Author Biographies 

Carlos Bardavío Antón, PhD

Carlos Bardavío Antón, Ph.D. in Criminal Law from the University of Seville (cum laude), Managing Partner of the Bardavío Lawyers (Bardavío Abogados) Law Firm. Professor of Criminal Law in the Master´s Degree of Economic Criminal Law and in the Master´s Degree of Business Legal Advice at the International University of La Rioja, Professor of Criminal Law in the Law Degree at ESERP Business School. Master of Criminal Law from the University of Seville. Diploma in Advanced Studies (D.E.A) from the University of Zaragoza. Expert in legal psychology from the University of Columbus, Zaragoza. Graduated in Law from the University of Zaragoza. Expert in criminal organizations and criminal sectarianism. Legal advisor to RedUNE (Association for the Prevention of Sectarianism and Abuse of the Vulnerable) and to RIES (Iberian-American Association for the Study of Cults). Outstanding publications: in e-book format, ´Cults in Criminal Law: a dogmatic study of sectarian crimes´ (Las sectas en Derecho penal: estudio dogmático de los delitos sectarios), Penal Collection no. 7, J.M. Bosch Editor, Barcelona, 2020. Shop/Product/Details/35095_las-sectas-enderecho-penal?

Robin Boyle-Laisure, JD

Robin Boyle-Laisure, JD, Professor of Legal Writing at St. John’s University School of Law, lectures on topics concerning cults and the law. Her articles include "Staying Safe: Observing Warning Signs of a Dangerous Liaison" with Andrea Laisure (ICSA Today, 2017), “Employing Trafficking Laws to Capture Elusive Leaders of Destructive Cults” (Oregon Review of International Law, 2016), “Current Status of Federal Law Concerning Violent Crimes Against Women and Children: Implications for Cult Victims” (Cultic Studies Review, 2002), “How Children in Cults May Use Emancipation Laws to Free Themselves” (Cultic Studies Journal, 1999), and “Women, the Law, and Cults: Three Avenues of Legal Recourse—New Rape Laws, Violence Against Women Act, and Anti-stalking Laws” (Cultic Studies Journal, 1998). In 2005, she received the Faculty Outstanding Achievement award from the President of St. John’s University, and she is on the Editorial Board of ICSA’s International Journal of Cultic Studies

Linda Dubrow-Marshall, PhD

Dr. Linda Dubrow-Marshall is a clinical and counselling psychologist (HCPC registered) and provides psychotherapy and consultation services to individuals and families who have been affected by coercive control through her private practice RETIRN (the Re-entry Therapy, Information and Referral Network). She developed and co-leads the MSc Psychology of Coercive Control programme with Dr Rod Dubrow-Marshall at the University of Salford (United Kingdom), where she is Head of Psychology. She is the Mental Health Chair for the International Cultic Studies Association.

David Gretz, MEd, EdS

David Gretz, M.Ed./Ed.S. is a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Northern Colorado. His clinical and research interests focus on suicide prevention, military populations, and providing supervision to counselors in training.

Sue Parker Hall

Sue Parker Hall is a relational transactional analyst/psychotherapist who lives in Cornwall in the United Kingdom and offers a psychotherapy service face-to-face and online. She is author of Anger, Rage & Relationship: An Empathic Approach to Anger Management (Routledge, 2008). She delivers professional-development training to psychotherapy and counseling practitioners, face-to-face and online, on the issues of anger, rage, shame, and trauma processing; she also presently is assisting Dr. Gillie Jenkinson at Hope Valley Counselling, to deliver the Certificate in Post-Cult Counselling to qualified therapy practitioners.

Hailee Ingleton, PhD

Dr Hailee Ingleton’s research engages in expression through arts and its’ effects on identity, wellbeing and conflict, and the facilitation of flow through various artistic media. Her experience and interests centre around providing outlets and safe spaces for artistic expression, and discovering new opportunities where the arts can play a role in healing, development, problem solving and community building.

Vicky Karkou, PhD

Professor Vicky Karkou is the Director of the Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing at Edge Hill University and the co-founder of the Arts for the Blues project.  She works across performing arts and health, sharing her time equally between these two subject areas.  She is also co-leading the MSc in Psychotherapy and Counselling: Contemporary Creative Approaches, while traveling widely for teaching and research purposes.  She is widely published in peer-reviewed journals and edited books and is co-editing the international journal Body, Movement, and Dance in Psychotherapy published by Taylor and Francis.    

