The North American Anti-Cult Movement

Anson Shupe, David G. Bromley and Susan E. Darnell

in The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780195369649
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The North American Anti-Cult Movement

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  • Alternative Belief Systems



This article examines the structure and development of the anti-cult movement (ACM) through three stages: emergent, expansion/consolidation, and domestic accommodation/international expansion. The emergent stage from the late 1960s to the end of the 1970s, witnessed the initial construction of the countermovement structure and economy, most notably its mind control ideology. During the expansion/consolidation stage of the 1980s, national-level organization was achieved and the countermovement structure and economy were fully developed. The domestic accommodation/international expansion stage that began in the early 1990s has been one in which the ACM has lost its most visible and radical organizational unit. The result has been that movement rhetoric and action has moderated, although the ACM contributed to the implementation of radical control measures in Europe.

Keywords: anti-cult movement; Europe; countermovement structure; mind control ideology

Article.  9293 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Alternative Belief Systems

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