Steven Hassan

Author, mental health professional, activist specializing in undue influence, brainwashing, cults, hypnosis

Steven Alan Hassan, M.Ed., LMHC, NCC Steven Alan Hassan is one of the foremost authorities on undue influence (mind control) and destructive, authoritarian people and cults. He understands the subject from the unique perspective as both a former cult member and as a clinical professional who has been working full time in the field since 1976. Hassan holds a Masters degree in counseling psychology from Cambridge College. As a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Hassan is the author of several books that have received extensive praise from international mental health professionals, educators, law enforcement, former cult members, families of former members, clergy and other professionals. Combating Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best Selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults (1988, 1990, 2015), Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves (2000) and Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults & Beliefs, (2012, 2013). Hassan is the founder and Director of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center Inc., a counseling and publishing organization dedicated to helping people become psychologically empowered, upholding human rights, promoting consumer awareness and exposing abuses of undue influence. He is also the Co-Developer of Ending the Game, a non-coercive curriculum designed to educate and empower sex trafficking victims to leave pimps and traffickers. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of the Child Friendly Faith Project as well as the Open Minds Foundation. He has pioneered a breakthrough approach called the Strategic Interactive Approach (SIA) to help loved ones rescue cult mind control victims. Unlike stressful and sensationalized "deprogramming", this non-coercive method is an effective and legal alternative for families to help cult members. SIA teaches family and friends how to strategically influence the individual involved in the cult. Using this unique technique, Hassan has helped thousands of people victimized by destructive cult-related mind control groups. During his many years of work, Hassan has been asked to provide numerous training workshops and seminars for mental health professionals, educators and law enforcement officers worldwide, as well as for families of cult members. Steve was a featured speaker and at the U.S. Department of Justice’s 2009 National Amber Alert Symposium, where he explained why victims like Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Lee Dugard denied their real identity to police and others due to psychological coercion. In 2013, Hassan participated, at the invitation of Carissa Phelps’ Runaway Girl in training over 600 Law Enforcement professionals at on psychological coercion used by pimps and traffickers. In 2014, My Life, My Choice sponsored Hassan’s 4-hour workshop on understanding traffickers mind control methods and how to help survivors. Hassan has written and spoken out about the importance of viewing ISIS and other terrorist groups as destructive cults. With over 40 years of cult awareness activism, Hassan’s insightful perspective and expert commentary have made him the definitive source for hundreds of national and international media outlets including: 60 Minutes, CNN, Fox News, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Larry King Live, The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Newsweek, ABC NightLine, NPR, Oprah Winfrey Show, The O’Reilly Factor, USA Today and Washington Post. Please visit and his web site is: