Rick Alan Ross

Rick Alan Ross, Executive Director of the Cult Education Institute (CEI), and author of the book “Cults Inside Out: How People Get In and Can Get Out,” is one of the world’s foremost cult experts. His work began in 1982 when a controversial religious group infiltrated the staff of a Jewish nursing home where Ross’ grandmother was a resident. He brought this to the attention of the director and worked with the organized Jewish community in Phoenix to end the problem. Rick became an instructor for the Phoenix Bureau of Jewish Education and designed a course curriculum about destructive cults, before  becoming a full-time private consultant, lecturer and cult intervention specialist.

Ross’ 2014 book “Cults Inside Out: How People Get In and Can Get Out” is a history of modern cults, along with chapters devoted to defining a destructive cult, “cult brainwashing” and detailed descriptions of how Ross has effectively rescued hundreds of cult victims through family interventions. 

In 2019 Ross testified as a fact witness for the prosecution in one of the highest profile criminal trials of a cult leader in American history, U.S. vs. Keith Raniere. Keith Raniere, leader of NXIVM  was convicted of racketeering and racketeering conspiracy; sex trafficking, attempted sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy; forced labor conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy. Ross was the first cult expert to identify Raniere’s destructive behavior and expose it publicly through the Cult Education Institute website. Raniere sued and harassed Ross for 14 years in a vain attempt to purge such information from the Internet. Raniere’s lawsuit (NXIVM v. Ross) was dismissed before the cult leader was arrested on criminal charges. Rick Ross personally handles hundreds of complaints and inquiries each month. This work has often led to breaking stories both about “cult” abuses and celebrity, political and business involvement with groups often called “cults.” His website CultEducation.com, features educational materials about cults. GQ Magazine has identified “Rick Alan Ross [as] America’s leading cult expert.”

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