Resources

Resources2018-11-16T02:41:36+00:00
Search
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt
Search in comments
Filter by Custom Post Type
Filter by Categories
Coercive Control
Bullying
Emotional Abuse
Financial Abuse
Psychological Abuse
Spiritual Abuse
Verbal Abuse
Cultural Abuse
Bonded Labor
Child Labor
Domestic Servitude
Forced Marriage
Neglect
Abuse of the Elderly
Child Abuse
Physical Abuse
Forced Labor
Domestic Abuse
Sexual Abuse
Pedophilia
Prostitution
Sex Slavery
Exploitative Techniques
Brainwashing
Coercion
Exploitation
Fervor
Hypnosis
Indoctrination
Mind Control
Radicalization
Religious Extremism
Undue Influence
Alienation
Disconnection
Ostracism
Parental Alienation
Shunning
Social Alienation
Manipulation
Fraud
Scams
Propaganda
Advertising
Spin
Thought Reform
Gaslighting
Totalitarianism
Totalism
What is Manipulation
History of Manipulation
How People Escape
Recruitment or Seduction
The Human Predator
Why People Stay
Manipulative Groups
Criminal Gangs
Family & One-on-One Cults
Internet Cults
Corporate Cults
Pyramid Schemes
Educational Cults
Martial Arts
Marketing Cults
Mag Crew
Political Cults
Terrorism
Political Extremist
Lyndon La Rouche
Supremacist
KKK
Skinheads
Political Extremism
Religious Cults
Buddhist
Ethnic Religious
Hindu
Jewish
New Thought
Paganism
Satanic
Christian
Mormons
Jehovah's Witnesses
Muslim
Boko Haram
ISIS
Nation of Islam
Pseudo Religious
Scientology
Pseudo Religion
Scientology
Therapy Cults
Quackery
Recovery
Choosing the Right Therapist
Helping People Escape from Abuse
Recovery Strategies
Surviving & Thriving
Survivor Stories
Heroic Imagination
Courageous Followership
Intelligent Disobedience
Skepticism
Critical Thinking
Bamboozle Detection
Intelligent Disobedience
How to Talk to Children
Announcement
Notable Interviews
Interviews
Fables

Online Resources:

Disclaimer: We have done our very best to ensure that the people and organizations we list as resources are ethical, but the Open Minds Foundation cannot be held responsible for their actions. As always, research any organization thoroughly before making any commitment. Many of these websites cover multiple disciplines or offer both information and assistance, and so may be listed several times here. Most of these organizations also host resource pages that are worth checking out. This list is not exhaustive. If you feel there is an assistance organization or informational website we do not list here but should, please contact us here. Please also contact us with any concerns about a website that we list.

Religious Groups

Exploitation in the Name of God

Warning!!!: the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) has been taken over by Scientology. The new name of the Cult Awareness Network is Foundation for Religious Freedom.

The Dialogue Centre UK offers information, understanding and help about high-demand religious or political groups and the effects of involvement with them.

The Freedom of Mind Resource Center offers support to those affected by undue influence by providing coaching and consulting services as well as training and educational resources for individuals, families and professionals.

ICSA, the International Cultic Studies Association, is a global network of people concerned about psychological manipulation and abuse in cultic or high-demand groups, alternative movements, and other environments.

Infosecte International, or Info-Cult, is a nonprofit charitable organization that offers information and help with regard to groups, their ideology, their functioning as well as the interpersonal relationships within a cultic context.

Intervention 101.org helps people with destructive cults, mind control, brainwashing, parental alienation, estrangement, abusive relationships, gurus, multi-level marketing, violent extremism and other forms of undue influence.

The Meadowhaven Retreat exists to provide a refuge for former members of high control, destructive groups to rest, heal, and grow.

EnCourage was set up in order to offer support to those who have left a cult, abusive group, one on one cult or been spiritually abused (called former members). This includes first generation (joined or recruited) and second/third generation (born and or raised).

reFocus is a support and referral organization for former members of high demand groups, relationships and cults.

The Safe Passage Foundation provides resources, support and advocacy for people raised in restrictive, isolated or high-demand communities.

Holding Out HELP provides those who come from a polygamous culture the resources needed to transition from isolation to independence. They currently serve approximately 100 people a year – men, women and children from a polygamist background with housing, food, clothing, counseling, education and countless other referral services.

