If the Main Bethel Was in the East and Not in the West
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An Entirely Unexpected Gift of Politics—Revelation of the BITE Man

Steven Hassan is the David Splane of anti-cultists. He is the Great Explainer who works tirelessly in their behalf. He is the originator of the BITE model of “mind control”—Behavioral, Informational, Thought, and Emotional Control! He is the man who, as a youth, was naive enough to join the Moonies—the robe-dressing, flower-hawking Moonies! and now, having quit them, he insists that even the most intelligent people [such as himself] can be misled into a cult. 

Of course, there are only so many Moonies in the world. Mr Hassan expands the C-word into ever more frontiers, and one of them is Jehovah’s Witnesses. You would think that it is the only one, to hear JW detractors carry on, but it is but one of an ever-growing stable. I have witnessed JW opponents on social media counseling each other as to the most effective way to conduct themselves, referring back to the BITE model of Hassan as a guide, as though he was a cult leader of himself.

His horizon’s continue to expand. His current book is: “The Cult of Trump—A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind-Control.” A review of it begins with: “Can’t understand why a loved one would vote for Donald Trump? Let the experts who spend their lives studying cults help break it down.” Of course! A vote for Trump is completely inexplicable otherwise! Only cult delusion can account for it. When you think that half the country has fallen victim to cult influence and mind-control, it is strong evidence that you have drunk too much of the Kool-Aid yourself.

So he comes out of the closet. He reveals himself. He is a leftist—nothing more. He is of the victimization society. I’m glad to see it, for it undermines his alleged expertise elsewhere—like with JWs, for example. Up to the point of his new book on Trump, one can begin to suspect that maybe, just maybe, Jehovah’s Witnesses are like a cult. They pay far more attention to their Governing Body than other groups do to their leaders. They certainly take their faith much more seriously than do others, and they deviate from the accepted goals of society in fundamental ways. 

Yes, you can just begin to envision it—and then Hassan, who got the ball rolling in the first place, comes along and says half the country is under the spell of a cult leader! Okay. That it says it all. He is just “out there” himself, just upset that his candidate did not win, and that recognition qualifies whatever he has said about Jehovah’s Witnesses or anyone else.

It’s not that the idea of influencing people is ridiculous. It is the over-application of the idea that is. No meaningful outfit does not incorporate some application of “behavioral, informational, thought, and emotional control”—the most striking example is that of the family. Is it really brainwashing that he objects to—or is it just brainwashing that is not his? Read him as he carries on about Trump and realize that the spillover will taint his mission with regard to anything else.

Leaving the sects that were his bread and butter far behind, he tweets: 

We need to have a fundamentally NEW conversation about how we interact with Trump supporters.  Online arguing doesn’t work. When we label Trump supporters as “dumb” or “evil”, it only reinforces their own image that they are persecuted and cuts off any chance of them changing.”

“Though I know it’s hard to do when they say such vitriolic things, we need to imagine they are stuck inside a religious cult. How would we try to get them out?  At first, we would make sure to avoid argument and really try to CONNECT. This may take a while but is vital.”

“After we’ve established some trust and rapport, we need to be delicate. We don’t rush to talk about Trump (they will still be defensive and unmovable).  We need to find a subject that has parallels to their situation but doesn’t feel personal (i.e. Chinese Communist Brainwashing)”

“Using that example, we can highlight examples of behavior control, information control, thought control, and emotional control.  Very delicately, we can ask them questions about their beliefs and reflexively listen to the answers without ANY judgment.”

What if they bring up the economy?” I interjected. It worked for Bill Clinton—“It’s the economy, stupid” instantly trounced all other considerations and won him the election. I follow Mr. Hassan on Twitter. When he returned the follow, I promised that I would take no cheap shots. I find this promise hard to keep these days, since his new horizons strikes me as no less absurd than his old. But I have, more or less, kept it.

Incredibly, he answered me privately, though DM. He recommended that I read his book! Nobody answers privately on Twitter, yet that’s what he did. My only explanation is that he saw my Twitter banner, which suggests that I am a Witness—it’s an advertisement of Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia—and he simply assumed that if he gently gave me opportunity, not publicly where I would not dare respond lest my OVERSEERS take note, but in private, like Jesus pulled aside the deaf man so as not to put him on the spot, that I would gratefully let him take me by the hand so as to escape from the JW cult!

I don’t troll the guy. Everyone has a right to prevail on their own feed. I am not disrespectful when I reply and I don’t do it often. The next time he advised me, this time publicly, to read his book, I responded that I had a book, too. A third party to the thread tweeted that he had no book. “Get off your duff and write one!” I replied with a smiley emoji. “It is apparently the price of admission.”

Hassan stays at it—keeping on the watch:

Has everyone seen this video of Donald Trump?  Senior cabinet members grovel in the exact same way Scientologists do with Miscavage.  Does this LOOK like a healthy organization to you? This is not normal.  This is cult behavior.”

“He has actually said just the opposite,” I replied, “that his advisors do not have to agree with him and he likes the mix they bring to the table. To be sure, not many of them last too long.”

