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on 10 July 1999
As a former member of Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, I was convinced, even after I left, that there was no such thing as mind control. In fact, I even refused to read any books on the subject, nor would I read any of the first-hand accounts of former members. The reason for this was that I had a deep phobia about the very idea that mind control existed -- which I suppose is in itself a good argument that mind control is real. Finally, six years after I left the Unification Church, I steeled myself to read Steven Hassan's book, expecting to hate it and disagree with every word. To my amazement, Mr. Hassan's arguments won me over completely. I had to concede that his description of mind control had, in fact, happened to me. This revelation ended my six-year-long vacillation during which time I still felt some attachment to my former cult. I now realized what harm had been done to me, and I became very properly angry -- and, finally, I began to read the first-person accounts of other former members. This book set me free to think clearly about my experiences again, and to create the psychic break needed to get on with my life.
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on 23 February 1999
Protection is better than rescue and recovery, we wish we had read this book before our teenager left home. It is a clear, easy to read book about how cults operate and shows how easily a person can be drawn into one, without realising what is happening to them. If you think your son/daughter is involved in a cult, please read this book BEFORE saying anything about the subject to your child. You need the information contained in Steven Hassan's book to enable you to rescue your loved one and help them recover from the expirience. Without the knowledge in this book, you could send your child futher away from you.
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on 7 September 2010
I was amazed to read about how subtle mind control is, the forms it can take and the fact that you can be a victim of it without even knowing. It was startling to find out that even benign organisations, seemingly harmless religions - like the Jehovah's Witnesses - employ mind control. (They are mentioned only in the appendix but being familiar with their literature and the way they operate I could see from applying the information in Steve Hassan's book that they do, shockingly, fit into the description of a mind control cult.)

The chapters that discuss the four components of mind control were particularly informative. These components are: Behavior Control, Thought Control, Emotional Control and Information Control.

There is also information on what to do and what NOT to do should you suspect that a loved one has fallen victim to a cult. There is advice on how you can help the individual and what you should avoid doing lest you drive him/her further into the clutches of the cult. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND READING THIS BOOK BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO TALK TO A LOVED ONE WHO YOU FEEL MAY BE INVOLVED WITH A CULT. It gives just the right information as even one wrong word or action can cause the person you're trying to help to become more deeply involved with the cult.

I would recommend this book to everyone as the information it contains is beneficial whether you're questioning the validity of a group/individual/organisation or just interested in this subject. Cults often 'catch' intelligent, kind, friendly, socially responsible people. How they manage to do this is facinating and frightening.

Also, if you know how mind control cults operate, you stand a better chance of seeing them for what they are and not getting 'caught' in the first place!
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on 27 July 1997
When a dear friend of mine joined a religious cult it was essential I understood what had happened to her, and how her mind was working. Steve Hassan's book is an essential read for anyone who has a loved one in a cult, and for people who believe they may have been in a cult. Hassan explains what cults are, why people join them, and how you can get people out of them -- without the use of force. He also explains how former cult members can start the journey back to recovery and a new life.
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on 8 May 1997
As a former member of a destructive cult, reading this book was therapeutic for me, giving insight into the psychological factors that induce people into destructive cults in the first place. The author defines "cults" not by examining unorthodox doctrines of groups, but by observing the amount of control the group exerts over the lives of it's followers. If you have family or friends in cults, this book tells the way to go about dealing with the problem, and also how to protect yourself from being recruited into a cult. A must-read for anyone affected by the cult problem.
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on 12 December 1997
An excellent examination of the cult phenomena. Described as "The #1 Best-selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults," Haassan's book explains what elements are common to cults, and what defines a cult.
As a former member of the the Unification Church (a.k.a. "Moonies") and a psychologist (he obtained his degree after exiting the Moonies), Hassan offers a unique perspective and insight into the cult movement.
Although peppered with examples and anecdotes from the Moonies, Hassan is careful to keep the analysis general enough to apply to many other "questionable" groups and organizations.
When is a cult not a cult? Does a group have to be "religious" to be a cult, or could a "non-religious" cult exist? Hassan answers these questions and more, and clearly defines the difference between unusual beliefs (which do not necessarily identify a group as a cult) and dangerous & destructive social factors (which, independent of the beleifs, make a group a cult, according to Hassan's definition).
Strongly recommended for anyone who has friends or family in an "unusual" group; this book will help you to either dismiss your fears of cult involvement, or give you the advice you need to deal with this difficult situation.
Even more strongly recommended for anyone who feels they are an a group that has been "mislabelled" by society as a cult. This book will either help you to understand what defines a cult (so you can defend yourself against criticism) or else give you an interesting perspective on how others view your organization.
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on 22 August 1998
A good book to start if a relative or a friend joins a cult. The book not only explains the mechanisms used by these groups, but it also tells good questions to ask as a "spiritual consumer".
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on 15 February 2011
Steven Hassan's book is vital to anyone wanting to understand cults. I can't emphasise this enough. Get it, read it.
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on 13 January 2012
Still there is not a better book around on destructive groups! There are plenty of examples and the main points are covered very well. I could not put the book down!
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on 24 October 1998
Clearly and succintly written, Combatting Cult Mind Control takes you through an eye-witnesses' encounter with, and subsequent assimilation by, a modern-day cult. It show the "rest of us" how the average person can unknowingly become a cult member and how difficult it is to separate from them when reality sets in. If you think you and your loved-ones are immune, read on...
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