The Wellspring Retreat provides outpatient counseling services for victims of spiritual abuse, psychological abuse, and toxic relationships.

Cult Recover.com is a website designed to streamline your search for reliable information on cults and psychological manipulation.

Cult News 101 offers resources about cults, cultic groups, abusive relationships, movements, religions, political organizations and related topics.

The Freedom of Mind Resource Center provides information about destructive cults, mind control, brainwashing, parental alienation, estrangement, unethical hypnosis, abusive relationships, human trafficking, multi-level marketing, violent extremism and other forms of undue influence.

ICSA, the International Cultic Studies Association, offers information about cultic or high-demand groups, alternative movements, and other controlling environments.

The Apologetics Index provides 47.863+ pages of research resources on religious cults, sects, new religious movements, alternative religions, apologetics-, anticult-, and countercult organizations, doctrines, religious practices and world views.

Marketing Groups

Multi-level Marketing, Corporate Cults, MagCrew and Other Sales Scams

Pyramid Scheme Alert – the first consumer organization to confront the abuses and trickery of pyramid scheme perpetrators. Their Resources page is particularly helpful.

ParentWatch, Inc. – for parents of youth trapped in door-to-door magazine sales

MagCrew – for youth trapped in door-to-door magazine sales

Traveling Sales Crews – for all kinds of traveling sales crew members needing help

The Dialogue Centre UK offers information, understanding and help about high-demand religious or political groups and the effects of involvement with them.

The Freedom of Mind Resource Center offers support to those affected by undue influence by providing coaching and consulting services as well as training and educational resources for individuals, families and professionals.

ICSA, the International Cultic Studies Association, is a global network of people concerned about psychological manipulation and abuse in cultic or high-demand groups, alternative movements, and other environments.

Infosecte International, or Info-Cult, is a nonprofit charitable organization that offers information and help with regard to groups, their ideology, their functioning as well as the interpersonal relationships within a cultic context.

Intervention 101.org helps people with destructive cults, mind control, brainwashing, parental alienation, estrangement, abusive relationships, gurus, multi-level marketing, violent extremism and other forms of undue influence.

The Meadowhaven Retreat exists to provide a refuge for former members of high control, destructive groups to rest, heal, and grow.

reFocus is a support and referral organization for former members of high demand groups, relationships and cults.

The Safe Passage Foundation provides resources, support and advocacy for people raised in restrictive, isolated or high-demand communities.

The Wellspring Retreat provides outpatient counseling services for victims of spiritual abuse, psychological abuse, and toxic relationships.

Pyramid Scheme Alert – the first consumer organization to confront the abuses and trickery of pyramid scheme perpetrators. Their Resources page is particularly helpful.

MagCrew – for information about the world of door-to-door magazine sales

FTC Fraudwatch – the United States Government database on various fraudulent organizations

MLMWatch – a database exposing the tactics of Multi-Level-Marketing scams

MLM Truth – guides and research into Multi-Level Marketing scams

Therapy Groups

Fake Therapies and Toxic Counselors

The Therapy Exploitation Link Line (TELL) is a resource, referral, and networking organization that seeks to help victims and survivors of exploitation by psychotherapists and other healthcare providers find the support and resources they will need to understand what has happened to them, take action, and heal.

The Dialogue Centre UK offers information, understanding and help about high-demand religious or political groups and the effects of involvement with them.

The Freedom of Mind Resource Center offers support to those affected by undue influence by providing coaching and consulting services as well as training and educational resources for individuals, families and professionals.

ICSA, the International Cultic Studies Association, is a global network of people concerned about psychological manipulation and abuse in cultic or high-demand groups, alternative movements, and other environments.

Infosecte International, or Info-Cult, is a nonprofit charitable organization that offers information and help with regard to groups, their ideology, their functioning as well as the interpersonal relationships within a cultic context.

Intervention 101.org helps people with destructive cults, mind control, brainwashing, parental alienation, estrangement, abusive relationships, gurus, multi-level marketing, violent extremism and other forms of undue influence.

The Meadowhaven Retreat exists to provide a refuge for former members of high control, destructive groups to rest, heal, and grow.

reFocus is a support and referral organization for former members of high demand groups, relationships and cults.

