About Steven Hassan

Steven Hassan M.Ed. LMHC, NCC (pronounced HASS-en), is an expert on Undue Influence, brainwashing and unethical hypnosis and author of the best-selling book, Combating Cult Mind Control. For over forty years, he has helped thousands of individuals and families recover from undue influence (mind control). With over 40 years of experience, he is sought after as one of the foremost authorities on undue influence, brainwashing, deprogramming and controlling groups and individuals. Steve is a mind control expert who understands the subject from a unique perspective as both a former cult member and as a clinical professional. 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 intervention 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, 2018), 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. Steve has appeared on innumerable television and radio shows. Newspapers, magazines, and other media all over the world have quoted Steve Hassan extensively. Steven is currently pursuing a doctorate at Fielding University to do quantitative research on the factors of control that characterize undue influence. His faculty supervisor is Dr. Judy Stevens-Long. Steve Hassan is an active member of the Program in Psychiatry and the Law, a Harvard think tank of forensic experts. Dr. Michael Commons, research director for the program, has invited Steven to create a division Freedom from Undue Influence in order to help facilitate this research. Since his own deprogramming from the Moon cult in 1976, Steven has appeared on innumerable television and radio shows. Newspapers, magazines and other media all over the world have sought his expertise. Steven’s work has received praise from academic luminaries such as Robert Jay Lifton, Philip Zimbardo, Robert Cialdini, Anthony Pratkanis as well as clinical experts such as Daniel Brown, Judith Herman, Mary McCarthy and others. Steven taught Psychiatry Grand Rounds at Harvard Medical School in October 2017 and has been teaching 4th-year psychiatry residents at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for 17 years. He has been teaching at Harvard Medical School for the last 2 years.

COVID-19 Pandemic is NOT Proof of the End Times as Proclaimed by Doomsday Cult Leaders

2020-03-26T18:00:40-04:00March 26th, 2020|Blog|

This year, 2020, has unfortunately been full of triggering events for many former members of Doomsday cults. There have been earthquakes in Croatia, Russia, and Texas to name just a few. Locusts have swarmed parts of East Africa damaging crops and livelihoods. The coronavirus pandemic is being described by some as a global pestilence. All of these major phenomena are being described by Bible-esque cults as doomsday predictions and fulfillment of Bible prophecy. This applies to so called fundamentalists in many religions too, according to Stephen Kent, sociologist and expert on cults. "These include Christianity, Islam, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Scientology, and [...]

Watchtower Leadership Uses COVID-19 to Frighten and Recruit, Plus Interview With Former JW Member Cliff Henderson

2020-03-20T14:52:41-04:00March 20th, 2020|Blog|

With the recent pandemic, COVID-19, thousands, if not more, "doomsday" cults are using fear to ramp up their claims that the "end is near" and frighten members to stay in, recruit new and reactivate former members. The Watchtower has been saying Armageddon is imminent for over 100 years and falsely prophesied an actual date 4 times. Children are shown horrifying videos of all "non-believers" being destroyed and believers living forever on planet earth. (Yes, they are actually taught and continue to teach this.) Jehovah's Witness leadership recently released a video about COVID-19 on their website. Governing Body member, (one of [...]

Anti-Semitism and Psychiatry: Recognition, Prevention, and Interventions

2020-03-18T12:34:48-04:00March 13th, 2020|Blog|

I am very pleased to share a remarkable new book to help clinicians,–as well as the general public,–to have a deeper understanding of Anti-Semitism. This text by Springer, a leading academic publisher followed the publication of a previous Springer volume, Islamophobia and Psychiatry: Recognition, Prevention, and Treatment. I wrote a previous blog about my chapter for this earlier book with psychiatrist and editor Ahmed Hankir. The description below is for the chapter Anti-Semitism in Cults and Hate Groups that I and Jon Caven-Atack, an Independent Scholar,–and former Scientologist wrote for this book. "For many centuries, Jews have been the focus of [...]

