Hassan's New Book " Freedom of Mind " Chapter 1 Tidbits & Points

by flipper 21 Replies latest jw friends

  • flipper

    The title of the new Steve Hassan book is " Freedom of Mind - Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs " . Very good information even in the 1st chapter called " Cult Common Denominators " . Just wanted to share some high points my wife and I gleaned from it !

    Right away Steve Hassan mentions the tactics that such cults as Marshall Applewhites Heaven's Gate cult used to control and indoctrinate it's members . See if these similarities ring true regarding the WT society and Jehovah's Witnesses. Hassan states on pg. 2 , " Applewhite claimed to allow free choice, but each member was controlled by an EXTENSIVE LIST of rules : " Major offenses and lesser offenses , " included " having likes or dislikes, " " breaking any instruction or procedure knowingly , " and " trusting my own judgment or using my own mind ". Sound familiar ?

    Were these Heaven's Gate members weak or had a noticeable defeciency that lured them into the cult ? Hassan mentions, " Many Heaven's Gate members held steady jobs before deciding to follow Applewhite. Among the 39 dead ( who committed suicide influenced by Applewhite ) were a bus driver, computer trainer, environmentalist, car salesman, nurse, paralegal, medical assistant, homemaker, and local TV personality. This diversity shows that situational and psychological variables may make a person more vulnerable , but that ANYONE who is UNAWARE of the tactics of extreme influence may be recruited. "

    Hassan mentions that the " diversity of cult beliefs and practices can make it hard for family members and friends to decide whether their loved one is in trouble. " Then he mentions an identifying factor, " Destructive cults are distinguished by their use of deception and extreme influence. " He adds, " a destructive cult is an authoritarian group headed by a person or group of people with near-complete control. Charismatic cult leaders often claim divine or otherworldly powers . "

    The use of destructive mind control is mentioned, he states, " Cult influence is designed to disrupt a person's authentic identity and replace it with a new identity. By immersing people in a tightly controlled, high-pressure social environment, destructive cults gain control of members' behavior, thoughts, and emotions. They limit their access to outside information. They literally TAKE CONTROL of their minds. "

    Hassan states there are 4 types of cults : 1. Religious or Spiritual 2. Political Groups 3. Therapy / Large Group Awareness Training ( LGAT ) 4. Commercial Groups . Hassan proceeds to give 10 personal examples of people he has assisted in these various types of cults and their experiences they went through while inside these cults of various kinds.

    Hassan ends the chapter with what he calls " common characteristics " of cults. These include : 1. " Exclusivity / Isolation - of which manipulation and deception is used . All other churches are dead and unspiritual. recruit turns his back on all his friends, spending more time with the guru/group. Meetings are secret. Cult members move into the groups headquarters. The cult member refuses to respond to letters and phone calls. The family doesn't know where their loved one is. 2. Abuse of Power - Psychological blackmail. Threatening Prophecies. Cult leader or leadership asks for money and property . Guru demands to have sex wwith a member. 3. Creation of the Pseudo ( cult ) Personality - I don't recognize my own bright, warm , loving son. Guru tries to control member's behavior, thoughts and emotions. Cult member is like an actor who comes to believethe ' role ' is reality. " Hassan continues and states, " If some of these characteristics sound familiar , there is a good chance that the group in question is a destructive cult. The following chapters will give you specific criteria for evaluating the destructive potential of a group. "

    Hassan states his " Strategic Interactive Approach to assisting friends or loved ones to exit cults " .

    1. Real Love is Stronger than conditional love : The fact that you are willing to help and are seeking professional advice means there is reason to hope. The member will realize that YOUR love is unconditional , while the cult's 'love ' depends on their meeting expectations and goals.

    2. Preparatory Work : Learning to Think and Act Strategically : The sooner you learn about destructive influence, cults, goal oriented communication and how to interact effectively, the faster you will be able to make a positive difference in your loved one's life. Learn about cults and influence and seek appropriate counseling.

