Founder and chairperson, INFORM. Board member, CESNUR. Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics. Considered by many observers to be a cult apologist.
Cult apologist Jeffrey K. Hadden's controversial memo was written on behalf of Eileen Barker and David Bromley
On the other hand Mrs. Barker has also sought (in 1998, 11 years after that memo was written) contact with the ICSA -- the International Cultic Studies Assocation.
ICSA supports dialogue and open discussion among all scholars and lay-people interested in, and/or involved with, the study of cults, providing accurate information about cults, and actively helping those who have been victimized by cults.
Over the past 10-15 years, bridges have been built between people who, though perhaps still polarized in their opinions, now at least communicate. The idea is that people do not necessarily have to agree in order to learn from each other.
At the 2013 edition of ICSA's annual conference, Eileen Barker was presented with ICSA's Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors invididuals who have, to an exceptional degree, embodied in their work ICSA's values of openness, courtesy, and dialogue, and who have made academic and/or other exceptional contributions to the filed of cultic studies.
The following information is from Tilman Hausherr's Cult Apologist FAQ, which has not been updated since August, 2002.
The "mother of cult apologists", sometimes named "Camilla" by her critics. A well-known Moonie supporter, teaches at the "London School of Economics". (She teaches sociology, *not* economics!). Claims that INFORM "counsels" people, although no one, not even her supporters has ever been able to detail what this "counselling" is about. In media interviews, she says that the anti-cult movement is the problem.
In 1995 Reverend Thomas Gandow met her in Moscow. He asked her the question she probably hears often: "Eileen, who paid for your trip?". She answered "The Duma". Problem is that all people attending the hearing of the Duma had to pay the cost themselves, foreign experts had not really been planned. (Berliner Dialog 3/95, page 28; the article does not make any allegation about who actually did pay for the trip, but mentions that Moonies were selling her book "New Religious Movements") She spent so much time on the hearing attacking the people disagreeing with her work, that her time was over before she could present her *own* work!
Participated in the filing of an amicus brief in the Molko case "for" the APA/ASA (American Psychological Association / American Sociological Association). Both the APA and the ASA later withdrew their names.
She claimed in 1994 in an interview (The Independent, 9.10.1994) that INFORM is supported by the UK home office; but in her own annual report, she says INFORM is not. I did ask her about this on a mailing list where we both are, she did not respond. According to recent info from a critic, the home office pays £2000.00 for the use of the INFORM library.
Claimed under oath in the Moscow trial against Prof. Alexander Dvorkin that a person can belong simultaneously to scientology, the Moon organization, Krishna, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mormons, CoG, the Local church (Witness Lee), Mother of God center, and the Vissarionites. (Dvorkin had made a booklet partly based on Steve Hassan's "questions for the educated consumer", and was sued by an inter-cult group. He won the lawsuit and it was upheld on appeal)
Source: Cult Apologists FAQ Produced by Tilman Hausherr.
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