Aug 26, 2021

Call for Papers: ICSA 2022 Annual Conference





Call for Papers: ICSA 2022 Annual Conference 


Online Conference

June 24-26, 2022


Conference Theme:

Exploring the Needs of People Who Leave Groups and Controlling Environments


The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is conducting its 2022 Annual International Conference jointly with Info-Secte/Info-Cult of Montreal. The conference will be online and will take place from June 24-26, 2022. The conference will address the needs and interests of ICSA's four main constituencies: former group members, families, helping professionals, and researchers.


The Committee will consider proposals on the theme of the conference as well as other aspects of the cult phenomenon, including victims' perspectives, psychological and social manipulation, coercive control, religious fanaticism, terrorism, law enforcement, treatment, prevention, and legal, social, and public policy aspects of manipulation and victimization.


Attendees and speakers at past conferences have been diverse, including academicians, researchers, helping professionals, former and current group members, families, clergy, educators, and others. Individual sessions will be 50 minutes. It is recommended that no more than three people speak on a panel.


ICSA is firmly committed to freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion.  Consistent with these values, ICSA's policy with regard to conferences has been to encourage a wide range of viewpoints. Opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of ICSA's directors, staff, or supporters.


Proposal abstracts should be in English.


Submission Deadline: October 31, 2021


Click button below, or click here to submit your proposal



Russian Prosecutor's Office Deems Four More Religious Groups As 'Undesirable'

Russian Prosecutor's Office Deems Four More Religious Groups As 'Undesirable'
Radio Free Europe
August 23, 2021

By RFE/RL's Russian Service

MOSCOW -- Russia's Prosecutor-General’s Office has deemed four evangelical groups from Latvia and Ukraine as "undesirable," saying they pose a threat to constitutional order and the country's security.

"Following the examination of materials filed in the Prosecutor-General's Office, a decision was made to deem undesirable the following nongovernmental organizations: the New Generation International Christian Movement (Latvia), the New Generation Evangelical Christian Church (Latvia), the New Generation Spiritual Directorate of the Evangelist Christians (Ukraine), and the New Generation International Biblical College spiritual educational facility (Ukraine)," the office said in a statement on August 23.

The ruling effectively bans the organizations, none of which immediately commented.

Dozens of foreign nongovernmental organizations have been deemed "undesirable" in Russia in recent months.

The "undesirable" organization law, adopted in May 2015 and since updated, was part of a series of regulations pushed by the Kremlin that squeezed many nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations that received funding from foreign sources -- mainly from Europe and the United States.

In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill that expands the scope of the "undesirable" law to include criminalizing participation in the activities of foreign nongovernmental organizations designated as such in Russia.

Aug 19, 2021

CultNEWS101 Articles: 8/19/2021 (China, Religious Freedom, Spiritualists, DezNats, LDS, Recovery Workshop)

China, Religious Freedom, Spiritualists, DezNats, LDS, Recovery Workshop

" ... China tends to treat religions perceived as potentially threatening to the established order harshly, especially if suspected of foreign ties or secessionist tendencies. For instance, for decades China has strictly regulated Buddhism in Tibet, as it has pursued policies aimed at suppressing the cultural and national identities of the Tibetans. That contrasts with more relaxed attitudes towards the form of Buddhism practiced by the Han majority.

The party has explained its recent, ruthless campaign to repress the Uighurs, a Muslim minority in Xinjiang – a nominally autonomous region in Northwest China – as intended to counteract terrorism and separatism. According to leaked documents, since 2014 up to a million Uighurs have been interned in "re-education camps." It's part of a hardline policy of secularization and "Sinicization," which implies assimilating the Uighurs into the majority Han culture, at a loss of their religious and ethnic identities."
" ... Victorian ghosts dressed better than their ancestors. Gone were the traditional white linen, the funeral shrouds, the clanking fetters. In the nineteenth century, according to those purportedly in the know—spiritualists, spirit photographers (yes, they claimed they could photograph ghosts), and, above all, writers of spooky stories—ghosts manifested themselves in the latest fashions.

Scholar Aviva Briefel argues that the Victorian fascination with the immaterial was also very much an obsession with the material commodities that defined the living. It all showed up in the conventions of literary realism, which depended on thick descriptions of the stuff of the material world.

