ABC Radio National - 'Life after a cult'


Leakus Maximus
Broadcast: Sunday 25 March 2012 6:05PM

What happens to people who have left 'high demand' groups, as cults have been dubbed in the academic literature, and ventured to live 'on the outside'? Fear, shame, and a high degree of dependence can make maintaining relationships and a job very difficult. Lorna Goldberg is president of the International Cultic Studies Association and, together with her husband William, counsels ex-cult members in a support group they have run since 1976.

Regardless of size, cults can have dire effects on followers, and author Maggie Groff decided to write about them in her first novel, Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute.


Lorna Goldberg
President of the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), psychoanalyst in private practice and Dean of Faculty at the New Jersey Institute of Psychoanalysis. Since 1976 Laura and her husband William Goldberg have held a support group for former cult members.

William Goldberg
Psychoanalyst in private practice and former Director of Training and Staff Development in the Rockland county (NY) Department of Mental Health, where he directed several outpatient clinics and treatment programs. Adjunct Instructor in the Social Work Dept of dominican College, and the International Cultic Studies Association Today's Mental Health Columnist.

Maggie Groff
Author of Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitting Institute, a novel about a secretive American cult that move to the Gold Coast. She has written non-fiction books, Mothers Behaving Badly and Hoax Cuisine.