Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi : biography
Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi () is an Israeli professor of psychology at the University of Haifa, Israel. In 1970 Beit-Hallahmi received a PhD in clinical psychology from Michigan State University.
Views on use of "apostasy" as applied to cults/NRMs
Beit-Hallahmi argues that academic supporters of New religious movements are engaged in a rhetoric of advocacy, apologetics and propaganda, and writes that in the cases of cult catastrophes such as Peoples Temple, or Heaven's Gate, accounts by hostile outsiders and detractors have been closer to reality than other accounts, and that in that context statements by ex-members turned out to be more accurate than those of offered by apologists and NRM researchers.Beit-Hallahmi 1997 Beith-Hallahmi, Benjamin Dear Colleagues: Integrity and Suspicion in NRM Research, 1997,
He was one of the two outside reviewers of the APA taskforce on Deceptive and Indirect Techniques of Persuasion and Control report. The rejection memo was accompanied by two letters from external advisers to the APA that reviewed the report (the internal review of the APA was not made public). The letter from Beit-Hallahmi stated amongst other comments that "lacking psychological theory, the report resorts to sensationalism in the style of certain tabloids" and that "the term 'brainwashing' is not a recognized theoretical concept, and is just a sensationalist 'explanation' more suitable to 'cultists' and revival preachers. It should not be used by psychologists, since it does not explain anything", and asked that the report should not be made public., NOTE: hosted on CESNUR website.
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