Steven Hassan (@CultExpert) is a licensed mental health counselor who has been educating the public about mind control, brainwashing, and destructive cults since 1976. He’s the author of Combating Cult Mind Control: The Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults and the founder of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center. This is part one of a two-part episode. Check out part two here!
What We Discuss with Steven Hassan:
- How to use Steven’s BITE model to tell if you or someone you love is involved in a destructive cult through control of behavior, information, thought, and emotion.
- The four types of destructive cults most prevalent today: commercial, religious, political, and self-help.
- How cults have weaponized the Internet and social media to fill their ranks and thrive as never before possible.
- Why it’s the people who believe themselves immune to (i.e., too smart for) cult indoctrination who are most at risk of being targeted and recruited.
- How Steven has refined Ted Patrick’s invasive cult deprogramming tactics of the ’70s into a more effective strategic interactive approach.
- And much more…
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The Branch Davidians. The Manson Family. The People’s Temple. Boko Haram. ISIS. Al-Qaeda. Heaven’s Gate. NXIVM. Scientology. The Unification Church. The Children of God. The Rajneesh Movement. What do these organizations have in common? They’re all destructive cults that have employed mind control, brainwashing, parental alienation, estrangement, unethical hypnosis, abusive relationships, human trafficking, multi-level marketing, violent extremism, and other forms of undue influence to recruit, subvert, and dominate their members.
On this episode we talk to Steven Hassan, a licensed mental health counselor who has been helping people exit destructive cults since 1976 — following his own departure from Sun Myung Moon’s infamous Unification Church. As a former insider, he understands how these cults captivate even society’s smartest and most resilient using some of the oldest psychological tricks in the book — and he’ll help us protect ourselves and others from their pervasive reach. Steven is the author of Combating Cult Mind Control: The Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults and founder of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center. Listen, learn, and enjoy! This is part one of a two-part episode. Check out part two here!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
THANKS, STEVEN HASSAN!
If you enjoyed this session with Steven Hassan, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from This Episode:
- Combating Cult Mind Control: The Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults by Steven Hassan
- The Cult of Trump: A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind Control by Steven Hassan
- Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs by Steven Hassan
- Freedom of Mind Resource Center
- Steven Hassan at Instagram
- Steven Hassan at Facebook
- Steven Hassan at Twitter
- Steven Hassan at YouTube
- Steven Hassan’s BITE Model, Freedom of Mind Resource Center
- What is a Cult? Whiteboard Animation Explaining the BITE Model, Freedom of Mind Resource Center
- Unification Church, Rational Wiki
- Wild Wild Country
- India Would Have Been a Better Place Without Sathya Sai Baba, New Humanist
- The Utterly Bizarre Life of Lyndon LaRouche, Jacobin
- Project MKUltra and the CIA Plot to Defeat the Soviets with Mind Control, ATI
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), American Psychiatric Association
- FAE: The Big Mistake You’re Making about Other People (And How to Overcome It) by Jordan Harbinger
- How Internet Spiritual Guru Teal Swan Targets Desperate People Online, Gizmodo
- Nxivm’s Keith Raniere Convicted in Trial Exposing Sex Cult’s Inner Workings, The New York Times
- John Grinder and Richard Bandler: NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), Management Pocketblog
- Unethical Use of Covert Hypnosis to Rape by Steven Hassan, Freedom of Mind Resource Center
- The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation by William S. Lind et al.
- Fourth-Generation Warfare, The Atlantic
- Cognitive Dissonance, Simply Psychology
- Former FBI Director James Comey: “Trump Eats Your Soul in Small Bites” Salon
- Adding a Psychological Angle to Comey’s Withering Condemnation of Barr and Other Trump Apologists, Forbes
- Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World, My Jewish Learning
- This Documentarian’s Personal Journey into the Wild, Kidnapping-Filled World of Cult Deprogramming, Refinery29
- Deprogrammed (Documentary)
- What Happens at an Ex Parte Hearing? LegalZoom
- The Evolution from Deprogramming to Exit-Counseling to the Strategic Interactive Approach, Freedom of Mind Resource Center
- Introduction to the Holocaust, The Holocaust Encyclopedia
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- 1984 by George Orwell
- How Betsy DeVos Used God and Amway to Take Over Michigan Politics, Politico Magazine
- Pyramid Scheme Alert
- Follow the Profit: How Mormon Culture Made Utah a Hotbed for Multi-Level Marketers, KUTV
- Betting on Zero
- Multi-Level Marketing Groups Defraud Consumers! by Steven Hassan, Freedom of Mind Resource Center
- 33 Photos Of Life Inside The Creepy Confines Of Warren Jeffs’ Fundamentalist Mormon Cult, ATI
- The Journey Out: Women Who Escaped a Polygamist Mormon Cult Share Their Story, Vice
- Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves by Steven Hassan, Exmormon Foundation
- Lying For The Lord: Deception as a Management Tool of the LDS Church by Ken Clark, Exmormon Foundation
- The BITE Model and Mormonism: An Exploration with Ex-Mormon John Dehlin, Freedom of Mind Resource Center
- Tony Robbins Apologizes for Saying Women Use #MeToo to Gain ‘Significance’ The New York Times
- Moon’s Church Founded by Korean CIA Chief as Political Tool, Panel Says, Washington Star
- Moon Sect Support of Nixon Detailed, The Washington Post
- A Hope in the Seen: Leo Ryan’s Victory at Jonestown Resounds Today, Alternative Considerations of Jonestown & Peoples Temple, SDSU
- The Bush-Kim-Moon Triangle of Money, Consortium News
- Koreagate: Bringing Forth a Mouse, But an Honest One, The Washington Post
- Suppressed CBS News 60 Minutes on Landmark Cult Leader Werner Erhard, WikiLeaks
- The Return of Werner Erhard, Father of Self-Help, The New York Times
- The TRs, The Secrets of Scientology
Transcript for Steven Hassan | Combating Cult Mind Control Part One (Episode 237)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:03] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with producer Jason DeFillippo. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most brilliant and interesting people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you.
[00:00:20] Recently we've been hearing more and more about cults from documentaries on Netflix to exposes of Scientology to woowoo yoga and self-help seminars, but what is a cult, how do we know if we're being recruited by a cult and what tricks are cults using to control our behavior and our mind. Today, cult expert and former cult member and author of Cult Mind Control, Steven Hassan joins us on the show to explain how cults recruit and there's a certain set of tools and deception that seemed to be very pervasive here. We'll also cover the types of techniques used to control and enforce cult-mandated behavior. Some of this is advanced hypnosis and some of this is just good old-fashioned blackmail. We'll also uncover why intelligent people, especially those we think would never fall for this type of mental programming are actually some of the most susceptible to cult influence. Of course, we even got some cult self-defense techniques that you can apply for yourself and we'll provide some wisdom about what to do if you suspect you or someone you love is being recruited by a cult. This is a two-part episode because there was just so much here that I thought was important. I really hope you enjoy what we've got in store for you here today and I really hope you never have to use it.
[00:01:31] If you want to know how I managed to book all of these great fascinating people. How did I meet Steven Hassan for example? Well, I've got networking systems and tiny habits and I'm teaching you how to do this for free in our course, Six-Minute Networking. That's over at jordanharbinger.com/course. By the way, most of the guests here on the show, they actually subscribe to the course in the newsletter. So, come join us, you'll be in some smart company, and without further ado, here's Steven Hassan.
[00:01:57] I would love to start with the definition of what a cult is. What is a cult? Because when I talked about this research, when I was looking into what you were researching, people said, “Well, what is a cult?” Because now if you do CrossFit, you're in the cult.
Steven Hassan: [00:02:10] Right, and I've been interviewed about CrossFit. By the way in the book called the Cult of Mac and just when the guy asked to interview me and he said he was writing a book about computers and I said, “What was the title?” And he told me. I said, “Huh, I'll do the interview, but I have to disclose it that I've only used Apple since 1982.” I have five Mac, four iPhone, three iPad right now.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:37] Too back you didn’t keep your 1982 Mackintosh.
Steven Hassan: [00:02:40] Yes, really and I have literally grown with the company. Anyways, so I think about an influence continuum from ethical, healthy, to destructive. And so, you can have cults that where people are total fanatics, but they're free to join, they're free to leave, they can read whatever they want to read and they can talk to whoever they want to talk to. It's not about fear and control and dependency. It's about being a part of this thing, whether you're into a rock band that you just are fanatical about, or a sports team or whatever, that's not a destructive cult. The groups that I'm worried about undermining people's human rights and enslave them psychologically.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:30] Right. So, despite the fact that I might be dependent on my iPhone here, if I buy an Android, I don't have somebody showing up on my portrait, the video camera. They're not trying to out me online as somebody who's cheating on their taxes or their wife and they don't care what websites I visit.
Steven Hassan: [00:03:49] Exactly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:49] Gotcha.
