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Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs Paperback – June 14, 2012

51 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Freedom of Mind Press (June 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967068819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967068817
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #410,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By jon atack on July 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Three decades ago, Steve was the most significant innovator of exit-counseling. His first book was the best general introduction to the subject, but rather than resting on his laurels, he continued to expand his thinking, to our great benefit. This book represents an even better approach to indoctrination and exploitative persuasion. Steve is one of a handful of true experts on the terrible problems posed by destructive groups. It has been my good fortune to know him these many years and I can attest that his integrity and courage are unswerving, despite the extreme pressures of such work. Anyone who has been involved should put aside the prejudices instilled by their group and read this book. For that matter, as every life is now touched by fanaticism, everyone should read and discuss the compelling ideas that Steve puts forward here.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Carol E. Smaldino on August 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I picked up/ordered Freedom of Mind from Amazon in July of this year, I did so after having met a woman who had been in a cult for years when seeing a book by Steve Hassan in a bookstore window became the catalyst for her exit to a free existence. She spoke highly of Hassan and his other books, and told me he had a new book, Freedom of Mind.
I approached the book as a psychotherapist and as anyone fascinated by mind control, perhaps so frequently discussed in terms of celebrities--more recently related to Scientology in particular.
Two things are special in this highly accessible book, in that they stood out for me.
One is that there is incredible empathy for cult members and their loved ones. Hassan is clear and careful to mention that even members of cults can have authentic parts of their personalities wrapped up in their cult identity--something which makes it a terrible mistake to express only hate or disdain for the cult. An attachment to a cult is deep and needs to be handled collaboratively. As such both the suggestions and the tone in the book can indeed be of incredible help to people trying to help people in a cult or even an addiction to a destructive codependency or religious sect that allows no freedom of thought.

Secondly and surprisingly, I found the book relevant to my own life as a therapist and also as a parent. The book evoked stong recognition of some of the more subtle elements in the parts of separation from our kids that can be tough, especially when we realize how critical some of us can be of our kids' choices--even when we thought it would never happen to "us", Not to be too personal, let me just say I found it helpful in unexpected ways.
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Format: Paperback
Freedom of Mind is a courageous and powerful book that combines innovative theory with effective, practical applications to penetrate the often misunderstood and seemingly mysterious realm of cults, mind control, and other forms of psycho-spiritual slavery. Steve Hassan, whose late 80’s groundbreaking and essential text on cults, cult dynamics, and the extrication and recovery of people who have become ensnared in cults (Combatting Cult Mind Control), has clearly matured and evolved in his thinking and practice; he has gone on to produce another invaluable contribution to this still poorly understood area of human experience. Filled with deep compassion and wisdom, Freedom of Mind takes the reader on a journey through the mazes of pathological human influence, cult practices, and the patterns and beliefs that sustain various forms of psychological hostage/slavery behavior and dynamics. His book aims to assist people (and their families and friends -- helping in, and also benefiting from, the healing process in Hassan’s vision of healing) victimized in cults to understand and contextualize their experience in clearly stated universal principles. Hassan’s thorough and systematic presentation of intervention strategies and their underlying philosophy is truly impressive. He explains how to disentangle people (and help them disentangle themselves) from matrices of utter and complete personality destruction, where individuals have almost completely lost any sense of critical thinking, autonomy, or authentic personality functioning.Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By msalans on June 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
Freedom of Mind by Steve Hassan

I have had the privilege of working with Steve, both as a consultant for my mother when she was involved in a one-person cult with her manipulative psychotherapist, and again to help someone debrief from a cult I was once involved with.

When I read Freedom of Mind, I felt Steve's life-long work cascade through the pages. This book is filled with deep wisdom - not the lecturing kind - but the kind that comes from well-worn experience emanating from the heart and soul.

This is a highly detailed, how-to book, complete with explicit methods, tools, and exercises guiding one to help a loved one leave a cult.

Steve writes like he works - with intelligence, knowledge and compassion. This book is for those who work with others - psychotherapists, psychologists, MD's DMD's, lawyers, massage therapists, nutritionists, victim advocates, personal trainers, - because, unfortunately, mind control is so common - and any lay person who feels their own sense of self fading due to another person's/groups influence.

Molly Salans, LICSW.LMFT author of Storytelling with Children in Crisis, and soon to be published,
A Break in the Fog.
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