Maria Kefalogianni, MS

Maria Kefalogianni is a Lecturer in Counselling & Psychotherapy at the University of Salford, UK. She is a module leader and tutor on mindfulness-based modules, Bereavement & Loss module, and the Post Graduate Certificate in Supervision in the Helping Relationships. Besides this, she holds a private psychotherapy practice for young people and adults, as well as offering supervision/consultation to professionals/organisations. Her practice is person-centred and compassion focused with a keen interest in mindfulness and the transpersonal. Her research is around somatic/embodied ways of knowing and the role of arts in therapy and life, and is also currently in training to become a sound healing practitioner. Her self-care is through nature, yoga, dance, and her ongoing spiritual practice.

Stephen A. Kent, PhD

Stephen A. Kent, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of Alberta, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the sociology of religion and the sociology of sectarian groups. He has published articles in numerous sociology and religious study journals. His 2001 book, From Slogans to Mantras: Social Protest and Religious Conversion in the Late Vietnam War Era, was selected by Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2002. In 2012 he received The Margaret Thaler Singer Award for advancing the understanding of coercive persuasion and undue influence from the International Cultic Studies Association.

Kathryn LaFary, MA

Kathryn LaFary, M.A. is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology at the University of Northern Colorado. She conducts research in the areas of childhood trauma and its effects on the prefrontal cortex functions, veteran trauma, and history of psychology. She has been in the Air Force for 19 years as a medic and command and control operations specialist. 

Phil Lord, JD

Phil Lord conducts research at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. His research concerns law and religion, public law, and behavioral economics. He has authored more than a dozen academic articles. 

Joanna Omylinska-Thurston, PhD

Dr Joanna Omylinska-Thurston is a co-founder of Arts for the Blues project. She is an experienced Counselling Psychologist who has been practicing within NHS for over 20 years providing psychological therapy, supervision and placements for Counselling Psychology Trainees at the University of Manchester and the BPS’s Qualification in Counselling Psychology.  She integrates humanistic, cognitive-behavioural and psychodynamic approaches in her work and has worked in learning disabilities, psycho-oncology and mental health.

Ailsa Parsons, PhD

Ailsa Parsons is a chartered Psychologist and creative psychotherapist, who leads the BSc (Hons) Psychology of Sport programme at the University of Salford. In private practice, Ailsa is a humanistic, integrative and holistic practitioner who tailors embodied, somatic and creative approaches to a variety of client groups and problems. Her ongoing PhD by published works has generated published research on Dance Movement Psychotherapy and helpful ingredients in therapy for depression, contributing to the formation and development of Arts for the Blues ( The main thesis of her PhD explores the therapeutic mechanisms of psychological Flow within creative therapies, with clinical and non-clinical implications.

Daniel Phillips, PhD

Daniel Phillips, Ph.D., has taught sociology and criminal justice courses since 1994. He currently serves at Campbellsville University as an instructor of sociology and criminal justice and is the Regional Coordinator for Faculty Development. He earned a Ph.D. in  Sociology in 1997 from Virginia Tech.

Natasha Post Rosow, MSW

Natasha Post Rosow. MSW, graduated from the USC Suzanne Dvorak-Peck School of Social Work in 2017 after a successful 15 year career as a writer and screenwriter. She holds a B.A. from Harvard and an MFA from the University of Texas, Austin. 

Susan Raine, PhD

Susan Raine, PhD, is an Associate Professor at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Canada. She teaches courses on religion, culture, and society; alternative beliefs: the paranormal and conspiracy theories; and deviance and conformity. Her research interests focus primarily on alternative religious movements. She has published on a variety of groups including Scientology, Heaven’s Gate, and the Children of God/the Family. Her research projects have explored a range of themes including self-identity, sexuality, surveillance, and science-fiction narratives and influences. More recently, she has turned her attention to cases of grooming for sexual abuse in a variety of religious and other ideological settings.

Charlie Rosenblum

Charlie Rosenblum, BA recently completed undergraduate programs in Psychology and Criminal Justice. He completed an internship with the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner and is interested in pursuing graduate work in Journalism.

Scott Thurston, PhD

Dr Scott Thurston is a poet, mover and Reader in English and Creative Writing at the University of Salford, UK. He has published fifteen books and chapbooks of poetry, most recently Phrases towards a kinepoetics (Contraband, 2020). Scott is founding co-editor of open access Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry and, since 2004, he has been developing a poetics integrating dance and poetry which has seen him studying with dancers in Berlin and New York and collaborating with dancers Sarie Mairs Slee, Julia Griffin and Gemma Collard-Stokes in the UK.

