Janja Lalich, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of Sociology, is an international authority on cults, extremism, and coercion. She specializes in self-sealing, or closed, systems (cults, narcissistic relationships, human trafficking, ideological extremism) with a particular focus on recruitment, indoctrination, and methods of influence and control. She has been an avid contributor to the field for more than 30 years through her research, publications, presentations, and social media.
Dr. Lalich is Founder and CEO of the Lalich Center on Cults and Coercion, a 501c3 organization with tax-deductible status. The mission of the Lalich Center is to provide life-saving resources to survivors of cults, programs in the Troubled Teen Industry, and narcissistic families or relationships. The Lalich Center prides itself on its collaborative approach and the ability to provide safe spaces for survivors through courses, workshops, and discussion groups.
She is author of six books, including the now classic, Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships; her theoretical work, Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults; and Escaping Utopia: Growing Up in a Cult, Getting Out and Starting Over. She also co-authored two books with Dr. Margaret Thaler Singer: Cults in Our Midst and “Crazy” Therapies: What Are They? Do They Work?
In addition to working with survivors and their families, she conducts workshops for government agencies, international intelligence agencies, private companies, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations, and leads online psychoeducational courses for trauma survivors and mental-health professionals. She has served as consultant and expert witness in civil and criminal legal cases.