About Open Minds Foundation

The Open Minds Foundation is a not-for-profit, charitable organisation, established to raise awareness of the dangers of undue influence in our society, to reduce its impact, and in the long term, eliminate it altogether.

Open Minds is a community of almost 150 people from a diverse range of backgrounds, including academia, healthcare, counselling, cult information, law and community leadership, as well as those with a personal experience of undue influence. Collectively, we share a concern over the prevalence of undue influence in modern society and the speed at which it is growing.

We are registered in the US as Open Minds Foundation and in the UK as The Open Minds Organisation Limited.

“The key to an open mind is doubt – the freedom to agree or disagree with any idea or belief, even one’s own, as one sees fit.” Alan W. Scheflin, Supporting Human Rights by Testifying Against Human Wrongs (International Journal of Cultic Studies 2015)

Phobia Induction, Desensitisation, and the Fear of Kittens

Explaining Undue Influence

Cults / Sects

Without enough human hearts to gorge on, Huitzilipochtli would leave the sun standing still in the sky and bring down catastrophe upon the whole Aztec empire: the crops would wither and the children would die. Who would risk checking if this dire prediction were true, when priesthood were so very…

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Book Review: Steven Hassan’s Combating Cult Mind Control, updated 2015 edition

Books / Resource Reviews

Cults / Sects

 

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There Are Heroes Among Us - and You're One!

Advice & Guidance

Cults / Sects

To have already claimed the right to think for yourself, to question, to deviate, to refuse to be controlled, exploited or manipulated, to refuse to be subjected to any more abuse, to be willing to give up all you have known, to give up home (even family) and strike out…

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Better Words: Guilt and Shame - Expanded Version

Explaining Undue Influence

Cults / Sects Domestic Violence Totalist / Totalitarianism Abuse / Child Abuse Bullying

Many therapists make a useful distinction between guilt and shame. Guilt activates the healthy conscience, so the guilty person wants to make amends for any harm done. Healthy guilt is most often short-lived and positive. Shame, on the other hand, is a persistent state of mind. Unlike guilt, shame is…

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What To Say When Someone You Love Is In a Coercive Situation

Advice & Guidance

Cults / Sects Domestic Violence Totalist / Totalitarianism Abuse / Child Abuse

As humans, we’re joiners. Your average human is a member of several groups –groups of friends, social clubs, political parties, worship groups, workplace groups and more. Only a tiny fraction of those groups are actually high-control, coercive or totalist groups .

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The Basics - Lifton's Eight Criteria of Thought Reform

Explaining Undue Influence

Cults / Sects Extremism - religious or political Domestic Violence Totalist / Totalitarianism

Robert Jay Lifton (b. 1926) developed these criteria to identify the actions of coercive groups using manipulative techniques in order to gain total control over their members. First presented in chapter 22 of his seminal work, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, this list can be used to measure…

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