Psychiatrists are in a unique position to understand the personalities, needs, and motivations of cult leaders and followers. This report assumes that unique vantage point in its review of the cult phenomenon. What are the psychiatric attributes of cult leaders and followers? Why do individuals join cults? Can cults play a constructive role in an individual's life? And how can psychiatrists help family and friends deal with cult members? Supported by numerous references, this report presents statistics and colorful descriptions of American cults and their effect on those who embrace them.
Preface. Definitions. Is psychiatry relevant? Cults in the United States. Cult leaders. Cult followers. The dead sea sects: a model for modern cults. Suggestions for therapists and parents. Conclusion. GAP commitees and membership.