Authentic Self

Parental Abduction and Alienation: A Discussion with Psychiatrist Nick Child

2019-06-07T11:14:26-04:00June 6th, 2019|Blog|

A few weeks ago, I spoke to a gathering of a group of parentally alienated mothers and fathers in Waltham, Massachusetts. Parental alienation is a phenomenon where children are turned against one of their parents (either mother or father) by the other parent, usually when there is a divorce, without good reason. In some cases, children are physically and psychologically isolated for years and they are programmed against the non-custodial parent. Of course, negative programming is done all the time in cult groups, when a parent decides they want to exit the cult. What I have learned is that this [...]

What is a Cult? Whiteboard Animation Explaining the BITE Model

2018-12-16T19:12:28-04:00November 22nd, 2018|Blog|

BITE Model Since my deprogramming from the Moon cult in 1976, I have come to learn of countless thousands of groups that I have never heard of before. Are they cults? Do they use mind control? Is it brainwashing? I have also been asked to comment on destructive family systems and controlling relationships. Over the decades of research, my way of systematizing a method to evaluate a weird group with crazy beliefs from a destructive one has come to be grounded in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It seems to me that while there are countries, [...]

The Freedom of Mind Approach to Recovery and Healing from Destructive Cults

2018-12-16T19:49:06-04:00May 17th, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

The Freedom of Mind approach to recovery and healing from destructive cults is customizable and designed to meet the needs of most any person who has been influenced by a cult. People who were born or raised in a cult have spent their early developmental years under cult control. Other people may have entered into a cult later on in life as adolescents, young adults, adults, or older adults. Both sets of former cult members may have very significant needs for recovery and healing. The Freedom of Mind approach to recovery and healing helps the former cult member to [...]

Errant Belief #8: “She’s Better Off Where She Is”

2018-12-16T19:34:15-04:00May 10th, 2018|Blog|

Are They Better Off Being Left in the Group? Sometimes family, friends, and even mental health professionals may think that a person is better off in the cult. This way, the family, and friends may not feel obliged to do anything to help rescue the individual. Sometimes this is because the person has been a member for a really long time. Sometimes this is because people think of how the person was when they first got involved. This is especially true when the cult member gives a convincing argument that they would have committed suicide or overdosed on drugs [...]

Errant Belief #6: “He’s Too Intelligent to Join a Cult”

2018-12-16T19:34:44-04:00April 19th, 2018|Blog|

Intelligent People Fall Prey to Cults Creativity & Imagination Can Be Used to Control a Person Cult mind control groups thrive to the extent that they can recruit such intelligent, dynamic people. It is essential for all members of the Team (part of the SIA) to realize that cults target these people for recruitment. The more creative a mind a person has, the more his imagination can be used to control him. Indeed, bright people sometimes have even more sophisticated fantasies about the group and its doctrine than does the cult leader. The bright member usually follows his [...]

Errant Belief #5: “He Has the Right to Believe What He Wants to Believe”

2018-12-16T19:34:53-04:00March 15th, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

The Right to Believe Anything vs. Reality-Testing Freedom to believe is only a real freedom if you also have the freedom not to believe. Having the right to believe something carries with it a presupposition of the right to not believe it, too. When recruiters deceptively ensnare people into a closed belief system, it violates informed consent. If a person wants to believe that David Koresh is the Christ, that is his right. If people want to believe that Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han are the perfect True Parents, they are entitled. However, my religious freedom was [...]

Errant Belief #3: “Why Should I Do Anything? He Says He’s Happy!”

2018-12-16T20:52:25-04:00February 22nd, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

Cult Identity Gail Maeder is on right Members of the Heaven’s Gate cult took turns making videotaped farewell statements that explained why they had decided to leave their “vehicles” behind and commit suicide. They all said they were happy and claimed that they were exercising their own free will. They had been told that Earth was going to be destroyed in flame and they were just "evacuating" to a spacecraft. Take a moment and take a look at the video which has been posted on Youtube. In my experience, I think it is wishful thinking to accept [...]

Errant Belief #2 “Everything is Mind Control”

2018-12-15T20:10:03-04:00February 1st, 2018|Blog|

Errant Belief #2: “Everything is Mind Control” Mind control is everywhere, some people state—in psychotherapy, advertising, education, and the military, for example— so it must be acceptable. When we generalize and say that everything is mind control, all distinctions are lost. No insight is gained. A more productive model is to think in terms of a continuum of influence: at one end, respectful, ethical, growth-enhancing influence that recognizes the value of individuality, human rights, and creativity; at the other end, conformity, dependency, and slavery, where the value lies in the leader and the group. Everything is not mind control, [...]

Errant Belief #1: There’s No Such Thing as Mind Control

2018-12-16T19:35:15-04:00January 26th, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

Refuting Errant Beliefs You will need to know how to address other people’s misconceptions and, eventually, you will have to articulate these issues to the cult member as well. To help prepare you, I have identified ten of the most common fallacies about mind control cults.  Today, I will discuss the first one. Errant Belief #1 “THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS MIND CONTROL” People who reject out of hand the existence of mind control usually have distorted conceptions about mind control techniques.  “Nobody can erase your personality and turn you into a brainwashed zombie,” is one common belief. Yet, [...]

How Jehovah’s Witness Teachings Can Damage Brain Development in Children

2018-12-16T20:48:27-04:00January 9th, 2018|Blog|

Introduction In my decades of work with helping those born into high control groups, the effects are usually quite devastating. Despite the conditions in which young people are raised, I have also seen remarkable courage and resiliency to overcome their childhood trauma, especially if they can receive proper support and counseling. I have blogged before about the trauma caused by corporal punishment. The Watchtower encourages its members to use physical discipline and it causes grave harm. There are also serious emotional and psychological abuses. I also blogged about a twenty-seven-year-old who left her child motherless because she followed the [...]