Steven Hassan: [00:03:50] Yeah. So, I have a whole laundry list of concerning behaviors. I call it the BITE Model, which stands for behavior control is the B, information control is the I, thought control is the T, and E is emotional control. You can go through those four areas. They overlap in some cases, but you can get a pretty quick snapshot of where on the influence continuum from healthy and ethical to destructive a group will be. Most of the cults that I've worked with in the last 43 years after being rescued from the Moon Cult myself were religious cults, political cults, therapy cults, cults of personality with a person controlling another person or a small group of other people.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:40] That’s during right now if you're listening to this show. Now a lot of people say you, they use that as a compliment, the cult to the personality. Of course, I'm not really controlling anything.
Steven Hassan: [00:04:49] But that's the whole point. I mean, it's a normal human thing to look to models, people who are heroes, people that are looked up to as inspirational. That's healthy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:02] Yeah. We should be so lucky to be considered that way.
Steven Hassan: [00:05:06] Well, I've watched a number of your shows. I think you're doing some really good work because of why I agreed to do this interview.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:13] I'm glad. Look, some cults are really obvious when we watched, what we talked before Wild Wild Country, the documentary that you said wasn't really that great.
Steven Hassan: [00:05:24] About Rajneesh, that's been renamed as Osho told through the eyes of two former top officials who are both true believers and think that wrote Rajneesh was an enlightened master. I think he was a malignant narcissist, destructive cult leader
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:41] He seemed that to me. But it also seemed like they cut out a lot of things and they made him look like a guy who just didn't quite know what was going on. He was just busy with the spiritual stuff. By the time, I have 19 Rolls-Royces, you got to think something's wrong.
Steven Hassan: [00:05:55] It was 92 in one location, in Antelope, Oregon, but he was a sexual abuser and he was using hypnosis on people and they were blaming women who got pregnant and forced them to abortion, and cremating remains of suspicious activities, wiretapping the entire compound. I can go on and on. That wasn't in the documentary.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:26] No, they sort of like hinted at kind of a few may be the wiretapping thing, but they only said, “Oh, they turned out to be wiretapping me.” They didn't say where everyone--
Steven Hassan: [00:06:34] Yeah, so I've counseled a number of people who are involved with that group and it was so extreme, like in Poona, India, his original ashram, there was a sign, leave your mind with your shoes outside. Like it was that overt. And so, if you were a sannyasin and somebody came over to you and said, “Jordan, I want to fuck you,” and you were like repulsed. Maybe it was an obese male for example, and you didn't like it or didn't want to. The rap would be, you are too attached to your ego so you really need to submit to it. That was the culture of that cult which was rape and breaking bones. If somebody reminded you of their sexual perpetrator and you wanted a wail on them with your fists, that would happen in workshops.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:31] That’s so crazy.
Steven Hassan: [00:07:330] Yeah, it was really bad.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:34] That's really bad. They make it look like a kind of hippies that created a Utopia and they put a little pressure on the town, which wasn't right and there was a little bit of craziness, but they left out a lot of the absolute ridiculousness that we're hearing about.
Steven Hassan: [00:07:49] So, I'm for spirituality, I'm for growth, I'm for meditation, I'm for people practicing love and non-egotism. Like he was an egomaniac. He said he was greater than Jesus and Buddha. Anyone who says wing-ding-wing-ding and the burden is on them to prove it, not on you to disprove it. Which is what I say to all my clients. Look there are thousands of people walking around on the earth claiming to be Jesus or better or Buddha or Mohammad or whatever. How are they living? And the real deal is always humility, compassion, kindness, charity, love.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:38] Right. Yeah. Right. 92 Rolls-Royces. I mean we're talking about people who have vows of poverty in the biblical time. If you're going to go down that road and then somebody to go, “Well, I need 92 Rolls-Royces.” I mean, how many starving children does that feed?
Steven Hassan: [00:08:53] I think he was competing with Sai Baba, who was another god figure from India that had millions of followers actually, and he was doing phony magic tricks to convince people he was manifesting Rolexes with serial numbers out of the ether through his magical powers. Yeah, it's pretty sad.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:16] It is sad. And we have more casual exposure to cults than we probably think. I mean look obvious, The KKK, Scientology, Wild Wild Country. But then we have other things like yoga cults and some kinds of therapy and personal growth and even certain martial arts, I think. And I was at a hotel, I can't remember where because it’s a couple of years ago, I turned on the TV and on three channels was some guy dressed up and crazy garb sitting on 8,000 pillows. They're showing different live video streams from different Asian countries, I think. And they're all live streaming, this guy who's just kind of moving slowly and mumbling and everyone's like crying. And I asked a friend who is that? And she goes, “I don't know.” So, it wasn't a world leader that she would have known from her country. This wasn't somebody. She just goes, “I don't know. My grandma watches that,” and I went, “Oh, this is some kind of strange religious cult that probably is predominantly in Southeast Asia,” and has people streaming in from the Philippines and Malaysia and Indonesia.
Steven Hassan: [00:10:24] Yeah. So, we live in the age of influence. You know, we've thought we're in the age of information. We passed through the industrial age. We're in the age of influence and with digital means, people are able to take advantage of other people on large scales. The universals are power, money, and sex. There are what thereafter. Many of the cult leaders that I've dealt with are not just con artists who say, “Hey, I want to make money,” but they actually believe their delusions. Maybe they were in a cult, maybe they were in Rajneesh left, never got counseling, never understood mind control, and got a revelation one day that they're enlightened. So, now they set up shop and the problem are an epidemic.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:15] There are different kinds of cults that you outline in the book, Cult Mind Control. You have many books, but the one I'm referring to is Cult Mind Control. One is commercial. The other religious that seems to be the one that we most normally think of. Political, which you're doing some stuff maybe in the future that we can't talk about at yet.
Steven Hassan: [00:11:32] Lyndon LaRouche as one of the more famous political cult leaders. But I have been interviewed about Donald Trump, but I can't talk about it at the moment.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:42] No problem. We tend to stay away from politics on the show just because you're either a snowflake or you're right there's no in-between apparently now. So, I'm just going to choose to opt-out of that whole thing. I'll get into politics when I buy an updated bulletproof vest and hire someone to take abuse from me on social media instead of answering it myself. But the self-help cults are the ones that are so much more insidious. I've seen a lot of these lately, even I've gotten sort of duped into going to what you might call a leadership class and I show up and there ain't nothing about leadership going on here. It's some guy from Mexico who is a charismatic speaker ripping open everyone's childhood wounds. Half the room's crying, the other half of the room is feeling some sort of weird shame imposed on him because they showed up two minutes late. You can't go to the bathroom. And if anybody goes, “Hey, I'm a surgeon and I'm on call.” “Well, you're being uncoachable,” and they kick them out of the room and they make our big embarrassing show out of it. And then nobody wants to stand up and be the next person to be shamed in front of 300 strangers
Steven Hassan: [00:12:48] You’re describing the BITE model, controlling people's behavior, emotion, and thoughts.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:53] I found this incredibly strange and what was even stranger was I was looking around the room and I went, “Okay, I'm not the only person that thinks that this is crazy, right?” And so, I'm trying to make eye contact with people and talk with them and I go up and I stand next to the surgeon and he gets kicked out in a few hours. And so, then I'm like, “Crap, who else is there?” And then some other woman stands up and goes, “Hey, this is day two. You said this ends at 10. We got out of here at three, I have kids.” Then so I started sort of going up to her and I'm like, “Hey, so I'm not the only one who thinks this is weird, right?” And then 20 minutes later she's getting kicked out because she went to go to the bathroom without permission. And I'm losing my friends here left and right. And I just thought, “I'm the crazy one. There's nobody else in here who seems to be willing to resist this.”
Steven Hassan: [00:13:37] And the truth is, is that everybody is having doubts and having these thoughts, but they're suppressing them. Unless you understand this frame of destructive mind control, social psychology, which I know you're a student of, unless you understand that frame, and I suspect you are there not to work on your stuff, but to just get the experience of what was being done to people. Most people do not have the assertiveness to say, “Excuse me, why you guilt-tripping everybody? Why are you using social psychology principles to manipulate people to get people to be obedient to you?” And if you did, you will be kicked out,
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:21] Right. Oh yeah, I wanted to take notes and they said, “Hey, what are you writing down?” And I said, “This is fascinating.” And they said, “You're not allowed to take note.” Anything important, you'll feel it. And I'm--
Steven Hassan: [00:14:31] Yeah that’s a warning, warning.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:33] Yeah, red flag. Right? Because wait a minute, I'm an attorney. We write everything down. What do you mean if it's important?
Steven Hassan: [00:14:39] I'll say your attorney that would--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:41] Oh yeah, they did. The disclaimer document that they gave us beforehand was 20 pages of you will name your firstborn child after this. I mean, there was no--
Steven Hassan: [00:14:51] And there’s an NDA also--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:52] There was.
Steven Hassan: [00:14:53] --you couldn't disclose.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:54] Luckily what I did was I struck everything out and then I drew circles in the signature box and wrote, I do not agree in very messy cursive and then handed it in.
