In the post 9-11 world, people are more susceptible than ever to charismatic figures who offer simple, black v. white, us v. them, good v. evil, formulaic solutions. The rise of the Internet; increasingly sophisticated knowledge about how to influence and manipulate others; and the growing vulnerabilities of people across the planet—make for a dangerous, potentially devastating combination. Steven Hassan’s book Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs provides the knowledge and awareness needed to help yourself and loved ones avoid or escape from such dangerous people and situations. This must-read volume is a significantly updated and revised edition of Hassan’s groundbreaking Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves. It provides an up-to-the-minute guide to the reality of ‘undue influence’—the preferred term for mind control—in the post 9-11 era.
Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs exposes the techniques and methods that individuals, cults, and institutions of all types—religious, business, therapeutic, educational, governmental—use to undo a person’s capacity to think and act independently. Hassan details his groundbreaking approach, the Strategic Interactive Approach, which can be used to help a loved one. Step-by-step, Hassan shows you how to evaluate the situation, interact with dual identities, develop communication strategies using phone calls, letter writing and visits, understand and utilize cult beliefs and tactics, and use reality-testing and other techniques to promote freedom of mind. He emphasizes the value of meeting with trained consultants to be effectively guided and coached and also to plan and implement effective interventions.
The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is knowledge and awareness.
Freedom of Mind is not just one of the best approaches for dealing with the consequences of cultic influence; it is one of the best guides ever for helping a person overcome undue influence of all kinds. Highly recommended.
Steven Hassan is one of our most eloquent defenders of freedom of the mind. For decades he has labored mightily on behalf of the majesty of the human spirit. His good work has brought psychological and spiritual relief to countless victims and families across the globe who have unknowingly stumbled into the clutches of mind control perpetrators. As a spokesperson for the ordinary individual’s right to be the master of his or her own thoughts and choices, Hassan has survived the dangers and threats manufactured by manipulators who have sought to silence his courage. His new book will bring special hope for current victims, but it should be read by anyone who values the privacy and sanctity of his or her own personality.
As a psychiatrist who has for years called on Steven Hassan for his experience with cults and for his help teaching our psychiatry residents about them, I found this latest book as strategic and courageous as its predecessors, but more comprehensive and practical. Its answers to frequently asked questions, case studies, and suggested ways of working through possible scenarios will be especially valuable in giving those affected by controlling groups a realistic reason for hope.
Freedom of Mind is the book for educating the public about what makes us vulnerable to social influence and what can be done about that. Easy to digest, practical and based on years of experience, Hassan takes the fear that grips the average person when they hear the word cult and breaks it down into bite sized pieces. Step by step simple explanations about what makes us susceptible to cultish manipulation removes the darkness of ignorance and drains the fear. He shows us how to restore the loving humanness of relationships with hope and helpful advice to teach critical thinking and strengthen one’s identity, safeguards against undue and destructive social influences.
Steven Hassan is a liberator. He frees peoples minds from the enslavement of cults and he does it with clarity, honesty and deep understanding of the human spirit. Freedom of Mind is a very important book.