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Press Release

PRESS CONFERENCE – August 22, 2014 at 1.30pm
London College, Victoria Gardens, Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3P


Tackling terrorism and extremist groups by psychological methods - not military intervention.


Steven Hassan, author, counsellor and one of the foremost authorities on cults is in the UK this week and will lead a workshop in London during the weekend of August 23-24, 2014. The over-subscribed workshop will draw attention to his work on undue influence by cults and extremist groups.

A press conference has been organised for Friday August 22, at 1:30pm to share with the media some of the groundbreaking work, that will enable governments, agencies, policy makers and therapists, to better understand and develop effective strategies and processes for dealing with cults and extremists groups that attempt to undermine society.

Steven said “The UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron is more than aware of the threats by such groups. But like other heads of State, like President Obama and other leaders, he is looking in the wrong direction if he wants to address the real problem.”

“Cults and extremist groups have their own brand of beliefs that can undermine societal, community and family relationships. The Moonies, Scientology, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Islamic extremists and human traffickers, all use psychological techniques and strategies to recruit and retain followers. Understanding their methods and how they unduly influence people is the first step in tackling this global threat.”

In the manipulative hands of charismatic cult leaders, high-control bible-based groups masquerading as benevolent religions, human traffickers, multi-level marketers, political action cults, human potential hucksters, terrorists and violent extremist groups - and yes, even abusive spouses and parents, undue influence is a major worldwide problem - and its damaging effects continue to expand.

Steven Hassan has developed “The BITE Model” which explains the mechanism behind undue influence by clearly spelling out the methods used by extremist groups, cults and oppressive individuals to suppress the uniqueness and creativity of their followers. BITE is an acronym for control of a person’s Behavior, Information, Thoughts and Emotions.

During the press conference Steven will explain how his methods have helped numerous people begin to re-asses and re-integrate into mainstream society. He will further explain how governments, agencies and policy makers can begin to tackle the effects of undue influence by extremist groups.

He said, “if properly trained, former members of such groups can be an incredibly effective force to help members of groups - exit.”

Also at this unique press conference will be five other internationally known experts who will share their knowledge and experience of tackling extremist threats. 

Masoud Banisadr - was for over 20 years a representative of the group Mujahideen-e-Khalq Organization (MeK) - an Iranian terrorist group.

Masoud famously said “any terrorist organisation either is a destructive cult or to survive has no option but eventually to change into one.”

Lloyd Evans - a former Jehovah’s Witness who is the editor of JWsurvey.org a blog that exposes the harmful policies and human rights violations of his former faith

Jon Atack - wrote the best-seller “Let’s sell these people A Piece of Blue Sky”, which was called ‘definitive’ by the Scientology cult’s former top PR. Pulitzer prize-winner, Lawrence Wright, called it ‘invaluable’ for ‘its history and insight into the character of L. Ron Hubbard.’

Prof. Rod Dubrow-Marshall - Ph.D, MBPsS is Professor of Psychology and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Derby.

Dr Linda Dubrow-Marshall - Ph.D, MBACP (Accred.) is Research Co-Editor of ICSA Today

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For further information and confirmation of attendance - contact:


Email: cedars@jwsurvey.org (LLoyd Evans) ; sue@suehall.net (Sue Hall); RKelly5966@gmail.com (Richard Kelly)

Telephone:  (+44) 0844 478 0578  (Lloyd Evans) ;  (+44) 0785 1077 009  (Sue Hall) ; +1(616)-430-6027 (Richard Kelly - USA)

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Notes to Editor:

Steven A. Hassan, M.Ed., LMHC, NCC- a former Moonie- is one of the foremost authorities on cults and mind control. He has been involved in educating the public about mind control, controlling groups and destructive cults since 1976. He holds a Masters degree in counseling psychology from Cambridge College, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). Steven has written three books that have received extensive praise from former cult members, families of former members, clergy, cult experts, and psychologists.Combatting Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best Selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults(1988),Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves (2000), and in July 2012, he published the paperback and e-book,Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults & Beliefs, Second Edition 2013.

