Cults and New Religious Movements
Sell, Douglas Michael. 2000. "Personality and Religiousness in Youth Members of 'the Family,' a New Religious Movement." Ph.D. Thesis, Fuller Theological Seminary School of Psychology.
Abstract: This study surveyed youth raised in a communal new religious movement (NRM). Participants (N = 172, mean age 19.35 years) were members of The Family (formerly "Children of God") which was founded by the late David Brandt Berg in 1968. The Family currently has over 10,000 active members located in 86 nations. The Family is renowned for its novel treatment of human sexuality which is based upon their Law of Love doctrine. The personality traits and introjects (i.e., self-concepts as operationalized by the Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB) circumplex model of interpersonal and intrapsychic relationships) and religiousness (maturity, orientation, and importance) of active members living in group communes ("Homes") throughout the United States and Canada were examined. This study is novel in that (a) most participants were born, raised, and educated in The Family and (b) in its use of standardized personality and religiousness instruments which permitted straightforward comparisons between Family members and normative group peers. Personality was assessed with the Sixteen Personality Factors Questionnaire (16PF - Fifth edition) and the SASB Intrex - Medium Form. Religiousness was assessed with the Intrinsic-Extrinsic Religiousness Scale - Revised (I/E-R) and the Religious Status Inventory (RSI). All results were evaluated using two-tailed statistical tests, and the Hotelling's T2 determined whether participant characteristics deviated from normative groups. Mean group scores on the 16PF were within the average personality domain with no pathological trends. Mean SASB Intrex scores suggested participants have healthy introjects, that they view rebellion in relationships negatively, and that internalized self-discipline is highly prized. RSI scores suggested participants had significantly greater religious maturity than Christians in conventional churches on whom norms are based. I/E-R scale scores suggest participants' religious motivation was considerably more intrinsic than that of persons included in the normative samples available. Participant mean scores obtained on all instruments suggested the sample had overall good mental health, and religiousness categorized as mature and intrinsic. Results suggest that participants had been raised in and/or continue to live in healthy environments. It is suggested that those who benefitted from group membership may have stayed, while others who did not may have left this religious community. [Source: DA]
Boyle, Robin A. 1999. "How Children in Cults May Use Emancipation Laws to Free Themselves." Cultic Studies Journal pp. 1-32.
Goldman, Marion S. and Lynne Isaacson. 1999. "Enduring Affiliation and Gender Doctrine for Shiloh Sisters and Rajneesh Sannyasins." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion vol. 38, pp. 411-422.
Stewart, David Tabb and James T. Richardson. 1999. "Mundane Materialism: How Tax Policies and Other Governmental Regulation Affected Beliefs and Practices of Jesus Movement Organizations." Journal of the American Academy of Religion vol. 67, pp. 825-847.
Streib, H. 1999. "Off-Road Religion? A Narrative Approach to Fundamentalist and Occult Orientations of Adolescents." Journal of Adolescence vol. 22, pp. 255-267.
Abstract: Results of qualitative biographical research on Christian fundamentalist converts and de-converts, and on occultist adolescents are presented and documented using case studies. Research focused on life themes and on biographical processes and transformations. Contrastive comparison of the cases resulted in typologies of Christian fundamentalist biographies and of "ways of dis-enchantment". These indicate that obligation to a tradition is no longer the model for religious socialization. Its competitors are biographical trajectories which can have the following characteristics: heresy is taken for granted, religious search is like an open life-style preference (accumulative heretic); ritual coping with life themes is predominant; and religious search follows the motive of sensation-seeking. A typology of religious styles is applied as an interpretive framework for (a) explaining the formation of fundamentalist orientations and (b) understanding development and transformation in religious biographies. [Source: ML]
Hunter, Eagan. 1998. "Adolescent Attraction to Cults."Adolescence vol. 33, pp. 709-714.
Abstract: Discusses the reasons behind adolescents' attraction to cults. These include identity confusion, alienation from family members, weak cultural, religious, and community ties, and feelings of powerlessness in a seemingly out-of-control world. The author recommends that parents, teachers, and counselors familiarize themselves with the warning signs of at-risk adolescents. The author offers suggestions on how to make adolescents less vulnerable to cult overtures. [Source: PI]
Goodman, Gail S., Jodi A. Quas, Bette L. Bottoms, Jianjian Qin, Phillip R. Shaver, Holly Orcutt, and Cheryl Shapiro. 1997. "Children's Religious Knowledge: Implications for Understanding Satanic Ritual Abuse Allegation." Child Abuse and Neglect vol. 21, pp. 1111-1130.
Abstract: Examined the extent of children's religious, especially satanic, knowledge and the influence of children's age, religious training, family, and media exposure on that knowledge. Using a structured interview, 48 3- to 16-yr-old children were questioned about their knowledge of: (a) religion and religious worship; (b) religion-related symbols and pictures; and (c) movies, music, and television shows with religious and horror themes. Although few children evinced direct knowledge of ritual abuse, many revealed general knowledge of satanism and satanic worship. With age, children's religious knowledge increased and became more sophisticated. Increased exposure to nonsatanic horror media was associated with more nonreligious knowledge that could be considered precursory to satanic knowledge, and increased exposure to satanic media was associated with more knowledge related to satanism. The results suggest that children do not generally possess sufficient knowledge of satanic ritual abuse to make up false allegations on their own. [Source: PI]
Simandl, Robert J. 1997. "Teen Involvement in the Occult." Pp. 215-230 in The Dilemma of Ritual Abuse: Cautions and Guides for Therapists. Clinical Practice, No. 41, edited by George A. Fraser. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, Inc.
