Political Cults

Lev Parnas, Michael Cohen, Omarosa Manigault Newman, George Conway, Anthony Scaramucci, Rick Wilson and Others: Trump is a Cult Leader

2020-01-24T11:05:50-05:00January 23rd, 2020|Blog|

Lev Parnas, during his interview with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, described himself as waking up from a cult and Donald Trump like a "cult leader." Michael Cohen, Trump's personal attorney for twelve years, expressed similar thoughts and feelings. Omarosa Manigault Newman, in her book Unhinged, described leaving the cult of Trumpworld. George Conway, Republican attorney and advisor to The Lincoln Project, has repeatedly described Trump as a mentally unfit narcissist and said his wife, Kellyanne Conway, was in a cult. Rick Wilson referred to the GOP as having been turned into a cult, lorded over by Trump. [...]

Yes, There Are Left-Wing Destructive Cults!

2019-10-29T08:20:34-04:00October 24th, 2019|Blog|

Some people who have recently learned about my book The Cult of Trump are asking the question, "Does Steve believe that there are left-wing cults too?" So, I thought I should answer this question by writing a short blog. For people who are not familiar with my story, I was actually deprogrammed from the Moon cult in 1976 with the help of Robert Jay Lifton's seminal book, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China. Dr. Lifton's famous chapter twenty-two of that 1961 book described 8 criteria that could be used to characterize brainwashing (or [...]

Announcing My New Book with Simon and Schuster Entitled The Cult of Trump

2019-08-15T13:18:45-04:00August 15th, 2019|Blog|

Many of you are aware that I have been writing a large number of blogs concerning the current President of the United States, Donald Trump. I have been working tremendously hard on an extremely short deadline to produce a book that connects the dots with my involvement with the Moon cult since 1974 and my fasting on the Capitol stairs for President Richard Nixon because "God wants Nixon to be President" despite Watergate and calls for impeachment. Sun Myung Moon was brought to meet Nixon right after the Family's National Prayer Breakfast in 1974. Jeffrey Sharlet wrote about this group [...]

Political Cults, Leadership, Idealism, and Totalism: A Discussion with Dennis Tourish Ph.D.

2019-04-04T13:55:36-04:00April 4th, 2019|Blog|

On January 18, 2019, during the longest government shutdown in history, I had the pleasure of interviewing Professor Dennis Tourish. He is a former member of a left-wing political group, having left in the mid-1980s. It was during this period that he found my book Combating Cult Mind Control which was the first time he had "read anything about this phenomenon and it just lifted the lights wonderfully." Dennis is Professor of Leadership and Organisation Studies at the University of Sussex in the U.K.. Additionally, he is an author, researcher, academic, and consultant. Professor Tourish has co-written or co-edited eight [...]

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

2019-02-28T12:54:32-05:00February 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 [...]

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 [...]