Conspiracy Theories: Their Origin, Effect and How to Debunk Them with Mick West 

Several years ago, Mick West invited me to be on his podcast focusing on conspiracy theories, how they can damage lives and how to debunk them. West is known for his work debunking conspiracy theories including 9/11 Truthers, Flat Earthers and QAnon. I recommend his excellent 2018 book, “Escaping the Rabbit Hole.” West and I have arrived at very similar conclusions about some effective ways to approach this complex issue…

A Paradigm Shift for Health: A Biopsychosocial Model of Hypnosis

In my work, I spend a lot of time talking about how authoritarian cults use undue influence and mind control. But just as it is important to work to understand the unethical tactics that these cults use to influence others, it is important to learn about how one can use influence ethically and positively for the benefit of others. On the most recent episode of my podcast, The Influence Continuum…

A Cure to the Metaverse: Relational Maturity- Aureet Bar-Yam Hassan’s Developmental Theory

The Internet and social media have the potential to serve as a uniting force and are tools that can be used in positive ways. Certainly, during the on-going COVID-19 crisis, the Internet has been a vital way to continue working and learning, and maintaining at least a minimum of social contact, which is vital to the emotional health of human beings. The virus was first discovered in China and the genetic code of the virus was uploaded…

Synanon and Enthusiastic Sobriety: Cults Disguised as Drug Treatment

Cults take on many disguises to recruit and control members, including religious organizations, marketing schemes, drug treatment, and even yoga or martial arts groups. But the tactics of recruitment and control are very similar, and the malignant narcissists who profit from the cults also act in similarly destructive ways.

LuLaRoe and the World of Commercial Cults: Interview With Roberta Blevins

LuLaRoe is one of the largest multi-level marketing schemes (MLMs) in history. Founded in 2012, the company became famous for selling colorful, patterned leggings and advertising heavily on social media. Last month, Amazon Prime released the original series “LuLaRich,” and brought LuLaRoe’s use of undue influence and mind control to the public’s attention.

Charles Koch’s Undue Influence on College Campuses: An Interview with Jasmine Banks

Billionaire donors are exerting undue influence on college campuses nationwide to advance a regressive corporate agenda. When I read Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America by Christopher Leonard, I was astounded at how much I did not know about this empire. For example, patriarch Fred C. Koch, co-founder of the racist John Birch Society, was a union buster, stealer of oil from Indigenous people, massive polluter, and fanatical about their corporate “culture” which has been described by many as cult-like.

How Colonizers Use Mind Control: A Conversation with Cindy Blackstock

The “merciless Indian savages…” Those words in the United States Declaration of Independence entrenched the way colonial states defined Indigenous peoples as “savage” and their relationship with the “civilized Americans” as represented by federal and state governments. This dehumanizing propaganda was the pen of history, of social norms and laws writing on our societal manuscript about what the United States is and who we are as Americans. It served to normalize and even legitimize the wrongful dispossession of land, resources and even the children from Indigenous peoples.