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Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves Hardcover – Print, May 1, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0967068800 ISBN-10: 0967068800 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 389 pages
  • Publisher: Freedom of Mind Pr; 1st edition (May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967068800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967068800
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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. :

Find us on:

Twitter: @cultexpert

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 37 customer reviews
It's a must read for anyone involved in a cult, or who knows someone who is.
Crab Cake
This is a most helpful book for understanding the process of mind control, whether it is occurring within a cult or whether it is happening in a one on one situation.
Jane Austen "Emma"
Instead, Hassan's sensitivity toward, and understanding of, religious freedom and other people's beliefs shows throughout the book.
J. Hudson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Eric Scheibeler on May 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have not only read Steve Hassan's book but I was a client of his as it was nearing publication. He assisted me in re-entering society after having spent nearly a decade in a motivational/commercial cult associated with a large multi level marketing company. Exiting the cult was the most terrifying experience of my life. Steve Hassan's approach is gentle and allows the former cult member to slowly begin to re-evaluate the paradigms that have been installed over years in a cult. To be honest, initially, I was as fearful of him as the people I was leaving. His guidance, experience and the strategic interaction approach he developed will help many, many people. The new life that I am fortunate enough to begin rebuilding is a living testimony to the methods in this wonderful book. Until now, the families and loved ones of someone ensnared in a cult have been nearly powerless in being able to help the one they have "lost". I thank god for Mr. Hassan, his work, dedication and this book.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By J. Hudson on June 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
While there is no substitute for professional counseling, Releasing The Bonds goes a long way toward helping those affected by destructive mind control. That includes not only people recruited into manipulative relationships or groups, but their relatives and friends as well.
In what may well turn out to be the definitive handbook on cult intervention, Hassan presents his ''Strategic Interaction Approach (SIA)'' - a non-coercive, highly effective counseling system refined over the twelve years since he wrote the best-seller, Combatting Cult Mind Control. This tried-and-true approach has none of the drawbacks of involuntary deprogramming or voluntary exit-counseling.
Many other books on cult issues are long on describing problems, and short on practical advice. Releasing The Bonds is different, in that that it is a step-by-step manual filled with sensible, useful information. The book also includes a resource section, listing various cults experts and organizations (ranging from the secular American Family Foundation (AFF) to the Christian countercult ministry, Watchman Fellowship. Hassan also identifies cult defenders. In addition, the book includes an excellent bibliography, and a useful index.
Releasing The Bonds is a must-read book not only for those with a friend or relative caught up in a destructive cult or relationship, but also for anyone interested in cult-related issues. In clear, precise language, Steve deals with concerns ranging from religious beliefs to religious freedom.
The chapter describing destructive mind control alone is worth the price of the book.
Incredibly, cultists and cult defenders often claim that those who criticize cults are ''anti-religious'' or ''oppose religious freedom.'' Of course , such accusations are baseless.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Peter Fulton on December 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book does not simply "tell": it provides and enables.
My sister escaped (literally in fear in the dead of night) from a cult with her son. I saw first-hand the disabling terror she experienced as she tried to go shopping at the mall with my wife during the first week of her freedom. This book resonates with that experience.
But the real strength of the book is that it reveals, through reason, what each of us needs to know to recognize and deal with the increasing number of unhealthy organizations that are manipulating our individual rights.
Steve Hassan is the real thing and this book is a "must read" for anyone who cares about their personal freedom and a free society.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Karen Batres on March 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Steve Hassan knows whereof he speaks, and this book will help anyone looking to rescue a loved one or friend from the grips of the mind control tactics that characterize sects of all kinds. The most important aspect of Hassan's program is respect: respect for what may have sent a person into the clutches of a sect to begin with, and respect for the individual lost in the double-talk miasma of sect manipulation. This is a book of hope and love; every single member of a family can learn and grow from it, and its message tells us never to give up.

Read it through to the end and make sure you understand all aspects of the intervention described in its pages. Hassan will arm you with the tools needed to act wisely, humanely, fairly. Your friend or loved one deserves it. So do you.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Joe P. Szimhart on April 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This new book by well-known cult specialist, Steven Hassan, expands considerably on his first effort to educate readers about "mind control." Combatting Cult Mind Control came out in 1988, and it has remained a prime resource in the fringe arena of cult awareness books. Cults of all stripes have never been a phase of social interaction that will someday go away-or have gone away as some people think. They are here to stay as long as societies continue to grow, change, or decay. Cults can be harmful. Hassan's new book, Releasing the Bonds, reinforces this reality as well as giving us useful tools for what we can do about undoing the harm. Coming from considerable experience and dedication to his career, Hassan presents a readable analysis and applicable intervention strategy. If you have an interest in this arena, buy this book.
In the late 1970s, Hassan helped to pioneer a non-coercive approach to deprogramming that came to be called "exit counseling" by the early 1980s. In Releasing the Bonds he expands on non-coercive intervention with what he calls the Strategic Interaction Approach (SIA). Hassan emphasizes family planning and group therapy sessions that can help concerned persons develop confidence in a long-term strategy. SIA utilizes positive communication and role modeling to show rather than merely tell the cult member that there is a better life outside the group. Hassan encourages families to maintain as much rapport as possible with a cult member until a time for intervention can be optimized. He provides an educational format for concerned persons to learn about "mind control" and how it works. He dedicates one important chapter to unlocking the phobias that cults might induce in devotees.
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