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Getting Support : Speaking Out

Sociologist report

from Falcon - Friday, January 25, 2008
accessed 611 times

I know how annoying it can be when random strangers come in here asking to interview people as if we were some frog-in-the-jar science experiment to dissect.

With that in mind, I was approached by a sociologist recently who is doing a study on second generation children adapting to the outside world and the challenges and difficulties involved in the transition.

To a certain extent I think that if it is done in the correct manner, such information could be very helpful to academics and the public. Knowledge is power, and the more people who understand the issues, the easier it may be for children leaving later on to have the support and understanding that we did not.

I happen to know this woman personally and she is one of those quite ticked off by the cult apologists and those academics who helped TFI and other cults get away with crimes against children through their "expert" testimonies. She wants to present the reality of things and set the record straight, so to speak. I said I was not comfortable asking anything for her, but that if she wrote up her request, I would simply post it, so here it is:

Janja Lalich’s New Research Project
Seeking People to Interview

I have embarked on a new research project, which I have entitled “On Our Own: How Children of Cults Manage to Survive in the ‘Outside’ World.” This project has been approved by the Human Subjects in Research Committee at California State University, Chico, where I am on the faculty in the Sociology Department.

The purpose of the project is to explore the attitudes, experiences, coping mechanisms, and issues related to societal integration of young people leaving a cultic group to enter mainstream society. I will be doing in-depth interviews, focus groups, and handing out a brief questionnaire to gather basic data.

I am particularly interested in individuals who were born and/or raised in a group and who left the group during adolescence or young adulthood on their own – that is, without their parents.

I am looking for individuals who would be willing to be interviewed – either in person or on the telephone. I prefer in-person interviews, but depending on the location, I may not have the funds to travel. In such cases, I would do a phone interview. Each interview would take approximately 1 to 2 hours. There is also a brief questionnaire to fill out providing me with basic demographic data (age, education, etc.) Participation is voluntary. Interviews will be confidential, and the identity of interviewees will be protected in any writing or presentations based on research material. My ultimate goal is to write a book on this topic.

If you are interested in being interviewed or discussing this project with me, please contact me at or call my office at 530-898-5542. This is a private phone line and no one else would hear any message left at that number. If sending an e-mail, please put “Research Project” in the subject line so that your e-mail message will stand out.

Thanks for your interest, and I hope to hear from you,
Janja Lalich, Ph.D.

See my Web site at or

Janja Lalich is author of the following books:
Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships (with Madeleine Tobias) (Bay Tree, 2006)
Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults (University of California Press, 2004)
“Crazy” Therapies: What Are They? Do They Work? (with Margaret Singer) (Jossey-Bass, 1996)
Cults in Our Midst (with Margaret Singer) (Jossey-Bass, 1995)
Captive Hearts, Captive Minds (with Madeleine Tobias) (Hunter House, 1994, now out of print)

And editor of Women Under the Influence: A Study of Women’s Lives in Totalist Groups (a special issue of the Cultic Studies Journal, 1997)

Reader's comments on this article

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from Anti Pro-Bogusness Faction
Sunday, January 27, 2008 - 05:21

Seems rather positive.
(reply to this comment)
from Big Sister
Saturday, January 26, 2008 - 12:48

Janja Lalich has done a lot of great work as a sociologist understanding cults and cult survivors. I've spoken to her also. BTW she is also a cult survivor herself (a political cult, I believe it was).
(reply to this comment)
from rainy
Friday, January 25, 2008 - 19:55

See, that's the kind of request for information I would have been happy to respond to. That's a genuine one, not about making money, sensationalism, or exploiting anyone. I could do that interview and not worry that my face is not going to be synonymous with "sex cult" all over Australia tomorrow. I think I'm too far away to be convenient for her, but if she'd like to interview me, I'm willing.
(reply to this comment)
From rainy
Friday, January 25, 2008, 19:56

Oops...slight mistake in the above paragraph. You know what I meant.(reply to this comment
From Falcon
Saturday, January 26, 2008, 03:45

She'd interview over the phone for those not in the US. If you write her on her contact details, she'll get in touch with you.(reply to this comment

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