Analyzing online content and how people interact with that content is essential to understanding the process of online radicalization. Bad actors worldwide use social media to post content to arouse emotions and create chaos. Distrust and polarization. With algorithms instantly and repeatedly feeding similar content, it is easy to go down a rabbit hole of authoritarian creation, resulting in undue influence. Dr. Stuart Shulman is the founding Editor of the Journal of Information Technology & Politics. He holds a Ph.D. in American Politics (Oregon 1999) and is currently the founder (2009) and CEO of Texifter, a software business serving academic, commercial, and government clients. DiscoverText is a web-based text analytics platform for improving human and machine learning. His past work includes extensive teaching and leadership roles, building externally funded teams for collaborative interdisciplinary research. His projects involve qualitative, quantitative, survey, and social media data and human annotation at scale, information retrieval, and machine-learning methods.
Taking Down Trump: 12 Rules for Prosecuting Donald Trump by Someone Who Did It Successfully with Tristan Snell
The Trump University scam started years before Donald Trump ran for President, though many people are just now learning about the extent of the deception. Using fraudulent claims and high-pressure sales techniques, the University scammed many people into enrolling for courses for increasingly higher prices. Some victims lost their savings, and at least one victim lost their home.
In this era of political polarization, the landscape in the United States is marked by the rise of Donald Trump as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election. This despite Trump facing numerous legal challenges–including over his involvement in the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol. However, Trump and his supporters are but the most visible element. Part of the reason for his rise is a profound tale of our time. The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is increasingly taking over the religious right movement and, in turn, influencing the Republican Party, which holds implications for Christianity and the future of democracy.
Top Eleven Insights Cult Survivors Wish Therapists Knew, or, “I was tired of paying my therapist to teach her about cults”
We’ve created this infographic resource specifically to alert therapists to the perennial problem facing cult survivors: they often feel they have to educate their therapists about how destructive, authoritarian cults work, and essentially pay their therapist to learn how to help them.
Psychedelic Research and Experimentation: Maintaining Strong Guardrails to Prevent TESCREAL Hallucinations and Undue Influence with Neşe Devenot, Ph.D.
Psychedelic research and experimentation are increasing around the nation under serious academic scrutiny. Findings indicate that in some instances, psychedelics may be helpful in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), particularly among Veterans, where symptoms are common in areas such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, anger, and post-concussive syndrome. In a group where suicidality shows an alarming increase, adding another therapeutic tool using appropriate caution and influence appears hopeful.
However, as research picks up in these areas of psychology, rarely do we discuss the potential dangers of cults, mind control, undue influence, or authoritarian control surrounding the topic of psychedelics. Silicon Valley billionaires reportedly are increasingly using psychedelics in non-therapeutic ways to produce business breakthroughs. In this community, there is a societal push for others to use them in a hugely irresponsible and potentially manipulative way.
AI, Technology & Mind Control Topics in Natural Wellness and Spiritual Communities: with Dr. Melanie Trowbridge
Natural medicine might seem distant from the far-right fringes of society until you dig a little deeper and find the wealth of ‘wellness products’ being sold alongside political conspiracies. There is a constant quest for increasing well-being and less ‘toxic’ lifestyles. Meanwhile, conspiracy theories drain resources and instill fears, including political plots, controls, and cabals. It happens in the extremes on all sides, the quest for health alongside an implanted mission searching for “the truth.” Time magazine printed a November 2023 article called Wellness Conspiracy Theories are Spreading and highlighted the topic known colloquially as “conspirituality.” This leaves people simply seeking to feel better with the additional question of how to recognize scams from reality in holistic and natural health communities.
The following is a discussion with
Dr. Steven Hassan, Dr. Carlos Bardavío Antón, and Michel Gilbert,
regarding the huge historic victory
that the tribunals in Spain have given
to all victims of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the founder of iCivics, said, “The practice of democracy is not passed down through the gene pool. It must be taught and learned by each new generation.” It is the continuing mission of the iCivics organization and its current Chief Executive Officer, Louise Dubé, to ensure that future generations of Americans receive meaningful, high-quality, non-partisan civics education through the 145,000 educators and 9 million students in all 50 states served through this free-to-the-public program.
When Religion Hurts You: Healing from Religious Trauma and the Impact of High Control Religion with Dr. Laura E. Anderson
Laura E. Anderson, PhD, specializes in complex trauma, with a particular focus on domestic violence, sexualized violence, and religious trauma. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a Ph.D. in Mind Body Medicine from Saybrook University. Her new book is When Religion Hurts You: Healing from Religious Trauma and the Impact of High Control Religion. She founded and directed the Center for Trauma Resolution and Recovery, an online coaching company.
Legally released from an unenforceable NDA, the former 2016 campaign staffer discusses the cult-building tactics, Russian interference, and the who’s who of bad actors behind the scenes of the Trump campaign.
Alva Johnson, a former large-scale event producer, found herself thrust into the midst of a presidential campaign after taking on what she thought was a short gig to assist with coordinating one rally. The massive success of that one rally eventually led to Alva becoming deeply involved in the Trump Campaign in 2015 and 2016.
What is Integrative Psychology? What is “organization of mind?” If a person is interested in embodied mind practices, which include concentration meditation training, it takes very specialized training and practice to navigate this terrain effectively. I wanted to ask my colleague Nigel Denning to share his decades of experience. We know each other because we both have received training from the famous forensic psychologist and Tibetan Buddhist teacher Daniel P. Brown. Sadly, Dr. Brown passed away last year, but his work lives on. Nigel and I are planning for me to travel to Melbourne in early 2025 to offer training together, which we plan to record and put together as an online course. Hopefully, we hope to empower individuals with the knowledge and tools to optimize their minds, create a nurturing environment for growth and healing, and develop awareness of and resilience against the numerous forms of undue influence that permeate our culture.
The Convergence of Cult Experience and Military Indoctrination with Former Army Captain Daniella Mestyanek Young
I was honored to have an enlightening discussion with Daniella Mestyanek Young shortly after the release of her acclaimed memoir Uncultured in 2022. In this conversation a year later, we delved into the intricacies of her early departure from the Children of God (COG) religious sex cult, her military journey as a former Army Captain in the Intelligence Corps, and the unsettling convergence of undue influence. Since our last exchange, Daniella earned her Master’s in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the Harvard Extension School.