Politics

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, [...]

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 [...]

Dr. Bandy Lee and Dr. James Gilligan: Do We Surrender Our Moral Compass to Technical Rule?

2019-03-11T16:44:47-04:00March 7th, 2019|Blog|

On February 27, 2019, Dr. Bandy Lee and Dr. James Gilligan spoke at The Program in Psychiatry and the Law (the Harvard forensic think tank). The talk was entitled, "Do we surrender our moral compass to technical rule?" They further discuss the question, "Given our professional responsibility to society, if we see dangers to public health and wellbeing, should we refrain from speaking up in professional ways because of a technical rule?" Dr. Lee and Dr. Gilligan are both experts on violence.   Dr. Bandy Lee is an expert on violence on the faculty of Yale School of Medicine’s Law and Psychiatry Division who has served as [...]

Traumatic Narcissism: From Muktananda and Gurumayi to Donald Trump

2019-03-28T11:51:05-04:00December 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 very [...]

Scripted Violence, Conspiracy Theories and Concerns

2018-12-16T19:01:27-04:00December 6th, 2018|Blog|

It has been several weeks since Robert Bowers entered the Tree of Life synagogue in his hateful, rage-filled attack against Jews. This week, I had the opportunity to interview Chip Berlet, an investigative journalist, research analyst and scholar of right-wing movements. I had been wanting to interview him so he could explain the concept of scripted violence. This seems to be exactly what took place with Bowers. He had been influenced to hate and fear Jewish people to the point that he acted out and committed a terrorist act. I also wanted to ask Chip about the Protocols of [...]

Freedom of Mind: Index of Blogs

2018-12-16T20:52:05-04:00July 19th, 2018|Blog|

June 19, 2018 I try to blog every week with updates about my work, research, current events, high control groups, coercive control, media and other topics.  I have written pieces on U.S. politics, world news, child abuse, human trafficking, terrorism, undue influence, multi-level marketing, and healing and recovery.  Whether you are new to Freedom of Mind or have been a long-time supporter or even former client, I think you will benefit from this resourceful list of previous articles. If you like one of these blogs, please share it on your social media. If you have suggestions for future blogs, [...]

Coping with Post-Election Stress

2018-12-13T18:06:05-04:00November 17th, 2016|Blog, Current Events, Resources and Support|

It has been a little over a week since Donald Trump lost the popular vote but won the electoral college delegates needed for the 2016 Presidential election. Civil rights groups have reported hundreds of hate crimes against women, racial minorities, and Muslims. Trump supporters have also reported harassment and violence against them. (I highly recommend watching the video in that link; Rev. Kelsey Hutto’s response is wonderful.) So many people, including myself, are still trying to absorb the idea of a Trump Presidency. So I believe this is a great opportunity to talk about resiliency and coping skills under [...]

A Call to Activism

2018-12-16T19:51:49-04:00November 11th, 2016|Blog, Current Events|

From Combating Cult Mind Control (2015) I am still recovering from shock and dismay over the results of the 2016 American presidential election. I still stand by my appraisal of Donald Trump as a person who holds the stereotypical characteristics of a cult leader. Now that he is America’s President-elect, we have an even greater opportunity to educate the planet about the characteristics of cult leaders and followers. More than ever, we need organizations like the newly formed Open Minds Foundation to raise public awareness of the dangers of undue influence, and how we can fight it! I refuse [...]

Robert Jay Lifton MD: An Interview with a Genius

2018-12-16T20:12:24-04:00October 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 [...]

Roger Ailes, FOX News, Right-Wing Talk Shows, and Undue Influence Techniques

2018-12-16T19:58:04-04:00August 19th, 2016|Blog, Media Reviews|

Fox News channel boss Roger Ailes was recently forced to resign amid allegations of sexual harassment. The suit, filed by Gretchen Carlson, has opened up a window into what was apparently a pervasive work culture of discrimination, intimidation, and harassment. Back in 1996, Roger Ailes teamed up with Rupert Murdoch to create Fox News as a right-wing propaganda juggernaut. Apparently Bill Shine, an insider, will take over but the entertainment/news/right-wing approach will seemingly stay the same. Now there are news reports that Ailes will be involved in coaching Donald Trump in his bid to become President. I recently watched a [...]