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.
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.
Below are links to the trial transcript:
Many of the letters between Gregory and the church were included in the trial transcript. Most of them can be found in the files below: