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Profile and E-mail Directory

Paul R. Martin, Ph.D.


cult groups,  sects, and new religious movements


Paul R. Martin, Ph.D.

Director, Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center

Web site:
CO Contribution:
Study Indicates Rehab's Benefits
Vol. 9, No.2, 1992
CSJ Contribution:
Post-Cult Symptoms as Measured by the MCMI Before and After Residential Treatment
Cultic Studies Journal, Vol. 9, No. 2
Pseudo-identity and the Treatment of Personality Change in Victims of Captivity and Cults
Cultic Studies Journal, Vol.13, No. 2
Special Collection
Recovery From Cults: A Pastoral/Psychological Dialogue-Personal Accounts of Former Group Members
Overcoming the Bondage of Revictimization: A Rational/Empirical Defense of Thought Reform
Cultic Studies Journal, Vol. 15., No. 2, 1998
Other Contribution:

1999 Conference: Cults, Psychological Manipulation & Society, Minneapolis, MN, May 14-19, 1999

AFF Annual  Conference: Jonestown Memorial,   November 13-15, 1998, Chicago, IL

AFF Annual Conference: Children and Cults May 29 - May 31, 1998 – Philadelphia, PA

Cults: A Clinical and Research Update
Undue Influence Conference,National Institute of Health, January 17, 1997, Bethesda, MD Video Available
Bio: Paul Martin, Ph.D., a former member and leader of The Great Commission, is a psychotherapist and Director of the Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center in Albany, Ohio, a residential rehabilitation center for ex-cult members. Dr. Martin is author of Cult-Proofing Your Kid.
Profile: Dr. Paul Martin Paul Martin (Ph. D., Pittsburgh) is a psychologist in private practice in Athens, OH - where he and his three assistants provide contract psychological services at Echoing Meadows Hospital - and the Executive Director of the Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center, an institution which he founded in 1986 expressly to work with the cult-involved and their families who had begun to ask for his assistance.

Dr. Martin's background and experience especially fit him for diagnosing and treating victims of coercive persuasion and thought reform. He dropped out of graduate school in 1971 and rose to leadership in a Jesus Movement group called "The Blitz" (later known as The Great Commission International). When he eventually questioned the group's cultic qualities to no effect, he left. Like some others, he then went back to school partly to analyze his experience. He did so, and then began helping others to do the same.

Apart from his three degrees in psychology, a year of advanced study of psychopharmacology, and an M.A. in humanities, Dr. Martin counts theological studies at Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City and Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. Dr. Martin was a counselor for the Lutheran Service Society in Pennsylvania, a Senior Research Associate for the University of Pittsburgh's Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, and Executive Director of Kansas City's Cornerstone Religious Foundation, which ministers to area campuses. He was also for five years a member of the department of psychology at western Pennsylvania's Geneva College, where he taught psychology, psychopharmacology, and the biblical basis of behavior.

Dr. Martin recently published "Dispelling the myths: The psychological consequences of cultic involvement" (Christian Research Journal, Winter/Spring 1989, 9-14) and is working on a study entitled "Personality configuration and denial symptoms of recent and past members of cultic organizations." His presentations to professional associations include Self-injury Behavioral Programs at the 2nd Annual Behavior Modification Conference (Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 1986), and Psychological Aspects of Cultic Involvement (Rockford Conference on Discernment and Evangelism, 1989).

Dr. Martin is a member of AFF's Victim Assistance Committee and is helping to develop a post-cult assessment instrument that can help professionals working with cult- leavers who have received no exit counseling or rehabilitation (the vast majority). He is also collaborating with AFF's Michael Langone on a clinical inquiry to determine what cult-related distress looks like, what factors can be identified to predict cult-related damage, and whether or not certain kinds of treatment work.

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