It is with that background that I dove into Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs by Steven Hassan, Freedom of Mind Press, Newton, Mass., 2012. (244 pages, paperback)
What struck me here, and I am so glad that he keeps repeating it throughout the book is the need for understanding that success (having your loved one leave the control of a cult or individual) depends most critically on you (his/her loved one) and your team being patient, very patient, and taking ‘baby steps’ towards the outcome. That is a very hard pill to swallow for some, but there is no circumventing it.
Once we can accept that, he then takes us very thoroughly through the steps of properly evaluating the situation, building the right team, examining our own lives, and understanding the beliefs and tactics used by the controllers and the person being controlled. Chapters of the book are devoted to recognizing and interacting with the victim’s (your loved one) “dual identities” – his/her real self and the self they have adopted as a member of the cult they are now part of. He shows us how to recognize each, how to communicate appropriately, and how to help unlock the phobias that the victim may be operating under. Finally, Hassan goes into great detail in how to plan and hold an actual intervention should it become necessary.
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