All posts tagged: Influence Continuum

A Billion Years: My Escape From a Life in the Highest Ranks of Scientology with Mike Rinder

I was excited when I learned that Mike Rinder wrote a new book, A Billion Years: My Escape From a Life in the Highest Ranks of Scientology. The book’s title was an ode to his billion-year commitment when he joined the Sea Organization (Sea Org) shortly after graduating high school in 1973. Rinder rose to become the top leader in the Office of Special Affairs (OSA), where, among other duties, he oversaw the “fair game” harassment of all perceived enemies, including the non-profit Cult Awareness Network. When he left Scientology in 2007, he decided to expose the criminal behavior of Scientology. I was very interested in asking him specific questions about his knowledge of Scientology.  

Daniella Mestyanek Young, survivor of notorious sex cult Children of God

Growing up in a Sex Cult with Former Army Captain Daniella Mestyanek Young

Have you heard the term “cult baby?” This refers to someone born or raised in a mind control religious human trafficking cult. Daniella Mestyanek Young is a third-generation survivor of the notorious sex cult Children of God (COG), later rebranded as “The Family of Love.” The cult group’s influence even extended so far that members

terrorism

Violent Extremism: Best Practices for Prevention and Rehabilitation of Terrorists

I recently had the honor of interviewing my colleague, Dr. Anne Speckhard, on the Influence Continuum. Dr. Speckhard is Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) and an expert in terrorist recruitment and rehabilitation. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University’s Medical School. The ICSVE was founded in 2015 to provide research, training, and strategic advice to governments, intelligence, defense, international organizations, police, and civilian communities worldwide. The goal of ICSVE is to prevent...

Healthy Parenting

Healthy Parenting Helps Children Develop Their Unique Selves

“Wouldn’t it be great if children came with a handbook?” Healthy parenting requires a deep commitment of time, energy, emotional maturity, and insight. Most likely, every parent has wished for a handbook more than once! The birth or adoption of a child is only the first step in a long parenting journey. The skills needed

exmormon

LDS (Mormon) Church, Leaving & Recovery–Reddit AMA: ExMormons

This past Sunday (January 9, 2022), I was invited to answer questions about the Mormon Church during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) for the subreddit group, ExMormon. This is the link to the entire thread: AMA: I'm Steven Hassan, Ask Me Anything! : exmormon (reddit.com). I had recently written...

My First Foundational Online Course: “Understand Cults: The Basics”

  Understand Cults: The Basics A foundational course to understanding brainwashing, thought reform, mind control, and undue influence Instructor: Steven Hassan, PhD Available HERE Includes 8 sections & almost 4 hours of video instruction No prerequisites Target Students: Those interested in understanding cults. This includes former members of cults and those with friends and family

Authoritarian Bible Cults Actively Recruiting at College and Online: Interview With Former BCC Member Chris Lee

Searching for spiritual meaning and connection with others is common when young adults enter their college years. There are many positive and ethical religious groups open to these young people, but, unfortunately, there are also destructive religious cults actively recruiting new members through deceptive and authoritarian means. I have recently been contacted by people from

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