BITE model

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 #7: “He Must Be Weak, Stupid or Looking for Easy Answers or Someone to Tell Him What to Do”

2018-12-16T20:52:12-04:00April 26th, 2018|Blog|

"Don't Blame the Victim" This is a very commonly held, but fallacious generalization about people involved with destructive relationships and cult groups. People often try to find fault with people who experience tragedy by blaming the victim. Laying blame gives people a false sense of control over their own lives by distancing them from the victim. However, the idea that people knowingly join destructive cults is patently wrong. Most people are recruited at a vulnerable moment, without understanding the forces that are brought to bear on them. Sometimes a cult manipulates a recruit’s strength. For example, by playing to [...]

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 [...]

How to Rescue a Loved One from a Cult or Controlling Relationship: The Strategic Interactive Approach

2018-12-15T19:56:06-04:00April 11th, 2018|Blog|

Development of the Strategic Interactive Approach Family members and friends often feel angry, confused, hurt, frustrated and helpless when they realize a loved one has gotten involved with a controlling person or group. They often notice a radical personality change. They either try to argue the person away, are reassured or told to mind their own business. I have blogged about common errant beliefs. Getting informed, choosing a professional and their approach ideally needs to happen as quickly as possible. Then a plan can be developed. Almost everyone wants to just "fix the problem" and tries to do [...]

Shunning and the BITE Model of Mind Control in the Jehovah’s Witnesses

2018-12-16T20:48:16-04:00March 22nd, 2018|Blog, Current Events, News and Updates|

The Trauma of Being Cut Off: Disfellowshipped While Still Indoctrinated Unless it has happened to you, it is impossible to describe the pain, confusion and suffering a person endures when they are excommunicated from an authoritarian Bible group like the Watchtower Society. People's entire identities are molded around ideological conformity and dependence on commands from the Governing Body, believing that only those men know the Almighty's will and understand the Bible properly. It is especially difficult when a person is raised in such a group and their families and friends are all believers. The threat of being shunned is [...]

Errant Belief #4: “He’s an Adult. We Have No Right to Interfere.”

2018-12-15T20:04:50-04:00March 1st, 2018|Blog|

Undue Influence Undermines Autonomy It is completely understandable that people might resist any request to help a person who has been unduly influenced. The person might say, "Why should I? They are an adult. I don't think it is right to interfere with their decision." If the person isn't asking for help, why get involved? Americans generally have great respect for privacy and expect that people are functioning of one's own volition. In fact, the law states that once people reach the age of majority (usually eighteen but in some countries twenty-one), they are responsible for their own [...]

The Radicalization of Patty Hearst: Mind Control by the SLA, a Political Cult

2018-12-16T19:56:55-04:00February 14th, 2018|Blog|

The Radicalization of Patty Hearst: Mind Control by the SLA, a Political Cult CNN describes an alternative narrative to the radicalization of Patricia Hearst CNN has produced a special on the radicalization of Patricia Hearst, based on Jeffrey Toobin's 2016 book, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst (See my 2016 blog). I watched the first two hours of the CNN special (Next Sunday is the next part). Unfortunately, my critical thoughts about the interview I heard and Toobin's book continue with this program. The show features SLA kidnapper of Patty, [...]

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 Can I Rescue My Child From a Cult?

2018-12-16T19:49:18-04:00January 18th, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

How Can I Rescue My Child From a Cult? Whether you are looking for help for your son or daughter, your brother or sister, mother or father, or husband or wife, my advice is to do your homework, first. In the coming weeks, I plan to share the errant beliefs I wrote about in my book, Freedom of Mind: Helping Loves Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs. In this digital age, make sure you are not signaling online that you are worried or seeking to help someone to reevaluate their involvement. Protect Your Identity Change all of [...]