Thoughts on Undue Influence and the Law from Nick Child

By 2018-08-17T01:11:51+00:00on August 17th, 2018
Alienation|3 Comments

Open Minds Review Board Member Dr. Nick Child has published an insightful article on his blog, the Alienation Experience, about the courts recognizing abusive, coercive situations in the cases of high-control groups such as Scientology and the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

This particular post hits home for our managing editor and founder, Jon Atack, as he was the consultant for Russel Miller’s Bare-Faced Messiah, and also helped in the Latey case, both of which are mentioned in Nick’s post. For more information on Scientology, check out Jon’s book, Scientology: The Cult of Greed.

Nick’s articles are always thought-provoking, and this one is no exception. Although his focus is on controlling family relationships, instead of coercive groups, he makes it clear that the controlling mechanisms – and the controlling personality pulling the strings – are the same across the board.

You can read Nick’s full article here.

This article was compiled by the Open Minds Editorial Staff.


  1. Nick Child August 17, 2018 at 8:31 am - Reply

    Thanks for building the links that show how the patterns of undue influence are so similar and mix together in practice across the spectrum from mind control groups to families. My blog shows how families are affected all the way through the story of Hubbard and Scientology and all the way to court.

    By coincidence I am on a bus writing this on my way to a one day event by local OMF colleagues, Julia Gutgsell and Nick French on High Control groups and Relationships. Their own experience is from the JWs but it’s all the same. In Scotland we have a local group that focuses on families in ALL the high control situations from cults to DV and Parental Alienation.

    • Spike Robinson August 17, 2018 at 7:25 pm - Reply

      Thank you for all you do, Nick!

      It’s a genuine pleasure to be a part of this very important conversation across so many disciplines and with such amazing folks. And, as the immortal Isaac Asimov puts it: “one is pleased to be of service.”

  2. Kate January 8, 2019 at 5:06 am - Reply

    My domestic partner of 6 years is in a high control personality cult and is being coerced, bullied, influenced to leave me. He might say he’s gone – all via orchestrated extreme emotional and psychological abuse. I’m sick about it and desperate to reach out but has cut all contact. The group is run by his abusive ex-wife and augmented by a brother who says I “cost too much”. Yeah, I’ve been sick and had multiple surgeries … but J and I knew that.

    Colorado has strong recognition for non-married couples (yes, even before Jared Polis, our gay governor/) so I want to motion for maintenance, at least emergency maintenance so I’m not thrown out on the street. They’ve tried a fake eviction, threats… I’m hoping to find a way to use the undue influence legally. And soon. I’d love any guidance.

    Did I say this hasn’t even been a month yet? Yeah, it’s evil

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