child of the cult

Child of the Cult
by Nori Muster

Child of the Cult shows the life stories of five people:

Flore A., raised in the Unification Church
Gina C., raised in Transcendental Meditation
Ananda, born and raised in ISKCON
Ann S., born and raised in Aesthetic Realism.
Jane Doe, born and raised in the Children of God

The book offers conclusions on how to deescalate the cult dynamic in society.

Nori Muster has a master's degree in abuse counseling from Western Oregon University and helped to uncover systemic child abuse in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). Child of the Cult is the result of more than twenty years of research.

Child of the Cult
Book Review, by Joe Szimhart

Muster's challenge is to draw attention to an almost insurmountable problem: How do we stop harmful and dangerous cult behavior? How do we prevent folks from joining a deceptive group or dangerous cult? What exactly is a cult? In Muster's view, this seems to be a problem that includes a syndrome that has no established name. We use terms like brainwashed, hypnotized, mind-controlled, conned, duped, deceived, manipulated, influenced, and charmed or enchanted. We add phrases like thought reform, behavioral control, bounded choice, left-handed path, gas lighting, Stockholm syndrome, battered wife syndrome, authoritarian rule, charismatic relationship, and under a spell.

To name is to limit the problem that includes a host of social interactions under religious, secular, martial, political, therapeutic, transcendental, or financial guises. Yet attempts have been made by professionals to define it. Muster parses harmful cults to mean "authoritarian networks that form around dangerous people who portray themselves as spiritual leaders." . . . This book is a good overview of the problem, whatever you want to call it, and a noteworthy plea for society to pay more attention—we ignore dangerous cult activity at our own peril and that of our children.

go to to read the whole review, published in ICSA Today, 4,(1), 2013, 13-15

go to for more about the book reviewer, Joe Szimhart.

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