All posts tagged: Cult

A Billion Years: My Escape From a Life in the Highest Ranks of Scientology with Mike Rinder

I was excited when I learned that Mike Rinder wrote a new book, A Billion Years: My Escape From a Life in the Highest Ranks of Scientology. The book’s title was an ode to his billion-year commitment when he joined the Sea Organization (Sea Org) shortly after graduating high school in 1973. Rinder rose to become the top leader in the Office of Special Affairs (OSA), where, among other duties, he oversaw the “fair game” harassment of all perceived enemies, including the non-profit Cult Awareness Network. When he left Scientology in 2007, he decided to expose the criminal behavior of Scientology. I was very interested in asking him specific questions about his knowledge of Scientology.  

Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation: Turning Children Against Their Parent

In my work with ex-cult members, I have been aware of the use of parental alienation tactics for many years. It occurs in situations where one parent leaves a cult, but the other parent remains. In such cases, cult policies usually call for extreme measures to “demonize” the ex-member and turn their children...

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.

cult involvement democracy Moonies Helen Christophi

Cult Involvement in the Attempt to Destroy Democracy

Helen Christophi, a freelance journalist working on an article for Political Research Associates about the January 6th failed insurrection attempt, contacted me for an interview. Christophi was interested in cult involvement (particularly the Moon cult) in the planning and execution of that event. One of her most pertinent questions was how the GOP became so

Sean Moon Crown Rifle Insurrection Moonies

Rod of Iron Ministries and Its Role in Carrying Out the Attack on the Capitol

Rod of Iron Ministries Stormed US Capitol On January 6, insurrectionists came dangerously close to overthrowing the United States government. The organizations that were instrumental in organizing the attacks on the US Capitol were sophisticated and highly connected with prominent GOP political figures. Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon — the youngest son of Moonie cult founder

Author John Collins on Branham’s Message and Growing Up in A Religious Cult

My friend and colleague, John Collins, has done significant work documenting the history of William Branham’s Message movement. A few years ago, Collins and I authored an article on Mind Control and Jonestown as Jim Jones had been influenced by Branham. Collins taught me about Branham and his influence with other authoritarian cult leaders. Cults

The Traumatic Impact of Media Humiliation, Misrepresentation and Victim-Shaming

Public shaming and humiliation have a long history as a tactic of social control and punishment. Acknowledging the trauma of its use is not new. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, wrote in 1787 that shaming “is universally acknowledged to be a worse punishment than death.” The use of stocks and pillories on the village green began to

Psychologist Abuse

Psychologist Abuse? Therapist Abuse? Life Coach Abuse?

Amy Avalon Therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, life coaches, and spiritual advisors are all expected to address emotional or spiritual well-being and nurture a person’s healing and positive growth. Most of them are committed to doing just that. Unfortunately, some have darker motivations, such as a desire for power, money, or sex. Instead of using their skills to help their clients, they use undue influence to manipulate and abuse them. Are

Dismantling QAnon: A TEDxMidAtlantic Must Watch Program

Assuming the predictions are accurate and there is a Biden/Harris landslide, what will happen with the millions of people who believe that President Trump is a man of God doing Apocalyptic fulfillment, especially QAnon followers? This is an important question as most of us have friends or family members that are affected. I wanted to

The QAnon Media Ecosystem Is Not Helping People to Exit

  Originally published on Medium: <https://hassan-4414.medium.com/the-qanon-media-ecosystem-is-not-helping-people-to-exit-1045e0c8c8ee> Reporters covering QAnon for the past few years have over time inadvertently done more harm than good. In fact, they probably have done great damage. By amplifying the conspiracy to the level that it is now squarely in mainstream discourse is problematic. The way it is discussed and covered