deprogramming

The BITE Model and Jehovah’s Witnesses

2018-12-16T20:48:05+00:00August 2nd, 2018|Blog|

August 2, 2018: This past June, I did an online survey on influence to conduct, analyze and publish research on undue influence. Scientific data is required to help establish specific evaluation criteria to update legal and social policy in the United States and around the world. The initial results of my research show that former members of the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses report many meaningful behavioral criteria. With over 700 respondents, there is significant preliminary evidence that both groups use specific methods and techniques that influence how a person thinks, feels, and acts to instill obedience over conscience.  I formulated the [...]

Errant Belief #9: “She’ll Walk out on Her Own When She Is Ready”

2018-12-16T19:34:00+00:00May 31st, 2018|Blog|

Is She Really Free to Leave? This attitude presumes that the cult member has the freedom of mind, finances, and the resources to just "leave." The bars are invisible but very real. In my experience, depending on the length of his involvement, the "exit cost" is usually very high to walk out of a high demand group. The indoctrination of the group's beliefs, along with the habits ingrained into behavior, make it difficult to leave without help. If she did have freedom of mind, I can say from my own experience, she would have left the group long ago. [...]

Errant Belief #8: “She’s Better Off Where She Is”

2018-12-16T19:34:15+00:00May 10th, 2018|Blog|

Are They Better Off Being Left in the Group? Sometimes family, friends, and even mental health professionals may think that a person is better off in the cult. This way, the family, and friends may not feel obliged to do anything to help rescue the individual. Sometimes this is because the person has been a member for a really long time. Sometimes this is because people think of how the person was when they first got involved. This is especially true when the cult member gives a convincing argument that they would have committed suicide or overdosed on drugs [...]

How to Rescue a Loved One from a Cult or Controlling Relationship: The Strategic Interactive Approach

2018-12-15T19:56:06+00:00April 11th, 2018|Blog|

Development of the Strategic Interactive Approach Family members and friends often feel angry, confused, hurt, frustrated and helpless when they realize a loved one has gotten involved with a controlling person or group. They often notice a radical personality change. They either try to argue the person away, are reassured or told to mind their own business. I have blogged about common errant beliefs. Getting informed, choosing a professional and their approach ideally needs to happen as quickly as possible. Then a plan can be developed. Almost everyone wants to just "fix the problem" and tries to do [...]

Errant Belief #5: “He Has the Right to Believe What He Wants to Believe”

2018-12-16T19:34:53+00:00March 15th, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

The Right to Believe Anything vs. Reality-Testing Freedom to believe is only a real freedom if you also have the freedom not to believe. Having the right to believe something carries with it a presupposition of the right to not believe it, too. When recruiters deceptively ensnare people into a closed belief system, it violates informed consent. If a person wants to believe that David Koresh is the Christ, that is his right. If people want to believe that Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han are the perfect True Parents, they are entitled. However, my religious freedom was [...]

Errant Belief #2 “Everything is Mind Control”

2018-12-15T20:10:03+00:00February 1st, 2018|Blog|

Errant Belief #2: “Everything is Mind Control” Mind control is everywhere, some people state—in psychotherapy, advertising, education, and the military, for example— so it must be acceptable. When we generalize and say that everything is mind control, all distinctions are lost. No insight is gained. A more productive model is to think in terms of a continuum of influence: at one end, respectful, ethical, growth-enhancing influence that recognizes the value of individuality, human rights, and creativity; at the other end, conformity, dependency, and slavery, where the value lies in the leader and the group. Everything is not mind control, [...]

How Can I Rescue My Child From a Cult?

2018-12-16T19:49:18+00:00January 18th, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

How Can I Rescue My Child From a Cult? Whether you are looking for help for your son or daughter, your brother or sister, mother or father, or husband or wife, my advice is to do your homework, first. In the coming weeks, I plan to share the errant beliefs I wrote about in my book, Freedom of Mind: Helping Loves Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs. In this digital age, make sure you are not signaling online that you are worried or seeking to help someone to reevaluate their involvement. Protect Your Identity Change all of [...]

2018: Looking Forward to Helping People to Help Themselves and Others

2018-12-16T20:12:03+00:00January 4th, 2018|Blog, News and Updates, Resources and Support|

Combating Cult Mind Control For over forty years, I have endeavored to help people understand my own cult experience- being recruited into a front group of the Moonies in 1974 while a student at Queens College in New York.  This year, on November 18th, 2018, my book Combating Cult Mind Control will be 30 years old.  That hardback volume was originally published with the British spelling, Combatting, and featured a bald-headed man with a padlock and chain around his bald head.  I fought with my then publisher and told him the cover was a total turn off for all [...]

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

2018-12-16T19:22:07+00:00December 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 [...]

Remembering the Boston Marathon Attack

2018-12-16T19:25:56+00:00April 12th, 2017|Blog, Current Events, News and Updates|

Four years ago, on April 15, 2013, Boston was attacked by terrorists during its annual legendary Marathon. Four people lost their lives and 264 more were wounded. Boston Strong was the phrase used, but we all were in lockdown while police tried to hunt down those responsible. For me and countless others, it brought up painful emotions of the 9/11 attack. Soon, reports came out linking the attack to extremist beliefs and rumors of ties to Islamic extremists started circulating. As a mental health professional who lives in Newton and helps people that have been unduly influenced by cults [...]