DiscoverThe Influence Continuum with Dr. Steven Hassan
The Influence Continuum with Dr. Steven Hassan
Claim Ownership

The Influence Continuum with Dr. Steven Hassan

Author: MeidasTouch Network, Dr. Steven Hassan

Subscribed: 315Played: 11,612


Steven Hassan, PhD, is one of the leading experts on cults and undue influence in the world. A former member of the right-wing Moonie cult, Hassan was deprogrammed 45 years ago and has dedicated his life to helping people out of cults and destructive situations. Dr. Hassan is a licensed mental health professional and has written four books, including The Cult of Trump and the seminal book Combating Cult Mind Control. On this podcast, Steve will explain HOW mind-control works, and how to protect yourself from its grips. He will also address ethical influence as the podcast will address the entire Influence Continuum. He’ll interview the biggest names in this field.

105 Episodes
Monica C. Parker has authored a remarkable book which was such a positive in the current concerning times. It is titled, The Power of Wonder: The Extraordinary Emotion That Will Change the Way You Live Learn and Lead. Our conversation delved into how this powerful emotion could revolutionize learning, relationships, work, and societal interactions in today’s world, increasingly fragmented by polarization, stress, and a lack of empathy. In an era overwhelmed by digital saturation and ideological extremes, the potential of wonder can be leveraged as a tool to restore balance, encourage open-mindedness, and foster positive social connections. Parker’s work underscores the transformative power of wonder, encouraging readers to rediscover and integrate this vital emotion into their daily lives. Looking for a boost? Or a new practice that will keep your energy and hope energized? Enjoy this wonderful conversation! Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Human trafficking is defined in international law as the use of fraud, force, or coercion to enslave people. It is a scourge that operates not just through physical coercion but through the devastating use of mind control, a method of psychological enslavement. Rebecca Bender is a courageous survivor and advocate who works tirelessly to empower survivors, train law enforcement, do expert witness work, and assist policymakers. She created the Rebecca Bender Initiative and the online Elevate Academy, which empowers trafficking survivors over the age of eighteen to move forward with their lives. She found encouragement and mentorship from Carissa Phelps and Rachel Thomas, who, with me, developed the Ending the Game ten-session program for trafficking survivors under the age of eighteen. Understanding the tactics traffickers use is critical for prevention, as well as escape and recovery. My discussions with experts and survivors are not just academic; they are practical resources that shine a light on the manipulative strategies used in trafficking. Knowledge of these tactics can be lifesaving for anyone at risk or currently trapped. In this exploration, we delve deep into the intricate web of human trafficking, examining the various manipulative tactics employed by traffickers and the significant role that education and empowerment play in the recovery process. Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Did you know that Koch Corporation is the second largest private business in the United States? That Fred Koch, father of David Koch, helped to found the John Birch Society? That Koch is one of the largest corporate lobbying entities in America. That their belief is libertarianism is a destructive ideology that undermines government functioning? That they have been promoting climate science denial for decades? What about that the way the organization functions it resembles a corporate cult? Koch is funding “free speech” that is causing so much dissention and hate speech. This was one of the most important interviews I have ever conducted. Want to understand one of the powerful forces influencing the GOP? Come give a listen! Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In his latest book, Seeing Through the Smoke: A Cannabis Specialist Untangles the Truth About Marijuana, Peter Grinspoon, M.D. has written an excellent, comprehensive, and authoritative book. Grinspoon is a primary care doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has been a medical cannabis specialist for over twenty-five years. Dr. Grinspoon, a popular speaker, is frequently featured in the national media on issues such as cannabis, addiction, and physician health. His father, Harvard psychiatrist Lester Grinspoon published the well-respected but controversial book, Marihuana Reconsidered in 1971. Peter’s brother Danny suffered from leukemia and cannabis was the only thing to help him eat and prolong his life. Carl Sagan was a close family friend and was Dr. X in this book. This new book is truly a valuable book that approaches cannabis in a thoughtful, responsible manner so needed at this time. Peter does consultations, talks, and trainings and is truly an authority on this topic. Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Philip Goldberg has been studying the world’s spiritual traditions for more than 50 years as a practitioner, teacher, and author. An ordained Interfaith Minister, spiritual counselor, and public speaker, he has presented at major venues throughout the U.S. and has been featured in numerous publications. He has authored or co-authored more than 25 books,and his latest offering is Spiritual Practice for Crazy Times: Powerful Tools to Cultivate Clarity, Calm and Courage. Phil has taught courses on various online platforms, hosts the Spirit Matters podcast, and serves on the board of the Association for Spiritual Integrity. Recognizing the prevalence of scandals and confusion surrounding spiritual teachers, the founders of the Association for Spiritual Integrity (ASI) seek to establish standards of practice and honor codes for ethical behavior within the spiritual community. This was a fascinating discussion. Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Do you worry about your teenager's safety and fear they could fall into the deceptive webs of manipulative, cult-like groups? Are you a desperate parent seeking intervention services for your struggling teen? If so, you can't afford to miss this interview with Melanie, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a survivor of the infamous Troubled Teen Industry —a largely unregulated web of residential behavior modification programs notorious for subjecting struggling teens to various forms of abuse. Our riveting dialogue focuses on these unregulated behavior modification programs' stark realities and untold abuses. Melanie's mission is to raise awareness and educate mental health professionals on coercive control settings like these. Why is this essential? Because desperate parents might unknowingly send their vulnerable teens into a dangerous commercial cult. Of course, there are legitimate therapeutic groups and settings but one needs to vet them extremely carefully and understand from former victims and experts what red flags to watch out for! Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Growing up in the Assemblies of God, the second-largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States with approximately three million members, Paul Jensen witnessed firsthand the controversial culture and beliefs that define this religious movement. Founded in 1914 and initially considered a fringe group by mainstream Protestant denominations, the Assemblies of God gradually gained acceptance. However, as Paul discovered, this movement’s high-demand and questionable history are often concealed from public scrutiny. He shared his journey of discovery after growing up in the Assemblies of God, the world’s largest denomination of the Pentecostal and Charismatic “Spirit Led” movement. He reveals the little-known authoritarian cult roots of the Assemblies of God and how the church has created an official narrative that conceals its true history. Unfortunately, the protections of law that prohibit religious groups from engaging in supporting political campaigns has been sidestepped in the USA, so understanding the fraud used to control members and their beliefs that they “hear from God” has caused intense polarization with all who do not subscribe to their “certainty” of commitment. Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In a world marked by political extremes, high-control groups, and the Influence Continuum, the story of Rich Logis stands out as both compelling and enlightening. Formerly a true believer pundit for the MAGA movement, Rich’s transformation offers a deep dive into the mechanics of belief, mind control, the allure of belonging, and the power of self-reflection and transformation. Rich Logis was a podcaster and deeply committed MAGA activist. His journey resonates with what I’ve observed repeatedly: deceptive recruitment, emotional manipulation, and information control that exploits the deep-seated human need to belong and make a difference. Yet, the moment of awakening and subsequent transformation makes his narrative genuinely captivating. Now, as he says, he’s working to bring good news to the afflicted and to help others leave MAGA and exit the closed system of demonizing all opponents. Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Large Group Awareness Trainings (LGATs) bill themselves as transformational multi-day workshops. You often feel pressured to attend, perhaps by your corporation or a family member or friend, and you are deliberately not told what will happen there. These workshops often utilize eight to twelve-hour marathon sessions to wear down a person's identity. According to research by South African Dr. John Hunter, they artificially create bipolar states in participants. Hunter offers a fresh and unique analytical framework to explain the highs people experience at the end of a "training." He is a researcher and lecturer based in Johannesburg. His interest in large group awareness trainings – and their impact on mood and psychosis – is grounded in his personal experience of bipolar disorder and his participation in an LGAT in 2010. Dr. Hunter put forward the Dopaminergic-Defense Hypothesis, which offers insights into both (i) the "transformational" experiences associated with LGAT participation and (ii) the common claims of psychological harm and problematic behavior associated with LGAT participation. In 2022, he published an article summarizing the mechanism behind the dopaminergic defense in the Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion (Hunter, 2022). Hunter and I believe the stress and hyperarousal methods occur in many different environments including authoritarian cults and religious groups. This interview is fascinating. Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Esther Friedman is an expressive therapist and former five-year member of the Odyssey Study Group (OSG), a secretive cult utilizing the Gurdjieff ideology. Her excellent book is The Gentle Souls Revolution: A Secret Cult, an Open Rebellion, and Lessons in Protecting and Honoring Your Gentle Soul. This memoir and guide offer valuable insights and guidance for survivors of narcissistic abuse. It serves as a roadmap for those seeking to heal and rebuild their lives after leaving a cult. Through her personal experiences and professional expertise, Esther provides practical tools and strategies for navigating the complex emotions and challenges that arise after undue influence. The Gentle Souls Revolution also emphasizes the importance of self-expression and creativity in healing. Esther encourages survivors to explore their artistic side through writing, painting, music, or other creative expression. By engaging in these activities, survivors can tap into their inner strength, process their experiences, and find a sense of empowerment. Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
