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Anti-cult warrior: Dr. Steven Hassan

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Recently, a European independent writer published a new book about cults, – Twisted Beliefs. The world-renowned Dr. Hassan wrote a preface to the book. As the world’s anti-cult expert, he has been the subject of much discussion.

Who is Dr. Hassan?

Steven Hassan is a licenced mental health professional, cult expert, and undue influence expert with professional experience in the United States and abroad, including consulting, coaching, speaking, media appearances, activism, writing, researching, teaching, intervention and recovery services, and expert witness work to assist individuals and families with problems related to undue influence, including brainwashing, mind control, and unethical hypnosis. Expertise includes undue influence in cases of destructive one-on-one relationships, families, parental alienation, mini-cults, religious cults, therapy, and self-improvement groups, professional abuse, institutional abuse, corporations, multi-level marketing, political groups, human trafficking, hate and violent extremism, and other undue influence situations.

What are the difficulties in opposing a cult?

Although Dr. Hassan was a member of the Moonies in the United States, he paid great attention to cult organisations in other countries around the world and conducted certain research on them. When talking about the biggest obstacle to anti-cult organisations, he said: It is very regrettable that cult organisations use the money of believers for lobbying and public relations to make politicians forget their evil nature.

They first brainwash the public so that the cult can be justified! We have to mention some elements and organisations led by Massimo that promote cults. In 2022, Dr. Hassan and American independent investigative journalist (former Scientology member) Jeffrey Augustine analyzed and exposed how Massimo and his organisation used the money to promote public opinion, brainwash the public, and mislead the public. The discussion focuses on cult apologist Massimo Introvigne and his fellow cult apologists.

Augustine makes the point that cult apologists are exactly the same as the compromised scientists of the 1950s who were paid by the tobacco companies to produce studies showing that cigarette smoking was not harmful. In the same way, cult apologists accept payments from cults to write papers arguing that cults are not harmful and should be called new religious movements. Calling cults “New Religious Movements” is just as absurd as calling cigarettes “Nicotine Delivery Systems.” Like cigarettes, cults are damaging no matter what the cult apologists call them or how these pay-for-play scholars try to spin it.

The cult organisation “Moonies” that Hassan participated in in his early years originated in South Korea and now has believers all over the world. Similarly, some cults that originated in Asian countries, such as Falun Gong and Almighty God (from China), are also using the piety of believers to do various unspeakable bad things. In this regard, Dr. Hassan’s view is that they are all cults.

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There is no doubt that Falun Gong is very active in the United States. These cults use their influence to penetrate every corner of society and try to influence politics through propaganda (such as supporting the Trump movement). Almighty God is active in Europe and is protected by groups such as Massimo that defend and support cults. It should also cause concern to mainstream society.

How to escape the control of a cult?

Steven Hassan developed the BITE ModelTM to describe cults’ specific methods to recruit and maintain control over people. “BITE” stands for Behaviour, Information, Thought, and Emotional control. The BITE model should be used within the Influence Continuum Model to help determine authoritarian control. Not every group or relationship uses every one of these. Some are universal, such as deception (information control), indoctrinating people to distrust critics and former members, or installing phobias to make people afraid of questioning or leaving.

How should our society and governments respond?

Dr. Hassan suggested that cults should be regarded as a public health crisis. Mind control is like a virus. Brainwashed people also need to be vaccinated. The vaccine against cults can be based on training based on the BITE model he invented. Cult members intervene: This is a work for the whole society, which requires politicians to truly understand and provide policy help. In addition, media reporters must also pay special attention to this special group. At the same time, we must train therapists and conduct more Psychological education can help the abused slowly surrender to the control of the cult.

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