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Title Al Qaeda - Statement from Steve Hassan on the Tragic Events of Sept. 11, 2001
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Al Qaeda - Statement from Steve Hassan on the Tragic Events of Sept. 11, 2001

September 11, 2001 Terrorists? CAUTION: Resist Jumping To an Evil Conclusion

"When trying to understand today's horrific events, it might be helpful to understand cult psychology," cult expert and author Steven Hassan says.

"Members of terrorist organizations are in fact members of a destructive mind control cult. The use of influence techniques to create a fanatic are essentially the same. There are many similarities between the way people are programmed in a cult which can result in an act of suicide bombing. Many people while in a destructive cult, including myself, can tell you that we were ready to die for the cause, if necessary."

How can a human being reign horrific death and destruction, as they have today? Are they evil?

This is a question people are likely to be asking themselves on this darkest of days in most American people's lifetimes. "Thinking of the perpetrators merely as evil people may be a mistake," says Hassan, "as it is exactly that type of simplistic thinking that ultimately can lead to this type of behavior."

"Part of the cult mentality is that people see things in terms of black and white. Everything gets reduced to extremes belief of 'good versus evil' and us versus them." Cult members are indoctrinated to exercise strict blind obedience to the charismatic figure atop the pyramid structure of their group. They are in a form of trance.

Basically it's mind control. The recruit is given a new identity (in the diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association, it is referred to a Disociative Disorder NOS 300.15). Destructive mind control cult members often change names and take on a new language system; they have different beliefs and usually different clothing. Reality is redefined; for instance, the Heaven's Gate followers didn't believe they were committing suicide, they thought they were just leaving their vehicles behind and traveling to a waiting spaceship.

Cult members believe that they are part of an elite few, that they are chosen by God for a special purpose, that they will always be remembered as heroes for what they have done. Suicide bombers go through an intense indoctrination: they are put into a coffin and buried, and told that they are dead already. Then they have no choice but to follow the plan; they believe that they are already dead. They're in a trance, confident of their redemption as they die, along with all the victims of their actions. Contact: Florence Tambone (781) 643-3295

ABOUT STEVE HASSAN Steve Hassan has been involved in educating the public about mind control and destructive cults for more than twenty five years. He is a licensed Mental Health Counselor and holds a Master's Degree in counseling psychology from Cambridge College. For more information about Hassan's background, please click here. In addition, Hassan is the author of two books dealing with cults, including Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves (Freedom of Mind Press, 2000), detailing his more sophisticated approach to cult intervention, the Strategic Interaction Approach, a goal oriented, therapeutic course of action that can be used by relatives, friends and anyone who wants to help.