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.

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Explaining Undue Influence

Subject

Phobia Induction, Desensitisation, and the Fear of Kittens

Explaining Undue Influence

Cults / Sects

Without enough human hearts to gorge on, Huitzilipochtli would leave the sun standing still in the sky and bring down catastrophe upon the whole Aztec empire: the crops would wither and the children would die. Who would risk checking if this dire prediction were true, when priesthood were so very…

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Better Words: Guilt and Shame - Expanded Version

Explaining Undue Influence

Cults / Sects Domestic Violence Totalist / Totalitarianism Abuse / Child Abuse Bullying

Many therapists make a useful distinction between guilt and shame. Guilt activates the healthy conscience, so the guilty person wants to make amends for any harm done. Healthy guilt is most often short-lived and positive. Shame, on the other hand, is a persistent state of mind. Unlike guilt, shame is…

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The Basics - Lifton's Eight Criteria of Thought Reform

Explaining Undue Influence

Cults / Sects Extremism - religious or political Domestic Violence Totalist / Totalitarianism

Robert Jay Lifton (b. 1926) developed these criteria to identify the actions of coercive groups using manipulative techniques in order to gain total control over their members. First presented in chapter 22 of his seminal work, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, this list can be used to measure…

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What Toxic Groups and Relationships Have in Common

Explaining Undue Influence

Cults / Sects Domestic Violence Radicalisation Totalist / Totalitarianism Abuse / Child Abuse

 

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The Top 11 Myths Used to Justify High Control Groups

Explaining Undue Influence

Cults / Sects Extremism - religious or political

People use many justifications to explain why a group is not a cult. Most are ingrained misconceptions about the term ‘cult’. If we learn to recognize these myths, we can stop public excuses for abusive groups, and strip away the groups’ own camouflage. It is just as important for us…

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Spike Robinson Interview w/ Lady Cee & JT - the BITE model

Explaining Undue Influence

Cults / Sects Totalist / Totalitarianism

In this second part of a four interview series with Lady Cee and JT of Ex-JW Critical Thinker, Spike discusses Steve Hassan's BITE model.

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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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Who's Controlling Your Mind? Interview with Lady Cee of Ex-JW Critical Thinker

Explaining Undue Influence

Cults / Sects Extremism - religious or political Domestic Violence Abuse / Child Abuse

I was honored to be interviewed with Lady Cee of The Ex-JWCritical Thinker channel on YouTube. In this first part of our three-part interview, we discuss the basics of thought control, what makes a destructive group destructive, and just how vulnerable we are to coercion -and how to spot the…

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