Boyle Publishes in Special Edition of Peer-Reviewed Journal

Professor Robin Boyle published an article in a special edition of the International Journal of Coercion, Abuse, and Manipulation, a peer-reviewed journal. The issue focused on NXIVM and Scientology.  

Professor Boyle’s article is titled “Preventing Predatory Alienation by High-Control Groups: The Application of Human Trafficking Laws to Groups Popularly Known as Cults, & Proposed Changes to Laws Regarding Federal Immigration, State Child Marriage, & Undue Influence” (Vol. 1, Issue 2, June 2021).

In the article, Professor Boyle summarizes significant legal development in the United States. First, she highlights that the conviction obtained in the case of United States v. Raniere (E.D.N.Y.) set precedent for future criminal prosecutions against cult-like organizations committing human trafficking and other crimes. Second, Professor Boyle addresses statutory and court-imposed hurdles for asylum-seekers escaping cults from their countries-of-origin. Third, she highlights state statutes that have raised the minimum age for marriage, reducing the number of child brides who are often pressured by cults and high-control groups. Fourth, she advocates reducing the evidentiary burden of proving mental infirmity of the plaintiff in undue influence cases and focusing more on the harm caused by the defendant. Fifth, she brings attention to a bill pending in the New Jersey Legislature, the Predatory Alienation Bill, calling for ongoing public-awareness campaigns, alienation counseling, and other remedies.

The issue is available here.  

Professor Boyle presented developing aspects of this paper at the International Cultic Studies Association’s annual conferences held in Philadelphia, PA (2018) and in Manchester, England (2019); at the Harvard Medical School, Program in Psychiatry & the Law, a think-tank in Boston, MA (2019); and at the St. John’s Law School Faculty Retreat (2020).

Robin Boyle
Professor of Legal Writing