FOMSH2018

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.

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. [...]

Robert Jay Lifton, M.D. Discusses Trump and His New Book, Losing Reality

2020-01-16T12:34:08-05:00January 16th, 2020|Blog|

I am excited to blog about and share my latest interview with my first mentor, Dr. Robert Jay Lifton, about his new book, Losing Reality: On Cults, Cultism, and the Mindset of Political and Religious Zealotry. In this unique and timely volume, Dr. Lifton proposes a radical idea: that the psychological relationship between extremist political movements and fanatical religious cults may be much closer than anyone thought. Exploring the most extreme manifestations of human zealotry, Lifton highlights an array of leaders—from Mao to Hitler to the Japanese apocalyptic cult leader Shōkō Asahara to Donald Trump—who have sought the control [...]

The Cult of Trump? What “Cult Rhetoric” Actually Reveals: A Response to Benjamin Zeller and Other Cult Apologists

2020-01-19T16:40:37-05:00January 9th, 2020|Blog|

In October 2019, Benjamin Zeller wrote an article in Religion & Politics critical of my new book, The Cult of Trump, which he had not even had the courtesy of reading. It was entitled, "The Cult of Trump? What “Cult Rhetoric” Actually Reveals." A response was thoughtfully written by independent scholar Jon Atack who is an expert on Scientology, author, and researcher and sent to Religion & Politics. The editor refused to publish it. When cult expert and sociologist Stephen Kent heard about the refusal to publish it, he emailed the editor the following: Dear Ms. Stanley, Although I [...]

Following Jesus in the Age of Trump: A Discussion With Dr. Mary Theresa Webb

2020-01-02T13:11:57-05:00January 2nd, 2020|Blog|

This week, I have the pleasure of blogging about my interview with Dr. Mary Theresa Webb about her book, Following Jesus in the Age of Trump. Her training at an evangelical seminary and her professional training in marriage and family counseling give her a very credible viewpoint that I believe all evangelicals should consider. As a Christian believer, she challenges evangelical Christians supporting Trump by reminding Christians what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, as well as, his parables, healings and other teachings. She is not alone. Many evangelicals are starting to sound the alarm about the dangers [...]

Jim Heller and Steven Hassan Debate “The Cult of Trump”

2019-12-26T15:11:42-05:00December 26th, 2019|Blog|

This week, we have a blog about a civil discussion I had with Jim Heller, a Canadian criminal lawyer and Trump supporter. After the release of my book, The Cult of Trump, Jim wrote me explaining that he was a Trump supporter who found my argument that Trump was a cult leader untenable and insulting. He expressed his interest in challenging my thesis but offered to do so with civility and respect. Moreover, Jim felt that his opinion warranted extra weight given his own experience as a former cult member (a former follower of Guru Maharaji Ji, who now uses [...]