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Listed on this page:
Nationally Certified Counselor, licensed Mental Health Counselor, Cult Expert, Cult Counselor, Media Consultant, Author, Former Member
P.O. Box 45223
Somerville, MA 02145-0002
Tel.: (617) 628-9918
"...Steven Hassan's approach is one that I value more than that of any other researcher or clinical practitioner..."
-- Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D.
Author of the Stanford Prison Experiment
Professor of Psychology, Stanford University
President of the American Psychological Association 2002,
Author of The Lucifer Effect
Cult expert Steve Hassan is the author of Combatting Cult Mind Control, the number one best-selling guide to recovery from destructive cults, and the "state of the art" guide to understanding how to undo mind control programming, Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves.
He is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). He holds a Masters degree in counseling psychology from Cambridge College and has been involved in educating the public about destructive cults in America for over twenty-five years.
A former cult member and licensed mental health counselor, thousands of people have sought out Hassan for advice, counseling, and support.
He runs the Freedom of Mind Resource Center, a counseling and publishing organization.
Arnaldo "Arnie" Lerma
6045 N 26th Road
Arlington, VA, 22207
Tel.: (703) 241-1498
"I have known Arnie Lerma for many years and admire his courage, intelligence, and dedication to helping people who have been victimized by Scientology. Arnie has assisted me several times in the past to help release the mind-controlled beliefs that Scientology programs into their member's minds. His knowledge and experience are invaluable to anyone wanting to help a loved one out of the cult as well as assisting ex-members as well as people who are thinking about leaving the group. I have worked with Arnie on Scientology cases in the past and look forward to working again with him in the future."
-- Steven Hassan M.Ed, LMHC, NCC
"Arnie Lerma specializes in assisting former members of Scientology with transition support, getting refunds and in evaluating if they should find a lawyer. Handling Scientology x member support and recovery is the most difficult of all x-cult member support and he more than deserves the very fair fees he charges to help defer his costs in Scientology support services.
Arnie can be totally trusted to effectively handle any Scientology ex-member problem. I have known him for 20 years."
-- Lawrence Wollersheim Co-Founder of Factnet
Cult Expert, Exit Counselor, Former Member
P.O. Box 350
Tel.: (610) 544-5830
David Clark is a former member of a Bible-based/occult group in southern California, is a court-certified cult expert, and has been an exit counselor for more than twenty years.
Cult Expert, Exit Counselor, Author, Lecturer - Thought Reform Consultant - AFF Project Outreach Coordinator, Director of Recovery - President, reFOCUS
P.O. Box 2180
Flagler Beach, FL 32136
Tel.: 904-439-7541 / Fax: 904-439-7537
Carol Giambalvo’s interest in cults and thought reform began in 1978 when her step-daughter began exhibiting a drastic personality change following becoming a devotee in ISKCON. She began researching cults and thought reform and lectured in local high schools, churches and civic organizations. The more information she gathered on the indoctrination processes and thought reform used in cults, the more concerns arose about her involvement in est and The Hunger Project.
In 1983, she and her husband, Noel, left their associations with est, The Hunger Project and Sterling Institute and began a personal search for information to aid their recovery process.
Since 1984, Carol has done exit counseling and writing in the field, as well as serving as director with several organization’s boards, organizing and conducting recovery workshops and working with hundreds of people who have walked away from destructive cults.
Hall of Fame Award, National Cult Awareness Network, 1991
1993 Herbert L. Rosedale Humanitarian Award, AFF
Churches, temples, service organizations, high schools and universities (including N.Y.U., Columbia, University of Miami, Florida International University, University of Central Florida, Hofstra)
Appearances on national television: Morton Downey Jr. Show, Oprah, Canadian Broadcasting Network’s Fifth Estate documentary on The Hunger Project, CBS: For Our Times; Inside Edition, Today Show.
Many radio interviews, especially during the time of the Waco tragedy
Interviews and quotes in many newspapers, magazines and journal articles, including Psychiatric Times.
National Board of Directors, Cult Awareness Network (CAN) , 1988-91.
FOCUS (a support group for former cult members which became a committee of CAN in 1993), National Coordinator from 1986-90; Secretary, Board of Directors, 1990-94
reFOCUS, (a network of referral and support for former members of closed, high demand groups, relationships or cults) A co-founding board member, secretary, 11/94; president, 3/97 to present
AFF Board of Directors, 1995 to present; member of the Advisory Board, Chairperson of Thought Reform Consulting Committee, Coordinator of Project Outreach; Director of Recovery Programs, Advisory Board of AFF News.
