ICSA 2024

Stop Mandated Shunning at ICSA Annual Conference


July 2-7, 2024, the vibrant city of Barcelona hosted the Annual International Conference of the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA). This event stands as a beacon of hope and a platform for change, bringing together experts, survivors, families, and advocates from around the world who are united in their commitment to addressing the harms of high-control environments and psychological manipulation. Among the distinguished participants this year was our dedicated team from Stop Mandated Shunning, who announced an ambitious and crucial research project in collaboration with the University of Roehampton London.

Who We Are

Stop Mandated Shunning is a non-profit organization with a clear and compelling mission: to bring an end to the practice of mandated shunning worldwide. This insidious policy, employed by high-control religious groups including the Exclusive Brethren, Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Church of Scientology, Ultra-Orthodox Jews, Amish, and the Bahá’í Faith, inflicts severe psychological and emotional harm on individuals and families. Our goal is to highlight the scope and impact of mandated shunning. Our focus is to garner support and drive legislative change to criminalize this practice globally.

Representatives of Stop Mandated Shunning attending the ICSA conference in Barcelona

Our Research Project

In our quest to document and combat the injuries of mandated shunning, we have partnered with the University of Roehampton London to conduct an extensive quantitative and qualitative research project. This three-year endeavor, to be funded at $100,000 per year, has the goal of providing a robust, data-driven understanding of the prevalence and consequences of mandated shunning. By meticulously gathering and analyzing data, we will equip our legal teams with the evidence needed to advocate for the criminalization of mandated shunning in countries worldwide.

ICSA Conference Presentation

We were honored to participate in the 2024 ICSA Annual International Conference, a gathering renowned for its depth of knowledge and commitment to exposing high-control environments. Two PhD researchers from the University of Roehampton, Dr Savin Bapir-Tardy and Dr Windy Grendele represented Stop Mandated Shunning at the conference. They will be commencing the three-year research project and will present the study’s purpose and scope to the esteemed attendees.

Patrick Haeck, Stop Mandated Shunning

On July 6 at 3 PM, Stop Mandated Shunning’s Patrick Haeck introduced the research initiative at the ICSA conference. Our comprehensive 1.5-hour presentation focused on the project’s objectives, highlighting the severe harm caused by mandated shunning. Moreover, we are seeking partnership and support from the global network of professionals, survivors, and advocates present at the conference.

Patrick Haeck’s presentation to the ICSA conference

About ICSA

Founded in 1979, the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is a global network dedicated to addressing the issues of psychological manipulation and abuse in cultic and high-control environments. ICSA’s mission is to provide information, education, advocacy, and support to those affected by such groups and relationships. The association is grounded in ethical principles, research-based knowledge, and a commitment to education, serving as a professional and inclusive resource for survivors, families, professionals, researchers, and the public.

ICSA’s annual conference is a cornerstone event that alternates between Europe and North America, attracting a diverse group of speakers and attendees who share a commitment to advancing understanding and support in the fields of cultic studies and coercive control. The conference provides a unique opportunity for networking, learning, and collaboration, fostering an environment where ideas can be exchanged, and new initiatives can be launched.

Our Goals at the Conference

At the ICSA conference, our primary goals were to:

Raise awareness. By presenting our research project, we are striving to raise awareness about the practice of mandated shunning and its devastating effects on individuals and families.

Garner support by building alliances with the attendees, including researchers, professionals, and survivors, who can contribute valuable insights and assistance to our cause.

Foster collaboration with other organizations and individuals who are working towards similar goals, building a stronger, united front against mandated shunning and high-control practices.

Advance research by sharing our research objectives and methodologies. We are focussing a light on the inhumane practice of mandated shunning and encouraging further research in this critical area.


The 2024 ICSA Annual International Conference in Barcelona represented a pivotal moment for Stop Mandated Shunning. It provided a platform to share our ambitious research project, seek support, and build alliances with a global network dedicated to combating the harms of high-control environments. Together, we can make significant strides towards ending the practice of mandated shunning and ensuring a safer, more inclusive world for all.

For more information about our organization and our efforts, and to support our cause, please visit stopmandatedshunning.org. Join us in our mission to bring an end to mandated shunning and support the individuals and families affected by this harmful practice.