Steven Hassan: [00:15:03] See, everyone should go to law school and learn that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:06] But even then I think it would be like you're under contract because you stayed and all this stuff. I was less worried about that, but it was absolutely ludicrous and all of the employees, quote-unquote, we're there for free. They were all air quotes volunteers. The only person who was getting paid was, I think, the guy on stage and maybe his assistant, but something tells me that that person was working for the benefit of his all-knowing guidance.
Steven Hassan: [00:15:32] For the people who were working for free, they were getting more indoctrinated as well as recruiting and indoctrinating others.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:40] It was incredible to watch because it really was --and I feel bad using this word-- but it was genius in a way. It was an evil genius. I mean somebody would say I'm late because of traffic and they would get you eviscerated in a way that actually made them cry. And I'd go, “Wow, that man is crying.” So, it wasn't just about them. I thought, “Why you spend so much time on this one person?” It wasn't, that was for the benefit of the other 399 people in the room.
Steven Hassan: [00:16:06] Exactly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:09] And everybody who showed a shred of assertiveness was gone. And the example that really amazed me was at the end they said, who wants to upgrade to the advanced class, which is next week and twice the price and you have to take time off and all this stuff. Half the room, maybe three-quarters of the room gets up and leaves. Then he's talking to this room where there are all these empty seats and he says--
Steven Hassan: [00:16:29] I’m surprised they'll let anyone. That’s not genius if they really knew what they were doing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:34] They went to go sign up in another room.
Steven Hassan: [00:16:35] Oh, okay, that’s different.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:36] Sorry. They didn't leave the conference.
Steven Hassan: [00:16:38] Got it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:38] They went to go give their money.
Steven Hassan: [00:16:39] Got it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:40] So they're doing transactions and everybody else who was left--
Steven Hassan: [00:16:42] So, they got the sheep going and then they’re working on the goats--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:46] Exactly.
Steven Hassan: [00:16:47] –who were not ready to understand that they have to commit to saving themselves on the planet. If they don't do this, their life is meaningless.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:55] It was basically that. “Hey, you've already made it half-way.”
Steven Hassan: [00:16:57] Sorry for laughing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:59] But it was—
Steven Hassan: [00:17:00] It was so stereotypical.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:01] Then, everybody who was left. He said, “Oh, I don't want to have to shout. My voice hurts. Everyone moves into the middle and then how many aren't signing up because you feel like you don't have the money or you can't get the time off of work.” And then a certain number of people raised their hands and then they went to a different room where there were volunteers that were trained essentially to handle that objection. “Oh, we'll help you negotiate with your boss.” Now, you're getting negotiation lessons along with your spiritual BS.
Steven Hassan: [00:17:24] Or they can sign up to be slave labor.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:26] Exactly, yeah. “Oh, we'll hire you.”
Steven Hassan: [00:17:28] Join the sea org for a billion years.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:29] Yes.
Steven Hassan: [00:17:30] Commit the rest of your life here and all your future lifetimes to Scientology slave labor.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:37] It was just an exercise in social pressure. And then the, of course, the fewer and fewer groups, he was able to sort of whittle off of us for various objections. There were maybe 20 of us out of hundreds and he said, “Come up, everyone sits in the front row and then he would get down and lean in and go, ‘What are you, why are you stopping yourself from signing up?’ ” And sure enough, like half of us went, “Well okay.” Because if you're going to be in my psychological space, I'll whip out my credit card. I mean it was just like an exercise in weak-minded BS.
Steven Hassan: [00:18:09] And let me predict that they also gave a rap about how there's no such thing as a victim and that there's no such thing as an accident and that of bad things happened. You need to understand what your soul was trying to create this experience for yourself.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:26] Oh that's so interesting. It wasn't that exact words, but I remember one of my friends, she was abused sexually by an uncle or something, and he said, “What part did you play in that?” And I was horrified because she was, I think, four or six when this happened. “What part did you play in that?” I mean, I wanted to punch somebody in the face and never did I want to punch somebody in the face so hard in my whole,
Steven Hassan: [00:18:45] The back belief system is that you are god and you create your own reality. And if you think that then you're like L. Ron Hubbard, OT 15 presumably where you're controlling matter, energy, space and time, and you're beyond your body and everything is your whims. Reality is just the creation of your whims. That's just not what reality is. But what it does for a lot of people being indoctrinated with this notion that there's no such thing as victimhood or there's no such thing as coincidence is it takes away their ability to say, ”You've lied to me. You manipulated me. I did not know this was going to happen.” Lack of informed consent to use a lawyer language.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:42] Well that's exactly what it was. And I'm going to keep my experiences minimal here because you're the expert. But what was strange for me was this was presented as a leadership course by another person who is a very big influencer --now on Instagram and he also got a podcast-- but it was nothing of the sort. All of the sorts of learning games we played were all designed to make us feel stupid or weak or to take our critical thinking skills and sort of flush them down the toilet and then say, “Oh I'm not good at this. I got to look to this leader guy for support in this.” And it was all sort of like tricky logic games that you couldn't win.
Steven Hassan: [00:20:23] So when I was first deprogrammed from the Moonies in 1976 and started studying this seriously. This meaning brainwashing mind control. I read a 1961 book called Coercive Persuasion by Edgar Schein, who was one of the people with Robert J. Lifton and Margaret Singer and Louis West studying Chinese communist brainwashing of the ‘50s. This was in the MKUltra era of like everybody wanting to know how do you control minds.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:52] Right. MKUltra being the CIA program.
Steven Hassan: [00:20:55] Correct. The LSD, hypnosis shock, et cetera. Anyway, Edgar Schein used a model from Kurt Lewin, a change model where it talked about unfreezing, changing, and refreezing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:09] Oh, this is interesting. Yes.
Steven Hassan: [00:21:11] Well, it's what you were just describing. I'm just giving you the paradigm, the academic paradigm. To become a leader, first, you have to take the person and destroy them, breakdown them completely down to nothing. That's the unfreezing. So, you can overload the person with too much information with emotionally upsetting material to all kinds of group dynamics. Sleep deprivation is always at a typical thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:40] Is that why these things go till 2:00 a.m. “Oh, we just have so many concepts.”
Steven Hassan: [00:21:43] Exactly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:44] “We're starting at five though.”
Steven Hassan: [00:21:45] So I mean, we need seven to nine hours of sleep to function optimally, critically with our frontal cortex where we have critical thinking. And if you’d sleep-deprived people, they're not going to be clear-minded, period. Anyway, so break people down, unfreeze them. Then change is the indoctrination of the new beliefs, the beliefs in the image of the leadership of the cult. And then you refreeze that new identity, that's in the image of the cult. So that's the leadership training is that they don't want you to be you, they want you to be him or her in that cloned image. Are you familiar with the diagnostic and statistical manual of the American Psychiatric Association, the DSM-5?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:35] Kind of, I know what it is.
Steven Hassan: [00:22:36] Anyway, it's, it's a book of listings of so-called mental illnesses or whatever, mostly for insurance purposes. I was just teaching this at a human trafficking conference in Texas. There is a category 300.15 that's a dissociative disorder, and that explicitly talks about brainwashing, thought reform, coercive persuasion as in cults, sex. So, what we're talking about with mind control is a creation of a pseudo-self that suppresses your real self. That when I was in the Moonies and I was a leader in the Moonies, I thought I was being my true self, but I was really being a small Sun Myung Moon, thinking like him, feeling like him, walking like him, talking like him.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:25] So it's kind of what would call leader do? How would they behave? How would they--?
Steven Hassan: [00:23:30] Because they're the superior leader. They're geniuses and they have all this money and power and et cetera, but it's taking people away from their authentic selves. It's taking people and telling them, not trust their own judgment, their own thoughts, their own feelings. It's taking people away from their own free will.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:23:53] You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest, Steve Hassan. We'll be right back after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:58] This episode is sponsored in part by ZipRecruiter, the recruiter of zips. Hiring is challenging, but there's one place where you can go where hiring is actually simple, fast, and smart. I've hired a lot of people for my businesses over the course of, I don't know, 13-ish years. I've even been hired from time to time by some unfortunate souls, and it's always a trick. It's always tricky and kind of a pain in the butt if I'm going to be honest. ziprecruiter.com/jordan is where we're going to try and change that. They send your job offer to over a hundred of the web's leading job boards, but they don't stop there. They've got this matching technology where they'll scan thousands of resumes, find people with the right experience, and then invite them to apply to your job. So, you're not just filtering the resumes, the magic machine is doing that and finding people that match what you're looking for and then it reaches out to them. You're not just kind of getting the schlub who checked the site that day and then clicked apply. As the applications come in, they'll analyze each app that comes into your individual inbox, spotlight the top candidates, so you're not going to miss a great match if you get like 10,000 people who are unqualified coming in for some. It's so effective, ZipRecruiter is. That four out of five employers who post on ZipRecruiter get a quality candidate through the site within the first day. Jason.