    3. Goal-Oriented Communication : Build a greater rapport and trust step by step - that's the Strategic Interactive Approach.

    4. Resourcefulness : Flexibility and teamwork. Get the member's family involved. Learn how many ways there are to reconnect seemingly lost relationships . Each case is unique and requires a customized strategy. "

    So at the end of the chapter Hassan reiterates 3 things that identify cults as potentially dangerous : 1. Authoritarian leadership 2. Deceptive practices 3. Tightly controlled emotional and intellectual environment .

    I wholeheartedly recommend everyone that can to read this book. It's been 12 years since Steve Hassan's last book and this new one is chalk full of great ideas and new , improved techniques to assist our family members exit cults and abusive relationships . I'll post some more threads in the future on upcoming chapters in this book. Any and all comments welcome regarding how this information will help or if you have any insight yourself on Hassans methods. Take care, Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • ziddina


    Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Flipper!

  • flipper

    ZIDDINA- No problem , glad to post it. Access to needed information is very important- especially about mind control

  • rip van winkle
    rip van winkle

    Hi Flipper- Thanks for the info. Coincidentally, I just ordered this book today!!! I find the whole cult thing to be the shocking part of the JW's. I knew for a long time that so many things that they said and did were wrong- but I NEVER would have believed I was in a CULT!!!!!!

    Years ago, my sibling was indoctrinated into an "EST" type LGAT and I completely knew that was a cult.

    So, I'm looking forward to reading it. And hopefully discussing with others.

  • life is to short
    life is to short

    I did not know that Hassan had a new book out. I just came back from from "pig out in the park" it is something that the city I live in dose each Labor Day where there is a ton of food venders selling different kinds of food to try, nothing over $8.00 for a meal, I got off work early so we thought we would try it have not been down there for years.

    I was very surprised to see the Scientology's there, it just kind of made my appetite go away to see them. They were very agresseive grabing people as they walked by saying they were just doing a personality test. There was nothing there that linked them to Scientology they were just friendly people trying to be kind it seemed. I only know because of this board and Hassen's books. I just think it should be illegal for them to be out like that, but this is a free country I guess like the JW's can go door to door doing the same thing.

    I will be checking out his new book as soon as I can. Thanks for your input on the book.


  • flipper

    RIP VAN WINKLE- I too was amazed in 2007 when I first learned by reading Hassan's books that I was in a mind control cult as a JW for 44 years from birth. Pretty scary stuff when you think about it , eh ? But we have our freedom of mind now to move forward , especially with informative books like Steve Hassans books to educate and inform ourselves. I'm glad you ordered it ! Good for you, I think you'll really enjoy it. Take care.

    LIFE IS TOO SHORT- Wow, pretty creepy that you saw some Scientologists out in the park recruiting people ! These cult members are like freaking ants ! They're all over the place ! JW's in Starbucks, Scientologists in parks ! What's the world coming to ! LOL ! Anyway, yeah, nice hearing from you - I think you'll really enjoy this new Hassan book. It REALLY gets into lots of extended areas his other books didn't get into. It should be a great tool to help us work on getting our JW relatives towards exiting the JW cult. I hope to use some of the methods on my daughters. Take care

  • OnTheWayOut

    I have this book on my kindle device. I have been reading other books and have only read 10% of FREEDOM OF MIND (according to the Kindle). I had wanted to review RELEASING THE BONDS as I want to be reminded how to help my loved ones, but F.O.M. will cover that review for me.

  • Joey Jo-Jo
    Joey Jo-Jo

    thanks flipper, I have not read this book, I was bit disapointed that his last two books were similar, what I read from your first post sounds all too familiar, does Hassan's book had anything new? Does he say anything more about his personal beliefs with Judaism?

  • LV101

    Thanks, flipper. Seems Randy mentioned this book awhile back and I need to order. I appreciate OTWO's comment about info repeated in new book re/the 'Releasing' read to help the cult members.

    Will order tonite.

  • life is to short
    life is to short

    Just ordered my copy


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