"The complex interactions between intangible spectres [sic] and concrete clothing became a rich site of inquiry in the nineteenth-century ghost story, a genre that was deeply informed by realist conventions despite its supernatural subject matter," writes Briefel.

For Victorian writers, clothes made the ghost. As in the detective story, what a spirit was wearing was a clue to its identity: ghosts were recognized by their wardrobe. After all, in the words of a fictional character of 1866, a ghost is "hollow, and has no teeth, no bones, no hair… a sort of nothing without innards."

In H.G. Wells's The Invisible Man (1897), the protagonist, essentially a ghost, can only manifest himself through costume. He needs, writes Briefel, "things to conceal his vacuity." Or, as a character in the novel says, "Why! …that's not a man at all. It's just empty clothes."

In Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol (1843), Jacob Marley's translucent ghost is only given substance by his "waistcoat, tights, and boots." When this apparition starts to unwrap the bandages on his head, his jaw simply falls away. He's literally held together by fabric.

Victorians left very few bits of the body exposed, so it should not surprise that they enjoyed ghost stories in which the "spectre goes after clothes to protect its decency." A naked ghost could disrupt morals and the conventions of literary realism.

Skeptics and parodists had fun with all this, wondering if clothing itself was ghostly and made by ghost tailors and ghost cobblers. In Henry James's "The Romance of Certain Old Clothes" (1868), a ghost returns to kill her own sister to protect her wardrobe."
"A new group of religious extremists in the United States is seeking to promote and defend an ultra-conservative vision of Mormon belief and harass perceived opponents of those beliefs, which are often racist and bigoted or promote violence.

The conduct of so-called "Deseret nationalists" or "DezNats" has raised questions about how the Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is responding to the movement, whose members direct harassment at other Mormons, including those working in church-sponsored institutions such as Brigham Young University (BYU).

Some who identify as DezNats take extreme right positions on gender, sexuality and race. Others describing themselves as Deseret nationalists have advocated for a Mormon-ruled, separatist white ethnostate, located in the Great Basin area briefly claimed by the LDS church in the mid-19th century.

The Guardian's recent exposure of an assistant attorney general in Alaska – who had posted racist and violent tweets on a DezNat Twitter account – led to that official stepping down from his job. But it also prompted concern about how many DezNat supporters occupy positions of authority across the US.

Last weekend, an anonymous antifascist collective called "DezNat Exposed" published a blogpost alleging that a prominent DezNat account, @extradeadjcb, an associated Substack newsletter and a previous, suspended account, @jcbonthedl, was under the control of Kevin Dolan.

Dolan, who claims on his LinkedIn profile to have US government security clearance, was employed since January by consultancy firm Booz Allen Hamilton as a enior data scientist. The company has extensive contracts with US military and intelligence agencies and has been labeled "the world's most profitable spy organization".

The blogpost identifying Dolan details not only racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic posts made from the Twitter accounts, but the links between him and the accounts, which include archived posts from previous incarnations of his blogs and Twitter accounts, which point to his personal Facebook and Twitter pages.

Workshop: Take Back Your Life Recovery
The  Take Back Your Life Recovery learning series is hosted and led by none other than Janja Lalich, Beth Matenaer and Sally Martin, LCSW.

A psychoeducational learning series that gives you knowledge and practical tools for your recovery from cults, high-control groups, and coercive relationships.

This a 5-week interview style program will meet weekly for 2 hours each session to provide participants with:
  • Information about these situations and what draws us to them
  • Practical guidelines on how to "take back your life" in your own recovery
  • A small group setting that allows for personalized Q&A opportunity in each meeting
The dates for each session are: Aug 21st & 28th, Sept 11th, 18th, & 25th
Cost to attend will be $250 (all five sessions)
To learn more or sign up please email:

News, Education, Intervention, Recovery to help families and friends understand and effectively respond to the complexity of a loved one's cult involvement. assists group members and their families make the sometimes difficult transition from coercion to renewed individual choice. news, links, resources.




Instagram resources about cults, cultic groups, abusive relationships, movements, religions, political organizations and related topics.

Selection of articles for CultNEWS101 does not mean that Patrick Ryan or Joseph Kelly agree with the content. We provide information from many points of view in order to promote dialogue.

