Current Events

New Book on Patty Hearst Falls Short of Understanding Undue Influence

2018-12-16T20:07:36-04:00August 12th, 2016|Blog, Media Reviews|

I recently read a NY Times book review of AMERICAN HEIRESS: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin and listened to an interview done with the author on NPR. Honestly, I was horrified at his lack of knowledge and understanding about undue influence and disagreed 100% with his conclusions. I felt like I was listening to a “cult apologist”- someone hired by cult groups to defend the group and say they are “fine”- for example, G. Gordon Melton flying to Japan after the sarin gas attacks to defend the Aum Shinrikyo [...]

Introducing the Open Minds Foundation

2018-12-16T00:12:10-04:00August 5th, 2016|Blog, News and Updates|

I am pleased to announce the beginning of a new non-profit organization, the Open Minds Foundation (OMF). It is based both in the United States as well as the United Kingdom and will be focused on the issue of Undue Influence. Why is there a need for a new organization, one might ask? Well, the concept, which evolved over the past two years, is that there is a huge need for a trustworthy foundation, composed of former members, professionals, and activists. People recovering from cult indoctrination, domestic violence survivors and even those who escape from trafficking situations all have one [...]

Donald Trump Is Not Fit to Be President of the U.S.

2018-12-16T19:05:33-04:00July 22nd, 2016|Blog, Current Events|

Donald Trump is now the official Republican nominee for President of the United States. A year ago, his run for office seemed like a practical joke. However, now it is clear beyond all rationality, that there are powerful, wealthy, influential people backing him. I am worried. As an expert on cults and other high-control groups, I have been asked by a number of people about my opinion on Trump and his legions of followers. I first wrote a Huffington Post blog last December when Trump talked about banning Muslims from entering the U.S. and shutting down the Internet. Last month, [...]

Donald Trump and Narcissism

2018-12-13T20:21:24-04:00June 10th, 2016|Blog, Current Events|

By Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably aware that Donald Trump is running for president of the United States. When he first started campaigning, many blew it off as a joke. As a public figure over the past decades, Trump has shown himself to be a less-than-likable guy. And, with no previous political experience, it seemed unlikely that he’d secure a nomination. Unfortunately, we were wrong. Now that Donald Trump is so close to the White House, I think it’s time we take a serious [...]

Creativity, Spontaneity, All Spring from the Authentic Self: Silk Road Project Film

2018-12-16T00:19:24-04:00May 27th, 2016|Blog, Media Reviews|

By World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons This week my family was invited to an advanced showing of a new documentary, The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble which will be premiering in NY, LA and other places in June. I invite you to watch the trailer for this extraordinary movie about a most extraordinary group of genius musicians from all over the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx6Pz_TRM58&feature=y Trust me, it will show the very deepest and best of being human and how the “universal language of music” can [...]

Cult Survivors Need Compassion and Help to Recover

2018-12-16T19:42:22-04:00May 20th, 2016|Blog, Current Events, Resources and Support|

On Thursday, news broke that another of the missing Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist extremist cult Boko Haram two years ago has been found. The second in just as many days, she is being hailed officially by the authorities of Nigeria as a success story and paraded in front of the media as proof the new government’s ability to defeat the cult. However, there have also been reports circulating that paint a much less celebratory picture. It seems that some of the locals in the villages are afraid of accepting anyone who has been involved with Boko Haram. [...]

Prince and the Power of Undue Influence

2018-12-16T20:49:14-04:00April 29th, 2016|Blog, Current Events|

By Micahmedia at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13466179 By now, almost everyone reading has heard the news that Prince has died. Though the exact cause of his death is still unknown, there have been speculations that his beliefs as a Jehovah's Witness may have played a part. Whether or not the rumors are true, it is a fact that Jehovah's Witnesses are taught to abstain from blood transfusions. If Prince were to have refused treatment and died, he would not be the first to do so as a result of Watchtower doctrine.* One has to wonder though, [...]