Abstract: (from the chapter) The purpose of this chapter is to focus on teenagers and young adults who dabble with the symbols and rituals associated with satanism and other areas of the occult, or the experimental teen dabbler group. Experimental teen dabblers refers to adolescents who exhibit ritual behaviors but do not have family involvement. The other purpose of this chapter is to alert therapists about ritualized abuse. Teen dabbling at times can lead to serious consequences; early intervention by therapists and law enforcement agents can prevent or curtail involvement in ritual activities. The chapter discusses the following topics: dabbler/experimentalist behavior indicators; crime scene and homicide investigations; reported criminal activities committed by ritual groups and family tree information file. [Source: PI]
Emerson, Shirley and Yvonne Syron. 1995. "Adolescent Satanism: Rebellion Masquerading as Religion."Counseling & Values vol. 39, p. 145.
Abstract: Describes adolescent satanic practice as studied by the authors working with affected families in southwestern states over a period of seven years. Dilemma for counselors to understand how satanism is related to religion; Comparison of personal values with values inherent in satanism; Danger to adolescents' involvement in satanism. [Source: AS]
Kang, Wi Jo. 1995. "Youth, Religious Cults, and World Mission." Currents in Theology and Mission vol. 22, pp. 292-293.
Lowney, Kathleen S. 1995. "Teenage Satanism as Oppositional Youth Subculture." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography vol. 23, pp. 453-484.
Abstract: An ethnographic portrait resulting from five years of field work with a coven of teenage Satanists in a Southern community is presented. The writer describes the dominant culture of the community as the Satanists saw it and describes their critique of that culture. She then analyzes the development of a Satanic style by the coven as an expression of their opposition to the dominant culture. She argues that the psychological, folklore, and constructionist perspectives on Satanism are lacking the important voice of the adolescent Satanists themselves and that by listening to them, it becomes clear that Satanism enables them to challenge the norms and values of the dominant culture. The writer concludes that as the coven lacked the material power to institute social change, either in the social structure of the high school or in the wider community, its critique of the dominant culture could only operate at the symbolic level. [Source: SS]
Curtis, J. M. and M. J. Curtis. 1993. "Factors Related to Susceptibility and Recruitment by Cults." Psychological Reports vol. 73, pp. 451-460.
Abstract: Unprecedented escalation of secular and religious cults has necessitated further inquiry into more precise conditions under which individuals develop vulnerability and become converted by these groups. The present discussion focuses on a number of factors which seem to influence individuals' susceptibility and recruitment by cults. These variables include (a) generalized ego-weakness and emotional vulnerability, (b) propensities toward dissociative states, (c) tenuous, deteriorated, or nonexistent family relations and support systems, (d) inadequate means of dealing with exigencies of survival, (e) history of severe child abuse or neglect, (f) exposure to idiosyncratic or eccentric family patterns, (g) proclivities toward or abuse of controlled substances, (h) unmanageable and debilitating situational stress and crises, and (i) intolerable socioeconomic conditions. Also presented are methods utilized by cults, e.g., intimidation, coercion, and indoctrination, for systematically recruiting, initiating, and influencing inductees. More careful attention to these factors might help health care providers, educators, clergy, and concerned family and friends determine more precisely individuals at greater risk for recruitment into cults. [Source: SC]
Mercer, Joyce Ann. 1993. "The Devil Made Me Do It: Teens, Drugs, and Satanism." Reclaiming Children and Youth: Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Problems vol. 2, pp. 11-15.
Abstract: Examines teen Satanism as a phenomenon of adolescent development issues & its relation to chemical abuse. An overview of cults & the Church of Satan is given as a context for identifying social alienation of youth & high-risk behaviors of drug use & sexual exaltation. A case study is presented of a male (age 16) who engaged in satanic rituals for reasons of self-esteem. It is asserted that five issues are central to the relation between adolescent development & Satanism: identity, authority, sexuality, belonging, & spirituality. [Source: SA]
Tucker, Rob. 1993. "Teen Satanism." Pp. 356-381 inRecovery from Cults: Help for Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse, edited by Michael D. Langone. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Co Inc.
Abstract: (from the chapter) outlines emergent concerns relating to . . . adolescent Satanism [draws] two different profiles of teens attracted to Satanism [presents] two cases [of a 14-yr-old male and of a 15-yr-old female] based on the two profiles [considers treatment issues] in terms of the two profiles classification of levels of involvement in Satanism, attractions to Satanism, measuring the incidence of Satanism, Satanism as religion, therapy vs the practice of a religion. [Source: PI]
Stevens, P. 1992. "Universal Cultural Elements in the Satanic Demonology." Journal of Psychology and Theologyvol. 20, pp. 240-244.