Please forward articles that you think we should add to

CultNEWS101 Articles: 8/18/2021 (Sexual Abuse, Legal, NXIVM, Definitions, Falun Gong Disinformation)

Sexual Abuse, Legal, NXIVM, Definitions, Falun Gong Disinformation

A Catholic priest who admitted to transferring nearly $517,000 of parish funds into his personal bank account had been sentenced to seven years in state prison, church officials said Tuesday.

The Rev. Douglas J. Haefner, the longtime pastor of St. Matthias Parish in Somerset, admitted to taking the money due to "compulsive behavior" during an audit of the church in 2018, Diocese of Metuchen officials said.

At the time, the priest said he took the money intending to pay the $516,985 back eventually. He had overseen the parish for 27 years.

Haefner, 68, was sentenced to seven years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Peter Tober in Somerset County under a plea agreement, church officials said. He pleaded guilty in May.

The priest is scheduled to start his prison sentence Aug. 19. However, he has applied for the state's Intensive Supervised Parole program, which allows prisoners to serve all or part of their sentences at home. The prosecutor did not object to Haefner's application for the program, diocese officials said.

"This is not an easy day for anyone," said Anthony P. Kearns 3rd, chancellor of the Diocese of Metuchen. "While we are grateful this matter has come to its conclusion and justice has been served, there are no winners in the outcome of this unfortunate case."

Kearns asked for prayers for the priest and the St. Matthias Parish community.

It is unclear how Haefner was able to take large sums of money from St. Matthias without anyone noticing. Diocese officials first noted the parish's financial problems in 2016, but Haefner repeatedly asked to reschedule an audit due to health problems and the need for more time to prepare, diocese officials said.
"When a federal judge in Brooklyn imposed a non-prison sentence Wednesday for NXIVM defector Lauren Salzman, it was no surprise.

The 45-year-old daughter of NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman testified over four grueling days, helping federal prosecutors bury NXIVM leader Keith Raniere at his 2019 trial. A jury convicted the disgraced personal growth guru known as "Vanguard" of all charges, including sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy and racketeering crimes. He is serving 120 years in prison in Tucson, Arizona.

What was surprising, however, was that in the weeks leading up to Lauren Salzman's sentencing, her attorneys took a page right out of the NXIVM playbook in a sentencing recommendation to Senior U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis. On the 34th page of a 38-page memo, Salzman's lawyers attacked news outlets - a prime target of Raniere for two decades.

The Phoenix-based lawyers, Hector Diaz and Andrea Tazioli, went so far as to claim that the press "caused harm" to their client and other longtime NXIVM members who were charged in 2018 alongside Raniere. All of those defendants have since pleaded guilty to federal crimes."

The Conversation: What is a Cult?
"The word "cult" is used a lot nowadays.
Former President Donald Trump has been likened to a cult leader. Democratic California congresswoman Jackie Speier recently compared Trump to Jim Jones, the infamous leader of Peoples Temple, an American religious group of which nearly 1,000 members died by mass murder-suicide in Guyana in 1978. A congressional staffer at the time, Speier was seriously wounded by temple members during an ambush that killed Congressman Leo Ryan of San Francisco.

Then there's NXIVM, a "sex cult" based in Albany, New York. Media reports and evidence at trial revealed that NXIVM's female members recruited "slaves," who were branded with the initials of the group's leader, Keith Raniere. Raniere, also called the "Vanguard," was sentenced to 120 years in prison for sex trafficking.

One of the defenses put forward by NXIVM's lawyers has been that media "hit-pieces" on the group led to an unfair trial.

It's certainly true that the word cult grabs our attention. But what exactly does it mean when we use words like cult or "cult leader"?

Scholars sometimes use the term "cult" to describe groups that have distinctive beliefs and high levels of commitment. The problem is the popular use of the word is often used to describe authoritarian groups that practice mind control or brainwashing.

As an academic who teaches and writes about religion, I believe that the label "cult" gets in the way of understanding new religions and political movements.
"The cultish Chinese spiritual movement Falun Gong isn't just speaking out against the Chinese government; it's increasingly weaving that narrative into American politics, using it against Democrats and the Biden administration, through a growing media empire that's pushing conspiracy theories and disinformation.

On this episode of VICE News Reports, we tell the story of how the little-known movement became one of the most influential digital publishers of anti-China, pro-Trump propaganda. Hear from Falun Gong supporters protesting in Queens, an ex-member of Falun Gong explaining his decision to leave, an expert in digital forensics and reporter Titi Yu about her experience watching The Epoch Times go from a small scrappy community newspaper to something way bigger.

