"Introvigne dixit"

A textual comparison between CESNUR's statements and the content of the "APA Memorandum" of 11 May, 1987. 

CESNUR's statements 
"The American Psychological Association (APA) in 1984 allowed Margaret Singer, the main proponent of anti-cult mind control theories, to create a working group called Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Methods of Persuasion and Control (DIMPAC). In 1987 the final report of the DIMPAC Committee was submitted to the Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology of the APA. On May 11, 1987 the Board rejected the report and concluded that the mind control theories, used in order to distinguish "cults" from religions, are not part of accepted psychological science. The results of this document were devastating for mind control theories" 
[Religious Liberty in Western Europe. CESNUR's 1997 report from the press conference held on December 1, 1997 in Washington DC.] 

"In Italy, already in 1981 the Constitutional Court established that 'plagio' [undue psychological influence] does not exist, removing the relevant crime from our penal code. Today therefore, the crime of 'plagio' does not exist any more in Italy, nor can its reintroduction even be imagined. A similar conclusion concerning first and second generation 'brainwashing' theories (the latter do away with the controversial label of 'brainwashing' while keeping its substance under such names as 'mental manipulation' or 'mental destabilization') was reached in 1987 by the authoritative American Psychological Association, which called such theories 'non-scientific'" 
[PierLuigi Zoccatelli, CESNUR's researcher - from a scientific study published on Messaggero di S. Antonio (February, 1997)]

APA's side 


May 11, 1987


TO: Members of the Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Methods of Persuasion and Control (DIMPAC) 

FROM: Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology (BSERP) 

SUBJECT: Final Report of the Task Force 

BSERP thanks the Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Methods of Persuasion and Control for its service but is unable to accept the report of the Task Force. In general, the report lacks the scientific rigor and evenhanded critical approach necessary for APA imprimatur. 

The report was carefully reviewed by two external experts and two members of the Board. They independently agreed on the significant deficiencies in the report. The reviews are enclosed for your information. 

The Board cautions the Task Force members against using their past appointment to imply BSERP or APA support or approval of the positions advocated in the report. BSERP requests that Task Force members not distribute or publicize the report without indicating that the report was unacceptable to the Board. 

Finally, after much consideration, BSERP does not believe that we have sufficient information available to guide us in taking a position on this issue. 

The Board appreciates the difficulty in producing a report in this complex and controversial area, and again thanks the members of the Task Force for their efforts. 


4200 Seventeenth St. N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20036 
(202) 955-7600 

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