Steve Hassan

Doomsday Prepper Cult Tragedy: Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Case-A Discussion with Dr. Christine Marie Katas

2020-06-21T18:00:23-04:00June 20th, 2020|Blog|

It was a tragic ending to the mystery of where Lori Vallow's two missing children have been since last fall. The bodies of Tylee Ryan (age 17) and Joshua Vallow (age 7), were found buried on Chad Daybell's four-acre property. Cell phone pings from Lori Vallow's late brother led investigators to the bodies of her children. They have both been arrested. Each has been ordered to post a $1 million bond if they wish to be released. Three other suspicious deaths are connected to Daybell and Vallow: his wife, her ex-husband, and her brother who was responsible for the death [...]

My Top Blogs About The Cult of Trump

2020-06-11T20:05:49-04:00June 11th, 2020|Blog|

In the weeks since George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, Donald Trump has escalated his authoritarian ambitions, prompting notable military Republicans and insiders to speak out against him. Trump has been harsh on protestors, (not remembering protesting publicly is a right for citizens, told more lies, and even promoted more conspiracy theories– this time accusing protestors to be part of Antifa. He even went as far as to say that Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old man who was violently pushed to the ground by Buffalo Emergency Response Team officers during a protest in Niagara Square was actually [...]

The Murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by the Knee of a Police Officer Has Sparked Outrage Across the United States and the World

2020-06-13T16:26:04-04:00June 2nd, 2020|Blog|

The murder of George Floyd, handcuffed with his hands behind his back and on his stomach, by the knee of a police officer on his neck for almost 9 minutes, has sparked justified outrage across the United States and the world. Peaceful protests have taken place by the vast majority of United States citizens. Donald Trump, aside from hiding in the White House bunker, later had officials use tear gas to allow him to make a photo-op of him holding a Bible and speaking outside of the historic St. Johns Church. Trump had called governors and told them he was [...]

UFOs, Anti-Government Conspiracy Theories, Covid-19, and Indoctrination With Author and Journalist MJ Banias

2020-05-31T01:29:43-04:00May 30th, 2020|Blog|

In our last blog, we talked with conspiracy theory debunker Mick West about his book Escaping the Rabbit Hole.  This week, it is my pleasure to blog and share my interview with MJ Banias about his expertise concerning UFOs as well as newer research he has been doing. Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced people all over the world-creating social and economic upheavals as big or bigger than the Great Depression. Scientists and public health experts have given stern warnings against prematurely lifting social distancing restrictions without testing and contact tracing resources in place. All recommend mandatory use of facemasks [...]

Conspiracy Theories, Cults and How to Help Friends and Loved Ones with Debunker Mick West

2020-05-22T10:02:58-04:00May 22nd, 2020|Blog|

Mick West--debunker, skeptic, writer, and podcaster--recently interviewed me for his podcast, "Tales From The Rabbit Hole" where we discussed cults, the intersection between cults and conspiracy theories, and my book: The Cult of Trump. (Listen to Episode 44: Steven Hassan – Cults and Conspiracies.) Tales from the Rabbit Hole is an interview-style podcast focusing on people whose lives have been affected by the conspiracy theory rabbit hole. Guests include both former and current believers in a variety of conspiracy theories, as well as debunkers, skeptics, and the investigators of those theories. There was such an intersection between my work and [...]

Former Jehovah’s Witness and Activist Mark O’Donnell Discusses Michael Jackson, Leaving Neverland, and the Profile of Child Abuse Predators

2020-05-15T14:42:34-04:00May 15th, 2020|Blog|

I watched the HBO Documentary Leaving Neverland and the follow-up Oprah special that interviewed the two abuse victims and have been wanting to write a blog about the series for a long while now. Leaving Neverland is a 2019 documentary film directed and produced by the British filmmaker Dan Reed. It focuses on two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege they were sexually abused as children by the pop icon singer, songwriter, and entertainer, Michael Jackson. The four-hour documentary offers incredible archival footage and gives a very detailed description of events. However, I feel strongly that the documentary [...]

Former NXIVM Member Sarah Edmondson Talks About Being Recruited Into and Escaping Keith Raniere’s Cult

2020-05-05T09:17:51-04:00May 4th, 2020|Blog|

I am pleased to share a long-awaited interview with Sarah Edmondson--a former high-ranking member of NXIVM, founded by Keith Raniere. Sarah Edmondson is a Canadian actress who has starred in the CBS series Salvation and more than 12 films for the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime. She is featured in the CBC podcast Uncover: Escaping NXIVM and The Vow, the upcoming HBO documentary series on NXIVM. She is the author of the book, Scarred: The True Story of How I Escaped NXIVM, the Cult that Bound My Life. Scarred is a memoir of Sarah's recruitment into the NXIVM cult, founded by the now-convicted trafficker, Keith Raniere. It [...]

Former 3HO Official Pamela Dyson Discusses Yogi Bhajan’s Use of Sex, Money and Power to Deceive and Control

2020-04-18T17:14:24-04:00April 18th, 2020|Blog|

My guest this week is Pamela Saharah Dyson, a former top official of 3HO (known also as Western Sikhs)  and once a long term devoted follower of Yogi Bhajan. If you have ever heard of kundalini yoga, or even taken some classes, that was the main bait to recruit people. That and promises of health--even though Bhajan died at 75 from ill-health. Even though she left the cult in the 1980s, she has now published her story in a must-read book: Premka, White Bird in a Golden Cage: My Life with Yogi Bhajan. If you have ever met or done [...]

Child Protection, Shunning, and Parental Alienation: A Discussion About the Word of Faith Fellowship With Former Member John Huddle

2020-04-10T16:13:13-04:00April 10th, 2020|Blog|

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and, now more than ever, we need to protect children.  Too many are still being hurt: physically, mentally and emotionally, as seen by recent national child abuse statistics. For those raised in cults, they are at a higher risk for physical, medical, sexual, emotional, and psychological harm. I wrote a blog about the work of Marci Hamilton and ChildUSA; it is worth checking out. Sadly, many are being hurt by destructive groups which are proving to be an unsafe, abusive environment for young ones. One such Bible cult is Jane Whaley's Word of Faith [...]

The COVID-19 Pandemic, the Religious Right, and the Threat to Our Government and World Health: A Discussion With Anne Nelson

2020-04-08T14:17:59-04:00April 2nd, 2020|Blog|

As we continue into uncharted times with the COVID-19 pandemic, we must change our focus to how we can combat this virus and support one another during this crisis. This global pandemic affects each and every one of us. Unfortunately, not everyone believes in science and nor is taking it seriously. Too many people are going against the suggestions of medical professionals and scientists, putting all of us at risk. Estimates now are that due to a lack of proper preparation to accept tests offered by WHO, as well as masks, alcohol wipes, and ventilators from suppliers, 100,000 - 240,000 [...]