Welcome to the Open Minds blog, where we're sharing news and views on the latest and greatest in the fight against undue influence and coercive control. Written by our team of experts, each post has been given relevant categories and tags for you to select, so feel free to scroll through them all, or browse by the subjects you find most interesting.

Do you have some time or an experience you want to share? Contact us with your ideas and you may well get your name in our blog lights.

Categories

Subject

The Way to Unhappiness - seduction into toxic groups and relationships, part II - an excerpt from Opening Minds

Explaining Undue Influence

Cults / Sects Extremism - religious or political Domestic Violence Radicalisation Scams / Fraud Totalist / Totalitarianism Abuse / Child Abuse

 

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The Way to Unhappiness - seduction into toxic groups and relationships, part I - an excerpt from Opening Minds

Explaining Undue Influence

Cults / Sects Extremism - religious or political Domestic Violence Radicalisation Terrorism Scams / Fraud Totalist / Totalitarianism Abuse / Child Abuse

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How to Recognize a Confidence Trickster? CFURST

Advice & Guidance

Scams / Fraud

When trying to defraud you, a confidence trickster uses definite, well-worn tools for the task. So, in order to help you See those tools First, we’ve devised this handy acronym to remember them all: C FURST. The letters stand for Confusion, Fear, Urgency, Rapport & Reciprocity, Scarcity, and Trust.

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Ask Our Experts - Rachel Bernstein

Advice & Guidance

Scams / Fraud

Q: My neighbor’s husband just passed after a short illness; they’d married young and had been together for more than forty years, so she is devastated, and, frankly, desperate for any kind of reassurance that he isn’t gone completely. I don’t like to judge people’s beliefs, but I also know…

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Once Bitten, Twice Bitten

Personal Experiences

Scams / Fraud

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Take Your Time

Advice & Guidance

Cults / Sects Extremism - religious or political Scams / Fraud

It takes time to make up our minds, and manipulators know this. In the UK, there is a 14-day ‘cooling off’ period after we sign a sales contract online, on the doorstep or over the phone.

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From small lies, great lies grow

Academic Updates

Scams / Fraud General Influence

A fascinating experiment, reported in New Scientist (no.3097), shows that the brain become desensitised through lying. Tali Sharot at University College London showed one group of volunteers jars of pennies with differing degrees of fullness and asked them to send estimates of the quantities of pennies to partners in another…

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Book Review - Cialdini’s Pre-Suasion: a Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade

Books / Resource Reviews

Scams / Fraud General Influence

 

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Opening Minds: the secret world of manipulation, undue influence and brainwashing

Books / Resource Reviews

Cults / Sects Extremism - religious or political Domestic Violence Radicalisation Scams / Fraud Totalist / Totalitarianism Human Trafficking

When Jon Atack left Scientology in 1983, he little dreamed where his research would lead him. Cult expert Margaret Singer had already noted the similarities between the experiences of ‘brainwashed’ POWs, cult members and victims of domestic abuse - and that the same mechanisms kept the power dynamics in place…

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