Conspiracy theorists and far-right news outlets spent the month after the election using YouTube's algorithm to massively grow their audiences."

News, Education, Intervention, Recovery to help families and friends understand and effectively respond to the complexity of a loved one's cult involvement. assists group members and their families make the sometimes difficult transition from coercion to renewed individual choice. news, links, resources.




Instagram resources about cults, cultic groups, abusive relationships, movements, religions, political organizations and related topics.

Selection of articles for CultNEWS101 does not mean that Patrick Ryan or Joseph Kelly agree with the content. We provide information from many points of view in order to promote dialogue.

Please forward articles that you think we should add to

Government Seeks 'High End' Sentence for Keith Raniere Associate and NXIVM President

Government Seeks 'High End' Sentence for Keith Raniere Associate and NXIVM President
Law & Crime
Aug 18 20, 21

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday asked a judge to impose a “high end” sentence for Nancy Salzman, the president of a group led by Keith Raniere and described by prosecutors as an organization rife with sex trafficking and forced labor.

The group, NXIVM, billed itself as a self-help organization while Salzman was second to sex cult leader Raniere in the group’s leadership. Salzman pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy on March 13, 2019, in connection with a first superseding indictment that originally also charged her with conspiracy to commit identity theft and conspiracy to alter records in an official proceeding.

“At the time of the defendant’s guilty plea, the government estimated the applicable U.S. Sentencing Guidelines . . . range as 33 to 41 months’ imprisonment,” prosecutors said. “For the reasons that follow, the government respectfully requests that the Court impose a sentence at the high end of that range.”

In other words, prosecutors want Salzman behind bars for somewhere in the vicinity of three years and five months.

But the government also admitted it botched the initial calculation. It now admits that Salzman is actually eligible to serve a range of 41 to 51 months under the applicable sentencing guidelines. That’s part of the reason why prosecutors are asking the judge to abide by the upper limits of the 33 to 41 range.

Salzman, who was known in the group by the nickname “Perfect,” “participated in the unlawful surveillance and investigation of perceived critics and enemies of Raniere and Nxivm,” prosecutors wrote in the sentencing memorandum (in turn citing a presentence report). “The targets of these efforts included high-ranking politicians, reporters who had published articles critical of Raniere or Nxivm, Nxivm’s own lawyers, legal adversaries and their families, an accountant (James Loperfido) who worked for an attorney who had previously done work for Nxivm, and Edgar Bronfman Sr., the father of Clare Bronfman.”

“Nancy Salzman helped Nxivm retain private firms, including Interfor and Canaprobe, in order to investigate perceived enemies of Nxivm and Raniere,” the memorandum continues. “Between approximately 2007 and 2009, Canaprobe sent the results of purported ‘bank sweeps’ for bank account and balance information belonging to Nxivm’s adversaries.”

A March 27, 2018 search warrant uncovered “a large box containing purported private banking information of many individuals perceived to be Nxivm enemies, including Edgar Bronfman, Joseph O’Hara, Rick Ross, and others,” the memorandum continued. It also said the warrant uncovered “purported banking information for, among other individuals, the author of the October 2003 Forbes article” that was criticial of NXIVM and “prominent New York politicians and lobbyists.”

The document goes on to say that Salzman edited videotapes to “obstruct justice.” The videotapes were supposed to be part of a 2003 lawsuit against a former NXIVM member who the group claimed violated a nondisclosure agreement by giving recordings to Rick Ross, a “cult deprogrammer.” More specifically (citations omitted):

Franco’s attorneys requested the production of certain videotapes in support of their claim that the Nxivm curriculum contained false statements and violated certain state consumer protection laws. Nancy Salzman agreed to alter the videotapes to remove certain segments from them without having the videotapes appear altered. Kristin Keefe and Bronfman provided Vicente with instructions for altering the videotapes to remove content, including segments in which Nancy Salzman made unsubstantiated health claims about Nxivm’s curriculum. These altered videotapes were then produced in discovery by Nxivm’s attorneys with the false claim that they were provided in “unedited fashion.” The suit against Franco and Ross was not dismissed until December 2017.

