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February 8, 1980


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1980;243(6):513. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300320011003

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To the Editor.—  I read the report by John G. Clark, Jr, MD (242:279, 1979), on cults, and I want to say he has done an excellent job condensing a vast, complex subject into a clear, short presentation.Several points should be reiterated, however, so "when friends or patients ask about" cults, these will be emphasized.

  1. Families who need help and advice relating to cults generally seek it from their minister, psychiatrist, attorney, or friends. Such advice, however well intentioned, is apt to be erroneous and even harmful. The fact

is that few ministers, psychiatrists, or others know the cults well enough to advise on the subject.
  1. Cult members almost never leave the cult voluntarily. It is therefore unwise to adopt a wait-and-see attitude in hopes that their involvement is a passing fad that in time they will outgrow.

  2. Cult members can be rescued and rehabilitated by