Abstract: The "Black" or "Satanic" Mass is the western Christian variant of a complex scenario that expresses people's most basic and terrible fears. Many elements in the scenario, called a demonology, are found universally and throughout history. Anthropological examination of them suggests that they represent sub-cultural, innate fears deeply rooted in our evolutionary biology. This paper briefly discusses certain motifs prominent in the satanic demonology, including: nocturnal activity, ritual murder and the ritual use of blood, cannibalism and vampirism, incest and other forms of illicit sexuality, general fears of danger to children, and death, all of which represent universal cultural fears. Also considered are certain elements which seem specific to Western variants of the demonology, e.g., torment with snakes and spiders, and urine and feces. The possibilities of primate parallels to some of these features of the demonology is also considered. Cultural bases for these elements and the significance of their distribution may help to explain the widespread allegations of horrible deeds by satanic cults, and the testimonies of "survivors" of satanic rituals. [Source: SC]
Swatos, William H., Jr. 1992. "Adolescent Satanism: A Research Note on Exploratory Survey Data." Review of Religious Research vol. 34, pp. 161-169.
Abstract: A 3-wave questionnaire survey of a purposive sample of 1,182 high school sophomores & juniors conducted in a midwestern metropolitan area 1989/90 used a "close friend" approach to ask questions about Satanic activity, since patterns of behaviors among teenagers are likely to be similar between individuals & close friends. Involvements in Satanic activity are related to other anti- & prosocial behaviors & to the students' own religious activities & rock music preferences & activities. Purported Satanic involvement is shown to be an extreme form of deviance, most probably connected to other antisocial activities as a legitimation rather than a motivation. No evidence is found for Satanism as an organized movement. [Source: SA]
Swain Morgan, Jolene. 1991. "A Descriptive Study of the Relationship between High- Risk Adolescents and Satanic/Ritualistic Abuse." M.S.W. Thesis, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach.
Abstract: This descriptive study investigated the relationship between male and female homeless/runaway adolescents and their involvement in satanic/ritualistic practices. A total of 100 males and 100 females between the ages of 12-19 who received medical/psychosocial services at a Southern California High Risk Youth Program between August 1990-February 1991 constituted the sample. It was hypothesized that homeless/runaway males would have a higher percentage of satanic/ritualistic abuse and other psycho-social distressors (i.e., substance abuse, depression and suicidal ideation etc.) than would female sample cohorts. The results indicated that homeless/runaway males are not more likely to be involved in satanic/ritualistic practices than females. The results also showed that basically there is no difference between males and females in area of substance abuse, survival sex, suicidal ideation, sexual abuse and depression. [Source: DA]
Galanter, Marc (ed.). 1989. Cults and New Religious Movements: A Report of the American Psychiatric Association.Washington DC: American Psychiatric Assoc.
Abstract: Preface. Psychotherapy of cult members, P Hamburg and D Hoffman. Civil liberties, cults, and new religious movements: the psychiatrist's role, P Mohl. Cults and new religious movements, M Galanter. New religious movements in historical perspective, E Pattison and R Ness. Contemporary youth: their psychological needs and beliefs, H Work. Life in the cults, S Levine. Families of cult members: consultation and treatment, D Halperin. Psychotherapeutic implications of new religious affiliation, B Kilbourne. Psychological perspectives on cult leadership, A Deutsch. Persuasive techniques in contemporary cults: a public health approach, L West. Religious cult membership: a sociobiologic model, B Wenegrat. The psychology of induction: a review and interpretation, J Richardson. De-programming (involuntary departure), coercion, and cults, J Ungerleider and D Wellisch. The civil liberties of religious minorities, T Bohn and J Gutman. Options for legal intervention, R Delgado. Public reaction against new religious movements, D Bromley and A Shupe. Index. [Source: RI]
Goldberg, Lorna and William Goldberg. 1989. "Family Responses to a Young Adult's Cult Membership and Return." Cultic Studies Journal pp. 86-100.
Sparkes, Barry Herd. 1989. "Playing with the Devil: Adolescent Involvement with the Occult, Black Magic, Witchcraft and the Satanic to Manage Feelings of Despair." Ed.D. Thesis, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Abstract: This dissertation examines the use of the dark areas of the occult in the lives of six adolescents who have been involved with black magic, satanic ritual, or other occult practices. All but one of the subjects were connected to the community helping system because of divorce, abuse and/or neglect, delinquency, and substance abuse. Data was collected by means of an interview concerned with the ethnic, economic and religious background of the subjects' family, the subjects' relationships with family, community and state agencies, and the duration of involvement with the occult. The interview and data analysis drew from two perspectives: The first five stages of Erik Erikson's "Eight Stages of Man" identity development model and the existential psychological examination of the "problems of youth" by Paul Goodman in Growing Up Absurd (1960). The study provides an examination of the historical and current use of the occult as a social-strain gauge and disturbing parallels of despairing behavior between the youth culture of Weimar Republic Germany and that of the United States. A strong connection is made between the involvement with dark areas of the occult and the loss of meaning, hope and faith. The subjects came from circumstances that hampered healthy negotiation of Erik Erikson's first five stages of identity development. The subjects grew up in circumstances that led to despairing beliefs and behaviors, as described by Goodman. The data suggests that the nature of the use of magic during early adolescence depends on the nurturent (physical, psychological and ideological) circumstances of infancy, and latency. If the child despairs because of insufficient family/community nurturence then the dark, deviant and depraved element of the occult is more likely to manifest itself. The subjects represent a larger despairing population (uninvolved with the occult or the helping system) that puts society at risk politically and economically. The current youth culture parallels with Weimar Republic youth culture suggest that this larger despairing population threatens society because they could be manipulated by historical circumstance and charismatic personalities to commit widespread depravity in the name of political change. [Source: DA]
Tennant Clark, Cynthia M., Janet J. Fritz, and Fred Beauvais. 1989. "Occult Participation: Its Impact on Adolescent Development." Adolescence vol. 24, pp. 757-772.
