Noted sociologist and cult expert Ronald M. Enroth passed away in February

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Cult News has learned that noted cult scholar, sociologist and cult expert Dr. Ronald M. Enroth passed away in early February. He was 84 and retired living in Volcano, Hawaii.

Ronald Enroth, Ph.D.

Dr. Enroth was born in 1938 in New Jersey and graduated from Houghton College in New York before attending the University of Kentucky, Lexington earning his M.A. in Anthropology and his Ph.D. in the new field of Medical Sociology.

Dr. Enroth is survived by his wife Ruth-Anne whom he married in June of 1960, his daughters, Kara Bettencourt (Jerome), Rebecca Coons (Kevin) and his two grandchildren, Nicolas Coons (Debra) and Taylor Coons (Kent) and his great-grandsons; Isaac, Elliot, and Atlas Coons.

Dr. Enroth moved with his family to Santa Barbara, California in 1965 where he joined the faculty of Westmont College as a professor of Sociology and Anthropology, where he worked for forty-seven years.

A respected scholar in the field of Sociology of Religion and so-called “New Religious Movements,” often called “cults,” he was a popular speaker throughout the United States.

Dr. Enroth was the author of ten books:

The Jesus People with Edward E. Ericson & Calvin B. Peters (Eerdmans, 1972)
The Gay Church with Gerald Jamison (Eerdmans, 1974)
Youth, Brainwashing and the Extremist Cults (Zondervan Publishing House, 1977)
A Guide to Cults & New Religions (editor) (InterVarsity Press, 1983)
Why Cults Succeed Where The Church Fails with J. Gordon Melton (Brethren Press, 1985)
The Lure of the Cults & New Religions (Christian Herald Books, 1979)
Evangelizing the Cults (editor) (Servant Publications, 1990)
Churches That Abuse (Zondervan Publishing House, 1992)
Recovering From Churches That Abuse (Zondervan Publishing House, 1994)
A Guide to New Religious Movements (editor) (InterVarsity Press, 2005)

Some controversy surrounded the publication of his book “Recovering from Churches That Abuse” due to the inclusion of a chapter about “Jesus People USA” (JPUSA) of Chicago. Dr. Enroth exposed abuses within the organization, which many once saw as a seemingly benign ministry.

Dr. Enroth’s willingness to expose abuse wherever he found it was deeply appreciated by many. His diligent research and published writings helped countless cult victims and affected families.

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