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Houston, TX
United States

Sharing books, ideas, imagination

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Coercive Persuasion and Gregory Mull

This page discusses the 1986 trial of a lawsuit between Gregory Mull and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, leader of Church Universal and Triumphant. The case raises important and relevant issues such as whether hypnosis and brainwashing can make people act against their will, for example in signing documents. Whether chanting causes hypnosis or brainwashing, and whether prayers can inflict harm or the subject of a lawsuit, and whether raising such questions puts a religion on trial.

The church had sued Gregory in 1981, after which he counter-sued not only the church but also its leaders. He claimed to have been manipulated through coercive persuasion. Details of that trial as well as a discussion of coercive persuasion and “brainwashing” theories and their place in US legal history can be found in the free ebook linked below.

Coercion or Conversion? A Case Study in Religion and the Law: CUT v. Mull v. Prophet 1986 by Erin Prophet

This material accompanies the panel discussion of the trial by Erin Prophet at a presentation at the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) in Dallas, Texas, on July 2, 2016:

Full-length Panel Discussion “Church Universal and Triumphant, Elizabeth Clare Prophet, and the Gregory Mull Trial, a Review of the Coercive Persuasion Model.” Steve Eichel, president of ICSA, and Cathleen Mann, a court-qualified expert, introduce and respond.

Shortened version: Erin Prophet’s ICSA Presentation Only

Scroll down for links to Mull’s correspondence and the trial transcript.

 Elizabeth Clare Prophet and Gregory Mull c. 1980, with Camelot Master Plan, a design that was created by Smith and Williams architects in 1978. The project was never completed but Gregory’s role in working on the project was the subject of the 1986 trial whose details are discussed and included on this page.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet and Gregory Mull c. 1980, with Camelot Master Plan, a design that was created by Smith and Williams architects in 1978. The project was never completed but Gregory’s role in working on the project was the subject of the 1986 trial whose details are discussed and included on this page.