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Brainwashing / Mind Control / Coercive Persuasion:

Combatting Cult Mind Control
by Steven Hassan
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"Cults don't exist to people in them. A cult is always something you can point a finger at and say, "that is a cult," or, "they are in a cult." A person in a cult never can look at their own situation objectively and see that they themselves are in a cult. This book was very helpful for me in such a way that I could relate very well to a lot of the experiences and techniques. It convinced me that I had spent all of my life in a cult that did practice mind control, but most importantly it reassured me that my decision to leave was the right choice. It is a book that you can read again and again as you progress through the healing stage after leaving a cult or cult-like organization. Since cult's control what you are allowed to read, this was the first book that I would even look into, since it doesn't mention Jehovah's Witnesses specifically. I started reading it with the attitude that I was finally going to prove to myself and to others that I was not associated with a cult. Much to my surprise there were many similarities, and that was when I could really open my eyes to the situation that I was involved in. Thank you for writing such an easy to read, informative and specific book on cults and their mind control techniques. The changes in my life are astounding, and the turning point was when I read this book." - Click here to Continue Reading




Releasing The Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves
by Steven Hassan
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"Steven Hassan, reveals the astonishingly effective behavior, information, thought and emotion control techniques (B.I.T.E.) at the root of all cult powers. With dozens of examples from real-life cases, Hassan presents a new, more refined, non-coercive, and totally legal Strategic Interaction Approach (S.I.A.) to freeing oneself from the terrible grip of life-threatening cults, enabling cult victims to think independently again." - Click here to Continue Reading


Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs

Mr. Hassan's latest book, is in a new updated, 2nd edition. Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs  is available on and other online booksellers as paperback and e-book

Available as an e-book and paperback, this must-read volume is a significantly updated and revised edition of Hassan’s groundbreaking Releasing the Bonds (2000). People who read and benefitted from that book—and also his earlier book, Combatting Cult Mind Control (1989)—will want to read Hassan’s latest.

See review here.

Cults in Our Midst
by Margaret Thaler Singer
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"The strength of Cults in Our Midst is its clear explanation of the nature of cults, how they operate, the threat they pose to individuals, families, and society, and how others can help cult survivors escape and recover. Many types of cultic relationships are considered, from tiny religious or occult groups to the "large group awareness training" programs that have infiltrated workplaces." - Click here to Continue Reading

The True Believer : Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements
by Eric Hoffer
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This best-selling analysis of fanaticism and mass movements is an important addition to the field of sociology. "Hoffer has written one of the most provocative books of our immediate day."--Christian Science Monitor' - Click here to Continue Reading

Battle for the Mind: A Physiology of Conversion and Brainwashing
by William Walters Sargant
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"How can an evangelist convert a hardboiled sophisticate? Why does a POW sign a "confession" that he knows is false? How is a criminal pressured into admitting his guilt? Do the evangelist, the POW's captor, and the policeman use similar methods to gain their ends? Sargant spells out and illustrates the basic techniques used by evangelists, psychiatrists, and brain-washers to disperse the patterns of belief and behavior already established in the minds of their hearers, and to substitute new patterns for them." - Click here to Continue Reading

The Manipulated Mind : Brainwashing, Conditioning and Indoctrination
by Denise Winn
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"Research findings from psychology show that brainwashing is not a special subversive technique; it is the clever manipulation of unrealized influences that operate in all our lives. This book, by breaking down so-called brainwashing to its individual elements, shows how social conditioning, need for approval, emotional dependency and much else that we are unaware of, prevent us from being as self-directed as we think; and, conversely, which human traits make us the least susceptible to subtle influence." - Click here to Continue Reading

The Guru Papers : Masks of Authoritarian Power
by Joel Kramer
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"This book is a must-read for anyone and everyone who has ANY spiritual belief system. The authors succeed in removing the scales from the eyes of all of us who follow or have followed ministers, spiritual teachers or gurus who are stealing our money or power ... with our unwitting permission! The bottom line is that NO spiritual teaching requires a teacher, minister or guru, only a personal devotion to our chosen belief system and/or scriptural texts, and our own relationship with and understanding of our deity. Get that guru out of your head and out of your wallet!" - Click here to Continue Reading

