All posts tagged: Donald Trump

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. 

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. 

Allen Tate Wood, former Moon cult leader

The Moon Cult: An Interview with former top American leader Allen Tate Wood

With the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by Tetsuya Yamagami, the Moon cult is back in the news. Abe became a target, reportedly because he and his father publicly supported the Moon cult. The assassin was reportedly furious because his mother had given away all the family money to the cult. I interviewed former top American political leader of Unification Church, Allen Tate Wood, and wish to expose the mindset of cult psychology.

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.  

The Rise of Right-Wing, Anti-Democratic Ideology in India: A Conversation with Narendra Nayak

Almost four years ago, I spoke with my friend Narendra Nayak about the rise of right-wing religious and political extremism in India. I had contacted him after learning of the killing of Gauri Lankesh. Lankesh was an activist journalist who was openly critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and their extremist Hindutva ideology. There are many similarities between the rise of conservative, right-wing ideologies in India and the United States. I recently spoke with Nayak to discuss the current social and political situations in India and the United States. 

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.

Ginni Thomas

Ginni Thomas, Lifespring, QAnon and the Jan.6th Coup attempt

On April 2, I shared a special podcast on the Influence Continuum, responding to a profound interest in Ginni Thomas and her husband, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. To explain the context, in late March, numerous news sources reported that Ginni Thomas would be asked to appear before the Congressional Panel investigating the January 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol. This decision...

Terrorists

Malcolm Nance: Terrorists are Cult Members Who Do Violence

In the current global political climate, the threat of terrorism from both foreign and domestic groups is an important concern. However, many approaches to fighting terrorism lack a fundamental understanding of the cult tactics of undue influence and the techniques of hypnosis that terrorist groups use to recruit and maintain control over their members. On a recent episode of my podcast...

Heroic Imagination

Heroic Imagination as a Positive Project for Human Rights

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Matthew Winkler for my podcast, The Influence Continuum. Winkler is the Program Manager for the Heroic Imagination Project (HIP), which provides training for individuals and groups using groundbreaking scientific research and experiential training workshops. He has taught and mentored teens and young adults in middle schools, high schools, and colleges ...

Donald Trump

The Public Health Disaster of Donald Trump, a Narcissistic and Sociopathic President

When Donald Trump was elected in 2016, many voices were raised predicting the damage to our democratic way of life that a leader with his psychological disposition would do. Chief among these voices was a group of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals who wrote the in-depth and scientifically based book, The Dangerous Case of