Shincheonji Is a South Korean Cult Similar to the Moon Cult That Recruited Me, Steven Hassan

2020-03-09T08:26:08-04:00March 6th, 2020|Blog|

The Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a South Korean doomsday cult with hundreds of thousands of followers, has been all over the news at the center of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in that country. What do we know about this cult? The Shincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony was founded in 1984 in South Korea by its leader, Lee Man-hee. Citing former members, the Wall Street Journal reported that the cult communicates to its members that they will live forever, and Shincheonji followers are said to believe that Man-hee Lee is the second coming of Jesus [...]

Living Your Best Life After Leaving a High-Control Group, Family or Relationship

2020-02-29T15:36:17-05:00February 29th, 2020|Blog|

Are you living up to your full potential for a successful life? Have you noticed there are negative influences limiting you? Many former members of high-control groups often experience negative issues, but do not realize they are not at fault and that their issues are fixable. People who were born into or raised in a cult have spent their early developmental years under authoritarian control. Others may have joined later on in life. Both sets of former cult members may have very significant needs for recovery and healing. There are potentially serious problems after exiting. Getting away is the first [...]

The Definitive Guide to Helping People in the Cult of Trump

2020-02-21T14:14:24-05:00February 21st, 2020|Blog|

Under the right circumstances, even sane, rational, well-adjusted people can be deceived and persuaded to believe the most outrageous ideas and leader. President Trump uses the same deceptive psychological techniques that cult leaders do (cult leader's playbook) that influence his devoted followers' behavior, information, thoughts, and emotions. Some people are also unwilling to entertain the idea that Trump displays the characteristics of a cult leader (malignant narcissism). Very concerning is that some are so fervently devoted, they have cut off relationships with any that do not believe the same way as them, including close friends and even family. Do you [...]

Ex-Jehovah’s Witness Mark O’Donnell on Latest Developments & How to Help and Heal

2020-02-16T13:53:17-05:00February 16th, 2020|Blog|

This month, there have been quite a few developments in the Jehovah's Witness community including a recent documentary, a newspread in People magazine, major legal developments, and more. I invited Mark O'Donnell, former Jehovah's Witness turned writer, researcher, and activist, to discuss these events in detail. (You can read his story here.) Here are some of the high points we discuss, along with additional links for further explanation. People Magazine In the February 2020 issue of People magazine, there was a two-page article that featured former Jehovah's Witnesses as they discussed their alleged abuse within the organization. The article, "Sex [...]

Impeachment and the Do’s and Don’ts of Talking to Trump Supporters

2020-02-06T15:31:57-05:00February 6th, 2020|Blog|

These past two weeks, the historic impeachment of President Donald Trump reached the Senate, where Trump was tried (whoever heard of a fair trial with no witnesses?) and acquitted by a split partisan Senate. Republican Senators did not want to pursue the truth and call Bolton or Parnas because they feared the public would learn more facts that would bolster the evidence. If you did not listen to house impeachment manager Representative Adam B. Schiff's powerful closing comments, I encourage you to do so here. Only former Presidential candidate Senator Mitt Romney stood out as the lone GOP heroic resistor [...]

Announcing a New YouTube Channel: jon atack, family & friends

2020-01-30T12:55:59-05:00January 30th, 2020|Blog|

This week's video is a chat with my good friend, Jon Atack about his recently started YouTube channel: jon atack, family and friends. I told him that I wanted to let my readers know about the really interesting and important content he has been posting. I am excited to announce he now has over 500 subscribers! He has been covering so many important topics. Jon Atack is an independent scholar on manipulation and undue influence. His first major book was the best-selling, Let’s Sell These People a Piece of Blue Sky. In my opinion, it is the best book on [...]

Lev Parnas, Michael Cohen, Omarosa Manigault Newman, George Conway, Anthony Scaramucci, Rick Wilson and Others: Trump is a Cult Leader

2020-01-24T11:05:50-05:00January 23rd, 2020|Blog|

Lev Parnas, during his interview with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, described himself as waking up from a cult and Donald Trump like a "cult leader." Michael Cohen, Trump's personal attorney for twelve years, expressed similar thoughts and feelings. Omarosa Manigault Newman, in her book Unhinged, described leaving the cult of Trumpworld. George Conway, Republican attorney and advisor to The Lincoln Project, has repeatedly described Trump as a mentally unfit narcissist and said his wife, Kellyanne Conway, was in a cult. Rick Wilson referred to the GOP as having been turned into a cult, lorded over by Trump. [...]