members of Transcendental Meditation. He established ICSA’s online resource (1995-2013), and has presented 50 programs about hypnosis, inner-experience, trance-induction techniques, communicating with cult members, conversion, cult intervention, exit counseling, intervention assessment, mediation, religious conflict resolution, thought reform consultation, eastern groups, transcendental meditation and workshops for educators, families, former members and mental health professionals at ICSA workshops/conferences. Mr. Ryan received the AFF Achievement Award (1997) from AFF, the Leo J. Ryan “Distinguished Service Award” (1999) from the Leo J. Ryan Foundation, and a Lifetime Achievement Award (2011) from ICSA. pryan19147@gmail.com. Websites: intervention101.com; cultmediation.com; cultrecovery101.com.

Gregory Sammons
, MEd, PC, resides in Albany, Ohio with his wife Angelina. Greg began working at Wellspring Retreat

and Resource Center in March of 2001. He has filled nearly every role at the small residential agency over the past ten years. After his beginnings as the Clinical Residence Manager, Greg was inspired to go back to graduate school to complete his Master in Counseling Education. Greg’s degree covers the area of Clinical and Rehab Counseling. His areas of competence include Abusive Group/Relationship Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, Personal and Social Counseling, Addictions Counseling, and Diagnosis and Treatment. Greg has presented various topics at highly regarded conferences including those sponsored by the American Counseling Association, Ohio Counseling Association, and Ohio Rehabilitation Association. Greg currently provides all clinical counseling and assessment at Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center in Albany, Ohio. In addition to providing clinical services at Wellspring Gregory serves as the Director of Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center.

Juanjo Santamaria Lorenzo, Ph.D., Degree in Psychology and Master in Clinical Psychology (University of Barcelona), specialist in behavioral addictions, new technologies and mental health, and eating disorders. Nowadays he is a post-doctoral researcher at AIS (Atención e Investigación de Socioadicciones), Barcelona, Spain. He has previously worked as a Clinical psychologist and researcher at the Bellvitge University Hospital-IDIBELL, Barcelona, Spain for more than 8 years, and has been involved in both national and international research projects. He has also worked as assistant professor at the University of Barcelona. He has published more than 30 research articles in scientific journals.

Alan W. Scheflin, JD, LLM, is Emeritus Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law in California and a

member of ICSA’s Board of Directors. Among his several dozen publications is Memory, Trauma Treatment, and the Law (co-authored with Daniel Brown and D. Corydon Hammond), for which he received the 1999 Guttmacher Award from the American Psychiatric Association, one of 18 awards he has received. Professor Scheflin is also the 1991 recipient of the Guttmacher Award for Trance on Trial (with Jerrold Shapiro). A member of the Editorial Advisory Board of ICSA’s International Journal of Cultic Studies, Professor Scheflin received the 2001 American Psychological Association, Division 30 (Hypnosis), Distinguished Contribution to Professional Hypnosis Award. This is the highest award that Division 30 can bestow. He was also awarded in 2001 The American Board of Psychological Hypnosis, Professional Recognition Award. This Award was created to honor his achievements in promoting the legal and ethical use of hypnosis. Professor Scheflin has delivered over 100 invited addresses at professional conferences. In 2004 ICSA awarded Professor Scheflin the Herbert L. Rosedale Award in recognition of leadership in the effort to preserve and protect individual freedom. [Directors] 

Debby Schriver. A native of Chicago, Debby Schriver earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her major studies were in educational counseling psychology and early American literature. Schriver’s curiosity in the psychological and sociological ways that people develop, particularly during the formative years, found a professional home in higher education. At the University of Tennessee she served as Associate Dean of Student Conduct and Orientation for 13 years and Manager of Employee Training and Organizational Development for 18 years. Her books include: To Read My Heart, the Journal of Rachel Van Dyke 1810-1811 (Co-edited with Lucia McMahon, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000); In the Footsteps of Champions: The University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers, the First Three Decades (The University of Tennessee Press, 2008); Ice ‘n’ Go: Score in Sports and Life (Co-authored with Jenny Moshak, The University of Tennessee Press, 2013); Whispering in the Daylight, The Children of Tony Alamo’s Christian Ministry and Their Journey to Freedom (The University of Tennessee Press, 2018 release date). Schriver is actively involved in civic organizations, particularly those that direct their services to children. She is a Girl Scout volunteer, member of the Board of Directors for the YWCA (East Tennessee) and serves as a member of the Foster Care Review Board for the Knox County Juvenile Court.

