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     MindNet Journal - Vol. 1, No. 20
     V E R I C O M M / MindNet         "Quid veritas est?"


The following is reproduced here with the express permission of
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Editor: Mike Coyle 

Contributing Editors: Walter Bowart
		      Alex Constantine

Assistant Editor: Rick Lawler

Research: Darrell Bross


Another summary...

	Summary: Hassan, Steven. Combatting Cult Mind Control,
Rochester, Vermont, Park Street Press, 1988. Hassan is a former
victim of cult mind control. He was rescued and deprogrammed. He
is the National Coordinator of FOCUS, a support and information
network for victims. He is one of the leading international
experts on cult mind control. He pioneered the non-coercive cult
exit-counseling method. He is a noted public speaker, seminar
leader, exit-counselor, and author.


	Hassan details his experience of being victimized for
over two years by cult mind control performed by the Moonies. He
also describes his later rescue and deprogramming arranged by
his parents.
	Cults and charismatic leaders are not a new phenomenon.
They have existed throughout history. What is new is the
recently developed systematic use of psychological techniques to
reduce someone's free will and gain control over his feelings,
thoughts, and actions: hot seats, controlling behavior, age
regression to reduce critical thinking capacity, cult recruiting
techniques which exploit human needs, controlling the flow of
information, techniques for inducing trance, privacy
deprivation, techniques for systematically inducing phobias,
controlling feelings, group process methods, reframing,
controlling thoughts, group conformity pressures, obedience to
authority, behavior modification, etc. Repetition, monotony and
rhythm are all used during indoctrination to induce trance
	A classic example of a double bind used on victims of
cults is given. At a cult seminar, a victim is told: "'If you
admit there are things in your life that aren't working, then by
not taking the seminar, you are giving those things power to
control your life.' In other words, just being here proves you
are incompetent to judge whether to leave."
	It is important to note relative to therapeutic,
religious, and spiritual cults that any genuine growth in any of
these areas cannot be founded upon deception and mind control,
no matter how ideological or noble the cult's stated goals.
	Without informed consent, the victim is made to become
dependent upon outside authority figures, using mind control to
do it. The recent developments learned in psychology as to how
to manipulate the unconscious mind are being misused. "The
conscious mind has a narrow range of attention. The unconscious
does all the rest, including regulating all body
functions....The unconscious mind is the primary manager of
	Some groups, like drug rehabilitation and juvenile
rehabilitation programs, use many of these same techniques to
break a person, then rebuild them in a positive way.
Unfortunately, these programs are completely dependent upon the
integrity of their leaders. Some have stepped over the line.
	Cult recruiters are no longer just the weird guy on the
street corner selling flowers. Cult recruiters are the business
colleague, friend, or peer begging you to attend the latest
seminar, lecture, or meeting. Cults are now recruiting using TV
ads selling books, the post office to send invitations to a
seemingly harmless seminar, and the newspaper to place a want
ad. Some victims are recruited when they hire on with a
cult-owned business. The cults will put on free lectures,
rallies, movies, poetry readings, etc., to entice potential
members. Almost anyone can be a victim, except the handicapped:
Most cults do not want them because of the necessary
expenditures of time, money, and effort to care for them.
	Children of cult members are also exploited. For example,
many of the children who died at Jonestown had been adopted by
the cult members and were wards of the state of California.
Their presence created a cheap labor force and provided income
from the state. In some cults, children are physically abused,
sexually abused, isolated from school or community, and forced
to depend upon cult indoctrination for their world view. Some
children at Jonestown were placed at night into deep, dark pits
and told the pits were filled with snakes.
	Hassan says since cults faded from media coverage, most
people have the erroneous impression that most cults faded away
since the 1970s along with its rebellious youth and no longer
present a threat. However, the truth is that cults have become
even more sophisticated, expanding into areas the public never
dreamed possible, using front groups in many  arenas, including
economic, political, cultural, and religious. And they are not
limiting themselves to the idealistic youth anymore either. They
are going after many different kinds of people: corporate
executives gathered together in hotel ballrooms; housewives
attending psych-up rallies for pyramid sales organizations; high
school students; business men in three-piece suits; and college
students gathered at accredited universities to attend seminars.
	The vast majority of people victimized by cults are
intelligent, stable, well-educated, and from respectable
families. Cults do not want to waste their resources on someone
who is not put together well: The victim might break down, a