Abstract: Questionnaire & scale data collected from 25 adolescents ages 12-19 from inpatient & outpatient drug & alcohol treatment facilities are compared with data from a matched nonclinical sample to investigate the relationship between substance abuse, self-esteem, & occult participation. Results reveal a strong correlation between substance abuse & occult participation, as well as relationships between high & low occult participation & levels of self-esteem, tolerance for deviance, & religious involvement. [Source: SA]
Eisenberg, Gary D. 1988. Smashing the Idols: A Jewish Inquiry into the Cult Phenomenon. Northvale, NJ: J. Aronson.
Wright, Stuart A., Elizabeth S. Piper, Ken Rigby, and Tony R. Densley. 1986. "Families and Cults: Familial Factors Related to Youth Leaving or Remaining in Deviant Religious Groups." Journal of Marriage and the Family vol. 48, pp. 15-25.
Abstract: Studied 45 members of and 45 defectors from 3 highly controversial religious cults (Unification Church, Hare Krishna, and Children of God) to assess the extent of family influence on decisions to remain or withdraw. Findings reveal a strong correlation between measures of family affinity and choices by Ss. Important differences between leavers and stayers were shown with regard to perceived parental attitudes toward involvement, prior familial closeness, and adolescent experiences with families. Parental disapproval was found to be the most important variable in explaining disaffiliation. A re-examination of the alleged link between cult involvement and family deprivation--a causal connection not supported by the present study--is suggested. [Source: PI]
Langone, Michael D. (ed.). 1985. "Cults, Evangelicals, and the Ethics of Social Influence." Cultic Studies Journalvol. 2, pp. 231-403.
Abstract: Examples of concern caused by certain groups: Shepherding/discipleship: theology and practice of absolute obedience, by Linda Blood; Campus Crusade: youth ministers find public high school campuses to be a fertile field for missionary endeavor, by Hope Aldrich; Autobiography of a former Moonie, by Gary Scharff. Toward defining the ethical boundaries of social influence in religious contexts: Why Evangelicals are vulnerable to cults, by Harold Bussell; The perils of persuasive preaching, by A Duane Litfin; Selections from the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on religious freedom; "New organizations operating under the protection afforded to religious bodies": resolution of the European Parliament; A statement of evaluation regarding Maranatha Campus Ministries/Maranatha Christian Ministries/Maranatha Christian Church, by a committee of Evangelical theologians. Examples of accountability: Guidelines for Opus Dei in Westminster diocese, by Cardinal Basil Hume; Resolution on missionaries and de-programming, by the Department of Interreligious Affairs, United American Hebrew Congregations;. Disciple abuse, by Gordon MacDonald; How to talk to people who are trying to save you, by Ross Miller. Invited contributions of the Inter-Varsity team: Prologue: the Evangelicals set forth their case, by Dietrich Gruen; A code of ethics for the Christian evangelist; Ethical evangelism, yes! Unethical proselytizing, no!, by Gordon Lewis; What is evangelism?, by Mark McCloskey; Evangelism--persuasion or proselytizing?, by Mark McCloskey; The ethics of persuasion in a pluralistic culture, by Mark McCloskey; An ethic for Christian evangelism, by Richard L Johannesen; A hypothetical example, by Dietrich Gruen; Religious freedom at secular schools, by J W Alexander. Of cults and Evangelicals: labeling and lumping, by R Enroth. Christian evangelism and social responsibility: an Evangelical view, by Joseph M Hopkins. Religious pluralism, dialogue, and the ethics of social influence, by E C Kreider. Evangelization and freedom in the Catholic Church, by J J LeBar. A Catholic viewpoint on Christian evangelizers, by J E McGuire. Ethics in proselytizing--a Jewish view, by R D Mecklenburger. Evangelicals and cults, by M R Rudin. Objectionable aspects of "cults": rhetoric and reality, by T Robbins. Cults, Evangelicals, and the ethics of social influence, by M D Langone. [Source: RI]
Fisch, Dov Aharoni. 1984. Jews for Nothing: On Cults, Intermarriage, and Assimilation. New York: Feldheim Publishers.
Levine, Saul V. 1984. "Radical Departures." Psychology Today vol. 18, pp. 20-27.
