Steven Hassan
  • Newton
    United States
  • +1-617-396-4638

Steven Hassan, M.Ed., LMHC, NCC

Advisory Board Member

Steven is a former cult member who has been educating the public about mind control and destructive cults since 1976. Steven wrote the seminal work Combating Cult Mind Control, first published in 1988 with a new edition in 2015. He is also the author of Freedom of Mind and the founder of Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Steven has helped thousands of former cult members and their families, clergy, psychologists and fellow cult experts over the years. He co-developed “Ending the Game”, a non-coercive curriculum designed to educate and empower commercial sex trafficking victims, and has spoken out about the effects, mechanisms, and signs of undue influence in its many forms on 60 Minutes, CNN, NPR, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Larry King Live, Oprah, and many other programs, as well as being featured in People Magazine, USA Today, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, and dozens of other major publications and websites.


  • 1984-1985 – Cambridge College, Cambridge, MA
    Masters in Education in Counseling Psychology
  • 1977-1978 – Boston University, Boston, MA
    Psychology major
  • Summer 1977 – Yale University, New Haven, CT
    Psychology major
  • 1971-1974 – Queens College, Queens, NY
    Creative writing major


  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor #820 – Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Nationally Certified Counselor (NBCC) # 43226
  • Member of Harvard Medical School’s Program in Psychiatry and the Law
  • New England Complex Systems Institute – Affiliate
  • Open Minds Foundation – Advisory Board Member
  • Child-Friendly Faith Project – Advisor Board Member
  • Against Violent Extremism (AVE) – Member
  • The American Counseling Association – Member
  • Massachusetts Mental Health Counselors Association – Member
  • American Society for Clinical Hypnosis- member
  • New England Society of Clinical Hypnosis (NESCH) – Member
  • International Society of Hypnosis (ISH) – Member
  • Fox Valley Technical College – Consultant / Instructor
  • International Cultic Studies Association – Member
  • Co-Developer of Ending the Game Curriculum – designed to educate and empower commercial sex trafficking victims.
  • Newton, MA Crime Prevention Commission Advisory Council – Member


  • Training in Strategic and Structural Family Therapy
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Phobia and Panic Disorders
  • Attachment Pathology
  • American Psychological Association
  • International Society of Hypnosis workshops and conferences
  • American Society for Clinical Hypnosis conferences
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  • Ericksonian Hypnosis and Psychotherapy- workshops and conferences
  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming extensive training (NLP) 1980-1981


1976- Present

International expert consulting, counseling, researching, teaching, and assisting individuals with problems involving Undue Influence: brainwashing, mind control, unethical hypnosis, and destructive cults

Licensed Mental Health Counselor in 1992 (Commonwealth of Massachusetts #820)

Nationally Certified Counselor Founder, President and Director of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center
Inc. 1999

  • Private practice clinical work, consulting, teaching, researching, writing, media and activism
  • Instructor at Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy program 2017
  • Boston University School of Medicine Grand Rounds October 13th 2016
  • Human Trafficking training for My Life, My Choice in Boston as well as for Joint
  • Regional Intelligence Organization in California to help organizations assist sex trafficking survivors 2014
  • Training for Attorney Generals of Utah and Arizona concerning FLDS cult of Warren Jeffs
  • Main speaker at National Amber Alert Symposium sponsored by U.S. Department of Justice 2009 about Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart and
    other victims like them
  • Program for 4th year psychiatry residents at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for fourteen years about cults and Undue Influence
  • Former Clinical Affiliate in Psychology – McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts
  • Cambridge Family Institute – guest faculty
  • Harvard Longwood Department of Psychiatry weekly Grand Rounds May 13, 2003.
  • Affiliate of the New England Complex Systems Institute
  • Have given lectures, workshops and training for:
    • British Society for Medical and Dental Hypnosis Ð Scotland, October 2016
    • American Psychological Association
    • The International Congress of Hypnosis
    • American Society of Clinical Hypnosis
    • American Psychological Association – 2001
    • Eastern Regional Conference on Multiple Personality and Dissociation
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
    • McLean Hospital
    • Brigham & Women’s Psychiatry program
    • Boston Psychoanalytic Society
  • August 2015 Countering ISIS program at the Aspen Institute. One of 25 invitation only with State department counter terrorism officials, Secretary Madeleine Albright, former Ambassadors and other luminaries
  • Have given lectures and seminars at hundreds of Universities, Colleges, Churches, Synagogues and Community Centers and for the American Bar Association’s Conference on Tort and Religion
  • In addition, have appeared on many national television and radio shows, including:
  • 60 Minutes; Nightline; Dateline; ABC, NBC, ABC Nightly News; Oprah
    Winfrey; Today show; Good Morning America; Larry King show; CNN Anderson Cooper; CNN Special Reports; WBUR; NPR.
  • Co-developed the curriculum for “Ending the Game” (ETG), a ground-breaking “coercion resiliency” curriculum that reduces the feelings of attachment to traffickers and/or a lifestyle characterized by commercial sexual exploitation, thereby reducing the rate of recidivism among sex trafficking victims


