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Deprogrammer / Cult Intervention Specialist
‘Deprogramming’ refers to a process that reverses alleged brainwashing. It is controversial in that the process is usually started without the voluntary cooperation of the person being deprogrammed. (Initially, the term referred to both voluntary and involuntary intervention. Over time, however, the term came to refer primarily to involuntary intervention).
While Mary Alice Chrnalogar in the past has participated in involuntary deprogramming efforts, she later only employed noncoercive intervention methods.
That said, in 2006 Ms. Chrnalogar was in the news in relation to a kidnapping case in Canada:
A Hamilton charismatic evangelical Christian group at the centre of a kidnapping case denies it is a religious cult.
Hamilton police have charged members of a Milton family with abduction after an alleged attempt to deprogram a family member who joined the Dominion Christian Centre (DCC) on Park Street North three years ago.
Police say the woman was snatched from Park Street near the church just before Christmas and held 10 days before she was able to escape. Investigators say her family believes she was the victim of a cult.
Pastor Peter Rigo, a former painter and decorator who founded the downtown DCC six years ago, says a well known American deprogrammer was brought to Halton to try to talk the family member into leaving the group.
“They brought in cult deprogrammer Mary Alice Chrnalogar. They flew her in from the States,” Rigo said.
Chrnalogar, a Tennessee-based intervention consultant, is the author of Twisted Scriptures: A Path to Freedom from Abusive Churches.
“I didn’t come up there to take part in anything, I did come up there and talked to the family,” Chrnalogar told The Spectator in a phone interview yesterday.
– Source: Family members charged with kidnapping in alleged effort to deprogram ‘cult’ victim, The Hamilton Spectator, Canada
Aug. 31, 2006
Mary Alice Chrnalogar, a U.S.-based consultant who has overseen scores of anti-cult interventions and written a handbook to assist families in breaking free from extremist religious groups, says she deplores the fact that this Ontario family has been charged for doing what they believed was best for their daughter.
“Nothing matters when your kid is in trouble. If I had a kid in a cult and was in the same place, I would do exactly the same as them,” she said from her home in Tennessee. “This is a family that could be just like anyone else. The Canadian public should demand that they drop these charges — don’t put these poor parents through anything else.”
She says she spoke with the family about intervention strategies, and even spoke with the woman at the centre of the alleged abduction, but she insists that she has nothing to do with involuntary deprogramming attempts. (Ms. Chrnalogar was among a group of prominent deprogrammers who became embroiled in nasty legal battles with Church of Scientology members, among others, over the lengths to which families could go in reclaiming their kin.)
– Source: Kidnapping or rescuing daughter? Court case pits family against what they allege is a cult, National Post, via CHTV Hamilton, Canada, Sep. 25, 2006
According to her LinkedIn profile, Mary Alice Chralogar (now Mary Alice Crapo) is no longer involved in cult intervention consultation.
A Christian, Chrnalogar is the author of, “Twisted Scriptures : A Path to Freedom from Abusive Churches.” It is an excellent book, and one of only a few such books that the publishers of Apologetics Index consistently recommend to people who have been hurt in cults and/or abusive churches.
Leaders of many religious groups (even including several mainstream churches) are twisting the Scriptures to subtly coerce cooperation from their members. In the process, personalities are changed and lives ruined. Mary Alice Chrnalogar is a deprogrammer with an international reputation. Chrnalogar reveals how classic mind control techniques are used to systematically seduce followers into total obedience. Twisted Scriptures: A Path To Freedom From Abusive Churches shows readers how to tell when churches are suppressing freedom of speech, intimidating followers, and distorting the Bible. Twisted Scriptures is invaluable as a self-help guide and as a tool for families and friends to free loved ones from destructive groups.
– Source: Midwest Book Review, as cited at Amazon.com