The Safe Passage Foundation provides resources, support and advocacy for people raised in restrictive, isolated or high-demand communities.

The Wellspring Retreat provides outpatient counseling services for victims of spiritual abuse, psychological abuse, and toxic relationships.

The Therapy Exploitation Link Line (TELL) is a resource, referral, and networking organization that seeks to help victims and survivors of exploitation by psychotherapists and other healthcare providers find the support and resources they will need to understand what has happened to them, take action, and heal.

Political Groups

Manipulation of the People for the People

RAN-exit (Radicalization Awareness Network) – the European Union clearinghouse of experts in deradicalization and political extremism

The Dialogue Centre UK offers information, understanding and help about high-demand religious or political groups and the effects of involvement with them.

The Freedom of Mind Resource Center offers support to those affected by undue influence by providing coaching and consulting services as well as training and educational resources for individuals, families and professionals.

ICSA, the International Cultic Studies Association, is a global network of people concerned about psychological manipulation and abuse in cultic or high-demand groups, alternative movements, and other environments.

Infosecte International, or Info-Cult, is a nonprofit charitable organization that offers information and help with regard to groups, their ideology, their functioning as well as the interpersonal relationships within a cultic context.

Intervention 101.org helps people with destructive cults, mind control, brainwashing, parental alienation, estrangement, abusive relationships, gurus, multi-level marketing, violent extremism and other forms of undue influence.

The Meadowhaven Retreat exists to provide a refuge for former members of high control, destructive groups to rest, heal, and grow.

reFocus is a support and referral organization for former members of high demand groups, relationships and cults.

The Safe Passage Foundation provides resources, support and advocacy for people raised in restrictive, isolated or high-demand communities.

The Wellspring Retreat provides outpatient counseling services for victims of spiritual abuse, psychological abuse, and toxic relationships.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.

Cult Recover.com is a website designed to streamline your search for reliable information on cults and psychological manipulation.

Cult News 101 offers resources about cults, cultic groups, abusive relationships, movements, religions, political organizations and related topics.

The Freedom of Mind Resource Center provides information about destructive cults, mind control, brainwashing, parental alienation, estrangement, unethical hypnosis, abusive relationships, human trafficking, multi-level marketing, violent extremism and other forms of undue influence.

ICSA, the International Cultic Studies Association, offers information about cultic or high-demand groups, alternative movements, and other controlling environments.

Child, Parental, or Familial Alienation

Alienation, Shunning, Exclusion, Ostracism, or Disconnection

TheAlienationExperience.org.uk– provides resources and information for child, parental, or familial alienation.

TheAlienationExperience.org.uk– provides resources and information for child, parental, or familial alienation.

Cyberbullying and Online Safety

Resources for A Safe Internet Experience

ikeepsafe – providing a safe digital landscape for children, schools, and families by supporting the protection of student privacy, while advancing learning in a digital culture.
Cyberbully help – Resources and information for preventing bullying in the digital age.

Microsoft Online Safety – Get the essentials on how to help keep your computer free of viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, plus how to avoid being tricked into downloading them in the first place.

NetSmartz – an interactive, educational program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) that provides age-appropriate resources to help teach children how to be safer on- and offline.

Cyberbully help – Resources and information for preventing bullying in the digital age.

The Empowering Internet Safety Guide for Women – although intended for women, this blogpost contains detailed and useful information on online safety for everyone.

Domestic Abuse

Family and One-on-one Cults


The Hotline
 – help for those experiencing domestic abuse in the USA

Domestic Violence Helpline – help for those experiencing domestic abuse in the UK

Child USA – help for abused children in the USA

Childline UK – help for abused children in the UK

Holding Out HELP provides those who come from a polygamous culture the resources needed to transition from isolation to independence. They currently serve approximately 100 people a year – men, women and children from a polygamist background with housing, food, clothing, counseling, education and countless other referral services.

Center for Missing and Exploited Children – helping abused children

List of National Domestic Violence Helplines – a list of various domestic violence helplines and organizations

Domestic Violence Research – a database of research and information on domestic abuse

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence – a resource archive of information and research on domestic abuse

Sexual Abuse

Polygamy, Sexual Exploitation, Sex Trafficking, Pedophile Grooming and Rape

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network – RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, which carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

National Sexual Assault Hotline (USA) – 800.656.HOPE (4673)

Polaris Project – help for victims of commercial sexual abuse and exploitation

Center for Missing and Exploited Children– helping abused children

Child USA – help for abused children in the USA

Childline UK – help for abused children in the UK

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) – specializing in child protection and dedicated to the fight for every childhood, they are the only UK children’s charity with statutory powers giving them the ability to take action to safeguard children at risk of abuse.

The Blue Knot Foundation offers support, education, and training, not only for survivors but for the general public of Australia.

The Safe Passage Foundation provides resources, support and advocacy for people raised in restrictive, isolated or high-demand communities.

Holding Out HELP provides those who come from a polygamous culture the resources needed to transition from isolation to independence. They currently serve approximately 100 people a year – men, women and children from a polygamist background with housing, food, clothing, counseling, education and countless other referral services.

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network – RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, which carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

Center for Missing and Exploited Children – helping abused children

Polaris Project – help for victims of commercial sexual abuse and exploitation

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) – specializing in child protection and dedicated to the fight for every childhood, they are the only UK children’s charity with statutory powers giving them the ability to take action to safeguard children at risk of abuse.

The Blue Knot Foundation offers support, education, and training, not only for survivors but for the general public of Australia.

Exploitation and Trafficking

Bonded Labor, Modern Slavery, and Labor Trafficking

Sowers Education Group – education and help for victims of human trafficking

Polaris Project – help for trafficked individuals, mostly in prostitution

Traveling Sales Crews – for all kinds of traveling sales crew members needing help

National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline (US) 1 (888) 373-7888 or text BeFree (233733)

The Blue Campaign – the  unified voice for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) efforts to combat human trafficking

Antislavery – Founded in 1839, they are the oldest international human rights organization in the world.

Alliance for Workers Against Repression Everywhere (AWARE) – is a coalition of organizations committed to fighting abuses of human rights worldwide, with a specific focus on the rights of oppressed workers who endure a range of abuses, including overwork, forced confinement, non-payment of wages, food deprivation, and psychological, physical, and sexual abuse.

A21 – a nonprofit organization fueled by radical hope that human beings everywhere will be rescued from bondage and completely restored. They offer direct helplines available in many countries.

Sowers Education Group – education and help for victims of human trafficking

Polaris Project – help for trafficked individuals, mostly in prostitution

A21 – a nonprofit organization fueled by radical hope that human beings everywhere will be rescued from bondage and completely restored.

White paper: transnational organized crime– a wealth of information, articles and links to resources.

Radicalization

Fanatical and Extreme Beliefs

The Quilliam Foundation – a counter-extremism organization

Families for Life – a UK organization helping families combat extremism

RAN-exit (Radicalization Awareness Network) – the European Union clearinghouse of experts in deradicalization

Radicalization Research – an archive of research and information on radicalization

Trauma, Depression, Addiction and Suicide

Help for Coping

Kooth, from XenZone, is an online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop and free at the point of use, providing Free, safe and anonymous online support for young people.

Harmless is a user-led organization that provides a range of services about self-harm and suicide prevention including support, information, training and consultancy to people who self-harm, their friends and families and professionals and those at risk of suicide.

Kooth, from XenZone, is an online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop and free at the point of use, providing Free, safe and anonymous online support for young people.

Harmless is a user-led organization that provides a range of services about self-harm and suicide prevention including support, information, training and consultancy to people who self-harm, their friends and families and professionals and those at risk of suicide.

DrugRehab.com provides researched, fact-based resources for free. Readers can learn about risks of various substances, the latest approaches to treatment and real stories of recovery.

Surviving and Thriving

Helpful Resources for Moving On

Starting Out in Mainstream America offers valuable information for those entering or preparing for re-entry into mainstream American life after a long absence with practical solutions for people with needs like: getting a driver’s license, finding a place to live, finding a job or job training, getting health care, and finding your way around the legal system, as well as information about broader concepts like abuse and neglect, communication skills, relationships, parenting skills, and various aspects of mainstream culture like music, movies, and sports.

The Spiritual Safe Haven Network (SSHN) is a program of ICSA, consisting of individuals and religious institutions (churches, synagogues, campus religious organizations, etc.) that want to offer those who have experienced spiritual abuse a “safe haven” providing spiritual solace, information, and community.