Ross, Joan C. 1984. "Adolescents and Cults." Update pp. 3-4.
Tobacyk, Jerome, Mark J. Miller, and Glenda Jones. 1984. "Paranormal Beliefs of High School Students."Psychological Reports vol. 55, pp. 255-261.
Abstract: 193 11th graders were administered the Paranormal Belief Scale, which provides a total Paranormal Belief score and scores on 7 paranormal subscales (Traditional Religious Belief, Psi Belief, Witchcraft, Spiritualism, Superstition, Extraordinary Life Forms, and Precognition). Ss' paranormal scale/subscale scores were compared to those of 424 college students. Results indicate that, in general, high school Ss were greater disbelievers in paranormal phenomena than college Ss. High school Ss showed significantly less belief than college Ss on the total Paranormal Scale and on the subscales Psi Belief, Extraordinary Life Forms, and Witchcraft. The number of science courses taken by high school Ss correlated significantly and inversely with total Paranormal Scale scores, Traditional Religious Belief scores, and Psi Belief scores, and their Traditional Religious Belief scores were significantly and directly associated with GPA. High school Ss in the most accelerated academic track showed significantly less belief on superstition than Ss in other tracks. [Source: PI]
Fichter, Joseph H. 1983. "Hammering the Heretics: Religion Vs Cults." Witness pp. 4-6.
Olsson, Peter A. 1983. "Adolescent Involvement with the Supernatural and Cults: Or New Bottles for Old Wine." Pp. 235-256 in Psychodynamic Perspectives on Religion, edited by D. Halperin. Boston: J. Wright, PSG, Inc.
Abstract: Previously published in Ann Psychoanalysis, 8, 1980 [Source: RI]
Thomas, Owen C. 1983. "Why Our Children Join the Cults." Witness pp. 7-9.
Dean, Roger A. 1982. "Youth: Moonies' Target Population." Adolescence vol. 17, pp. 567-574.
Abstract: Examines the stages of normative development that predominate during the late adolescent and early adulthood periods to determine why young people are particularly vulnerable to the ministrations of cults, particularly those of the Unification Church (Moonies). The problem of ego identity and its by-products--ego diffusion, idealism, intellectual curiosity, disillusionment, and traumatic experiences--are discussed. By recognizing, crystallizing, and responding to the universal discontent of the young, Reverend Moon, leader of the Unification Church, forges a powerful bond of identification between himself and an otherwise diverse group of people. He expresses this sense of dissatisfaction in universal and transcendental terms with which the young can identify on a personal level, while still retaining appeal to a broad-based constituency. By constructing and communicating a utopia, the Unification Church offers broad sections of discontented young people a new and concrete option for the reconstruction of their lives. [Source: PI]
Lukas, Brian Neil. 1982. "Identity Status, Parent-Adolescent Relationships, and Participation in Marginal Religious Groups." Ph.D. Thesis, California School of Professional Psychology - Berkeley/Alameda.
Abstract: This study explored the participation of youth in marginal religious groups by testing 5 hypotheses to determine if differences in (1) identity development at the time of joining and (2) prior parent-adolescent relationships, existed between Joiners and nonjoiners and members of different marginal religious groups. Data were collected from 25 participants of the Unification Church, 25 followers of Meher Baba, and a nonjoiner group of 50 college students. The identity status scale of Adams, Shea, and Fitch (1979), a perceptions of parents questionnaire adapted from Block's (1972) study of parents child-rearing practices, and a background questionnaire were administered. In line with hypothesis 1, joiners were experiencing significantly more identity Diffusion and nonjoiners significantly more identity Achievement when compared at the average age of joining. Contrary to hypothesis 2, parents of nonjoiners tended to be seen as controlling and protective, while joiners saw their parents as permissive and uninvolved. These findings seemed to be influenced by the larger number of females in the nonjoiner group. Hypothesis 3, which hypothesized greater family religious participation among non- joiners, was partially supported by the finding that nonjoiners fathers prayed significantly more than fathers of joiners. The average age of joining was 21-23. Joiners used more hallucinogenics, had more deaths of parents, and came from suburban and rural backgrounds, as contrasted with nonjoiners. Contrary to hypothesis 4 Unification Church members were not in more Diffusion than Meher Baba followers, nor were the latter in more Moratorium identity status. Unification Church members perceived themselves as being more in Achievement status with respect to occupation. This may be a result of the rapid 'conversion' process. Unification Church members perceived their parents as offering encouragement for independence in contradiction to hypothesis 5. These trends seemed influenced by the greater number of males in this group. This study demonstrated that differences in identity development and family continuity existed between joiners of marginal religious groups and nonjoiners, and raises these questions: Are certain youth more vulnerable to the appeals of these groups? With sex controlled, what are the specific influences of parent- adolescent relationships on joining? [Source: DA]
Taylor, David. 1982. "Becoming New People: The Recruitment of Young Americans into the Unification Church." Pp. 177-230 in Millennialism and Charisma, edited by R. Wallis. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Queen's University.
Zerin, Marjory Bernice Fisher. 1982. "The Pied Piper Phenomenon: Family Systems and Vulnerability to Cults." Ph.D. Thesis, The Fielding Institute.
