Louis Jolyon West

Robert Jay Lifton, M.D. Discusses Trump and His New Book, Losing Reality

2020-01-16T12:34:08-05:00January 16th, 2020|Blog|

I am excited to blog about and share my latest interview with my first mentor, Dr. Robert Jay Lifton, about his new book, Losing Reality: On Cults, Cultism, and the Mindset of Political and Religious Zealotry. In this unique and timely volume, Dr. Lifton proposes a radical idea: that the psychological relationship between extremist political movements and fanatical religious cults may be much closer than anyone thought. Exploring the most extreme manifestations of human zealotry, Lifton highlights an array of leaders—from Mao to Hitler to the Japanese apocalyptic cult leader Shōkō Asahara to Donald Trump—who have sought the control [...]

The Cult of Trump: Some Frequently Asked Questions

2019-12-08T09:25:49-05:00December 5th, 2019|Blog, Resources and Support|

On Friday, November 22nd, 2019, I did an interview with Brian Stelter of CNN's Sunday Reliable Sources show. This was put online as an audio Reliable Sources podcast. That Sunday, November 24th, The Cult of Trump was the focus of the last segment (approximately 4 minutes) of this highly regarded CNN cable tv show. It began with mentioning Anthony Scaramucci, Dan Rather, as well as, Republican John Weaver who each talked about the GOP becoming the cult of Trump. I was grateful to have my new book shown and to have an opportunity to discuss this important topic. Naturally, [...]

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

2019-10-29T23:17:35-04:00June 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 [...]