News and Updates

Persuading Someone to Take His Own Life: Judge Says She is Guilty!

On June 16, 2017, a Massachusetts woman, Michelle Carter, was found guilty in the precedent setting case of the involuntary manslaughter death of her boyfriend Conrad Roy. Roy, who died on July 13, 2014, carried out his suicide plan after receiving a number of text messages and phone calls from Carter when he was having

“Conversion Therapy” is Dangerous and Abusive

The 48th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots is coming up on June 28, and many cities in America are holding Gay Pride parades and festivals around this time. With the Trump election and Mike Pence as Vice President, all the accomplishments advancing human rights seems like they are in jeopardy. This week, I attended the

Mooniverse (My Former Cult) is Attempting a Reboot

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

Parental Alienation Harms Children by Using Undue Influence

This past week, a very important legal custody case was decided which involves Infowars’ Alex Jones and his ex-wife Kelly. Kelly Jones was able to successfully show that her children had been turned against her and unduly influenced by Alex Jones. The judge awarded her the power to decide where her children will live from

North Korea: Hopefully Not a Potential Global Waco?

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

Remembering the Boston Marathon Attack

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

Confusion Techniques Can Control Minds

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

Is It Good Policy to Ban Religious Cults?

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.

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

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

Asperger’s/ Autism Spectrum Disorder and Undue Influence

Artwork (used with permission) by Benyamin Wurmfeld, a member of the AANE Artists Collaborative Over two decades ago, a family asked me for help with a young woman who was being recruited into Kip McKean’s shepherding/discipleship group called the Boston Church of Christ*. This case was particularly interesting because the young woman I was told

My Appearance on Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, and Other Updates

2017 is off to an exciting start! This Tuesday, January 17th, A&E’s Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath aired a special Reddit AMA show that I taped the week before along with Mike Rinder, Lawrence Wright (who wrote the book Going Clear that became an HBO documentary) and attorney Ray Jeffrey. Ray successfully represented former

cover of Witness to an Extreme Century by Robert Lifton

Robert Jay Lifton MD: An Interview with a Genius

As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the day I left the Moonies, I want to take some time to acknowledge an individual who played an important role in my personal and professional development. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the famous psychiatrist and my mentor, Robert Jay Lifton. I was first introduced