Steven Hassan

About Steven Hassan

Steven Hassan is one of the foremost authorities on undue influence (mind control) and controlling groups and individuals. He understands the subject from the unique perspective as both a former cult member and as a clinical professional who has been working full-time in the field since 1976.Steven is the Founding Director of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center, a coaching, consulting, and training organization dedicated to supporting individuals to have the freedom to think clearly and to freely consider how they want to live their lives. Steven pioneered a breakthrough method called the Strategic Interactive Approach (SIA), an effective and legal alternative for families to help cult members. The SIA teaches family and friends how to strategically influence the individual involved in the cult.He is the author of Combating Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best Selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults (1988, 1990, 2015), Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves (2000) and Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults & Beliefs (2012, 2013). He is also the Co-Developer of Ending the Game, a non-coercive curriculum designed to educate and empower sex trafficking victims to leave pimps and traffickers. Steven provides training workshops and seminars for mental health professionals, educators, and law enforcement officers worldwide, as well as for families of cult members. He writes and speaks out about the importance of viewing ISIS/Daesh and other terrorist groups as destructive cults.
Freedom of Mind is the most important freedom

Freedom of Mind: Index of Blogs

By |2018-07-19T14:51:12+00:00July 19th, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

June 19, 2018 I try to blog every week with updates about my work, research, current events, high control groups, coercive control, media and other topics.  I have written pieces on U.S. politics, world news, child abuse, human trafficking, terrorism, undue influence, multi-level marketing, and healing and recovery.  Whether you are new to Freedom of Mind [...]

Freedom of Mind Resource Center: Mid-Year Update 2018

By |2018-07-12T12:38:24+00:00July 12th, 2018|Categories: News and Updates, Blog, Current Events|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Steven Hassan speaking at 2018 ICSA conference July 12, 2018, 2018 ICSA Annual Conference Last week, I was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and gave a talk on the Freedom of Mind Approach to helping people raised in cults and dysfunctional families at the 2018 annual ICSA conference. The theme of the conference was "The global [...]

Dr. Philip Zimbardo’s 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE): A Response to Critics

By |2018-07-04T07:48:05+00:00July 3rd, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dr. Zimbardo photographed for his Heroic Imagination Project.Credit: Ferne Millen Photography July 2, 2018: At this moment, there appears to be a media attack on the reputation of Dr. Philip Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus of Stanford University and former president of the American Psychological Association. Indeed, there seems to be a broader attack on the [...]

A Response to Academics Who Say There Is No Undue Influence in Destructive Cults

By |2018-06-28T14:03:37+00:00June 28th, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

June 28, 2018 This Influence Continuum graphic describes my model for evaluating influence–from the healthy to the unhealthy. My BITE model offers a list of concerning practices that represent unhealthy mind control: Behavior, Information, Thought and Emotional control designed to create dependent and obedient slaves to a person or ideology. One example of many is the lack [...]

Errant Belief #10: “We Have Lost Hope”

By |2018-06-21T11:48:14+00:00June 21st, 2018|Categories: Resources and Support, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Have a Positive Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Not a Negative One   In my opinion, giving up hope is a dysfunctional coping mechanism to deal with the pain. Unfortunately, it suggests incorrectly that there is nothing constructive that can be done.  If family members and friends no longer believe that the person will reestablish contact (if they have [...]

The BITE Model & Mormonism: An Exploration with Ex-Mormon John Dehlin

By |2018-06-14T11:50:12+00:00June 14th, 2018|Categories: Resources and Support, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

June 14, 2018 Dr. John Dehlin & Mormon Stories Podcast STEVEN HASSAN – WHAT THE MORMON CHURCH CAN LEARN FROM CULTS TO DO/BE BETTER Mormon Stories Podcast 938-939 About a month ago, we received an email from John Dehlin requesting an interview for his podcast Mormon Stories and his Youtube channel.  Frankly, I have been so busy with [...]

Scientific Research Survey to Understand Influence

By |2018-06-19T17:20:20+00:00June 7th, 2018|Categories: News and Updates, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  6-18-2018 Update **This survey is now closed. We thank everyone that participated. We have received 1028 responses out of which 989 are 100% answered, giving us enough data to analyze. ** Please Take Our Scientific Research Survey to Understand Influence in Order to Transform the Legal System! Click this link: Scientific Research Survey on Understanding Influence [...]

Errant Belief #9: “She’ll Walk out on Her Own When She Is Ready”

By |2018-05-31T11:23:15+00:00May 31st, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Is She Really Free to Leave? This attitude presumes that the cult member has the freedom of mind, finances, and the resources to just "leave." The bars are invisible but very real. In my experience, depending on the length of his involvement, the "exit cost" is usually very high to walk out of a high demand group. The [...]

High Control Groups Program Members to Fear Mental Health Help

By |2018-05-24T10:26:24+00:00May 24th, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Mental Health Awareness Month May is Mental Health Awareness Month! I wanted to write this blog on how some high control groups program their members away from mental health help.  This is true, especially in the case of Jehovah's Witnesses,  Scientology, The Moonies, as well as countless other high control Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups. A recent murder-suicide [...]

The Freedom of Mind Approach to Recovery and Healing from Destructive Cults

By |2018-05-17T10:54:18+00:00May 17th, 2018|Categories: Resources and Support, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  The Freedom of Mind approach to recovery and healing from destructive cults is customizable and designed to meet the needs of most any person who has been influenced by a cult. People who were born or raised in a cult have spent their early developmental years under cult control. Other people may have entered into [...]