Terrorism

Political Cults, Leadership, Idealism, and Totalism: A Discussion with Dennis Tourish Ph.D.

2019-04-04T13:55:36-04:00April 4th, 2019|Blog|

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. It was during this period that he found my book Combating Cult Mind Control which was the first time he had "read anything about this phenomenon and it just lifted the lights wonderfully." Dennis is Professor of Leadership and Organisation Studies at the University of Sussex in the U.K.. Additionally, he is an author, researcher, academic, and consultant. Professor Tourish has co-written or co-edited eight [...]

New Zealand Mosque Shootings: White Extremist Terrorism and the Internet

2019-03-23T12:12:37-04:00March 21st, 2019|Blog|

(AP Photo/Mark Baker) Cult Mind Control is Being Used on the Internet to Radicalize 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 [...]

Dr. Bandy Lee and Dr. James Gilligan: Do We Surrender Our Moral Compass to Technical Rule?

2019-03-11T16:44:47-04:00March 7th, 2019|Blog|

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 further discuss the question, "Given our professional responsibility to society, if we see dangers to public health and wellbeing, should we refrain from speaking up in professional ways because of a technical rule?" Dr. Lee and Dr. Gilligan are both experts on violence.   Dr. Bandy Lee is an expert on violence on the faculty of Yale School of Medicine’s Law and Psychiatry Division who has served as [...]

Terror, Love & Brainwashing: A Discussion with Alexandra Stein About Extremist Political Cults

2019-02-28T12:54:32-04:00February 28th, 2019|Blog|

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 extremism and other dangerous social relationships. She is an academic, having taught at the University of Minnesota, Birkbeck, and the University of London, now teaching at the Mary Ward Center. Dr. Stein is a Ph.D. sociologist and expert on social psychology. She teaches as an academic but gives talks, as well as, writes books.  Her memoir Inside Out: A Memoir of Entering and Breaking Out of a Minneapolis [...]

Islamophobia and Psychiatry: Recognition, Prevention, and Treatment

2019-01-12T19:49:43-04:00January 12th, 2019|Blog|

  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 other clinicians can intervene successfully with patients, but how we as clinicians can have a role in addressing other societally connected mental health challenges arising from Islamophobia. The text addresses three related but distinct areas of interest: Islamophobia as a destructive force, Islam as a religion that is threatened by stigma and misinformation, and the novel intersection of these forces with the field of psychiatry. [...]

Scripted Violence, Conspiracy Theories and Concerns

2018-12-16T19:01:27-04:00December 6th, 2018|Blog|

It has been several weeks since Robert Bowers entered the Tree of Life synagogue in his hateful, rage-filled attack against Jews. This week, I had the opportunity to interview Chip Berlet, an investigative journalist, research analyst and scholar of right-wing movements. I had been wanting to interview him so he could explain the concept of scripted violence. This seems to be exactly what took place with Bowers. He had been influenced to hate and fear Jewish people to the point that he acted out and committed a terrorist act. I also wanted to ask Chip about the Protocols of [...]

Ideas for Combating Hate Speech and Violence

2018-12-13T20:41:31-04:00October 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 [...]

Right-Wing Extremist Terrorists Target Humanists Who Teach Critical Thinking

2018-12-16T19:01:14-04:00September 16th, 2018|Blog|

Indian Activists Advocate the Use of Scientific, Analytical Thinking, Not Just Superstition This week's blog features an interview with my friend Narendra Nayak who is the President of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations (FIRA). His organization consists of eighty constituent groups who together seek to promote scientific thinking. For example, members have been a force to teach Indians about magic tricks used by cult gurus like Sai Baba to induce them to believe he had God-like powers. Decades ago, Premanand, the original founder of the Indian Skeptic organization, introduced me to Narendra Nayak. Premanand was an extraordinary man who wrote [...]

The Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems 2018 Sponsored by NECSI

2018-12-15T19:51:11-04:00July 26th, 2018|Blog, News and Updates|

July 26, 2018, This past Sunday, July 22, 2018, I was honored to be the opening plenary speaker at the 9th International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. My talk was entitled, A Complex Systems Approach to Countering Mind Control, Trafficking and, Terrorism. It was well-received, the questions were many, and the feedback was excellent. Founder and President of NECSI, Dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam and myself ICCS is a unique interdisciplinary forum that unifies and bridges the traditional domains of science and a multitude of real-world [...]

Remembering the Boston Marathon Attack

2018-12-16T19:25:56-04:00April 12th, 2017|Blog, Current Events, News and Updates|

Four years ago, on April 15, 2013, Boston was attacked by terrorists during its annual legendary Marathon. Four people lost their lives and 264 more were wounded. Boston Strong was the phrase used, but we all were in lockdown while police tried to hunt down those responsible. For me and countless others, it brought up painful emotions of the 9/11 attack. Soon, reports came out linking the attack to extremist beliefs and rumors of ties to Islamic extremists started circulating. As a mental health professional who lives in Newton and helps people that have been unduly influenced by cults [...]