Sun Myung Moon

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

2020-07-23T15:12:04-04:00March 6th, 2020|Blog|

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 [...]

Jim Heller and Steven Hassan Debate “The Cult of Trump”

2019-12-26T15:11:42-05:00December 26th, 2019|Blog|

This week, we have a blog about a civil discussion I had with Jim Heller, a Canadian criminal lawyer and Trump supporter. After the release of my book, The Cult of Trump, Jim wrote me explaining that he was a Trump supporter who found my argument that Trump was a cult leader untenable and insulting. He expressed his interest in challenging my thesis but offered to do so with civility and respect. Moreover, Jim felt that his opinion warranted extra weight given his own experience as a former cult member (a former follower of Guru Maharaji Ji, who now uses [...]

The Cult of Trump: TV Appearances and Book Signings

2019-11-14T12:59:41-05:00November 14th, 2019|Blog|

Greater Boston (WGBH) Television Interview On November 7, 2019, I was honored to be interviewed by political reporter Adam Reilly for the PBS program Greater Boston. I really enjoyed our conversation and tried to be as thorough in my responses, as time would allow. I loved that they showed the actual footage of the scene I describe in the book where Trump is surrounded by his Cabinet members and they all take turns complimenting him and telling him what an honor it is to serve him. This scene so reminded me of my time in the Moon [...]

Yes, There Are Left-Wing Destructive Cults!

2019-10-29T08:20:34-04:00October 24th, 2019|Blog|

Some people who have recently learned about my book The Cult of Trump are asking the question, "Does Steve believe that there are left-wing cults too?" So, I thought I should answer this question by writing a short blog. For people who are not familiar with my story, I was actually deprogrammed from the Moon cult in 1976 with the help of Robert Jay Lifton's seminal book, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China. Dr. Lifton's famous chapter twenty-two of that 1961 book described 8 criteria that could be used to characterize brainwashing (or [...]

The Netflix Docuseries “The Family”: A Review by Steven Hassan

2019-09-13T12:11:20-04:00September 12th, 2019|Blog|

I binge watched this excellent docuseries the day after it was released. I only recently have caught up to blogging about it. I want everyone to watch it! And ask friends and your family to watch it all also. Especially activists. Rather than covering the same ground as this superb review by Frederick Clarkson, I hope you will read Frederick's piece after you read this. If you haven't already watched the series, start by watching the trailer below. "The Family" is a five-part Netflix documentary described as: "An enigmatic conservative Christian group known as the Family wields enormous influence [...]

Announcing My New Book with Simon and Schuster Entitled The Cult of Trump

2019-08-15T13:18:45-04:00August 15th, 2019|Blog|

Many of you are aware that I have been writing a large number of blogs concerning the current President of the United States, Donald Trump. I have been working tremendously hard on an extremely short deadline to produce a book that connects the dots with my involvement with the Moon cult since 1974 and my fasting on the Capitol stairs for President Richard Nixon because "God wants Nixon to be President" despite Watergate and calls for impeachment. Sun Myung Moon was brought to meet Nixon right after the Family's National Prayer Breakfast in 1974. Jeffrey Sharlet wrote about this group [...]

Traumatic Narcissism: From Muktananda and Gurumayi to Donald Trump

2020-01-08T05:06:32-05:00December 27th, 2018|Blog|

Daniel Shaw and Siddha Yoga This week's blog features an interview with a licensed clinical social worker, Daniel Shaw.  Dan is a private practice psychotherapist in New York City and in Rockland County, New York. Dan was deeply involved for many years and even a staff member at Siddha Yoga before he woke up and walked away. As part of his healing journey and restarting his life, he decided to become a mental health professional. Like many former members, he was involved in helping others to wake up and realize that the guru was not enlightened but, in fact, a [...]

Ideas for Combating Hate Speech and Violence

2018-12-13T20:41:31-05:00October 29th, 2018|Blog|

The massacre of 11 innocent Jews in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last Sabbath by a hateful, disturbed man is a wake-up call for everyone who loves freedom. I attended my own synagogue that morning and experienced a wonderful Bar Mitzvah where the dvar, taught by the thirteen-year-old, was about intelligent disobedience and how Abraham had failed his test by God when agreeing to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. Instead of Abraham using his critical thinking skills and following his heart and his conscience, he was prepared to offer his son as a sacrifice because God [...]

The Attempt to Redefine Religious Freedom

2018-12-15T19:47:51-05:00October 25th, 2018|Blog|

This week's blog is an effort to make people aware of a concerted effort to move the United States away from the Founding Fathers' plan in the Constitution. They wanted a solid foundational commitment for a clear separation of Church and State. However, we are currently seeing a trend towards giving rights to religious corporations that may impinge on the rights of others. Meanwhile, some powerful elements of the Christian Right are engaged in a well-funded effort to move us away from a democracy to a theocracy. This week, I had the good fortune to do a video interview [...]

Researchers Beware: Wikipedia Entries About High Control Groups Are Not Very Trustworthy 

2018-12-13T21:04:43-05:00April 4th, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

Jimmy Wales in 2017, Founder of Wikipedia Reliable Information? or Ideologically Biased? We have been living in the Information Age, the Knowledge Age, with access virtually 24/7 to anything and everything. Many in today's world go to Wikipedia to learn about cars, animals, medicines and even cults. And that is okay. For the most part, Wikipedia is fairly reliable. With over 20,000 new entries added every month, it no surprise that YouTube, Facebook, and Google rely on its content. We are now living in the Age of Influence. With the revelation that up to 87 million Facebook users [...]