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Cult Conversion, Deprogramming, and the Triune Brain

Volume , Number 10, 1, 1992
Geri-Ann Galanti, Ph.D.
California State University
Los Angeles, California

Abstract
This article presents a theoretical analysis of cult conversion and deprogramming based on the model of the triune brain. During participant-observation at a Unification Church training camp, the author found, to her surprise, that her intellect was unaffected; the "brainwashing" affected her emotionally (limbic system). Cult life involves much ritual behavior (R-complex) but de-emphasizes intellectual processes (neocortex). Interviews with deprogrammers indicated that their goal is to get the cultist to see contradictions between cult doctrine and practice in essence, stimulating the neocortex. Thus, cult conversion and deconversion emphasize different parts of the brain.

 

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