"Antisocial Personality Disorder in Cult Leaders"

John Burke, Ph.D., Kaiser Permanente. Published by the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) Excerpt: This article considers evidence for the presence of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) in some cult leaders. Additionally, the influence of antisocial cult leaders on cult members is hypothesized to be associated with the emergence of dependent personality disorder (DPD) in some cult members." read more


To learn more about ICSA, the psychological manipulation and abuse in cultic groups or to find help for you or a loved one, please visit the ICSA website.

Below are just a few links on this subject matter published by ICSA:

Support for Former Cult Members: Former group members usually seek information from us because they are trying to understand their group experience and/or deal with post-group problems. Although getting information on the group in question has utility, it is usually at least as important to understand the processes that underlie group involvements.

Spiritual Safe Haven Network: The Spiritual Safe Haven Network (SSHN) consists of individuals and religious institutions (churches, synagogues, campus religious organizations, etc.) that want to offer those who have experienced spiritual abuse a "safe haven" providing spiritual solace, information, and community.

Workshops: ICSA offers workshops for former members, people born or raised in cultic groups (SGAs - Second-Generation Adults), families, mental health professionals, researchers, and educators.


Special Feature: Human Trafficking from the Office of Justice Programs, National Criminal Justice Reference Service.
"In the United States, some of the most highly vulnerable populations include undocumented workers, runaway and homeless youth, individuals with substance abuse or addiction issues, and low income individuals. However, individuals across all income and education levels can be trafficked.

Trafficking victims don’t always see themselves as victims, often blaming themselves for their situation. This makes discovering this crime more difficult because victims rarely self-report, and the time and resources required to uncover violations can be significant."


"Faces of Human Trafficking" Video Series" from the Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime.
"OVC encourages local organizations to use these resources throughout the year at public awareness, education, and training events to promote and advance the cause of justice for victims of crime. The series is intended to be used for outreach and education efforts of service providers, law enforcement, prosecutors, and others in the community. The series includes information about sex and labor trafficking, multidisciplinary approaches to serving victims of human trafficking, effective victim services, victims' legal needs, and voices of survivors. Accompanying the video series is a discussion guide, four OVC Fact Sheets, and four posters that can be used to augment trainings and generate discussion."


Special Report: Disabilities Among Prison and Jail Inmates, 2011–12 by Jennifer Bronson, Ph.D., and Laura M. Maruschak, BJS Statisticians Marcus Berzofsky, Dr.P.H., RTI International. From the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics - December 2015

In 2011–12, about 3 in 10 state and federal prisoners and 4 in 10 local jail inmates reported having at least one disability. Among prison and jail inmates, females were more likely to report a disability than males (figure 1).
About 40% of females and 31% of males in prison and 49% of females and 39% of males in jail reported a disability.

In this report, disability types include hearing, vision, cognitive, ambulatory, self-care, and independent living, which refers to the ability to navigate daily life schedules, activities, and events without assistance.



Read about the origination of the Forensic Counselor and Criminal Justice Specialist specialty professions and certifications.


Which certification programs offered by the NAFC are nationally accredited through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)? Find out here.


From the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention:

National Girls Initiative
The selected applicant will work collaboratively with OJJDP through a cooperative agreement and will serve as OJJDP's principal technical assistance provider addressing girls and their involvement with the juvenile justice system.
Deadline: March 8, 2016

Program Announcement


Research and Evaluation for the Testing and Interpretation of Physical Evidence in Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories
Deadline: April 6, 2016
The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice is seeking applications for research and evaluation studies to produce practical knowledge that has the potential to improve the examination and interpretation of physical evidence in forensic science laboratories. This program furthers the Department’s mission by sponsoring research to provide objective, independent, evidence-based knowledge and tools to meet the challenges of criminal justice, particularly at the State and local levels.


Research and Evaluation for the Testing and Interpretation of Physical Evidence in Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories
Deadline: April 7, 2016
The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice is seeking proposals for funding to assist in defraying the costs associated with postconviction case review, evidence location, and DNA testing in violent felony cases (as defined by State law) where the results of such testing might show actual innocence. This program furthers the Department’s mission by ensuring the availability of fair and impartial administration of justice to Americans who may have been unjustly convicted.


Special Feature: Stalking from the Office of Justice Programs, National Criminal Justice Reference Service
Stalking is defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • Making unwanted phone calls
  • Sending unsolicited or unwanted letters or emails
  • Following or spying on the victim
  • Showing up at places without a legitimate reason
  • Waiting at places for the victim
  • Leaving unwanted items, presents, or flowers
  • Posting information or spreading rumors about the victim on the internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth

Stalking is a crime in all 50 states and at the federal level, and it can happen to anyone regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, location, or personal associations.

OVC Help Series for Crime Victims



Bullying in Schools: An Overview By Ken Seeley, Martin L. Tombari, Laurie J. Bennett, and Jason B. Dunkle - U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Researchers from the National Center for School Engagement conducted a series of studies to explore the connections between bullying in schools, school attendance and engagement, and academic achievement. This bulletin provides an overview of the OJJDP-funded studies, a summary of the researchers’ findings, and recommendations for policy and practice.


Mental Health Interventions in Cult-Related Cases: Preliminary Investigation of Outcomes by Steve K. Dubrow Eichel, M.S., Linda Dubrow Eichel, M.A., Roberta Cobrin Eisenberg, M.S.W. - Shared from the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) website. Join us for our 2015 Annual Educational & Networking Conference for a Keynote by ICSA President, Dr. Steve Eichel!

Do our interventions work? This question is undoubtedly on the minds of many professional counselors and lay advisors engaged in clinical work with cultists, former cultists, and their families. Since October 1983, the associates of the Re-Entry Therapy, Information and Referral Network (RETIRN) have maintained a record of all face-to-face consultations and subsequent interventions with individuals and families who seek assistance with cult-related problems. Whenever possible, we have followed (and continue to follow) cases after interventions are made in order to determine outcome.

...continue reading. Click here for more articles of interest.


Military Personnel and Veterans

Did you know…if you’re eligible, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may reimburse you for the NAFC certification examination, renewal fees, etc.?
Click here for more information on this and NAFC certifications approved certifications through the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy COOL programs.


New Certifications Available Serving the Forensic Counselor

Certified Forensic Social Worker

Certified Co-Occurring Disorder Specialist

Certified Forensic Interviewer





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The American Academy of Certified Forensic Counselors (AACFC) is the Certification Commission of the National Association of Forensic Counselors.