All posts tagged: Brainwashing

Humiliation, Media Shaming, Trauma as well as work with the FLDS with Dr. Christine Marie 

We can use psychology to understand media shaming and ask the right questions   Media shaming has been around for decades, but the advent of the Internet and 24/7 information cycles have taken it in an entirely new and intense direction. The effects of this on everyday people’s lives are monumental and sometimes deadly.   Dr. Christine

Jeffrey Augustine, dedicated to exposing cult propagandists

Exposing Cult Propagandists with ex-Scientologist Jeffrey Augustine 

The Cult of Cult Apologists is the name of a new blog based on months of research by Augustine, a journalist, and former Scientologist. Scientology is one of the most well-known destructive cults of our time. Well-funded and organized, they have a long history of pain and suffering, lies, and criminal activity. Jeffrey Augustine dedicates his

Lone-Actor Terrorism: An Integrated Framework 

Public attention to the phenomenon of lone-actor terrorism has seemed to rise in recent decades. Tragic shootings in just the last two months have brought this phenomenon into even sharper relief: a school shooting in Uvalde, which prompted outrage over law enforcement and U.S. gun control policies; the July 4th Highland Park shooting in Chicago, which again led to an interrogation of the internet’s role in motivating lone-actor terrorists; and, most recently, the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which brought to light how the Unification Church’s predatory financial tactics factored into the shooter’s motivations. We also know mass shootings occur on a larger scale than just those involving high-profile, lone-actor terrorist cases; in fact, over 300 have occurred in the U.S. in 2022 alone.  

Allen Tate Wood, former Moon cult leader

The Moon Cult: An Interview with former top American leader Allen Tate Wood

With the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by Tetsuya Yamagami, the Moon cult is back in the news. Abe became a target, reportedly because he and his father publicly supported the Moon cult. The assassin was reportedly furious because his mother had given away all the family money to the cult. I interviewed former top American political leader of Unification Church, Allen Tate Wood, and wish to expose the mindset of cult psychology.

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.

Dr. Robert Jay Lifton Catastrophic Event

Surviving Catastrophic Events: An Interview With Dr. Robert Lifton

Forty-five years ago, I was deprogrammed from the Moonies. Over two years prior to that, I had been recruited into the cult, had undergone systematic mind control tactics and become a loyal follower of Rev. Sun Myung Moon. I had been fully convinced that Moon was the Messiah, sent by God to save the world.

Bill and Lorna Goldberg

Lorna and Bill Goldberg: Fifty Years of Helping People Out of Cults

I often find it hard to believe that this year marks my 45th anniversary of freedom from the insidious cult indoctrination of the Moonies. For the 40th anniversary of my deprogramming, I wrote a blog to thank the people directly responsible for the intervention that liberated me. As I reflect, there have been many people

Dr. Alan Scheflin Social Evaluating Influence

Evaluating Undue Influence: Scheflin’s Model as a Framework

As a result of the January 6 attempted insurrection, over 540 suspects have been identified, and at least 440 of them have been formally charged by the Department of Justice. On April 16, 2021, the first guilty plea was entered by Jon Schaffer, a member of the Oath Keepers militia group. Schaffer, who is 53

Harvard Psychiatry Grand Rounds Steven Hassan

Mental Health Professionals Need to Learn How to Help People in Authoritarian Cults

Many Americans breathed a sigh of relief when Joe Biden became the 46th President on January 20, 2021. QAnon and other true believers were upset that nothing happened to change that on March 4. Over 400 people have been arrested so far and charged for their role in the failed January 6th insurrection attempt. Yet, polls indicate there are tens of millions of Americans who still believe the big lie that the election

My First Foundational Online Course: “Understand Cults: The Basics”

  Understand Cults: The Basics A foundational course to understanding brainwashing, thought reform, mind control, and undue influence Instructor: Steven Hassan, PhD Available HERE Includes 8 sections & almost 4 hours of video instruction No prerequisites Target Students: Those interested in understanding cults. This includes former members of cults and those with friends and family

Authoritarian Bible Cults Actively Recruiting at College and Online: Interview With Former BCC Member Chris Lee

Searching for spiritual meaning and connection with others is common when young adults enter their college years. There are many positive and ethical religious groups open to these young people, but, unfortunately, there are also destructive religious cults actively recruiting new members through deceptive and authoritarian means. I have recently been contacted by people from