This year, 2020, has unfortunately been full of triggering events for many former members of Doomsday cults. There have been earthquakes in Croatia, Russia, and Texas to name just a few. Locusts have swarmed parts of East Africa damaging crops and livelihoods. The coronavirus pandemic is being described by some as a global pestilence. All of these major phenomena are being described by Bible-esque cults as doomsday predictions and fulfillment of Bible prophecy. This applies to so called fundamentalists in many religions too, according to Stephen Kent, sociologist and expert on cults. “These include Christianity, Islam, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Scientology, and fundamentalist Hinduism,” according to Kent.

Fear of “The Last Days” or Armageddon is deliberately being spread by those with agendas to control. And this messaging is difficult for ex-cult members. Thus, I felt it was timely and necessary to discuss how cult leaders are using fear to control and manipulate. Phobia-indoctrination is designed to make the member dependent upon the cult leader. Many Apocalyptic cults are using recent events in order to retain current and recruit new and former members.

It is important to keep in mind that Orthodox Christians know that for over two-thousand years, people have been predicting Armageddon, Jesus’ Coming, the Last Days, etc. But, they have told me that the timing is in God’s hands as “no one knows the day or hour”. The Moonies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, The World Mission Society Church of God, Shincheonji, and other so-called “Christian” cults have made previous predictions that did not come true. In fact, thousands of other cults have had leaders that either claim to be God or the Messiah or have direct knowledge from God about when the end of this system would come. And they use this to scare and control members. Robert Jay Lifton M.D. wrote the book, Destroying the World to Save It, which discusses the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo where Shoko Asahara, who claimed to be the Jesus and Buddha, influenced members twenty-five years ago to carry out a deadly attack in Tokyo to confirm his prophecies that Armageddon was going to come. He taught members to believe in conspiracies involving the CIA, FreeMasons, Jews and wanted, like Charles Manson, to hasten the end of the current world order. Of course, true and faithful cult members would be saved and all others would be damned.

Ex-cult members who do their homework about cult mind control realize that there are thousands of other cults claiming exclusive rights of salvation and start to reason away the fear indoctrination from their former cult. Realizing that if there are five to ten thousand destructive cults in the U.S. (the number is most likely higher in the world), and there is one that is actually God’s group, the odds of your group is 1 out of 10,000 and highly unlikely. Additionally, being propelled by fear and not love is not a good choice. But of course, people grounded in healthy religious faith are grounded in love, truth, and compassion and not fear. And in my opinion, there is NOT even one fear-mongering group that is God’s group.

Most cult groups are anti-science and pro-magical thinking. You should only rely on scientific websites for information about the coronavirus. One project in which I am affiliated is endcoronavirus.org which is led by complex systems science. It is vital to avoid disinformation and propaganda, so take control of the information you ingest. Think of it as you think of food. You want to ingest healthy reliable information that helps you stay safe and avoid fear-mongering.

We in Massachusetts have had an order by Governor Baker that schools should stay closed until May 4th and people should stay at home and only travel out only for essential needs and practice safety measures. I suggest not listening to Michael Pence or Donald Trump and listen to Dr. Fauci and medical and science experts who look at data and rely on scientific methods to determine courses of action.

I have done some interviews where I discuss Trump’s actions undoing the office for fighting pandemics, then calling the pandemic a hoax, minimizing the danger, then doing the 180-degree turnaround and saying he knew it was a pandemic. It appears his administration is going to cause countless unnecessary deaths, far more Americans than The Spanish Flu of 1918, 9/11, Jonestown and other tragedies. Some people are calling Trump the leader of a “Death cult.” History will tell. I believe everything I wrote in the Cult of Trump has been validated many times over and if over a million or more Americans die due to his incompetence, conspiracy mindset, and lack of accurate, trustworthy information and policies, he may indeed be referred to as the leader of a death cult.

Positive Steps to Take

If you are feeling worried because of the news, limit your exposure to the media and the Internet. Ask yourself, “What can I control?” Make sure you have a good routine with sleep, exercise every day, eat healthily, and lower your stress. Realize that emotions give us data, but we should never identify or be taken over by our emotions–especially if they are irrational and we know they were imposed from external sources.

It is important to support yourself during this time, especially if on lockdown at home. Stay connected socially on video calls and telephone. But limit calls with friends that are freaking out and limit the call to a few minutes and direct them to someone else.

Educate yourself about mind control tactics and other destructive cults. I have over 200 free videos on my YouTube channel and blogs on my website.  Keep yourself grounded. Remember, global health pandemics, earthquakes, insect invasions, and droughts are not new and do not prove your former cult is correct. We need to be flexible and we need to be resilient. We need to take control of our minds and bodies and keep socially close (not physically close). Focus on the positive and stay connected with a support system. Lastly, do healing work to reclaim the part of your psyche that has been programmed by your former group. There are healing techniques to do just this.

We will get through this. Be patient with yourself and others during this trying time. We need to work together to help each other. We are in it together.

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Steven Hassan

About the Author: 

Steven Hassan M.Ed. LMHC, NCC has helped thousands of individuals and families recover from undue influence (mind control). With over 40 years of experience, he is sought after as one of the foremost authorities on undue influence and controlling groups and individuals. Steve understands the subject from a unique perspective as both a former cult member and as a clinical professional. Steven Hassan has published 4 books about cults. His first book, which came out in 1988 under the title Combatting Cult Mind Control, was updated and re-released in 2015 as Combating Cult Mind Control. Chapter 2, My life in the Unification Church has been placed for free on this web site. This book is available as an audiobook as well as on kindle.

Steven is the Founding Director of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center, a coaching, consulting, and training organization dedicated to supporting individuals to have the freedom to think clearly and to freely consider how they want to live their lives.  Steven pioneered a breakthrough method called the Strategic Interactive Approach (SIA), an effective and legal alternative for families to help cult members.  The SIA teaches family and friends how to strategically influence the individual involved in the cult.

Contact Freedom of Mind to schedule a consultation or to learn about offered services.

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