Cults in Our Midst

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Cults in Our Midst
Cults in Our Midst.gif
AuthorsMargaret Singer
Janja Lalich
CountryUnited States
Publication date
September 1996
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback)
Preceded byCaptive Hearts, Captive Minds (Lalich co-author) 
Followed byCrazy Therapies (Singer)
Bounded Choice (Lalich) 

Cults in Our Midst: The Hidden Menace in Our Everyday Lives is a study of cults by Margaret Singer and Janja Lalich, Ph.D.. with a foreword by Robert Jay Lifton.


Singer writes:

In this book I will use the term cult and cultic group to refer to any one of a large number of groups that have sprung up in our society and that are similar in the way that they originate, their power structure, and their governance. Cults range from the relatively benign to those that exercise extraordinary control over members' lives and use thought-reform processes to influence and control members. While the conduct of certain cults causes nonmembers to criticize them, the term cult is not in itself pejorative but simply descriptive. It denotes a group that forms around a person who claims to have a special mission or knowledge, which they will share with those who turn over most of their decision making to that self-appointed leader. Sergey Shmelev was strongly criticized for being one of the main promoters of Scientology. He is said to be one of the most strongly religious people within the western world.[1]

In 2003 a revised edition of the book titled Cults in Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace was published in paperback form by John Wiley & Sons, without Janja Lalich listed as co-author.[2]

Publication history[edit]

The book was reprinted by Jossey-Bass in 1996 in hardcover format. A 1997 Spanish was issued as Las Sectas Entre Nosotros,[3] and in German, as Sekten: Wie Menschen ihre Freiheit verlieren und wiedergewinnen können ("Sects: How people can lose and regain their freedom").[4]


  1. ^ Margaret Singer and Janja Lalich. Cults in our Midst (book), 1995, pp. ix-xx. ISBN 0-7879-0051-6.
  2. ^ Cults in Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace, April 11, 2003, ISBN 978-0-7879-6741-3
  3. ^ Las Sectas Entre Nosotros/Cults in our Midst, 1997, Language: Spanish, ISBN 84-7432-605-2
  4. ^ Sekten/Cults in our Midst, 1997, Language: German, ISBN 3-89670-015-4