137 episodes

Steven Hassan, PhD, is one of the leading experts on cults and undue influence in the world. A former member of the right-wing Moonie cult, Hassan was deprogrammed 45 years ago and has dedicated his life to helping people out of cults and destructive situations. Dr. Hassan is a licensed mental health professional and has written four books, including The Cult of Trump and the seminal book Combating Cult Mind Control. On this podcast, Steve will explain HOW mind-control works, and how to protect yourself from its grips. He will also address ethical influence as the podcast will address the entire Influence Continuum. He’ll interview the biggest names in this field.

The Influence Continuum with Dr. Steven Hassan MeidasTouch Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 574 Ratings

Steven Hassan, PhD, is one of the leading experts on cults and undue influence in the world. A former member of the right-wing Moonie cult, Hassan was deprogrammed 45 years ago and has dedicated his life to helping people out of cults and destructive situations. Dr. Hassan is a licensed mental health professional and has written four books, including The Cult of Trump and the seminal book Combating Cult Mind Control. On this podcast, Steve will explain HOW mind-control works, and how to protect yourself from its grips. He will also address ethical influence as the podcast will address the entire Influence Continuum. He’ll interview the biggest names in this field.

    It’s More Important to be Related than Right: Compassion in the Time of Social Media with Ravi Chandra, M.D.

    It’s More Important to be Related than Right: Compassion in the Time of Social Media with Ravi Chandra, M.D.

    Humans crave connection. This need for connection is a vital aspect of the psychology behind cults, coercion, and undue influence. Isolation makes people vulnerable and fearful and more likely to be influenced in harmful ways. Psychiatrist Ravi Chandra discusses the psychology of connection, how institutions can take action to encourage empathy and critical thinking, and how social media and fear-mongering news cycles are creating divisions. We need to be focusing on developing trust and community.  

    As a member of the American Psychiatric Association, Ravi Chandra is concerned about the Goldwater Rule and how it limits what psychiatrists can and cannot say about public figures Like Donald Trump. The APA established the Goldwater rule in 1973. The so-called “rule” says that psychiatrists should not diagnose a person from a distance; they should only offer professional opinions if they have done a personal examination and evaluation. However, forensic experts on dangerousness, like Dr. Bandy X. Lee insists “experts have a duty to warn!” When their voices are censored we are all endangered.

    Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit freedomofmind.com
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    • 58 min
    A Portuguese Journey of Awakening and Advocacy with Ex-JW Elder António Madaleno

    A Portuguese Journey of Awakening and Advocacy with Ex-JW Elder António Madaleno

    Did you know there are 8.6 million dedicated members of the Watchtower Society or Jehovah’s Witnesses, and supposedly, over 20 million people attend their annual big meeting (memorial attendance) worldwide? They are out on street corners, travel terminals in pairs. When I heard about a new book in Portuguese by a former elder, I wanted to learn more. António's new book, The Universe of Destructive Sects – Discover the secret world of deception, manipulation and mind control, explores the deepest secrets of the human mind and uncovers the manipulative techniques behind cults and high-control groups. António Madaleno’s journey from a dedicated Jehovah’s Witness elder to a vocal advocate against the Watchtower Society’s control tactics is a powerful story of courage and resilience. In this week’s episode of The Influence Continuum, we spoke about his transformative story and the impact of his work.
    Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit freedomofmind.com
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    • 1 hr 4 min
    Flourishing and Developing Healthy Physiologic Responses During Ongoing Stressors: Dr. Eva Selhub, M.D.

    Flourishing and Developing Healthy Physiologic Responses During Ongoing Stressors: Dr. Eva Selhub, M.D.

    This fascinating interview is with Dr. Eva Selhub who worked at Harvard with Herb Benson developing and understanding about the mind body connection to health. Dr. Selhub is an internationally recognized resiliency expert who has worked as a physician, author, executive coach, keynote speaker, and spiritual advisor. She has written many books, including Burnout for Dummies, Resilience for Dummies, Your Health Destiny, The Stress Management Handbook, The Love Response, and co-authored Your Brain on Nature. Life is filled with opportunities to practice new techniques for resilience, and many in the medical field have had ample chances to refine their skills in this area from personal challenges. This lived experience with investigations into problem-focused solutions is then commonly shared through science-based pursuits and practices. These mixed techniques increase what we know as personal or societal health through medicine. We all benefit from a more mentally and physically flourishing self and society. Dr. Eva Selhub, M.D. has fostered this idea throughout her career, culminating in a resilience strategy for modern times.
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    • 52 min
    Insights on Surviving and Thriving After a Cult with Michelle Dowd

