John Gordon Clark

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John Gordon Clark
Born 1926
United States
Died 1999
Residence United States
Nationality American
Fields psychiatry
Institutions Harvard University
Alma mater Harvard Medical School, M.D.
Macalester College, B.S.
Known for research on cults
Notable awards Psychiatrist of the Year, Psychiatric Times, 1991

John 'Jack' Gordon Clark (1926–1999) was a Harvard psychiatrist known for his research on the alleged damaging effects of cults.[1]

He was the target of harassment from the Church of Scientology after he testified against it to the Vermont legislature in 1976.[2]

In 1985, Clark received the Cult Awareness Network's Leo J. Ryan Award, named for the California congressman murdered in Jonestown. The Psychiatric Times, when naming him 1991 psychiatrist of the year, described him as "a quiet, courageous man of conviction, who was fighting an all-too-lonely and unappreciated battle against well-financed, ruthless organizations."


  • Testimony of John Clark[3] regarding cults Read on 3 November 1977 by Leo J. Ryan to the United States House of Representatives
  • Clark, John G. Cults. Journal of the American Medical Association. 242, 279-281. 1979
  • Clark, J.G., et al.: Destructive cult conversion. Weston, MA: American Family Foundation. 1981
  • Clark, John G.: On the further study of destructive cultism. In Halperin (ed.), 363-368 1983
  • Langone, Michael D. and John G. Clark, Jr.: New religions and public policy: research implications for social and behavioural scientists Weston (MA.): American Family Foundation 1983


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dr. John Clark, 73, Psychiatrist was authority on danger of cults, Tom Long, Globe Staff, 10/09/99, The Boston Globe
  2. ^ John Clark, 73, Psychiatrist Who Studied Sects, New York Times, October 18, 1999, Eric Nagourney
    The Church of Scientology objected strongly to Clark's assertions, and the church and Clark battled in court. Clark said the church had engaged in a campaign of harassment against him. In 1988, he settled with the church and received an undisclosed amount of money, but agreed never to discuss the group publicly again.
  3. ^ Wikisource link to The Effects of Religious Cults on the Health and Welfare of Their Converts. Wikisource.

External links[edit]