John Gordon Clark bigraphy, stories - American psychiatrist

John Gordon Clark : biography

1926 - 1999

John 'Jack' Gordon Clark (1926–1999) was a Harvard psychiatrist known for his research on the alleged damaging effects of cults.Dr. John Clark, 73, Psychiatrist was authority on danger of cults, Tom Long, Globe Staff, 10/09/99, The Boston Globe

He was the target of harassment from the Church of Scientology after he testified against it to the Vermont legislature in 1976.John Clark, 73, Psychiatrist Who Studied Sects, New York Times, October 18, 1999, Eric NagourneyThe Church of Scientology objected strongly to Clark's assertions, and the church and Clark battled in court. Clark said the church had engaged in a campaign of harassment against him. In 1988, he settled with the church and received an undisclosed amount of money, but agreed never to discuss the group publicly again.

In 1985, Clark received the Leo J. Ryan Award, named for the California congressman murdered in Jonestown. The Psychiatric Times, when naming him 1991 psychiatrist of the year, described him as "a quiet, courageous man of conviction, who was fighting an all-too-lonely and unappreciated battle against well-financed, ruthless organizations."


  • Leo J. Ryan Award, 1985
  • Psychiatrist of the year, The Psychiatric Times, 1991


  • Testimony of John Clark regarding cults Read on 3 November 1977 by Leo J. Ryan to the United States House of Representatives
  • Clark, John G. Cults. Journal of the American Medical Association. 242, 279-281. 1979
  • Clark, J.G., et al.: Destructive cult conversion. Weston, MA: American Family Foundation. 1981
  • Clark, John G.: On the further study of destructive cultism. In Halperin (ed.), 363-368 1983
  • Langone, Michael D. and John G. Clark, Jr.: New religions and public policy: research implications for social and behavioural scientists Weston (MA.): American Family Foundation 1983
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