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See:  Definitional Issues Collection; Understanding Groups Collection

Views expressed on our Web sites are those of the document's author(s) and are not necessarily shared, endorsed, or recommended by ICSA or any of its directors, staff, or advisors.

Late president of AFF.  See tributes in obituaries below.



Herb Rosedale, 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 him terribly.

We have created a special memorial page for reflections, remembrances, and words of gratitude. 

Here is a brief biographical sketch:

Herbert L. 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 years. 

He represented 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 with people.

He helped 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 Family Foundation).

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 Enterprise Education.

He has 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 China.

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.


CO Contribution:
Rev. Moon and Academe: Inside the Trojan Horse
Vol. 8, No.1,1991
NPR One-Sided on Moon Movement
Vol.11, No.5,1994
CSJ Contribution:

Promises and Illusions: A Commencement AddressCultic Studies Journal, Vol.11. No.2


The Threat to Entrepreneurial Freedom and Initiative Posed by "New Age" Management Training Programs, Cultic Studies Journal, Vol.13, No.2

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






+ AFF News, 02.06: Rosedale, Herb: "Annual Report From the President"
+ AFF News, 03.06: Rosedale, Herb: "Annual Report: Letter From the President"
Langone, Michael, Ph.D.: "On Using the Term "Cult"
Rosedale, Herb: "Legal Analysis of Intent As a Continuum Emphasizing Social Context of Volition"
Rosedale, Herb: "Legal Chapter.pdf"
Rosedale, Herb:  "AFF Statement Mass Wedding of Sun Myung Moon"
Rosedale, Herbert L., Esq.: "Legal Considerations: Regaining Independence and Initiative"
Rosedale, Herbert, Esq.: "Cult Litigation Doesn't Threaten Religion"
Rosedale, Herbert, Esq.: "Women and Cults: A Lawyer's Perspective"
� Rosedale, Herbert L.:  "NPR One-sided on Moon Movement", CO 11-4, 1994
Ω Conference 1997: PA Presenter
Ω Conference 2003 CA: Presenter
√ Child Abuse in Cultic Groups - IP03
√ Giambalvo, Carol: "Boston Movement: Critical Perspectives on the ICC"
√ Video: "Symposium - Theory and Cults: In search of the Perfect Explanation, Sociological Theories, Psychological Manipulation: The Abuse of Women Conference"

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