Margaret Singer

What is a Cult? Whiteboard Animation Explaining the BITE Model

2018-12-16T19:12:28-04:00November 22nd, 2018|Blog|

BITE Model 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? I have also been asked to comment on destructive family systems and controlling relationships. Over the decades of research, my way of systematizing a method to evaluate a weird group with crazy beliefs from a destructive one has come to be grounded in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It seems to me that while there are countries, [...]

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

2019-02-13T10:41:11-04:00June 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 Radicalization of Patty Hearst: Mind Control by the SLA, a Political Cult

2018-12-16T19:56:55-04:00February 14th, 2018|Blog|

The Radicalization of Patty Hearst: Mind Control by the SLA, a Political Cult CNN describes an alternative narrative to the radicalization of Patricia Hearst CNN has produced a special on the radicalization of Patricia Hearst, based on Jeffrey Toobin's 2016 book, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst (See my 2016 blog). I watched the first two hours of the CNN special (Next Sunday is the next part). Unfortunately, my critical thoughts about the interview I heard and Toobin's book continue with this program. The show features SLA kidnapper of Patty, [...]