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[00:26:56] Thanks for listening and supporting the show and to learn more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard from our amazing sponsors, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. And don't forget we have a worksheet for today's episode so you can make sure you solidify your understanding of the key takeaways from Steve Hassan. That link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. If you'd like some tips on how to subscribe to the show, just go to jordanharbinger.com/subscribe. Subscribing to the show is absolutely free. It just means you get all the latest episodes downloaded automatically to your podcast player so you don't miss a single thing. And now back to our show with Steve Hassan.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:29] What does cult recruitment like now? Because you wrote, people don't join cults, they're recruited. There's a subtle distinction there. Why is that important?
Steven Hassan: [00:27:37] It's hugely important. I guess I want to take a minute and just explain another academic idea called the Fundamental Attribution Error. It's the single most important principle of social psychology. It's a bias that people carry with them when they're trying to understand other people's behavior. They over attribute personality variables, individual variables, and they underestimate the social, environmental, or contextual pressures. So why do people join the cult? Well, you must have been looking for a father figure. You must have been weak. You must have been, you know this, that as opposed to my girlfriend dumped me. True story. Three women were flirting with me at Queens College cafeteria lying their faces off and inviting me to dinner. So, they didn't say, “Hi, we bow to an altar with Moon's picture on it. We think he's the greatest man in human history. Drop out of college, quit your job. You know, Moon, we'll assign you to your perfect mate and you will not have sex from four years. And he'll tell you when you can.” Would I have joined?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:49] No, I would imagine no guy in college would have ever done that.
Steven Hassan: [00:28:53] So I don't know anyone who says yes, sign me up for exploitation, vulnerability, cutting me off from my own friends, family. I was a creative writing major. Take all your original poetry and throw it in the garbage.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:05] I remember you throw away like 400 pieces of writings.
Steven Hassan: [00:29:09] All my body of work I threw out to demonstrate my love of God and my commitment to the group. People do not join destructive cults, but they get lured, and so the Moonies have, I have a list on my website of 71 pages, single space of different names of front groups of the Moonies, depending on whatever interests you might find. And these days with Google and search engine manipulation, it's burying bad information and such, people really need to understand that if something's legitimate, it needs to stand up to scrutiny, and the last thing they want to do is rush into getting involved, going to a place, giving money without doing a really thorough independent investigation. And I like to think about reading my books or looking at some of my free videos on freedomofmind.com will give people a consumer's mindset of what questions to ask.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:21] We'll go down that road in a bit because I'm curious and I want to put them in the worksheet. We do a worksheet for every episode. I want to throw this in the worksheet, but we see now cults are more active online, social media, YouTube, Skype even. People are asking for money through PayPal. I mean it's no longer show up at this basement YMCA or the VFW on Friday. There's someone online that is allegedly --I think I have to say-- doing cult stuff. Her name is Teal Swan. Have you ever heard of this person?
Steven Hassan: [00:30:54] I certainly have and she presumably trains people to help people with psychiatric illnesses and suicidality. Very dangerous person. I actually was interviewed for a podcast about her.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:06] Really? I think that's where I found out about her as well. It was a podcast. I can't remember the name, but it was done by that journalist who is very good creative.
Steven Hassan: [00:31:14] Honestly, I can't remember either. But what I do want to say and people really need to listen to this. When I was a recruiter for the Moonies in the ‘70s, I was dependent on asking the person questions to find out everything about their background or I was dependent on talking to friends of theirs to gather data. Now you can go on the dark web if somebody wants to get you and find out all kinds of things about your interests, your likes, every time you like something on Facebook that data is available for purchase, presumably on the dark web. And if people want to manipulate you, there are formulas for understanding what's going to motivate you, what's going to be your weak spots, where are your buttons, what kind of attractions do you have. And it's just that it's such a different and AI is being employed and a lot of the bad groups have the money to use AI faculties.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:20] Absolutely. The data are not only available for purchase on the dark web. I think you can get personality profiles. I'm sure there are quote-unquote anonymized, but you can easily, if you know what you're doing, find this, and intelligence agencies use this to find out about people. So, if intelligence agencies are doing it, then, of course, other commercial groups can buy this and use it to target you. What they do is they target these anonymized audiences with ads just like you would if you were selling a blanket or a mattress and then you just find vulnerable people online that want to take your stupid self-help cult seminar or something and then suddenly you've got a list of leads that would have taken you years to generate with on-campus recruiting or anything like that. And we'll link to that podcast with that talks about Teal Swan in the show notes. We'll find it. It's not that hard. My wife probably knows what it is. That was particularly troubling. And of course, now what's also troubling to me is the fact that right now I would imagine almost the majority, and I know this because I was one of those people, and I shouldn't even say was, I am one of those people who say, “I'm not going to fall for this. I'm smart. I listen to Jordan's show; I have good critical thinking skills. I'm a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer or a teacher. I am not going to fall for this BS. You come and tell me that this Korean guy is the messiah and I'm going to go to Korea and work in this fake…I mean, come on Steven. This is ridiculous.”
Steven Hassan: [00:33:47] No, and that's what I said at age 19. I bicycled cross country when I was 16, I've worked at my father's hardware store. I'm an extra honors student. I skipped eighth grade. No one's going to manipulate me. And the Moonies used that line on me. “Hey Steve, like you have a self-confidence problem. You think somehow we're going to make you believe something that you're not ready to believe.” “No, of course not.” Ha-ha.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:16] Yeah. We only want smart people in our cult.
Steven Hassan: [00:34:21] So I want to add a whole other dimension, which I don't know if you were prepared for, but t's really important. Two things.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:28] Surprise me.
Steven Hassan: [00:34:30] So there was a six-week trial that ended a few weeks ago in New York City, have Keith Raniere, head of a cult called Nxivm.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:38] Right, I heard that podcast too.
Steven Hassan: [00:34:41] He was convicted on all counts of conspiracy, racketeering, sex trafficking, involuntary servitude on and on and on to billionaire heiress Bronfman, Alison Mack the actress who was in that group pled guilty. Nancy Salzman, Lauren's mother, was trained in something called neuro-linguistic program--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:06] NLP.
Steven Hassan: [00:35:07] --NLP which was created by John Grinder and Richard Bandler. I was actually trained in NLP in 1980 and 81 by both of them and the founders. They developed that based on the work of psychiatrist Milton Erickson, who was one of the MKUltra experts that the CIA was going to understand covert hypnotic techniques. Tony Robbins, who does a lot of large group awareness, was trained in NLP. He doesn't use that term. Apparently, he had a financial arrangement with Grinder and Bandler. But that's what he's basically teaching and then there are websites of people who are going to teach you how to use covert hypnosis for sex.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:57] That's funny because I know exactly who you're talking about. I'm not going to mention their names because I don't even want people to find it. Spoiler alert, it's ridiculous and for the sex stuff, anybody who would fall for that particular type of hypnosis I think probably is not the type of person you would want in your life. But you'd also be surprised.
Steven Hassan: [00:36:16] So I wrote a blog about a divorce attorney in Ohio who is using covert hypnosis and sexually abusing his female clients and giving them amnesia, so they couldn't even report the crime--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:31] Unbelievable!
Steven Hassan: [00:36:32] --until he did it to the wrong woman who and wound up recording her molestation, bringing the tape, and the police did a sting, and he had recordings of all of his molestations and he's in jail. So, there are levels of expertise regarding hypnosis. And for people to say, no, it's a matter of intelligence. It's not a matter of intelligence. And people who understand the techniques and the methods are going to have a way to protect themselves. And people who think they're invulnerable are incredibly vulnerable.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:07] The person I'm thinking of is a very strange person that has honestly is one of the weird…You wouldn't even get around some of these people naturally. You have to find them in their natural environment, if you will, where they're on a stage and they already have status because if you meet them face-to-face in normal scenarios, they're actually pretty low, a lot of them are pretty low status, not that charismatic or interesting. So that's probably what attracts them to this power struggle in the first place. But it's very akin and I don't want to go down this rabbit hole too far. It's very akin to the online influence space where people are showing this highlight reel, “Oh, I made $100 million by the time I was 30 and dah, dah, dah.” And then you kind of go, “Who was this person four years ago?” And it's the biggest dork you could possibly point out of a crowd. And you go, ah, you wanted status and power. You've invented a mythology about yourself. You're using advertising to spread that mythology about yourself on Instagram. You found a couple of other guys and gals that are doing this. You pair up and you, you promote one another to give each other real legitimacy. And here we are suddenly with a stadium full of 2000 morons and perfectly smart people who got suckered into it by their stupid friends. And now you find yourself signing up for their drop shipping or their Amazon business programs that you can be the next rich, influential 20-year-old with no job or whatever.
