Authentic Self

Stereotypical Profile of Cult Members

2018-12-15T21:34:31-05:00January 27th, 2017|Blog, Resources and Support|

A few people have asked me recently what a typical cult member looks like. While every group and individual is unique, there are common patterns for how cult members think, feel, speak, and behave. Check out the BITE Model and the right side of the Influence Continuum graphic.  Cult members become “clones” of the group leaderCult mentality is usually absolutist, simplistic, rigid, and rooted in terms of black-and-white, Us vs. Them, good vs. evil. Rather than examining evidence and then forming beliefs based on that evidence, cult members start with the “answer” and pay much more attention to evidence or [...]

Robert Jay Lifton MD: An Interview with a Genius

2018-12-16T20:12:24-05:00October 7th, 2016|Blog, News and Updates|

As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the day I left the Moonies, I want to take some time to acknowledge an individual who played an important role in my personal and professional development. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the famous psychiatrist and my mentor, Robert Jay Lifton. I was first introduced to Lifton’s 1961 book on brainwashing, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, during my deprogramming in May of 1976. It helped me understand that the tactics used by the Moonies to indoctrinate me were the same used by Communist China and other cults [...]

Use of Words, Loaded Language, and “Thought Control” of Believers

2018-12-16T21:05:22-05:00July 29th, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

I recently read former Scientologist official Mike Rinder’s blog piece on “Word Clearing.” I suspect that most people who read his blog are ex-Scientologists, but I think it might be interesting for former members of other destructive groups to give it a read. I thought it could be a useful introduction to a blog I have been wanting to write for a few weeks on “Loaded Language. When it comes to freeing one's mind from cult influence, one of the hardest things for many to overcome is the involuntary use of “loaded language.” Loaded language is something I first [...]

How to Proceed After the Worst Mass Shooting in US History

2018-12-16T19:29:10-05:00June 14th, 2016|Blog, Current Events|

This past weekend, forty-nine innocent people were killed in an Orlando gay night club and more were injured. The attack, committed by a lone gunman who called 911 and pledged allegiance to ISIS, is the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States. Much like the rest of the nation, my thoughts have been with those who were lost and who lost loved ones during this attack. As a human rights activist, I am frequently public in my support for people to be themselves, and respected for their right to be gay. As more information comes out, I [...]

Creativity, Spontaneity, All Spring from the Authentic Self: Silk Road Project Film

2018-12-16T00:19:24-05:00May 27th, 2016|Blog, Media Reviews|

By World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons This week my family was invited to an advanced showing of a new documentary, The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble which will be premiering in NY, LA and other places in June. I invite you to watch the trailer for this extraordinary movie about a most extraordinary group of genius musicians from all over the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx6Pz_TRM58&feature=y Trust me, it will show the very deepest and best of being human and how the “universal language of music” can [...]