“It is never too late to wake-up and leave…” Steve Hassan (video)

Over the last few weeks, there has been a major increase in the supply of material that is fitting for this blog. It has been hard to focus on what to post next. Today, I received notice of this video and stopped everything to watch it. The speaker is Steve Hassan, a leading author and expert in mind control techniques and an ever-giving resource of help for those wanting to understand cults and their nuances. We have featured his work on this blog before; however, this video has some timely comments on current events surrounding the subject of cults and mind control. We will review a few excerpts and tie them back to subjects discussed previously on this blog.

The video is less than twenty-five minutes long. He recently spoke at the Society for  Ethical Culture in NY and apparently he has many friends there.

Mr. Hassan gives a brief synopsis of his background, telling of his involvement and exit from the Moonies, He was there for two and one half years and had risen to a level of leadership within the group. His family performed an intervention and he subsequently left the group. After speaking to Robert Lifton; he began his journey to learn more about what had happened to him and thus how to help others. Thirty-six years later he has been on many media sources and has helped many group members in their quest to learn to think for themselves. His books outline the “Strategic Interactive Approach” for helping group members.

In his opening, Hassan shares his thoughts on the deception used in cults during recruiting. Mind control groups to do not give full disclosure and allow for prospects to make informed decisions about joining their group. This lack of informed consent is paramount to the determination of a group’s validity and motives. Prospects are not told what the group believes or what will happen to them once they accept the gifts or invitation to a meeting and proceed to join. Were you told what would happen to you before you joined WOFF? I had no idea of the level of intense commitment of members who lived inside the group. It was a shock to see the day to day requirement to “lock-in with Jane” when we first moved in October of 2002, thus followed the surrender of any privacy in the family and marriage. It was a slippery slope for sure. Back to the video…

Next, he reviews his B.I.T.E. model and its application to understanding mind control. This model is used as a test to examine a group in order to determine if they are using mind control. We have reviewed this model before, but, with many new readers we will give a brief overview. Hassan is not concerned with a group’s beliefs but their acts or practices. The B.I.T.E. model stands for B-behavior control, I-information control, T- thought control, E- Emotional control. Does the group in question practice any of these areas of control? We determined in previous posts that Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) scored a 100% on this test! Please, watch the video and read Hassan’s books to learn more.

As Hassan continues, he puts forth several nuggets of wisdom garnered over the many years of his experience in helping cult members. He cautions that in this country we over emphasize or protect the freedom of religion to include the inordinate freedom to act. Yes, there is freedom of religion but, that is not a license to take advantage of others. He warns against being “convinced by the member’s passion” that they are happy and in complete control of their thinking and their life. This is simply not the measure needed to determine one’s actual condition.

Later in the video he recognizes that phobias are real and “You can install phobias in someone’s mind.”  He lists several phobias he has dealt with over the years in his clients – fears include losing your salvation if you leave or do not follow the group’s directives. He explains the continuum of ethical influence and unethical influence. Instilling fears would be an unethical influence technique. Does WOFF instill fears? The fence of fear surrounds the group and keeps many of them inside Jane Whaley’s influence and control for years! She is very effective in undue influence.

Hassan explains that Abrahamic religions have been based on choice. The followers choose to follow their God. God did not does not make us robots and force us to follow him. Hassan explains how cults pervert the “choice” process all under the guise of freedom of religion. At about 13 minutes into the video, he says that these groups actually violate the freedom of religion by the use of deceptive recruiting and mind control techniques. We touched on that recently in a post asking Frank Webster questions about his attorney’s oath and involvement in WOFF. In my opinion, the practices of WOFF violate a person’s freedom of religion for the very same reasons Hassan shares.

Even with undue influence, Hassan says the mind control is not 100% captivating. Everyone, including those born into a cult, still has the desire to be free and to be loved and have rewarding relationships. Given that mind control groups do not allow these desires to exist outside of the group’s methods and practices, he says this is the reason people walk away after 20 or 30 years of cult involvement. He says that in practice, cult members “have to be obedient rather than be in touch with their conscience.” (We will expand more on this in a future post!) He cites the Internet being a resource for those wanting to know more about a group and this access has helped many.

Hassan tells the story of a friend who had been in Scientology for 30 years. They left because someone was nice to them and helped them start thinking about the conflicts and doubts they had while in their group. He said while telling this story, “It is never too late to wake up and leave and reclaim your life!” (19 minutes into video) Hassan continues with this truism, “When you are in a cult, you don’t think you are in a cult, when you have been brainwashed, you don’t think you have been brainwashed. But you think other groups are cults and other groups have been brainwashed…”  This key can help you speak to your loved ones to start them thinking about other groups and lovingly help them consider their group. He suggested having members watch the exit interviews of Heaven’s Gate member to show the results of brainwashing. Then consider the B.I.T.E. model when applied to their group. His main key was that if any group is legitimate, they will stand up to the (B.I.T.E.) test!

In his close, he says, “Love is stronger than mind control.” That, my friends, is the thought of the day. Please, learn more about his work and contact me with any questions. I will help in any way I am able to help.

Thank you, for taking time to visit and read this blog. Please, consume the information on this site responsibly. The author is not a licensed mental health professional and encourages those that need professional help to seek it. The intent of the material is to inform and be a resource. Be sure to tell every member that you know at WOFF about this blog. There are readers at WOFF. Comments are invited from all readers, including present or former members. Polls are not scientific and no private information is gathered.

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Please, take time to read the Terms of Use for this personal blog. As mentioned, for posts written by John Huddle, any information about WOFF is from his memories and recollections as perfect as that may be or not be. Scripture references are Amplified Version unless otherwise noted. (Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation ) This is post number 429.

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2 thoughts on ““It is never too late to wake-up and leave…” Steve Hassan (video)”

  1. Curious,

    The most common fear tactic has to be – if you leave your family is not going with you! Sometimes, this is true and sometimes it is not. Next, if you leave- you are leaving God’s will and going to hell. You will die early, go back to drugs, alcohol – basically become a backslidden sinner hopeless, without God. Depending how tied in a person is with the WOFF support system, they could lose their job, their home and for sure all those “friends” that love them so much. A person leaving needs support in many ways. It is hard for many to stay in the area once they leave WOFF. Most move away and attempt to leave the community of relationships behind as well as the physical place. As weird as it seems, when you are on the inside, you treasure the very things that keep you in bondage to that system. Your thinking has to change in order to see the chains of WOFF for what they are- CHAINS and not true “blessings”…

    Does this help?

    John

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