Daniel Shaw, LCSW, is the author of Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation, published by Routledge. His affiliations include: Psychoanalyst, Private Practice, New York City and Nyack, NY; Faculty and Clinical Supervisor, The National Institute for the Psychotherapies (NIP), New York, NY; Clinical Supervisor and Faculty, Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, NY; Adjunct Clinical Supervisory, Smith College of Social Work, MA; former co-chair, Continuing Education Committee, The International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. Shaw spent thirteen years as a staff member in Siddha Yoga (SYDA Foundation. There he wore many hats, including: manager of the residential Manhattan facility, educator, spokesperson, public relations coordinator, community organizer, and writer/director of public programs. Shaw exited Siddha Yoga in 1994, published an Open Letter about Siddha Yoga on the internet in 1995, and helped create the Leaving Siddha Yoga website, one of the first internet websites for ex cult members. Shaw is the author of Traumatic Abuse in Cults: A Psychoanalytic Perspective, published in the Cultic Studies Journal, numerous psychoanalytic papers, and the editor of a special issue on the traumatizing narcissist in ICSA’s International Journal of Cultic Studies.. Mr. Shaw is available through Skype and leads the monthly New York area ICSA group with Chris Carlson. This group offers support, education and interaction for all those who have been harmed by, or want to learn about high demand groups. Website: www.danielshawlcsw.com Email: danielshawlcsw@gmail.com Phone: (845) 548-2561 [NY Local Meeting, NY Committee] 

Chris Shelton works to educate the public about extremist/high control groups such as the Church of Scientology, through videos, podcasts and print publications. Known as the “Critical Thinker at Large” to nearly 15,000 YouTube subscribers, Chris has been producing video content from Denver, CO since 2014. Following his exit in 2012 from Scientology’s management group, the Sea Organization, Chris cultivated the specialized communication and organizational skills he developed through various roles in Scientology’s management group, the Continental Liaison Office of the Western United States. Chris was a second-generation Scientologist, brought into the group at age three by his parents in California, and began working for Scientology after completing high school. After nearly 25 years of membership, Chris left Scientology. Motivated to expose his experiences in Scientology and to educate the general public on the beliefs, policies, practices, and dangers of the group, Chris published Scientology: A to Xenu (Graphicwerks, 2014), has produced dozens of solo broadcasts, has interviewed more than 100 guests for video and his “Sensibly Speaking” podcast, edits the interviews and promotes them through social media channels. Chris appeared on Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (A&E, 2017) in Season One, Special Episode One. Three strong influences in his post-Scientology recovery include Carl Sagan’s The Demon Haunted World, James Randi, skeptic.com, and Michael Shermer, who contributed to the reshaping of his worldview and his desire to promote critical thinking and reason as a counter to undue influence and thought reform techniques. Just one of Chris’s near future goals includes university studies in undue influence and anti-extremism.

Aryeh Siegel has an MSW from Case-Western Reserve University and an MPH in health planning from UC Berkeley. He also completed PhD coursework in behavioral science research at UCLA. He started Transcendental Meditation in 1970 and became a TM teacher in 1974, founding and directing TM’s Institute for Social Rehabilitation from 1974-1977. He co-authored a study of TM at Folsom Prison that is still referenced by TM some forty years later. He practiced TM’s advanced techniques four hours a day for four years, with no results. After waking up and leaving TM, he directed a community mental health center for four years and co-directed the planning and allocations department of a large social welfare organization for nine years. He has been a commercial real estate broker for the past thirty-five years. In 2015, he noticed a reemergence of TM in the media and learned that the David Lynch Foundation wanted to teach TM to a million public school kids while claiming TM wasn’t a religion. Knowing this was false; he took a year from his business to write a book exposing the religious underpinnings of the TM technique and the cultic aspects of the TM organization. His new book, Transcendental Deception, Behind the TM Curtain – bogus science, hidden agendas, and David Lynch’s campaign to push a million public school kids into Transcendental Meditation while falsely claiming it is not a religion, sets the record straight. www.tmdeception.com

Leanne Smith earned a BA from the University of Washington Tacoma where she majored in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in politics and values, and minored in human rights. She has been a legislative coordinator for Amnesty International since 2005. Her interest in cultic studies comes from her experience growing up in the Jehovah’s Witness religion. 