Hassan’s insightful perspective and expert commentary have made him a definitive source, for hundreds of national, international and local media outlets including: USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, People Magazine, Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, The Today Show, Geraldo, 60 Minutes, Night Line, and Good Morning America.

Hassan is the founder the Freedom of Mind Resource Center Inc. : www.freedomofmind.com

“…Steven Hassan’s approach is one that I value more than that of any other researcher or clinical practitioner…”
Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D.
Author of the Stanford Prison Experiment
Professor of Psychology, Stanford University
President of the American Psychological Association 2002,
Author of The Lucifer Effect

Psychology of Cult Formation at MIT (Given days after Boston Marathon Bombing)


Human trafficking panel video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUsOHsZIiA4&noredirect=1

Undue Influence panel video
https://freedomofmind.com//Media/video.php?id=74

Steven Hassan - Press Kit Freedomofmind.com

Masoud Banisadr - was at one time a representative of the group Mujahideen-e-Khalq Organization (MeK). He argues that “any terrorist organisation either is a destructive cult or to survive has no option but eventually to change into one.” He says “facing a terrorist organisation is completely different from facing the problem of terrorism and violence and if we are serious to get rid of this ugly phenomena we have to understand destructive cults and through that understanding face terrorist organisations.”

He left the MeK in 1996 and has written of his experiences in the book Masoud: Memoirs of an Iranian Rebel (and more recently Destructive/ Terrorist Cults: A New kind of Slavery). He is active in raising awareness of undue influence and its links with terrorist organisations.

Masoud Banisadr (ex-MeK) talks about treating terrorist groups as cults

Ex-MeK Masoud Banisadr talks with Steven Hassan 7-12


Banisadr.info

Lloyd Evans - is a vlogger and the senior editor of JWsurvey.org – a blog site specializing in news stories involving Jehovah’s Witnesses (where he writes under the moniker “John Cedars”). Lloyd is a former Witness elder and graduate of the church’s now defunct Ministerial Training School. He has been shunned by his Witness family since January for blowing the whistle on the harmful policies and human rights violations of his former faith. He is presently writing his memoir.
JWsurvey.org

Jon Atack - wrote the best-seller “Let’s sell these people A Piece of Blue Sky”, which was called ‘definitive’ by the Scientology cult’s former top PR. Pulitzer prize-winner, Lawrence Wright, called it ‘invaluable’ for ‘its history and insight into the character of L. Ron Hubbard.’ One time Village Voice editor, Tony Ortega, said it is ‘the most reliable of the many books on the subject.’  Former psychology professor, Richard de Mille, said ‘Atack’s book displays mastery of his material and subtlety of analysis and discussion that would be praised at the typical final of doctoral examination.’

Since 1983, Jon has been consulted by government agencies throughout the world, as well as the British Medical Association. He has worked on hundreds of media pieces, including articles in every leading UK paper, the Los Angeles Times, Time, Forbes, and documentaries with BBC Panorama, CBS, ABC, NBC, as well as in Canada, Australia and throughout Europe.

In 2013, Jon gave the paper Scientology: the Church of Hate at the Council of Europe’s annual FECRIS conference. His booklet, The Total Freedom Trap, has been translated into 11 languages. In September, Jon will give the keynote speech at the annual convention of the Orthodox Church, in St Petersburg.

Jon Atack, ex- Scientology interview: https://freedomofmind.com//Media/video.php?id=39

Wikipedia

Prof. Rod Dubrow-Marshall - Ph.D, MBPsS is Professor of Psychology and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Derby. He is a graduate member of the British Psychological Society, Chair of the Research Committee and Network of the International Cultic Studies Association, and co-Editor of the International Journal of Cultic Studies. In 2006 he was awarded The Herbert L. Rosedale Award, jointly with Dr. Paul Martin, for their psychological research on undue influence. Derby University Profile

Dr Linda Dubrow-Marshall - Ph.D, MBACP (Accred.) is Research Co-Editor of ICSA Today and co- founder of RETIRN, a private practice offering services to those affected by cultic influence. She is Programme Leader of the MSc Applied Psychology (Therapies) Programme at the University of Salford, and is registered with the British Health Professions Council as a clinical and counselling psychologist. She is also a registered counsellor/psychotherapist with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Salford University (Manchester) profile