All posts tagged: Mind Control

How Colonizers Use Mind Control: A Conversation with Cindy Blackstock

The “merciless Indian savages…” Those words in the United States Declaration of Independence entrenched the way colonial states defined Indigenous peoples as “savage” and their relationship with the “civilized Americans” as represented by federal and state governments. This dehumanizing propaganda was the pen of history, of social norms and laws writing on our societal manuscript about what the United States is and who we are as Americans. It served to normalize and even legitimize the wrongful dispossession of land, resources and even the children from Indigenous peoples.

Opening Our Minds: Avoiding Abusive Relationships and Authoritarian Groups

Opening Our Minds: avoiding abusive relationships and authoritarian groups by Jon Atack is available in paperback, Audible and Kindle on Amazon. I am delighted to help bring attention to a new book which I think is a valuable contribution to our field. Disclosure: Jon is a good friend of mine, for decades, and is the leading

Bill and Lorna Goldberg

Lorna and Bill Goldberg: Fifty Years of Helping People Out of Cults

I often find it hard to believe that this year marks my 45th anniversary of freedom from the insidious cult indoctrination of the Moonies. For the 40th anniversary of my deprogramming, I wrote a blog to thank the people directly responsible for the intervention that liberated me. As I reflect, there have been many people

Author John Collins on Branham’s Message and Growing Up in A Religious Cult

My friend and colleague, John Collins, has done significant work documenting the history of William Branham’s Message movement. A few years ago, Collins and I authored an article on Mind Control and Jonestown as Jim Jones had been influenced by Branham. Collins taught me about Branham and his influence with other authoritarian cult leaders. Cults

left-wing cult

International Marxist Tendency (IMT): A Left-Wing Trotskyist Cult

The story of Aaron Kyereh-Mireku, a former member of a left-wing Trotskyist cult (IMT), is very important for two reasons. His experience is more proof that anyone can be seduced into a cult, no matter how intelligent, educated or influence-resistant they may be. Further, his story demonstrates that there are cults with left-wing, communist ideology,

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

Dr. Robert Jay Lifton on Trump, Democracy, COVID-19, Climate Change Crisis and the Election

If you are interested in the field of cults, Chinese brainwashing and thought reform, as well as apocalyptic cults, like the terrorist cult Aum Shinrikyo, then you already know some of Dr. Lifton’s many important contributions. My previous interview with Dr. Lifton was in July 2020 when we discussed Trump, COVID-19, and racism. Since then,

Starting to Question if You Are in a Controlling Group or Relationship?

Have you recently started questioning your life and how you are spending your time and money? Have you read a book or article, listened to a podcast, or watched a documentary about a cult such as NXIVM and saw parallels to your own life circumstance? What about engaging with a former member? Perhaps you have

The BITE Model of Authoritarian Control: Undue Influence, Thought Reform, Brainwashing, Mind Control, Trafficking and the Law

Update: January 2021: Dissertation has been published. <https://www.proquest.com/docview/2476570146/> In 1976, I was deprogrammed from the Moon cult. Since then, I have helped thousands of individuals leave and recover from the harmful influence of destructive cults. I have written four books, published a peer-reviewed article, conducted multiple scientific research studies, and spent decades learning and educating

People of Praise Covenant Community: BITE Model of Authoritarian Control Evaluation

Since Judge Amy Coney Barrett was nominated to the Supreme Court to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republicans are seeking to fast track her confirmation before the end of October. The Trump administration and its Senators are trying to frame some of the opposition to her nomination as religious intolerance.

Undue Influence, Judge Barrett and the People of Praise Covenantal Community

Update: Letter to the Senators on the Judiciary Committee Concerning the Confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett In an AP article written about Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court and her involvement with the People of Praise, Vice President Mike Pence was quoted from a television interview as saying, “The intolerance expressed during her