This site contains several hundred book reviews published by International Cultic Studies Association since 1985.  

To access older book reviews, click on the down arrow next to "Book Reviews" in the top navigation.

Lost In the Ark

by Val Agnew

Angel Hill Press. 2022. 315 pages

Reviewed by Elizabeth Burchard

An Assassin in Utopia

by Susan Wels

Simon & Schuster. 2024. 272 pages.

Reviewed by Doug Duncan

Your Brain on Art: How the Arts Transform Us

by Susan Magsamen and Ivy Ross

Random House. 2023. 304 pages.

Reviewed by Nori Muster

How Religion Evolved: And Why It Endures

By Robin Dunbar

Penguin Books. 2022. 356 pages.

Reviewed by Joe Szimhart

The Contraption

By Barton Allen Stewart

Great Whale Books. 2024. 272 pages.

Reviewed by Esther Friedman

Paradise Undone: A Novel of Jonestown

By Annie Dawid1

Inkspot Publishing, 2023. ISBN: 978-1-916708-02-0 (2023, paperback, US, $15.99; 978-1-916708-00-6 (paperback, ex-US); 978-1-916708-01-3, eBook; Kindle (ASIN: B0CKHSZX7X), $6.99). 292 pages.

Reviewed by Joe Szimhart

Undertow: My Escape from the Fundamentalism and Cult Control of The Way International

By Charlene Edge

New Wings Press, LLC, 2017. ISBN-10: ‎ 0997874708; ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0997874709. Paperback, 474 pages, $24.95. Kindle, $8.49.

Reviewed by Bart Stewart

The Bad Cadet: Growing up in the Church of Scientology’s Sea Organization

By Katherine Spallino

Independently published, 2023. ISBN: 979-8-9878162-1-9. Paperback, 334 pages, $14.99, Kindle $9.99,

Reviewed by Joe Szimhart

Respectful, Authentic and Free Relationships

Las Relaciones Respetuosas, Auténticas y Libres 


By José Fernández-Aguado

Célebre Editorial, 2021. ISBN-10: 8412362098; ISBN-13: 978-8412362091.Paperback, Spanish language only, 306 pages, €16.15,  

Reviewed by J. Paul Lennon

Walking Free from the Trauma of Coercive, Cultic and Spiritual Abuse: A Workbook for Recovery and Growth


by Gillie Jenkinson


Routledge, 2023. ISBN-10 1032305878; ISBN-13: 978-1032305875. Paperback,$34.95 list price, Kindle, $19.22.


Reviewed by Nori Muster

How to Become a Cult Leader

Narrated by Peter Dinklage, produced by Citizen Jones/Estuary Films. Netflix release July 28, 2023.

Reviewed by Joseph Szimhart


Misguided: My Jesus Freak Life in a Doomsday Cult

by Perry Bulwer

Reviewed by Nori Muster


New Star Books, 2023. ISBN-10: 1554202051, ISBN-13: 978-1554202058. Paperback, 320 pages, $21.00,

When the World Didn't End

by Guinevere Turner

Reviewed by Bart Stewart


Crown Publishing, 2023. ISBN-10: 0593237595; ISBN-13: 978-0593237595. Hardcover, $28.00 list price. Kindle, $13.99,

Exquisite Torture

by Carrie Buddington

Reviewed by Ron Burks, MA, MDiv, PhD 


CBuddington. 2023. ISBN-13: ‎ 979-8987822111. Paperback 277 pages, $15 (Kindle, $9.99) 

The Gentle Souls Revolution: A secret cult, an open rebellion, and lessons in protecting & honoring your gentle soul 

by Esther Friedman

Reviewed by Lorna Goldberg, LCSW, PsyA


GSR Healing Arts, 2023. ISBN-13: 979-8986231501. Paperback, 195 pages, $15.95. (Kindle, $9.99),

Cult Trip: Inside the world of coercion and control 

by Anke Richter

Reviewed by Joseph Szimhart


HarperCollins Publishers, 2023. ISBN: 978-1775492344, ISBN 10: 1775492346, ebook: $10.99, paperback 352 pages.

Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church 

by Diane Langberg 

Reviewed by Doug Duncan


Brazos Press, 2020, ISBN-10: 1587434385; ISBN-13: 978-1587434389, Paperback, 224 pages, $12.79 (Kindle, $12.15; also available as an Audiobook),

The Sullivanians: Sex, Psychotherapy, and the Wild Life of an American Commune

by Alexander Stille

Reviewed by Joe Szimhart

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2023. ISBN-10: 0374600392, ISBN-13: 978-600396 Paperback, 420 pages (uncorrected proof), Hardcover, 432 pages, $30 (Kindle $14.99), Amazon.