International Journal for the Study of New Religions, Vol 6, No 1 (2015)

"Brainwashing" : Diffusion of a Questionable Concept in Legal Systems

Jenny Reichert, James T. Richardson, Rebecca Thomas
Issued Date: 27 Jul 2015

Abstract


The idea that an individual could be manipulated into performing acts “against their will” created a fear of “brainwashing” and, specifically, new religious movements (NRMs). Courts in the United States initially accepted evidence concerning “brainwashing” in cases involving NRMs, and subsequently the term has been applied in situations involving other behaviors labeled as deviant both in the U.S. and other societies. This has generated challenges for legal systems despite the inability of brainwashing-based claims to meet requirements for admissibility as scientific evidence. Brainwashingbased claims have diffused into other areas of the American legal system, including, for example, custody cases involving allegations of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) as well as in cases involving terrorism. This report presents data on how brainwashing has been treated historically in American legal cases and its current uses within that justice system.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/ijsnr.v6i1.22186

References


Anthony, D.


1990. “Religious movements and brainwashing litigation: Evaluating key testimony.” In In Gods We Trust, 2nd ed., edited by T. Robbins and D. Anthony, 295–331. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books.


1996. “Brainwashing and Totalitarian Influence: An Examination of Admissibility Criteria for Testimony in Brainwashing Trials.” Doctoral Dissertation, Graduate Theological Union. Berkeley, CA.


1999. “Pseudoscience and minority religions: An evaluation of the brainwashing theories of Jean-Marie Abgrall.” Social Justice Research 12: 421–456. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1022081411463


———. and T. Robbins.


1992. “Law, social science, and the “brainwashing” exception in the First Amendment.” Behavioral Sciences and the Law 10: 5–29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bsl.2370100103


1995. “Negligence, coercion, and the protection of religious belief.” Journal of Church and State 37: 509–536. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jcs/37.3.509


Bromley, D.G. and E. Breschel.


1992. “General population and elite support for control of new religious movements: Evidence from national survey data.” Behavioral Sciences and the Law 10: 39–52. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bsl.2370100105


———. and J. T. Richardson.


1983. The brainwashing/deprogramming controversy: Sociological, psychological, legal, and historical perspectives. Lewiston, NY: E. Mellen Press.


Cooney, M.


1995. “Evidence as partisanship.” Law and Society Review 28(4): 833–858. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3053999


Conrad, P. and J.W. Schneider.


1992. Deviance and Medicalization: From Badness to Sickness. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.


Dahir, V. B., J. T. Richardson, G. P. Ginsburg, S. I. Gatowski, S. A. Dobbin and M. L. Merlino.


2005. “Judicial application of Daubert to psychological syndrome and profile evidence: A research note.” Psychology, Public Policy, and Law 11(1): 62–82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1076-8971.11.1.62


Davis, W. N.


2003. “Special problems for specialty courts.” ABA Journal 89: 32–37. http://0-search.proquest.com.innopac.library.unr.edu/docview/194371618?accountid=452


Dawson, L.


2009. “The study of new religious movements and the radicalization of home-grown terrorists: Opening a dialogue.” Terrorism and Political Violence 21: 1–21. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09546550903409163


Dobbin, S. and S. Gatowski.


1998. “The social production of rape trauma syndrome as science and as evidence.” In Science in Court, edited by M. Freeman and H. Reece, 125–145. Aldershot: Ashgate.


———., S. A. Gatowski, J. T. Richardson, G. P. Ginsburg, M. L. Merlino and V. Dahir.


2002. “Applying Daubert.” Judicature 85: 244–247.


Fort, J.


1985. “What is ‘brainwashing,’ and who says so?” In Scientific Research and New Religions: Divergent Perspectives, edited by B. Kilbourne, 57–63. San Francisco, CA: American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Gardner, R. A.


1987. The parental alienation syndrome and the differentiation between fabricated and genuine child sex abuse. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.


1992. The parental alienation syndrome: A guide for mental health and legal professionals. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.


2004. “Commentary on Kelly and Johnston’s ‘The alienated child: A reformulation of Parental Alienation Syndrome’.” Family Court Review 42(4): 611–621. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1531244504268711


Gatowski, S., S. Dobbin, J. Richardson, G. Ginsburg, M. Merlino and V. Dahir.


