June 28, 2018 This Influence Continuum graphic describes my model for evaluating influence–from the healthy to the unhealthy. My BITE model offers a list of concerning practices that represent unhealthy mind control: Behavior, Information, Thought and Emotional control designed to create dependent and obedient slaves to a person or ideology. One example of many is the lack of informed consent when recruiting new members. Healthy groups are honest, destructive cults lie–by withholding vital information, distorting information to make it seem more palatable or outright lies. It is my assertion that any academic who writes about controversial groups and insists [...]
*blog updated March 2, 2018* Both Have Missions to Recruit True Believers to Take Over the World Having exited the Moonies in 1976, following an intervention performed at the request of my family, I have been so grateful to regain my life. I refer to the group as "the Moonies," because when I was a member, the term was initially coined and Sun Myung Moon loved the term. We even wore tee-shirts and had mugs made with "I Heart the Moonies." When Moon was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the Federal government and filing false income taxes, resulting in [...]
I was going to New York City to tape an interview for a one hour documentary on Heaven’s Gate and reached out to see if I could finally meet Todd Kadish, an attorney who is an ex-modern Orthodox Jew. Todd and I had had several very interesting phone calls and I really wanted to meet him in person. He and Isaac Carmignani, an ex-Jehovah’s Witness, helped start what they termed an ex-fundamentalist support group a number of years ago. I had the good fortune of meeting Isaac previously and he kindly offered to assist me with a case in [...]
Meditation, Yes! But Please Be Careful and Do Your Homework Regarding Transcendental Meditation (TM).
There are thousands of ways to meditate. Personally, I like to do a breathing, concentration meditation, or a moving or walking meditation to focus my mind. I like the discipline of focusing my mind rather than passively allowing thoughts to come and go. In the past, I have done mindfulness meditation, which is quite popular now and has helped many people relieve anxiety, depression, and other issues. So, be wary of any group that says there is only one Right Way to meditate.Mantric meditation (the repetition of a word or sound) is only one technique.In recent years, Transcendental Meditation (TM) [...]