M. Ed., LMHC, NCC
Steven Hassan is one of the foremost authorities on undue influence (mind control) and controlling groups and individuals. He understands the subject from the unique perspective as both a former cult member and as a clinical professional who has been working full time in the field since 1976.
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.
He is the author of Combating Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best Selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults (1988, 1990, 2015), Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves (2000) and Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults & Beliefs (2012, 2013). He is also the Co-Developer of Ending the Game, a non-coercive curriculum designed to educate and empower sex trafficking victims to leave pimps and traffickers. Steven provides training workshops and seminars for mental health professionals, educators, and law enforcement officers worldwide, as well as for families of cult members. He writes and speaks out about the importance of viewing ISIS/Daesh and other terrorist groups as destructive cults.
LMFT, M. Ed.
Rachel Bernstein is an educator and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with more than 25 years of experience helping those who have been hurt by abusive, manipulative, and controlling cults and individuals. Rachel puts people at ease and comes to this work with a desire to help provide information, practical guidance, and support. She has great respect for the difficulties people face when trying to regain their own freedom of mind, or the freedom of their loved ones.
She approaches her work with a systems perspective. By looking at the whole picture, she helps individuals, family members, and friends nurture mutually supportive relationships. She finds that it serves everyone best when they understand how they trigger behaviors and reactions in each other.
Rachel became an expert in cult education and prevention after one of her relatives became ensnared in a cult. Since 1990, she has specialized in ex-member recovery, both from cult groups and from one-on-one controlling relationships. She has worked at cult clinics and hotlines, written articles and blogs, and founded a speaker’s bureau for those affected by cults to take their message out to the community. She currently leads support groups for ex-members.
Steve Guziec is dedicated to helping and standing with those without a voice. He was born into, raised, and served as an active member in the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a destructive doomsday cult, until his mid-twenties. After being disfellowshipped, and experiencing the pain and suffering that accompanies being shunned by family and friends at the direction of the Watchtower Society’s Governing Body, Steve knew that his mission in life was to help others like himself.
Read Steve’s blog post, JW Leadership Fails to Protect Children.
Steve is passionate about helping people who have lost their family, friends, and other loved ones in the process of leaving the abusive cultic environment. This includes helping parents who have raised their children in a cult and have since left the group without their children, and those that have lost the relationship with their parents after leaving a cultic group.
He specializes in helping individuals born into groups that use undue influence and those trying to be free of controlling relationships. His graduate studies focused on understanding the process of recovery for those who were raised in cults. He is currently an adjunct professor of psychology at Robert Morris University.