Please visit our new site for up-to-date information and news.

What People Are Saying About Combatting Cult Mind Control

The #1 Best-selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults


Combatting Cult Mind Control





"As a Baptist pastor for 35 years, I take no pleasure in testifying that religious abuse is one of the most pressing social problems in the world today.  True religion always serves to liberate-- never to enslave.  Steven Hassan's work is instrumental for anyone seeking understanding of religious mind and thought control, and how to free themselves or loved ones from it.  He not only brings exhaustive authority, research, and expertise to this critical field, but also compassion, respect, and sensitivity.  Every pastor, minister, social worker, therapist, and counselor needs to read his books!"


The Rev. Charles Foster Johnson
Pastor, Bread Fellowship, Fort Worth


"Mind control is alive and well and in many varied forms across America. Steven Hassan understands like no one else the human need to belong, how it is exploited, and how to retrieve those who have fallen prey to the false allure of a perfect parent."

Douglas Rushkoff, Ph.D. (

Professor of Media Studies at Queens College

Author of Coercion


"Steven Hassan has established himself as one of the foremost "how-to" authorities on fighting the effects of destructive mind-control organizations like religious cults. His books and his website have long been a first-line defense in protecting those we love from the destructive temptations of these seductive groups. His advice and encouragement have helped thousands to escape."

Richard Packham, J.D.,

Founder and First President of the Exmormon Foundation


“…A major contribution…For the first time, a skilled and ethical exit counselor has spelled out the details of the complicated yet understandable process of helping free a human being from the bondage of mental manipulation…..Steven Hassan has written a ‘how to do something about it’ book.”

Margaret Singer, Ph.D.,
Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley

“In my judgment this is a singularly important and valuable book. I was especially impressed by the author’s candor in addressing his experiences both within the Unification Church and subsequent to his departure from it. Beyond the value of this illuminating personal account of a practitioner of ‘exit counseling’ lies a remarkably useful collection of information about cult-related issues in contemporary American life. I heartily recommend this book to lay readers who for one reason or another wish to become better informed on this topic. It will also be valuable to professionals in health-related fields, clergy, attorneys, and others whose responsibilities bring them into contact with cults, their members, and the families whose live are affected.”

Louis Jolyon West, M.D.,
Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine

“His book is well worth reading by professionals in mental health, particularly those involved with students, because early recognition and appropriate intervention depend on greater awareness of this menace…Mind control is an emotive couplet, but it is not only a delusion in schizophrenia–it is a subtle fact in many people’s lives.”

Peter Tyrer, M.D.,
Review of Books for The Lancet (Medical journal of Great Britain)

“Combatting Cult Mind Control is the best book available on the entire cult scene. Hassan manages to touch on every key facet of the complex phenomenon and yet to discuss everything in depth also. His explanation of mind-control is the best I have ever read; he makes this frightening and sophisticated topic understandable to the layperson. And Hassan’s own personal story is gripping. This book is an indispensible tool for helping to educate young people about cults. It can be used in high schools, colleges and universities , and religious schools and youth groups. It should be read by everyone concerned about freedom of the mind.”

Marcia R. Rudin,
Director of the International Cult Education Program

“Steven Hassan’s Combatting Cult Mind Control is not just another cult book. He has conveyed with clarity the lessons of his many years of experience, first inside a cult and then in the insights he crafted from that experience and has given to others. He also has demonstrated his openness and ability to bring a broad range of knowledge and scholarship to bear on vexing questions of cult methods and alternatives for intervention. The result is a significant contribution to public understanding of the modern reality of mind control and the widening dimensions of the cult experience.”

Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman,
Authors of Snapping and Holy Terror

“Ten years ago my father, Congressman Leo Ryan, was murdered by followers of Jim Jones’ People’s Temple in Jonestown, Guyana. Less than two years later, my sister became a follower of Bagwan Shree Rajneesh. After these two devastating experiences, I wanted to know more about the destructive cult phenomenon and the mind control techniques commonly used by such groups. Five years later, as I became involved with the Cult Awareness Network (a support group for cult victims and their families), I first met Steven Hassan, a former high-ranking member of the Unification Church. I was immediately impressed with Steve’s intelligence, his ability to articulate in understandable terms the methods used by destructive cults to control their victims, and his commitment to helping others avoid what he himself went through. I can think of no one more qualified than Steven Hassan for writing a book that explains in understandable and compelling terms what a truly serious and growing threat destructive cults pose for all of us. I only wish my family had known about the problem before it was too late. Steve’s book should be required reading for every family in America.”

Patricia Ryan,
lobbyist and daughter of Congressman Leo J. Ryan, killed at Jonestown

“…excellent book. ..groundbreaking, informative and comprehensive.”

William Goldberg M.S.W. and Lorna Goldberg M.S.W.,
River Edge, N.J.

