Abusive Controlling Relationships

This is an instructional guide designed to help you use this Web Site effectively

Are you looking for a specific group/person or information about a particular subject?

Step one, use the archives search feature, which is the first box located at the Search page. Type in the name, group or subject you are looking for information about and then click on "search." This search engine will automatically locate any matches throughout The Cult Education Institute primary archive.

Step two, check the Information Archive listings for the group, leader or topic you are looking for information about.

Step three, try looking at Other Groups on File. This is a listing of groups, leaders and/or subjects that are on file, but this information is not yet available on-line at the archive. You may be able to arrange to have such information sent to you by email, phone or fax, but there will be a charge for this service.

Step four, search CultNews for an article that may contain a reference to the information you are looking for. This archive has its own search engine devoted only to articles previously published at Cult News.

Step five, search the Open Forum for mention of that person, group or subject within its discussion log. There are thousands of entries and someone may have brought up the person, group or subject you are interested in learning more about.

Still no results or want to find more information? Move first to the "Links" page and review its listings to see if there is another Web site that might be helpful resource. You might also return to the Search page and use various search engines provided there such as "Google," "Yahoo." There are also other additional resources located at this page that may be helpful in locating information.

How can you determine if a group or leader might be potentially unsafe?

Are you trying to determine if a group or leader is destructive or might pose a possible problem, but can't find anything specific about that group, organization or leader on the Internet? You might try "Warning Signs" as a meaningful list of criteria to evaluate the group, leader or organization that you are concerned about. Many groups and leaders, which may be potentially unsafe, seem to share the same characteristics. Reviewing "Warning Signs" could help you to determine if a group or leader conforms to that pattern.

If You Need Help Now

If you suspect that someone you know is involved with a destructive cult or potentially unsafe group and need help now, go to "Getting Help" where you can begin the process of arranging for an "Intervention." Or, if you are involved in a court case and are considering using an "Expert Witness." The Cult Education Institute also offers educational DVDs that will help you to better understand the subject of destructive cults and abusive controlling relationships.

Basic Questions

What is a cult? Why do people join? What kind of people join cults? These and many more commonly asked questions can be found at a section titled "Frequently Asked Questions."

Mind Control

Are you trying to understand the process of intensive indoctrination used by many groups to gain undue influence? See the section titled "Mind Control." Are you curious how and why some people seemingly give up their individuality and critical thinking within certain groups? "Is this like brainwashing?" See the section titled "Brainwashing?."

There you will find a list of specific criteria developed by the renowned psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton (the definitive authority on "mind control") that can help you to determine if a group, organization or person are actually using "Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism."


Are you struggling to leave a destructive cult or group, or working through a recovery process after breaking away from such an experience? See the section titled "Recovery." Here you can find constructive advice from leading experts in the field, such as educator and clinical psychologist Margaret Singer, the preeminent authority concerning cults of the 20th Century.


One of the largest virtual libraries about destructive cults, cults, controversial groups and related subjects on the Internet is available at Books. Here you will find hundreds of reading selections instantly accessible for ordering in partnership with Amazon.com.


"Deprogramming," is a word once commonly used to describe the process of rescuing those involved with destructive cults and radical groups. But this term has often been maligned by cults and their apologists as "kidnapping," "torture" and/or "religious persecution." Here you can review the facts about such interventions and trace the actual "History of Deprogramming."

In this section you can also read why Rick Ross, though once involved in involuntary deprogramming, now only undertakes voluntary interventions with adults, read the "Debate about Deprogramming" to better understand this controversial issue. Also, find interesting reports about some involuntary interventions and subsequent court cases concerning "Deprogramming."

The Cult Education Institute

If you would like to learn more about CEI, or Rick Ross its founder and executive director, just go to About Us and read our Mission Statement, the services provided by CEI and about our Advisory Board.

What's New?

Are you curious what information has been most recently added to this Web site, see "What's New?"for the latest posted material broken down by category.

Help The Cult Education Institute

Would you like to help The Cult Education Institute?

Do you have information that you could provide about a group or leader currently listed? Perhaps you know about one not yet identified? Help CEI by forwarding information.

You can also help by making a tax-deductible donation.

For more information about how you can help see Help CEI.

There are also many potentially helpful books available on related subjects listed at Reading.