Richard Turner, MSc

Richard Turner is a counsellor (MBACP reg.) with an MSc in Psychology of Coercive Control from the University of Salford, who supports clients recovering from intense experiences of coercive control in cults and relationships, through his private counselling practice ( He also delivers training about cult psychology and offers advice and guidance for families impacted by cult groups. Alongside this, he teaches counselling at York College and delivers talks and writes articles about his personal experience in a cult and his autism.

Jill Washychyn Payne, MA

Jill Washychyn Payne earned M.A. and B.A. degrees in psychology.  She has conducted research in the areas of eating disorders and college student attrition and has taught undergraduate courses in personality theory and history of psychology.  Her professional experience is in the design and delivery of instruction in the use of software applications.  

Doni Whitsett, PhD, LCSW

Doni Whitsett, PhD, LCSW, MFT, is a Fulbright scholar and a Clinical Professor Emerita of Social Work at the University of Southern California where she taught courses focused on neurobiology, trauma, mental health, and sexuality for over 25 years. As a psychotherapist in private practice she has been working with cult-involved clients and their families for almost 4 decades. She has presented to professional audiences both nationally and internationally in Australia, Canada, France, Poland, and Spain. Published articles focus on neurobiological implications of cult involvement and families and cults (co-authored with Dr. Stephen Kent). Her latest publications include chapters on “A modern psychodynamic approach to working with 1st generation cult survivors” and “Global violence of women in cults.” As an AASECT certified sex therapist Dr. Whitsett was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Scholarship in 2016 to study, teach, and do research on sexuality in China. She is the current guest editor for the special issue on sexuality for the International Journal of Coercion, Abuse, and Manipulation (IJCAM).; (323) 907-2400.

William Douglas Woody, PhD

William Douglas Woody, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychological Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado where he teaches and conducts research in the history of psychology, psychology and law, and teaching of psychology.  He is the recipint of national, regional, and university teaching, mentorship, and research awards.

Darin J. Challacombe, PhD

Dr. Darin Challacombe is a researcher, author, professor, and education professional. He is ScanSTAT Technologies’ Director of Learning and Employee Development, and, as a member of the Human Resources team, he oversees all educational opportunities for the company. He has worked in educational space since 2002. Mr. Challacombe has a Ph.D. in Social Psychology and is on the adjunct faculty team for Fort Hays State University. Prior to ScanSTAT, Mr. Challacombe worked as a grant-writer for a Kansas-based non-profit organization and for the Department of Justice. He serves as the treasurer for the Association of Health Information Outsourcing Services (AHIOS) and as secretary for Global Ties Kansas City, a not-for-profit organization connecting the USA to the world. He is also Associate Editor for the Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression journal.

Steve K. D. Eichel, PhD

Steve K. D. Eichel, Ph.D., ABPP, CST is a licensed and board-certified psychologist who has served as President of the Greater Philadelphia Society of Clinical Hypnosis and of the American Academy of Counseling Psychology. He served as President of the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) from 2012-2021 and is currently on the ICSA Board. He is an Approved Consultant in Clinical Hypnosis with the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and has authored several articles and book chapters on hypnosis and issues related to cultic processes. His “cat credentialing project” gained international attention when he exposed the sham certifications of a number of “lay” hypnosis associations by getting his cat certified as a “hypnotherapist.” As a result, Dr. Eichel has been banned for the rest of his life from attending meetings of the National Guild of Hypnotists. 

Kate Brannum, PhD

Kate Brannum, Ph.D., is the Chair of the Department of Global Security at the American Public University System. Her dissertation focus was compliance with international norms against torture. Her projects have included a study of the relationship between fear, (in)security, and political power in two different contexts. The first focused on vaccine drives in Pakistan; and the second on the relationship between women’s security and community security in two communities, the Mayan community in the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala, and the Quiverfull community in the United States. The results of these studies were two book chapters, “Fear as Currency in Political Actions: Vaccines, Hope and Despair,” co-written with Joseph Campos II, and “Choices of Lesser Importance? Conflicting Values Shaping Perceptions of Community Security & Women’s Health Security. Her recent publications include The Fetish of Peace: The Myth of Transformational Peace with Joseph Campos II and Elena Mastors (2021); “Bomberos, Maestros y Psicólogos: Guatemalan Civil Society Response to the Volcano of Fire Disaster” with Michelle Watts(in press); and “Guatemala 2018: Facing A Constitutional Crossroads (2019).

