By Debra Van Neste
Dr Cathleen Mann’s passing on November 21, 2020, was more than a loss to her loved ones, it was a loss to the anti-cult community as a whole. She was monolithic. She is survived by her mother and three brothers. She had suffered from her health issues for six years before succumbing to the progression of end-stage renal disease at the age of 64. She was loved by many.
Cathleen Mann, PhD, was a qualified expert witness in 15 states. She had an independent practice in Lakewood, Colorado, where she consulted on hundreds of cases involving cults, undue influence, psychological influences, and related areas. Dr Mann had extensive experience with the expert qualification process. She held a PhD in psychology and a Colorado counselling license since 1994.
Dr Mann was an enigmatic individual with a sharp scientific-analytical mind and a very outspoken personality. She educated lawyers about cults and undue influence and often won cases against cult leaders.
The last six years of her life she helped and was behind the scenes with Thinking Agenda, LLC an organization founded by Dr Mann and I, to educate on cults and undue influence. She agreed to be our expert in cults and our educator. She continued to work on cases, speak and lecture until she passed.
Her MIND model of cults was the last thing she worked on. It was imperative that it becomes her legacy to make people understand about cults and undue influence. I recall her working on it, discussing it, and getting the website up. It is a model that belongs to the public and not to anyone but the public. Thinking Agenda launched it before the pandemic in January and in March of 2020. The series was intended to develop presentations for schools, churches or any groups. Dr Mann left behind a large repository of her work to Thinking Agenda for educational purposes.
Catherine Oxenberg’s interview with Dr Mann was Dr Mann’s favorited piece and collaboration with Thinking Agenda. It was an excellent interview and an opportunity to learn more about her expertise in cults.
Although Dr Mann’s passing is devastating to me personally, her education and ethics will continue to serve as the foundation for Thinking Agenda. Dr Mann will be remembered with love, honor and respect for generations to come as her MIND model flourishes and sprouts the seeds of education, hope and self-awareness. I was honored to have worked with her and we will continue, she will always remain our cult expert and loved by all of us at Thinking Agenda.