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Title Al Qaeda - Cult Mind Control Techniques May Have Fueled Terrorists
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Al Qaeda - Cult Mind Control Techniques May Have Fueled Terrorists Statement from Steve Hassan Sept. 17, 2001

The terrorists who rammed passenger jets into the Pentagon and World Trade Center last week displayed behaviors that are reminiscent of cult members and may have been under the influence of destructive mind control when committing their acts, according to a leading cult expert.

"Terrorist cult organizations apparently employ many of the same mind control techniques used by such destructive groups as Scientology," says Steven Hassan, director of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center in Somerville, Massachusetts. "These include isolation, hypnosis, sleep deprivation, dietary manipulation and the programming of phobias in the minds of members." The government and the public may think of the terrorists as radical extremists who were motivated by an intense and driving hatred of America - one cultivated by the militant Muslim leader Osama bin Laden. But there is evidence that at least some of the terrorists underwent a "radical transformation" when they were recruited and were probably manipulated in ways that they were not aware of. 

A high-ranking Moonie in the 1970's, Hassan was so heavily influenced by mind control techniques that he was prepared to give his life for the group. "When I was in the Moonies, I was trained to die or kill on command," says Hassan, author of Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves. "I understand the mindset. " Suicide bombers undergo a thorough and extensive indoctrination - reportedly spending hours in a coffin reading from the Koran in an open grave. They are told that they are already dead and will be hailed in heaven for their heroic deeds," Hassan says. "Like members of other destructive cults, they are programmed to think in simplistic black and white, us-versus-them terms. They not only depersonalize but also demonize their enemies.

"The last thing we need to do is fuel their idea that we are Satan," Hassan says. He believes that U.S. military action against Muslim civilians will only reinforce the cultis' commitment and escalate the violence. "We should be using our knowledge of psychology to undermine the control and power of the people on top of the pyramid of this and other terrorist organizations," he says. 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.