Cult Expert

Terror, Love & Brainwashing: A Discussion with Alexandra Stein About Extremist Political Cults

2019-02-28T12:54:32-04:00February 28th, 2019|Blog|

This week, I have the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Stein, a cult survivor and renowned expert on cults and totalitarianism. Alexandra Stein, Ph.D. is a writer and educator specializing in the social psychology of ideological extremism and other dangerous social relationships. She is an academic, having taught at the University of Minnesota, Birkbeck, and the University of London, now teaching at the Mary Ward Center. Dr. Stein is a Ph.D. sociologist and expert on social psychology. She teaches as an academic but gives talks, as well as, writes books.  Her memoir Inside Out: A Memoir of Entering and Breaking Out of a Minneapolis [...]

Children Are Harmed by Destructive Cults: Part Two

2018-12-15T19:49:50-04:00September 6th, 2018|Blog|

Freedom of religion does not give permission to traumatize and abuse kids! Last week, I blogged about some ways that children are harmed physically by destructive cults, including murder, suicide, medical neglect, trafficking, corporal punishment and sexual predation. Many children that are born or raised in a group are helpless and do not have the resources to protect themselves. And very often, children are harmed psychologically and face difficulties not just during their childhood but also after leaving the group. For example, in this week's blog we list just a few things that can cause lifelong harm if not [...]

Errant Belief #10: “We Have Lost Hope”

2018-12-16T19:33:48-04:00June 21st, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

Have a Positive Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Not a Negative One In my opinion, giving up hope is a dysfunctional coping mechanism to deal with the pain. Unfortunately, it suggests incorrectly that there is nothing constructive that can be done. If family members and friends no longer believe that the person will reestablish contact (if they have disconnected) or leave the group, then at least they will no longer be angry, frustrated, sad, disappointed and even depressed. Some people have actually told me that they have grieved their loved one as if he had already died. I say, “If the person [...]

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 [...]

Freedom of Mind Resource Center: 2017, A Year in Review

2018-12-16T19:22:07-04:00December 21st, 2017|Blog, News and Updates|

Freedom of Mind Resource Center: 2017, A Year in Review Hi, Steve Hassan, founder of Freedom of Mind Resource Center, here. I wanted to wish everyone a very happy holiday and a very good new year. It's been awhile since I blogged because of my doctoral work at Fielding Graduate University. I just finished my first semester and it is going very well and I hope to be developing research that can scientifically validate my BITE model and Influence Continuum in courts of law worldwide. I just wanted to send greetings to all my friends and all [...]

Recovery from Spiritual Abuse and Healing Oneself to Trust Again

2018-12-13T21:09:21-04:00August 9th, 2017|Blog, News and Updates, Resources and Support|

This past weekend, I attended and spoke at a conference at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. This one-day event was sponsored by MeadowHaven, The Protestant Chaplaincy of the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, Dartmouth Bible Church, and International Cultic Studies Association. The title of my talk was "Spiritual Abuse: Strategies to Help Someone to Exit, Heal and Trust Again," which was quite a large topic to cover in forty-five minutes! However, many people have told me that they really got a lot from it. I was invited to speak there by my colleague and friend, Rev. Bob Pardon who along with [...]

Kim Jong Un and North Korea: Can we learn from Jim Jones and David Koresh?

2019-02-13T10:46:24-04:00July 6th, 2017|Blog, Current Events|

The cult leader of North Korea seems to be threatening Donald Trump and the United States. This week, Trump spoke to an audience in Poland stating he was considering, "some pretty severe things," when it comes to the threat of North Korea. This is something that concerns me deeply. As I have written before, I believe that drastic military action against North Korea would surely have disastrous repercussions. North Korea is no ordinary nation. It is a country that is controlled by a narcissistic dictator–the same way a cult is controlled by its leader. Kim Jong-un is known to [...]