Steven Hassan is a renowned expert on cults & undue influence, mental health professional, author & teacher, specializing in recovery & strategic interventions.
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Mar 31 • 8 tweets • 3 min read
I knew Ginni Thomas. Ginni Thomas was in a cult (the large group awareness training cult, Lifespring). Here she is in 1989 speaking at an event I hosted for former members. Until today, almost NO one has seen this video.
As you'll probably notice, Ginni seems likable (and she was)! After she left Lifespring, she got heavily involved in the movement to HELP former cult members exit cults. She also organized a cult awareness briefing for congressional staffers in the late eighties.
Mar 21 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Really important interview with Sarah, Nippy and Sarma- Wharton School graduate, celebrity Vegan restauranteur victimized by a con artist who mind controlled her. Doc “Bad Vegan” unfortunately doesn’t explain hypnosis and mind control! Listen to this! podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/a-l…
Interestingly, the NXIVM cult was near Sarma’s restaurant and so they loved eating there. I watched Bad Vegan and talked with Sarma after it’s release and I told her he must have been covertly hypnotizing her. She then told me that law enforcement found screenshots of NLP
Feb 26 • 10 tweets • 2 min read
The USSR was an authoritarian cult and Putin himself was indoctrinated! Remember, he was a KGB recruiter/ officer. I was invited to Moscow in 1992/3 to teach about cult mind control to psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors. Western cults were flooding into Russia. 1/10
The experience was life-changing for me and everyone I met. BTW, my grandmother on my father’s side was a Jew from Moscow. I felt a warmth being there, despite the hardship all around me, surrounded by huge portraits of Communist leaders. As I explained the BITE model of 2/10
Feb 10 • 33 tweets • 8 min read
Ayn Rand was an authoritarian cult leader.
I don't use the word "cult" loosely here. I don't use the word in a pejorative way JUST because I disagree with Ayn Rand's ideas.
I use the word "cult" because Ayn Rand was a literal cult leader.
Let's get into it 🧵:
After "Atlas Shrugged" was released in 1957, Ayn Rand clubs were founded at hundreds of colleges. In New York (where Ayn Rand lived), the largest and most prominent group was already in motion (ironically called "The Collective"...ironic because Rand rejected collectivism).
Feb 1 • 46 tweets • 12 min read
The Cult of Trump is actually comprised of MANY other Christian cults.
In this post, I will list these cults, will tell you prominent members, will tell you what they believe, and will explain how their Dominionist vision affects our political system.
Long 🧵 ahead! Buckle up:
First, let's define "dominionism."
Dominionism is the theocratic idea that Christians are called by God to exercise DOMINION over every aspect of society by taking control of political and cultural institutions. Believers see the world as a constant battle between God and Satan.
Jan 12 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Dr. Robert Jay Lifton is a GIANT in the field of undue influence. He wrote what most regard as the most SEMINAL text in our field, “Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism” about Chinese Communist brainwashing programs under Mao. This groundbreaking book came out in 1961.
After I was deprogrammed from the Moonie cult in 1976, I felt so much shame and embarrassment that I had been duped. All I wanted to do was find out WHAT had happened to me so I read Dr. Lifton's work and INSTANTLY recognized the techniques he outlined from my cult experience.
Jan 7 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Friends, I have an exciting announcement!!!
I have a NEW PODCAST...coming this Monday!!!
My podcast is called "The Influence Continuum" and will be released on the @MeidasTouch network. :)
This podcast will be a deep dive on the topic of psychology which includes mind control as well as positive ethical ways to control your own mind.
We will talk about Trump and the undue influence exerted over millions. We will talk about cults like the Jehovah's Witnesses...
Jan 4 • 10 tweets • 7 min read
The Jan. 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) has gone after the extremist Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. They also have a paramilitary group called the "1st Amendment Praetorian" in their sights.
But there's a group they STILL apparently haven't pursued:
The Moonies are a far-right cult that I was a member of for 2+ years in the 70s. The cult leader Sun Myung Moon (a convicted felon) claimed he was the "Messiah."
Since his death in 2012, the group has SPLINTERED into 2 rival camps (both still heavily tied into the modern @GOP).
Dec 31, 2021 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
If you want to learn HOW to help a friend or family member out of a destructive conspiracy theory, the first step is always EDUCATING YOURSELF.
My book "Combating Cult Mind Control" is widely recognized as one of the best guides to learn about this topic.
Here is the Amazon link for a physical book: amazon.com/Combating-Cult…
Dec 24, 2021 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
When a small grain of sand gets into an oyster, it can turn into a beautiful pearl.
THIS is how I want you to think about helping a family member OUT of an extreme belief.
If you are able to successfully empower a new thought, it can develop into something beautiful!
This CAN'T be done by FORCE. You can't yell or tell them they're stupid or tell them to read an article that contradicts their worldview. Do this with love, respect, & patience.
Do not allow yourself to be abused or bullied. Stay resourceful.
