All posts tagged: BITE model

NXIVM survivors Sarah Edmondson and Nippy Ames talk to Dr. Steven Hassan

Leaving NIXVM, an Authoritarian Cult, Was Not the End: A Conversation with Sarah Edmondson and Nippy Ames

Two years ago, in May of 2020, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah Edmondson for my blog. Sarah, and her husband Anthony (Nippy) Ames, met while both were high-ranking members of NIXVM, a cult founded by Keith Raniere. At the time of that interview, Raniere had been convicted of federal crimes that included sex trafficking and conspiracy. In October 2020, Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison.

Ginni Thomas

Ginni Thomas, Lifespring, QAnon and the Jan.6th Coup attempt

On April 2, I shared a special podcast on the Influence Continuum, responding to a profound interest in Ginni Thomas and her husband, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. To explain the context, in late March, numerous news sources reported that Ginni Thomas would be asked to appear before the Congressional Panel investigating the January 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol. This decision...

exmormon

LDS (Mormon) Church, Leaving & Recovery–Reddit AMA: ExMormons

This past Sunday (January 9, 2022), I was invited to answer questions about the Mormon Church during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) for the subreddit group, ExMormon. This is the link to the entire thread: AMA: I'm Steven Hassan, Ask Me Anything! : exmormon (reddit.com). I had recently written...

Synanon

Synanon and Enthusiastic Sobriety: Cults Disguised as Drug Treatment

Cults take on many disguises to recruit and control members, including religious organizations, marketing schemes, drug treatment, and even yoga or martial arts groups. But the tactics of recruitment and control are very similar, and the malignant narcissists who profit from the cults also act in similarly destructive ways.

LulaRoe Roberta Blevins

LuLaRoe and the World of Commercial Cults: Interview With Roberta Blevins

LuLaRoe is one of the largest multi-level marketing schemes (MLMs) in history. Founded in 2012, the company became famous for selling colorful, patterned leggings and advertising heavily on social media. Last month, Amazon Prime released the original series “LuLaRich,” and brought LuLaRoe’s use of undue influence and mind control to the public’s attention.

Jasmine Banks and Kochland

Charles Koch’s Undue Influence on College Campuses: An Interview with Jasmine Banks

Billionaire donors are exerting undue influence on college campuses nationwide to advance a regressive corporate agenda. When I read Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America by Christopher Leonard, I was astounded at how much I did not know about this empire. For example, patriarch Fred C. Koch, co-founder of the racist John Birch Society, was a union buster, stealer of oil from Indigenous people, massive polluter, and fanatical about their corporate “culture” which has been described by many as cult-like.

How Colonizers Use Mind Control: A Conversation with Cindy Blackstock

The “merciless Indian savages…” Those words in the United States Declaration of Independence entrenched the way colonial states defined Indigenous peoples as “savage” and their relationship with the “civilized Americans” as represented by federal and state governments. This dehumanizing propaganda was the pen of history, of social norms and laws writing on our societal manuscript about what the United States is and who we are as Americans. It served to normalize and even legitimize the wrongful dispossession of land, resources and even the children from Indigenous peoples.

Message Churches Branham

The Racist Effects of William Branham’s Message Churches

Millions of Americans are members of Message churches today. The Message cult — a collection of sub-groups that originated from William Branham’s Pentecostal Tabernacle — is characterized by its extreme white supremacy and deeply misogynistic attitudes. Claiming to be a prophet who channeled messages directly from God, Branham formed the Billie Branham Pentecostal Tabernacle in

left-wing cult

International Marxist Tendency (IMT): A Left-Wing Trotskyist Cult

The story of Aaron Kyereh-Mireku, a former member of a left-wing Trotskyist cult (IMT), is very important for two reasons. His experience is more proof that anyone can be seduced into a cult, no matter how intelligent, educated or influence-resistant they may be. Further, his story demonstrates that there are cults with left-wing, communist ideology,