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Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change, 2nd Edition Paperback – January 1, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0964765009 ISBN-10: 0964765004 Edition: 2nd

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Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change, 2nd Edition + Combatting Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best-selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults + Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Stillpoint Press, Inc.; 2nd edition (1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964765004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964765009
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,078,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In this expanded edition of the 1978 original, Conway and Siegelman continue their study of the altering of the American psyche, which has led to the rise of religious cults, super Christian sects, private citizen militias, and other phenomena that dominate today's headlines. Probably more timely now than when first published, this is an important title for academic and public libraries.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Scientific American

Explores the way cults and other factors are causing people to give themselves over to those like David Koresh of Waco infamy, or becoming walking time bombs like Timothy McVeigh, the alleged perpetrator of the Oklahoma bombing...a powerful look at a social phenomenon that is making headlines.

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Customer Reviews

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Very disturbing, but extremely insightful.
K. Gossett
It is one of the best books on what happens to people in cults, and other situations that cause sudden personality changes.
B. N. Morgan
The authors did an amazing job of presenting their research and ideas in a clear, concise and insightful manner.
J.J.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 60 people found the following review helpful By New Age of Barbarism on June 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book provides an analysis of the techniques used by cults and certain "self help" agencies to alter the personality of the client. It presents a model, using catastrophe theory, in which the person is driven to a snapping point. After this snap, the personality is drastically changed, and often it requires another snap to rectify the situation. The theory presented here is very interesting. The cases discussed include those annoying cults and "self help" groups which roam college campuses (and its good to see that the authors do not bend to political correctness and include some of the more popular groups). In addition, the effects of stress are discussed in industrial settings. And, the governments royal botch-job at Waco is examined. Personally, I consider some of the "cult deprogrammers" as heroes who have tried to uphold a person's fundamental right to freedom of thought, against the sway of politicians. The only problem I have with this book is that there never is made a distinction between genuine religious conversion and cult conversion (snapping). I do not know how such a distinction could be made, but perhaps it would be an interesting area for further research.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Understanding this book gives the reader the ability to comprehend why so many people who get into cults will stay despite obvious absurdities associated with the cult experience. The authors demonstrate that the ecstatic/illumination experience so often treasured by spiritual seekers may only be energy releases associated with the mind dealing with high stress. But when that sense of release occurs, people become wide-open to reprogramming. I gave this book to a friend who had a daughter in college who was actively being recruited by one of the more well-known cults, he gave it to her, and she in turn dropped all contact with the followers of the cult. She could see that the ecstatic experience that the cult followers were praising as a reward for all of their hard work and suffering was simply a psychological event.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an excellently reasearched book. All people should be familiar with this information. For people who have been "snapped" in the past, it is healing. For those being enticed to snap, it can be a savior from doing so. For those with friends or loved ones that have snapped it gives insight. For others it gives awareness. My challenge to all therapist is to become educated and/or to further research this phenomenon in great depth.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Neufeld on January 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book looks at a phenomenon that many people are reluctant to admit even happens: sudden transformations in individuals' characters precipitated specifically by the intentional manipulations of others. This book also looks beyond the manipulations of cults and considers other ways in which modern society, by the very nature of the rapid changes it is undergoing, can precipitate "snapping" or sudden personality change. I think the book tries to extrapolate its central thesis too broadly. At time the authors seem to be merely shopping around for ways to make their ideas sound even bigger and more general in their application. I would have preferred if they had maintained a more narrow focus upon cult members only and upon the ways cult members endure "snapping" and thus can sometimes also be "snapped out" of their programming. As a former member of the Unification Church (the "Moonies") I myself endured this kind of sudden transformation. It certainly needs to be taken seriously and not denied. Nevertheless, former cult members will likely find that Steven Hassan's book, "Combatting Cult Mind Control," is more useful than this book in assisting their own personal recovery.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By B. N. Morgan on August 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change is a well written, well researched book about the influences of cults, mind control, thought reform, coercive persuasion and severe pressure.

It explains well what causes people to 'snap', and it also explains how snapping is brought about in cult situations.

In addition, the book offers some hope for getting people out of these unethically influenced states of mind in the cases of cults, 'human potential' organisations, and 'self help' seminars.

Many 'human potential' organisations, and 'self help' seminars use similar methods to those employed by cults. Beware. Research them well through the Internet and through people who have done these courses beforehand. Too many sad stories are available on the 'net about the negative influence of such organisations. Not all of them are bad, but do the research beforehand.

Many of these courses promises breakthroughs. Sadly, the moment of breakthrough is often actually the moment of breakdown.

This book will give readers an understanding of sudden personality change and being educated about it is the first step to being able to do something about it if, as in my case, you have had a loved one subjected to these unethical practices.

Believe me, it is a frightening and hurtful experience. For me, it has been going on for a year. For others, sometimes it has gone on for decades.

Also, if you are interested in Jim Jones, Jonestown, and the People's Temple or David Koresh, the Branch Davidians, and the Waco tragedy, this book offers a good breakdown of what happened.

I highly recommend it. It is one of the best books on what happens to people in cults, and other situations that cause sudden personality changes.
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