June 22, 2024
Psychodrama Podcast: The Sociology & Psychology of Cults with Dr. Janja Lalich

Psychodrama Podcast: The Sociology & Psychology of Cults with Dr. Janja Lalich

Note: This episode contains some discussion of cults and sexual abuse.

For our first episode of season 2 we are extremely happy and honored to have Dr. Janja Lalich who is a leading world authority in cults and extremist groups. Dr. Lalich is a former Fulbright scholar, Professor Emerita of Sociology at California State University, Chico, and author of multiple articles and the books in the topic including “Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships” and “Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults.” She has been featured in multiple national and international journalistic outlets including NPR, Meet the Press and the BBC to talk about prominent cults including Heaven’s Gate and recently the NXIVM cult. We spoke with Dr. Lalich about her own experience in a political cult earlier in her life and how it influenced her later research. We could have spent all day speaking with Dr. Lalich about her insights and research about why people stay in cults, parallels between cults and abusive relationships, and differentiating extremist religious and political factions from cults. We concluded with some excellent advice for family and loved ones who may find themselves in a cult. We are very happy to bring you this episode and hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we did recording it.

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Dr. Janja Lalich

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.