Blog

Joyce Maguire Pavao, adoption expert

Child-Centered Adoption: A Conversation with Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao

I contacted a long-time friend and colleague, Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao, to discuss best adoption practices and the importance of understanding the human need for positive attachment and relationships for my podcast, The Influence Continuum. Pavao is a pioneer in advocating that the emphasis on adoption should be child-centered—that its goal should be to find

Jennifer Cohn, election integrity advocate

Advocating Election Integrity Post-Trump

After he lost the 2020 election, Donald Trump spouted lies and claimed that he had won. In an attempt to counter Trump's lies and promote confidence in the election results, prominent Democrats and election officials said that the 2020 election was the most secure election of all time. However, real vulnerabilities in our election system exist, and Trump's lies do not justify ignoring legitimate election security concerns.

NXIVM survivors Sarah Edmondson and Nippy Ames talk to Dr. Steven Hassan

Leaving NIXVM, an Authoritarian Cult, Was Not the End: A Conversation with Sarah Edmondson and Nippy Ames

Two years ago, in May of 2020, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah Edmondson for my blog. Sarah, and her husband Anthony (Nippy) Ames, met while both were high-ranking members of NIXVM, a cult founded by Keith Raniere. At the time of that interview, Raniere had been convicted of federal crimes that included sex trafficking and conspiracy. In October 2020, Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison.

Douglas Brooks, esq.

Talking MLMs with Douglas Brooks

Attorney Douglas Brooks is a truly remarkable man. Formerly a specialist in franchise law, he now devotes his time to helping people defend themselves against financial depredation of multi-level marketing companies, known as MLMs. From bringing down the “consumer byline” scam run by now-imprisoned NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere, to appearing in the Herbalife documentary Betting On Zero, to organizing the global conference on multi-level marketing schemes, he is tireless in fighting against an industry dedicated to bamboozling money from ordinary people with promises of exorbitant wealth for little to no work.

The Message Cult

White Supremacy’s Influence on Modern Pentecostalism

With millions of American members, The Message cult has been influential in spreading hatred in the United States. The Message cult is a collection of churches — characterized by extreme white supremacy and profoundly racist and misogynistic attitudes — that originated from William Branham’s Pentecostal Tabernacle...

Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand’s Cult Leadership and Influence on the GOP and Celebrities

You may be familiar with Ayn Rand because of her popular novels, “The Fountainhead,” and “Atlas Shrugged.” But, you may not be aware that Rand was an authoritarian cult leader, and her ideology promoting selfishness continues to influence the GOP. Rand was born in St. Petersburg, Russia...

Theosophy

Traditionalism, Religious Fundamentalism, and Politics with Joe Szimhart

Our last blog post focused on the possible connections between Ginni Thomas’s experience in the Lifespring cult, her religious fundamentalism and her texts to Trump’s former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows supporting the QAnon conspiracy theories regarding the 2020 election being stolen. I had released a video of Ginni Lamp (Thomas) at a

Ginni Thomas

Ginni Thomas, Lifespring, QAnon and the Jan.6th Coup attempt

On April 2, I shared a special podcast on the Influence Continuum, responding to a profound interest in Ginni Thomas and her husband, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. To explain the context, in late March, numerous news sources reported that Ginni Thomas would be asked to appear before the Congressional Panel investigating the January 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol. This decision...

Indigenous Worldview

The Worldviews of Indigenous Peoples Can Help Repair Social & Political Discord

Last October, I did an interview and blog with Dr. Cindy Blackstock to discuss Indigenous People’s Day (no longer Columbus Day). I recently interviewed her again for my new podcast, The Influence Continuum. We had an extraordinarily rich and stimulating discussion that included the truck convoy’s presumable protest against COVID vaccination and mask mandates...

psychiatry and the law

Mental Health, Psychiatry, and the Law with Dr. Thomas Gutheil

Dr. Thomas Gutheil is a Professor of Psychiatry and co-founder of the Program in Psychiatry and the Law (PIPATL) at Harvard University, and the first professor of psychiatry in the history of Harvard to be board certified in both clinical and forensic psychiatry. Gutheil is one of the most prominent voices in defining the relationship between psychiatry and the law. Gutheil has served as...