Monthly Archives: August 2016

Hitting, Spanking, Paddling and Using Belts to Discipline Children is Harmful

2018-12-16T00:07:25-04:00August 27th, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

In the United States, it is illegal for a prison guard to hit a death row inmate, it is illegal for a military sergeant to hit a private and it is illegal for a man to hit his wife. But, it is legal for an adult to hit a child. In all 50 states, the use of physical punishments on children is legal in the home. In 21 of them, it is still legal to use physical punishment in schools. Children, it seems, are the exception to the rule when it comes to physical assault. I recently shared a link [...]

Roger Ailes, FOX News, Right-Wing Talk Shows, and Undue Influence Techniques

2018-12-16T19:58:04-04:00August 19th, 2016|Blog, Media Reviews|

Fox News channel boss Roger Ailes was recently forced to resign amid allegations of sexual harassment. The suit, filed by Gretchen Carlson, has opened up a window into what was apparently a pervasive work culture of discrimination, intimidation, and harassment. Back in 1996, Roger Ailes teamed up with Rupert Murdoch to create Fox News as a right-wing propaganda juggernaut. Apparently Bill Shine, an insider, will take over but the entertainment/news/right-wing approach will seemingly stay the same. Now there are news reports that Ailes will be involved in coaching Donald Trump in his bid to become President. I recently watched a [...]

New Book on Patty Hearst Falls Short of Understanding Undue Influence

2018-12-16T20:07:36-04:00August 12th, 2016|Blog, Media Reviews|

I recently read a NY Times book review of AMERICAN HEIRESS: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin and listened to an interview done with the author on NPR. Honestly, I was horrified at his lack of knowledge and understanding about undue influence and disagreed 100% with his conclusions. I felt like I was listening to a “cult apologist”- someone hired by cult groups to defend the group and say they are “fine”- for example, G. Gordon Melton flying to Japan after the sarin gas attacks to defend the Aum Shinrikyo [...]

Introducing the Open Minds Foundation

2018-12-16T00:12:10-04:00August 5th, 2016|Blog, News and Updates|

I am pleased to announce the beginning of a new non-profit organization, the Open Minds Foundation (OMF). It is based both in the United States as well as the United Kingdom and will be focused on the issue of Undue Influence. Why is there a need for a new organization, one might ask? Well, the concept, which evolved over the past two years, is that there is a huge need for a trustworthy foundation, composed of former members, professionals, and activists. People recovering from cult indoctrination, domestic violence survivors and even those who escape from trafficking situations all have one [...]