Monthly Archives: January 2017

Stereotypical Profile of Cult Members

2018-12-15T21:34:31+00:00January 27th, 2017|Blog, Resources and Support|

A few people have asked me recently what a typical cult member looks like. While every group and individual is unique, there are common patterns for how cult members think, feel, speak, and behave. Check out the BITE Model and the right side of the Influence Continuum graphic.  Cult members become “clones” of the group leaderCult mentality is usually absolutist, simplistic, rigid, and rooted in terms of black-and-white, Us vs. Them, good vs. evil. Rather than examining evidence and then forming beliefs based on that evidence, cult members start with the “answer” and pay much more attention to evidence or [...]

My Appearance on Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, and Other Updates

2018-12-16T21:11:33+00:00January 20th, 2017|Blog, News and Updates|

2017 is off to an exciting start! This Tuesday, January 17th, A&E’s Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath aired a special Reddit AMA show that I taped the week before along with Mike Rinder, Lawrence Wright (who wrote the book Going Clear that became an HBO documentary) and attorney Ray Jeffrey. Ray successfully represented former top FLAG executive Debbie Cook and her husband in a lawsuit brought by Scientology. After Ray put Debbie Cook on the stand in open court and she started recounting the horrific abuse, Scientology wisely dropped the suit and settled for an undisclosed amount of [...]

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

2018-12-16T19:42:13+00:00January 17th, 2017|Blog, Current Events|

Human trafficking is a variation of undue influence. Trafficking rings function as commercial cults, with pimps and traffickers as their cult leaders. They use the same basic methods (outlined in the BITE Model) to recruit, control, and exploit victims. As January is the official National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, I’d like to take a moment to write about how understanding undue influence will better inform efforts to inoculate people against getting recruited by pimps and traffickers, helping victims exit a trafficking ring, and prevent recidivism for survivors of trafficking. “Human Trafficking” refers to both labor trafficking and [...]