One of the hottest topics in modern psychology is utilizing psychedelics to aid psychotherapy. Research is being conducted on the potentially beneficial use of substances like psilocybin, LSD, DMT, and MDMA in a controlled environment. In recent years, it’s gotten attention for its efficacy in treating treatment-resistant depression and PTSD, addiction, and end-of-life anxiety. Related to this is the psychedelic underground, a movement that similarly wants to use these substances to improve lives but takes a different, more spiritual approach. I spoke with Rachel Harris, who has experience in both, about this exciting world. Rachel is the author of Swimming in the Sacred: Wisdom from the Psychedelic Underground and Listening to Ayahuasca: New Hope for Depression, Addiction, PTSD, and Anxiety. A psychologist who has been in private practice for 40 years, she spent ten years in an academic research department where she published more than 40 scientific studies in peer-reviewed journals and received a National Institutes of Health New Investigator’s Award. Join us for the fascinating interview! Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Ramadan was freed from prison on March 15th 2023, after 51 years of incarceration by  the parole board and finally Governor Baker who commuted his life sentence. A Vietnam vet Shabazz suffered PTSD and drug addiction upon his return from service and got involved in armed robbery that  resulted in the deaths of two innocent people. He was initially sentenced to death. Ramadan Shabazz is a rare success story and a model that proves a person who commits a horrible crime can reform and truly become a model citizen. In 1983, he began his 40-year association with the Parker family. While incarcerated, Ramadan earned his bachelor's degree and master's degree from Boston University. He also participated in programs to assist other prisoners with mental health struggles. Ramadan Shabazz and my friend, Dr. Richard Parker, joined me on the Influence Continuum podcast this week to discuss his life journey and the phenomenal effort to help him be a free man today. This is a heartwarming story which brings much needed light on a prison system that deserves reformation. Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
With Scientologist celebrity Danny Masterson being sentenced to 30 years in jail for brutal rapes recently, I want people to hear from a woman who was forced to grow up in this notorious cult., Katherine Spallino, the author of a new book, The Bad Cadet: Growing Up in the Church of Scientology’s Sea Organization, has had quite a life journey. Katherine grew up on a secluded ranch within the cadet org, Scientology’s Sea Org school for children. At a young age, Katherine began to journal about her day-to-day life, capturing the thoughts and experiences of a child coming of age in a cult. Katherine’s background offers the rare opportunity to tell the story of the hundreds of children who rarely saw their parents and were indoctrinated to become future Sea Org members. The Sea Org is considered the “elite” part of the cult, and members are made to commit to a billion-year contract. In other words, this lifetime and many future lifetimes. Potential Sea Org members take part in both manual labor and indoctrination classes. Katherine’s book is unique because it is told by someone who journaled as a child. Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
I speak with the acclaimed psychiatrist and my mentor, Robert Jay Lifton, M.D., about his new book, Surviving Our Catastrophes: Resilience and Renewal from Hiroshima to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Lifton’s research on thought reform and the psychology of totalism, specifically his study on “brainwashing” in China, has been widely regarded as groundbreaking. His book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism (1961) was used in my deprogramming. It was Lifton who encouraged my career which has spanned 47 years. In this new book, Lifton delves into “Survivor Power” and the transformation from victimhood to survivorship. He emphasizes the importance of drawing on the knowledge and wisdom gained from surviving traumatic experiences to continue living meaningful lives. The book takes inspiration from historical examples of survivors who have endured unimaginable suffering and trauma. Lifton highlights the remarkable responses of individuals who, in the face of unspeakable horror, have created activist movements, converted their experiences into art and literature, and demonstrated the resilience of the human spirit. From the people of Hiroshima, who responded to the atomic bombing by creating an activist “city of peace,” to the survivors of Nazi death camps who combated mass killing and showcased their healing through art and literature, these examples serve as beacons of hope. Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