Steven Hassan: [00:38:32] It is sadly a growth business because there are so many people who are frustrated, feeling hopeless about the climate situation, about political institutions and leadership, about the economy. People want to have some hope and so they're going to be more susceptible and look outside, especially to family or friends who have been suckered in themselves. Because it's a family friend or a family member or a friend that says, “Please Jordan, check this out because this has really been wonderful for me.” And you care about them and you have a curiosity, but unless you have the skillset that you have or I have and you do understand the techniques that are being done systematically. We’re human beings, especially if we're sleep-deprived.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:37] Exactly. And then suddenly you find yourself at a three-day fire walking bologna seminar and you're looking around and going, “Why are all of these other smart business people clapping their hands and jumping up and down? What planet am I on?” And that's why I don't last. I went to something like that that I thought would be reputable. I don't want to mention the person's name because I'm sure they're litigious as heck. And I'm looking around going, “I'm here with a bunch of smart entrepreneurs and we're all jumping up and jumping around. I'm not learning anything. I don't need dancing lessons. I came here to learn, I don't want a clap and run around. I don't want to, you know, pretend I'm a fighter. I don't want to walk on hot coals at 2:00 a.m. This is ridiculous. Why am I in a stadium?” And I just couldn't wrap my head around it, but sure my wife's cousin, she couldn't get enough of it and she's not a dumb person. Ironically, what you wrote about in the book was that the most, the type of person that's not susceptible or less susceptible to being recruited by a cult to somebody who just escaped from one
Steven Hassan: [00:40:38] Maybe or they could be more vulnerable because people do cult hop. The bottom line is education. If you really have clarity in your mind, and I think you're going to add this to your notes, the influence continuum of the ethical influence to unethical with particular themes and then the BITE model with the list of the characteristics of destructive mind controllers. You can have a frame to go, aha. Ethical groups don't do these things and unethical ones do, do these things. And why would you want to pay or put your body or spend your time in an unethical, unhealthy environment? I don't think you would.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:25] I've found that a lot of people who join these also want to run their own. It goes in line with the whole influencer mentality. “Oh, I'm an influencer in the fitness space. I'm going to follow an influencer in the finance space and he's following an influencer in the business.” I mean it's sort of this weird matryoshka, the Russian dolls. You open up one and you find the person that they're following and then that person looks really successful, and then there's another person that they're following, and it's like all roads lead back to some of these kinds of oh gee guys and some are dead now. And then the one after that just picks up the mantle and keeps going.
Steven Hassan: [00:41:59] Yeah. And so again, I come back to the idea of the dual identity and people are either really being authentically them versus being a clone of somebody else. And the danger with modeling other people and thinking that you need to think like them and feel like them and walk like them and talk like them is that that’s not who you are. That's who they are. Or at least that's a persona that they're projecting as well.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:30] You hinted at this before. Are cults more popular now or is it just that we're more aware of them because of the internet and the fact that they can target us literally on Facebook and instant Instagram?
Steven Hassan: [00:42:39] I would say that destructive cults are everywhere and they're more of them because of all the breakdown of societies, institutions, of faith that leaders know what they're doing and are leading the world in our right direction. Anyone who is anti-science and anti-climate change science is going to kill the rest of us if we allow them to dictate policy. It's to the point of absurdity that we're allowing lobbyists from the fossil fuel industry to control the rest of what's happening on the planet. And I'm very happy that younger people are getting activists about this and understanding science isn't perfect. You know, the beauty of the scientific method is you have a hypothesis that needs to be tested and is thrown aside when there's a better hypothesis. It's a search for truth and it's a community-based search for truth because people are doing, trying to replicate your studies, et cetera. One of the things that I researched in the last year as I've been preparing a new book is something very important that you will probably want to know more about and maybe do a podcast on. It's called fourth-generation warfare.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:02] Okay.
Steven Hassan: [00:44:03] Have it heard on it?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:04] No,
Steven Hassan: [00:44:06] it's a PSYOP Theory developed in the ‘80s by William Lind and other military strategists, but unlike trying to convince the other side that your side is the right one or their side is the wrong one, it's an assault on truth itself. It's a delegitimization of any leader or any institution. It's a deliberate disinformation campaign, an overload campaign to make people numb, to make people powerless, to make people want to give up. So that an authoritarian leader with a very confident voice, “Trust me, I've got this. I can tell you what needs to happen,” that people will because they're back in their childhood brain and their amygdala is being stimulated by phobias will follow a dictator and vote for dictatorships.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:07] It's interesting. I've got a friend who will simultaneously argue. For example, a certain leader really, really got some good answers. He's cutting through all the BS. You know, “I'm going to vote for him.” He's going to win the election, and then we'll also say, “And genius manipulator and he's manipulating all these people.” You are saying all of the things that he wants you to believe and you're saying is a genius manipulator, but you're saying that you like him for different reasons. That is a little suspicious to me. If I were to say, you know this person, this is an abusive person, they are a master manipulator, and then someone goes, “What are you doing tonight?” And I go, “Oh, I'm hanging out with so-and-so.” The same person. Well, wait a minute.
Steven Hassan: [00:45:53] Serial abuser of women.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:56] Right. What do you, what do you mean you're hanging on? Why would you do that? “Oh, well, I, since I see them for what they are, he's not, she's not a danger to me. He's not a danger to me.” That is the height of self-delusion.
Steven Hassan: [00:46:08] It is. And to quote another academic concept, Cognitive Dissonance Theory. Leon Festinger came up with this studying, a UFO cult that was prophesying a spaceship coming to a particular mountain on a particular night. And he and his students were predicting that when the spaceship didn't come, people would get this illusion than leave, only they believed more when the spaceship didn't come. And he was like trying to figure this out. What he came up with is we have thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, but humans want to be congruent. If we do have extreme behavior, our thoughts, and our feelings are going to shift to justify the behavior.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:51] Right, we rationalize everything.
Steven Hassan: [00:46:52] So then the leader said, “Because of your faith, the world was saved., They didn't need to evacuate us.” You're going to go, “Yeah, I sold my house. I quit my job, but I saved the planet.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:06] Right, it was all worth it.
Steven Hassan: [00:47:07] The narrative. Right. But I want to just quote James Comey if I may.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:12] You may.
Steven Hassan: [00:47:14] It was a beautiful description of cognitive dissonance in action. He said when you're sitting at a room and the guy at the head of the table is saying a lie after lie after lie and you're sitting there going, “That's a lie. That's a lie. That's a lie.” But you don't call him out on it and you don't get up and walk out, but you continue to sit there. He said it bends your soul.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:41] Oh, that's interesting because of cognitive dissonance. Since I'm still sitting here, even though I know that he's lying, I'm sitting here because I must believe or like something else or find him credible in some other way because here I am. Why else would I sit here and listen to this BS?
Steven Hassan: [00:47:57] I’ll a be fired is the obvious answer and he was, but it's a very important window into why you're wanting your friends, not to hang out with the perpetrating person because, by your behavior of hanging out, you have to adjust and rationalize and justify why it's okay to do that.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:48:21] You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest, Steve Hassan. We'll be right back back.
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[00:54:47] Thank you for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us on the air. To learn more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard so you can check out those amazing sponsors, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. Don't forget the worksheet for today's episode. That link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. If you're listening to us on the Overcast player, please click that little star next to the episode. It really helps us out. Now for the conclusion of our episode with Steve Hassan.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:14] going back to the type of person that gets recruited into a cult, I found that of course, it looks somebody who's feeling wounded, they just got down to, they divorced, broken up with financial setbacks, not doing well at school or work, maybe some bad physical health.--that seems obvious. However, there are also doctors and lawyers. I mean the thing I was in; it wasn't just a bunch of dumb asses that upgraded to the advanced course. There were people there where I said, “You have a $10 million a year business. What the hell are you doing here? How do you not see that this is manipulation?” One thing I've learned and really has been highlighted in the past like three years or so is that critical thinking skills and self-awareness, cognitive bias, knowledge of cognitive dissonance, it's like cancer. It affects everybody on every stratum of social-economic scale. It does not seem to matter if someone is an attorney or a doctor or they work at Chipotle and they're 16 years old. They seem equally or at least universally susceptible to this and me walking out of that BS leadership course, the person next to me was, I think she was a, she was from El Salvador and I want to say she was like a daycare person. She and I were like, I mean she, her English was shaky and she was going, I don't like this. And I was thinking, me neither. And we left a room full of surgeons and doctors and other people that should have, in my opinion at that time, fricking known better and didn't.
Steven Hassan: [00:56:48] But the social proof aspect of very accomplished, wealthy, you know, highly educated people. That was one of the lures of my first workshop in the Moonies. “Oh, he's from Yale. He's from Princeton. You know, he's a doctor.” There must be something here because I wasn't seeing it for the first day and a half of the Moonee workshop like this seems childish to me was what I was thinking.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:15] How did you get recruited? Let's talk about the Moon cult that you were in. The reason you're an expert in this is because you've seen it firsthand. I'd love to hear a little bit about how they indoctrinated you in the beginning because I want people to listen and go, “Wait a minute, this is happening to me right now,” or “This is what my brother is telling me he's doing at college,” or “This is that weird thing my friend was into that didn't seem right to me.”
Steven Hassan: [00:57:39] Yeah, so I mean, the truth is the ‘70s, it was a different reality than exists today because there was no information about the Moonies. There wasn't information about cults per se or how they work. However, the same kinds of principles that the Chinese communist use in the fifties and they're using today on over a million citizens of China, particularly Muslims, Christians, and others, are social psychology and understanding that people are meaning-making organisms. For me, I was so lied to about what the workshop was as we were driving into the gates of the multimillion-dollar estate and in Terry Town and I was told, “Oh, this weekend we're going to have a joint workshop with the Unification Church.” I said, “What are you talking about? I'm Jewish. What church? What workshop? You didn't tell me anything about it “
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:44] What did they you it was these women who invited you?
