All posts tagged: JWs

Hands holding hope

Errant Belief #10: “We Have Lost Hope”

Have a Positive Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Not a Negative One In my opinion, giving up hope is a dysfunctional coping mechanism to deal with the pain. Unfortunately, it suggests incorrectly that there is nothing constructive that can be done. If family members and friends no longer believe that the person will reestablish contact (if they have

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

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

Mental Health Awareness Month logo

High Control Groups Program Members to Fear Mental Health Help

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.

Freedom of Mind Resource Center Logo

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

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

Shunning and the BITE Model of Mind Control in the Jehovah’s Witnesses

The Trauma of Being Cut Off: Disfellowshipped While Still Indoctrinated Unless it has happened to you, it is impossible to describe the pain, confusion and suffering a person endures when they are excommunicated from an authoritarian Bible group like the Watchtower Society. People’s entire identities are molded around ideological conformity and dependence on commands from

How Jehovah’s Witness Teachings Can Damage Brain Development in Children

Introduction In my decades of work with helping those born into high control groups, the effects are usually quite devastating. Despite the conditions in which young people are raised, I have also seen remarkable courage and resiliency to overcome their childhood trauma, especially if they can receive proper support and counseling. I have blogged before

Undue Influence, The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu, and Current Events

Hulu has created a television series based on Margaret Atwood’s book, The Handmaid’s Tale, and it is highly recommended viewing*. Last year, Hulu produced The Path and I was interviewed by Vanity Fair for my perspective. This time, I am blogging about The Handmaid’s Tale as I believe this is a very upsetting but well

Parental Alienation Harms Children by Using Undue Influence

This past week, a very important legal custody case was decided which involves Infowars’ Alex Jones and his ex-wife Kelly. Kelly Jones was able to successfully show that her children had been turned against her and unduly influenced by Alex Jones. The judge awarded her the power to decide where her children will live from

Is It Good Policy to Ban Religious Cults?

This week, there had been a lot in the news about Russia’s possible ban of the Jehovah’s Witnesses— labeling them an extremist group. While I have personally worked with and become friends with many who have suffered as Witnesses under the policies of Watchtower, I do not agree that banning groups is a responsible policy.

Stereotypical Profile of Cult Members

A few people have asked me recently what a typical cult member looks like. While every group and individual is unique, there are common patterns for how cult members think, feel, speak, and behave. Check out the BITE Model and the right side of the Influence Continuum graphic. Cult members become “clones” of the group

Freedom of Mind for LGBTQ Youth

Freedom of Mind, as an organization and as a meme is grounded in a commitment to basic human rights as expressed by the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Please take a moment to look at these profound statements. It’s not surprising that many cults hold doctrines and practices which are intolerant and even violent