a theory originated by London University psychiatrist William SARGENT in his book Battle for the Mind (1957) to explain CHRISTIAN CONVERSION in the wake of the BILLY GRAHAM CRUSADE. Sargent concentrated on Biblical accounts of CONVERSION and the work of John WESLEY using the theories of PAVLOV to discredit religious experience. When the book first appeared it was attacked by such prominent Christians as the physician-preacher Martin LLOYD-JONES in Conversions
   Psychological and Spiritual (1958) as "extremely dangerous." But in the early 1970s Sargent's ideas were picked up by the American ANTI-CULT MOVEMENT and popularized in such books as Snapping by Flo Conway and Jim Seigelman.

Concise dictionary of Religion. 2012.

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