Though those acts led to the criminal conviction, the sentencing memorandum describes Salzman’s broader conduct within NXIVM. Again, from the memo at length:

For well over a decade, Nancy Salzman was a loyal and integral member of the criminal enterprise led by her co-defendant Keith Raniere. She was the President of Nxivm and second-in-command to Raniere until her arrest and, in that role, the defendant exalted Raniere’s teachings and ideology and demanded absolute commitment and deference to Raniere. Raniere’s teachings, which Nancy Salzman helped to create and promote, were designed to maintain power and control over Nxivm members. The defendant instructed Nxivm members that anyone who challenged Raniere or Nxivm, including family members and friends, were “suppressives” and must be avoided.

As reflected in several victim impact statements, the defendant told Nxivm members that they had committed “ethical breaches” which they needed to remedy, often in ways that benefitted the defendant or Raniere. Nxivm members were told that they were in “breach” for, among other things, supposed lack of work ethic, failing to lose weight, exhibiting “pride,” “playing the victim,” or causing negative publicity for Nxivm or Raniere. Many of the Nxivm teachings promulgated by Nancy Salzman disparaged or humiliated women and blamed victims of abuse. Some of these teachings also questioned the age of consent and suggested children as young as 12 years old were capable of consenting to sex. As Camila notes in her victim impact statement, the defendant promoted Raniere’s “poisonous and predatory falsehoods to an unsuspecting audience” including the notion that “girls could be ready for sex as soon as they are physically capable to conceive, that women enjoy the out-of-control experience that comes from being raped, and that some women are only able to climax during such horrific events, all the same twisted ideas he used to groom me and abuse me.”

Though Salzman has “renounced” Raniere and articulated “terrible remorse” for her actions, the government’s attorneys argued that higher sentence would “satisfy the goals” of justice.

The defense has not yet filed its sentencing memorandum. That document is due Aug. 25. Salzman’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8 in the Eastern District of New York.

Read the eight-page government memorandum

[image via The Vow/HBO/YouTube screengrab]

Transcendental Meditation-based ‘Quiet Time’ program sparks Chicago school lawsuit

Complaint alleges spiritual indoctrination sessions, First Amendment violation

Mark A. Kellner
August 19, 2021
The Washington Times

A religious rights legal battle over Transcendental Meditation and classroom “Quiet Time” got new life this week when a federal district court judge reinstated the University of Chicago and the David Lynch Foundation, operated by the “Twin Peaks” director, as defendants along with Chicago’s public school system.

The suit, filed on behalf of Bogan Computer Technical High School student Amontae Williams and other plaintiffs, alleges Chicago Public Schoos (CPS) officials instituted the “Quiet Time” program sponsored by the Lynch Foundation via the University of Chicago, despite knowing of its intention to have students participate in Transcendental Meditation, a spiritual technique critics allege is rooted in Hinduism. 
Federal Judge Matthew F. Kennelly of the Northern District of Illinois Court said both the University and the Lynch Foundation knew about the religious motivations behind the “Quiet Time” effort and that it could reasonably be argued that the David Lynch Foundation (DLF) specifically targeted the students for religious indoctrination.

“The court does not view this as an implausible allegation with regard to either entity: DLF is claimed to have created the program as part of its mission of “widespread implementation of Transcendental Meditation,’” Judge Kennelly wrote. “[G]iven its background, it is certainly  plausible that DLF knew of the aspects of Transcendental Meditation and the Quiet Time program that are claimed to have caused the program to run afoul of the First Amendment.”

Noting that the University of Chicago is said to have vetted and helped design the program, “it is likewise plausible that the university was aware of the same features of the program that are alleged to have made it unconstitutional,” the judge found.

The University of Chicago and the Lynch Foundation helped CPS initiate the “Quiet Time” effort in 2015 as part of an effort to see if the Eastern meditation program once promoted by The Beatles and other celebrities could reduce arrests for violence among the city’s youths. Chicago’s poorer neighborhoods are plagued by gun violence and other attacks, and it’s not uncommon for police to report dozens of gun-related attacks each weekend.

The school system ended the program in 2019 when students and parents complained at a school board meeting about the ceremonies and mantras that came with “Quiet Time.” Mr. Williams is seeking compensatory and punitive damages over what he said was his being forced to go through a TM initiation ritual and meditation sessions that left him disoriented. The plaintiffs also seek to make this a class-action suit, which could open the way to many more challenges of the program.