loss for cult profit. Cults are big business. Consequently, they
watch the bottom line of the cost/benefit ratio when it comes to
evaluating a potential new member.
	One of the reasons the cults are making such headway is
because the idea that someone's will can be altered flys in the
face of our entire legal and philosophical foundations which
deny the possibility that someone's mind can be controlled.
Current law simply does not recognize the existence of mind
control, unless force or the threat of force has been used.
Hassan challenges, "How would you know if you were under mind
control?" Without help from another human being, no one has a
way to make this determination once under mind control. But as
long as our society remains in mass denial about the power of
mind control, the body count will continue.
	The cults are learning to shield themselves from public
scrutiny by spending vast sums of money on public relations
firms. Some are entering corporate America and sell leadership
training seminars to the executives, while secretly developing
designs to take over the company. They have become adept at
influencing political directions, changing United States foreign
policy by covertly lobbying for foreign powers, developing
economic power through purchasing huge chunks of real estate and
purchasing hundreds of businesses, influencing the judicial
system, lobbying efforts, and electioneering for certain
	For example, the Moonies have ties to the Korean Central
Intelligence Agency, while Moon, himself, has ties with the
Japanese organized crime network. They have a definite political
agenda. Moon has founded business ventures which include the
manufacture of M16 rifles, developing think tanks, supporting
extreme right-wing groups, cultural exchange programs, and
purchasing the Washington Times newspaper. Moon believes an
automatic theocracy should rule the world because "a separation
between religion and politics is what Satan likes  most." Moon
is staunchly anti-communist, yet runs his religious cults off of
slave labor. He is trying to buy some legitimacy for himself by
spending vast amounts of money on conservative causes. Moon has
already poured more than two hundred million dollars into the
Washington Times, a business which has yet to show a profit.
"However, the newspaper has served its true purpose: enabling
Moon to have access to the power brokers of American politics."
Moon actually said, "When we take power in America, we will have
to amend the Constitution and make it a capital offense for
anyone to have sexual relations with anyone other than the
person assigned to him."
	It should be noted that Ronald Reagan said his favorite
newspaper is the Washington Times and that he reads it every
day. It should also be noted that Moon inexplicably attended
Ronald Reagan's inauguration.
	Hassan is careful to delineate the difference between a
destructive cult and any other group, the difference being that a
destructive cult engages in outright deception, systematically
lying to its victims. Just because a group is unorthodox or even
bizarre does not make it a cult. On new members, the rule of
thumb used by most cults is, "Tell him only what he can accept."
 Hassan says, "If people want to believe that Mr. Moon is the
Messiah, that is their right. However -- and  this is a crucial
point -- people should be protected from processes that  make
them believe Mr. Moon is the Messiah."
	Hassan is also careful to note that there is both good
and bad mind control. Good mind control is exemplified by
someone choosing to use hypnosis to quit smoking. Bad mind
control is when the locus of control is not with the individual,
but is being perpetrated upon them without their choice.
	Groups fall on a spectrum, ranging from good to
destructive, as does the use of mind control techniques. A group
can have a single destructive aspect without being a full blown
destructive cult.
	He describes the experiences of victims from many
different types of cults, involving: Being systematically lied
to; being physically abused; being barraged with flattery or
guilt; being forced to sit in long sessions of indoctrination
where no questions are allowed; never being allowed any free
time to think critically or reflect; being induced to work at
menial labor twelve to twenty hours daily; being systematically
indoctrinated; being deprived of sleep; being forced to ask
permission for everything; being assigned a constant buddy;
discouraging individualism; being publicly humiliated and
criticized; redefining reality; fostering feelings of dependency
and helplessness; forced to participate in public confessions
which are then used as blackmail; disallowing complaints or
negative feelings about the cult, allowing them only about
outsiders; being forced to spy on other members;
compartmentalizing information so that no member gets the bigger
picture; changing a member's name to hasten a new cult identity;
manufacturing spiritual experiences; forcing members to abandon
any unique talents, interests, or hobbies; relocating new
members away from familiar turf; forcing participation in
humiliating fundraising efforts; disorienting new members;
encouraging black and white thinking; preventing members from
hearing or reading any information critical of the cult; being
deprived of healthy nutrition through a low-protein, high-sugar
diet; deliberately using confusion to induce trance; sensory
deprivation; deliberately using double binds; being coaxed to