National Coordinator of FOCUS, a support and information group for former cult members.

  • Administration
  • Education
  • Development of programs for both informational services and counseling support services
  • Leading and organizing regional support groups


Founder and first President – Ex-Moon Inc., a non-profit educational corporation serving as an information and support network for over four hundred former cult members.

Edited and published a monthly newsletter with a circulation of over one thousand. Gave hundreds of interviews, sponsored and participated in news conferences, lectures and seminars about the Moonies. No longer in operation.


  • “Steven Hassan’s approach is one that I value more than that of any other researcher or clinical practitioner. Hassan is a model of clear exposition, his original ideas are brilliantly presented in a captivating style. I am confident that readers of his new book, Combating Cult Mind Control, will share my enthusiasm for what this author tells us about how to deal with the growing menace of cults.”
    Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D.
    Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Former President, American Psychological Association 2002 Author of Influencing Attitudes and Changing Behavior, Discovering Psychology, and Shyness
  • “Steve Hassan is a compelling spokesman on the topic of cult mind control which encompasses issues of human identity and our innate psychological vulnerabilities and dissociation and its relationship to mind control, all of which are of innate interest to mental health professionals. In addition, he educates and challenges us to think about the forces and groups using mind control techniques in our culture, which is disturbing yet highly important to learn about.”
    Mary K. McCarthy, M.D., former Director of Psychiatry Training
    Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • “Steven Hassan’s writings and life work fill a critical need in our health and our lives. Health care professionals have long ignored the essential role that social psychology and influence play in our efforts to be healing. Beyond the skills of therapeutic persuasion in our own clinical effectiveness, too many sources of undue influence pervade our culture to ignore its significance in health and illness. Our work must include investing in the resiliency of those for whom we care by teaching them to test their realities, to value their intuitions, to know their own minds. This is Hassan’s mission. He succeeds largely because of his intelligence, passion and dedication. Those are contagious characteristics and just cause for due influence.”
    Laurence I. Sugarman, M.D. F.A.A.P., A.B.M.H., Director and Research Professor, Center for Applied Psychophysiology and Self-regulation, Institute of Health Sciences and Technology, Rochester Institute of Technology; Past-President, American Board of Medical Hypnosis. Co- author, Therapeutic Hypnosis with Children and Adolescents, second edition.
  • “Steven Hassan is one of our most eloquent defenders of freedom of the mind. For decades he has labored mightily on behalf of the majesty of the human spirit. His good work has brought psychological and spiritual relief to countless victims and families who have unknowingly stumbled into the clutches of mind control perpetrators. As a spokesperson for the ordinary individual’s right to be the master of his or her own thoughts and choices, Hassan has resisted the dangers and threats manufactured by manipulators who have sought to silence his courage. His new book will bring special hope for current victims, but it should be read by anyone who values individuality.”
    Alan W. Scheflin, Emeritus Professor of Law , Santa Clara
    University  Co-author of “Memory, Trauma, Treatment and the Law”; The Mind Manipulators; Trance on Trial; Recipient of sixteen awards in the field of mental health.

Books by Steven Hassan

Posts by Steven Hassan