Book Review: Cults in our Midst by Margaret Thaler Singer

Do you know someone who suffered from cults in our modern culture? Cults in our Midst provides relevant background about cult methodology and cult recovery for survivors.  

Growing up in a religious cult, I felt that I turned my back upon God and religion when I left the group. I assumed my feelings were unique, the judgment of a higher power angered by my desertion. Through reading Cults in Our Midst, I discovered that every cult survivor feels these emotions. It's an inherent psychological repercussion.


I would highly recommend this book to the following groups:


  1. Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals (especially those who work with ex-cult members, do exit counseling, and PTSD therapy)
  2. Ex-cult members (especially those who are several months removed from their cult)
  3. Church Ministers (to assess the ethics in their own strategies for evangelization)
  4. Family and friends of ex-cult members (to provide guidance about loved one's psychological aftereffects)
  5. Those fascinated by cults


This book answers these common questions:


- What is a cult?

- How do cults brainwash members?

- Why and how do people join cults?

- What happens to children within a cult?

- How to leave a cult?


After reading this book, I felt validated in calling my former religious extremist group a cult. Their practices synced up with nearly all of the cult characteristics. My group claimed to be a part of mainstream religion, but their actions and doctrine taught otherwise. I caution those within extremist groups to examine their methodologies carefully. It's not the brain-dead who join cults, but typically the intellectual geniuses. Margaret Thaler Singer delivers on her promises to the reader. Her book is a resourceful tool to recover from religious trauma syndrome.