Eileen Barker, PhD, PhD h.c., FAcSS, FBA, OBE is Professor Emeritus of Sociology with Special Reference to the Study of Religion at the London School of Economics, University of London. Her main research interest is ‘cults’, ‘sects’ and new religious movements, and the social reactions to which they give rise. Since 1989 she has been investigating changes in the religious situation in the post-communist countries of Eastern Europe, and since 2004 she has been regularly visiting the Far East to study religions there.

She has over 400 publications translated into 28 different languages, including 10 sole- authored and edited books, including the award-winning The Making of a Moonie: Brainwashing or Choice? and the HMSO publication New Religious Movements: A Practical Introduction.

In the late 1980s, with the support of the British Government and mainstream Churches, she founded INFORM (www.Inform.ac), an educational charity now based at King’s College, London, which provides information about minority religions that is as accurate, objective and up-to-date as possible. She is a frequent advisor to governments, other official bodies and law-enforcement agencies throughout the world, has made numerous appearances on television and radio, and has been invited to give guest lectures in over 50 countries.

Qualifications & honours