44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Must-read book on cult issues,
This review is from: Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves (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. Instead, Hassan's sensitivity toward, and understanding of, religious freedom and other people's beliefs shows throughout the book.
I'm quite sure that this is not the last book from Steve's hand. While he writes that he considers ''Think globally, act locally'' to be an inspiring motto, it is also clear that he thinks big as well. In his conclusion to Releasing The Bonds, titled, ''We All Must Help!'' Hassan encourages people to get involved. For example, he suggests citizens set up local activist groups, urges governments to establish consumer protection agencies and to investigate cult lobbies, and challenges mental health professionals to commit to more research regarding all aspects of cult mind control. He shows what religious institutions, legal professionals and the media can do to help educate and protect the public.
Best of all, throughout the book, he shows what *you* can do.
Anton Hein Publisher, Apologetics Index