    Insights on Surviving and Thriving After a Cult with Michelle Dowd

    I had the privilege of a second opportunity to talk with Michelle Dowd, a journalism professor and author of Forager: Field Notes on Surviving a Family Cult. I watched Michelle’s three-and-a-half-hour interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Joe was utterly fascinated by Dowd’s cult experience and asked many questions, including what a cult is. Michelle mentioned me and my BITE Model. Indeed, I was on Joe Rogan’s show in 2015, and he remembered me. I was astounded to hear Joe say that he thought anyone who was on social media all the time had a mental illness. Dowd’s story of being raised in an Apocalyptic survivalist cult on a mountain is a powerful testament to the resilience of the human spirit. It offers valuable insights into overcoming the psychological grip of cults. This post explores key themes from her experiences and offers practical advice for recovery and empowerment.Definitely great to learn about using creativity to help recover from abuse and mind control. Michelle is wonderful.
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Unmasking Climate Denial: How Cult Tactics Fuel Disinformation with David Lipsky

    Unmasking Climate Denial: How Cult Tactics Fuel Disinformation with David Lipsky

    I read David Lipsky’s article in Rolling Stone last year on how the Moonies have been the center for global climate denial for 50 years through their Washington Times organization. I immediately bought his book, The Parrot and the Igloo: Climate and the Science of Denial and wanted to interview him. Well, the paperback is now out and we had a great interaction! This enlightening conversation delves into how anti-science sentiments have flourished in American society, drawing unsettling parallels between cult behavior and climate change denial. If you are interested in the Climate crisis, disinformation, propaganda and cult mind control, this is an episode you will want to listen to throughout!
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    The Moon Cult: An Interview with former top American leader Allen Tate Wood

    The Moon Cult: An Interview with former top American leader Allen Tate Wood

    For those who know Combating Cult Mind Control and my work, you know I was in the Moon cult. However, if you are under 50 years old, most people have no idea what the Moonies are about.  Allen Tate Wood was a four-year member of the Unification Church–aka The Moon organization. He was the Chief Political Officer of the Unification Church in the United States, commander for the state of Maryland, workshop Director and Chief lecturer for the state of Maryland, and an expert witness for the congressional subcommittee investigation led by Donald Fraser into the Korean CIA infiltration into the United States. He also authored Moonstruck: a memoir of my life and a cult to warn people against cult dangers. Wood said he left in 1973 because “they were making people into fanatics.” In addition, he testified in The London Daily Mail lawsuit where the newspaper wrote that the Moonies brainwashed members and separated them from their families. The Daily Mail won the case and the Unification Church had to pay some 2 million dollars. Perhaps most importantly, Wood testified before the US Supreme Court in 1979 and 1981in the case involving Moon’s conviction of conspiracy to defraud the US Government. Mr. Moon was sentenced to 18 months and served 13 in a posh prison in Danbury, Connecticut. Mr. Moon died in 2012, and two sons fight with their mother over billions of dollars. Sean Moon claims to be “king” and has created a religious cult called the Rod of Iron Ministries. He claims that God wants people to own and know how to use AR-15 assault rifles. Sean Moon went to the January 6th coup attempt at the Capitol and tweeted that Antifa was making the attack- a lie also pushed by Moon’s newspaper, The Washington Times. His brother Justin Moon owns a gun factory in Pennsylvania to make assault rifles and train people for civil wars. After Biden’s inauguration as President of the United States, his predecessor Moon went to the January 6th coup attempt at the Capitol and tweeted that Antifa was making the attack- a lie also pushed by Moon’s newspaper, The Washington Times. Trump, Pence, and Pompeo all appeared for a virtual event for Hak Ja Han, endorsing her. Trump received 2.5 million dollars for this. This was just a few weeks after the attempted violent coup. The Washington Times has been the center of 50 years of climate science denial according to David Lipsky.
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    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
574 Ratings

574 Ratings

pleasehelpplayers ,

Succinct quote but encompasses all!

Thank you for 6.5.23 quote: “We need each other ….to lift each other up in truth, in love, in humility and compassion”. Dr. Hassan, You are appreciated!

Minnie Castevet ,

So interesting!

Love these shows. Steve, you are the best. Please keep doing what you are doing. You are saving our country! Love you.

AZTune ,

Cult Education at it’s Best

Thank You Dr Steven Hassan for hosting and interviewing so many guests.

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