Abstract: The problem. The purpose of the study was to identify family system factors in late adolescent vulnerability to cult recruitment. The exploratory case method was employed. Assumptions included: (a) youth are not equally vulnerable to cults, (b) family factors in vulnerability exist, and (c) those factors are associated with dysfunction in the family system. Procedure. Twelve California families each containing one or more ex-cult member, comprised the family subjects (FS). The individual subjects (IS), including the ex-cult members, totaled 70. Three of the 16 index persons resisted cult affiliation after preliminary involvement. Eleven of the index subset had been involved with the Unification Church ("Moonies"). Data were collected as follows: (a) the FS performed assigned interactional tasks in the presence of co- raters and a tape recorder and (b) the IS completed questionnaires. Three raters independently evaluated the FS using global and individual measures of family functioning and style (Lewis et al. & Beavers). Pencil-and-paper data were reviewed. Contrasts were drawn between the two subgroups of index persons and between the index and sibling subsets. Conclusions. A correlation between global assessments of dysfunction in the FS and cult involvement of the index persons was identified. The FS were evaluated as in the midrange (MR) of dysfunction from the borderline with severe dysfunction (SD) to the fringes of adequacy. No correlation was established between resistance to cult recruitment and global ratings of family competence. Earlier conclusions (Kaslow & Schwartz) that youth who are vulnerable to cults (a) lack inner direction and (b) have a weak father/child relationship were supported. Index persons who resisted cult affiliation successfully, however, showed evidence of both inner direction and a strong bond with their fathers regardless of their gender and global family evaluations. They also differed from the balance of the index subset in that they were not placators. They could and did "say no" when under group pressure to acquiesce. Conjectures are offered concerning family factors in vulnerability of the index subset to cults. Recommendations are suggested for future research. [Source: DA]
Dean, Roger Allen. 1981. "Moonies: A Psychological Analysis of the Unification Church." Ph.D. Thesis, The University of Michigan.
Abstract: The Unification Church was examined in depth to discover why so many young people commit themselves to a totalitarian religious movement so different from their original value system. The Moonies' belief system, their recruitment practices and the typologies of youth who populate the movement were explored and analyzed. During the course of a year long investigation into the Moonie cult the author interviewed and interacted with cult members and attended their special events and workshop sessions. Former members were also interviewed to ensure a realistic and balanced perspective. Results of the study refute the commonly held assumption that Moonies are brainwashed, unthinking automatons. By penetrating their logic and belief system one discovers that Moonies are rational individuals acting in a manner consistent with their view of the world. A step by step analysis of the cult's recruitment practices, however, reveals that the Moonies employ a wide variety of proven social psychological techniques to convince recruits to accept their unique perspective of reality. Once a recruit acknowledges the Unification perspective, the ideology provides ample justification for most types of cult behavior which appears bizarre to non members. Four major typologies of youth (The Immature Emotional, The Simple Answer Seeker, The Ideals Seeker, and The Social Non Conformist) seem particularly vulnerable to the ministrations of the Unification message. [Source: DA]
Hershell, Marie and Ben Hershell. 1981. "Our Involvement with a Cult." Marriage and Family Review vol. 4, pp. 131-140.
Abstract: The parents of a 19-yr-old female undergraduate discuss their daughter's involvement with the Unification Church and her subsequent de-programming and rehabilitation. [Source: PI]
Santmire, H. Paul. 1981. "Cults: What We Should Tell Our Young People." Dialog vol. 20, pp. 57-61.
Singh, Chandralekha P. 1981. "Hare Krishnas: A Study of the Deviant Career of Krishna Devotees." Ph.D. Thesis, New York University, New York.
Abstract: This dissertation is a study of the Hare Krishna conversion career. Conversion to Hare Krishna has been viewed as becoming "deviant" and acquiring a discredited social identity. The research has been directed to discovering the process of conversion and its problematic consequences for the converts. Research Method. Participant observation method was used to collect data. This included close observation of Hare Krishna devotees--their meanings, philosophy, and activities, and lengthy, unstructured interviews with forty Krishna devotees in two temples. The field research was spread over a period of about two years. Additionally, information was gathered from the movement's literature and other secondary sources. Focus of the Study. Characteristically, the study is exploratory and ethnographic where it focuses on the following aspects of Hare Krishna life: (a) the development of the career to include social- psychological background of converts, sociohistorical context of conversion, and the stages of the career; and (b) its social-psychological consequences for the converts, namely, being deviantized and having to manage the "spoiled identity" and discredited faith in the larger social world. The study delineates various specific techniques that are routinely employed by group members in managing stigma, self-respectability, and maintaining faith. Overall, we follow the interactionist/labeling perspectives in conceptualizing, interpreting, and analyzing the Hare Krishna career. Findings. Our research indicates that the pre-converts tended to be adherents of the counterculture youth values and life-styles that originated in the 1960's and became more diffused among youth in the early 1970's. They generally represent the "retreatist," apolitical segment of the youth culture who were in search of spiritual meanings. The study challenges a common view of converts to new religions as "passive victims," unable to think and act "freely," and who fall "prey" to "fraudulent," "deceptive" recruitment of "cults" either because of their psychopathology and/or "brainwashing" and "mind control." Alternatively, our research reveals pre-converts to be rational, reflective actors (a view that symbolic interactionism proposes of humans) who went through actively testing and rejecting various alternatives prior to joining Hare Krishna, and who continue to act rationally and interpretively--design and organize their actions situationally--after joining; lastly, the study demonstrates that the Hare Krishna "deviance" is socially constructed by social groups by manufacturing a "mythology" of "cults" and stereotypically applying it to Hare Krishnas. [Source: DA]
Wilson, Bryan R. (ed.). 1981. The Social Impact of New Religious Movements. New York: Rose of Sharon Pr.