Starting Out in Mainstream America offers valuable information for those entering or preparing for re-entry into mainstream American life after a long absence with practical solutions for people with needs like: getting a driver’s license, finding a place to live, finding a job or job training, getting health care, and finding your way around the legal system, as well as information about broader concepts like abuse and neglect, communication skills, relationships, parenting skills, and various aspects of mainstream culture like music, movies, and sports.

Recommended Reading

1984 and Animal Farm, by George Orwell. Although these two books are fiction, they still have the power to give newly emerging survivors of totalist undue influence an early imagery and vocabulary to express their experiences of being controlled and manipulated. They also provide insight into the ways that ideas, even good and worthy ideas, can be used as leverage against an individual’s conscience and understanding, creating a sense of helplessness in the face even of terrible wrong-doing. Read together or separately, these books can help ex-members to make a transition from feeling guilt when they read ordinary literature, to discovering or rediscovering reading as a source of pleasure and recreation.

Age of Propaganda: the Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion, by Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson. This book describes the manipulation of public opinion, backed up by with examples of the tricks used to sell ideas and products, from breakfast cereal to Greenpeace and the War on Terror.

The Anatomy of Illusion, by Thomas W. and Jacqueline L. Keiser. Short, sweet and to the point for a book that covers so much ground so clearly. Anatomy of Illusion looks at the history of the techniques that make up classical brainwashing, and against that backdrop it examines the evolution of other, non-brainwashing techniques which they class as “destructive persuasion”. The book ends with a look at the legal ramifications of destructive persuasion.

Combating Cult Mind Control, by Steven Hassan. This best-selling classic is a page-turning account of Steven’s own time in the Moonies and offers various examples of membership in other totalist cult groups (including my time in Scientology). The 2015 edition brings the stories up to date and explains Steven’s seminal BITE model, which analyses involvement in terms of control of Behavior, Information, Thought and Emotion.

Crazy Therapies: what are they? do they work?, by Margaret Thaler Singer and Janja Lalich. Few people have addressed the subject of fringe therapies as a kind of manipulation and deception, and this is among the best, maybe the very best, account. It is not an easy topic, given the willingness of some fringe therapists to sue anyone who suggests that their shiny box or magic water or mystical hand-passes might have no scientific basis whatever. This book manages to look at the evidence while avoiding the crass mockery and sneering the topic so often evokes, which makes it more likely to be read by those who most need to know what it says.

Cults in Our Midst, by Margaret Singer and Janja Lalich. This is an in-depth detailed analysis of the various models of cult involvement, which explores the eight-point model of thought reform proposed by Robert Jay Lifton, who wrote the foreword to the revised and updated edition.

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, by Carl Sagan. Written by the ebullient scientist who shared his love of astronomy through the series Cosmos, this book is a conversation with a fine mind about human nature and our propensity to comply and accept nonsense rather than questioning. Here, Sagan also shares his most helpful baloney detection kit. As the Washington Post’s reviewer said, this is a ‘wonder-saturated’ book.

Destroying the World to Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and The New Global Terrorism,by Robert Jay Lifton. This book is a terrifying account of the attempt to murder millions of people by a totalist cult that still has sway in Japan and Russia.

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, by Charles Mackay. Although published 1841, this book is still leads the field when it comes to the bizarre and crazy activities that beset humanity with such regularity. It is by turns amusing and amazing.

Influence: Science and Practice (earlier editions published as Influence: the new psychology of modern persuasion), by Robert Cialdini. This is the essential classic on the subject of manipulation. First published in 1984, Professor Cialdini has meticulously updated his highly accessible text every few years. Cialdini describes the natural patterns of influence under six headings: reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority and scarcity. This book is helpful for people who are expressing curiosity about some of the mechanisms employed to use a recruit’s own mind and social awareness against him or her. It moves beyond the idea that “all cults recruit by using harsh methods of intimidating or over-powering recruits” which occasionally still rears its head. This makes it possible to understand and address issues of how and why the recruitment process is so effective even on people who believe they’d “never get sucked into a cult”.

Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You’re Told to Do is Wrong, by Ira Chaleff. This was Jon Atack’s book of the year for 2015. In it, Ira manages to cut through the psychobabble and give us a straightforward and potentially life-changing view of obedience. His title was inspired by the training given to guide dogs, which must be able to refuse a command if it will lead their owner into difficulty. Eminent psychologist Philip Zimbardo says in the introduction, ‘Reading this remarkable book has given me new hope for the prospect of humanity finally learning the overdue lessons needed to cope effectively with the many urgent challenges of our times.’

