International Cultic Studies Association
Founded in 1979, the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is a global network of people concerned about psychological manipulation and abuse in cultic or high-demand groups, alternative movements, and other environments. ICSA is tax-exempt, supports civil liberties, and is not affiliated with any religious or commercial organizations. (See links to the left.)
ICSA is unique in how it brings together former group members, families, helping professionals and researchers.
ICSA’s mission is to apply research and professional perspectives to:
- Help former members of cultic and other high-control environments
- Provide guidance and support to families of people involved in high-control environments
- Educate the public about psychological manipulation and the harmful effects of high-control environments
- Encourage, support, and conduct research to advance understanding of psychological manipulation and high-control environments
- Support helping professionals interested in this area
Liberation Point highly recommends that any and all survivors of cultic abuse and high control groups use the many resources that ICSA has available on their website, at their conferences and in their workshops. To learn more about ICSA, check out their website and their “People Profiles” page.
In 1982, the beginning of our organization, FOCUS, was initiated by a group
of former members who attended conferences of the original Cult Awareness Network (CAN). It was felt that former members needed a place where their experiences could be shared and confirmed in an atmosphere of mutual respect and support.
Pre-conference workshops were created for former members only. Later, a set of by-laws were adopted. In 1994, the Board of Directors moved to incorporate the organization as a not-for-profit and changed the name to reFOCUS.
Our principal liaison organization became the American Family Foundation, now known as the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA). Over the years through the assistance of grant money we were able to provide partial scholarships for former members in need of financial assistance to attend recovery workshops sponsored by ICSA. If you would like to make a donation, it will go directly to fund scholarships to recovery workshops for those former members unable to afford the registration.