December 9, 2003 by

Margaret Singer


Categories: Law, Medicine, Writers/Editors

msinger.jpgMargaret Bridget Thaler Singer, a professor, clinical psychologist and cult expert, died on Nov. 23 from respiratory failure. She was 82.
Singer earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Denver. She became an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and conducted several widely known studies on schizophrenia with the National Institute of Mental Health, the U.S. Air Force and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 1953, Singer’s fascination with mind-control techniques grew out of her job as a psychologist at the Walter Reed Institute of Research in Washington, D.C. There she interviewed U.S. soldiers who were brainwashed into making treasonous statements while they were P.O.W.’s in North Korea.
Over the next 40 years, Singer interviewed more than 3,000 cult members and co-wrote “Cults in Our Midst,” with sociologist and former cult member, Janja Lalich. Singer testified at more than 200 trials, including the 1976 bank robbery trial of newspaper heiress Patty Hearst, and several trials against the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.
Singer won the Hofheimer Prize and the Dean Award from the American College of Psychiatrists. She was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize.

3 Responses to Margaret Singer

  1. Richard Frost

    It seems hopeless fighting cults. Americans have become so ignorant and corrupt; and then there’s the religious fanaticism of the entire Bush family.

  2. Martin Olea

    I was fortunate enough to hear some of Margaret Singers lectures on Telemarketing Schemes and Elder Abuse along with talks on cults at UC. I would see her driving her little station wagon around Berkeley and say to myself “thats an awsome woman.” God Bless Her

  3. sam

    Psychiatrists grossly neglect to point out the potential harm of psychiatric drugs to their patients, such as tardive dyskinesia, tardive dementia, general dulling of awareness, emotional numbing, and cognitive dysfunction.

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