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Cults Inside Out: How People Get In and Can Get Out Paperback – October 16, 2014

4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rick Alan Ross is one of the leading experts on cults in the world today. He has consulted with the FBI, the BATF, and various other law enforcement agencies, as well as the governments of Israel and China, on the topic of cults.

He has been qualified and accepted as an expert court witness in eleven different states, including the US federal court. He has also worked as a professional analyst for CBS News, CBC of Canada, and Nippon and Asahi in Japan.

Ross has appeared in thirteen documentaries and numerous network television interviews and has been interviewed and quoted in media all over the world.

He is the founder of the Cult Education Institute, whose website is one of the largest sources of information regarding cults on the Internet. It was originally founded in 1996, but was recently redeveloped as a more modern database. See www.culteducation.com for more information.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 584 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 16, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 149731660X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1497316607
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #420,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael M. Bennett on November 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although we may think of cults as something relegated to the 1970s, the phenomenon of individuals and groups---both large and small---that utilize dangerous techniques and manipulate the psyche and emotions to exercise undue influence over people while promising "enlightenment," true joy," "realize one's true potential," "self awareness," etc., is unfortunately still with us. Self-styled gurus, pop psychotherapists, facilitators, life coaches, and other merchants of snake oil are back in vogue and insidiously penetrating every segment of society. Enter cult expert Rick Ross, who has taken his three decades of experience in the fields of cult busting and exit counseling and distilled it into this compendium. The book serves as both a resource for anyone suffering the effects of a loved one who has been victimized and as a vaccine to prevent infection. Congratulations and thanks are due Ross for this important work.
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In my book " Escape: My Lifelong War Against Cults" I wrote this would probably be the only book one needed to read on the subject of cults. Of course, there is always someone who can write even more information. For those who have an interest in the subject, and more so for those who have a need, i.e., someone close is involved, Rick Ross's "Cults Inside Out" is highly recommended. Rick made education on cults his career move in 1980s and the online Ross Institute is probably the largest stockpile of information on the subject, including history, extraction and healing.
Rick has taken that knowledge and put it into book form which includes a history of public awareness arising in the 1970s in the United States. It's a good book for research and for anyone who needs assistance.
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I read this work of non-fiction as though I were reading a book of fiction, that is, from cover to cover and never once skipping ahead. I consider this book to be the encyclopedia of books about cults, for it addresses every aspect of the world of coercive groups, large and small, both in the national and international arenas. As a Psychotherapist, I will utilize the tenets of Ross's methods of intervention. I wish this book was around when I started out in my field. I may then have been successful in my attempts to alter the misguided thinking of several patients.
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Great book! I have a family member who is falling into the trap of a cult group. It has been causing much confuse and agony to the whole family, including aging parents, loving spouse as well as growing child because he is so obsessed with the group's agenda that family became unimportant in his mind. Over a year, we have been discussing this matter with him but was puzzled by his lacking the ability of reasoning and critical thinking. After reading this book, we finally, understand his behavior and mental status are typical of a brain-washed cult member and the group he is involved is a very true destructive cult. This book taught us to better deal with the problem and keep a better relationship with him. Hopefully we will eventually "wake him up" soon.

If you have loved ones or close friends involved in cult activities, you must know this is something bad to the society. Thank to Mr. Ross for such a well written book.
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Brilliant. I found Rick Ross via Rick Ross Institute online when exiting myself (with little/no support) from a cult. With fear and trembling I wrote out an insane- sounding history of what my life had been. In exchange I received compassionate and remarkably astute psychological assistance from fellow survivors--via the public online forum on the Institute website. I am still recovering, a decade later, and just came across this book. How amazing. In spite of all Mr. Ross and other mavericks have done, there is still so much confusion and misapprehension amongst general public and even trained psychologists--in my experience/ opinion. In a sense--that is the worst part of exiting. The lack of comprehension from people, and the lack of awareness that the damage, trauma lasts so long. Part of me still lives in that world. This book is a remarkable touchstone and a powerful key for healing. It will do untold good for newly exiting survivors and families and friends and people like me, years and years later. You have to exit all the way, not just bits and pieces. Here is a how-to from the best. Deep gratitude, Mr. Ross. And all who help.
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Unfortunately my adult daughter has recently joined an LGAT. This book provided my husband and me with a wealth of knowledge about cult definition, recognition, intervention, and more. Our initial attitude of shock, and dismay, must now be channeled into a proper way to retrieve her from the grasp of this group, while still retaining her trust and love. This book is an encyclopedia of information and could easily be made into a college course. A must read for anyone interested in the field of group peer pressure and how to deal with it.
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Author Ross claims his work with cults spans three decades and has included consulting with thousands of families and cult victims; he's also received death threats, been a target of cyber-warfare. Ross states that 'A personality-driven and defined group dominated by a charismatic leader is the most salient single feature of destructive cults.' Destructive cults chiefly hurt people through some form of exploitation - eg. persuading members to relinquish assets or by profiteering through free labor. There is also person damage done to cult members, both psychologically and emotionally. Many cult groups gain influence and control over their members through a process of increasing isolation and estrangement from mainstream society. The process often includes cutting people off from family and old friends. In the most extreme groups this may be accomplished by relocating members into 'cult compounds.' Some destructive cults have physically hurt people.

Destructive cults are perhaps more plentiful relative to the population in the U.S., possibly because they've defined themselves as 'religions' to obtain special protections and tax-exempt status. Mental health professionals have described some of the leaders as psychopaths and/or deeply disturbed individuals. Within a tightly controlled small cult, there is an almost symbiotic relationship between the leader and his followers. Members of small cult groups typically become largely dependent on the leader to determine the parameters of reality. Exit costs in destructive cults range from financial penalties, relational commitments, and cognitive and emotional dependencies. After the rescue of Elizabeth Smart, Patty Hearst commented that she could easily empathize - 'You come to a point where you believe any lie your abductor has told you.
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