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Combatting Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best-selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults Paperback – October 1, 1990

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Park Street Press; Reprint edition (October 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892813113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892813117
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Scientific American

Well worth reading, particularly by those professionals involved with students.

From The New Yorker

A clear and valuable work.

Customer Reviews

It is a clear, straight to the point source of information.
Demitri Pevzner
WARNING: if someone you love is in a cult, this book will be hard to read, because it pains to know what your friend/loved one is going through.
This book is an excellent read for people exiting cults and want good, honest help.
Miss C

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

120 of 125 people found the following review helpful By debeehr on July 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
First of all, in response to those reviewers who argue that "all religions practice mind control" and "Hassan is against freedom of religion," I would like to point out that Hassan states very plainly that just because a group is not mainstream does not make it a cult. He provides very detailed, specific criteria as to what makes a cult (including deception, attempts to isolate people from their friends and family, refusal to let members leave, and pronounced control of information), and also includes a handy checklist of questions to ask potential cult recruiters, including "Does your group practice deception?" "Is your group considered controversial and if so, why?" and "Tell me three things you don't like about your group and your leader." As Hassan states, legitimate organizations will be honest about their motives, and members of legitimate organizations should be able to discuss their group's failings as well as its strengths. Hassan is not out to demonize religion in general, nor (as he states) are all cults necessarily religious in nature.

Hassan provides an excellent breakdown of the dynamics of cults, beginning with his own experience being recruited by the Moonies. Dissatisfied with his own experience of being "kidnapped" and deprogrammed (though he readily concedes that it was, overall, a beneficial experience), he has developed a less-drastic approach to counseling members out of cults, based around attempts to reactivate the original personality underneath the cult one (his own mention of how the sight of his father's tears provided the first step on his road to leaving the Moonies is touching and convincing).
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90 of 95 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Cults don't exist to people in them. A cult is always something you can point a finger at and say, "that is a cult," or, "they are in a cult." A person in a cult never can look at their own situation objectively and see that they themselves are in a cult. This book was very helpful for me in such a way that I could relate very well to a lot of the experiences and tecniques. It convinced me that I had spent all of my life in a cult that did practice mind control, but most importantly it reassured me that my decision to leave was the right choice. It is a book that you can read again and again as you progress through the healing stage after leaving a cult or cult-like organization. Since cult's control what you are allowed to read, this was the first book that I would even look into, since it doesn't mention Jehovah's Witnesses specifically. I started reading it with the attitude that I was finally going to prove to myself and to others that I was not associatied with a cult. Much to my surprize there were many similarities, and that was when I could really open my eyes to the situation that I was involved in. Thank you for writing such an easy to read, informative and specific book on cults and their mind control techniques. The changes in my life are astounding, and the turning point was when I read this book.
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78 of 82 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
For four years I was a member of America's worse, criminal, abusive mind control organization (Scientology). During my fourth year I began to "wake up" from what Steve Hassen calls "the honeymoon phase," and I went seeking information about what had happened to me. I am highly intelligent, so my falling for a criminal cult was mystifying: Hassen's book helped explain what happened to me (and so many others), and was key to my emotional and physical recovery.
PLEASE, if you or a loved one is involved in a mind control culyt, I highly recommend that you read this book. It is now cionsidered a classic, and has undoubtidly helped untold thousands.
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68 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Douglas S. Shields on January 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
There are only a few books that I have ever read that have affected my life in such a tremendously profound way. This was one of them. I was raised in the cult known as Jehovah's Witnesses. For 27 years I was totally controlled and totally miserable and didn't know why. After reading this book all of the pieces fell into place. Forget the reviews you've read by self proclaimed "intellectuals" saying that this material is dated or shallow. This stuff addresses cult mind control at its source. It is entirely accurate in its depiction of modern cults as I can attest from personal experience. The reason that it is so accurate and so useful is that it was written by a man who himself was a member of an intensely mind controlled cult. The real revelation though (excuse the pun all you JW's) is that almost all cults work in a similar fashion. Once that "clicks" and you realize that they are all reading from the same "playbook" then is when you finally come to know the real truth about cults. I had a lot of mind control "loops" rolling through my head (gee when is Armageddon really coming?) (will I be destroyed since I don't knock on doors anymore?) for so many years even after leaving the Witnesses. After reading this book those loops disappeared from my mind never to return. Buy this book and then READ IT...for the rest of your life you will thank yourself for doing it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Steven A. Hassan, M.Ed., LMHC, NCC is one of the foremost authorities on cults and mind control. He has been involved in educating the public about mind control, controlling groups and destructive cults since 1976. He holds a Masters degree in counseling psychology from Cambridge College, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). Steve has written three books that have received extensive praise from former cult members, families of former members, clergy, cult experts, and psychologists.Combatting Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best Selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults(1988),Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves (2000), and in July 2012, he published the paperback and e-book,Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults & Beliefs, Second Edition 2013.

Hassan's insightful perspective and expert commentary have made him a definitive source, for hundreds of national, international and local media outlets including: USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, People Magazine, Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, The Today Show, Geraldo, 60 Minutes, Night Line, and Good Morning America.

Hassan is the founder the Freedom of Mind Resource Center Inc. : www.freedomofmind.com

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