waking up

Highlights from my EXJW Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything)

2018-12-16T19:12:23-04:00November 29th, 2018|Blog|

Top Ten Questions & Answers On Monday, November 19, 2018, I participated in my first ever AMA (Ask Me Anything) for r/exjw on Reddit to an overwhelming response. Reddit users interviewed me by posting questions which I then answered on the Reddit forum. I want to thank Kimmy O'Donnell who helped arrange it and everyone for their support and contributions. My opening post directed the discussion, "Good morning. I will be available for the next 24 hours to answer your questions. We can discuss the Jehovah's Witnesses and how they fit my BITE model, how to help family and [...]

Robert Jay Lifton MD: An Interview with a Genius

2018-12-16T20:12:24-04:00October 7th, 2016|Blog, News and Updates|

As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the day I left the Moonies, I want to take some time to acknowledge an individual who played an important role in my personal and professional development. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the famous psychiatrist and my mentor, Robert Jay Lifton. I was first introduced to Lifton’s 1961 book on brainwashing, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, during my deprogramming in May of 1976. It helped me understand that the tactics used by the Moonies to indoctrinate me were the same used by Communist China and other cults [...]

Holy Hell Documentary Shows How Cult Leader Raped Followers for Years

2018-12-16T19:57:48-04:00September 29th, 2016|Blog, Media Reviews|

Imagine spending over twenty-two years of your life believing you are one of the select few who knows the secrets of the universe-- only to discover the world that you live in is really a brainwashing cult. This is the story behind Holy Hell. Will Allen, the filmmaker who made this documentary from 20 years of recording cult activities, woke up and decided to expose his former guru. How did this happen? Jaime Gomez is the real name of founder and leader of Buddhafield. He started as a wannabe Hollywood actor and small-time gay porn star. After [...]

Use of Words, Loaded Language, and “Thought Control” of Believers

2018-12-16T21:05:22-04:00July 29th, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

I recently read former Scientologist official Mike Rinder’s blog piece on “Word Clearing.” I suspect that most people who read his blog are ex-Scientologists, but I think it might be interesting for former members of other destructive groups to give it a read. I thought it could be a useful introduction to a blog I have been wanting to write for a few weeks on “Loaded Language. When it comes to freeing one's mind from cult influence, one of the hardest things for many to overcome is the involuntary use of “loaded language.” Loaded language is something I first [...]

Important New Model Offers Legal Guidelines for Cases Involving Undue Influence

2018-12-16T00:18:52-04:00June 3rd, 2016|Blog, Media Reviews|

Forty years ago, I was deprogrammed from the Moonies and months later I agreed to do involuntary deprogrammings with fellow cult members. During that time, parents had the legal recourse to help their adult children involved with cults. Families could go before a judge, and petition the court for a one week ex-parte "conservatorship" giving them custody of their loved one. The family argued that their loved one had lacked informed consent and was the victim of "artful and designing people" who used undue influence to recruit them into a totalitarian cult that robbed them of their free will. [...]

Creativity, Spontaneity, All Spring from the Authentic Self: Silk Road Project Film

2018-12-16T00:19:24-04:00May 27th, 2016|Blog, Media Reviews|

By World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons This week my family was invited to an advanced showing of a new documentary, The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble which will be premiering in NY, LA and other places in June. I invite you to watch the trailer for this extraordinary movie about a most extraordinary group of genius musicians from all over the world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx6Pz_TRM58&feature=y Trust me, it will show the very deepest and best of being human and how the “universal language of music” can [...]

My Waking Up Day- 40 Years Later- I am Filled with Gratitude!

2018-12-16T21:01:22-04:00May 11th, 2016|Blog, News and Updates|

A recent photo of Gladys Gonzalez, myself, and Nestor Garcia M.D. May 11th 1976 was the day. After five days of deprogramming, I “woke up” and emerged from being a “model Moonie” and leader to a very upset, confused, angry, ashamed self. A team of four people hired by my parents: Nestor Garcia, Michael Strom, Gladys Gonzalez, and Gary Rosenberg* worked together until I “snapped” from my fanatical involvement in the Moon cult and allowed a doubt to surface. The rest is history. Nestor, Michael, and Gladys were all former Moonies themselves. Gary was not but played [...]

Reaching Out: Communicating After Cult Exit

2018-12-16T19:52:42-04:00April 22nd, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

I am often approached by concerned family members of adult cult members who need help. I work with the family by coaching them to use my Strategic Interactive Approach. This involves teaching them how to employ an ethical influence campaign based on compassion, and designed to help the cult member question the group’s leader, doctrine, and policies. If all goes well, the approach works and the cult member “wakes up.” As that happens, they are surrounded by loving people who are educated about all the key issues and ready to help them move on with their life. Family and [...]

Heal Yourself First, Then Help Others

2018-12-16T19:52:52-04:00March 31st, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

May 11, 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of my waking up from cult mind control: day five of a deprogramming initiated by my family after I nearly died in van crash. You see, at age 19, I was deceptively recruited into a front group of the Moon cult. I was transformed into a different person for two and a half years: I was a leader, fanatically convinced that God was using me to help set up a “theocracy” to rule the world, and that those who would not join and comply would be eliminated. My mind had been manipulated, [...]