Steven Hassan

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So far Steven Hassan has created 137 blog entries.

For Ex-Members: Surviving the Holidays

2019-12-01T15:59:26-05:00November 28th, 2019|Blog, Resources and Support|

Updated 11/28/2019 Infographic For many people, family-oriented holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah are loving, happy times: baking, singing, playing games, decorating, sleeping in, giving gifts, and spending time with family and friends. However, for former members of “high-demand” groups, it can be a very difficult time. Especially for those with family members still involved with the group, holidays can provoke a lot of anxiety and even phobic reactions. One option is to avoid the visit. Some people decide it would be too stressful or even harmful for them. This is unfortunate, but everyone must take care of their [...]

Problems with the ISKCON Krishna Movement

2018-12-17T18:39:44-05:00December 13th, 2018|Blog|

George Harrison, Shyamasundara Dasa, and Mukunda Goswami in Vrindavan in front of Jiva Goswami Samadhi, 1996 The Truth About ISKCON Despite my profound appreciation for the musical genius of Beatle, George Harrison, ISKCON devotees influenced him. Harrison wrote songs like “My Sweet Lord” and donated large sums of money to the cult. I can only guess that many people were lured into the cult without proper research as a result of hearing his music. Clearly, the group used him as a recruiting tool. Since my own exit from the Moonies cult in 1976, I [...]

Scripted Violence, Conspiracy Theories and Concerns

2018-12-16T19:01:27-05:00December 6th, 2018|Blog|

It has been several weeks since Robert Bowers entered the Tree of Life synagogue in his hateful, rage-filled attack against Jews. This week, I had the opportunity to interview Chip Berlet, an investigative journalist, research analyst and scholar of right-wing movements. I had been wanting to interview him so he could explain the concept of scripted violence. This seems to be exactly what took place with Bowers. He had been influenced to hate and fear Jewish people to the point that he acted out and committed a terrorist act. I also wanted to ask Chip about the Protocols of [...]

Highlights from my EXJW Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything)

2018-12-16T19:12:23-05:00November 29th, 2018|Blog|

Top Ten Questions & Answers On Monday, November 19, 2018, I participated in my first ever AMA (Ask Me Anything) for r/exjw on Reddit to an overwhelming response. Reddit users interviewed me by posting questions which I then answered on the Reddit forum. I want to thank Kimmy O'Donnell who helped arrange it and everyone for their support and contributions. My opening post directed the discussion, "Good morning. I will be available for the next 24 hours to answer your questions. We can discuss the Jehovah's Witnesses and how they fit my BITE model, how to help family and [...]

What is a Cult? Whiteboard Animation Explaining the BITE Model

2018-12-16T19:12:28-05:00November 22nd, 2018|Blog|

BITE Model Since my deprogramming from the Moon cult in 1976, I have come to learn of countless thousands of groups that I have never heard of before. Are they cults? Do they use mind control? Is it brainwashing? I have also been asked to comment on destructive family systems and controlling relationships. Over the decades of research, my way of systematizing a method to evaluate a weird group with crazy beliefs from a destructive one has come to be grounded in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It seems to me that while there are countries, [...]

A Call to Action for All Who Have Suffered from Mind Control!

2018-12-16T20:47:32-05:00November 15th, 2018|Blog|

The Age of Influence I believe that we are no longer living merely in the "Age of Information" but the "Age of Influence." Information has long been collected, legally and illegally about billions of people, building very sophisticated profiles. With such a persona or profile, influence can be very efficiently used to manipulate people's minds and behavior. In the past forty years that I have been studying cult mind control techniques and patterns, in this digital age, I see "influence" developing at a high velocity. For example, the Chinese government, along with every country with a top-down control of [...]

Questionable Legislation Sponsored to Make Pyramid Schemes Legal

2018-12-16T19:44:29-05:00November 8th, 2018|Blog|

Multi-Level Marketing Scams Have you ever been approached to learn about a great "business opportunity"? I have been. Over and over again. For more than forty years! The names of the groups change but they are all pretty much the same. I have also been asked to help a family member or friend caught up in a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) scam. MLMs are pyramid schemes that focus on recruiting others to recruit others and statistics show that 99% of people involved lose money. Warning, you can't make millions of dollars part-time. Common sense, yes? However, recruiters are very convincing. [...]

Ideas for Combating Hate Speech and Violence

2018-12-13T20:41:31-05:00October 29th, 2018|Blog|

The massacre of 11 innocent Jews in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last Sabbath by a hateful, disturbed man is a wake-up call for everyone who loves freedom. I attended my own synagogue that morning and experienced a wonderful Bar Mitzvah where the dvar, taught by the thirteen-year-old, was about intelligent disobedience and how Abraham had failed his test by God when agreeing to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. Instead of Abraham using his critical thinking skills and following his heart and his conscience, he was prepared to offer his son as a sacrifice because God [...]

The Attempt to Redefine Religious Freedom

2018-12-15T19:47:51-05:00October 25th, 2018|Blog|

This week's blog is an effort to make people aware of a concerted effort to move the United States away from the Founding Fathers' plan in the Constitution. They wanted a solid foundational commitment for a clear separation of Church and State. However, we are currently seeing a trend towards giving rights to religious corporations that may impinge on the rights of others. Meanwhile, some powerful elements of the Christian Right are engaged in a well-funded effort to move us away from a democracy to a theocracy. This week, I had the good fortune to do a video interview [...]

Time to Abolish the Statutes of Limitation for Child Sexual Abuse!

2018-12-16T19:40:23-05:00October 18th, 2018|Blog|

"Children's Rights are Human Rights" is the first thing you see when visiting the CHILD USA website. CHILD USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit think tank dedicated to protecting kids and preventing abuse. Its two founders are law professor and author Marci Hamilton and Dr. Rita Swan. Both are dedicated to ensuring children receive proper medical treatment (but do not provide direct services). Marci is the Founder and CEO of CHILD USA, which is the successor organization to Rita Swan’s CHILD Inc. I have had the opportunity to meet and know both of these extraordinary activists through my involvement on the advisory [...]