Szimhart, cult information specialist, visits Penn State Berks

Joseph Szimhart head shot
Credit: Provided by Joseph Szimhart

WYOMISSING, Pa. — From the People’s Temple to the Branch Davidians to Heaven’s Gate to NXIVM, cults have held the public’s fascination for decades. So how does an artist become a cult deprogrammer? Joseph Szimhart has been a cult information specialist since 1980. He will discuss his career when he visits Penn State Berks at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20. This event is free and open to the public.

Szimhart is an artist, lecturer, mental health professional and specialist in cult information, intervention, and education. He is the author of a memoir titled "Sante Fe, Bill Tate, and Me: How an Artist Became a Cult Interventionist" and the novel “Mushroom Satori and the Cult Diary.” As a cult information specialist, he provides consultation, education, research, and non-coercive intervention that addresses controversial groups, cults, psychotherapies, or relationships that apply undue influence through manipulation and thought reform techniques.

Penn State Berks reserves the right to limit the photography and/or recording of any program. The permitted or prohibited activities during a particular program will be announced at the beginning of the event and/or included in the printed program. All media requesting interviews and/or access to photograph and/or tape any program must contact the Office of Strategic Communications at 610-396-6053.

This event is sponsored by the Penn State Berks Arts and Lecture series. For more information, contact the Office of Campus Life at 610-396-6076.