CAN, New York/New Jersey affiliate (now known as the Cult Information Service),: Cult Information Service, P.O. Box 867, Teaneck, New Jersey 07666 (201) 833-1212 Executive Committee, 1985-91; Board of Directors, 1984-91.
Dr. Paul Martin
Paul R. Martin & Associates
PO Box 67
Albany, OH 45710
Tel.: (740) 698-4673
Owns and operates private psychology practice which employs two psychology assistants, one secretary, and one bookkeeper. Handles MR/DD consulting work, and other general psychological issues. Specializes in cult-related legal issues, such as the diagnosis and treatment of victims involved in groups that may practice mind abuse, coercive persuasion, and thought reform. Testifies as expert witness in court cases of a cult-related nature.
Serves as contract psychologist for all psychological services at Echoing Meadows Residential Center, Athens, OH. Acts as resource person for the interpretation and dispersal of psychological information and writes psychological reports. Provides psychometric assessments of individuals’ cognitive and adaptive functioning levels and updates within one month of the “annual.” Designs, supervises, in-services, and implements behavioral intervention.
Wellspring Retreat & Resource Center, Albany, OH (CARF accredited facility) Supervises psychological testing, counseling and treatment programs for clients, as well as consultations with parents and spouses. Coordinates twenty-member staff, acts as fund raising liaison, and serves as President of the Board of Directors. Also researches cult-related issues extensively and speaks at nationally-known conferences. Has published numerous articles and the book, Cult-Proofing Your Kids.
Wellspring Retreat & Resource Center
PO Box 67
Albany, OH 45710
Tel.: (740) 698-6277 / Fax: (740) 698-2053
Editorial Advisor Board
International Cultic Studies Association
[Formerly AFF (American Family Foundation)]
PO Box 2265
Bonita Springs, FL 34133
Tel.: (239) 514-3081 / Fax: (732) 352-6818
Richard & Bonnie Woods
Richard and Bonnie Woods
Ex-members of Scientology, the Woods are seeking to explain the truth regarding involvement with the group and to make their 8-year experience known.
Media services and pamphlets available.
Escape provides counseling and support group assistance to help people with psychotherapeutic cults, particularly Scientology.
Assistant Professor, Researcher, Author, Cult Expert, Former Member of a Political Cult
Department of Sociology
California State University, Chico
Chico, CA 95929-0445
Tel.: 530-898-5542 / Fax: 530-898-4571
Janja Lalich has a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems and a Master's Degree in Human Development.
She is currently teaching full-time at California State University, Chico, but also serves as a resource to families, members, and former members; professionals such as laywers, educators, psychologists and social workers; and to the media.
She has appeared on "Meet the Press" and many other progams and documentaries on the cult phenomenon. She has lectured at universities and other forums across the country.
Her two most recent publications are Bounded Choice: True Believer and Charismatic Cults and Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships.
A former member of a political cult, DR. LALICH has focused her research on cultic political movements as well as other types of extremist groups, and has an overall interest in charismatic commitment and control.
With Margaret Singer she also co-authored Cults in our Midst and Crazy Therapies.
Colleen Russell, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
70 SW Century Drive #100-363
Bend, Oregon 97702
Colleen Russell is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (California), Licensed Professional Counselor (Oregon), and nationally Certified Group Psychotherapist with over twenty years experience in general psychotherapy; specializing in cult or “high-demand group” education and recovery, clergy abuse, and trauma and loss. She is a former member of an “Eastern” cult.
Ms. Russell recently relocated from the San Francisco Bay Area (Mill Valley) to Bend, Oregon; and continues to work with former members and families of loved ones involved in cults in Oregon, the Bay Area, and throughout the country (through phone sessions if out of the area).
Ms. Russell offers a Group for Former Members every other week in Bend, Oregon, continuing the group format she successfully facilitated in Mill Valley, California for nine years. She has presented at the International Cultic Studies Association, the Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society, the Central Oregon Clinicians Network and other venues in California and Oregon regarding cults, high-demand groups, recovery from trauma, disconfirming inaccurate self-limiting beliefs, and pursuing healthy goals.
She also has published an article in Cultic Studies Review, 2010 Special Editions on Cults and Creativity.
Cult Expert, Counselor, Media Consultant, Director, Religious Movement Resource Center
629 S Howes Street
Fort Collins, CO 80521
Tel.: (970) 490-2032
Hal Mansfield began investigating the cult phenomenon in 1978, founded the Religious Movement Resource Center in 1981, and has participated in international studies and major media presentations.
He bolds a B.S. in Natural Sciences and an M.A. in counseling.
