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

Shunning and the BITE Model of Mind Control in the Jehovah’s Witnesses

By | 2018-03-22T18:38:08+00:00 March 22nd, 2018|Categories: News and Updates, Blog, Current Events|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Trauma of Being Cut Off: Disfellowshipped While Still Indoctrinated   Unless it has happened to you, it is impossible to describe the pain, confusion and suffering a person endures when they are excommunicated from an authoritarian Bible group like the Watchtower Society. People's entire identities are molded around ideological conformity and dependence on commands from [...]

Errant Belief #5: “He Has the Right to Believe What He Wants to Believe”

By | 2018-03-15T18:12:45+00:00 March 15th, 2018|Categories: Resources and Support, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Right to Believe Anything vs. Reality-Testing   Freedom to believe is only a real freedom if you also have the freedom not to believe.  Having the right to believe something carries with it a presupposition of the right to not believe it, too.  When recruiters deceptively ensnare people into a closed belief system, it violates informed [...]

Charles Duhigg’s New York Times Podcast: “Change Agent”

By | 2018-03-08T11:20:26+00:00 March 8th, 2018|Categories: Media Reviews, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  Charles Duhigg The "Change Agent" podcast is a five-episode series by The New York Times. It is hosted by Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author of "The Power of Habit" and "Smarter Faster Better."  It uses real-life problems to try and solve a surprising story. (When we worked on the podcast [...]

Errant Belief #4: “He’s an Adult. We Have No Right to Interfere.”

By | 2018-03-01T16:26:42+00:00 March 1st, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Undue Influence Undermines Autonomy It is completely understandable that people might resist any request to help a person who has been unduly influenced. The person might say, "Why should I?  They are an adult.  I don't think it is right to interfere with their decision."  If the person isn't asking for help, why get involved?  Americans [...]

Errant Belief #3: “Why Should I Do Anything? He Says He’s Happy!”

By | 2018-02-22T15:14:24+00:00 February 22nd, 2018|Categories: Resources and Support, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Cult Identity Gail Maeder is on right Members of the Heaven’s Gate cult took turns making videotaped farewell statements that explained why they had decided to leave their “vehicles” behind and commit suicide.  They all said they were happy and claimed that they were exercising their own free will.  They had been told that [...]

The Radicalization of Patty Hearst: Mind Control by the SLA, a Political Cult

By | 2018-02-15T08:28:04+00:00 February 14th, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Radicalization of Patty Hearst: Mind Control by the SLA, a Political Cult CNN describes an alternative narrative to the radicalization of Patricia Hearst CNN has produced a special on the radicalization of Patricia Hearst, based on Jeffrey Toobin's 2016 book, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst  (See my [...]

The Moonies and TM Attempt to Reinvent Themselves

By | 2018-03-02T18:28:48+00:00 February 8th, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

*blog updated March 2, 2018* Both Have Missions to Recruit True Believers to Take Over the World Having exited the Moonies in 1976, following an intervention performed at the request of my family, I have been so grateful to regain my life.  I refer to the group as "the Moonies," because when I was a member, the [...]

Errant Belief #2 “Everything is Mind Control”

By | 2018-02-01T11:11:47+00:00 February 1st, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Errant Belief #2: “Everything is Mind Control” Mind control is everywhere, some people state—in psychotherapy, advertising, education, and the military, for example— so it must be acceptable. When we generalize and say that everything is mind control, all distinctions are lost. No insight is gained. A more productive model is to think in terms of [...]

Errant Belief #1: There’s No Such Thing as Mind Control

By | 2018-01-26T11:11:31+00:00 January 26th, 2018|Categories: Resources and Support, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Refuting Errant Beliefs You will need to know how to address other people’s misconceptions and, eventually, you will have to articulate these issues to the cult member as well. To help prepare you, I have identified ten of the most common fallacies about mind control cults.  Today, I will discuss the first one.  Errant Belief [...]

How Can I Rescue My Child From a Cult?

By | 2018-01-18T15:57:31+00:00 January 18th, 2018|Categories: Resources and Support, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

How Can I Rescue My Child From a Cult? Whether you are looking for help for your son or daughter, your brother or sister, mother or father, or husband or wife, my advice is to do your homework, first.  In the coming weeks, I plan to share the errant beliefs I wrote about in my book, [...]