Media Reviews

Charles Duhigg’s New York Times Podcast: “Change Agent”

By | 2018-03-08T11:20:26+00:00 March 8th, 2018|Categories: Media Reviews, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  Charles Duhigg The "Change Agent" podcast is a five-episode series by The New York Times. It is hosted by Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author of "The Power of Habit" and "Smarter Faster Better."  It uses real-life problems to try and solve a surprising story. (When we worked on the podcast [...]

Undue Influence, The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu, and Current Events

By | 2018-01-11T20:25:14+00:00 May 16th, 2017|Categories: Media Reviews, Blog, Current Events|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hulu has created a television series based on Margaret Atwood’s book, The Handmaid’s Tale, and it is highly recommended viewing*. Last year, Hulu produced The Path and I was interviewed by Vanity Fair for my perspective. This time, I am blogging about The Handmaid’s Tale as I believe this is a very upsetting but well made [...]

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

By | 2017-03-24T11:43:44+00:00 March 23rd, 2017|Categories: News and Updates, Media Reviews, Blog, Current Events|Tags: , , , , , |

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 [...]

Book Review – opening minds: the secret world of manipulation, undue influence and brainwashing

By | 2017-03-21T10:45:01+00:00 December 29th, 2016|Categories: Media Reviews, Blog|Tags: , , , , , |

opening minds: the secret world of manipulation, undue influence and brainwashing is the newest book written by Jon Atack, ex-Scientologist and author of the best book on Scientology.  This masterfully written primer on undue influence is the first project of the newly formed non-profit organization Open Minds Foundation (OMF).   Of course, you might expect I [...]

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

By | 2017-03-21T10:45:45+00:00 December 2nd, 2016|Categories: Media Reviews, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

  When I first heard that Leah Remini planned to make a show about Scientology, I was cautiously optimistic.  Not that many celebrities have been brave enough to share their stories, much less want to really go further than the HBO Going Clear documentary.  After watching the first episode, I am happy to say that Leah [...]

Meditation, Yes! But Please Be Careful and Do Your Homework Regarding Transcendental Meditation (TM).

By | 2017-03-21T10:48:37+00:00 November 4th, 2016|Categories: Media Reviews, Resources and Support, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , |

      There are thousands of ways to meditate.  Personally, I like to do a breathing, concentration meditation, or a moving or walking meditation to focus my mind. I like the discipline of focusing my mind rather than passively allowing thoughts to come and go. In the past, I have done mindfulness meditation, which is [...]

Holy Hell Documentary Shows How Cult Leader Raped Followers for Years

By | 2017-04-06T17:58:32+00:00 September 29th, 2016|Categories: Media Reviews, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  Imagine spending over twenty-two years of your life believing you are one of the select few who knows the secrets of the universe-- only to discover the world that you live in is really a brainwashing cult. This is the story behind Holy Hell. Will Allen, the filmmaker who made this documentary from 20 years [...]

Roger Ailes, FOX News, Right-Wing Talk Shows, and Undue Influence Techniques

By | 2017-03-21T11:04:45+00:00 August 19th, 2016|Categories: Media Reviews, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

    Fox News channel boss Roger Ailes was recently forced to resign amid allegations of sexual harassment.  The suit, filed by Gretchen Carlson, has opened up a window into what was apparently a pervasive work culture of discrimination, intimidation, and harassment.  Back in 1996, Roger Ailes teamed up with Rupert Murdoch to create Fox News [...]

New Book on Patty Hearst Falls Short of Understanding Undue Influence

By | 2017-03-21T11:02:54+00:00 August 12th, 2016|Categories: Media Reviews, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

  I recently read a NY Times book review of AMERICAN HEIRESS: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin and listened to an interview done with the author on NPR.  Honestly, I was horrified at his lack of knowledge and understanding about undue influence and disagreed 100% with [...]

An Interview with Cracked.com

By | 2017-03-04T16:05:53+00:00 July 15th, 2016|Categories: Media Reviews, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Just recently, I had the pleasure of being interviewed for a podcast entitled “Modern Cults (Are Scarier Than Jonestown)” by Jack O’Brien of Cracked.com. The show was a long one, and in the first segment author Karen Stollznow discussed why America is such a good breeding ground for cults. I particularly liked that she discussed, as [...]