Abstract: Foreword, by B Wilson. Welcoming address, by D Kim. The new religions: demodernization and the protest against modernity, by J Hunter. Youth in search of the sacred, by J Fichter. Disorientations to mainstream religion: the context of reorientations in new religious movements, by D Martin. Who'd be a moonie: a comparative study of those who join the Unification Church in Britain, by E Barker. Yesterday's children: cultural and structural change in a new religious movement, by R Wallis. The rise and decline of transcendental meditation,by W Bainbridge and D Jackson. Must all religions be supernatural? by R Stark. Apostates and atrocity stories: some parameters in the dynamics of de-programming, by A Shupe and D Bromley. Time, generations, and sectarianism, by B Wilson. [Source: RI]
Freed, Josh. 1980. Moonwebs: Journey into the Mind of a Cult. Toronto: Dorset Pub.
Harrigan, John Edward. 1980. "Becoming a Moonie: An Interview Study of Religious Conversion." Ed.D. Thesis, University of Maine.
Abstract: To gain information on religious conversion and commitment of use to counselors, eighteen male Unification Church seminarians were individually interviewed by inviting each to talk about his life and his conversion to the Moonie Family. Uniform invitations to talk were used to determine predisposition, contact- interaction, and change; spontaneous probing inquiries were made to further explore the reasons for and the circumstances of conversion. The questions of the study were answered affirmatively: (1) convertees stated that prior to meeting the Unification Church they felt lonely and alienated; (2) they had active face-to-face relationships with convertors willing to listen to them which apparently led to affective ties occurring before and during introduction to the Divine Principle--ties which seem important in the conversion process whereby a person comes to accept the views of friends; (3) by socialization in their youth they had been taught to believe in a supernatural power; (4) most described an unsatisfactory life situation, being at a personal turning or seeking point in life, just prior to contact with Moonies; (5) finally, they were isolated with Moonies at the time of conversion and commitment. The attraction of the Divine Principle, extolling unity in a one world family relationship, was not anticipated; otherwise, the findings on conversion are in substantial agreement with those of Lofland and Stark (1965), Gerlach and Hine (1970), and Richardson, Stewart, and Simmonds (1979). Considering the religious socialization of the respondents in their youth, their conversion can be described as a shift rather than a change in basic belief. [Source: DA]
Pattison, E. Mansell. 1980. "Religious Youth Cults: Alternative Healing Social Networks." Journal of Religion and Health vol. 19, pp. 275-286.
Abstract: The motivation of youth to join esoteric religious cults considered as psychopathology is a limited and reductionistic interpretation. Youthful devotees do demonstrate symptoms of psychic distress, which appear to be significantly ameliorated through participation in religious youth cults. Two major trends in social history reveal the sources of youth cults: loss of faith in the rationalistic Western cosmology and loss of the extended family system. The religious youth cult possesses many of the properties of the normal psychosocial system, which is a critical social structure for healthful coping in the World. As a normative social system, the religious youth cult is an alternative healing system for the existential crises of contemporary youth. [Source: RI]
Deutsch, Alexander and Michael J. Miller. 1979. "Conflict, Character, and Conversion: Study of a "New-Religion" Member." Adolescent Psychiatry vol. 7, pp. 257-268.
Abstract: Presents a case study of a young woman, raised as a Catholic, who became a member of a religious cult in her early 20's. The influences of certain psychic conflicts and character trends on her attraction to group life and teachings are examined, and the nature of the late adolescent turmoil that preceded her conversion is described. [Source: PI]
Kim, Byong Suh. 1979. "Religious De-Programming and Subjective Reality." Sociological Analysis vol. 40, pp. 197-207.
Abstract: Unlike the psycho-physical interpretation of the Pavlovian approach (Hunter, 1953; Hinkle and Wolffs, 1956) or psychoanalytic notions (Lifton, 1961; Meerloo, 1956) on thought reform, we contend in this paper that contemporary religious de-programming of American young "cultists" may be best analyzed in terms of ego-identity change as suggested by Schein (1961). The ego-edentity change occurs in interaction with "significant others" who provide a unique plausibility structure through three specific stages: a shock treatment of "defreezing", "protective" or "coercive" persuasion to eliminate "floating" influence of the "cultist mind-control", and readjustment of the changed subjective reality to the larger society. A set of data was collected through intensive interviews with 17 deprogrammed youths and a few deprogrammers and rehabilitators, and through participant observations in the de-programming-rehabilitation sessions. The data then were used as illustrative and interpretive materials in support of our contention. [Source: RI]
MacCollam, Joel A. 1979. Carnival of Souls: Religious Cults and Young People. New York: Seabury Press.
