Margaret Thaler Singer
Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and Emeritus Adjunct Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. In her career, she counseled and interviewed more than 3,000 current and former cult members and their relatives and friends. An expert on post-traumatic stress as well as cults, she lectured widely in the United States and abroad. Dr. Singer died in 2003 at age 82.
In the forward to her book Cults in our Midst, published
by Jossey-Bass, Inc., Robert Jay Lifton states:
Margaret Thaler Singer stands alone in her extraordinary knowledge
of the psychology of cults.... Since history, like individual life, is
forward-moving, the returns are never quite in. Much of the unease in
our present world has to do with a struggle between protean and fundamentalist
tendencies, as epitomized in the bizarre \"death sentence\" applied
to the writer Salmon Rushdie by the Islamic fundamentalist Ayatollah Khomeini.
Much that Margaret Singer writes in \"Cults in our Midst\" echoes
this struggle. We do well to learn all we can from her hard-won experience
on preserving the freedom of the mind.