“A rare combination of the personal accounting of first-hand experiences in a destructive cult and the professional assessment of how destructive cults affect society and what can be done to help the victims. This is the book for former cult victims, their families, professionals who treat these victims, educators who work with youth, or anyone who wants to recognize destructive cults.”

Cynthia S. Kisser,
Executive Director of the Cult Awareness Network (C.A.N.)

“Always informative, often riveting, written by one of the country’s experts on mind control, Combatting Cult Mind Control should be required reading for mental health professionals, clergy, and the many unfortunate families who are victimized by this ever-growing, insidious problem. Cult involvement is an often unseen and typically ignored problem worldwide. Pitifully few people realize the depth and breadth of the problem. Hassan is an ethical, informed, and dedicated crusader who has something to say to all of us.”

Stephen R. Lankton,
Dept. of Psychology at the University of W. Florida, Pensacola and Author of The Answer Within: A Clinical Framework of Ericksonian Hypnotherapy

“…a no-nonsense book which cuts directly to the core issues of destructive mind control. From firsthand experience he describes the power tactics used by cults to produce long-term psychological disorientation in unsuspecting “recruits.” …offers …specific advice on strategies to break the individual free from a cult’s power, through methods which are less forceful yet as effective as coercive “deprogramming” techniques. Without question, this book will open your eyes to this serious continuing threat to our individual freedoms.”

R. Reid Wilson, Ph.D.,
Author of Don’t Panic: Taking Control of Anxiety Attacks

“Combatting Cult Mind Control is long overdue. It is the definitive book by which future books will be judged. It was clearly written for professional and lay readers alike. It is one which defined the problem, clarifies the issues, explicates the controversy and provides solutions. It is a cookbook with recipes to aid the impacted family and the exit counselor through the ingredients and procedures to the finished product. It is one for the academician and the theologian to use for the education of his constituencies, for the mental health professional to educate his staff and for the law enforcement administration to educate their forces in dealing with an aberrational phenomenon: One where the curious can become well informed. The public as a whole, as we in academia in particular, are indebted to Steven for his multifaceted text. It is a how-and-what-to-do primer for the scholar as well as for the beginner. In the search for answers to this civilizational plague, Steven has developed a protection for the public. It is immunization through exposure. Mind control is unveiled for what it is, how it works and the damage it does… Steve’s expose is exceptional.”

Dr. Sandy Andron,
High School Director for the Central Agency for Jewish Education, CAN/ AFF Board of Directors and a Leo J. Ryan Award Recipient

“In our psychotherapeutic work with cultic survivors, we have dealt with some of the most extreme modern day victimization that exists. Not only have individuals lost their freedom of choice and thought; but they have also been sexually and psychologically exploited. We have worked with Steven Hassan clinically. He is empathic, knowledgeable, and thorough. Combatting Cult Mind Control is a compelling and challenging study on this very complicated phenomena. He brings to this work both experience and scholarship. It is a highly readable,yet comprehensive text, that can be used by concerned lay persons and professionals.”

Edwin L. Morse, Ph.D.,
Clinical Psychologist, Madison, Wisconsin

“A valuable, well-written book on a topic of genuine importance. Steven Hassan explains precisely how cults operate to control minds and, in the process, he provides sharp insights into how the influence process works in everyday situations as well.”

Robert B. Cialdini,
Author of Influence,
Regents’ Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University

“..Overall a great contribution to the topic.”

Mark Plummer,
Executive Director of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP)

“First Snapping, now Combatting Cult Mind Control! ..To students of psychology both are needed to understand this cult recruitment and means of exit intervention. Hassan has given to the public a complete insight to a complex problem. ..A great book in simple language on a very complex problem. Combatting Cult Mind Control by Hassan has a must read for parents status.”

Dale W. Griffis, Ph.D.,
retired Police Captain, Tiffin, Ohio

“Combatting Cult Mind Control is a brilliant book by a man who has been there. …Steven has written an insightful, compelling book that explains what cults do, how they do it, and what the reader can do if a loved one is in a cult. He proves that there is hope and a way out.”

Julie Carner,
Good Books, Parklabrea News

“Hassan’s book is an easy-to-follow road map of the cult experience, not alarmist yet deadly serious about the dangers cults pose.. Throughout the book, Hassan makes clear his compassion for former cult members and concern for their recovery.”

Heidi Yorkshire,
Utne Reader

“..excellent on the psychological mechanisms of control as used by cults to recruit and keep their members and supporters… absolutely compelling in laying out the state of the art in exit-counseling/ deprogramming cult members back to their pre-cult identity. And, unexpectedly, I found the book provided excellent coverage of other cult experts’ views and research on mind control and exit counseling/deprogramming. All of these topics were explained lucidly and in very readable prose.”