2001. “Asking the gatekeepers: A national survey of judges on judging expert evidence in a post-Daubert world.” Law and Human Behavior 25: 433–458. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1012899030937


———., S. Dobbin, J. T. Richardson, C. Nowlin and G. Ginsburg.


1996. “The diffusion of scientific evidence: A comparative analysis of admissibility standards in Australia, Canada, England, and the United States.” Expert Evidence 4: 1–8.


———, S. Dobbin, J. T. Richardson and G. Ginsburg.


1997. “The globalization of behavioral science evidence about battered women: A theory of production and diffusion.” Behavioral Sciences and the Law 15: 285–305. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-0798(199722/06)15:3%3C285::AID-BSL273%3E3.0.CO;2-G


Ginsburg, G., and J. T. Richardson.


1998. “‘Brainwashing’ evidence in light of Daubert: Science and unpopular religions.” In Law and Science: Current Legal Issues, vol. l., edited by H. Reece, 265–288. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Introvigne, M.


2014. “Advocacy, brainwashing theories, and new religious movements.” Religion 44(2): 303–319. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0048721X.2014.888021


James, G.


1986. “Brainwashing: The myth and the actuality.” Thought 61: 241–257. http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/thought19866125


Johnston, J. R. and J. B. Kelly.


2004. “Rejoinder to Gardner’s “Commentary on Kelly and Johnston’s ‘The alienated child: A reformulation of Parental Alienation Syndrome’.” Family Court Review 42(4): 622–628. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1531244504268658


Kelly, J. B. and J. R. Johnston.


2001. “The alienated child: A reformulation of Parental Alienation Syndrome.” Family Court Review 39(3): 249–266. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.174-1617.2001.tb00609.x


Lifton, R. J.


1961. Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of “Brainwashing” in China. New York: Norton.


1999. Destroying the World in Order to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism. New York: Henry Holt and Company.


McMichael, W.H.


2011. “Special courts help vets regain discipline.” Army Times, February 20. http://www.armytimes.com/article/20110220/NEWS/102200319/Special-courts-help-vets-regain-discipline


Meier, J. S.


2009. “A historical perspective on parental alienation syndrome and parental alienation.” Journal of Child Custody 6: 232–257. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15379410903084681


Melton, J. G.


 “Brainwashing and the cults: The rise and fall of a theory.” http://www.cesnur.org/testi/melton.htm


Oleson. T. and J. T. Richardson.


2007. “The confluence of research traditions on terrorism and religion: A social psychological examination.” Psicologia Politica 34: 39–55.


Richardson, J. T.


1991. “Cult/brainwashing cases and the freedom of religion.” Journal of Church and State 33: 55–74. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jcs/33.1.55


1992. “Public opinion and the tax evasion trial of Reverend Moon.” Behavioral Sciences and the Law 10: 53–64. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bsl.2370100106


1993. “A social psychological critique of “brainwashing” claims about recruitment to new religions.” In The handbook of cults and sects in America, edited by J. Hadden and D. Bromley, 75–97. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.


1994. “Dramatic changes in American expert evidence law: From Frye to Daubert.” The Judicial Review 2(1): 13–36.


1995. “Legal status of minority religions in the United States.” Social Compass 42: 249–264. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/003776895042002008


1996. “‘Brainwashing’ claims and minority religions outside the United States: Cultural diffusion of a questionable concept in the legal arena.” Brigham Young University Law Review 873–904.


1997. “Sociology and the new religions: ‘Brainwashing’ the courts, and religious freedom.” In Witnessing for sociology, edited by P. Jenkins and S. Kroll Smith, 115–134. New York: Praeger.


1998a. “Accidental expert.” Nova Religio 2: 31–43. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/nr.1998.2.1.31


1998b. “Apostates, whistleblowers, law and social control.” In The politics of religious apostasy: The role of the apostates in the transformation of religious movements, edited by D. G. Bromley, 171–189. Westport: Praeger Publishers.


2000. “Discretion and discrimination in legal cases involving controversial religious groups and allegations of ritual abuse.” In Law and religion, edited by R. Ahdar, 111–132. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.