Cults: Faith, Healing, and Coercion
by Marc Galanter
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"From the mass weddings of Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church to the ritual suicides at Heaven's Gate, charismatic cults and their devotees have become facts of American life. Using material gleaned from twenty-five years of direct encounters with cults and their detractors, as well as extensive research, Marc Galanter offers the most extensive psychological analysis of these organizations available. Cults explores not only how members feel and think at all stages of their involvement, but also how larger social and psychological forces reinforce individual commitment within the cults. For this revised and newly-illustrated second edition, Galanter has added three new chapters on cult development in the 1990s, spiritual recovery movements, and alternative medicine." - Click here to Continue Reading

Crazy Therapies : What Are They? Do They Work?
by Margaret Thaler Singer, Janja Lalich
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"An expose of alternative psychotherapeutic philosophies and practices, revealing the sometimes harmful effects of methods such as past-life therapy, alien-abduction therapy, rebirthing, and skull adjustment. Outlines guidelines for distinguishing legitimate therapeutic approaches from those that are irrational or unethical, and offers advice on avoiding the risks of entanglement. Reports on a broad spectrum of alternative therapies--such as alien-abduction, channeling, inner-child work, flower essence therapy, and karmic astrology--all of which the authors contend are doing more harm than good to those who are hoping for help." - Click here to Continue Reading

Captive Hearts, Captive Minds : Freedom and Recovery from Cults and Other Abusive Relationships
by Madeleine Landau Tobias, Janja Lalich (Contributor), Michael Langone 
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"Tobias and Lalich spent a combined total of 24 years in "restrictive groups" (i.e., cults), and both are currently involved in providing post-cult counseling and therapy. Their first collaboration, this book succeeds as an ambitious, comprehensive explanation of the cult experience and works well on several levels. Its stated focal intent is to encourage and assist those former cultists struggling to readjust to the "real world." Powered by the authors' experience, compassion, and intellect, it capably provides such support. In addition, however, Tobias and Lalich's systematic analysis of the shared characteristics of cults and cult leaders, along with extensive first-person accounts by former cultists, will educate those readers with a purely intellectual interest in the allure, power, and structure of cults." - Click here to Continue Reading

Influence : The Psychology of Persuasion
by Robert B. Cialdini
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"Arguably the best book ever on what is increasingly becoming the science of persuasion...His research studies how and why people agree to things, and is not inclusive to any one area of life. His book explains the psychological triggers that influence people to comply with requests, and also covers how these triggers are used and abused." - Click here to Continue Reading

Malignant Pied Pipers of Our Time: A Psychological Study of Destructive Cult Leaders from Rev. Jim Jones to Osama Bin Laden
by Peter A. Olsson M. D.
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"In this book, I examine the phenomenon of destructive and apocalyptic cults. I present a psychological perspective about the psychological roots of both cult leaders and the cult members. I call the cult leaders - Rev. Jim Jones, David Koresh, Osama bin Laden, Shoko Asahara, Charlie Manson, Marshal Applewhite, Luc Jouret & Joseph DiMombro- Malignant Pied Pipers, for the way they lure followers to their deaths. I use concepts of psychology to analyze the lives of the cult leaders and the source of their powerful attraction to vulnerable converts. " Peter A. Olsson M. D. - Click here to Continue Reading
Spiritual Perversion
by Steve Sanchez
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"This is the story of a man who devoted his life to a religious leader, only to find that it wasn't enough. Along the way, he would come to fear that his little girl was on the same path but with no way out. Inside, a few dozen ministers and students are promised a world of health and wealth, a haven far better than where they have been. Yet members of that world are expected to give nearly a third of their earnings, sending some into bankruptcy. Beyond the view of casual visitors to the church, say McKinley and other former members, children are hypnotized, schooling is an afterthought, and fathers are purposely alienated from their sons and daughters. And hanging over it all is a cloud of highly charged sexual tension." Nanette Asimov - Click here to Continue Reading

Cult, Sect & "Toxic Religion" Recovery:

Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults

Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults
by Janja Lalich 
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"An impressive and even revolutionary look at cultic groups. Lalich challenges fundamental assumptions on all sides of the debate about cults. She spent years as a member of the Democratic Workers Party and provides her readers with a revealing insider's view. To this, the author adds a much-needed comparative focus with her treatment of the Heaven's Gate suicides. The result is a theoretical break through in the study of high commitment groups. Lalich's theory of 'bounded choice' is likely to reshape scholarly thinking for years to come about the dynamics of cult involvement and how and why people may act against their own self-interest in pursuit of higher causes." - Click here to Continue Reading

