Feb 16, 2017

Antisocial Personality Disorder in Cult Leaders, Dependent Personality Disorder in Cult Members


John Burke, Ph.D.

A number of studies have found evidence of antisocial acts and behaviors by cult leaders toward cult followers (Martin, Langone, Dole and Wiltrout, 1992; Tobias, & Lalich, 1994; West & Martin, 1999; and Kent, 2004). Each of these studies offers well-documented evidence of antisocial acts and behaviors by cult leaders toward cult members. These published accounts, as well as previously unpublished author research, are used to develop an explanatory model of the personality organization of the cult leader. Additionally, the emergence of dependent personality disorder and other psychological sequelae among cult members is investigated. Diagnostic criteria and descriptions describing antisocial personality disorder as published in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th Edition (1994) can be employed as part of the characterization of the personality organization of the cult leader. The author has participated as a clinical team member in the diagnosis of personality disorders for juvenile offenders in the California Juvenile Probation Department and for juvenile and adult offenders in the Colorado Department of Corrections. A number of peer-reviewed studies including studies by Martin, Langone, Dole, and Wiltrout, (1992); Tobias & Lalich, (1994); West & Martin, (1999); and Kent (2004), present findings from clinical interviews of ex-cult members, which report many different antisocial acts and behaviors by cult leaders. These accounts detail numerous instances of personal mistreatment, psychological intimidation, and physical and sexual abuse of cult members by cult leaders, and offer credible evidence for the hypothesis that cult leaders may meet minimum DSM-IV criteria for diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).

https://youtu.be/hdU4TdHbw3c
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