Schwartz, Lita L. and Florence W. Kaslow. 1979. "Religious Cults, the Individual and the Family." Journal of Marital and Family Therapy vol. 5, pp. 15-26.
Abstract: Draws on clinical observations, interviews, and literature from a variety of disciplines in constructing a portrait of the vulnerable youth; the techniques used by cults to attract, recruit, and convert members; the dynamics of the recruit's family; and the most effective modes of therapy for intervening. [Source: PI]
Doress, Irvin and Jack Nusan Porter. 1978. "Kids in Cults." Society vol. 15, pp. 69-71.
Abstract: Three aspects of young people & cults are discussed. Young people join cults to find a family, as part of a spiritual search for answers, for security, to differentiate themselves from their parents, to express adolescent rebellion, for adventure, for attention, for idealistic reasons, & because of underemployment & dead-end jobs. They stay in cults because certain needs are met, they find loving interpersonal relationships, they find a purer moral & physical environment, a spiritual hunger is satisfied, & because some have a fear of leaving. Young people may leave cults because of: disillusionment, the completion of a stage of development, or as a result of a kidnap rescue. Each of these points is discussed briefly. [Source: SA]
Levine, Saul V. 1978. "Youth and Religious Cults: A Societal and Clinical Dilemma." Adolescent Psychiatry vol. 6, pp. 75-89.
Abstract: Examined religious cults and their current popularity among young people. 109 members of fringe religious groups were interviewed in great detail over a 4-mo period, and discussions took place with other group members. Demographic, psychiatric, sociological, and family aspects of the cult phenomenon are discussed. While most of these adolescents do not evidence severe psychiatric illness, fringe religions attract young people who are struggling with developmental problems, and fulfill unmet needs by providing a belief system, mysticism, communality, structure, and frequently a charismatic leader. The difficulties experienced by parents of cult members are acknowledged. Many of the members interviewed reported relief of painful psychological symptoms and an increase in personal happiness, and the implications for therapy of such reports should be carefully considered by psychiatrists. [Source: PI]
Melton, J. Gordon. 1978. "Gaggle of Groups."Christianity Today vol. 22, pp. 40-41.
Pilarzyk, Thomas. 1978. "The Origin, Development, and Decline of a Youth Culture Religion: An Application of Sectarianization Theory." Review of Religious Research vol. 20, pp. 23-43.
Abstract: Wallis' theory of sectarianization is applied to data collected on the Divine Light Mission, a contemporary cultic movement of American youth culture. Its development is discussed in terms of intra-organizational changes within the social context of American pluralism. The movement's short history to date largely substantiates Wallis' writings concerning the effects of cultic fragility, sectarianizing strategies and organizational constraints on movement development. The paper contributes to recent conceptual writings within the sociology of religion on youth culture movements in modern western societies. [Source: RI]
Doress, Irvin and Jack Nusan Porter. 1977. Kids in Cults: Why They Join, Why They Stay, Why They Leave. Brookline, MA: Reconciliation Associates.
Glock, Charles Y. and Robert N. Bellah (eds.). 1976.New Religious Consciousness. Berkeley: Univ of California Pr.
Abstract: New religious movements in the Asian tradition: Summer solstice of the Health-Happy-Holy Organization, A Tobey. Hare Krishna in San Francisco, G Johnson. Guru Maharaj Ji and the Divine Light Mission, J Messer. New quasi-religious movements: New Consciousness and the Berkeley New Left, R N Bellah. Human Potential Movement, D Stone. Synanon: The people business, R Ofshe. New religious movements in the Western tradition: Christian World Liberation Front, D Heinz. Catholic Charismatic Renewal, R Lane, Jr. Church of Satan, R H Alfred. Response of the established religions: Church student ministries and the New Consciousness, B Hargrove. Three congregations, J Wolfe. Jewish identity and the counterculture, T Piazza. Survey: New religions in social context, R Wuthnow. Historical perspective: Religious change in 19th-century America, L K Pritchard. Conclusions: New religious consciousness and the crisis in modernity, R N Bellah. Consciousness among contemporary youth: An interpretation, C Y Glock. Index. [Source: RI]
Anderson, Godfrey. 1975. "Countering the Gospel of Some Cults That Attract Youth." National Observer vol. 14.
Greeley, Andrew M. 1974. "Implications for the Sociology of Religion of Occult Behavior in the Youth Culture." Pp. 295-302 in On the Margin of the Visible, edited by E. A. Tiryakian. New York: Wiley.
Rossel, Robert D. 1974. "Religious Movements and the Youth Culture." Human Context vol. 6, pp. 621-631.
Drane, James F. 1973. A New American Reformation; a Study of Youth Culture and Religion. New York: Philosophical Library.
Rowley, Peter. 1971. New Gods in America; an Informal Investigation into the New Religions of American Youth Today. New York: D. McKay Co.