The Logic, Perpetration, and Outcomes of Coercive Intervention
A considerable literature (popular/academic and/or laudatory/condemnatory) has grown up surrounding deprogramming, a once prolific but now rare practice of forcibly extricating persons from unconventional groups. However, other than images of this vigilante behavior recounted as “atrocity stories” by civil libertarians or “heroic” interventions by supportive anticultists, the violence associated with deprogramming has rarely been sifted for behavioral patterns, nor has deprogramming been examined as violence per se. This chapter, drawing on forty years of case studies, considers deprogramming violence along three axes or typologies: deprogramming agents; facilitating, broker agents; and harms incurred by deprogrammees as a result of this radical intervention tactic.
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