Public attention to the phenomenon of lone-actor terrorism has seemed to rise in recent decades. Tragic shootings in just the last two months have brought this phenomenon into even sharper relief: a school shooting in Uvalde, which prompted outrage over law enforcement and U.S. gun control policies; the July 4th Highland Park shooting in Chicago, which again led to an interrogation of the internet’s role in motivating lone-actor terrorists; and, most recently, the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which brought to light how the Unification Church’s predatory financial tactics factored into the shooter’s motivations. We also know mass shootings occur on a larger scale than just those involving high-profile, lone-actor terrorist cases; in fact, over 300 have occurred in the U.S. in 2022 alone.
I recently had the honor of interviewing my colleague, Dr. Anne Speckhard, on the Influence Continuum. Dr. Speckhard is Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) and an expert in terrorist recruitment and rehabilitation. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University’s Medical School. The ICSVE was founded in 2015 to provide research, training, and strategic advice to governments, intelligence, defense, international organizations, police, and civilian communities worldwide. The goal of ICSVE is to prevent…
In the current global political climate, the threat of terrorism from both foreign and domestic groups is an important concern. However, many approaches to fighting terrorism lack a fundamental understanding of the cult tactics of undue influence and the techniques of hypnosis that terrorist groups use to recruit and maintain control over their members. On a recent episode of my podcast…
The BITE Model of Authoritarian Control: Undue Influence, Thought Reform, Brainwashing, Mind Control, Trafficking and the Law
Update: January 2021: Dissertation has been published. <https://www.proquest.com/docview/2476570146/> In 1976, I was deprogrammed from the Moon cult. Since then, I have helped thousands of individuals leave and recover from the harmful influence of destructive cults.
Many destructive groups masquerade as religious when, in fact, their DNA is actually political. They are concerned with amassing secular power, wealth and control of government. And, many “mainstream” political organizations, on the left as
I dug up an old OpEd I wrote. Now that Lindh is being released–17 years later– there is a concern that he may not have received proper counseling about cult mind control and brainwashing. My
This is my first peer-reviewed academic journal article. It’s genesis began when I gave a talk entitled, The “anatomy of undue influence used by terrorist cults and traffickers to induce helplessness and trauma, so creating
On January 18, 2019, during the longest government shutdown in history, I had the pleasure of interviewing Professor Dennis Tourish. He is a former member of a left-wing political group, having left in the mid-1980s.
On Friday, March 15, 2019, 50 people were left dead in a mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. These terrorist attacks should be a wake-up call for every person on the planet. White supremacy hate groups are recruiting online and the danger is international. It is not a phenomenon limited to one city, state or country. Extremists are being manufactured online every day. Former members of these groups are willing to help with preventive education, as well as, intervention work, but they need to be organized, trained and funded.
On February 27, 2019, Dr. Bandy Lee and Dr. James Gilligan spoke at The Program in Psychiatry and the Law (the Harvard forensic think tank). The talk was entitled, “Do we surrender our moral compass to technical rule?” They
This week, I have the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Stein, a cult survivor and renowned expert on cults and totalitarianism. Alexandra Stein, Ph.D. is a writer and educator specializing in the social psychology of ideological
Introduction The book begins by covering the general and clinical challenges that are unique to Muslims, drawing from an internationally, ethnically, and intergenerationally diverse pool of experts. The text covers not only how psychiatrists and