The 2019 International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) Conference in Manchester, England

Last week, I attended the excellent ICSA 2019 Annual International Conference entitled, “Coercive Control and the Psychology of Influence Across Comparative Contexts – Implications for Policy, Practice and the Criminal Justice Process.” I presented a 90–minute, well–attended workshop on the “The Influence Continuum and the BITE Model and its use for Determining Undue Influence in …

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Robert Jay Lifton

The Solipsistic Reality of President Trump: A Discussion with Dr. Robert Jay Lifton

This past February of 2019, I interviewed Dr. Robert Jay Lifton about his thoughts about the current political situation in America. It is always a privilege. I have been fortunate enough to interview him a few times before. (Listed at end). Recently, he gave me permission to republish his Eight Criteria of Thought Reform. In …

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NXIVM: Robert Jay Lifton’s Criteria of Thought Reform as Analyzed by Expert Paul Martin, Ph.D.

Dr. Paul R. Martin was a psychologist, expert witness, survivor of a Bible cult called Great Commission International and founder of Wellspring Retreat Center, a place where cult survivors could go for an intensive two-week rehabilitation program. It was located in Ohio and helped hundreds of cult survivors. In 1993, he authored the book Cult …

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The Anatomy of Undue Influence: Scientific Study and Elsevier Journal Article

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 false identities” at the prestigious 2017 Congress of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health in Prague. I blogged about …

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The BITE Model & Mormonism: An Exploration with Ex-Mormon John Dehlin

June 14, 2018 Dr. John Dehlin & Mormon Stories Podcast STEVEN HASSAN – WHAT THE MORMON CHURCH CAN LEARN FROM CULTS TO DO/BE BETTER Mormon Stories Podcast 938-939 About a month ago, we received an email from John Dehlin requesting an interview for his podcast Mormon Stories and his Youtube channel. Frankly, I have been …

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Scientific Research Survey to Understand Influence

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 …

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

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 …

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Mental Health Awareness Month logo

High Control Groups Program Members to Fear Mental Health Help

Mental Health Awareness Month May is Mental Health Awareness Month! I wanted to write this blog on how some high control groups program their members away from mental health help. This is true, especially in the case of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientology, The Moonies, as well as countless other high control Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups. …

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The Freedom of Mind Approach to Recovery and Healing from Destructive Cults

The Freedom of Mind approach to recovery and healing from destructive cults is customizable and designed to meet the needs of most any person who has been influenced by a cult. People who were born or raised in a cult have spent their early developmental years under cult control. Other people may have entered into …

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

“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 …

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

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, …

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