Dec 20, 2021 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
Many of us feel POWERLESSNESS when we hear depressing political news. Many also want to know "how can I get involved?"
Here's how you do it:
Think globally, act locally.
Why not help de-radicalize someone you know and care about? Rather than just cut someone out of your life, if you have the bandwidth, and learn what is effective, you could put in a few hours each week into the effort.
Dec 17, 2021 • 10 tweets • 3 min read
There's been a great deal of talk about expanding the Supreme Court and entirely NOT enough talk about impeaching Amy Coney Barrett.
First, this is not a "Republicans bad, Democrats good!" appeal. I often disagree with Clarence Thomas but I would NOT call for his impeachment.
This is about Amy Coney Barrett's DEEPLY troubling affiliation with the destructive group "People of Praise."
The People of Praise (POP) are not a conventional religion. The POP displays many cult-like attributes.
Here's a brief summary of the People of Praise:
Dec 16, 2021 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Many of you are familiar with my BITE Model (as a reminder, BITE stands for):
The BITE model outlines the specific set of methods and techniques that can influence how a person thinks, feels, and acts.
I've come to understand that Information Control is one of the most POTENT parts of my BITE model and there are few groups who've been controlled through information more than Indigenous people.
Indigenous kids were forced into schools and required to assimilate.
Dec 14, 2021 • 8 tweets • 2 min read
Though he is so often misquoted by insincere politicians, Martin Luther King Jr. really FULLY embodied the approach I teach.
King DIDN'T turn his head to injustice. He confronted it HEAD ON, but he did so with love and compassion.
Just look at his Six Principles of Nonviolence:
Dec 13, 2021 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Whenever I talk about my patient, kind approach for getting people out of cults and extreme beliefs, there is always a small group of people that get mad at me. They tell me how TOXIC a family member or person has been and that they needed to cut them off for their own sanity!
As always my friends, this is your own life. 🙏 It is not my intention to tell you you're "wrong." Do as you wish.
I've been doing this for 45+ years though, and never once was anger or confrontation or isolation helpful (and I've worked with the most EXTREME of the extreme!).
Dec 13, 2021 • 9 tweets • 2 min read
The antidote to helping friends and loved ones OUT of extreme belief feels counterintuitive to most.
When we hear a hateful extreme belief expressed, the NATURAL reaction is to respond with anger and condemnation!
But unfortunately, this approach just doesn't work.
When we throw our anger at someone, though it may feel justified and warranted, it drives that person FURTHER into their extreme belief.
Here's one quick story from my life...
When I was in the Moonie cult, we were ordered to SELL items for the cult (flowers, candy, etc.).
Dec 9, 2021 • 11 tweets • 2 min read
In the last few years (especially during the stressful pandemic), there has been renewed interest in seeking help from a therapist or a life coach.
I APPLAUD paying attention to your mental health, but one should know what a healthy client/therapist relationship looks like. Why?
Because a therapist/life coach can exert influence over someone in the SAME manner as a cult leader if they are unethical. The power dynamic at play-an authority figure with "answers" over a client seeking help for their perceived deficiencies-can lead to some truly bad outcomes.
Dec 8, 2021 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
Gun control HASN’T always been such a hot-button issue in this country. In 1968, after a series of assassinations, Sen. Thomas Dodd’s Gun Control Act passed with bipartisan support in the house and senate.
“Gun rights” really started coming into prominence in the 60’s & culminated with an all-out coup of the NRA in 1977 which transformed it into the political force it is today. Prior to this, the organization was a less significant non-profit focussed on improving marksmanship.
Dec 7, 2021 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
Far too often, both liberals and conservatives advocate positions WITHOUT really digging into issues JUST BECAUSE the other "side" is for/against something.
On this thread, I implore liberals to really think about China.
(There's a great deal of nuance here so stay with me...🙏
China is an authoritarian country that engages in human rights abuses. Now when I say this, please know that I am NOT at all advocating war with China! I am also not justifying any disgusting anti-Asian sentiment. We saw a great deal of this during Covid and it was reprehensible.
Dec 4, 2021 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
During the Holocaust, a scholar wanted to understand why some non-Jewish families harbored Jews vs. others who cooperated with Nazis & turned in neighbors.
The common denominator?
The families who helped/harbored Jews had a childhood where discipline was done WITHOUT violence.
People who were abused to “obey authority” were far MORE likely to submit to authoritarians in power. Those that weren't traumatized actually followed their conscience and helped protect others, risking their own lives to save others in peril.
Dec 3, 2021 • 9 tweets • 3 min read
Abortion wasn't ALWAYS an issue that Republicans were so fervently committed to. In the mid-70s, @GOP strategists realized they could peel off Democratic voting Catholics & evangelical Protestants if they leaned HARD into this issue.
What was the @GOP stance before this you ask?
Barry Goldwater, the Republican candidate for President in 1964, was pro-choice, and his wife, Peggy even helped set up an Arizona chapter of Planned Parenthood.