Moonies

Highlights from my EXJW Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything)

2018-12-16T19:12:23+00:00November 29th, 2018|Blog|

Top Ten Questions & Answers On Monday, November 19, 2018, I participated in my first ever AMA (Ask Me Anything) for r/exjw on Reddit to an overwhelming response. Reddit users interviewed me by posting questions which I then answered on the Reddit forum. I want to thank Kimmy O'Donnell who helped arrange it and everyone for their support and contributions. My opening post directed the discussion, "Good morning. I will be available for the next 24 hours to answer your questions. We can discuss the Jehovah's Witnesses and how they fit my BITE model, how to help family and [...]

Ideas for Combating Hate Speech and Violence

2018-12-13T20:41:31+00:00October 29th, 2018|Blog|

The massacre of 11 innocent Jews in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last Sabbath by a hateful, disturbed man is a wake-up call for everyone who loves freedom. I attended my own synagogue that morning and experienced a wonderful Bar Mitzvah where the dvar, taught by the thirteen-year-old, was about intelligent disobedience and how Abraham had failed his test by God when agreeing to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. Instead of Abraham using his critical thinking skills and following his heart and his conscience, he was prepared to offer his son as a sacrifice because God [...]

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

2018-12-16T21:10:57+00:00August 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, [...]

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

2018-12-16T21:05:58+00:00June 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 [...]

High Control Groups Program Members to Fear Mental Health Help

2018-12-16T19:35:56+00:00May 24th, 2018|Blog|

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. A recent murder-suicide by Lauren Stuart, an ex-JW, is a horrible reminder of the need for any former member to get educated about mind control as well as the healing necessary by going to a specialized mental health professional. Family members and friends need [...]

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

2018-12-16T19:49:06+00:00May 17th, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

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 a cult later on in life as adolescents, young adults, adults, or older adults. Both sets of former cult members may have very significant needs for recovery and healing. The Freedom of Mind approach to recovery and healing helps the former cult member to [...]

Researchers Beware: Wikipedia Entries About High Control Groups Are Not Very Trustworthy 

2018-12-13T21:04:43+00:00April 4th, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

Jimmy Wales in 2017, Founder of Wikipedia Reliable Information? or Ideologically Biased? We have been living in the Information Age, the Knowledge Age, with access virtually 24/7 to anything and everything. Many in today's world go to Wikipedia to learn about cars, animals, medicines and even cults. And that is okay. For the most part, Wikipedia is fairly reliable. With over 20,000 new entries added every month, it no surprise that YouTube, Facebook, and Google rely on its content. We are now living in the Age of Influence. With the revelation that up to 87 million Facebook users [...]

Mooniverse (My Former Cult) is Attempting a Reboot

2018-12-16T21:01:16+00:00May 11th, 2017|Blog, Current Events, News and Updates|

Forty-one years ago today, I was deprogrammed from the cult of Sun Myung Moon. Many of you may not be familiar with the Unification Church, AKA the “Moonies.” The church and its many front groups and related organizations have not been in the news as much recently. They lost a lot of their American membership after this book exposed abuse and corruption within the Moon family. (Ex-member Nansook Hong wrote that her husband Hyo Jin Moon, the so-called sinless eldest son of the Messiah used cocaine, frequented prostitutes, and even hit her stomach while she was pregnant.) Despite founder Sun [...]

Robert Jay Lifton MD: An Interview with a Genius

2018-12-16T20:12:24+00:00October 7th, 2016|Blog, News and Updates|

As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the day I left the Moonies, I want to take some time to acknowledge an individual who played an important role in my personal and professional development. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the famous psychiatrist and my mentor, Robert Jay Lifton. I was first introduced to Lifton’s 1961 book on brainwashing, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, during my deprogramming in May of 1976. It helped me understand that the tactics used by the Moonies to indoctrinate me were the same used by Communist China and other cults [...]

New Book on Patty Hearst Falls Short of Understanding Undue Influence

2018-12-16T20:07:36+00:00August 12th, 2016|Blog, Media Reviews|

I recently read a NY Times book review of AMERICAN HEIRESS: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin and listened to an interview done with the author on NPR. Honestly, I was horrified at his lack of knowledge and understanding about undue influence and disagreed 100% with his conclusions. I felt like I was listening to a “cult apologist”- someone hired by cult groups to defend the group and say they are “fine”- for example, G. Gordon Melton flying to Japan after the sarin gas attacks to defend the Aum Shinrikyo [...]