Resources and Support

Freedom of Mind for LGBTQ Youth

2019-06-10T07:21:25-04:00December 16th, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

Freedom of Mind, as an organization and as a meme is grounded in a commitment to basic human rights as expressed by the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Please take a moment to look at these profound statements. It’s not surprising that many cults hold doctrines and practices which are intolerant and even violent towards the LGBTQ community. Just combine absolutist, black-and-white, rigid thinking with tight control over members’ sexuality. A young person asserting their own individual desires (which may be unconventional, complex, or constantly evolving) presents a threat to a cult leader who seeks to mold their followers [...]

Coping with Post-Election Stress

2018-12-13T18:06:05-05:00November 17th, 2016|Blog, Current Events, Resources and Support|

It has been a little over a week since Donald Trump lost the popular vote but won the electoral college delegates needed for the 2016 Presidential election. Civil rights groups have reported hundreds of hate crimes against women, racial minorities, and Muslims. Trump supporters have also reported harassment and violence against them. (I highly recommend watching the video in that link; Rev. Kelsey Hutto’s response is wonderful.) So many people, including myself, are still trying to absorb the idea of a Trump Presidency. So I believe this is a great opportunity to talk about resiliency and coping skills under [...]

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

2018-12-15T23:41:57-05:00November 4th, 2016|Blog, Media Reviews, Resources and Support|

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 quite popular now and has helped many people relieve anxiety, depression, and other issues. So, be wary of any group that says there is only one Right Way to meditate.Mantric meditation (the repetition of a word or sound) is only one technique.In recent years, Transcendental Meditation (TM) [...]

Belief vs. Fact

2018-12-16T19:52:19-05:00October 28th, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

Mark Twain once said, “It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” I was listening to this podcast, and it got me thinking about the reality that so many people are walking around with beliefs which they consider “Truth” with a capital “T.” Sometimes even intelligent, educated people seem to be locked into belief-driven mindsets which prevent them from changing their views despite overwhelming evidence. In the past few years, climate change denial has appeared as a topic of study in social psychology circles. Despite the overwhelming evidence of global climate change, there [...]

Raising Awareness About Institutional Abuse of Children and Their Parents

2019-02-13T13:45:36-05:00September 17th, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

Being a parent is perhaps the most difficult role a person can fill. It can be quite demanding to properly raise and nurture our children from infancy to adulthood. Some kids however, present more of a challenge than others. When a child is suffering from mental illness, is defiant, becomes violent, or develops an addiction to alcohol or drugs, many parents are extremely vulnerable to the deceptive claims of boot camps and other unregulated facilities and schools. While there are programs that may be helpful to troubled kids, teens, and young adults- buyer beware. Three of the biggest issues [...]

Hitting, Spanking, Paddling and Using Belts to Discipline Children is Harmful

2018-12-16T00:07:25-05:00August 27th, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

In the United States, it is illegal for a prison guard to hit a death row inmate, it is illegal for a military sergeant to hit a private and it is illegal for a man to hit his wife. But, it is legal for an adult to hit a child. In all 50 states, the use of physical punishments on children is legal in the home. In 21 of them, it is still legal to use physical punishment in schools. Children, it seems, are the exception to the rule when it comes to physical assault. I recently shared a link [...]

Use of Words, Loaded Language, and “Thought Control” of Believers

2018-12-16T21:05:22-05:00July 29th, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

I recently read former Scientologist official Mike Rinder’s blog piece on “Word Clearing.” I suspect that most people who read his blog are ex-Scientologists, but I think it might be interesting for former members of other destructive groups to give it a read. I thought it could be a useful introduction to a blog I have been wanting to write for a few weeks on “Loaded Language. When it comes to freeing one's mind from cult influence, one of the hardest things for many to overcome is the involuntary use of “loaded language.” Loaded language is something I first [...]

Cult Survivors Need Compassion and Help to Recover

2018-12-16T19:42:22-05:00May 20th, 2016|Blog, Current Events, Resources and Support|

On Thursday, news broke that another of the missing Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist extremist cult Boko Haram two years ago has been found. The second in just as many days, she is being hailed officially by the authorities of Nigeria as a success story and paraded in front of the media as proof the new government’s ability to defeat the cult. However, there have also been reports circulating that paint a much less celebratory picture. It seems that some of the locals in the villages are afraid of accepting anyone who has been involved with Boko Haram. [...]

Reaching Out: Communicating After Cult Exit

2018-12-16T19:52:42-05:00April 22nd, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

I am often approached by concerned family members of adult cult members who need help. I work with the family by coaching them to use my Strategic Interactive Approach. This involves teaching them how to employ an ethical influence campaign based on compassion, and designed to help the cult member question the group’s leader, doctrine, and policies. If all goes well, the approach works and the cult member “wakes up.” As that happens, they are surrounded by loving people who are educated about all the key issues and ready to help them move on with their life. Family and [...]

An Expert Responds to the Cult Controversy re: Mormonism

2018-12-16T00:24:31-05:00April 9th, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

Countless times over the past weeks, I’ve been asked: Is Mormonism a cult? My life’s work has been studying the psychology of influence, so that’s a fair question. Since I myself was rescued from the group that calls itself the Unification Church, or the Family Foundation for World Peace and Unification-- aka Moonies-- in 1976, I have helped many people recover from the effects of cults, and assisted their families. I’ve spoken at numerous conferences, consulted with government agencies, and written several books on the subject known as brainwashing, mind control, or destructive influence. First of all, most of [...]