Monthly Archives: April 2016

Prince and the Power of Undue Influence

2018-12-16T20:49:14-04:00April 29th, 2016|Blog, Current Events|

By Micahmedia at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13466179 By now, almost everyone reading has heard the news that Prince has died. Though the exact cause of his death is still unknown, there have been speculations that his beliefs as a Jehovah's Witness may have played a part. Whether or not the rumors are true, it is a fact that Jehovah's Witnesses are taught to abstain from blood transfusions. If Prince were to have refused treatment and died, he would not be the first to do so as a result of Watchtower doctrine.* One has to wonder though, [...]

Reaching Out: Communicating After Cult Exit

2018-12-16T19:52:42-04:00April 22nd, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

I am often approached by concerned family members of adult cult members who need help. I work with the family by coaching them to use my Strategic Interactive Approach. This involves teaching them how to employ an ethical influence campaign based on compassion, and designed to help the cult member question the group’s leader, doctrine, and policies. If all goes well, the approach works and the cult member “wakes up.” As that happens, they are surrounded by loving people who are educated about all the key issues and ready to help them move on with their life. Family and [...]

Boston Marathon Bombing: Three Years Later

2018-12-13T20:57:27-04:00April 14th, 2016|Blog, Current Events|

Tomorrow is the third anniversary of the infamous Boston Marathon bombing. As an American citizen and a resident of the Boston area, I feel a great sense of sadness when I think about that horrible day. On April 15, 2013 two brothers brought pain to our nation by setting off those bombs. Lives were lost and many were irreparably harmed. Over the past 36 months, Boston has rebuilt and regained a sense of normality. The trial of the surviving Tsernaev brother has ended with a death penalty sentence, and we have kept moving forward. Just like in Boston, two more [...]

WMSCOG: Controversial Doomsday Group Escalates Recruitment Efforts and Files Lawsuit Against Internet Critics

2018-12-16T00:26:17-04:00April 9th, 2016|Blog, Current Events|

The World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG) has been growing exponentially in recent years. The little known group, thought by many, including myself, to be a destructive group is taking to the streets and posting YouTube videos in an effort to recruit even more people into their ranks. I posted a video of a presentation done by a Korean anti-cult activist, Professor Ji-il Tark, on my vimeo.com site at http://vimeo.com/14811127 Amazingly, there has not been a single major media expose done on the group yet, and I am hoping that this blog will motivate a lot of coverage. The [...]

An Expert Responds to the Cult Controversy re: Mormonism

2018-12-16T00:24:31-04:00April 9th, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

Countless times over the past weeks, I’ve been asked: Is Mormonism a cult? My life’s work has been studying the psychology of influence, so that’s a fair question. Since I myself was rescued from the group that calls itself the Unification Church, or the Family Foundation for World Peace and Unification-- aka Moonies-- in 1976, I have helped many people recover from the effects of cults, and assisted their families. I’ve spoken at numerous conferences, consulted with government agencies, and written several books on the subject known as brainwashing, mind control, or destructive influence. First of all, most of [...]

A Cult Expert Reviews the Movie “Martha Marcy May Marlene”

2018-12-16T19:58:30-04:00April 9th, 2016|Blog, Media Reviews|

Last night, I went to see Martha Marcy May Marlene, the new movie about a woman who runs away from a destructive cult. Writer/director Sean Durkin has clearly done his homework. His film gets so much so right. It provides such a clear window into a lot of the psychological themes of cult indoctrination—deceptive recruitment, incremental cognitive-behavioral techniques to inculcate the new cult identity—it was almost painful to watch. At the same time, the film does not go far enough—the behaviors are portrayed but not explained or ever resolved by Martha. As a former cult member myself, I worry [...]

The Disturbing Mainstream Connections of Yogi Bhajan

2019-01-16T16:46:04-04:00April 9th, 2016|Blog, Current Events|

In an article in the Santa Fe Reporter, "Khalsa vs Khalsa," journalist Corey Pein reported on the dramatic schism erupting between the students and family of the late Yogi Bhajan, who are feuding in Oregon courts over control of Bhajan's religious and financial empire. The group's largest company, Akal Security, has reportedly earned billions in contracts relating to U.S. security. There has recently been a debate in the news about the wisdom of outsourcing security contracts to private entities. Looking closely at Bhajan's organization, one can't help but wonder why our government officials have not more thoroughly investigated a [...]

Vulnerable Times: We All Need to Protect Ourselves and Each Other!

2018-12-16T19:53:08-04:00April 9th, 2016|Blog, Current Events, Resources and Support|

This morning’s Boston Globe reads, “An avalanche of worry” and I can’t help but think that there are countless numbers of people whose lives will be negatively and psychologically impacted by these grim economic developments. First of all, former members of totalistic religious groups (who have indoctrinated their members into a fear of Armageddon; Apocalypse; end of the world; end of the Mayan calendar or a zillion more scenarios) typically get “triggered” a bit, and start to wonder, “what if my former group or leader was right?” Perhaps they get out the old Bibles they used in the group, [...]

From Rwanda to Libya: Who’s Calling Whom a Cockroach Now?

2018-12-16T18:56:38-04:00April 9th, 2016|Blog, Current Events|

Recently in the news is political cult leader Muammar Gaddafi calling the Libyan people "cockroaches" -- the very term used by radio hosts to dehumanize Tutsi in Rwanda on the cusp of the hundred-day slaughter in 1994. How could people turn on their friends and neighbors, and murder them? I recently saw a brilliant new documentary film by Adam Mazo called Coexist, which tells the story of victims, perpetrators, and survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, and what they face as they try to rebuild shattered trust in their country. A key theme in the film is the [...]

Beware the “Main Street Bubble” of Multi-Level Marketing Groups Without U.S. Government Protection

2018-12-16T19:44:46-04:00April 9th, 2016|Blog, Current Events, Resources and Support|

Consumers, beware! Guard your minds and your wallets carefully. Quixtar, a former subsidiary of Amway, one of the largest multi-level marketing (MLM) companies in the world, has agreed to a $150 million class action settlement. The settlement points out the serious risks that face consumers who fall for the well-worn pitch that MLM "business opportunities" offer the average person a lucrative "home-based" income opportunity. In tough and uncertain economic times such as these, with the unemployment rate at its highest point in twenty-seven years, life savings lost from collapsing home values and with more Americans receiving food stamps than [...]