Narcissism

Trump, Cults, and Deprogramming: A Discussion with Forensic Expert Dr. Steve Eichel

2019-05-13T00:16:47-04:00May 9th, 2019|Blog|

This week, I share an interview with my old friend and colleague, Steve Eichel, Ph.D. He is a forensic psychologist, an authority on hypnosis, expert witness, counselor, author, and educator. He specializes in destructive cults, coercive persuasion, brainwashing and deprogramming. In 1989, he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the subject of deprogramming. Dr. Eichel's introduction into the field of cults goes all the way back to 1975. He currently serves as the president of the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) which is a cultic studies research and educational nonprofit organization. Dr. Eichel starts the interview by describing his extensive background, [...]

Hubbard, Trump, and Narcissism: A Discussion with Jon Atack

2019-05-03T14:30:51-04:00May 2nd, 2019|Blog|

This week, my good friend and former member of Scientology Jon Atack joins me for an in-depth discussion. Jon is an undue influence expert, an author, researcher, and co-creator of the Open Minds Foundation. We discuss narcissistic traits we see between President Donald Trump and pulp science fiction writer and creator of  Scientology, Ron Hubbard. Previously, I have written a number of blogs about Donald Trump. Jon has been featured in my blogs and Youtube channel (see the end for list). Jon and I have noticed a disturbing number of former members, Ex-Scientologists, as well as former cult members of other [...]

Terror, Love & Brainwashing: A Discussion with Alexandra Stein About Extremist Political Cults

2019-02-28T12:54:32-04:00February 28th, 2019|Blog|

This week, I have the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Stein, a cult survivor and renowned expert on cults and totalitarianism. Alexandra Stein, Ph.D. is a writer and educator specializing in the social psychology of ideological extremism and other dangerous social relationships. She is an academic, having taught at the University of Minnesota, Birkbeck, and the University of London, now teaching at the Mary Ward Center. Dr. Stein is a Ph.D. sociologist and expert on social psychology. She teaches as an academic but gives talks, as well as, writes books.  Her memoir Inside Out: A Memoir of Entering and Breaking Out of a Minneapolis [...]

Traumatic Narcissism: From Muktananda and Gurumayi to Donald Trump

2019-05-23T23:22:14-04:00December 27th, 2018|Blog|

Daniel Shaw and Siddha Yoga This week's blog features an interview with a licensed clinical social worker, Daniel Shaw.  Dan is a private practice psychotherapist in New York City and in Rockland County, New York. Dan was deeply involved for many years and even a staff member at Siddha Yoga before he woke up and walked away. As part of his healing journey and restarting his life, he decided to become a mental health professional. Like many former members, he was involved in helping others to wake up and realize that the guru was not enlightened but, in fact, a [...]

Errant Belief #4: “He’s an Adult. We Have No Right to Interfere.”

2018-12-15T20:04:50-04:00March 1st, 2018|Blog|

Undue Influence Undermines Autonomy It is completely understandable that people might resist any request to help a person who has been unduly influenced. The person might say, "Why should I? They are an adult. I don't think it is right to interfere with their decision." If the person isn't asking for help, why get involved? Americans generally have great respect for privacy and expect that people are functioning of one's own volition. In fact, the law states that once people reach the age of majority (usually eighteen but in some countries twenty-one), they are responsible for their own [...]

Does Trump Display the Stereotypical Profile of a Cult Leader?

2018-12-13T18:00:23-04:00October 14th, 2016|Blog, Current Events|

There are many reasons to be saddened, disgusted, confused, outraged, scared, and even traumatized by Trump’s presidential campaign. He has just declared a “scorched earth policy” and is saying there is an “international conspiracy that is persecuting him” and he is just a “martyr for the cause of America.”In studying cults and their leaders for 40 years, certain patterns consistently are evident in their words and behaviors. Based on my own experience being near Sun Myung Moon (him too a billionaire, claimed to be the Messiah and 10 times greater than Jesus Christ), I wish to offer a way of [...]

Donald Trump Is Not Fit to Be President of the U.S.

2018-12-16T19:05:33-04:00July 22nd, 2016|Blog, Current Events|

Donald Trump is now the official Republican nominee for President of the United States. A year ago, his run for office seemed like a practical joke. However, now it is clear beyond all rationality, that there are powerful, wealthy, influential people backing him. I am worried. As an expert on cults and other high-control groups, I have been asked by a number of people about my opinion on Trump and his legions of followers. I first wrote a Huffington Post blog last December when Trump talked about banning Muslims from entering the U.S. and shutting down the Internet. Last month, [...]

Donald Trump and Narcissism

2018-12-13T20:21:24-04:00June 10th, 2016|Blog, Current Events|

By Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably aware that Donald Trump is running for president of the United States. When he first started campaigning, many blew it off as a joke. As a public figure over the past decades, Trump has shown himself to be a less-than-likable guy. And, with no previous political experience, it seemed unlikely that he’d secure a nomination. Unfortunately, we were wrong. Now that Donald Trump is so close to the White House, I think it’s time we take a serious [...]