There is just one book that comes close to filling the need articulated by The Anticult. Unfortunately, this book is written for practitioners and academics.
What is needed--Hello!!!!--would be something aimed at intelligent busy laypersons.
And the proposed book should list situations where you're at high risk of being targeted for recruitment into someone's exploitative cult and how to tell this is so and how to get away, and avoid being scooped into the net.
*Your boss brings in a 'consultant' or pressures you to attend mandatory attitude adjustment weekends where you have to sign release of liability paperwork (see below) and use a jargon ridden terminology.
*Anything where seats are jammed together and you are required to hand over your watch, your telephone, your laptop and cannot communicate with the outside world.
**MEGA warning if you are bussed to the event and have no ready way of leaving if you decide you dont like it.
*A friend comes home babbling that his or her life has been changed and bugs you to go off for a seminar and refuses to tell you what will be done to you
*You are told you are being negative if the alleged healer has no clinical credentials and you ask why that healer found the energy to advertise but didnt use that same energy to go to school and get state tested and licensed and pay liability insurance.
*The 'healer or group requires you sign away your right to sue or mediate for damages in event that they fuck you up. A real therapist never requires you to sign that kind of paperwork. (Thanks Anticult for telling us about this kind of release of liability paperwork)
*You are filmed or recorded and nothing was ever said about that, and nothing was done to offer paperwork promising your confidentiality would be respected. Nor are you offered a place to sit where you wont be captured on film or recorded
Places where recruitment can easily happen
If you are affluent and demonstrate an interest in soicial justice and or Eastern Spirituality.
Areas with a high proportion of potentially affluent and vulnerable people. Elderly people can be easily isolated and emotionally seduced. So can people newly divorced or bereaved. One thing many are not aware of is that crooks can search court records and identify persons who have are heirs of sizeable estates. Property values can be researched, especially if someone has real estate background. You can then be pressured to take out a loan against your own house after you join the group and never imagine that someone in the group researched you and found out you owned that house. People underestimate the extent to which they can be researched.
You are eager to break into art, acting, film. A tyrannical dance instructor or acting teacher or dancing coach may be a front for a cult. (Sharon Gans, Gurdjieff, etc)
You are a student therapist or young physician. You are a high value recruit by entities seeking derivative legitimatcy. Fact check anything and anyone who court you. Ditto if you are a successful owner of a yoga studio.
Soical venues that are anti science and where subjectivity 'Its my experience' reign supreme. The venues and events may not be cultic. But they are set ups where people let their guards down, are trusting and are a Petri dish for cult recruiters)
Yoga related events.
Body work events. Many physical therapists are science based. They are living national treasures. But others follow modalities that overlap with a multitude of subjective cultic milieu wiernesses
*Retreat Centers and wilderness areas. We let our guard down when in nature. Watch out at fluffy fad ridden Buddhist centers where co founders are a little too eager to mush incompatible religions together or have buddies from their encounter group/Human Potential days
*Green events and 'sustainable' events. This stuff is chic and popular today. Cults go with fads.
Health food stores and magazines
*Recommendations from 12 step buddies. The material written by and for 12 step groups, especially AA and Alananon and Narcotics Anonymous (not the same as Narconon--thats a Scientology front)---thats OK. But I have seen a lot of people at 12 step meetings recommending Tolle and Byron Katie to their friends. Anyone who uses a 12 STep group to pimp these millionaires is violating the 12 Traditions. One isnt supposed to proslytize for a religion or political party when in 12 step. Call someone on it if they try to so this to you.
A book for citizens should cover these high risk recruitment venues