recovery

Hitting, Spanking, Paddling and Using Belts to Discipline Children is Harmful

2018-12-16T00:07:25-04:00August 27th, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

In the United States, it is illegal for a prison guard to hit a death row inmate, it is illegal for a military sergeant to hit a private and it is illegal for a man to hit his wife. But, it is legal for an adult to hit a child. In all 50 states, the use of physical punishments on children is legal in the home. In 21 of them, it is still legal to use physical punishment in schools. Children, it seems, are the exception to the rule when it comes to physical assault. I recently shared a link [...]

New Book on Patty Hearst Falls Short of Understanding Undue Influence

2018-12-16T20:07:36-04:00August 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 [...]

Use of Words, Loaded Language, and “Thought Control” of Believers

2018-12-16T21:05:22-04:00July 29th, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

I recently read former Scientologist official Mike Rinder’s blog piece on “Word Clearing.” I suspect that most people who read his blog are ex-Scientologists, but I think it might be interesting for former members of other destructive groups to give it a read. I thought it could be a useful introduction to a blog I have been wanting to write for a few weeks on “Loaded Language. When it comes to freeing one's mind from cult influence, one of the hardest things for many to overcome is the involuntary use of “loaded language.” Loaded language is something I first [...]

An Introduction to Steve Guziec

2018-12-16T20:42:20-04:00July 8th, 2016|Blog, Guest Blogs, News and Updates|

Guest Blog by Steve Guziec Update: As of January 2018, Steve Guziec is no longer working with Freedom of Mind Resource Center. He wished to take his life in a new direction and we wish him the very best in his academic and life pursuits. I'm so excited to be working with Steven Hassan and the Freedom of Mind team. It's a wonderful cause and a truly worthwhile line of work. As someone who understands just what it's like to be involved in a cult, I am often asked to share my story. So, here it is. I was [...]

Important New Model Offers Legal Guidelines for Cases Involving Undue Influence

2018-12-16T00:18:52-04:00June 3rd, 2016|Blog, Media Reviews|

Forty years ago, I was deprogrammed from the Moonies and months later I agreed to do involuntary deprogrammings with fellow cult members. During that time, parents had the legal recourse to help their adult children involved with cults. Families could go before a judge, and petition the court for a one week ex-parte "conservatorship" giving them custody of their loved one. The family argued that their loved one had lacked informed consent and was the victim of "artful and designing people" who used undue influence to recruit them into a totalitarian cult that robbed them of their free will. [...]

Cult Survivors Need Compassion and Help to Recover

2018-12-16T19:42:22-04:00May 20th, 2016|Blog, Current Events, Resources and Support|

On Thursday, news broke that another of the missing Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist extremist cult Boko Haram two years ago has been found. The second in just as many days, she is being hailed officially by the authorities of Nigeria as a success story and paraded in front of the media as proof the new government’s ability to defeat the cult. However, there have also been reports circulating that paint a much less celebratory picture. It seems that some of the locals in the villages are afraid of accepting anyone who has been involved with Boko Haram. [...]

My Waking Up Day- 40 Years Later- I am Filled with Gratitude!

2018-12-16T21:01:22-04:00May 11th, 2016|Blog, News and Updates|

A recent photo of Gladys Gonzalez, myself, and Nestor Garcia M.D. May 11th 1976 was the day. After five days of deprogramming, I “woke up” and emerged from being a “model Moonie” and leader to a very upset, confused, angry, ashamed self. A team of four people hired by my parents: Nestor Garcia, Michael Strom, Gladys Gonzalez, and Gary Rosenberg* worked together until I “snapped” from my fanatical involvement in the Moon cult and allowed a doubt to surface. The rest is history. Nestor, Michael, and Gladys were all former Moonies themselves. Gary was not but played [...]

Reaching Out: Communicating After Cult Exit

2018-12-16T19:52:42-04:00April 22nd, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

I am often approached by concerned family members of adult cult members who need help. I work with the family by coaching them to use my Strategic Interactive Approach. This involves teaching them how to employ an ethical influence campaign based on compassion, and designed to help the cult member question the group’s leader, doctrine, and policies. If all goes well, the approach works and the cult member “wakes up.” As that happens, they are surrounded by loving people who are educated about all the key issues and ready to help them move on with their life. Family and [...]

Heal Yourself First, Then Help Others

2018-12-16T19:52:52-04:00March 31st, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

May 11, 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of my waking up from cult mind control: day five of a deprogramming initiated by my family after I nearly died in van crash. You see, at age 19, I was deceptively recruited into a front group of the Moon cult. I was transformed into a different person for two and a half years: I was a leader, fanatically convinced that God was using me to help set up a “theocracy” to rule the world, and that those who would not join and comply would be eliminated. My mind had been manipulated, [...]