My First TV Interview About the Book
Australian Today Extra
Recorded on October 21, 2019 (approx 7 minutes)
(Note: The interviewer mispronounced my name)
My book, The Cult of Trump, was published on October 15, 2019. Since then, I have been interviewed by the media for digital articles, radio shows, podcasts, and more. One common question I am asked is why I felt that it was important to write this book. As I explain in the Author’s Note, which I have shared below, “I believe that the ultimate weapon against mind control is knowledge and awareness. That is what I try to provide in this book.”
This blog is a very timely call-to-action for all that wish to make a difference and help educate the public about destructive cults and how they imprison people psychologically. Please consider helping! We created the option for activists to download and share the flyer and press release, book images, and book webpage. Reach out to your local media, government, friends, family, and colleagues. The first step is to educate yourself about mind control, undue influence, and manipulation. And then share what you have learned with others.
For folks who have not yet gotten the book, I wanted to give you a taste, which I do below.
Excerpt from The Cult of Trump
I was nineteen and attending Queens College when I was recruited—tricked—into joining a dangerous mind-controlling cult: Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church. During my time in the group, I experienced a radical personality change, fervently believing and spreading the cult’s doctrine. I felt totally in control of my mind and thoughts—something I can now confidently say was not the case. It was only through luck, and some clever maneuvering on my family’s part, that I was able to free myself. I was a cult member for only two and a half years. I’m one of the fortunate ones. Since then, I’ve become a mental health professional and have devoted my life to helping people break free from destructive cults, passing on the lessons learned through my own deprogramming. Over the past forty years, I’ve gotten a close look at hundreds of dangerous groups—as well as individual relationships—and know what, exactly, makes them destructive and cultish. I have spoken out publicly about cults and have faced a lot of backlash from some pretty scary and powerful organizations. I’ve faced lawsuits, death threats, and slander upon my character. Still, I feel privileged to do the work that I do.
I talk to a lot of people, some of whom disagree with me, and it’s important for me—both personally and professionally—to be as unbiased and trustworthy as possible. The people whom I help—along with their families—need to trust that I am telling the truth. I have always sought to be nonpartisan and keep politics out of my work. But Donald Trump’s authoritarian tendencies, and the cult like aspects of his presidency, have become too obvious to ignore. I realize that the title of this book, The Cult of Trump, and its central argument—that the president of the United States may be viewed as the leader of a cult—may be off-putting, if not outrageous, to some. I hope that my expertise, which I have gained through decades of work, will persuade you to continue with an open mind. My goal is not to write a political book about Trump—many have already been written—but instead to look at the Trump presidency through the lens of psychology, and in particular the psychology of mind manipulation and influence. I believe that the ultimate weapon against mind control is knowledge and awareness. That is what I try to provide in this book.
I have done my best to ensure that the material in this book is as accurate and verifiable as possible. Of course, when writing about another person, there is always a certain amount of subjectivity, and many opportunities for bias to creep in. I have no doubt that some will take issue with what I have written. I ask you to take the wider view. I also invite you to differ with me. My goal is to empower people to think for themselves, which may mean moving outside of our ideological bubbles.
This is a book about an area of human behavior that I liken to a dark forest. As a former cult member, I personally have seen the trees, as have millions of people who have escaped destructive groups and found their way to freedom. As a mental health professional, I’ve also spent decades mapping the contours of the cult mind control phenomenon. My hope is that this book may help point a way out of the dark forest of authoritarianism.
If you are interested in coming to my NYC book signing event, I will be interviewed by Dr. Joseph Chuman this Sunday, November 10th at 11:-12:30 at the Ethical Culture Society. See this link for more details. Thank you for helping educate the public!
Promotional Materials for The Cult of Trump Book
Videos, Articles, Interviews, and Media for The Cult of Trump
- The Raw Story: Ex-cult member imagines terrifying end game to Trump’s presidency: ‘He might take everyone with him — like Jim Jones’ <https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/ex-cult-member-imagines-terrifying-end-game-to-trumps-presidency-he-might-take-everyone-with-him-like-jim-jones/>
- Daily Kos: Steve Hassan’s The Cult of Trump: A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind Control <https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/10/22/1894061/-A-Must-Read-Steven-Hassan-s-The-Cult-of-Trump-A-Leading-Cult-Expert-Explains-How-the-President-Us>
- Salon: Can members of the Trump cult be deprogrammed after the leader falls? Steven Hassan says yes <https://www.salon.com/2019/10/22/cam-members-of-the-trump-cult-be-deprogrammed-after-the-leader-falls-steven-hassan-says-yes>
- Harper’s Bazaar: Why Is Anyone Still Supporting a Supervillain like Trump? <https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/politics/a29465615/trump-cult-leader>
- The Daily Beast: Take It From a Former Moonie: Trump Is a Cult Leader: It might seem an outrageous proposition to compare Donald Trump to a murderous cult leader. And yet there are alarming parallels. <https://www.thedailybeast.com/take-it-from-a-former-moonie-trump-is-a-cult-leader>
- Daily Mail: Fake enemies, loaded language, grandiosity, belittling critics: Cults expert claims Donald Trump’s tactics are taken straight from playbook of Sun Myung Moon, David Koresh and Jim Jones <https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7552231/Trumps-tactics-taken-playbook-cult-leaders-like-Jim-Jones-David-Koresh-says-author.html>
- Cambridge Chronicle: Cambridge On My Mind Column: The cult of the president <https://cambridge.wickedlocal.com/news/20191003/cambridge-on-my-mind-column-cult-of-president>
- Medium: What Trump Has in Common With Cult Leaders <https://gen.medium.com/what-trump-has-in-common-with-cult-leaders-334c206a22f6>
- Strange Days Podcast with Fernand Amandi: The Cult of Trump <https://strangedayspodcast.com/2019/10/31/the-cult-of-trump/>
- The Damage Report: The Cult of Donald Trump <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uPzbL_l_v8>
- House of Mystery Radio Show Podcast: The Cult of Trump – Steven Hassan <https://player.pippa.io/houseofmysteryradio/episodes/the-trump-cult-steven-hassan>
- David Pakman Show: Former Cult Member on How to Deprogram Trumpists <https://youtu.be/mj_AUYycrV0>
- WMNF: Cult Expert Explains How President Trump Uses Mind Control <https://www.wmnf.org/cult-expert-explains-how-president-trump-uses-mind-control/>
- Between the Lines: Trump’s Malignant Narcissism, Paranoia, Lack of Empathy, Fit Psychological Profile of a Cult Leader
- Thom Hartmann: How to Break Through To Trump’s Cult
- Random Lengths News: Random Letters — 10/24/19 <https://www.randomlengthsnews.com/2019/10/25/random-letters-10-24-19>