Herbert L. Rosedale, Esq.
Late president of AFF. See
tributes in obituaries below.
who has been such an important and beloved person to so many of us, died
Tuesday morning, November 4th. He had been diagnosed with cancer in the
spring and did well until late summer.
A few days
before our Connecticut conference (October 17-18, 2003) he had had
tests, the results of which came in during the conference. Those of us
who attended the conference noticed that he was
jaundiced. Nevertheless, with his typical courage and energy, Herb
continued to do what he always does at conferences, talking to as many
people as possible and welcoming new comers. After the conference it
became clear that the cancer had spread to vital organs and his
deterioration was rapid.
We will miss
Here is a brief biographical sketch:
Rosedale, a graduate of Columbia College (1953) and Columbia Law School
(LL.B., Phi Beta Kappa, Columbia Law Review, 1956) and Of Counsel with
Jenkens & Gilchrist Parker Chapin, LLP, was one of the nation's leading
authorities on cults.
He first became
involved in cult issues in the late 1970s, when he assisted citizens
concerned about the Unification Church's ("the Moonies") attempt to buy
a large property in Chappaqua. This was the first of countless pro bono
services that have benefited thousands of people during the past 25
or advised clergy, ex-members, families, professionals, and others
involved in cult-related suits. He spent thousands of hours over the
years advising families, former group members, and helping
professionals, sometimes even going into his office on weekends to meet
former cult members obtain marriage annulments and return of their
property. He was counsel for the New York City Jewish Community
Relations Council Task Force on Cults and Missionaries and the New York
Interfaith Coalition of Concern About Cults.
Since 1988 he
served as president of the American Family Foundation (AFF), the leading
professional research and educational organization in this field. He
wrote papers or chapters for Recovery from Cults (Norton),
Cultic Studies Journal, Cultic Studies Review, and the Cult
Observer. He was co-editor of The Boston Movement: Critical
Perspectives on the International Churches of Christ (American
He has been
interviewed widely by the national and international press and has
spoken to hundreds of lay and professional organizations, including the
American Psychological Association, the New School in New York City,
Columbia University School of Journalism, and the Association of Private
testified to congressional committees.
In 1992 he was
Executive in Residence at the School of Business, Indiana University.
In 1995 he
delivered a commencement address to the graduating class of the State
University of New York's Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome,
"Promises and Illusions" (printed in Cultic Studies Journal, vol.
11, no. 2).
In 2002 he was
a guest lecturer on cult issues at universities and institutions in
A man of
intellect and kindness, he emphasized the need to dialogue with those
who hold different opinions, including members of cultic groups, to
study the phenomenon professionally, to educate people so that they
become more informed consumers in the marketplace of ideas, and to offer
support and assistance to the individuals and families victimized by
psychologically and spiritually abusive groups.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests
that contributions be made either to AFF (American Family Foundation), P.O.
Box 2265, Bonita Springs, FL 34103 or to Temple Beth El of Northern
Westchester, 220 S. Bedford Road, Chappaqua, NY 10514.
- Rev. Moon and Academe: Inside the Trojan Horse
- Vol. 8, No.1,1991
- NPR One-Sided on Moon Movement
- Vol.11, No.5,1994
Promises and Illusions: A
Commencement Address, Cultic Studies Journal, Vol.11. No.2
Threat to Entrepreneurial Freedom and Initiative Posed by "New Age" Management
Training Programs, Cultic Studies Journal, Vol.13, No.2
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