Steve Hassan

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

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 prepared to authorize military force to go into cities to stop the protestors. Unfortunately, criminals and covert agents of authoritarian countries and cults have instigated violence and looting. Trump blamed only left-wing groups for the violence and left out right-wing, neo-nazi, and white power groups. The media focus has been on racism and specifically white supremacist beliefs, conscious and unconscious. There are so many structural inequities in America that need to be addressed. These have been written about by experts and include financial, justice system, and health care, to name just a few that need to be fixed.

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

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

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 for citizens when in public. Trump has announced that he has decided to end funding for the World Health Organization (WHO). It is not clear if he alone has the authority to do this.

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

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

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.
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.

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

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

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

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

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

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 narrates in detail the 12 years she spent within the organization, during which she enrolled over 2,000 members, directly and indirectly, chronicling her breaking point and her harrowing fight to get out, help others, and heal.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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 Americans might die due to this virus, potentially millions. There is currently NO national shelter in place order with specific guidelines for essential people and services, which must continue. Things are being organized state by state. Epidemiologists state the virus does not respect artificial boundaries.

Until recently, President Trump downplayed the seriousness of this virus, even calling it a hoax. CNN Politics fact-checked how Trump tried to erase the memory of him downplaying the coronavirus and shared his actual quotes:

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

COVID-19 Pandemic is NOT Proof of the End Times as Proclaimed by Doomsday Cult Leaders

This year, 2020, has unfortunately been full of triggering events for many former members of Doomsday cults. There have been earthquakes in Croatia, Russia, and Texas to name just a few. Locusts have swarmed parts of East Africa damaging crops and livelihoods. The coronavirus pandemic is being described by some as a global pestilence. All of these major phenomena are being described by Bible-esque cults as doomsday predictions and fulfillment of Bible prophecy. This applies to so called fundamentalists in many religions too, according to Stephen Kent, sociologist and expert on cults. “These include Christianity, Islam, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Scientology, and fundamentalist Hinduism,” according to Kent.

COVID-19 Pandemic is NOT Proof of the End Times as Proclaimed by Doomsday Cult Leaders Read More

Anti-Semitism and Psychiatry: Recognition, Prevention, and Interventions

I am very pleased to share a remarkable new book to help clinicians,–as well as the general public,–to have a deeper understanding of Anti-Semitism. This text by Springer, a leading academic publisher followed the publication of a previous Springer volume, Islamophobia and Psychiatry: Recognition, Prevention, and Treatment. I wrote a previous blog about my chapter for this earlier book with psychiatrist and editor Ahmed Hankir.

Anti-Semitism and Psychiatry: Recognition, Prevention, and Interventions Read More

Shincheonji Is a South Korean Cult Similar to the Moon Cult That Recruited Me, Steven Hassan

The Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a South Korean doomsday cult with hundreds of thousands of followers, has been all over the news at the center of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in that country.

What do we know about this cult? The Shincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony was founded in 1984 in South Korea by its leader, Lee Man-hee. Citing former members, the Wall Street Journal reported that the cult communicates to its members that they will live forever, and Shincheonji followers are said to believe that Man-hee Lee is the second coming of Jesus Christ and the sole interpreter for secret codes they claim are contained in the Book of Revelation. While conservative Christians refer to the group as a cult because of its heretical teachings, as readers of my work, know, it is the authoritarian mind control factors explained in the BITE model that characterize a destructive cult. A short Whiteboard video explains Behavior control, Information control, Thought Control, and Emotional control.

Shincheonji Is a South Korean Cult Similar to the Moon Cult That Recruited Me, Steven Hassan Read More