“One day when we were supposed to start a meditation session, I informed my classmates about how our mantras were the names of Hindu gods,” Mr. Williams said in a declaration to the district court. “I also warned my classmates that the TM instructors were lying about the ‘Puja’ [initiation] ceremony and chanting meaning nothing. The teacher then took me to the principal’s office for telling these things to my classmates.”

Mr. Williams said he was threatened with suspension for protesting the “Quiet Time” ceremonies, and that his coerced participation violates the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which says in part that “government may not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion.”

Aryeh Siegel, a former top executive of the Transcendental Movement’s U.S. branch who stopped practicing the discipline in 1981, called this week’s events “a massive victory, that a judge is allowing this young man to sue the Chicago Public Schools, on these grounds, that there was a coercive practice of religion.”

Mr. Siegel said he has devoted a section of his “Transcendental Deception” website to documenting the continuing efforts of the Lynch Foundation to promote TM in the nation’s schools.

Aug 17, 2021

Culted Child: The True Story of a Daughter Disciple


Author: Maria Peregolise 
ICSA Bio Culted Child Video
Author and Educator Maria Peregolise was born into and raised in The URANTIA Book cult, with her father as her leader. Her interest is in sharing research that identifies aspects of how a coercive environment may affect the growing number of those born into and raised in manipulative systems.
Maria shares her experiences on Rachel Berstein's IndoctriNATION Podcast, “Thought Adjusters w/ Maria Peregolise,”, or

She has been published in Art Ascent Magazine, winning the Gold Writer Award, with “God the Father: A Portrait of Divinity,”, and has a testimonial article on the Art Ascent website, Other articles are “Journal Entry at Age Thirteen,” Peregolise, M. (2020). ICSA Today, Vol. 11, No. 2. (2020 - PDF of Issue). Arts: Poetry - Maria Peregolise (24-25)., and iGotOut, “Just Trust Me...,”
She has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, a Master of Science in Learning Disabilities, and has taught for more than 25 years. Married to her high-school sweetheart for 36 years, they have three grown children: a writer, a musician, and an artist.

Interviewer: Patrick Ryan

THE FIRST OF ITS KIND - Testimony from a 2nd Generation Adult, Born and Raised in, and Leaving a Cult Leader of The URANTIA Book.

Culted Child is a memoir by the daughter of a Spiritual Prophet - a father who used the theology of The URANTIA Book as a framework for his secret conversations with her. These secrets shared his daily communications and miracles from God... Packed with research references and resources, Culted Child utilizes Peregolise's turbulent childhood experience as an opportunity to communicate the signs and symptoms of being raised in a Cultic or Manipulative Environment.
“This harrowing and tragic story speaks to the mind-shattering complexity a child faces in surviving loving and being loved by a malignant narcissist . . . For the many, far more than we realize, who have grown up under the extraordinary control of a powerful, charismatic and deeply delusional parent, Peregolise’s story of survival and ultimate freedom is a revelatory and inspiring gift of hope.”
-- Daniel Shaw, LCSW -- Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation, and Traumatic Narcissism and Recovery: Leaving the Prison of Shame and Fear “Culted Child does indeed read like a novel, made all the more frightening by the fact that it is real. It really happened.” -- Ron Burks, PhD -- Damaged Disciples: Casualties of Authoritarian Churches and the Shepherding Movement
“Vivid episodes from childhood frame her memories with rational insights she discovered through her research in the cult recovery field. Culted Child shows Maria's strength of spirit, and will validate others who grew up in coercive families or groups.” -- Nori Muster -- Betrayal of the Spirit
“. . . discusses the signs and symptoms of being raised in a cult or narcissistic environment, as well as the fantastical and outlandish content of the controversial book and the effects it has on its followers.” -- Rachel Bernstein, LMFT -- IndoctriNATION Podcast
“. . . a marvelous memoir of her heroic struggle to both emerge from her father’s cult and to reveal the story behind the formation of The Urantia Book cult.” -- Joe Szimhart, Cult Information Specialist -- Santa Fe, Bill Tate, and Me: How an Artist Became a Cult Interventionist

Rachel Berstein, IndoctriNATION: Thought Adjusters w/ Maria Peregolise, iGotOut, Art Ascent, Gold Writer Award, ICSA Today.