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Confessions of a Jewish Cultbuster

by Rabbi Shea Hecht

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First published in 1985, Confessions of a Jewish Cultbuster revealed actual case histories of Jewish youngsters rescued from cults, deprogrammed and returned to their families. This completely revised and updated edition contributes new stories while continuing the timeless message of the struggle of young Jews in search of identity amid a myriad of spiritual and emotional snares and smiling enemies. This honest, shocking, and challenging work arms every reader with a practical understanding of how to protect against soul snatchers.

Book contains sensitive information. Intended for those dealing with youngsters at risk from cults.
RABBI SHEA HECHT is a member of a distinguished family of fourth generation American Jews, rabbis, and scholars. He is one of twelve children of the eminent Rabbi Jacob J. Hecht, ob”m, and Rebbitzen Chave Hecht. After several decades as a deprogrammer, Rabbi Shea broadened his focus to directing the multifaceted Jewish educational organization, N.C.F.J.E., and has become a major figure in the field of marriage and family counseling.


  • ITEM #: 6758
  • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • ISBN: 978-1937887-09-4
  • Weight: 1.1500 lbs
  • Binding: Hard Cover / 252 pages

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  • This is a revised reprint from the 1985 edition with many additions.

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    • 6/9/14

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    • Joy

    It starts off discussing cults with various episodes of how R' Hecht or his father helped people break-free and towards the end of the book, R' Hecht ties in intermarriage. The underlying connection is the appreciation of our heritage or lack of it. Here are some preview pages, so you can gauge the style.

    This is a rich book. It contains a wealth of experience and knowledge. It is presented in a clear and interesting manner, with each chapter introducing a different case.

    The philosophical perspectives are easy to understand and absorb. Whether dealing with a brainwashed cult victim or an adult that is caught in a harmful relationship, R' Hecht and his team lays out the facts and helps the individuals get back on track towards a healthy lifestyle.

    I also liked that this book has stories that prove points. Points that a lot of people miss. Like Intermarriage generally does not work, even if it seems to. Or bringing up a child without an appreciation of his Judaism or connection to G-d, will create a void that they will yearn to fill, in whichever way they can.

    Personally, I would say that this book is recommended reading for anyone that:
    has any sort of educational position,
    has any community leadership positions,
    is not sure why intermarriage is so bad,
    thinks cults are an extinct phase,
    is looking for an open-minded book that gives you a clear picture of what is happening to the Jewish nation.

    If you want to remain sheltered or are in denial that cults exist, then don't read this book. R' Hecht goes through details of what members of cults do to prove their loyalty. Many of the examples are not pleasant, such as physically pushing limits or largely deviating from accepted social norms.
    The book also doesn't beat around the bush. If a strategy of a specific cult is to lure potential members with attractive females, that is what it is. If the ideals of a cult are based on something non-ethical, it is also in there.

    This is a serious book. One that is an important read on many levels and enjoyable at the same time.

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