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1998 Jonestown Memorial Conference

20 Years After Jonestown: What Have We Learned About Cults

When: November 13-15, 1998
Where: Chicago, Illinois

November 18, 1998 marks the twentieth anniversary of the tragedy in Jonestown, Guyana, in which nearly 1,000 men, women, and children committed suicide or were murdered according to the orders of cult leader, Jim Jones. At that time, only a handful of people knew anything about the destructive groups that were being called cults. AFF had not yet been founded. Since Jonestown, there have been other well-known cult tragedies: the murder/suicides involving the Order of the Solar Temple in Europe and Canada; the conflagration at Waco, Texas; the sarin-gas murders perpetrated by Aum Shinrikyo in Japan, and the Heaven’s Gate suicides in California. Not making the news are the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of individuals who have been psychologically traumatized as a result of a cult affiliation. Unlike twenty years ago, we can today offer a wide range of services and resources to the thousands of individuals and families who seek help from AFF each year. This conference commemorates the memory of the Jonestown victims by looking back to that pivotal event and reflecting upon what we have learned during the past 20 years.

Conference Highlights

Friday Events

Conference Opening
Herbert Rosedale, Esq.

From Jonestown to Heaven’s Gate
Margaret T. Singer, Ph.D.

Helping Families & Ex-Members: What Have We Learned
Michael D. Langone, Ph.D.

Panel: From Deprogramming to Thought Reform Consultation
Carol Giambalvo; Patrick Ryan; Hana Whitfield

Recovery From Cults: What Have We Learned About Psychotherapy & Rehabilitation
Paul R. Martin, Ph.D.

Recollecting Jonestown: Personal Accounts and Commentary
Margaret Singer, Ph.D.; Debra Layton, Jonestown Survivor; Patricia Ryan,daughter of slain congressman Leo J. Ryan.

Saturday Events

Children and Medical Neglect Since Jonestown
Rita Swan, Ph.D. and Andrew Skolnick

Psychological Abuse and Cults
Livia Bardin, M.S.W.

When People Ask About Cults: Secular and Evangelical Responses Craig Branch; Carol Giambalvo; Patrick Ryan; Marty Butz, M.Div.; Paul Carden; Moderator; Dr. Michael Langone

Psychology, Theology, and Cults
Paul Martin, Ph.D.; Lois Svoboda, M.D.; Craig Branch; Moderator: Paul Carden

Cults and the Law Since Jonestown
Herbert Rosedale, Esq., with discussants

Sunday Events

Family Workshop
Livia Bardin; Patrick Ryan; Hana Whitfield

Former Group Members Workshop
Carol Giambalvo
; Joe Kelly

Educators Workshop
Patrick Ryan

Mental Health Professionals Workshop
Michael Langone, Ph.D
.; Jerry Whitfield; David Clark

Private Conversations With Experts (Optional)
Between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. on Sunday AFF will offer, as resources permit, private conversations (up to 25 minutes) with selected experts presenting at this conference. More information will be given out during the conference.

Supporting Our Work

If you can’t make this conference, please consider sending a donation so AFF can continue to help cult victims and their families. AFF is a tax-exempt organization and depends solely upon contributions. Please be generous.

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