Undue Influence

Announcing a New YouTube Channel: jon atack, family & friends

2020-01-30T12:55:59-05:00January 30th, 2020|Blog|

This week's video is a chat with my good friend, Jon Atack about his recently started YouTube channel: jon atack, family and friends. I told him that I wanted to let my readers know about the really interesting and important content he has been posting. I am excited to announce he now has over 500 subscribers! He has been covering so many important topics. Jon Atack is an independent scholar on manipulation and undue influence. His first major book was the best-selling, Let’s Sell These People a Piece of Blue Sky. In my opinion, it is the best book on [...]

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 [...]

The Cult of Trump: TV Appearances and Book Signings

2019-11-14T12:59:41-05:00November 14th, 2019|Blog|

Greater Boston (WGBH) Television Interview On November 7, 2019, I was honored to be interviewed by political reporter Adam Reilly for the PBS program Greater Boston. I really enjoyed our conversation and tried to be as thorough in my responses, as time would allow. I loved that they showed the actual footage of the scene I describe in the book where Trump is surrounded by his Cabinet members and they all take turns complimenting him and telling him what an honor it is to serve him. This scene so reminded me of my time in the Moon [...]

Opus Dei: BITE Model Evaluation and Discussion with Former Member Eileen Johnson

2019-10-05T16:19:09-04:00October 3rd, 2019|Blog|

Former Opus Dei Member Eileen Johnson This summer, while in Manchester, England for the 2019 ICSA Conference, I sat down with Eileen Johnson, ex-Opus Dei insider, to talk about Opus Dei, a Catholic right-wing cultic group. (You can watch our discussion here.) We only had a short amount of time and there was much more to cover, so I recently interviewed Eileen again. This blog covers highlights of our discussion, an analysis of how Opus Dei meets the BITE model criteria, and a link to watch our entire interview. (see below). It should be stated that there are many, many [...]

Webinar: How to Help a Family Member Who Is Being Mind Controlled

2019-09-27T13:00:47-04:00September 27th, 2019|Blog|

Next Thursday, October 3rd, I will be doing my first webinar with Donna Andersen, founder of the nonprofit, Lovefraud Education and Recovery. It will be live starting at 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 pm Eastern. It will be recorded for anyone unable to participate in the live program. The description and details are below. Donna Andersen, program administrator, launched Lovefraud.com in 2005, and has collected more than 10,000 cases of people who have been involved with sociopaths. It is a great idea to do training videos for mental health and other healthcare professionals, as well as, the general public. My webinar [...]

Proposing a New Model to do a Forensic Evaluation for Undue Influence (PIPATL for IALMH)

2019-12-05T12:41:21-05:00September 19th, 2019|Blog|

This blog contains a talk I gave at The Program in Psychiatry and the Law on September 11, 2019. It was 18 years to the day that Al Queda made a horrific terrorist attack on the United States and killed thousands of innocent men, women and children and injured scores more. As you will hear in the video recording of my talk, I felt the need to acknowledge its personal as well as professional significance for me to be speaking about this topic, at The Program in Psychiatry and the Law, at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, a teaching hospital [...]

Beware of Political Cult Groups that Manipulate and Control Members

2019-08-08T13:03:56-04:00August 8th, 2019|Blog|

Many destructive groups masquerade as religious when, in fact, their DNA is actually political. They are concerned with amassing secular power, wealth and control of government. And, many "mainstream" political organizations, on the left as well as the right, meet the criteria of an unhealthy cult. As discussed in a previous blog about religious cults, it is important to evaluate the major behaviors and characteristics of a group to see if it meets the criteria. A political cult often has an authoritarian leader who has a malignant narcissistic personality disorder.  Such a person claims to have all of the [...]

The BITE Model and Religious Cult Groups

2019-08-02T13:27:54-04:00August 2nd, 2019|Blog|

Since my deprogramming from the Moon cult in 1976, I have come to learn of countless thousands of groups that I have never heard of before. Are they cults? Do they use mind control? Is it brainwashing? As an expert on destructive groups and mind control, I am often asked to give my opinion about specific groups and organizations, including religious ones. In fact, there is a wide spectrum of healthy and unhealthy influence. Individual experiences vary within the same organization based on how the individual conforms to the norms of the group. I have developed an Influence Continuum which shows [...]

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

2019-07-17T06:57:34-04:00July 11th, 2019|Blog|

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 Trafficking and Terrorism.” The video is below for all who were unable to attend.  I was encouraged to present at this European conference because, at this time, there seems to be much more openness in Europe to the fact that cult mind control models [...]

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

2019-06-27T17:12:23-04:00June 27th, 2019|Blog|

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 his seminal work, he concisely explains mind control, brainwashing, and thought reform. I also posted a blog about Dr. Paul Martin's expert report on Raniere's NXIVM in which he used Dr. Lifton's criteria. He is a psychiatrist, an author, an expert, and an activist, [...]