Robert Jay Lifton (born May 16, 1926) is an American psychiatrist and author, chiefly known for his studies of the psychological causes and effects of war and political violence and for his theory of thought reform. He was an early proponent of the techniques of psychohistory.Wikipedia:
Steven Alan Hassan (born 1954) is a licensed mental health counselor and a Cult Expert. In 1978 Hassan was one of the first people to develop and do exit counseling, and is the author of three books on the subject of undue influence and destructive cults, and what he describes as their use of mind control, thought reform, and the psychology of influence in order to recruit and retain members.Robert Jay Lifton Interviewed by Steve Hassan on July 13th 2011
Himself a former member of the Unification Church, after spending one year assisting with involuntary deprogrammings, he developed what he describes as his own non-coercive methods for helping members of alleged cults to leave their groups. He also developed therapeutic approaches for counseling former members in order to help them overcome the purported effects of cult membership.