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Cults in Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  139 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Cults today are bigger than ever, with broad ramifications for national and international terrorism. In this newly revised edition of her definitive work on cults, Singer reveals what cults really are and how they work, focusing specifically on the coercive persuasion techniques of charismatic leaders seeking money and power. The book contains fascinating updates on Heaven ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published April 11th 2003 by Jossey-Bass (first published 1995)
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Jul 26, 2007 Lena rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Margaret Singer has been studying cults and cult survivors for decades, and this book is a thorough overview of the many aspects of this complex subject. Written for the mainstream, the book is clearly written and very readable, although her detailed descriptions of the abuse suffered by some cult members can be disturbing.

I found the book to be very useful in helping me to better understand where a spiritual group crosses the line from something that benefits its members to something that expl
else fine
Oct 30, 2011 else fine rated it it was ok
Fine run-through of the various mind-altering and brainwashing techniques employed by modern cults. Also, I was pleased to see a section devoted to those crappy new-agey motivational programs which are forever being pushed on me by devotees. (I work in a store with a large metaphysical section in an area with a large number of actual cult members. They can be hard to avoid.) However, if you're actually interested in the history and development of modern cults, this book will be disappointing. It ...more
Mindi Rosser
Dec 16, 2011 Mindi Rosser rated it really liked it
Do you know someone who suffered from cults in our modern culture? This book provides relevant background about cult methodology and cult recovery for survivors.

Here's my video review:

Growing up in a cult, I felt that I turned my back upon God and religion when I left the group. I assumed my feelings were unique, the judgment of a higher power angered by my desertion. Through reading Cults in Our Midst, I discovered that every cult survivor feels these em
Oleg Kagan
Aug 31, 2010 Oleg Kagan rated it really liked it
In Cults in our Midst, Margaret Thaler Singer writes a book offering her decades of research to a popular audience. Cults are a difficult topic to discuss without putting a stigma on current and former cult members, but Thaler Singer does it. Many times while reading this book I felt that it was speaking directly to current and former cult members.

For me, not having been a cult member, Cults in our Midst satisfied an interest in the influence of charismatic leaders, mind control, and group dynam
Oct 24, 2014 Tonirose rated it liked it
Very intriguing title...although written in a very bias manner.
Chris Beal
Apr 10, 2014 Chris Beal rated it really liked it
This is a good book by an expert on this subject, focusing on all aspects of cults. If I have a gripe, it is that the author is limited by her rationalism. In my opinion, cults draw people in part because of the genuine need to explore consciousness, and Singer doesn't recognize this but rather believes that when people join a cult, it is only because of the combination of stress in a person's life and a cult's success in using that stress for its own deceitful purposes.
Jul 22, 2012 Tony rated it really liked it
I lost a friend when Heaven's Gate met the comet so those parts were especially interesting to me. Singer is generally cautious about naming names because some of the cults have nearly unlimited resources to retaliate on their critics. Also of note is the pervasiveness and tenacity of some cults in the corporate setting. Cults are differentiated from religions in terms of who benefits, the leader or the supplicant.
Nov 22, 2012 Judy rated it it was amazing
This book is an excellent study of the cult waves that keep popping up. Forewarned is forearmed and chances are you will be approached by someone, sometime. The author is also on youtube and has very interesting things to say.

I like how she says that you don't 'join' a cult- you are recruited. And, let's be frank, people don't commit 'suicide' at the meltdowns, they are murdered.
David Jardine
Feb 24, 2016 David Jardine rated it it was amazing
A fascinating and readable study of an important topic. Very relevant
Jul 27, 2011 Monica rated it liked it
I read this as research for a psyc project. Very good details about what cults are, how they recruit people, what they do that is harmful to people, and how the author treats former cult members. Whats always so interesting is that its just regular people who are targeted and recruited.
Aug 02, 2011 Pat rated it it was amazing
This book almost jumped off the shelf and into my hands. Bought and read while still a member of a cult. Totally correct and enlightening for someone who has a loved one in a cult or someone in or just out of a cult. Easy to read and easy to understand.
Expose Austin Texas Duty To Care For Others
Classic book on the variety and plethora of cults that have spread throughout the USA: she also described the secretive stratagems that cult leaders use in everyday settings. One of the stratagems discussed is a closed system of logic.
Jan 13, 2009 Survivors rated it really liked it
Read this in my studies of cults, and though biased from Christian perspective, well worth the read including valuable research and insightful information.
May 23, 2009 Sharon rated it it was amazing
I believe this is a must read, period. It looks into many facets of cults from Am Way to various religions and what to look out for.
Aug 02, 2015 Writerstewie rated it really liked it
I'm sorry I was a year late from meeting the author before she died. Great insight, ageless material.
Melissa Reid
Oct 08, 2008 Melissa Reid rated it liked it
Gave me some good insights into La luz del mundo...If you want to borrow, I would certainly lend it out.
Jun 15, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
for all MBA victims, this is a must read!
Why did I borrow this? I was a strange kid.
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