survive numerous hardships for the sake of spiritual growth;
being kept continually surrounded by already indoctrinated
members; being subjected to medical neglect; being coaxed to
participate in political activism to support issues and
candidates endorsed by the cult; having to fill out papers
describing all that the member is thinking and feeling, which
information is then later used against the member; being coaxed
into using deception in all the cult's affairs, including
recruiting, fundraising, and public relations because the end
justifies the means; being instructed to drop  out of school,
quit their jobs, and move into the cult; stimulating  competition
between members to maximize profits; receiving verbal abuse one
minute followed by complimentary strokes the next; being
discouraged from forming close bonds with people in the cult;
forming bonds only vertically with those in a supervisory
position to the member; being encouraged to cut off contact with
family and friends; being exploited for economic and political
gain; being sent underground when families attempt a rescue;
being told to lie to the public, saying that the fundraising was
for charity, a Christian youth program, drug rehabilitation, or
to help orphaned children; using doctrines which are impossible
to verify or evaluate; using doctrines which require that the
member distrust himself; encouraging an us-versus-them mentality
by creating pet devils, such as communism, capitalism,
psychiatrists, deprogrammers, satan, UFO creatures, and spirits;
creating a sense of speciality in members by emphasizing the
special mission of the cult; allowing only external referencing;
promoting and demoting members on whim to foster disorientation
and dependency; disorienting time in the member by rewriting
the past, making the present very urgent, and making the future
an apocalyptic scenario; being pressured psychologically to turn
over all possessions and wealth to the cult; being punished for
independent thought, feeling or action; being rewarded for
maintaining total dependence upon the cult for everything, even
simple choices; being told repeatedly that it is better to die
or kill than to leave the cult; being ordered to press
kidnapping charges against parents who attempt a rescue; using
thought-stopping rituals such as chanting or praying to cease
critical thinking skills; violating members' civil rights;
turning people into slaves; lying; stealing; cheating; having
one's children taken away and sent to another location to be
raised; and having one's children violated and harmed for life
while being raised in a cult.
	Many of these same tactics are found in the dynamics of a
 domestic violence situation.
	Once indoctrinated, the new member becomes the new
recruiter: The victim becomes the victimizer. Through
indoctrination, the victim has literally been given a new
	Deprogramming and exit counseling usually involves
explaining to the victim how the mind control techniques used on
him are similar to those used by the Communist Chinese to
brainwash prisoners of war. The dual identities of the victim
must be sorted through and worked out, similar to dissociative
states having to be healed.
	Conservatorship laws used by families to rescue their
children from cults were more than likely lobbied out of
existence by cult lawyers.
	Congressman Leo J. Ryan had been a member of the House
Subcommittee on International Relations which investigated Korean
CIA activities in the United States, commonly known as
Koreagate. Their report revealed that Moon had "systematically
violated U.S. tax, immigration, banking, currency, and Foreign
agents Registration Act laws, as well as state and local laws
relating to charity fraud." Ryan was gunned down while trying
to investigate another cult, the People's Temple.
	Robert Dole's public hearings into cults was a disaster.
All of the former cult victims who had been invited to speak
were taken off the agenda at the last minute.
	In a Freedom of Information Act request, Hassan asked why
Moon was allowed to make American M-16 rifles in Korea when only
the South Korean government was allowed to do so. "Was the Moon
organization part of the Korean government? Was the Department
of Defense giving it favored treatment?"  Hassan never received
any answers from the United States Government: The answers
remain hidden behind a wall of national security.
	The therapy oriented cults are misusing the idea of
enlightenment, exploiting people's desires for growth. By
creating an initial experience of extended consciousness, then
taking credit for it, the cults foster dependency within the
members who think they must return to the cult seminar in order
to have another experience.
	It should be noted that cults do not require a live-in
experience for members to be victimized. The est seminars are
given as an example where members are turned into junkies,
returning again and again for yet another seminar. If problems
come up in a cult, they are always blamed on the members, never
on the cult leaders or cult doctrine.
	The rise of satanic cults is a concern. Young people are
being set up by popular books, films, and music to believe
satanic practices will give them power. Slow steps are taken by
recruiters, inviting the young person to a party, giving them
drugs, and introducing sexual rites of initiation. Only when his
trust is complete is the young person introduced to satanic
	There are questions to ask to protect yourself from mind
controlling cults:

