All posts tagged: #Cult45

Evangelical Christians’ Move Towards Right-Wing Politics with Frank Schaeffer

In my book The Cult of Trump, I present a thesis that Donald Trump was a symptom of decades of right-wing maneuvering to gain power and institute a theocracy by eliminating the separation between Church and State, which the Founders of the Constitution tried to ensure would not happen. White evangelical Christians, among other powerful groups like The Family, Opus Dei, and the New Apostolic Reformation, appear to support this movement and, indeed, are the driving force behind it because they believe Trump is being used to do ‘God’s work.’ Someone very experienced in talking about this issue is Frank Schaeffer. He was born and bred into an evangelical fundamentalist life and went on to play an active role in helping to politicize evangelical leaders. He has now bravely written and spoken about his regret at the part he played in this process and is an active religious reform activist.

Melissa Jo Peltier, who created a documentary about Trump Voters

The Game Is Up: Disillusioned Trump Voters Tell Their Stories

In my book, The Cult of Trump, I explored the parallels between Trump and cult leaders, arguing that his presidency was much like a destructive cult. The indoctrination techniques Trump used to build fanatical devotion in his supporters is akin to those of Jim Jones, David Koresh, Ron Hubbard, and Sun Myung Moon. Trump’s lies, lack of conscience, inability to admit when he is wrong, and projecting his shortcomings onto others can be seen in many cult leaders. With his rise to the presidency, he became more authoritarian and though he lost the election in 2020, he continues the lie that it was stolen and his supporters continue to believe him. 

Invisible Storm: A Soldier’s Memoir of Politics and PTSD by Jason Kander 

If you have read Jason Kander’s book or listened to his self-read audiobook, you know why the title – Invisible Storm: A Soldier’s Memoir of Politics and PTSD – is important. Jason sat in President Obama’s office as the president said, “I think you should run for president.” Dropping out of that race in the lead, Jason made what would have been a successful run for mayor of Kansas City. Yet, he eventually recognized his need to get help as a former army captain in the intelligence division for what he describes as a “secret psychological disorder,” PTSD. 

Frederick Clarkson and Andre Gagne discuss the New Apostolic Reformation

The Growing Rift Inside the New Apostolic Reformation with Frederick Clarkson and André Gagné

The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a reorganized, large Pentecostal and charismatic movement reframed by the religious right to move into politics. My guests on this episode of the Influence Continuum are warning people about the dangers associated with the rise of the NAR.  Frederick Clarkson has written and worked at the intersection of religion and politics for over four decades. He’s currently a Senior Research analyst at Political Research Associates, a is a social justice research and strategy center in Somerville, Massachusetts. He’s also the author of a very important book that I recommend everyone read called Eternal Hostility – The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy, a subject that everyone’s talking about in the media these days. 

Robert Jay Lifton

Moving from Victim to Survivor in Precarious Times — A Conversation with Robert Jay Lifton, M.D.

I’ve been hosting the Influence Continuum podcast for over seven months, and I’ve spoken with guests on topics ranging from election integrity to 4th Generation Warfare and the Christian Right. It is plausible to say that I would not even be investigating any of these topics had I not encountered the work—and later met—the esteemed guest of my first ever podcast episode, Dr. Robert Jay Lifton.  

Jennifer Cohn, election integrity advocate

Advocating Election Integrity Post-Trump

After he lost the 2020 election, Donald Trump spouted lies and claimed that he had won. In an attempt to counter Trump's lies and promote confidence in the election results, prominent Democrats and election officials said that the 2020 election was the most secure election of all time. However, real vulnerabilities in our election system exist, and Trump's lies do not justify ignoring legitimate election security concerns.

Douglas Brooks, esq.

Talking MLMs with Douglas Brooks

Attorney Douglas Brooks is a truly remarkable man. Formerly a specialist in franchise law, he now devotes his time to helping people defend themselves against financial depredation of multi-level marketing companies, known as MLMs. From bringing down the “consumer byline” scam run by now-imprisoned NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere, to appearing in the Herbalife documentary Betting On Zero, to organizing the global conference on multi-level marketing schemes, he is tireless in fighting against an industry dedicated to bamboozling money from ordinary people with promises of exorbitant wealth for little to no work.

How to Help People Involved in QAnon–A Reddit AMA: QAnonCasualties

On Sunday, January 10, 2021, I was invited to answer questions during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) for the subreddit group QAnonCasualties. This is a link to the entire thread:  https://www.reddit.com/r/QAnonCasualties/comments/kukco0/ama_with_steven_hassan_phd/.  Below are most of the questions, along with my answers. This blog is longer than usual, but I felt it was important to include

Strategic Plan to Heal the Country: Build Bridges, Teach Everyone About Unethical Social Influence and Stay Positive

The Electoral College vote affirms Biden’s win; he is the president-elect and will be inaugurated into office January 20, 2021, along with Kamala Harris as vice-president. Republican Senate Majority leader McConnell states publicly that Joe Biden is the President Elect and disobeys Trump. Trump’s Attorney General William Barr, after publicly stating there was no evidence

Helping Folks Exit The Cult of Trump: The #IGotOut Movement

Do you have friends or family members who are believers in QAnon or the Cult of Trump? Are you surprised by this and wonder how this could have ever happened? Under the right circumstances, even sane, rational, well-adjusted people can be deceived and persuaded to believe the most outrageous ideas and leader. President Trump uses

“New Age Cults” With Joseph Szimhart–Artist & Cult Information Specialist

  The internet provides an ideal breeding ground for groups with concerning beliefs and practices to recruit unsuspecting people who are confused, frustrated and wishing to find a way to have hope for the future. Psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton wrote about the profound psychological effects that the invention and use of nuclear bombs had on