Joseph Szimhart began research into cultic influence in 1980, after ending his two-year devotion to a New Age sect. He

began to work professionally as an intervention specialist and exit counselor in 1986 on an international scale. From 1985 through 1992, he was chairman of an interdenominational, cult information organization in New Mexico. Since 1998 he has worked in the crisis department of a psychiatric emergency hospital in Pennsylvania. He continues to assist families with interventions and former members in recovery, including consultations via phone and Internet. He maintains a cult informational website, lectures, consults for the media, and has published articles, book reviews, and papers related to the cult problem. His first novel, Mushroom Satori: The Cult Diary, was released in 2013 through Aperture Press. He has an art studio at Goggleworks Center for the Arts in Reading, PA. In 2016 he received an ICSA Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas. Website: http://jszimhart.com/ Email: jszimhart@gmail.com Phone: (484) 529-1936 [Arts Committee]

Madeline (Maddy) Tormoen, LPC, PsyD, recently achieved her doctorate degree in Psychology with a specialization in Organizational Leadership. Maddy chose to focus her dissertation on the topic of iatrogenic (harmful) counseling processes. Maddy graduated in October of 2017 after completing her dissertation titled, Distrust, Betrayal, and Resilience: Counseling Clients Who Were Harmed Through Previous Psychotherapy. Maddy received her M.S. in Counseling Psychology in 1987 from the University of Oregon. After working for several years as a counselor, Maddy pursued her athletics full-time as a professional athlete in the sport of duathlon which provided her an opportunity to travel the world. Maddy retired from her career as a professional athlete in 1995 and has since worked as a counselor with incarcerated youth and adults. Maddy is now interested in sharing her dissertation findings with professionals to raise awareness of the risks associated with psychotherapy and the interventions experienced psychotherapists recommend to assist clients who were harmed through previous psychotherapy.

Carolle Tremblay is an attorney in Montreal. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) with a minor in

economics from Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec (1983) and bachelor’s degrees in law (B.C.L. and LL.B.) from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec (1984–1988). She is a private-practice lawyer specializing in family law with the Law Firm Joli-Coeur Lacasse. She has been involved in cult-related legal cases since 1994. Carolle is frequently interviewed by the media on cult-related matters and is President of Info-Cult/Info-Secte in Montreal, Quebec since 2003. In 2012 The International Cultic Studies Association awarded Ms. Tremblay the Herbert L. Rosedale Award in recognition of leadership in the effort to preserve and protect individual freedom.

Hana Whitfield: BS Nursing, with Post Graduate studies in Pediatrics, Orthopedics, Infectious Fevers and OB-Gyn. Was involved with Scientology for twenty years. Studied under L Ron Hubbard in the early 1960’s and worked personally with him from 1967 through 1975. Left Scientology in 1984. Hana is an Exit Counseling-Intervention Specialist (conducting exit counseling, family mediation, religious conflict resolution, and family workshops) since 1989 working with families (United States, Canada, England, Europe, South Africa and Australia) with loved ones in Scientology. She has appeared on TV and in Radio shows internationally. She and Jerry, her husband, work together.

Doni Whitsett, PhD, LCSW, is a Clinical Professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work where she

teaches various courses in practice, behavior, mental health, and human sexuality. She has been working with cult-involved clients and their families for over 20 years and gives lectures to students and professionals on this topic. She has presented at national and international conferences in Madrid, Poland, Canada, and in Australia, where she helped organize two conferences in Brisbane. Her talks have included The Psychobiology of Trauma and Child Maltreatment (2005, Madrid) and Why Cults Are Harmful: A Neurobiological View of Interpersonal Trauma (2012, Montreal). Her publications include The Psychobiology of Trauma and Child Maltreatment (Cultic Studies Review, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2006), A Self Psychological Approach to the Cult Phenomenon (Journal of Social Work, 1992), Cults and Families (Families in Society, Vol. 84, No. 4, 2003), which she coauthored with Dr. Stephen Kent, and Why cults are harmful: Neurobiological speculations on inter-personal trauma. ICSA Today, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2014. Dr. Whitsett also has a specialty in Sexuality and was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Scholarship in 2016 to study, teach, and do research on this topic in China. Email: whitsett@usc.edu Phone: (323) 907-2400

Glori Williams
is a 2nd generation Move of God cult survivor. She was born into this cult and lived in various Move groups in Ohio, Alaska, and Florida until she left The Move in 2011. She lives in Fairbanks, AK with her family, where she works in the social services field, engages in cult and domestic violence awareness activities and advocates for those who experience disabilities.

Peng Xue, Center for the Study of Cultic Groups & Religious Culture, Beijing Union University, P.R. China, deputy director, senior engineer, research direction: cultic network communication, participated two research projects on provincial level with topic of destructive cults.

