Ted Patrick’s anti-cult crusade of the 1970s is at the centre of Deprogrammed. Playing into counter-culture, the 1970s saw the rise of alternative religious and radical communes, such as the Christ Family, Moonies, and the Hare Krishnas. This would lead to Ted “Black Lightning” Patrick to begin helping concerned families by kidnapping cult members and performing controversial “reverse brainwashing” techniques. Whether Patrick’s methods actually worked is open to interpretation.
By definition, a cult is merely a belief system that isn’t widely accepted by the establishment. That said, tragedies such as Jonestown in 1978 proved how dangerous cults can be. Deprogrammed really leaves it up to interpretation whether Ted Patrick’s methods truly helped to recondition cult members back into society. Deprogramming took a hit when cults, particularly Scientology, struck back in the 1980s and it now all but ceases to exist, with remaining deprogrammers now calling themselves exit counsellors, who no longer use Ted Patrick’s methods. Altogether, Deprogrammed is an interesting look at this controversial field.★ ★ ★ ★ | LIKED IT