The Cult of Trump

Conspiracy Theories, Cults and How to Help Friends and Loved Ones with Debunker Mick West

2020-05-22T10:02:58-04:00May 22nd, 2020|Blog|

Mick West--debunker, skeptic, writer, and podcaster--recently interviewed me for his podcast, "Tales From The Rabbit Hole" where we discussed cults, the intersection between cults and conspiracy theories, and my book: The Cult of Trump. (Listen to Episode 44: Steven Hassan – Cults and Conspiracies.) Tales from the Rabbit Hole is an interview-style podcast focusing on people whose lives have been affected by the conspiracy theory rabbit hole. Guests include both former and current believers in a variety of conspiracy theories, as well as debunkers, skeptics, and the investigators of those theories. There was such an intersection between my work and [...]

Former 3HO Official Pamela Dyson Discusses Yogi Bhajan’s Use of Sex, Money and Power to Deceive and Control

2020-04-18T17:14:24-04:00April 18th, 2020|Blog|

My guest this week is Pamela Saharah Dyson, a former top official of 3HO (known also as Western Sikhs)  and once a long term devoted follower of Yogi Bhajan. If you have ever heard of kundalini yoga, or even taken some classes, that was the main bait to recruit people. That and promises of health--even though Bhajan died at 75 from ill-health. Even though she left the cult in the 1980s, she has now published her story in a must-read book: Premka, White Bird in a Golden Cage: My Life with Yogi Bhajan. If you have ever met or done [...]

The COVID-19 Pandemic, the Religious Right, and the Threat to Our Government and World Health: A Discussion With Anne Nelson

2020-04-08T14:17:59-04:00April 2nd, 2020|Blog|

As we continue into uncharted times with the COVID-19 pandemic, we must change our focus to how we can combat this virus and support one another during this crisis. This global pandemic affects each and every one of us. Unfortunately, not everyone believes in science and nor is taking it seriously. Too many people are going against the suggestions of medical professionals and scientists, putting all of us at risk. Estimates now are that due to a lack of proper preparation to accept tests offered by WHO, as well as masks, alcohol wipes, and ventilators from suppliers, 100,000 - 240,000 [...]

The Definitive Guide to Helping People in the Cult of Trump

2020-02-21T14:14:24-05:00February 21st, 2020|Blog|

Under the right circumstances, even sane, rational, well-adjusted people can be deceived and persuaded to believe the most outrageous ideas and leader. President Trump uses the same deceptive psychological techniques that cult leaders do (cult leader's playbook) that influence his devoted followers' behavior, information, thoughts, and emotions. Some people are also unwilling to entertain the idea that Trump displays the characteristics of a cult leader (malignant narcissism). Very concerning is that some are so fervently devoted, they have cut off relationships with any that do not believe the same way as them, including close friends and even family. Do you [...]

The Cult of Trump? What “Cult Rhetoric” Actually Reveals: A Response to Benjamin Zeller and Other Cult Apologists

2020-01-19T16:40:37-05:00January 9th, 2020|Blog|

In October 2019, Benjamin Zeller wrote an article in Religion & Politics critical of my new book, The Cult of Trump, which he had not even had the courtesy of reading. It was entitled, "The Cult of Trump? What “Cult Rhetoric” Actually Reveals." A response was thoughtfully written by independent scholar Jon Atack who is an expert on Scientology, author, and researcher and sent to Religion & Politics. The editor refused to publish it. When cult expert and sociologist Stephen Kent heard about the refusal to publish it, he emailed the editor the following: Dear Ms. Stanley, Although I [...]

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 [...]

Infographic: How To Free Your Loved Ones from the Cult of Trump

2019-12-20T03:00:30-05:00December 19th, 2019|Blog|

The following infographic has been designed as a helpful guide. It includes effective techniques to help free the minds of  dedicated Trump supporters. The Cult of Trump is best thought of, first and foremost, as a cult of personality that involves other cult leaders and millions of true believers. Not all of his supporters follow him blindly. But people who believe he is a great man, worthy to follow without a willingness to look at any verifiable evidence against him are either corrupt, cowered in fear, or mind controlled. It is important to become well-informed about mind control and learn [...]

QAnon: What Is It About? A Discussion With Conspiracy Theory Researcher Travis View

2020-01-11T16:10:23-05:00December 12th, 2019|Blog|

In today's online, social media world, information can be spread quickly, in some cases without any critical evaluation or investigation into the credibility of its source. QAnon is an online pro-Trump conspiracy theory group that popped up in 2017 on 4Chan and went on to 8Chan. This supposed U.S. intelligence official, Q, does Q drops, anonymous internet posts, which give clues to supposed real-life events. QAnon believers essentially think Q is a real person who has a very high level of U.S. government security clearance and is working to expose corruption by posting obtuse posts that [...]

The Cult of Trump: Some Frequently Asked Questions

2019-12-08T09:25:49-05:00December 5th, 2019|Blog, Resources and Support|

On Friday, November 22nd, 2019, I did an interview with Brian Stelter of CNN's Sunday Reliable Sources show. This was put online as an audio Reliable Sources podcast. That Sunday, November 24th, The Cult of Trump was the focus of the last segment (approximately 4 minutes) of this highly regarded CNN cable tv show. It began with mentioning Anthony Scaramucci, Dan Rather, as well as, Republican John Weaver who each talked about the GOP becoming the cult of Trump. I was grateful to have my new book shown and to have an opportunity to discuss this important topic. Naturally, [...]

Ex-MAGA Troll David Weissman Gives Interview about His Process of Realizing That Facts Matter

2019-11-21T13:12:02-05:00November 21st, 2019|Blog|

This past Monday, November 18, 2019, was the 41st anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre where over 900 people were killed. Last year, I wrote a blog about this tragedy and how it forever changed me: Jonestown and the Mind Control Cult of Jim Jones: A Survivor’s Story. Most of the people who died were members of the People’s Temple, led by cult leader Jim Jones. When many think of this tragedy, brainwashing and mind control is the lesson to remember. People were programmed to do what Jones told them to do as they widely believed him to be God’s authority on earth. [...]