I talk with the forensic psychiatrist and an internationally recognized expert on violence who edited the best-selling book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. Years after she and other mental health experts warned Trump was unfit and a danger to the public, we continue to see vivid proof that the public has suffered by censoring experts! Her recent book is Profile of a Nation: Trump’s Mind, America’s Soul. What was behind the mainstream media silencing of credible experts like Dr. Lee and myself? We discuss this and many important topics like the “duty to warn” and the importance of mental health, especially in people who are supposed to be public servants. We discuss the 25th Amendment of the Constitution and how it could be bolstered to prevent anyone who is so grossly incompetent from coming to the Presidency again. We also discuss the corrupt and authoritarian family court system in the United States- the subject of a forthcoming book. Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Did you know that my BITE Model of Authoritarian Control was translated into Chinese and used by Chinese netizens during the November 2022 protests in China against the zero covid lockdown policy? This week’s fascinating interview is with Matt Bywater, who lived in China for years teaching English and who is now on a quest to do a PhD to create a new internationally recognized human right: Freedom of Mind.  Matthew Bywater learned about Freedom of Mind from a statement on the World Mental Health Coalition founded by forensic psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee. Dr. Bandy X. Lee edited the best-selling book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, with 37 experts weighing in on Trump. This work seeks to establish a political and legal framework for incorporating freedom of mind within the international human rights architecture. Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
In my book, The Cult of Trump, I identify many groups who are deeply involved in politics and influence believers to vote according to the leader’s direction of who is “godly.” Here to discuss his experiences with this and his evolution away from religion is Dr. Darren M. Slade, a graduate of the controversial Liberty University’s seminary and apologetics program. Darren is a professor of history and comparative religion in Denver, Colorado. He specializes in the socio-political development of religious belief systems. He serves as the Director of the North American Committee on Religious Trauma Research. He is also the President of the Global Center for Religious Research ( and Founding Editor of the peer-reviewed academic journal Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry ( Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Pam is a 70-year-old Boise, Idaho resident, who, while recovering from cancer treatment traveled to Washington, DC and was arrested, charged and sentenced for her connection to the January 6th 2021 attack. Hemphill pled guilty and was sentenced to 60 days in jail, 36 months of probation and fined $500 in restitution. Jack Smith has now announced that Trump has been indicted and faces four counts of Federal charges for his activity regarding the insurrection attempt. Pam Hemphill has been active calling out Trump and the MAGA cult for using her for propaganda on his Truth Social platform. Hemphill chose to plead guilty and has said the Capitol police saved her life from being trampled. I hope many more ex-members will speak up and renounce the Cult of Trump. Pam and I talk about her being harassed since speaking out, strategies for messaging and healing techniques. Join us for this fascinating conversation. Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Kelvin’s father, Dr. William Pierce, was a notorious white supremacist and founded the National Alliance, a prominent hate group. Dr. Pierce wrote the novel The Turner Diaries, which racists widely cite as inspiration for their racist beliefs and actions. Kelvin was subjected to physical and emotional abuse and was taught to believe that Jews and non-whites were responsible for society's ills. Despite the personal abuse he suffered, Kelvin accepted his father's teachings and held onto these racist beliefs as he transitioned into adulthood. It shaped his worldview and interactions with others, even though he didn't openly broadcast these beliefs. Kelvin was able to shed his indoctrination, create the charitable organization "Divine Child Foundation" to help orphans in Georgia, publish his memoir, and live a life of activism and inspiration in fighting racism and extremism. Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Gun-related deaths are already over 17,000 as of May of this year. In 2021, they were at their highest ever at almost 50,000 murders, suicides, and accidental deaths involving firearms. These statistics are personal to me due to my experiences in the Moonies cult with the Rod of Iron Ministries, Kahr Arms, the AR15 factory, and two compounds (TN and TX) training people for civil war. I spoke with expert Jonathan Lowy who told me he successfully sued Kahr Arms. Jonathan founded Global Action on Gun Violence, a nonprofit working with the international community to stop gun trafficking and violence through litigation, human rights, and other strategies. He has been litigating and advocating against gun violence for over 25 years. He helped win over $100 million for victims in verdicts and settlements, created the precedent that holds gun companies accountable and reformed dangerous gun industry practices. His articles include “The Right Not to Be Shot.” He has been named one of the 500 leading lawyers in America for over ten years by Lawdragon magazine. Learn more about Steven Hassan and Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Visit Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Comments (1)

Claire Voyant

Dr Hassan you hardly give your guest a minute to speak. The entire episode is a monologue!!!

Aug 9th
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store