The center, which he continues to direct, has a great deal of general cult information and data on specific cults, including white supremacy and hate groups. The center provides workshops, counseling, support networks, expert advice, and media services. Pamphlets are provided upon request; a newsletter is available for $20/year; and the center has an extensive library where books, videos, and audio tapes may be accessed.
Allen Tate Wood
Cell phone: 603-380-1312
He has testified before congress on the illegal activities of the Moon organization 1976 The Fraser Report.
In 1978 he gave a deposition to the attorney general of the State of Minnesota on the illegal activities of the Unification church.
He testified before the supreme court in the State of New York in 1979 and 1981. His testimony was among those that helped put Sun Myung Moon behind bars.
In 1981 he testified on the stand for three days before Her Majesty's High Court in London England in the Daily Mail's battle against the English Unification Church.
He has written a book on my experiences in the Moonies: "MoonStruck: A Memoir of my life in A Cult" 1979. He has written three articles on the cult phenomenon. "My Four and a Half Years with The Lord of the Flies" published by the Princeton Spectrum in 1979, "Five Elements of Cult Counseling" published by the Advisor of the American Family Foundation in 1982 and "A Critique of Mr. Moon's Theory of History". This last article has been used by exit counselors all over the world for the last 20 years in helping people get free of the thrall of Mr. Moon.
He has been engaged in cult awareness education since 1975.
B.A. Psychology, Livingston College, Rutgers University 1977
Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor ,Texas 1987 California 1987
Permanent Part time Adult Education Instructor California
Dan Shaw, C.S.W.
Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis
850 Seventh Avenue, Suite 906
New York, New York 10019
Tel./ Fax.: (212) 581-6658
152 Main Street, Nyack, New York 10960
Tel.: (845) 548-2561
Works with former members of cults and cultic groups, and friends and families of cult members.
His work in this area is connected to theories of malignant or pathological narcissism, and he has a special interest in working with those who have exited or who are exiting from destructive relationships with abusive teachers, partners, and significant others.
He is an allied professional member of the Division of Psychoanalysis (39) of the American Psychological Association; faculty and clinical supervisor at and certified in adult psychoanalysis and psychotherapy by The National Institute for the Psychotherapies (NIP) in New York City; co-chair of the Education Committee of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP).
Read his essay, "Traumatic Abuse in Cults" completely free.
Cult Expert, Exit Counselor, Media Consultant
Tel.: (610) 385-9454
Joe Szimhart is a cult information specialist and thought reform consultant whose work includes education, research, and non-coercive intervention regarding controversial, high-demand groups, psychotherapies, and relationships that use thought reform techniques.
He has personally helped many hundreds of people impacted by a wide spectrum of cult activity.
Since 1983 he has appeared on dozens of TV and radio programs worldwide and has been consulted by the media regularly, including 20/20, A Current Affair, and others.
Cult Expert, Exit Counselor, Media Consultant, Expert Witness, Lecturer
123 Town Square Place #323
Jersey City, NJ 07310-1756
Tel.: (201) 434-9234 / Fax: (201) 435-7108
Rick Ross is the founder and Executive Director of the Rick A. Ross Institute. He is an internationally known expert regarding destructive cults, controversial groups and movements. Since 1982 he has been studying, researching and responding to the problems often posed by such groups or movements and has personally assisted thousands of families in an effort to help the victims of destructive cults, groups and movements. Ross has been qualified and accepted as an expert witness and testified in court cases across the United States. He has also frequently assisted local and national law enforcement and government agencies. Ross' commentary has been quoted within publications such as /Time/, /Newsweek/, /The/ /Chicago Tribune/, /The Boston Globe/ and /The Washington Post/. His appearances on national television have included a wide range of venues from news programs such as the "Today" show, "CNN World News," "Dateline," "Nightline" and "48 Hours" to popular interview shows such as "Oprah," "Donahue," "Extra" and "Inside Edition." Ross has lectured at such prestigious institutions as Dickinson College, the University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, Baylor University, and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Robert J. Lifton, Ph.D.
Cult Expert, Author Professor, Director
Tel.: (212) 237-8433
Robert J. Lifton is Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at City University of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the Graduate School and University Center and the Mount Sinai Medical Center.
He is also the Director of the Center on Violence and Human Survival at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Dr. Lifton held the Foundations' Fund Research Professorship of Psychiatry at Yale University for more than two decades.
He is the author of Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China, considered the basic text on the subject of thought reform and coercive persuasion.
Because his time is limited, Dr. Lifton may not be able to accept all requests.