All posts tagged: Undue Influence

The Rise of Right-Wing, Anti-Democratic Ideology in India: A Conversation with Narendra Nayak

Almost four years ago, I spoke with my friend Narendra Nayak about the rise of right-wing religious and political extremism in India. I had contacted him after learning of the killing of Gauri Lankesh. Lankesh was an activist journalist who was openly critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and their extremist Hindutva ideology. There are many similarities between the rise of conservative, right-wing ideologies in India and the United States. I recently spoke with Nayak to discuss the current social and political situations in India and the United States. 

Marsha Gilmer-Tullis, of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® – An In-Depth Discussion with Marsha Gilmer-Tullis

Marsha Gilmer-Tullis and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® deal daily with the unthinkable. As the Vice President of the Family Advocacy Division, she uses her more than 40 years of experience in the mental health and child welfare fields to coordinate therapeutic services to the families of missing as well as sexually exploited children, including online enticement and child sexual abuse material survivors. I am honored to have interviewed her as one of my guests for the Influence Continuum podcast.

Carissa Phelps, Sex Trafficking survivor and advocate

Human Trafficking ­– Survivor Voices are Critical: A Conversation with a Survivor, Attorney Carissa Phelps

Human trafficking is a serious crime and abuse of fundamental human rights. According to U.S. Department of State estimates, trafficking of children and adults is a modern-day plague, with at least 25 million victims worldwide at any given time. Carissa Phelps, Esq. my guest on a recent episode of The Influence Continuum, is a survivor of human trafficking. She became a victim of sex trafficking when she was 12 years old, long before the term "human trafficking" was used. Phelps is now an attorney, Runaway Girl, Inc. founder, and a champion in the fight against human trafficking, oppression, and exploitation.

Indigenous Worldview

The Worldviews of Indigenous Peoples Can Help Repair Social & Political Discord

Last October, I did an interview and blog with Dr. Cindy Blackstock to discuss Indigenous People’s Day (no longer Columbus Day). I recently interviewed her again for my new podcast, The Influence Continuum. We had an extraordinarily rich and stimulating discussion that included the truck convoy’s presumable protest against COVID vaccination and mask mandates...

exmormon

LDS (Mormon) Church, Leaving & Recovery–Reddit AMA: ExMormons

This past Sunday (January 9, 2022), I was invited to answer questions about the Mormon Church during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) for the subreddit group, ExMormon. This is the link to the entire thread: AMA: I'm Steven Hassan, Ask Me Anything! : exmormon (reddit.com). I had recently written...

Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation: Turning Children Against Their Parent

In my work with ex-cult members, I have been aware of the use of parental alienation tactics for many years. It occurs in situations where one parent leaves a cult, but the other parent remains. In such cases, cult policies usually call for extreme measures to “demonize” the ex-member and turn their children...

LulaRoe Roberta Blevins

LuLaRoe and the World of Commercial Cults: Interview With Roberta Blevins

LuLaRoe is one of the largest multi-level marketing schemes (MLMs) in history. Founded in 2012, the company became famous for selling colorful, patterned leggings and advertising heavily on social media. Last month, Amazon Prime released the original series “LuLaRich,” and brought LuLaRoe’s use of undue influence and mind control to the public’s attention.

Jasmine Banks and Kochland

Charles Koch’s Undue Influence on College Campuses: An Interview with Jasmine Banks

Billionaire donors are exerting undue influence on college campuses nationwide to advance a regressive corporate agenda. When I read Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America by Christopher Leonard, I was astounded at how much I did not know about this empire. For example, patriarch Fred C. Koch, co-founder of the racist John Birch Society, was a union buster, stealer of oil from Indigenous people, massive polluter, and fanatical about their corporate “culture” which has been described by many as cult-like.

How Colonizers Use Mind Control: A Conversation with Cindy Blackstock

The “merciless Indian savages…” Those words in the United States Declaration of Independence entrenched the way colonial states defined Indigenous peoples as “savage” and their relationship with the “civilized Americans” as represented by federal and state governments. This dehumanizing propaganda was the pen of history, of social norms and laws writing on our societal manuscript about what the United States is and who we are as Americans. It served to normalize and even legitimize the wrongful dispossession of land, resources and even the children from Indigenous peoples.

cult involvement democracy Moonies Helen Christophi

Cult Involvement in the Attempt to Destroy Democracy

Helen Christophi, a freelance journalist working on an article for Political Research Associates about the January 6th failed insurrection attempt, contacted me for an interview. Christophi was interested in cult involvement (particularly the Moon cult) in the planning and execution of that event. One of her most pertinent questions was how the GOP became so

Bill and Lorna Goldberg

Lorna and Bill Goldberg: Fifty Years of Helping People Out of Cults

I often find it hard to believe that this year marks my 45th anniversary of freedom from the insidious cult indoctrination of the Moonies. For the 40th anniversary of my deprogramming, I wrote a blog to thank the people directly responsible for the intervention that liberated me. As I reflect, there have been many people