Takashi Yamaguchi, Esq, practices law in Tokyo at the Link Law Office, founded by Masaki Kito. He represents and advises the victims of various cultic groups, as well as individuals and entities confronted by those groups. He is a member of the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales, a board member and executive director of the Japan Society for Cult Prevention and Recovery (JSCPR), and one of the founders of the All Japan Network of Universities for Counter Cult Measures. He is Japanese English bilingual and is admitted to practice law in JAPAN and the State of California.

Ms. Yukari Yamamoto
was born in Kobe, Japan. Ms. Yamamoto is a professional conference interpreter/translator (English/Japanese). She recently co-translated Steven Hassan’s Releasing the Bonds into Japanese (Kyobunkwan, 2007). She is a board member of the Japan Society for Cult Prevention and Recovery and an ex-member of Home of Heart, a controversial therapy group in Japan.

Qing Ye, PhD, was born in Anhui, China. She received PhD degree in philosophy from Peking University in 2008, and B.S. and M.S. degrees from Anhui Normal University and University of Science and Technology of China, in 1995 and 2003,respectively. She is now an associate professor in China Center for Modernization Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. Her current research interests include social history of science, policy of science and technology and cultic studies. Cults study in the process of the modernization of countries is a particular concern for her. For further information, please contact with her via email: <mailto:yeqing429@163.com> yeqing429@163.com.

Benjamin D. Zablocki, PhD, Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Rutgers University has been studying cults, communes, and charisma for over 40 years. He is the author of The Joyful Community (1971) and Alienation and Charisma (1980) as well as numerous articles on these topics. He is co-editor (with Thomas Robbins) of a book, Misunderstanding Cults: Searching for Objectivity in a Controversial Field, published in 2001 by University of Toronto Press. This book attempts to find a middle ground between the theories of the cult apologists and the theories of the anti-cultists. He is currently writing a book developing a biopsychosocial theory of charismatic resocialization—sometimes called thought reform or brainwashing.

Chunli Zhang , Professor of religious sociology and criminal sociology of Chinese people’s Public Security University, also serves as the director of the Institute of contemporary religious and social security , the director of Section of Sociology of Department of Criminology, Being appointed university academic leader, Director of China Criminology Research Association; Secretary general of criminal sociology of China Sociology Research Association, Director of Beijing sociology Research Association. Graduate of the History Department of Beijing Teachers College (Bachelor of history 1984), Peking University(,Master of law,1997)..and Renmin University (Doctor of sociology,2006 ).Teaching and research in religion, sociology, criminology, Research on crime problems , religious and social security problems ,Presided over the completion of scientific research projects(1999-2016) more than ten items about religious and cult issues: Including National Social Science Fund Project: An empirical study on the mechanism of China’s religious development and social stability in the age of Globalization” State Foreign Experts Bureau and the Ministry of public security project “The development of the world religions and the social stability of China . Participated in the completion of four national research projects on crime in China (1987-2003)and so on.published more than 40 papers and works .

Zengyi Zhang
, PhD, is a professor and the Chair of Department of Journalism and Communication at University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), Beijing. He was a professor and the vice-dean of School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, before he joined UCAS. He earned his PhD in philosophy at Peking University. He was a visiting scholar at the Center for the Studies of Science, Religion and Society (now the Blaise Pascal Institute), Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, from 1998 to 1999, and was also a visiting scholar at Program in Science, Technology and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2008 to 2009. His long research interest is the relationship between science and religion in history and contemporary society, on which he published a book entitled A Century long Controversies between Creation and Evolution in USA: the Demarcation of Science in Social Context (2006), and recently work on public understanding of science and religion through mass media and the Internet, especially focus on content analysis of media coverage of science and religion(including new religion).

Régine Zimmermann is a free-lance conference interpreter living in Geneva (Switzerland). She deals now with interpreting formation in the ethno-psychological context of Immigration. She has been personally affected by the adverse effects of aberrant behavior and spirituality within a new religious movement. Since that experience, she developed post-graduate expertise in the field of science of education and the Religious Fact and deals with the sectarian deviations specific to religious groups, through a transdisciplinary approach.

Helen Zuman is the author of Mating in Captivity (She Writes Press 2018), a memoir of five years at Zendik Farm. She entered Zendik in 1999, shortly after graduating from Harvard with a BA in Visual & Environmental Studies and a hunger for meaning, belonging, and skills not taught in school. After leaving the Farm in 2004, and realizing it fit the cult pattern, she wrote an FAQ that helped many affected by Zendik understand what had happened to them and their loved ones. Since then, she’s come to see cults as byproducts of social starvation, a condition we can treat by re-villaging. She and her husband currently re-village primarily at Earthaven, a (non-cult!) community near Asheville, North Carolina, and in the tiny city of Beacon, NY. Connect with Helen at helenzuman.com.

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