For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Soul Snatchers: The Mechanics of Cults
  • Jean-Marie Abgrall
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Soul Snatchers: The Mechanics of Cults.
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The fruit of fifteen years of research, this book delivers the first methodical analysis of the phenomenon of cults, decoding the mental manipulation on behalf of mystified observers as well as victims.

To describe this psychopathology and the means to resist it, the author applies the framework of criminology and medico-legal psychiatry. The criminal nature of cults--enslavement, essentially--are "crimes against individual rights" and should be defined by criminal law.


About the Author

Author Jean-Marie Abgrall is a practicing psychiatrist and a professional criminologist. He serves as an expert witness to the French Court of Appeals and is a member of the Inter-Ministry Committee on Cults. This book is the fruit of 15 years of research, and delivers the first methodical analysis of the cult phenomenon, decoding the mental manipulation for mystified observers as well as for victims and their families.

Abgrall’s work earned him enemy status with the Church of Scientology; he has been threatened, beaten and harassed, and his mail has been stolen.

To describe this psychopathology and the means to resist it, the author applies the framework of criminology and medico-legal psychiatry. The criminal nature of cults--slavery, essentially--is a "crime against individual rights" and should be regulated by the criminal code.

Originally published by Documents Payot, Paris, 1996.

About the Book

March 1997: One year after the massacre of Saint-Pierre-of-Charennes and the death of 16 cult members of the Order of the Solar Temple, in Saint-Casimir, Canada, 5 other members of the order rejoin their brothers in death. In San Jose,...

March 1997: One year after the massacre of Saint-Pierre-of-Charennes and the death of 16 cult members of the Order of the Solar Temple, in Saint-Casimir, Canada, 5 other members of the order rejoin their brothers in death. In San Jose, California, 39 members of the Gates of Paradise follow their guru in death to reach the Hale Bopp Comet that was to take them to a faraway planet. Not all cults manifest in such a dramatic way, but many achieve their goals subtely and incrementally.

As with drug addiction, the phenomenon of cults hits all social strata and plants its roots in the deepest core of the individual. Mental manipulation uses the most up-to-date techniques of communication, marketing and persuasion, and requires a complex organization. Jean-Marie Abgrall, psychiatrist, criminologist, expert witness to the French Court of Appeals, and member of the Inter-Ministry Committee on Cults, is one of the experts most frequently consulted by the European judicial and legislative processes. The fruit of fifteen years of research, his book delivers the first methodical analysis of the sectarian phenomenon, decoding the mental manipulation on behalf of mystified observers as well as victims.

To describe this psychopathology and the means to resist it, the author applies the framework of criminology and medico-legal psychiatry. He feels that cults, whose brainwashing essentially equates to enslavement, should be subject to criminal law..

 

"Some cults resort to severe methods to subjugate and re-indoctrinate rebellious initiates (sleep deprivation, starvation, daily public confessions), some use sexual entrapment or drugs, [but] most cults... use subtle techniques." Jean-Marie Abgrall details the mechanisms by which cults attract, ensnare and brainwash new members.

The book discusses types of people most vulnerable to cult recruitment; in fact, it gives you everything you'd need to know, if you want to start a cult of your own!

Not all cults manifest so dramatically; many weave their spells quietly and patiently. Like drug addiction, the cult phenomenon hits all social strata and plants its roots in the deepest core of the individual. Cults use state-of-the art techniques to manipulate their followers, and develop complex organizations to expand and grow. Cult members are led to dissolve their individual selves into the group, to become emotionally dependent on the guru, to espouse a certain doctrine and gradually to cut themselves off from normal life. "Now we know more about psychiatry than psychiatrists themselves. We can brainwash somebody faster than the Russians. In 20 seconds, we achieve total amnesia, compared to three years just to make someone a little shaky in his loyalties."

 

L. Ron Hubbard

 


Categories

Pages 312
Year: 1999
LC Classification: BP603.A3613
Dewey code: 291.9ódc21
BISAC: PSY031000
BISAC: REL020000
BISAC: REL075000
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-1-892941-04-6
Price: USD 21.95
Ebook
ISBN: 978-1-892941-38-1
Price: USD 28.95
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