Janja Lalich, Ph.D. is a researcher, author, and educator specializing in cults and extremist groups, with a particular focus on charismatic relationships, political and other social movements, ideology and social control, and issues of gender and sexuality. She has been a consultant to educational, mental health, business, media, and legal professionals, as well as having worked with current members, former members, and families of members of controversial groups.
A former Fulbright scholar, Dr. Lalich is Professor Emerita of Sociology at California State University, Chico, wherein 2007 she was awarded the Professional Achievement Honor. Also, Dr. Lalich is the founder and director of the Center for Research on Influence and Control. She received a B.A. with Honors from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has a Master’s in Human Development and a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California.
Dr. Lalich has written and lectured extensively and is author, co-author, or editor of numerous books, articles, and chapters. Her most recent book is Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships (Bay Tree Publishing, 2006), a fully revised and expanded edition of her first book, Captive Hearts, Captive Minds, which has been the number-one book used by former cult members and their friends and families to better understand cult experiences and their consequences.