Carol Giambalvo

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Carol Giambalvo
Nationality United States
Occupation cult consultant, deprogrammer
Organization Cult Awareness Network, reFOCUS, International Cultic Studies Association
Movement Anti-cult
Board member of
International Cultic Studies Association
Spouse(s) Noel Giambalvo

Carol Giambalvo is a retired exit counselor[1][2][3] and deprogrammer[4] who has chaired on the Cult Awareness Network's national board of directors from 1988-91, and also sits on the International Cultic Studies Association's board of directors[1] and heads its Recovery Programs, and is responsible for its outreach program.[1] She cofounded reFOCUS, a US support and referral network for former members of groups she defines as cults. She had been an exit counselor since 1984. Giambalvo contributed to the book Recovery from Cults. With Herbert L. Rosedale she wrote The Boston Movement: Critical Perspectives on the International Churches of Christ.[5]

She got into the profession when her stepdaughter became involved with Iskcon, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.[6]

Erhard Seminars Training[edit]

Carol Giambalvo initially became exposed to what she came to see as cult-like practices through her associations with Werner Erhard and Erhard Seminars Training.

A legal secretary in New York named Carol Giambalvo was typical of these enthusiasts. She signed her enrollment card in the Hunger Project at the end of her est training session in February 1978. Privately she thought that Erhard's grandiose pledge to end hunger within two decades sounded like a bit of a reach, but she was flushed with enough enthusiasm about est to begin signing up others in the antihunger campaign...Carol Giambalvo and her fellow volunteers were careful about what they told new recruits and potential contributors. Although they never bothered to explain that none of the money would be used to feed anyone, they also were intentionally vague about the real purpose of the Hunger Project. That's the way they had been trained by other Hunger Project officials.[7]

Giambalvo and The Hunger Project[edit]

Carol Giambalvo wrote The Hunger Project: Inside out, a critical analysis of the organization The Hunger Project, in December, 1988, based on her own personal involvement as a Hunger Project volunteer as well as numerous other sources. This article originally appeared in the Spiritual Counterfeits Project Journal.[8]

Giambalvo also published the article on her website.[9] After The Hunger Project organization complained to AOL, Giambalvo's website was temporarily shut down. She later agreed to modify the website, and provides copies of the controversial paper upon direct request only.[10]

Giambalvo appeared on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation program the fifth estate, on October 23, 1986, in a documentary on The Hunger Project.[11]



  1. ^ a b c Barker, P.E. 2014. Revisionism and Diversification in New Religious Movements: Ashgate Publishing, Limited.
  2. ^ Baker, A.J.L. 2010. Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties That Bind: W. W. Norton.
  3. ^ Bromley, D.G. 1998. The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements: Praeger.
  4. ^ (notarized) Declaration of John M. Sweeney, Jr. on deprogramming and the Citizens Freedom Foundation. Maricopa County, Arizona. March 17, 1992.
  5. ^ "Carol Giambalvo". ICSA: International Cultic Studies Association. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-12. Carol Giambalvo is an ex-cult member who has been a Thought Reform Consultant since 1984 and a cofounder of reFOCUS, a national support network for former cult members. She is on ICSA’s Board of Directors, Director of ICSA’s Recovery Programs, and is responsible for its Project Outreach. Author of Exit Counseling: A Family Intervention, co-editor of The Boston Movement: Critical Perspectives on the International Churches of Christ, and co-author of “Ethical Standards for Thought Reform Consultants,” Ms. Giambalvo has written and lectured extensively on cult-related topics. In 2008 Ms. Giambalvo received ICSA's Margaret T. Singer Award. 
  6. ^ Johnstone, Nick (December 12, 2004). "Beyond Belief". The Observer (London). Retrieved October 24, 2008. 
  7. ^ Pressman, Steven, Outrageous Betrayal: The dark journey of Werner Erhard from est to exile. New York: St Martins Press, 1993. ISBN 0-312-09296-2, pg. 163.
  8. ^ Spiritual Counterfeits Project Journal, Volume 8:1
  9. ^ Carol Giambalvo's Cult Information and Recovery, Giambalvo, Carol, personal website
  10. ^ Cult Information and Recovery Giambalvo, Carol, personal website
  11. ^ Cult Information and Recovery, Giambalvo, Carol, personal website, "Awards" section

External links[edit]