Michael Langone

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Michael D. Langone, Ph.D.
Born 1947[citation needed]
Residence United States
Nationality American
Fields psychology, cults, new religious movements
Institutions International Cultic Studies Association
Known for Recovery from Cults, Cultic Studies Journal, founding editor[1]

Michael D. Langone is an American counseling psychologist who specialises in research about "cultic" groups and psychological manipulation.[2][3] He is executive director of the International Cultic Studies Association[4] and founding editor of the journal Cultic Studies Journal, later the Cultic Studies Review.[1][5][6][7]

Langone is author and co-author of several books and articles. He first joined the International Cultic Studies Association (at that time known as the "American Family Foundation") in 1981.[3]

In 1995 he was honored as visiting scholar at Boston University's Albert and Jessie Danielsen Institute [7][8]


Langdone received a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1979.[7]


Langone writes that cults "need not be religious in nature but may be psychotherapeutic, political, or commercial".[9] He presents three different models for conversion and then describes his own integrative model. The deliberative model states that people are said to join cults primarily because of how they view a particular group. Langone notes that this view is most favored among sociologists and religious scholars, the "psychodynamic model", popular with some mental health professionals, individuals choose to join for fulfillment of subconscious psychological needs, and the "thought reform model" states that people do not join because of their own psychological needs, but because of the group's influence through forms of psychological manipulation.[10]

Langone is a proponent of the theory of mind control. Anson Shupe and Susan Darnell describe the AFF, headed by Michael Langone as offering the most public support for the mind-control theory through its Cultic Studies Journal, a theory that Shupe questions .[11]

Publications and presentations[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Board of Directors". International Cultic Studies Association. ICSA. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Anthony, Dick (1999). Social Justice Research 12 (4): 421–456. doi:10.1023/A:1022081411463. ISSN 0885-7466. 
  3. ^ a b Peter Clarke, ed. (1 March 2004). Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements. Routledge. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-134-49970-0. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Whaley, Monte (22 June 2006). "Lakewood conference to explore cults, hate groups". Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Jamie Cresswell; Bryan Wilson (6 December 2012). New Religious Movements: Challenge and Response. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-63696-9. 
  6. ^ ICSA Periodicals
  7. ^ a b c "Michael D. Langon". Hufffington Post. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Raffaella Di Marzio (19 November 2013). "Michael D. Langone’s Interview". Spiritualità Religioni e Settarismi. Retrieved 2014-09-18. 
  9. ^ Michael D. Langone (1995). Recovery from Cults: Help for Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse. W.W. Norton. p. introduction. ISBN 978-0-393-31321-5. Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  10. ^ Langone, Michael (July 1996). "Clinical Update on Cults". Psychiatric Times XIII (7). 
  11. ^ Anson D. Shupe; William A. Stacey; Susan E. Darnell (2000). Bad Pastors: Clergy Misconduct in Modern America. NYU Press. p. 173. ISBN 978-0-8147-8147-0. 
  12. ^ Langone, Michael D. "Working with cult-affected families.". Psychiatric Annals. 20(4) (Apr 1990): 194-198. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 

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See also[edit]