Recovery from Cults : Help for Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse
by Michael D. Langone
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"Among the 20 contributions are personal accounts, discussion of mind control and of the historical background to helping cult victims, and case studies. Guidelines for facilitating recovery are given in separate chapters for therapists, clergy, support groups, families, and psychiatric hospital personnel. Special issues such as children and cults, ritualistic abuse of children in day-care centers, teen satanism, and legal considerations are addressed." - Click here to Continue Reading

Twisted Scriptures : A Path to Freedom from Abusive Churches
by Mary Alice Chrnalogar
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"Twisted Scriptures: A Path To Freedom From Abusive Churches shows readers how to tell when churches are suppressing freedom of speech, intimidating followers, and distorting the Bible. Twisted Scriptures is invaluable as a self-help guide and as a tool for families and friends to free loved ones from destructive groups." - Click here to Continue Reading

Healing Spiritual Abuse : How to Break Free from Bad Church Experiences
by Ken Blue
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"With clarity and refreshing honesty, Ken Blue offers hope and healing to the victims of spiritual abuse. He also shows Christian leaders how to avoid abusive patterns and instead offer Christ's gospel of grace to every casualty of bad church experiences." - Click here to Continue Reading

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse
by David Johnson, Jeff VanVonderen
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"Churches are meant to be safe places where spiritual leaders help and equip the members for the work of service. There are some churches, however, where leaders use their spiritual authority to control and dominate others, attempting to meet their own needs for importance, power, intimacy or spiritual gratification. Through the subtle use of the right "spiritual" words, church members are manipulated or shamed into certain behaviors or performance that ensnares in legalism, guilt and begrudging service." - Click here to Continue Reading

Toxic Faith
by Stephen Arterburn, Jack Felton
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"Toxic Faith distinguishes between a healthy faith and a misguided religiosity that traps believers in an addictive practice of religion. It shows how unbalanced ministries, misguided churches, and unscrupulous leaders can lead their followers away from God and into a desolate experience of religion that drives many to despair. Toxic Faith shows readers how to find hope for a return to genuine, healthy faith that can add meaning to life." - Click here to Continue Reading

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Corporate Cults

Corporate Cults: The Insidious Lure of the All-Consuming Organization
by Dave Arnott
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"Corporations can steal your soul. In the 230-page book, Dallas Baptist University professor of management Dave Arnott contends that in the rush to make companies friendlier places to work, they've been turned into a replacement for family and community. "It starts with a refrigerator in the lunchroom and ends in a full-blown corporate cult," writes Arnott. A "corporate cult," says Arnott, has all the characteristics of any other cultlike group: It subordinates the individual to an organization; it uses terms like "family" to describe the organization; it rewards behavior, not tasks. Arnott says employees contribute to the problem by turning to their employers for their emotional needs and adopting a loyalty to the company that exceeds devotion to one's family and personal needs. Arnott describes a corporate cult as one that requires devotion from its employees, has charismatic leadership and causes a separation from the rest of the community by supplying enough of those needs itself. "  - Click here to Continue Reading

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Government Cults

The White-Haired Girl: Bittersweet Adventures of a Little Red Soldier 
by Jaia Sun-Childers
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"Sun details the madness of personal life under Mao; the growing disaffection, subsequently, under Deng. Sun has written an authentic document of growing up in Maoist culture. The nickname that gives this memoir its title comes from a famous Chinese revolutionary ballet about a good daughter. The chubby child who bore that nickname was born in 1964 to parents vulnerable, when the Cultural Revolution began, to attack as "stinking ninth category intellectuals" from the Ministry of Culture, once labeled by Mao as "a bourgeois organization stinking of capitalism and feudalism." A spellbinding tribute to the human spirit, this exquisitely written memoir recounts the story of a girl coming of age during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Jaia Sun-Childers tells of her experiences, from a forced labor camp to a stint as one of Chairman Mao's "revolutionary warriors" to her eventual flight to the U.S. " - Click here to Continue Reading

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