Undue influence isn't JUST about cults.

Undue influence is any act of persuasion that overcomes the free will & judgment of another person.

An area of undue influence of particular concern to me is the undue influence of children exerted by a parent...against the OTHER parent.
Experts in the field refer to this as "Parental Alienation." Common behaviors include:

-Bad mouthing the parent to the child.
-Encouraging a child to call the targeted parent by their first name.
-Sharing inappropriate information (even if it’s true) about the targeted parent.
I became more familiar with this topic from Dr. Amy J.L. Baker. Dr. Baker has a PhD in developmental psychology and is an expert on parental alienation. She has authored or co-authored 9 books and 120 articles and provides training to legal and mental health professionals.
Dr. Baker has identified 17 primary parental alienation strategies. These strategies can be divided into 5 general categories. They include:

-Poisonous messages to the child about the targeted parent in which he or she is portrayed as unloving, unsafe, and unavailable.
-Limiting contact and communication between the child and the targeted parent.

-Erasing and replacing the targeted parent in the heart and mind of the child.

-Encouraging the child to betray the targeted parent’s trust; and

-Undermining the authority of the targeted parent.
If you are a parent who is currently alienated from a minor child, here's a few tips:

-Do what you can to reach out to them to REMIND them you love them, even if they are hostile and rejecting towards you. The hope is that love will eventually melt hatred and fear.
-Write letters to the child and keep a copy (even if the child will not see them).
-Set up a website. Doing this may be emotionally beneficial for you in the present, and also creates a record that can be shared if contact is restored.
-Reach out for support to others who understand your situation, like the International Support Network of Alienated Families.
If you are an adult who was alienated from one of your parents in your childhood and might consider learning more about this phenomenon by listening to others who had been alienated, please do! I did an interview with a woman who was told at age 4 to never see her mother again.
She & her sister agreed to track their mother down and hear her side of what happened. Good things might happen!

I know all of these situations can be terribly taxing but there's hope. In my 45+ years of doing this, I've seen countless relationships repaired. There is a way. 🙏
If this topic resonates with you, I interviewed Dr. Baker in this week's blog. You can watch the entire interview at the bottom of the page. :) freedomofmind.com/parental-alien…

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More from @CultExpert

18 Nov
I often get accused of being a "liberal activist" because I've said Donald Trump is a cult leader, but the people who say this don't know my work.

Today, on the 43rd anniversary of Jonestown, it's important to remember that Jim Jones & the People's Temple were a LEFT WING CULT!
Jones studied and promoted racial harmony, Marxist theory, praised communism, and other ideas that today we would construe as "leftist."

But ideology isn't the thing we should look at. We should look at the BEHAVIORS of the group and how the leader acts.
And on EVERY one of these fronts, Donald Trump fits the psychological profile of a cult leader and shares traits with Jim Jones.
Read 4 tweets
18 Nov
Today is the anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre.

On this day, 43 years ago, 912 people (including 300+ children) died from drinking cyanide laced fruit punch because their cult leader ordered them to.

See that sign in the background? Let's take a closer look...👇
This sign hung above where Jim Jones used to sit when he would lecture. A malignant narcissist, Jones saw himself as a modern-day Jesus who said the government was trying to "crucify" him. 🙄

But I see this sign as a reminder for something else. I see it as a reminder for TODAY.
Though we might think we've learned these lessons, I'm not sure we have. Today-as in Jonestown-we have large swaths of our population that are being swayed by a malignant narcissist cult leader.

So today, on the anniversary of this very sad event, here is my ask:
Read 4 tweets
11 Nov
Today on #VeteransDay, I want to post a message that will likely be a little different than most Veterans Day messages. :)

This message is both for veterans and friends and families of veterans....
First off, THANK YOU to everyone who's served. Your sacrifice should never be minimized. My hope is that all veterans get the care & attention they deserve. 🙏

Veteran suicide is still a big problem and many vets deal with persistent healthcare challenges from the VA.
We need to remedy these issues and understand the TRAUMA that veterans deal with. Whether it be the trauma of war, the trauma of losing a friend, or the trauma of dealing with recurring injury, veterans go through a lot.

Veterans are also susceptible to undue influence.
Read 7 tweets
11 Nov
I take great pride when someone tells me my BITE model and Influence Continuum changed their life and helped them escape a harmful situation (a cult, abusive relationship, trafficking situation, etc.).

But there's ONE place I want these tools utilized the most...

The courtroom.
Right now, in this country (and sadly in most other countries), there's NO accepted models for judges and jurors to evaluate unethical influence. We have laws on the books for elder abuse, and human trafficking, but that's it.

Why is this?
Because undue influence, to an untrained judge or jury is DIFFICULT to evaluate according to either large spread scientific community or legal precedent. Unlike physical harm or property damage, the harm of undue influence is often INVISIBLE to the uneducated.
Read 11 tweets
11 Nov
Transcendental Meditation, also known as "TM," has become quite popular in recent years. Celebrities like David Lynch, Jerry Seinfeld, Paul McCartney, & Russell Brand have been VOCAL proponents of TM.

But TM has a dark legacy with some striking cult-like aspects. Let discuss:🧵
TM was created by Mahesh Prasad Varma in the 1950s. After creating TM, he changed his name to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He began teaching in India but then did a global tour in 1958 and eventually established centers in the U.S., Canada, the UK and Switzerland.
Many came to know about Maharishi through the band The Beatles. The group spent some time "studying" with Maharishi in India. In 1968, the remaining 2, John Lennon & George Harrison left after realizing Maharishi was taking sexual advantage of women, including Mia Farrow.
Read 19 tweets
9 Nov
It's been announced that @LeoDiCaprio will portray cult leader Jim Jones in a future feature film written by @ScottyRosenberg. I genuinely hope this movie takes the study of undue influence seriously. Too often, in movies and news reports, the topic ISN'T covered properly.
I've watched in frustration for 45+ years as cult members are treated as gullible or even stupid. Writers need to show that INTELLIGENT educated people can have their mind manipulated and taken over. Writers need to show HOW this is done.
Undue influence is a very REAL phenomenon and a well-written movie or documentary could do untold GOOD in the world. Education like this essentially INOCULATES one from cults, manipulative relationships, pyramid schemes and more.
Read 4 tweets

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