Our Board Member Steven Hassan has had another insightful piece published, this time in the United Nations’ online magazine, Freedom From Fear. In this article, Hassan looks at the pressing problem of online “grooming” of youth to radicalization, through the lens of his well-known BITE model.

Touching briefly on the additional problem of those recruited for human trafficking, Hassan discusses the processes endemic to online grooming, giving solid indicators that parents and concerned professionals can look for; he also addresses the problems surrounding the establishment of a “cult” identity, or a secondary set of behaviors, thoughts and beliefs which is parasitically superimposed upon the existing identity of someone who has been groomed or seduced into a controlling group or relationship.

Hassan concludes with the assertion that the mechanisms and signs of undue influence must be taught to coming generations, to proof them against the lures of coercive predators. We at Open Minds heartily agree, and thank Steve for yet another excellent article!