LDS

Ministry of Evil: The Twisted Cult of Tony Alamo- A Discussion With Cult Expert and Author Debby Schriver

2020-06-30T11:11:03-04:00June 25th, 2020|Blog|

Since my deprogramming from the Moon cult in 1976, I have come to learn of countless thousands of harmful cult groups. Many years ago, I worked with victims of Tony Alamo (birth name Bernie LaZar Hoffman), befriended one of his ex-wives, and am pleased to say that I was involved with asking the Southern Poverty Law Center to investigate and ultimate help prosecute Alamo and put him in jail. They were interested in exposing Alamo for many reasons: he was notoriously anti-Catholic, anti-gay, and was a polygamist (like David Koresh) and included abusing underage girls. If you are interested in [...]

Doomsday Prepper Cult Tragedy: Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Case-A Discussion with Dr. Christine Marie Katas

2020-06-21T18:00:23-04:00June 20th, 2020|Blog|

It was a tragic ending to the mystery of where Lori Vallow's two missing children have been since last fall. The bodies of Tylee Ryan (age 17) and Joshua Vallow (age 7), were found buried on Chad Daybell's four-acre property. Cell phone pings from Lori Vallow's late brother led investigators to the bodies of her children. They have both been arrested. Each has been ordered to post a $1 million bond if they wish to be released. Three other suspicious deaths are connected to Daybell and Vallow: his wife, her ex-husband, and her brother who was responsible for the death [...]

The BITE Model and Religious Cult Groups

2019-08-02T13:27:54-04:00August 2nd, 2019|Blog|

Since my deprogramming from the Moon cult in 1976, I have come to learn of countless thousands of groups that I have never heard of before. Are they cults? Do they use mind control? Is it brainwashing? As an expert on destructive groups and mind control, I am often asked to give my opinion about specific groups and organizations, including religious ones. In fact, there is a wide spectrum of healthy and unhealthy influence. Individual experiences vary within the same organization based on how the individual conforms to the norms of the group. I have developed an Influence Continuum which shows [...]

National Child Abuse Prevention Month: Educate, Protect and Support

2019-04-11T12:54:20-04:00April 11th, 2019|Blog|

Since 1983, April has been designated as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It "recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect and promotes the social and emotional well-being of children and families. During the month of April and throughout the year, communities are encouraged to increase awareness and provide education and support to families through resources and strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect." (Child Welfare Information Gateway) And, in 2019, it is needed just as much as ever! Too many children are still being hurt: physically, mentally and emotionally, as seen by [...]

Malice Found by Jury in Montana Watchtower Society Sex Abuse Case

2018-12-16T20:47:55-05:00October 11th, 2018|Blog, News and Updates|

The huge decline in membership due to critical information on the Internet, as well as lawsuits, are forcing leadership of older established clergy organizations, like the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons, to try to find ways to cope. In the case of Watchtower, documents listing predators have been leaked. Also, in the case of the LDS Church, documents are being leaked and put online. Long term dedicated members are realizing that they have been systematically lied to about the actual goings, causing large scale defections. Psychologist John Dehlin was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for speaking out about a need to change their policy [...]

Tired of Being “On The Fence” With Your Life?

2018-12-16T21:10:57-05:00August 23rd, 2018|Blog|

Beginning to Doubt and Question There are moments when almost anybody can become disillusioned when in a totalistic, or rigid and intolerant, group (or controlling relationship). Losing one’s “faith” can happen for a wide variety of reasons. Maybe they become aware of some discrepancy or hypocrisy in the doctrine or in a leader’s behavior. Perhaps someone they respect decides to leave or is labeled an “apostate” by leadership. Exposure to critical information is a very common reason people begin to doubt. Destructive mind control groups try very hard to keep their members away from negative information about the leader, [...]

The BITE Model and Jehovah’s Witnesses

2018-12-16T20:48:05-05:00August 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 [...]

Freedom of Mind: Index of Blogs

2018-12-16T20:52:05-05:00July 19th, 2018|Blog|

June 19, 2018 I try to blog every week with updates about my work, research, current events, high control groups, coercive control, media and other topics.  I have written pieces on U.S. politics, world news, child abuse, human trafficking, terrorism, undue influence, multi-level marketing, and healing and recovery.  Whether you are new to Freedom of Mind or have been a long-time supporter or even former client, I think you will benefit from this resourceful list of previous articles. If you like one of these blogs, please share it on your social media. If you have suggestions for future blogs, [...]

A Response to Academics Who Say There Is No Undue Influence in Destructive Cults

2020-07-19T16:20:23-04:00June 28th, 2018|Blog|

June 28, 2018 This Influence Continuum graphic describes my model for evaluating influence–from the healthy to the unhealthy. My BITE model offers a list of concerning practices that represent unhealthy mind control: Behavior, Information, Thought and Emotional control designed to create dependent and obedient slaves to a person or ideology. One example of many is the lack of informed consent when recruiting new members. Healthy groups are honest, destructive cults lie–by withholding vital information, distorting information to make it seem more palatable or outright lies. It is my assertion that any academic who writes about controversial groups and insists [...]

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 [...]