For Ex-Members: Surviving the Holidays

Updated 11/28/2019 Infographic For many people, family-oriented holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah are loving, happy times: baking, singing, playing games, decorating, sleeping in, giving gifts, and spending time with family and friends. However, for former members of “high-demand” groups, it can be a very difficult time. Especially for those with family members still involved …

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Islamophobia and Psychiatry: Recognition, Prevention, and Treatment

Introduction The book begins by covering the general and clinical challenges that are unique to Muslims, drawing from an internationally, ethnically, and intergenerationally diverse pool of experts.  The text covers not only how psychiatrists and other clinicians can intervene successfully with patients, but how we as clinicians can have a role in addressing other societally …

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Freedom of Mind: Index of Blogs

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 …

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Errant Belief #9: “She’ll Walk out on Her Own When She Is Ready”

Is She Really Free to Leave? This attitude presumes that the cult member has the freedom of mind, finances, and the resources to just “leave.” The bars are invisible but very real. In my experience, depending on the length of his involvement, the “exit cost” is usually very high to walk out of a high …

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High Control Groups Program Members to Fear Mental Health Help

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. …

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

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 …

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Recovery from Spiritual Abuse and Healing Oneself to Trust Again

This past weekend, I attended and spoke at a conference at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. This one-day event was sponsored by MeadowHaven, The Protestant Chaplaincy of the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, Dartmouth Bible Church, and International Cultic Studies Association. The title of my talk was “Spiritual Abuse: Strategies to Help Someone to Exit, Heal …

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Effective Healing Takes Hard Work

I’ve written before about why ex-members need to heal themselves before helping others. Even if they’re not interested in becoming a vocal activist against destructive cults, there are plenty of good reasons to learn about undue influence and work on personal recovery. It still amazes me to encounter incredible ex-member activists who have not done …

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New Book on Patty Hearst Falls Short of Understanding Undue Influence

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 …

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