The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, by Philip Zimbardo. Here we find the details of the famous Stanford Prison Experiment along with some of the many other ground-breaking experiments carried out by this eminent psychologist. Summing up a lifetime of remarkable work, Zimbardo gives a thorough account of the state of ‘situational’ psychology, showing that much of our activity is determined by external circumstances. Zimbardo launched the Heroic Imagination Project, which will likely be his most important legacy.

On the Psychology of Military Incompetence, by Norman Dixon. This work extends Mackay’s observations into the often unbelievable folly of human conflict, pointing out that until our education system actually teaches children to think, we need to improve on our critical thinking skills.

Phantoms in the Brain, by V.S. Ramachandran. A delightful account of the quirks and vagaries of the human brain, and a preferred text among the many fine books written by specialists.

Prisoners of Hate, by Aaron Beck. Written by the M.D. who originated cognitive therapy, this book shows how individual psychological difficulties turn to social conflict and war.

The Science of Social Influence: Advances and Future Progress, edited byAnthony Pratkanis. This thorough exploration of influence is hard to beat. Pratkanis opens this collection of expert essays with a description of 125 specific tactics used by manipulators.

Scientology: the cult of greed, by Jon Atack. In so many ways, Scientology is a master illustration of extremism, authoritarianism and sectarianism. This makes it ideal as a way to help emerging members hold up a mirror to the abuses in their own sect in a less threatening way. This book is easily and quickly read, useful for stimulating discussion.

Sex in the Forbidden Zone: when men in power – therapists, doctors, clergy, teachers, and others – betray women’s trust, by Peter Rutter.  A must-read book! It doesn’t matter if the reader has experienced or witnessed sexual abuse. Rutter examines and makes clear the way the maxim “power tends to corrupt” can be particularly devastating in a power relationship. In groups where sexual abuse was a feature, this clarity allows the reader to recognize it even though they had previously not done so. In groups where sexual abuse was not a feature, Rutter’s analysis often becomes an incisive metaphor that reveals the mechanisms behind other kinds of abuse.

Shattered Assumptions: Towards a New Psychology of Trauma, by Ronnie Janoff-Bulman. This is a fine general text on recovery, which shares approaches to the relief of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Subliminal: the New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us, by Leonard Mlodinow. There can be no understanding of influence without an understanding of that most complex of organs, the human brain. Many brain scientists are also competent authors, but Jon Atack recommends Mlodinow as a starting point. Mlodinov is a professor of physics and Stephen Hawking’s co-author of choice. He has also written scripts for Star Trek: the Next Generation, so can explain complex phenomena through easily assimilated stories and analogies. Mlodinov makes an important distinction between the Jekyll and Hyde view of the unconscious that still lurks in our culture. He puts aside Freudian notions of a dangerous half-wit id in favor of a mass of new research that shows that we are mostly guided through the world by our unconscious – and generally helpful – selves.

Take Back Your Life, by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias. A detailed and practical handbook on what it means to be recruited and indoctrinated into a totalistic group and on the most important aspects of leaving and healing. One of the delights of the book is the short but effective chapter entitled, “Abusive Relationships and Family Cults”. The book’s emphasis on examining the therapeutic issues relating to recovery from abuse makes it vital reading for victims of totalist manipulation and their families and friends. This which is one of the best handbooks for recovering former members, with a broader application for anyone who has escaped abuse.

Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of ‘Brainwashing’ in China is fundamental to the understanding of manipulation, by Robert Jay Lifton. One of the classic texts on the practices which gave us the term “brainwashing”. In it Lifton lays out how the Communist Chinese performed brainwashing and how it affected those who experienced it. Lifton, who has made a tremendous contribution to our understanding through his many books, studied survivors of China’s thought reform program and analyzed the methods used, and so created his seminal eight-point guide that has been adopted by many in the counter-cult field. We now have destructive persuasion, undue influence, and control, both coercive and non-coercive, but Lifton’s fundamental analysis of how these newer developments work still holds good.

Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence-From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, byJudith Herman. This is a highly relevant guide on the subject of recovering from coercive situations.