Nicole K. Drumhiller, PhD

Dr. Nicole K. Drumhiller, PhD, CTM currently serves as the Interim Dean for the School of Security and Global Studies at the American Public University System. She holds degrees in Criminal Justice and Political Science to include a Ph.D. in Political Science with specializations in International Security, International Relations, and Political Psychology from Washington State University. She is a Certified Threat Manager with the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals, is a consultant on biosecurity, and is a co-founder of the IntelHub, an online consortium for intelligence education and research. Her research focuses on looking at groups and leaders in a variety of settings and covers the areas of social psychology, political psychology, intelligence, threat management, and international relations. Dr. Drumhiller has presented her work internationally and her recent

publications include: “Advice, Decision Making, and Leadership in Security Crises (2022);” The Academic-Practitioner Divide in Intelligence Studies with Mark Phythian and Rubén Arcos (2022, Roman & Littlefield); “Physical, then Political Dictator: Bashar al-Assad, President of the Syrian Arab Republic” with Casey Skvorc (2022); “Intimate Partner Violence on Campus: A Victim-Based Case Study” (in press); and “A Deadly Convergence of Medicine and Politics: Hastings Kamuzu

Banda, The Great Lion of Malawi” with Casey Skvorc (In Press). She is a board member with The Lauren McCluskey Foundation, the Operative Intelligence Research Center at École Universitaire

Internationale, Space Education and Strategic Applications journal, and the Global Security and Intelligence Studies journal; she serves on committees at ABSA International and the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress. Dr. Drumhiller also serves as a peer-reviewer for a number of journals including the International Journal for Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, Intelligence and National Security, and the International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence.

Lea Lavy

Lea Lavy is a Doctoral candidate at the University of Alberta. Mrs. Lavy also holds an MBA in Educational Management. From Israel to Nigeria, the United States, Mexico and Canada, Mrs. Lavy has spent the past 30 years teaching students of all ages and levels. The inspiration for her research came while teaching in an ultra orthodox school in Edmonton, Alberta. Having a unique insight into the ultra-Orthodox community as a non-orthodox Jew made her consider different aspects of Judaism, the role(s) that society and leaders (Rabbis), and subsequently, religion, play in the life of individual participants. Mrs. Lavy’s research explores ancient customs, devotional religious practices, and religious norms that lead to fanaticism and sectism, bring the practice of listening to the Rabbi to the extreme. The purpose of her research is to raise awareness to issues of abuse within the Orthodox Jewish community as well as abuses that may result from religious affiliations.

Sarah Lonelodge, PhD

Dr. Sarah Lonelodge is an Assistant Professor of English at Eastern New Mexico University. Her research interests include propaganda’s intersections with religion and/or politics, rhetoric and professional writing, pedagogy in writing studies, and writing program administration. Dr. Lonelodge’s research often centers on Scientology and other new religious movements. Her dissertation focused on an analysis of Scientology’s propaganda strategies as discussed in L. Ron Hubbard’s policy letters and as currently seen on various Scientology websites such as STAND and Freedom Magazine. She has also published a number of articles on Scientology practices and beliefs. Her analysis of Scientology as a pseudo-countercultural movement appeared recently in the Lamar Journal of the Humanities, and her study of Hubbard’s propaganda strategies is forthcoming from the International Journal of Coercion, Abuse, and Manipulation (IJCAM).

Cecilia Hadding, MD, PhD Student 

Cecilia is a licensed physician doing her residency in psychiatry at Norrland University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden. She is also working with her doctoral thesis about former cult members´ experiences and symptoms, with focus on mental health, cultural formulation, and the healthcare meeting at the institution of Clinical Science, unit for Professional Development at Umeå University. She also teaches and supervise medical students at the same department. Cecilia is a member of the International cultic studies (ICSA) research committee and research network. She is driven by an aspiration to do high quality research to help clinicians provide good evidence-based care for former cult members.

Wendy Helmcamp, PhD, LPCS 

Wendy Helmcamp, PhD, LPC-S, is an Assistant Professor of Counseling at Midwestern State University (MSU) in Wichita Falls, Texas. She has a bachelor's degree in English Language Arts from MSU. She was a secondary teacher for three years. Dr. Helmcamp’s master's degree is in counseling from MSU. Her doctorate degree is in Counselor Education and Supervision from Texas Tech University. She worked at a psychiatric hospital for four years on the Child and Adolescent Unit. Dr. Helmcamp was a secondary certified school counselor for 14 years. Her expertise is in child/adolescent counseling and school counseling. Dr. Helmcamp’s research interests include mental health issues in schools, non-suicidal self-injury, online learning, and self-care. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPC-S) in the state of Texas.

