Margaret Singer was a clinical psychologist whose original areas of research included schizophrenia and family therapy, but she is best known for her work on what she claimed were brainwashing and coercive persuasion practiced by New Religious Movements (NRM), or "cults" as she considered them. Singer testifed as an expert witness in numerous trials involving deprogramming of members of NRMs, including members of the Unification Church.
Singer was one of those well-meaning but misguided professionals who came to prominence in the latter part of the twentieth century, at the time when New Religious Movements, including the Unification Church, emerged as a powerful force bringing about a new spiritual awakening in American society. The ignorance regarding such religions on the part of the public, particularly family members of those recruited, rapidly turned to fear with tragedies such as the Jonestown mass suicides of members of Jim Jones' Peoples Temple. To those desperate to save their children from a similar fate, Margaret Singer appeared as a lifeline. Unfortunately, her efforts were misguided, and many suffered at the hands of deprogrammers.
Unification Thought explains that in the providence of restoration, whenever God makes an advance, Satan sets up a pseudo-form ahead of time. Thus, before the American public was able to realize the value of true New Religious Movements, the false Satanic versions had made their appearance. Those such as Jim Jones were influenced by Satan in their activities, resulting in great tragedy. Reverend Sun Myung Moon encouraged his own followers on many occasions that when they met difficulties and resistance, including the opposition of family, friends, and even the courts, that it was typical of the Last Days, and that goodness would triumph in the end. Indeed, Margaret Singer, and those who followed the same path against the spiritual awakening through NRMs, declined into obscurity. Her legacy remains only as an example of how even those trained in the study of human nature can be misled by false accusation.