How would you know if you were in a cult?
If not a cult, then at least under undue influence?
The truth is: we're all under some form of undue influence. The question is: to what degree and to what extent we’re aware of this influence — which is exacerbated by social media. In an era of likes, followers, and echo chambers, how can we become aware of undue influence and gain sovereignty over our minds?
Our guest this week is Dr. Steven Hassan, an expert on undue influence, brainwashing, and unethical hypnosis. He’s the founder of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center — a coaching, consulting, and training organization dedicated to helping people freely consider how they want to live their lives. Dr. Hassan was himself a member of a cult: the Unification Church (also known as the Moonies), which was developed in Korea in the 1950's. Since leaving the Moonies, Dr. Hassan has helped thousands of individuals and families recover from undue influence.
Steven Hassan, PhD is a mental health professional and expert in undue influence tactics used by authoritarian leaders and destructive cults. He is the author of four books, including Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs.
He is the Founding Director of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center, which provides training, consulting and support to individuals who are struggling to leave or recover from a cult and to families and organizations that are concerned about cult behaviors. Dr. Hassan began helping people affected by undue influence after he was deprogrammed from the Moon cult in 1976 at age 22. His 45 plus years of experience give him a unique perspective on the damaging effects of undue influence and exploitation by destructive cults.
The website for Dr. Hassan’s Freedom of Mind Resource Center, which includes resources such as his Influence Continuum, BITE model of authoritarian control, and Strategic Interactive Approach for alleviating people of undue influence
Dr. Hassan’s podcast exploring how mind-control works, and how to protect yourself from its grips
A podcast that told the stories of people who’ve transcended extremism, expanded their worldviews, and made other kinds of transformative change. Start with episode episode 17 featuring a former paid climate skeptic, or episode 18 featuring the former protégé of Fox News chairman Roger Ailes