2011. “Deprogramming: From private self-help to governmental organized repression.” Crime, Law, and Social Change 55: 321–336. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10611-011-9286-5


2014. “‘Brainwashing’ as forensic evidence.” In Handbook of forensic sociology and psychology, edited by S. J. Morewitz and M. L. Goldstein, 77–85. New York: Springer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7178-3_5


———. and G. P. Ginsburg.


1996. “The production and diffusion of scientific evidence: theoretical issues and hypotheses.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Law and Society Association, Glasgow, Scotland, July.


———., G. P. Ginsburg, S. A. Gatowski and S. A. Dobbin.


1995. “The problems of applying Daubert to psychological syndrome evidence.” Judicature 79: 10–16.


———. and M. Introvigne.


2001. “Brainwashing theories in European Parliamentary and Administrative reports on ‘cults’ and ‘sects’.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 40: 143–168. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0021-8294.00046


2007. “New religious movements, countermovements, moral panics, and the media.” In Teaching New Religious Movements, edited by D. Bromley, 91–111. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


———. and B. Kilbourne.


1983. “Classical and contemporary applications of brainwashing models: A comparison and critique.” In The brainwashing/deprogramming controversy: Sociological, psychological, legal and historical perspectives, edited by. D. G. Bromley and J. T. Richardson, 29–45. New York: Edwin Mellen.


———., B. Kilbourne and B. van Driel.


1989. “Alternative religions and economic individualism.” In Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, edited by. M. Lynn and D. Moberg, 33–56. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.


———. and T. Robbins.


2010. “Monitoring and surveillance of religious groups in the United States.” In Handbook of church and state in the United States, edited by D. Davis, Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195326246.003.0013


———. and M. Stewart.


2004. “Medicalization and Regulation of Deviant Religions: An Application of Conrad and Schneider’s Model.” In Regulating religion: Case studies from around the globe, edited by J. T. Richardson, 507–534. New York: Kluwer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-9094-5_32


———. and R. Thomas.


2002. Brainwashing in court: An update. Center for Studies on New Religions, Salt Lake City, UT.


———., J. van der Lans and F. Derks.


1986. “Leaving and labeling: Voluntary and coerced disaffiliation from religious social movements.” Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change 9: 97–126.


Robbins, T. and D. Anthony.


1979. “The sociology of contemporary religious movements.” Annual Review of Sociology 5: 75–89. http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.so.05.080179.000451


Schein, E., I. Schneiner and C. Barker.


1961. Coercive persuasion. New York: Norton.


Sherif, M. and C. W. Sherif.


1967. “Attitude as the individual’s own categories: The social judgment involvement approach to attitude and attitude change.” In Attitude, ego involvement and change, edited by C. W. Sherif and M. Sherif, 105–139. New York: Wiley.


Shupe, A. and D. Bromley.


1980. The New Vigilantes. Sage: Beverly Hills, CA.


Solomon, T.


1983. “Programming and deprogramming the “Moonies”: Social psychology applied.” In The brainwashing/deprogramming controversy, edited by D. Bromley and J. Richardson, 163–181. New York: Edwin Mellen.


Shterin, M. S. and J. T. Richardson.


2000. “Effects of the western anti-cult movement on development of laws concerning religion in post-Communist Russia.” Journal of Church and State 42: 247–271. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jcs/42.2.247


2002. “The Yakunin v. Dworkin trial and the emerging religious pluralism in Russia.” Religion in Eastern Europe 22: 1–38.


Wallerstein, J. S. and J. B. Kelly.


1976. “The effects of parental divorce: Experiences of the child in early latency.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 46: 20–32.


1980. Surviving the break-up: How parents and children cope with divorce. New York: Basic Books. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1939-0025.1976.tb00926.x


Wessinger, C.


1999. How the millennium comes violently: From Jonestown to Heaven’s Gate. New York: Seven Bridges Press.


2000. Millennialism, persecution, & violence: Historical cases. New York: Syracuse University Press.


Wiener, R. L., B. J. Winick, L. S. Georges and A. Castro.


2010. “ testable theory of problem solving courts: Avoiding past empirical and legal failures.” International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 33(5-6): 417–427. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijlp.2010.09.012







Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email: info@equinoxpub.com

Privacy Policy