My Blog

The Current Schism in the Catholic Church and How We Might Help

On January 20, 2021, Joe Biden became, after John F. Kennedy Jr., the second Catholic President of the United States of America. During his first days in office, Biden signed many orders designed to undo the damage caused by his predecessor. Biden, the Congress and Senate put in place funding and coordinated scientific leadership to address

Harvard Psychiatry Grand Rounds Steven Hassan

Mental Health Professionals Need to Learn How to Help People in Authoritarian Cults

Many Americans breathed a sigh of relief when Joe Biden became the 46th President on January 20, 2021. QAnon and other true believers were upset that nothing happened to change that on March 4. Over 400 people have been arrested so far and charged for their role in the failed January 6th insurrection attempt. Yet, polls indicate there are tens of millions of Americans who still believe the big lie that the election

Meghan Markle Oprah Suicide Mental Health

Mental Health Issues Including Suicidal Feelings and Authoritarianism

Oprah’s interview with Meghan Markle, watched by tens of millions worldwide, was riveting and upsetting. The topic of racism in the Royal Family (“The Firm”) needs further in-depth discussion. However, in this blog, I want to focus on Meghan’s disclosure that she felt such high levels of stress and isolation that she became suicidal. Meghan

Cancel Culture by Anyone (Left or Right) is Bad

Shunning, ex-communication, and public humiliation have been used for social conformity for most of human history. The modern versions generally fit in the categories of “calling-out” or “canceling.” The first use of these terms is not certain. Still, sometime in the early 2010s, fans of various celebrities and groups began to post on social media identifying imperfections in their idols and “calling them out” on their behaviors. Calling–out posts online increased during 2017 and 2018

The Traumatic Impact of Media Humiliation, Misrepresentation and Victim-Shaming

Public shaming and humiliation have a long history as a tactic of social control and punishment. Acknowledging the trauma of its use is not new. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, wrote in 1787 that shaming “is universally acknowledged to be a worse punishment than death.” The use of stocks and pillories on the village green began to

Psychologist Abuse? Therapist Abuse? Life Coach Abuse?

Steven Hassan and Amy Avalon Therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, life coaches, and spiritual advisors are all expected to address emotional or spiritual well-being and nurture a person’s healing and positive growth. Most of them are committed to doing just that. Unfortunately, some have darker motivations, such as a desire for power, money, or sex. Instead of using their skills to help their clients, they use undue influence to

Kerry Noble, Former Leader in One of the First American White Supremacy Survivalist Cults

  How does a person change from a non-violent, non-racist Christian man with a wife and two young children into a radicalized, paramilitary soldier willing to blow up innocent people? How does this person reclaim his true self and become a positive member of society again? Kerry Noble lived that scenario as a high-ranking member of The Covenant, the Sword, and the

NECSI COVID COMMUNITY ACTION SUMMIT: A Cult Expert’s Advice on Dealing with Anti-Vaxxers and General Vaccine Hesitancy

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc worldwide, resulting in more than two million deaths, seriously weakening or destroying economic and social systems, resulting in a tremendous increase in mental health problems. A frantic search for effective vaccines has consumed the scientific community since it was first identified. Vaccines have now been developed at record speed.

My First Foundational Online Course: “Understand Cults: The Basics”

  Understand Cults: The Basics A foundational course to understanding brainwashing, thought reform, mind control, and undue influence Instructor: Steven Hassan, PhD Available HERE Price: $49.99 retail price but Udemy sells it for much less with their “deals” Includes 8 sections & almost 4 hours of video instruction No prerequisites Target Students: Those interested in

Authoritarian Bible Cults Actively Recruiting at College and Online: Interview With Former BCC Member Chris Lee

Searching for spiritual meaning and connection with others is common when young adults enter their college years. There are many positive and ethical religious groups open to these young people, but, unfortunately, there are also destructive religious cults actively recruiting new members through deceptive and authoritarian means. I have recently been contacted by people from

How to Help People Involved in QAnon–A Reddit AMA: QAnonCasualties

On Sunday, January 10, 2021, I was invited to answer questions during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) for the subreddit group QAnonCasualties. This is a link to the entire thread:  https://www.reddit.com/r/QAnonCasualties/comments/kukco0/ama_with_steven_hassan_phd/.  Below are most of the questions, along with my answers. This blog is longer than usual, but I felt it was important to include