Steven Hassan: [00:58:46] We’re all going to go away and have a good time this weekend. We're hanging out.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:50] So, you’re thinking I'm going to hang out with these cute—
Steven Hassan: [00:58:52] I thought I was going to get lucky, honestly. That was what I thought.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:57] I would too. I would jump into the car.
Steven Hassan: [00:58:59] And I said, “What are you talking about? A workshop and church. I'm Jewish.” And they're like, “Oh gee, Steve,” and this is a classic mind controller thing is they take the objection and they turn it around on you. “What the matter Steve? Are you closed-minded? Do you have a problem with being with Christians?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:18] Oh, right and so, yeah, I'm not racist.
Steven Hassan: [00:59:22] But the frame of you lied to me. Like anyone who's lying to me that wants to be my friend, I don't want to be their friend. They're not trustworthy. Like I want to hang out with people that I can count on. And so, the lie got turned around emotionally and I didn't have a cell phone, way too early for cell phones. It was snowing outside. I'm like I want to go back now, like turn the van around and drive me home. That was another mistake. I should have taken my own car. [indiscernible] [00:59:55]
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:56] The logistics, yeah.
Steven Hassan: [00:59:58] “Oh, it's not going back. It'll go in the morning, just chill out. We'll go in, we'll have a fireplace. We're going to get to know each other. And you can leave in the morning.” And I bought into that instead of just walking out onto the street in the snow from the cold, waiting to hitchhike for, please get me, get me out. But I didn't understand the danger I was in again. And then, then the morning came. I hadn't slept all night because of the noises in the room. And then. “Where's the van? I'm ready to leave.” “Oh, it left already. Sorry.” So, it's really a lot of manipulation in handling and me not being assertive to demand. I'm exiting. Different people coming over to talk with me. Well, let's go have breakfast. We're going to go outside and have some sports for a few minutes. So, and me not wanting to be a pain in the ass again. I just, I was curious why everybody was so happy and so into this and so excited the end. The pitch also was that this was a student movement that was going to make a difference and make the world a better place. And culturally, I was raised as a Jew in a concept called Tikkun Olam, that you want to repair the world. You want to contribute to make the world a little bit better than the world that you came into. So that was a vulnerability of mine as well.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:31] The deprogramming that you do when you help other people get out of cults. Is this something that you went through yourself at some point?
Steven Hassan: [01:01:40] So deprogramming, the term was coined by Ted Patrick in the early ‘70s. It was involving almost by force holding someone against their will and kind of a very confrontative like, “Jordan, wake up, you know, Moon is not the messiah, dude. Like, let me tell you why he's not the messiah.”
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:01] It's like a hardcore intervention.
Steven Hassan: [01:02:02] It was very, very hardcore. That's how it started with me. That was not going to work. My father cried one point saying, “You know, Steve, you dropped out of school. You quit your job, you donated your bank account, got involved with a controversial group. Your mom and I are worried about you.” “Oh, don't worry about it. I'm not brainwashed. I'm that never been happier.” He's like, “Just prove it. Just like sit and talk with these people and listen and question. And if you want to go back, I'll drive you there. But at least we'll be able to sleep at night knowing we did the responsible thing.” And my father was not a crier and tears were coming down and he touched the real me. I can tell that he was really upset for me, even though I was good like that, I knew that I was good. I was following God's will. It became voluntary and the people who were involved with my deprogramming, the woman I had recruited into the Moonies and had gotten out. I had a personal emotional connection with her where I trusted her and liked her. But to get to your question, deprogramming has evolved over the decades, tremendously. First of all, when I got out and did deprogramming, judges were granting ex parte conservatorships to pet families for a week.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:03:32] What does that mean?
Steven Hassan: [01:03:32] It means parents would go before a judge and say, “Your honor, my, my 19-year-old son who's a victim of artful in designing people, he's in a cult and we believe he doesn't understand the nature of the group or the psychological forces on him. We would like permission to have custody for one week to expose him to information about brainwashing and mind control about theology and former members.” And the judge would say, “Bring him back in a week.” But they would grant the piece of paper that would empower the parents to hire some sheriffs, go to the cult center and escort them to the deprogramming.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:04:13] Holy cow.
Steven Hassan: [01:04:15] I did cases like that and they worked. But at the point that it was illegal, I said, “I'm not doing this anymore,” but I still cared and I wanted to help people get out. And as I was learning NLP and learning how to model cult mind control and what worked in my deprogramming, what were the thought processes and emotional experiences that I had to go through to wake up, I developed a voluntary intervention model that I called Exit Counseling and then when the internet happens and my book came out Combatting Cult Mind Control in 1988, a lot of the cult leaders read my book and so they weren't allowing people to go home by themselves. There was a much higher level of monitoring. So what I've evolved it to is something called the Strategic Interactive Approach, which to summarize, it's an ethical counter-influence campaign, but instead of trying to indoctrinate someone to be dependent and obedient, it's geared towards empowering them to think for themselves and feel for themselves and make their own independent evaluation.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:05:32] Because you're thinking the authentic self that is still there underneath the cult self does want to get out. They can still make decisions. They've been programmed to shut that down.
Steven Hassan: [01:05:43] Yeah, and being in a mind control cult is horrible, on a very fundamental human way where you can't say, “You know what, I'm tired. I need to sleep a few extra hours,” or “You know what, I want a day off.” Like I didn't have a day off.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:06:1] What was your waste web call? You had a pretty severe--
Steven Hassan: [01:06:03] I slept three to four hours a night. I worked 18 to 21 hours a day, seven days a week. I was a labor trafficking victim basically because the definition of trafficking is fraud force or coercion, so that can involve labor or sex fraud for force and coercion. But I was kept busy all the time and part of my manipulation was, “Steve, you're a leader. Like God wants you to run a country one day.”
Jordan Harbinger: [01:06:34] How flattering.
Steven Hassan: [01:06:36] And they even said, “You should think about what country you would like to run,” to me when I was 21 years old.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:06:43] Which you fantasize about what you're going to do later when all of those horrible craps stop and you're in charge of Germany.
Steven Hassan: [01:06:51] But I thought of Australia would be a good country to run because I'd have my own continent. I honestly had that thought. I'm embarrassed to say.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:06:57] Australia is good. I would--
Steven Hassan: [01:06:59] But I had no ambitions to be a politician or to have power. I was writing poetry. I wanted to be an English professor right before that. But the strategic interactive approach is said essentially that asking good questions in a respectful, thoughtful, caring way. “Like Jordan, I really like you. I really want to understand how you were before and how you are now. It seems different. Like, tell me about your evolution. Tell me what it was that they were teaching you that seemed to make a difference,” but it makes you go inside and remember. Like if someone has gotten me thinking about the lie. Like when you first met the women at the cafeteria of Queens College, what did they say? Did they say, “We are members of the Unification Church and we believe Sun Myung Moon is the messiah.” I would've said no. In fact, I asked them if they were part of a religious group and they looked me straight in the eye and said, no.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:08:01] Right, so you start going back in time in your head and going, “Oh, I was lied to here, here, here, here and here and now I'm doing this.”
Steven Hassan: [01:08:07] And now I'm lying to people to get people in. And I believe in God and I teach because they have book called the Divine Principle. We teach that God is a God of truth. So, I'm teaching that God is the God of truth. We're agents of God, but we're lying because everyone's in Satan's world. That's the rap.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:08:30] That's the rhetoric. Yeah.
Steven Hassan: [01:08:31] But it does not compute. Like how are we going to build a perfect world based on lies and mind control? Like even if we took over the world, how would we, how would that work? And it wasn't until I was out of the cult for four years where for example, I remembered an experience with Moon directly where he said, “When we take power in America, we'll amend the constitution and make it a capital offense for people to have sex outside of the Unification Church marriages.” And I went, “Yes, father,” and I was educated about the Holocaust. I was educated. I read books like Animal Farm in 1984 before I was in the cult. But you suppress all of these things that do not compute to the narrative of what the idea you want to believe the group is doing. So, my whole approach is not based on force or coercion, it's on love at questioning curiosity and that people should make their own decisions. If you are happy and want to stay in the group and recruit and work for nothing, that's your choice, but do it with your eyes open. Understanding what coercion is, understanding what mind control is, et cetera. And it works because people don't want to be slaves.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:09:54] That is so interesting. There are different elements of mind control. Before we get into those though, you list multilevel marketing as a commercial cult. And I'm wondering does that water down the definition at all? Because these are so much, they're so popular now and I say all the time, don't sign up for this. This is MLM. That's, that's an MLM. First of all, a lot of people don't even seem to know what that is. They don't seem to understand it or other people go, well this is different. And they've, these are the same people that have been ripped off by three other stupid as product things in the past.
