"Spiritual Responsibility: Avoiding Abuses and Pitfalls Along the Path ", by Steven Hassan and Lama Surya Das
"Unselfishness, kindness, gentleness, and compassion should be a basic living principle, not
just an ideal. When individuals claim to be spiritually more developed, and put themselves
in the role of guru, swami, master, prophet, these virtues must be consistently demonstrated.
We must not allow our desires to know "Absolute Truth" to blind us from observing obvious
discrepancies in our teacher's behaviors. We must become sensitive to the tactic that
illegitimate leaders use by turning our questions or comments around and using them to blame or
shame us into obedience. A legitimate question or concern demands a respectful response,
not evasion or coercion."
"Sex and the Singular Swami", by Helen Gao, The San Francisco Weekly, March 10, 1999
The leader of the Ananda Church offered young believers more than enlightenment ...
"O GURU, GURU, GURU", by Lis Harris, The New Yorker, November 14, 1999
The spiritual movement known as SYDA boasts a glittering clientele
and a multimillion-dollar Catskills retreat. But behind all the serenity lie some
uncomfortable, ill-kept secrets-and a less than blissful struggle about succession.
"Who is This Rama?" The master of Zen and the Art of Publicity is now having some serious
problems." From an article in the February 1, 1988 issue of Newsweek magazine.
Organizations and Resources:
American Family Foundation, Inc. A comprehensive site with links for information,
education, books, book reviews, support, resources of all types. Have a question or need related to
cults? This is a great place to start. AFF describes itself as a "secular, nonprofit, tax-exempt research
center and educational corporation", P.O. Box 2265, Bonita Springs, Florida 34133, Tel. (941)
514-3081, Fax: (941) 514-3451.
Freedom of Mind, Steven Hassan's Site:
"This site is dedicated to respect for human rights, spirituality, and consumer awareness. We endeavor to be
a safe place where you can turn to for resources, news and information about destructive cults, mind control...'
Academic Information Religious Movements and Alternative Spirituality:
An Annotated Directory of Internet Resources.
Ex-Premie Site, presents the concerns and objections of a group of former followers of Maharaji and
Rick Ross: Consultation and Intervention: This site has an extensive link library.
Interfaith Sexual Trauma Institute : As their name implies, this organization specializes in sexual abuse
and its aftermath.
Ex-Cult Archive: Another place to find information regarding a particular group
from ex-members perspectives.
REFOCUS: "The unique vulnerabilities and struggles of former members must be taken
seriously into consideration by anyone seeking to assist this particular
community. In order to recognize and become sensitive those special
needs, the helping organization or person must begin by listening with
an attentive and non-judgemental ear. Specializing in group support for former cult members. There are Focus groups
available in many areas."
F.A.C.T. NET : "A non-profit news source, referral service, and archive protecting
freedom of mind from harm caused by pyschological coercion."
SNAP "(Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ): is a USA/Canadian self-help organization of
men and women who were sexually abused by spiritual elders (Catholic priests, brothers, nuns,
ministers, teachers, etc.). Members find healing and empowerment by joining with other survivors. We
are a rapidly-growing all-volunteer group with 2400 members and numerous local chapters.
A Path with Heart, Jack Kornfield
Captive Hearts, Captive Minds: Freedom and Recovery from Cults and Abusive Relationships
Madeleine Landau Tobias and Janja Lalich. Hunter House,Alameda, CA, 1994, 304 pages, $14.95
paperback; $24.95 hard cover.
The Cry of Tamar: Violence against Women and The Church's Response. Rev. Pamela Cooper
White. Covers many different types of abuse against women. With a section about clergy sexual abuse.
Sex in the Forbidden Zone, Peter Rutter M.D. A classic in its field. Highly recommended.
Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves, by Steven Hassan
Combatting Cult Mind Control, by Steven Hassan
Churches That Abuse, Ronald M. Enroth. Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1992, 227 pages.
Take Me for a Ride: Coming of Age in a Destructive Cult, by Mark E. Laxer
(on Rama/ Frederick Lenz) This book is available for downloading at the following address:
Feet of Clay: Saints, Sinners, and Madmen: A Study of Gurus, by Anthony Storr
Cults and Personality, F. J. MacHovec. Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL, 1989, 195 pages.
Cults in Our Midst: The Hidden Menace in Our Everyday Lives, Margaret Thaler Singer with Janja
Lalich. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA, 1995, 381 pages.
The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power, Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad. North Atlantic
Books/Frog Ltd., Berkeley, CA, 1993, 385 pages.
Mind-Forged Manacles: Cults and Spiritual Bondage, Thomas Case. Fidelity Press, South Bend,
IN, 1993, 289 pages.
The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen. Bethany House
Publishers, Minneapolis, MN, 1991, 234 pages.
Seductive Poison, Deborah Layton former Jonestown member
Journey Into Madness: The True Story of Secret CIA Mind Control and Medical Abuse,
In the Shadow of the Moons, Nansook Hong