The History of Credibility Attacks Against Former Cult Members - 2011-04-17
The total rejection of the 'testimonies' of former members is not social science, and future generations of scholars will look back on this rejection with incredulity. What should matter in the social sciences is that researchers obtain accurate information under ethical circumstances. Regardless of who provides it, social scientists simply should attempt to verify its content by comparing it to information that others provide or that the researchers obtained in other ways -- a process called triangulation. The more that independent sources point to the same facts, the higher the likelihood of the facts being accurate. Rejecting former members' accounts, therefore, without checking them is more than simply bad social science, it actually is ideology.