	1. "How long have you (the recruiter) been involved? Are
you trying to recruit me into any type of organization?"
	2. "Can you tell me the names of all other organizations
that are affiliated with this group?"
	3. "Who is the top leader? What are his background and
qualifications? Does he have any criminal record?"
	4. "What does your group believe? Does it believe that
the ends justify the means? Is deception allowed in certain
	5. "What are members expected to do once they join? Do I
have to quit school or work, donate my money and property, or cut
myself off from family members and friends who might oppose my
	6. "Is your group considered to be controversial by
anyone? If people are critical of your group, what are their main
	7. "How do you feel about former members of your group?
Have  you ever sat down to speak with a former member to find out
why he left the group? If not, why not? Does your group impose
restrictions on communicating with former members?"
	8. "What are the three things you like the least about
the group  and the leader?"

	Hassan gives some extremely helpful guidelines to
families worried about a loved one caught in a mind control
cult. He outlines specifically what to do and what not to do.
	He also describes his techniques for exit-counseling,
giving strategies for recovery for those who have been victims.
He warns of the typical problems which will come up in the long
term recovery of a victim.
	In particular, he notes that victims have been harassed
by other cult members, particularly if the victim goes public to
prevent further victims. Former members have had break-ins and
have been threatened, sued, blackmailed, and murdered. The
Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard's group, has filed
hundreds of harassment suits designed merely to hassle and
financially drain former members, those who help former members,
and critics. Hassan has personally seen how the fear of cults
within the media has influenced what is reported.
	Hassan sees that the unethical use of mind control has
become a major social problem worldwide. Mind controlled
business executives placed in key positions in major
corporations, political influence peddling, and the high degree
of social acceptance by prominent professionals make cults a
large problem. Cults have sponsored conferences for lawyers,
clergy, scientists, politicians, and academics.
	Ties are explored between cults and the United States
Government. After Jonestown and the murder of a congressman, the
public became very concerned. But due to the intervention of
cult influence and money and lobbying, efforts to investigate,
to reform, to educate the public, to get media coverage have by
and large failed. A few examples are given. After the report was
issued from the Koreagate investigation, no action was taken on
the recommendations made in the report. After the congressional
report was issued from the People's Temple investigation, no
action was taken on that either. After all former members were
forbidden to speak at the Bob Dole hearings, one Moonie
representative was allowed to give a statement. In a major TV
special, two top Central Intelligence Agency psychologists made
inexplicable statements, one saying that hypnosis was of no
operational use, the other saying mind control research had been
abandoned in 1963.
	Hassan says,

	I knew that no self-respecting psychologist would deny
that there was anything "useful" in mind control research. The
statements of Gittinger and Gottlieb forced me to confront a
number of questions that needed answers.
	Why wasn't our federal government informing the American
people about the dangers of mind control? Why was the issue
continually shuffled into a discussion of religious liberty and
the First Amendment?....However, if the government has indeed
been conducting research into mind control, then it has a
responsibility to inform the American public that mind control
exists....In the absence of recognition by the government that
mind control exists and that unethical mind control is wrong,
then the government's silence indirectly condones the practice
of unethical mind control in the rest of society. In a practical
sense, one only need look around to see the effects of
government silence and inaction: mind control groups are
proliferating at an unprecedented pace.
	The principles of freedom and democracy in our country
demand that the reality of mind control be exposed to full
public scrutiny.

	There are even some so called researchers who seem to
have big funding behind them, doing everything within their
power to dispel the public's concern about mind control or
cults. Other legitimate researchers are uncovering that victims,
regardless of what cult they are from, are all developing the
same type of personality profile.
	Hassan also warns of the effects of cults within our
shaky economy. As the economy worsens, employees will be
expected to attend all company-sponsored seminars in an attempt
to make them more productive. Executives at major corporations
are "flocking to programs that can teach them how to better
influence and control people. In some cases, cults have actually
taken over the running of a company in this  way." Of course
with free labor, cult-owned businesses can undercut their
competition. Further, taxes don't have to be paid by the cult
because it never looks like they make a profit: Wages are paid to
the members, but the members donate their wages right back to
the cult again.

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