Current Events

Mooniverse (My Former Cult) is Attempting a Reboot

2018-12-16T21:01:16-04:00May 11th, 2017|Blog, Current Events, News and Updates|

Forty-one years ago today, I was deprogrammed from the cult of Sun Myung Moon. Many of you may not be familiar with the Unification Church, AKA the “Moonies.” The church and its many front groups and related organizations have not been in the news as much recently. They lost a lot of their American membership after this book exposed abuse and corruption within the Moon family. (Ex-member Nansook Hong wrote that her husband Hyo Jin Moon, the so-called sinless eldest son of the Messiah used cocaine, frequented prostitutes, and even hit her stomach while she was pregnant.) Despite founder Sun [...]

North Korea: Hopefully Not a Potential Global Waco?

2018-12-13T18:18:28-04:00April 20th, 2017|Blog, Current Events, News and Updates|

 When it comes to North Korea, the Trump administration has been quick to rattle sabers regarding the threat of nuclear missile testing although it turned out the Naval Armada was traveling in another direction for maneuvers in the Indian Ocean. Fortunately, the last big North Korean missile launch was another flop–some news sources cite possible secret cyber countermeasures. However, the dropping by the U.S. of the largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan and launching a cruise missile attack on Syria does seem to convey a message that the Commander in Chief is prepared to use the military–increasing tensions and risking war. [...]

Remembering the Boston Marathon Attack

2018-12-16T19:25:56-04:00April 12th, 2017|Blog, Current Events, News and Updates|

Four years ago, on April 15, 2013, Boston was attacked by terrorists during its annual legendary Marathon. Four people lost their lives and 264 more were wounded. Boston Strong was the phrase used, but we all were in lockdown while police tried to hunt down those responsible. For me and countless others, it brought up painful emotions of the 9/11 attack. Soon, reports came out linking the attack to extremist beliefs and rumors of ties to Islamic extremists started circulating. As a mental health professional who lives in Newton and helps people that have been unduly influenced by cults [...]

Confusion Techniques Can Control Minds

2018-12-13T18:12:44-04:00April 6th, 2017|Blog, Current Events, News and Updates|

Ever since Trump became a serious contender for the White House, and especially in recent days since he was sworn into office, confusion reigns. How can he say these things? How can he lie like that? Isn’t he completely contradicting what he promised during his campaign?Then when confronted, Trump lambasts the critical press calling them “pathetic, dishonest, and fake news.” From barring certain news organizations like CNN and Politico from a press conference to openly accusing the media of lying, Trump has started a war with America’s free press–a protection guaranteed by the first amendment of the Constitution.A recent Los [...]

Is It Good Policy to Ban Religious Cults?

2018-12-16T20:48:37-04:00March 30th, 2017|Blog, Current Events, News and Updates|

This week, there had been a lot in the news about Russia’s possible ban of the Jehovah’s Witnesses-- labeling them an extremist group. While I have personally worked with and become friends with many who have suffered as Witnesses under the policies of Watchtower, I do not agree that banning groups is a responsible policy. In Chapter 12 of my book, Combating Cult Mind Control, I discuss this issue at length. It is my belief that banning cults is not a productive way to solve the problems that surround them. Not only will this not address the core issues that [...]

The Heaven’s Gate Tragedy–The 20th Anniversary of an American Doomsday Cult Disaster

2018-12-16T20:52:57-04:00March 23rd, 2017|Blog, Current Events, Media Reviews, News and Updates|

On March 26, 1997, the bodies of 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult were discovered by police. Poisoned, and with plastic bags over their heads, these victims of cult mind control were forever lost to their friends and families. This story, which gained worldwide attention, illustrates just how dangerous undue influence can be and I used them as an example in my books. I was on NBC's Today Show and Dateline that week, and a slew of other media as the world wanted to understand about doomsday cults. It was during that week of media frenzy that I watched [...]

Muslim Ban Will Not Keep America Safe

2018-12-13T18:09:15-04:00February 20th, 2017|Blog, Current Events|

 Earlier this month, federal judges in Seattle, WA suspended President Trump’s travel ban from seven Muslim-majority countries, stating that it violated a Constitutional clause which prohibits religious discrimination. American leaders and world leaders alike voiced their objections to the ban along with all those who protested online, at airports, in the streets, and with their wallets.In last Thursday’s press conference, Trump stated his intention to roll out another similar travel ban.I want to add my voice to counter-terrorism experts and others who have argued that banning, shunning, threatening, discriminating against, or harming Muslims not only violates basic human rights, but [...]

A Word of Life Christian Church Tragedy

2018-12-16T21:07:23-04:00February 8th, 2017|Blog, Current Events|

(This powerful video is from Sarah Ferguson’s sentencing last fall; Judge Dwyer and District Attorney McNamara we were told have since learned a good dela about how people can be unduly influenced by high-demand groups.)On Monday, Bruce and Deborah Leonard received prison sentences (he: 10 years, she: 5 years) for participating in an assault in 2015 which killed their son Lucas and injured their other son Christopher. Teenagers Lucas and Christopher were beaten with an electrical cord by their parents and other members of the Word of Life Christian Church after they voiced their desire to leave the group. [...]

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

2018-12-16T19:42:13-04:00January 17th, 2017|Blog, Current Events|

Human trafficking is a variation of undue influence. Trafficking rings function as commercial cults, with pimps and traffickers as their cult leaders. They use the same basic methods (outlined in the BITE Model) to recruit, control, and exploit victims. As January is the official National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, I’d like to take a moment to write about how understanding undue influence will better inform efforts to inoculate people against getting recruited by pimps and traffickers, helping victims exit a trafficking ring, and prevent recidivism for survivors of trafficking. “Human Trafficking” refers to both labor trafficking and [...]

JW Leadership Fails to Protect Children

2018-12-16T20:48:45-04:00December 8th, 2016|Blog, Current Events, Guest Blogs|

Guest Blog by Steve Guziec   When I was a Jehovah’s Witness, I prided myself on knowing I was part of the only true Christian organization on the planet earth because of the love shown in “Jehovah’s Organization.” I told myself and others this for decades. One of the largest “comforts” to me was knowing that Jehovah’s anointed spirit was directly with the Governing Body, as the “earthly” connection to God and the leaders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I thought these men were scholars, theologians, and well-read individuals. Most of all, I felt they cared for the wellbeing of all [...]