Steven Hassan: [01:10:29] Betsy DeVos made her family money in Amway, and she's in charge of education and wants to dismantle education in the United States and put in religious education instead. I want to recommend Robert Fitzpatrick’s site pyramidschemealert.org.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:10:49] Robert was on my show 8 years ago.
Steven Hassan: [01:10:50] Oh you did? Okay.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:10:51] I know it was long ago.
Steven Hassan: [01:10:52] Time to have him on again, because they are trying to pass a law-making pyramid schemes legal in the United States under the current administration. So, the bottom line is it's the same BITE model stuff, the deceptive recruitment and believe 100% and listen to the tapes, go to the meetings, don't say anything negative. You can only say something negative to your upline which is totally information control, and getting people to do incremental commitments, buying products and such. Again, Cognitive Dissonance Theory kicks in, the Lewin model--the unfreezing changing, refreezing. People are made to feel like there's something wrong with them, that they're not making all the money because they have the models, they have the yachts and the Rolex watches, and you're losing money. You need to go inside and figure out what's sabotaging you inside of your mind. Or in the religious multilevel marketing groups, because Utah is the biggest state in the United States for multilevel marketing, you have to pray more. You have to confess more.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:12:08] I met a Mormon guy the other day from Utah and I asked him about this. I said, “You know, what's up with MLMs and Mormons? No offense.” And he goes, “No, none taken. These are a plague. Those of us that get it, we can't even talk our friends out of it.” This is kind of controversial, he's Mormon and he's conservative, so take it into context. He said, “I think our women are bored and need something to do,” and that, but there's something to that. If you're bored in your home and you feel purposeless, your kids are a little older and they're not calling for you every five minutes. Sure. You want to start contributing to the family and to the house. So yeah, you start selling something that looks as innocuous as a bottle.
Steven Hassan: [01:12:45] Women empowerment model.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:12:47] Right. And there's nothing wrong with that of course, but they start selling shakes and they're recruiting their social circle and Mormons are really generally, really lovely people that have really wide social circles that are really tight. It's a really easy way for them to go to their church and recruit a bunch of other people that are going to trust and like them because they grew up together or whatever. And it becomes more dangerous because you see people starting to pollute their own church, their own family groups with this in irreparable ways. And I was watching a documentary on MLM and I think it was called Betting on Zero.
Steven Hassan: [01:13:22] I wrote a b blog about it.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:13:24] I'm sorry, I'm choking up at this point because this Hispanic woman said, “She was supposed to be my friend.” This woman was ruining her relationships with friends to make, I don't know, 13,000 bucks. I mean, it's just not worth the money and she didn't get to keep that 13,000 and went straight to her upline. I didn't know you couldn't say negative things to the people you recruit. You're only allowed to tell the people who’ve recruited you so they can wiggle.
Steven Hassan: [01:13:46] Yes. In every mind control cult does not want you saying anything negative against the leader, the doctrine, or the policy, so that's part of the information control. Healthy organizations, you want to hear criticisms, you want to hear feedback of if the leader, you know, said something wrong, bad decision or something, you want to call the leader out and say, “Hey, we trusted you. You did this wrong.” You want a leader that goes, “You're right. I screwed up. I apologize.” And you want that kind of responsive dynamic organization. I did want to mention Warren Jeffs’ who in jail for the Fundamentalist’s Latter-Day Saints, he had 74 wives and God knows how many children. He was marrying 10-year-old girls. They felt the mainline Mormon Church was taken over by Satan because they were abandoning polygamy because they wanted statehood.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:14:49] This is so pedophile.
Steven Hassan: [01:14:50] But then when I started counseling people out of that group, I started hearing from former Mormons and I was actually invited to a convention of ex-mainstream Mormons who wanted to educate me about their church. And I proceeded to teach about the BITE model. It's actually on their website, on YouTube, and I should say my talk and 250 ex-Mormons were agreeing with Mormons. And then there was a fellow who spoke right after me who had been a professor at one of their training institutes at BYU and other places. And the title of his talk was Lying for the Lord, Deception as a Management Tool of the LDS Church. And he proceeded to talk about the lies of Joseph Smith all the way to a secret recording he made with his boss where he's saying to his boss, “You’re telling me I have to lie to my students in order to keep my job?” And the boss said, “Yes, that's correct. If you teach them the history of the Mormon Church, the accurate history, then you're fired.” And he said I quit and when I heard that, I was like, that really resonates with the Moonies, Robert, and a lot of other cults. Wow.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:16:06] How do cult leaders even come up with all this mind control stuff? Because look, when somebody says this old Korean guy is not the messiah, and if somebody says that to you, you're supposed to sing Holy songs and la-la your way through the negative talk. I mean how that seems pretty basic, but some of this is really advanced manipulation over time. One thing that I went through with that stupid self-help seminar that I went to is there was a guy, he was probably a New Yorker or something, he was very vocal and very critical and he was just on the borderline of getting kind of kicked out, but I think they wanted to rope him in because he had some people that kind of agreed with them here and there. This is like day two. And so, they said, “Oh well you know what? Let's do something different. I was going to do this drill, but now I want to do another drill. And it was like everyone stand on the side and pick one person that you think is unattractive and negative.” And everyone just walked over to this guy and he's got everyone staring at him that we're supposed to stare at that person. So, we're staring at that person and this guy's like, “What did I do?” And then he's like, “See, this is how you're perceived by others.” That guy didn't say much for the rest of the weekend. It was obvious that that drill wasn't just the next thing we were going to do. It was a drill that he kept the leader kept in his back pocket to go when somebody is acting up and kicking them out would make me look bad because they've gotten a few people to nod in agreement. We have to absolutely cut them off at the knees and this is a drill that will do that. And you see self-help people using these bullying drills. You know, I’m going to throw Tony Robins under the bus on this one. There was a time where a woman stood up and said something about the women's movement, the me-too movement. And he said, “Oh, this is a victimhood thing.” And he took a lot of shit for that. Okay.
Steven Hassan: [01:17:55] As he should.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:17:56] As he should, but what he did at the moment was he said, “Put your hand out against mine.” And then he started pushing her forward and he's like six foot seven and she's like five foot five. And then he said, “Why are you pushing against me? See, you're wired to resist.” And it's like you could have illustrated that point right up next to her. You could have just said, so what you wanted to do is show 11,000 people and make her know that 11,000 people or 8,000 people were watching her get pushed by you physically and make her wrong in a very dramatic way. This is a drill that I've seen him do before with other people when they resist him. And I've seen other people do the exact same thing in these self-help groups. These are drills that are not there to help everyone learn something. They are drills that are designed to manipulate somebody.
Steven Hassan: [01:18:43] I couldn't agree more. I'm not a fan of Tony Robbins. We could talk for weeks I have a feeling. But there are two comments I want in different directions. I'll do them quickly. You asked me how do people learn about this stuff.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:19:00] Yeah, how do cult leaders even come up with it because there's no manual for this besides, maybe a book.
Steven Hassan: [01:19:06] Unfortunately, that was a negative side effect of my book coming out is that it was teaching people how cults operate and could be used for nefarious purposes. But I want to say first is that what I learned when I got out of the group and really dove deep into the whole world of mind control, I mentioned them, MKUltra, post-World War II, Korean War, Chinese Communist brainwashing. South Korea was very unstable. North Korea is a version of what it is today, a totalitarian dictatorship, total mind control. And some people in military intelligence in the United States decided that the North Koreans are brainwashing, we need to help create a program in South Korea to stabilize the regime. They taught the South Korean president, “Well you need to set up a Korean CIA, we'll help you and we'll teach you.” And they set up a reeducation program for dissonance in South Korea and they decided to use a front person. So, it was not looking like a government operation and it was the Moonies that was chosen to do that.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:20:32] Wow, so this started as a counterbalance to Kim Sung’s North Korea.
Steven Hassan: [01:20:35] Exactly, nobody knows why or how the patents for manufacturing M-16 rifles and other American military hardware. Why? Because America was leaving Vietnam. There was still a height of the Cold War. We have to stop the commies and then somebody said, ”Let's bring the Moonies to the United States and set up counter communist programs on college campuses. And that's where I got recruited.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:21:07] So this started off as a Cold War thing and just kind of went--
Steven Hassan: [01:21:09] Correct. And then I was sent with Moonies to fast for Nixon during Watergate because God loves Nixon and God wants Nixon. But the US government has never acknowledged the existence of these things. They don't want to talk about it, even during Jonestown where Congressman Ryan was assassinated. There was an entire Korea gate investigation where George Bush Sr. was the head of the CIA during the operations that I was just describing. So, I found this all out after I got out of the group. But in the meantime, groups are being set up to do political purposes, not only by the US, Russia, China setting up front groups because then they can gather intel, they can recruit and indoctrinate people, so there's a whole political side to this. But then the other answer is that people who are in mind control…Let's say someone's raised in a destructive family system—father is authoritarian, beats the crap out of the kids, wants obedience. They're learning mind control techniques in that context experientially. Or take someone who's in the Osho or Rajneesh or someone who was in Scientology and leaves and goes, “You know, I can take these techniques and use them.” For example, Werner Erhard, Jack Rosenberg who is a Scientologist who sets up a landmark forum--
Jordan Harbinger: [01:22:45] What I took was an offshoot of that.