He says often what he thinks people want him to say or what he is told to say, but actions are what count!”

“I don’t see it, Steve,” I wrote. “To get a job, you must convey that you are a “team player” Try putting on your resume that your talent lies in challenging or broadening out the boss. Most bosses want a cohesive team that will recognize who leads. Have other presidents not done this also?”

Of course! Trump does bully on his feed, but the Presidency has been called the “bully pulpit,” after all. It is just that he is better at it than others that gets into Steve’s craw. If he bullied on Steve’s side, I can’t imagine him having any problem with it. It’s not mind-control that bothers him. It is the mind-control that is not that from his side. I barely restrain myself from playing devil’s advocate far more than the little bit that I do. There are genuine reasons to dislike Trump, and plenty of people take up those reasons.  You cannot really call him a bull in a china shop, because to do so you must accept the premise that government as usual is a china shop. Junkyard dog in a junkyard may work, though. But this additional “mind control” charge strikes me as pure looniness. It’s not my cause anyway, being a Witness, but I do appreciate how the Trump presidency has served to flush out the BITE-man.

How is it that SO MANY people in this country are STILL under the spell of Donald Trump?” he tweets.

“Though most of us throw our arms up in disgust or confusion, the answer to this question is actually quite simple:”

“Trump, the Republican Party and the right-wing media industrial complex are manipulating the public. They are employing the same techniques advertisers and public relations professionals use but have done so in an even more potent way.”

“They harness fear.  They repeat messages over and over again.  They disorient with conflicting messages.  They wage war on detractors.”

It is not that they don’t do it. It is that everyone else doesn’t do it as well.

We somehow think that “mind control” and “brainwashing” only exist in Hollywood movies but they are very REAL phenomena and through the relatively new medium of the internet, we are seeing mind control like we’ve never seen in human history.”

“The only remedy is knowledge. We need to educate ourselves so we can educate others.  If you want to understand more, let me know,” thus taking for granted his role in disseminating true knowledge. 

Still, I want to take his message to heart. There is on the big bad forum where I sometimes hang out an unabashed Trump advocate. Can I help him break free from his cult? Mr. Hassan sets the goal:

At EVERY point in this process (and I’ve been doing this for 40+ years for people lost in cults) we want to be gentle and caring. Arguing or TELLING them they are wrong will accomplish nothing.  We want them to have their OWN “Aha!” moment.  We never force it.”

Okay. I will try with this fellow James. Let’s see if I can help him to have his own “AHA!” moment. It won’t be easy because he is a blockhead. But I owe it to him to try.

Hello James. Have I told you lately that I feel love for you, just like Jesus felt love for the rich young ruler? I only want to help you—you must believe me. I do not want to take your trump-trump away. No.

But I have noticed—I say this only because I love and respect you—that whereas you used to be the most fun and pleasant person to be around, lately you have turned into a mean-spirited so-and-so. Do you even realize that the “Arab” you just spit at was actually a Jew?

Have you noted that the President does name calling? Do you think this is very nice? How do you expect other countries to respect this country if it’s leader is not nice? [Have your “Aha!” moment yet? No? Well, let’s continue] 

Hitler was not nice, was he? I know that we will agree on that. See, I am trying to build a bridge to you. I am establishing trust and support, and I will be delicate. Stalin was not nice either. And Pol Pot—what a meanie he was! These are facts I am telling you, James. I know that you will recognize that, for you are very smart. Trump is just like them. See? I am attempting a fundamentally new conversation with you, James. Thank you for allowing me to prove my point.

Alright, that’s enough! Am I my brother’s keeper? If he comes around, so be it. I hope he does, but there is only so much one person can do.

If Trump hadn’t been elected President, I would not have had the gift—an entirely unanticipated one—of Steve Hassan the anti-cultist revealing to all that he is just another political leftist.

 
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Comments

Martin

You might be interested in this recent article which highlights certain inconsistencies in Mr. Hassan's claimed credentials...

Author Steven Hassan misleads the media while criticizing others for doing the same

Steven Hassan, author of the “The Cult of Trump,” a book that is very critical of those who mislead people, seems to have a problem with the facts himself. Hypocritically, Hassan lambasts President Trump for distorting the truth, while he deliberately conflates his own CV with false claims of professional status and even a fictional medal of honor.

Hassan says that he is a teacher and/or instructor at both Harvard Medical School and Harvard Law School. However, Harvard University does not list Steven Hassan as occupying any official teaching position through its faculty locator. In fact, Steven Hassan is not even so much as mentioned anywhere on the Harvard University website.

Hassan apparently deliberately misled multiple media outlets about his professional status. WMNF Radio host Rob Lorei states at the broadcast’s official website that “Hassan now teaches at Harvard Medical School.” The Daily Beast also reported that Steven Hassan “teaches at Harvard Medical School.” And The Daily Mail in the UK describes him as “Harvard Medical School teacher Steven Hassan.”

Hassan’s CV specifically states that he is “Member of the Program in Psychiatry and the Law at Massachusetts Mental Health Center- A teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.” Hassan also states that he was a “participant” at a Harvard Law School “workshop.” But participating in a program or a workshop does not confer any official teaching status upon Hassan at Harvard.

