Steven Hassan Profile picture
Steven Hassan is a renowned expert on cults & undue influence, mental health professional, author & teacher, specializing in recovery & strategic interventions.
dniklasd Profile picture Suspend Disbelief #GenderFree 🏁🟥 Profile picture You Knew. Profile picture Cathie Walters #TsekCruelty Profile picture 4 added to My Authors
5 Jul
I retweeted a @jk_rowling tweet and weighed in as a mental health professional who has written 4 books on cult mind control and how to help those who have been harmed (and their families). I have spent over 4 decades in the field of research and helping those who have 1/15
been harmed by undue influence. My web site is and have blogged for human rights, against conversion "therapy" and for gay and trans rights. A couple of years ago I was approached by @LisaMarchiano , a therapist who wanted to know my opinion on the 2/15
the phenomenon of young people being drawn into a cult-like situation where, all of a sudden, they thought they were the opposite sex. I was very skeptical as I have close friends who are gay and a few friends who are trans, but my philosophy is to be "open-minded" and 3/15
Read 15 tweets
5 Jul
As a mental health professional and someone who has researched undue influence, I have interviewed 12 detransitioners M-F-M and F-M-F who have read my work on cults and mind control. Several told me they watched trans “hypno porn”. They gave me links to 1/4
watch what they watched. I am trained by the top international experts in clinical hypnosis AND I have also studied hypnosis used by cult leaders for 4 decades. What I watched was weaponized mind control. And why would trans advocates treat detransitioned people like they 2/4
are traitors, just like Moonies treat ex-Moonies like myself? Cult playbook. Am I speaking against adults who choose to transition as adults after appropriate therapy and guidance? No. I am not! But too many young people are getting recruited. Not sure? Do research. Talk to 3/4
Read 5 tweets
6 Feb
If you want to understand the Mitt Romney situation, let's explore a CLASSIC social psychology experiment together.

Do you remember the Asch Conformity Study? In this study, an experimenter asks subjects to MATCH a line to a line of the SAME LENGTH.
But here's where things get funny. Every subject but one is IN ON THE EXPERIMENT. The group INTENTIONALLY gives WRONG answers choosing lines that DON'T match. What do you think the REAL subject does? Yes. He goes along with the group. Even though he KNOWS it's wrong, he CONFORMS.
This experiment has been replicated THOUSANDS of times, and subjects will GO ALONG WITH THE GROUP 2/3rds of the time.

Conformity is a POWERFUL force and is a big reason why so many Republicans are complicit. They see what is happening but must fit in.
Read 5 tweets
25 Jan
Mitchell and Jessen, who are on trial for torturing detainees related to terrorism, were paid some $80 million by the CIA and they had no experience with interrogation! This is something I have studied and John McCain stated clearly this was illegal and unAmerican.
Most importantly, enhanced interrogation such as waterboarding (submerging a person's head into the water so they almost drown) produces compliance behavior and confessions to anything to get it to stop.
It is notoriously unreliable. Former intelligence officials I have interviewed told me that the "good standard" of effective interrogation was how Hanns Joachim Scharff worked for the Nazis. He made a relationship of respect with the subject.
Read 11 tweets
24 Jan
Cults indoctrinate their members to NEVER look at critical information about the cult leader, doctrine or group policies. Keeping members “in the dark” by using Information Control is vital to the success of a cult.
If members were to see dissenting information about the leader or the cult, and think about it, it might cause this member to start researching on their own. This inevitably leads to their renouncing their involvement.
Cults indoctrinate their members with conspiracies about anyone who speaks negatively about the cult. In Scientology, anyone who criticizes is labeled a “Suppressive Person” (or “SP”). Members are taught to stay away from these people and this information which is called entheta.
Read 5 tweets
24 Dec 19
Cult leaders share many of the same personality traits.

I asked my twitter followers to name some similarities between L. Ron Hubbard and Donald Trump. Here are some good answers:
Read 12 tweets
24 Dec 19
Advertisers and public relations professionals have understood for decades how to use psychological techniques to sell products and promote ideas.

Coming from the world of business, Trump is VERY aware of these techniques and employs them to promote his narratives.
One such technique is repetition. In their book, “Age of Propaganda,” Anthony R. Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson write “Repeat your message over and over and over again. Repetition makes the heart grow fonder and fiction, if heard frequently enough, can come to sound like fact.”
Trump uses this technique a lot. When he says "Build a Wall," "Lock her up," "Crooked Hillary," "Make America Great Again," or repeats words like "winning" over and over again, critical thinking is shut off and the messages start to unconsciously get absorbed.
Read 4 tweets
15 Dec 19
Normally, when I try to help people out of cults, I never criticize the leader, doctrine or policy directly at first. Doing so triggers thought-stopping, makes them feel attacked, hardens beliefs and affirms the narrative forwarded by the cult that “the world is out to get them!”
When I look across the internet, I, unfortunately, see most of us applying the OPPOSITE approach. When Trump supporters say wild distorted things, most people respond with even MORE vitriol We often call them “dumb” or “stupid” to name a few common insults.
I understand the anger. Donald Trump has locked kids in cages. Donald Trump has legitimized hate and completely denigrated any semblance of truth.

But if we want to find a way out of this, we have to stick with methods that WORK. Insults don’t work. It’s a psychology thing.
Read 9 tweets