Scientology

Effective Healing Takes Hard Work

2018-12-16T19:50:05-04:00February 4th, 2017|Blog, Resources and Support|

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 their own learning and healing! Unless people put the time and effort into educating themselves and doing the healing work needed, I have found that ex-cult members can be carrying around unwanted baggage. They can also be more vulnerable to other forms of undue [...]

My Appearance on Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, and Other Updates

2018-12-16T21:11:33-04:00January 20th, 2017|Blog, News and Updates|

2017 is off to an exciting start! This Tuesday, January 17th, A&E’s Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath aired a special Reddit AMA show that I taped the week before along with Mike Rinder, Lawrence Wright (who wrote the book Going Clear that became an HBO documentary) and attorney Ray Jeffrey. Ray successfully represented former top FLAG executive Debbie Cook and her husband in a lawsuit brought by Scientology. After Ray put Debbie Cook on the stand in open court and she started recounting the horrific abuse, Scientology wisely dropped the suit and settled for an undisclosed amount of [...]

Book Review – opening minds: the secret world of manipulation, undue influence and brainwashing

2019-02-13T12:08:14-04:00December 29th, 2016|Blog, Media Reviews|

opening minds: the secret world of manipulation, undue influence and brainwashing is the newest book written by Jon Atack, ex-Scientologist and author of the best book on Scientology. This masterfully written primer on undue influence is the first project of the newly formed non-profit organization Open Minds Foundation (OMF). Of course, you might expect I would write a positive review. I’m on the advisory board of OMF, and Jon is a long time personal friend. He is one of the smartest and most well read people I have the pleasure to know. He is an artist. A musician. A [...]

Freedom of Mind for LGBTQ Youth

2019-06-10T07:21:25-04:00December 16th, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

Freedom of Mind, as an organization and as a meme is grounded in a commitment to basic human rights as expressed by the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Please take a moment to look at these profound statements. It’s not surprising that many cults hold doctrines and practices which are intolerant and even violent towards the LGBTQ community. Just combine absolutist, black-and-white, rigid thinking with tight control over members’ sexuality. A young person asserting their own individual desires (which may be unconventional, complex, or constantly evolving) presents a threat to a cult leader who seeks to mold their followers [...]

Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

2019-02-13T10:52:45-04:00December 2nd, 2016|Blog, Media Reviews|

When I first heard that Leah Remini planned to make a show about Scientology, I was cautiously optimistic. Not that many celebrities have been brave enough to share their stories, much less want to really go further than the HBO Going Clear documentary. After watching the first episode, I am happy to say that Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath is professionally done and extremely thoughtful. It presents a lot of useful information in a short time. Please watch it and tell everyone on your social network to watch it too. I highly recommend it not just for those [...]

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 [...]

Let’s End Scientology’s Tax Exemption Now!

2018-12-16T21:11:49-04:00May 6th, 2016|Blog, Current Events|

In 2010, I wrote a Huffington Post blog about the need for Scientology’s U.S. tax exempt status to be removed. With no change six years later, it is time to really make an effort to get the IRS to act. Word on the dangers of this group is getting out. The past few years have seen the release of important books like Ron Miscavige’s Ruthless, Leah Remini’s Troublemaker and Jon Atack’s classic A Piece of Blue Sky. The group has lost a few high profile members (Lisa Marie Presley, Katie Holmes) who have spoken out against the organization. In addition, [...]

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 [...]

An Invitation from Jon Atack to a Course and Conference on Scientology in Toronto!

2018-12-16T21:11:57-04:00April 29th, 2015|Blog, Guest Blogs, News and Updates|

From June 22 through 26th Tyndale University College and Seminary, in Toronto, will host a course and conference on Scientology, planned and directed by Professor James Beverley and me. Jim and I have been friends for four years and have worked toward this event for some time. Our course and conference promises to be the most in-depth and wide-ranging course or conference ever held on Scientology. I intend to withdraw from Scientology related work after this event. We will cover all aspects of the cult with the help of some of the leading experts – former members, academics and [...]

HBO Going Clear Press Release

2018-12-16T21:12:18-04:00March 18th, 2015|Blog, News and Updates|

Press Release Boston, March 18, 2015 The HBO movie “Going Clear” has ruffled Scientology’s feathers while also whetting people’s appetite for answers to significant questions–not least–why people get involved and indoctrinated into destructive cults? Cult expert Steve Hassan says, “Alex Gibney’s sobering movie has likely opened the floodgates to a public examination of destructive cults.” Former scientologist “Spanky” Taylor, who is featured in the documentary, states, “Although it took years for me to seek out professional help in recovering from my cult experience, I was grateful for the works of Robert Lifton, Margaret Singer, and particularly Steven Hassan in [...]