Donald J. Netolitzky, PhD, KC

Donald Netolitzky initially studied biology, receiving a Microbiology Ph.D. in 1995. After working as a Department of National Defence biological defence researcher, and a biology and biochemistry college instructor, Donald attended the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, graduating in 2005. In 2007, Donald joined the Alberta Court of King’s Bench as a court legal counsel, and in 2018 became the Complex Litigant Management Counsel for that Court. In that position he assists the Justices and Judges of the Court and Court personnel in the management of and responses to abusive and vexatious litigants and litigation. Alberta appointed Donald as King’s Counsel in 2022. Donald has published numerous peer reviewed articles that document the history, nature, and implications of the pseudolaw phenomenon in Canada. In 2020, Donald completed a LL.M. thesis that is the first statistically valid population study of a Canadian self-represented litigant population: all self-represented litigants who initiated Supreme Court of Canada proceedings in 2017. That investigation has been expanded by seven follow-up quantitative investigation papers that further characterize Canadian appellate litigation and self-represented litigant activities.

Christine M. Sarteschi, PhD, LCSW 

Dr. Christine M. Sarteschi, LCSW is a Professor of Social Work and Criminology and is a fully licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). She researches and teaches courses in behavioral science that cover a wide range of topics including human behavior, mass murder, psychopathy, sovereign citizens, conspiracy theories, and extreme violent crime.


Dr. Sarteschi has an extensive publishing record spanning both scholarly academic papers and those written more broadly for the public. Among other things, she has published two detailed research monographs for SpringerBriefs Psychology, one called “Mass and Serial Murder in America” and the other entitled “Sovereign Citizens: A Psychological and Criminological Analysis.” 

David Griffin, PhD, JD 

David Griffin, PhD, JD, obtained his law degree from Boston University in 2016 and his doctorate in language and communication from Cardiff University in 2022. His PhD thesis, Lexomancy: Law and Magic in the Pseudolegal Writings of the Sovereign Citizen Movement, examined elements of language and power at play in courtroom filings written by members of the Sovereign Citizen conspiracy movement as compared to courtroom filings written by actual attorneys. David’s research interests include the use of language in legal contexts and the semiotics of authority more broadly. David currently lives and works in the United Kingdom, where he is a Research Associate at Cardiff University and a Visiting Lecturer in Linguistics at Roehampton University. 

Windy A. Grendele, PhD 

Dr Windy A. Grendele is a full-time lecturer at Regent College London. She developed specialist knowledge of several areas of Social Psychology, such as group dynamics and social dominance. During her PhD, Windy explored the lived experiences of people shunned from a gated religious community with particular reference to the impact on the individual’s life and the strategies employed to cope with such an event. One important contribution of her research is the Integrated Model of Social Dynamics, and Coercive Power Construct.

Savin Bapir-Tardy, PhD

Dr Savin Bapir-Tardy is a senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton and a chartered Counselling Psychologist. Savin’s clinical and research expertise is on traumatic experiences and community-based violence particularly ‘Honour’ Based Violence (HBV), Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Forced Marriage (FM).

Maya Flax, PhD

Dr Maya Flax is a senior lecturer in University of West London. Her PhD was on hate crime which remains her primary research interest. She has published articles on antisemitism, being shunned from religious communities and Teaching Enhancement. She has recently completed research on bystanders to hate crime and is in the process of carrying out a comparative analysis of religious groups. 

Maike Sälzer, MA

Maike Sälzer (*1995) is a social worker, M.A. in the clinical-therapeutic field. Her main area is child, youth, and family work, in which she already has nine years of professional experience. In her position, she focuses on sex education and support for people who have been sexually abused. 

Johannes Jungbauer, PhD

Johannes Jungbauer (*1964), Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at the Catholic University NRW in Aachen/Germany. As head of the Institute for Health Research and Social Psychiatry, his research focuses on mental health problems in the context of the family. 

Devon Brooks, PhD, MSW

Devon Brooks, PhD, MSW is Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and former Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California, USA. His early scholarship revolved around child welfare services, policy, and outcomes with a focus on foster care and adoption. Over the past few years, his scholarly interests have expanded beyond child welfare. He is currently engaged in research and training related to workforce development, particularly development of intercultural competence and technology competence, among human services professionals. His most recent funded research involved the development and evaluation of a national web-based training curriculum designed to enhance specialized mental health competence and capacity among child welfare and mental health professionals, organizations and systems. 

Pei Yuxin

Dr. PEI Yuxin is an Associate Professor of Department of Sociology &Social Work at Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China. She got her PhD at University of Hong Kong in 2008. Her research interests focus on women’s studies. She is also an expert on gender and sexuality research. She works enthusiastically in the area of sex education, marriage counselling, and women’s economically and intellectually development as a scholar, writer, and columnist. From 2014-2015, she visited University of Southern California as a Fulbright scholar.  She’s been teaching in the U.S., Europe and Japan as a visiting scholar and/or guest lecturer over years.