Hassan’s Facebook page shows a photo of him apparently volunteering at a Harvard program. But again, volunteering is not the same as having a faculty appointment as an instructor or as a teacher at Harvard University.

Hassan’s CV lists Harvard several times, notably Harvard Law School. Hassan states that he was a “participant in Trial Advocacy Expert Witness Workshop.” On his Facebook page Hassan says he has been an “instructor” at Harvard Law School five times rather than simply a “participant.” Interestingly, Hassan doesn’t list any expert witness work or any court jurisdiction where he has been qualified, accepted and testified as an expert witness on his CV.

There is a Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard with an expert witness component, but Steven Hassan isn’t mentioned anywhere in the workshop description, which denotes the inclusion of “experienced trial lawyers and judges who teach as volunteers during the workshop.”

CultNews contacted Harvard University for directly for comment. The Office of Faculty Affairs at Harvard Medical School responded unequivocally that there is “no record of Steven Hassan currently holding or having held in the past a faculty appointment at the medical school.” Melody Jackson, spokesperson for Harvard Law School, told CultNews that Hassan has never held any faculty appointed teaching position as an instructor at Harvard Law School.

But Hassan does have one proven personal and professional link to Harvard.

Steven Hassan’s wife Misia Landau who received a PhD in anthropology from Yale University, a Diploma in human biology from Oxford University, taught at Harvard prior to becoming a senior science writer at Harvard Medical School. Landau left her position at Harvard in 2009.

Hassan received his Masters degree from Cambridge College, which features online education. The college has a branch near Harvard. Hassan says he is currently working on a PhD from Fielding Graduate University, which is also known for its distance online educational programs.

Hassan also lists Boston University School of Medicine, but not specifically as an employer. It appears that he may have done volunteer talks at some hospital programs, again without any official status.

Steven Hassan is licensed as a Mental Health Counselor by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. But it must be noted that a serious complaint was filed against Hassan by a former client. The Massachusetts licensing board charged Hassan with an ethical violation for breaching client confidentiality. Hassan was prosecuted, but ultimately the matter was dismissed without prejudice in November 2012. The board warned Hassan that any further failure to adhere to its ethical standards might “result in disciplinary action against [his] license.”

In addition to Hassan’s ethical lapses and contrived teaching status at Harvard he also claims to have received a nonexistent medal of honor. At his CV under the heading “Honors” Hassan lists the so-called “Jerusalem Medal,” which he implies was awarded to him by the Director General of the Israel Ministry of Social Affairs.

In fact, there is no such honor known as the “Jerusalem Medal” awarded to anyone by the Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs.

In 2010 the Israeli agency’s Director General Nahum Itzkovitz visited the United States and while in New York he gave out a few token gifts of appreciation to some people that were helpful to his research. CultNews has what Hassan calls a “Jerusalem Medal” sitting on an office shelf, but it’s merely a metal medallion memento with “Jerusalem” engraved on it held within a small wooden mount, it has a sticker on the back that says it’s a “gift” from Director General Itzkovitz.

Steven Hassan seems to have penchant for conflating his CV and also behaving badly with clients. CultNews has received many complaints over the years.

Cult leaders often conflate their biographies in an effort to impress people and are known for their ethical lapses. Hassan’s attempt to mislead the media and public, while simultaneously criticizing others for deception, is really rather rich isn’t it?


Tom Harley

Didn’t know any of this. Thanks for your input

Martin

I first came across the above article from an October 25th post on John Cedars Twitter page. Cedars' seemed a little indignant that viewers might pay too much attention to its content, taking a typically imperious tone with his loyal followers...

Lloyd Evans Retweeted

Any seemingly valid concerns raised in this article are obscured by clear spite & jealousy, and a strong whiff of "cult experts" cannibalizing each other. Whatever Steve has done, I'm sure it's not remotely as abusive as the practices of cults you folks should be focusing on.

I'm not sure that Mr Evans could have known the true motivations of the author of this article, and the emotive language does nothing to validate his concerns. Rather than allow the viewer to approach the article with an open mind, he attempts to narrow the focus, even-and such hubris!-telling his audience what they should be focusing on.

*No expectation that you'll publish this, just thought I'd include it for some context*

Tom Harley

I have a history with that yo-yo. I may be the only Witness to ever have been banned at his website:

https://www.tomsheepandgoats.com/2019/01/banned-at-the-apostate-website.html

Tom Harley

Too, I wasn’t quite sure what article you were referring to with “the above article.” Did you mean Steve’s? Lloyd’s? Mine?

I never followed Lloyd on Twitter but I followed some chums of his for a time, and though them, came to read his. I knocked it off because too tempted to answer them and whenever I did, Lloyd was nothing but abusive. All his chums (though not he) ganged up on me over a few days, and I blocked a mess of them, but again, not Lloyd. I can always go back and see what he is up to, but I have not gotten around to doing so.

https://www.tomsheepandgoats.com/2019/08/blocking-trolls-the-star-trek-way-i-didnt-want-to-do-it.html

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