Steven Hassan: [01:22:47] --which morphs into many splinter groups because people were trained in the form and then they go, “Why don't I do my own version of this? I'd like to make the money instead.” So, there's this victim-victimizer effect where there's more and more of these smaller groups. The other, the other comment I wanted to say about staring is…so in Scientology, do you know about the TRs, the training routines?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:23:17] No.
Steven Hassan: [01:23:17] Very briefly. They are a set of graduated exercises. They tell someone, “We're going to teach you how to communicate Jordan. Step one is putting your hands flat on your knees, closing your eyes and breathing and just being there.” And the Scientologists will tell you when you've reached that state of being there, which when I demonstrate it to my colleagues at the international society of hypnosis, they go, “Oh, that's hypnosis.” And I'm like, “Yeah, that's right.” That's step one. When you pass that, then you sit knee to knee to a Scientologist and you stare in their eyes and you don't move.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:24:03] To what end? Hypnosis?
Steven Hassan: [01:24:05] For the minutes, minutes, many minutes, sometimes hours. You can't go into a trance state. If you freeze, the eyes are meant to scan. If you focus on the flame, if you focus on a mantra, you're directing your mind. You're not thinking analytically. You go into a zone where you're more suggestible to indoctrination. Step three and then I'll stop and Scientology's TRs is you stare and the Scientologist tries to get you to respond, tell you a bad joke. See you flunk. You just moved your head.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:24:45] Why?
Steven Hassan: [01:24:46] Flunk because they're training obedience, dependency. People spend days until they can pass. Why? Because in our culture, we're trained. We want to be the best. We want to succeed. We want to graduate from the course. We don't want to be a failure, but people are groomed and indoctrinated into hypnotic States where they're then indoctrinated with Hubbard’s weird crap.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:25:12] Yeah. There are so many interesting elements of this where you even mentioned that the real self when you're in a cult, your authentic self that is buried underneath this cult identity will start having medical issues, nightmares, your emotional brain is kicking the rest of you and saying, “Wake up man. I'm in here. Why are you ignoring me? You've suppressed all your natural resources and instincts here.” It's like the, your emotional brain is desperately trying to communicate with the outside world and in part two what I want to get into is what to do if you're being recruited by a cult. How to see if your friends and family are being affected by this. I've got another cult story that I didn't even know as a cult story until I read your book from a kid in college who ended up getting kidnapped by his own parents to leave this cult. It was weird. He ended up working at a store. That's why it didn't seem like a cult until I read the book.
[01:26:05] So stay tuned for part two. In the meantime, Steven Hassan, thank you so much for being here with us.
Steven Hassan: [01:26:10] Thanks for flying to Boston. Nice to meet you.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:26:11] You got it.
[01:26:14] So, Jason, this is just part one and we're just getting warmed up. Part two is crazy as well. What did you think of this episode?
Jason DeFillippo: [01:26:19] Oh my god, I was listening to this go and this is some of the most insane S that I've ever heard in my life and I didn't even know he was a Moonie until I listened to this and just how he got recruited. I can see how easy it would be to be pulled into a cult. And you know, they're, they're offering you women and salvation and you know, if you're lost in your early 20s or your teens, how easy it can be to be sucked into this. And the defense mechanisms that he has given us, like, you know, throughout the episode would be golden. Just teach these to your kids.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:26:56] Yeah. Yeah. It's funny because I think like, ”Oh, you know, I'm not going to get sucked into this,” but when I was like 25 I would so have gotten sucked into this. Are you kidding?
Jason DeFillippo: [01:27:05] Yeah, me too. I would've been, I would've been there with my tambourine in hand wearing the robes, doing whatever you asked me to cause free women. Sure. I'm in, you know, you're, you're not thinking, you're thinking with your other parts, not your brain at that point.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:27:18] Plus also you're just thinking like, “Okay, so what if this old Korean is not the messiah? I'm getting laid like crazy yours. I'm going to stay here. I'm just going to play along.” And then 10 years later it's like, what happened to you? Right.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:27:30] Yeah. It's like, what am I going to do? Go get a job at Kinko's or am I going to sit around here, get free food, get free ladies, and just have to go out and do culty stuff. I’m going to take the culty stuff.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:27:43] Yeah. And that's for guys. Yeah. You rationalize it. And for a lot of the women that join, I'm sure there's an element of like, “Oh, these people are protecting me.” I mean it's so manipulative and crazy. Everybody here is just getting victimized and abused. It's just absolutely crazy. Yeah. This book is called Cult Mind Control. Part two is going to be out in a couple of days here so you should go and check that out because we get into some deep stuff as well as some cult self-defense and a lot of the practicals are in that episode.
[01:28:09] We're teaching you how to connect with great people in a legit way and non-manipulative way and manage relationships using systems and tiny habits that don't involve mind control over it at Six-Minute Networking, that's a free course over at jordanharbinger.com/course and do it now. You know you got to dig the well before you get thirsty. Once you need relationships, you're too late. If you want relationships to pull you out of your cult, you know you've got to build them before you join. These drills are designed to take just a few minutes a day. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. This is crucial. It's all free. I'm teaching you that for free. jordanharbinger.com/course and most of the guests on the show subscribe to the course and the newsletter, so come join us. And speaking of building relationships, you can always reach out, follow us on social. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, and there's a video of this interview on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube.
[01:29:00] This show is produced in association with PodcastOne and this episode was co-produced by Jason DeFillippo and Jen harbinger, show notes and worksheets by Robert Fogarty, music by Evan Viola, and I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. Our advice and opinions and those of our guests are their own. And yes, I’m a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful, which is hopefully in every episode. So please share the show with those you love and even those you don't. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[01:29:40] A lot of people ask me which podcasts I recommend and enjoy, Mind Pump that always comes to mind. That's one of my favorites. I've been friends with those guys for a long time, based out here in San Jose. I have Sal here from Mind Pump, Episode 1010, The Best Cardio to Burn Fat. Now, okay, people Google this. This is like in every YouTube videos like how to burn fat. The answer is always like running.
Sal Di Stefano: [01:30:00] No, so here's the thing. The absolute best forms of exercise you can do for your body based on your goals is going to be quite individual. So, there are two general forms of cardio. You have high-intensity interval training type cardio, which is like sprinting for 15 seconds and then going really slow for 30 seconds and then sprinting and then going really slow. So, you're, you're doing these intervals of high intensity. And then there's something called low-intensity steady-state cardio, which is the traditional form of cardio that we're all used to where I get on the elliptical and I just go at a normal state for 30 minutes.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:30:35] Oh, I thought that was the kind of never did anything.
Sal Di Stefano: [01:30:38] No, they both have their benefits. It just depends on the person. For example, high-intensity interval training does burn more body fat and is more effective. But if you're somebody that's a lot of stress, you're not getting good sleep, probably not a good idea to throw that type of intense cardio at your body. Low-intensity, steady-state cardio may actually be more beneficial, of course, all within reason because it may be more recuperative to you. So, it really does depend on the individual, on your history and of course what your goals are. And so, in that episode, we go down, we go in and we break both of them down and we kind of name who each form of cardio would be good for. And I tell you what, it blows people away when they apply the right exercise for their body. It blows them away. The results that they get. There's nothing compares to train your body the way it should be treated or trained based on your individual body and goals.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:31:30] You're got to tell you when I had the rough year last year in the beginning with the separation from the old company, I couldn't sleep that much. And so, I couldn't really go to the gym and bust my ass because I was just dragged. I was dog tired. I was barely making it. But I know I needed to do something. So, I started to go outside and walk and I would make all my phone calls outside walking and getting a little bit of sun. And I started to feel really good and I thought, “Oh, it's got to be the sun.” And then when it started to get cloudy, I'd still do it and I realized, “Oh, this is really good.” I started losing weight. I started losing fat. I started feeling better and it was because I was outside moving around, but I wasn't like hitting a heavy bag or like throwing weights.
Sal Di Stefano: [01:32:06] Now imagine if in that state of stress you read an article that said, studies show that high-intensity interval training is better for burning body fat. And so, in that stressed-out state, not getting asleep, you went to the gym and you just did a bunch of sprints every day. Imagine how you would've felt and how it would have affected you.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:32:24] I tried to do intense activity in that state and I could feel my heart rate go way up, my Apple watch was like, “Dude, calm down.” You know? It wasn't like, “Oh, you're getting a good pump.” It felt like a fight-or-flight. It wasn't the good kind of sweat. It was like running from a lion kind of sweat.
Sal Di Stefano: [01:32:42] No. And that's why one of the episodes that I think is shared the most among our fans to people who don't listen is that Episode 1010,
Jordan Harbinger: [01:032:51] Yep, 1010.
Sal Di Stefano: [01:32:52] because people oftentimes do the wrong kind of cardio for their body and end up not getting any results and sometimes making things worse.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:33:00] That's Episode 1010 of Mind Pump. We'll link to that in the show notes.
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