Freedom of Mind

The BITE Model & Mormonism: An Exploration with Ex-Mormon John Dehlin

2018-12-16T19:23:59-05:00June 14th, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

June 14, 2018 Dr. John Dehlin & Mormon Stories Podcast STEVEN HASSAN – WHAT THE MORMON CHURCH CAN LEARN FROM CULTS TO DO/BE BETTER Mormon Stories Podcast 938-939 About a month ago, we received an email from John Dehlin requesting an interview for his podcast Mormon Stories and his Youtube channel. Frankly, I have been so busy with clients and with my doctoral program that I was going to decline. But when I read further down in his email, he wrote: "For some background on me, my excommunication from the Mormon Church was covered in the New York [...]

Scientific Research Survey to Understand Influence

2018-12-16T19:36:58-05:00June 7th, 2018|Blog, News and Updates|

6-18-2018 Update **This survey is now closed. We thank everyone that participated. We have received 1028 responses out of which 989 are 100% answered, giving us enough data to analyze. ** Please Take Our Scientific Research Survey to Understand Influence in Order to Transform the Legal System! Click this link: Scientific Research Survey on Understanding Influence A year ago, I announced my new effort to research, publish, educate, and update the legal system in the United States and, hopefully, around the world. The law still operates using a "rational agent" model, saying essentially that once you reach the age [...]

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

2018-12-16T19:34:00-05:00May 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. [...]

High Control Groups Program Members to Fear Mental Health Help

2018-12-16T19:35:56-05:00May 24th, 2018|Blog|

Mental Health Awareness Month May is Mental Health Awareness Month! I wanted to write this blog on how some high control groups program their members away from mental health help. This is true, especially in the case of Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology, The Moonies, as well as countless other high control Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups. A recent murder-suicide by Lauren Stuart, an ex-JW, is a horrible reminder of the need for any former member to get educated about mind control as well as the healing necessary by going to a specialized mental health professional. Family members and friends need [...]

The Freedom of Mind Approach to Recovery and Healing from Destructive Cults

2018-12-16T19:49:06-05:00May 17th, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

The Freedom of Mind approach to recovery and healing from destructive cults is customizable and designed to meet the needs of most any person who has been influenced by a cult. People who were born or raised in a cult have spent their early developmental years under cult control. Other people may have entered into a cult later on in life as adolescents, young adults, adults, or older adults. Both sets of former cult members may have very significant needs for recovery and healing. The Freedom of Mind approach to recovery and healing helps the former cult member to [...]

Errant Belief #7: “He Must Be Weak, Stupid or Looking for Easy Answers or Someone to Tell Him What to Do”

2018-12-16T20:52:12-05:00April 26th, 2018|Blog|

"Don't Blame the Victim" This is a very commonly held, but fallacious generalization about people involved with destructive relationships and cult groups. People often try to find fault with people who experience tragedy by blaming the victim. Laying blame gives people a false sense of control over their own lives by distancing them from the victim. However, the idea that people knowingly join destructive cults is patently wrong. Most people are recruited at a vulnerable moment, without understanding the forces that are brought to bear on them. Sometimes a cult manipulates a recruit’s strength. For example, by playing to [...]

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

2018-12-15T19:56:06-05:00April 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 [...]

Charles Duhigg’s New York Times Podcast: “Change Agent”

2018-12-16T20:52:18-05:00March 8th, 2018|Blog, Media Reviews|

The "Change Agent" podcast is a five-episode series by The New York Times. It is hosted by Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author of "The Power of Habit" and "Smarter Faster Better." It uses real-life problems to try and solve a surprising story. (When we worked on the podcast last year, Duhigg was a senior editor, but since then he is no longer there.) The New York Times describes it "as a new five-part podcast series that turns obstacles into opportunities. Each episode unearths surprising stories from science and business to offer answers to people’s problems. [They] [...]

Errant Belief #4: “He’s an Adult. We Have No Right to Interfere.”

2018-12-15T20:04:50-05:00March 1st, 2018|Blog|

Undue Influence Undermines Autonomy It is completely understandable that people might resist any request to help a person who has been unduly influenced. The person might say, "Why should I? They are an adult. I don't think it is right to interfere with their decision." If the person isn't asking for help, why get involved? Americans generally have great respect for privacy and expect that people are functioning of one's own volition. In fact, the law states that once people reach the age of majority (usually eighteen but in some countries twenty-one), they are responsible for their own [...]

The Moonies and TM Attempt to Reinvent Themselves

2019-02-13T13:43:44-05:00February 8th, 2018|Blog|

*blog updated March 2, 2018* Both Have Missions to Recruit True Believers to Take Over the World Having exited the Moonies in 1976, following an intervention performed at the request of my family, I have been so grateful to regain my life. I refer to the group as "the Moonies," because when I was a member, the term was initially coined and Sun Myung Moon loved the term. We even wore tee-shirts and had mugs made with "I Heart the Moonies." When Moon was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the Federal government and filing false income taxes, resulting in [...]