Undue Influence

Exvangelicals Find a Voice and Speak Out Against Authoritarianism

2019-01-17T12:16:56+00:00January 17th, 2019|Blog|

  Dominionism A few weeks before the 2016 Presidential election, Stanford Russian history Ph.D. Dr. Christopher Stroop wrote an article, "After the Trump Tapes: Evangelical Authoritarianism Revisited." In it, he shared his concerns about what he saw was a powerful group of people publicly defined as white evangelical Christians who were supporting Trump and who exhibited the characteristics of an authoritarian movement. While many might not identify with the term Dominionism directly--the belief that Christians should take over America and the world and make it Christian in a very narrow way--they were Christian nationalists pursuing a de facto, and sometimes explicit, Dominionist [...]

Islamophobia and Psychiatry: Recognition, Prevention, and Treatment

2019-01-12T19:49:43+00:00January 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. [...]

Scientology and The BITE Model

2018-12-20T21:18:14+00:00December 20th, 2018|Blog|

BITE Model In June of 2018, I did an interview with psychologist and ex-Mormon John Dehlin for his Mormon Stories podcast. In preparation for the show, John read Combating Cult Mind Control and told me that the book was transformative. Then he did a wonderful analysis of the BITE model of the Mormon Church which we included in a blog. Afterward, we got the idea to do a similar analysis of the BITE model and the Jehovah's Witnesses. Now, it is Scientology's turn. I encourage people to use the BITE model to systematically evaluate the core beliefs and behaviors to [...]

Women in High-Control Groups: Disrespected, Treated as Subservient, Sometimes Abused and Even Raped

2018-12-13T21:01:44+00:00September 27th, 2018|Blog|

As the U.S. Senate has agreed to hear the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford about the alleged sexual assault incident that happened years ago with Judge Brett Kavanagh, people's attentions are back on women's rights, #WhyIDidn'tReport, and men's misuse of power and sex. Some Republican members act as if they will confirm Kavanagh as a new member of the Supreme Court no matter what they learn, even with a second and third woman coming forward with accusations of alleged abuse. Twenty-seven years ago, Dr. Anita Hill testified at the Senate confirmation hearing of now Supreme court Justice Clarence Thomas [...]

Help For Those That Leave a Cult But Still Have Beliefs That Are Harmful

2018-12-16T19:15:56+00:00September 13th, 2018|Blog|

I previously wrote a blog about people who are still living inside high-control groups that no longer believe in the leader or group. They remain trapped inside due to a variety of reasons, but there are also practical reasons which include the high exit cost of losing family, money, and friends. Most people can and do leave the group eventually, sometimes taking years. As I wrote in that blog, creating a workable exit strategy is important. This includes networking with former friends and family who have already left, developing alternatives for income production, and helping to apply the strategic interactive approach [...]

Tired of Being “On The Fence” With Your Life?

2018-12-16T21:10:57+00:00August 23rd, 2018|Blog|

Beginning to Doubt and Question There are moments when almost anybody can become disillusioned when in a totalistic, or rigid and intolerant, group (or controlling relationship). Losing one’s “faith” can happen for a wide variety of reasons. Maybe they become aware of some discrepancy or hypocrisy in the doctrine or in a leader’s behavior. Perhaps someone they respect decides to leave or is labeled an “apostate” by leadership. Exposure to critical information is a very common reason people begin to doubt. Destructive mind control groups try very hard to keep their members away from negative information about the leader, [...]

I Happily Join the TEDx “Cult”

2018-12-13T21:03:59+00:00August 16th, 2018|Blog|

I recently gave my first TEDx talk on August 1, 2018. I decided to give this blog the funny title to make a point. There are, in fact, many definitions of the word "cult." Most of these have a strongly negative association. However, I wanted to try to help people expand their minds when they hear the word cult and not assume it is just a bad involvement or group. In fact, the word is the root of the word culture. For many people, who are emphatically involved with groups and associations of all types with wide interest, that [...]

The BITE Model and Jehovah’s Witnesses

2018-12-16T20:48:05+00:00August 2nd, 2018|Blog|

August 2, 2018: This past June, I did an online survey on influence to conduct, analyze and publish research on undue influence. Scientific data is required to help establish specific evaluation criteria to update legal and social policy in the United States and around the world. The initial results of my research show that former members of the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses report many meaningful behavioral criteria. With over 700 respondents, there is significant preliminary evidence that both groups use specific methods and techniques that influence how a person thinks, feels, and acts to instill obedience over conscience.  I formulated the [...]

A Response to Academics Who Say There Is No Undue Influence in Destructive Cults

2018-12-16T21:05:58+00:00June 28th, 2018|Blog|

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 [...]

Scientific Research Survey to Understand Influence

2018-12-16T19:36:58+00:00June 7th, 2018|Blog, News and Updates|

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 Influence A year ago, I announced my new effort to research, publish, educate, and update the legal system in the United States and, hopefully, around the world. The law still operates using a "rational agent" model, saying essentially that once you reach the age [...]