Steven Hassan

Freedom of Mind: Index of Blogs

By |2018-07-19T14:51:12+00:00July 19th, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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 Mind [...]

Dr. Philip Zimbardo’s 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE): A Response to Critics

By |2018-07-04T07:48:05+00:00July 3rd, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dr. Zimbardo photographed for his Heroic Imagination Project.Credit: Ferne Millen Photography July 2, 2018: At this moment, there appears to be a media attack on the reputation of Dr. Philip Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus of Stanford University and former president of the American Psychological Association. Indeed, there seems to be a broader attack on the [...]

A Response to Academics Who Say There Is No Undue Influence in Destructive Cults

By |2018-06-28T14:03:37+00:00June 28th, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

June 28, 2018 This Influence Continuum graphic describes my model for evaluating influence–from the healthy to the unhealthy. My BITE model offers a list of concerning practices that represent unhealthy mind control: Behavior, Information, Thought and Emotional control designed to create dependent and obedient slaves to a person or ideology. One example of many is the lack [...]

Errant Belief #10: “We Have Lost Hope”

By |2018-06-21T11:48:14+00:00June 21st, 2018|Categories: Resources and Support, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Have a Positive Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Not a Negative One   In my opinion, giving up hope is a dysfunctional coping mechanism to deal with the pain. Unfortunately, it suggests incorrectly that there is nothing constructive that can be done.  If family members and friends no longer believe that the person will reestablish contact (if they have [...]

Scientific Research Survey to Understand Influence

By |2018-06-19T17:20:20+00:00June 7th, 2018|Categories: News and Updates, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  6-18-2018 Update **This survey is now closed. We thank everyone that participated. We have received 1028 responses out of which 989 are 100% answered, giving us enough data to analyze. ** Please Take Our Scientific Research Survey to Understand Influence in Order to Transform the Legal System! Click this link: Scientific Research Survey on Understanding Influence [...]

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

By |2018-05-31T11:23:15+00:00May 31st, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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 demand group. The [...]

Errant Belief #7: “He Must Be Weak, Stupid or Looking for Easy Answers or Someone to Tell Him What to Do”

By |2018-04-26T12:34:36+00:00April 26th, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

"Don't Blame the Victim" This is a very commonly held, but fallacious generalization about people involved with destructive relationships and cult groups. People often try to find fault with people who experience tragedy by blaming the victim. Laying blame gives people a false sense of control over their own lives by distancing them from the victim. [...]

Errant Belief #5: “He Has the Right to Believe What He Wants to Believe”

By |2018-03-15T18:12:45+00:00March 15th, 2018|Categories: Resources and Support, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Right to Believe Anything vs. Reality-Testing   Freedom to believe is only a real freedom if you also have the freedom not to believe.  Having the right to believe something carries with it a presupposition of the right to not believe it, too.  When recruiters deceptively ensnare people into a closed belief system, it violates informed [...]

Charles Duhigg’s New York Times Podcast: “Change Agent”

By |2018-03-08T11:20:26+00:00March 8th, 2018|Categories: Media Reviews, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  Charles Duhigg The "Change Agent" podcast is a five-episode series by The New York Times. It is hosted by Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author of "The Power of Habit" and "Smarter Faster Better."  It uses real-life problems to try and solve a surprising story. (When we worked on the podcast [...]

Errant Belief #4: “He’s an Adult. We Have No Right to Interfere.”

By |2018-03-01T16:26:42+00:00March 1st, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Undue Influence Undermines Autonomy It is completely understandable that people might resist any request to help a person who has been unduly influenced. The person might say, "Why should I?  They are an adult.  I don't think it is right to interfere with their decision."  If the person isn't asking for help, why get involved?  Americans [...]