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Sociology:

Read about what a Federal District Court thinks about the "brainwashing" theories of anti-"cult" propagandists. Pay particular attention to the section that is boldfaced. This is a wonderful critique of the Singer-Oshe theory of brainwashing.

Joining a "Cult": Religious Choice or Psychological Aberration?

Summary: ... So strong is the tradition of freedom of religion in this country that few suggest that adults can be removed from religious groups simply because the latter are destructive to the members' physical health, offensive to the majority, and so on. ... With perhaps the exception of those who have chosen to focus their studies on the psychology of religion, it is fair to say that in general the attitude of the mental health profession is that religious commitment is not a sign of robust mental health. ... Many respectable professionals in the mental health field seem to believe this." ... Although attention is paid to the psychological conditions which may predispose some young people's attraction to cults, the dominant assumption among anti-cult psychologists is that conversion results from manipulative, "brainwashing" interventions by the recruiters, that it has little to do with the content of the group's beliefs and almost everything to do with the process of "indoctrination," and that the experience of recruitment, indoctrination, and membership is essentially identical for all people in all groups. ...

Read the report from Emory University Professor of Sociology Nancy Ammerman concerning the Waco seige.

Nancy Ammerman's Report On Waco.


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