Daniel Stern, Ph. D.,
Professor of Sociology at Northeastern Illinois University

“Steven Hassan… has written a book that must be mandatory reading for anyone who wants to help a friend or relative leave a cult. Combatting Cult Mind Control is a distillation of the author’s experience, a decade of work with a variety of cults and as varied a group of cult members and families as one finds in the American middle class. The book provides a jargon-free explanation of the nature and effects of mind control and- for those willing to put in a great deal of work- a serviceable set of guidelines, with real-life examples, of how to stimulate voluntary reevaluation of cult allegiances… a book whose solid core and really great contribution to counseling is to show the way to millions desperate to help loved ones leave destructive cults.”

R.E. Schecter,
Editor of The Cult Observer, The American Family Foundation

“Many thanks for your book. I just finished Combatting Cult Mind Control and found it intensely stimulating. In different ways, we both appear to strike out at a similar enemy– mindless conformity…Keep doing what you are doing. It is much needed.”

Wilson Bryan Key,
Author of The Age of Manipulation & Subliminal Seduction

“Steven Hassan has not only clearly and accurately portrayed the devastation created by this country’s psychotherapy cults – he has also provided sensitive advice to those who would either extricate themselves or a family member from a cult’s treacherous grip.”

Shirley Siegel,
Founder /Coordinator of STOP ABUSE BY COUNSELORS

“Steven Hassan’s Combatting Cult Mind Control is a breakthrough in articulating the dynamics underlying the operations of destructive cults. Anyone who has witnessed a loved one rapidly slip into the emotionally insulated and distant world of a cult, knows the extent and swiftness of its catastrophic effects. Few people understand the mechanisms by which these devastating seductions are systematically engineered by cult leaders. Steven Hassan knows from experience. Through his examples and analyses, we finally witness how cults work and learn how we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from them.”

Stephen Josephs, Ed.D.,
Psychologist and educator

“Combatting Cult Mind Control should be a must primer for every mental health professional who treats cult victims….the serious clinician will find Hassan’s book a challenge to the ignorance and prejudice that tragically surrounds the cult phenomenon.”

Paul Martin, Ph.D.,
Director of Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center

“Combatting Cult Mind Control.. is an excellent and comprehensive study of the phenomenon of thought manipulation and the techniques for the control of followers within certain kinds of religious organizations. What makes the book especially useful is its down-to-earth, hands-on approach that is imminently usable by lay persons. The section toward the end on the dilemmas confronting those who want to combat destructive cult activity because of misinterpretations of first amendment guarantees is, I think, timely and useful. It is my view that this book ought to be widely disseminated and to be read by not only lay persons but professionals who confront problems of cult influence in American society.”

Carl A. Raschke,
Professor for the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Denver

“Steven Hassan has successfully combined in one volume his personal story of involvement with a destructive cult, case histories of other cultists, and a sophisticated explanation of mind control from a psychological perspective. He has done a great job of pulling together a wealth of material. I especially liked the use of relevant literature in social psychology and psychiatry. I recommend it to parents, ex-cultists, and mental health specialists.”

Arthur A. Dole,
Professor Emeritus of Psychology in the Education Division at the University of Pennsylvania

“Steven Hassan’s book is a guide for the perplexed, offering practical advice on how to view and what to do about unethical techniques of recruitment and indoctrination used by “cults”. Hassan is an ex-Moonies leader, with a Master’s Degree in counseling psychology, and ten years’ experience as an “exit counselor” (as distinct from a “deprogrammer”). Hassan demystifies the cult phenomenon, providing clear definitions, and guidance for how to distinguish between what is a cult, and what is just an unconventional group. Ultimately, this book is about empowerment- how individuals and societies can defend themselves against these unethical applications of behavioral sciences. The reader is provided with resource lists, usable definitions, and simple communication and investigative strategies for when a loved one falls under cultic influences- as well as strategies for intervention.”

Fred Clarkson,
Journalist for Covert Action

“Combatting Cult Mind Control …provides an overview of his approach to helping clients free themselves from the psychological and emotional binds of cult influence through non-coercive measures… He illustrates in understandable language how the Moonies and other cults apply mind control techniques to capitalize on people’s phobic reactions and unconscious thoughts…this book is a helpful resource of how and where to seek assistance for their clients.”

John J. Schmidt,
Associate professor and acting chair in the Department of Counselor and Adult Education at East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.
Reviewed in Guidepost for AACD

“I strongly recommend Combatting Cult Mind Control. Cults are a major problem that doesn’t affect just a few people… Steven Hassan is a bright and superior person who has distinguished himself in a number of ways. He has authored a fine and important book. Go to a bookstore to buy it. …Really try to get it!”

Steven Allen,
Entertainer, Comedian, Songwriter and Creator of the original “Tonight” Show;
Author of 32 books including his latest Dumbth: And 81 Ways to Make Americans Smarter

See also: