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The Cult of Trump: A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind Control Hardcover – October 15, 2019
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“A brilliant analysis of a unique modern phenomenon. Readers will nod their head in recognition as Hassan expertly takes them through a fascinating, engaging exploration of the coercive control techniques that President Donald Trump uses daily to influence his followers.” –Dr. Philip Zimbardo, author of The Lucifer Effect and emeritus professor of psychology, Stanford University
“There is a growing recognition of an important cult-like element in Donald Trump’s many-sided destructiveness. Steve Hassan confronts this element and takes us to the far reaches of possible cultic influence. We learn still more about our dangerously unfit President, knowledge that can be of help to us in combating him and the social forces behind him.” –Robert Jay Lifton, author of Losing Reality: On Cults, Cultism, and the Mindset of Political and Religious Zealotry
“Donald Trump, who rose to the presidency through a conspiracy theory—“birtherism”—and pedaled lies in unprecedented ways for a president, needs to be considered as a cult figure. Practical cult expert Steven Hassan does this by explaining how brainwashing works, how the nation got to this place, and how we can get out of it. His book should become part of the compendium of essential reading on the Trump phenomenon.” —Bandy X. Lee, MD, MDiv, editor of the New York Times bestseller The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump
“Hassan has been studying cult mind control for decades and his work is illuminating. This book explains how mind control stops people from thinking critically, thinking beyond what they are told.” –Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam, president of the New England Complex Systems Institute
"This book is a fascinating tour through the ways people are recruited and retained by cults, the characteristics of cult leadership and the dimensions of undue influence. Point by point, Hassan shows how Trump and his followers meet each of the criteria that define a cult and how Trump's childhood and rise to the presidency shaped his imperious, narcissistic style and why his followers, both in the voting public and the congress, cannot make a rational evaluation of his words and actions. This book is a must for anyone who wants to understand the current political climate." –Judith Stevens-Long, Ph.D and author of Living Well, Dying Well
“Drawing on both his experiences as cult expert and ex-cult member, Hassan opens a wide-ranging, thoughtful and well-researched analysis of some of the most puzzling aspects of the current presidency, including the remarkable passivity of fellow Republicans, the gross pandering of many members of the press, the curious avoidance of clear labels that could and should be applied by the media. Quibbles and speculations about diagnosis do not play central roles. Instead, the current administration is best understood through cult analogies, including factors such as total authoritarianism and intolerance of any questioning or deviation from the “playbook.” This is both a clarifying and a terrifying book. Highly recommended.” –Thomas G. Gutheil, MD and professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.
“The Cult of Trump, in step-by-step detail, examines the inner-workings of our current Presidential administration. Hassan masterfully parallels the psychological manipulation employed by cults over its members with the current administration’s distortion of reality by its twisting narratives and use of systematic techniques to influence our view of the country. The picture is much darker than mere buffoonery.” –Robin Boyle Laisure, J.D., advisory council member of International Cultic Studies Association, and author of “Employing Trafficking Laws to Capture Elusive Leaders of Destructive Cults”
“A brilliant book.” –Anthony Scaramucci, former White House Director of Communications
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If you have friends or loved ones who are utterly intransigent about recognizing ANY problem with this president (much less the great big problems, like his continuous deferrals to the dictator of Russia) this book will explain what's going on. It goes into the psychology of the situation in a way that will be accessible to a broad readership. No PhD required.
A lot of people who could benefit from reading this book may be put off by the title, but I can see why he chose it. Because we know so much more about what makes up a cult these days than we did back when the Jonestown massacre hit the news. There is now a pattern of behavior that makes up the defining profile of a cult. In the case of Donald Trump, you can go right down the list, checking off box after box. He really seems to embody every last bit of it.
Reality is whatever Dear Leader says it is, and you will notice, we always have to simply take his word for it. There are never any explanations given as to WHY something is fake news, or a witch hunt, or a hoax, or a diabolical conspiracy. The booming voice says it is. That had better be good enough for you, or you're not a good patriot.
Continuing deceptions and falsehoods, propped up by endless repetition, is another trait of those who would impose unethical influence over us. Fear is a key concept, too. The cultist is kept always on the alert against the evil doers behind every tree. Phobia indoctrination is how Hassan describes it. Robert Woodward's book on Trump was entitled "Fear," based on a quote from the president, that "real power is ... fear."
A personal history of Trump is outlined, starting with his dubious grandfather. Comparisons of The Donald with infamous cult leaders of history are presented. Trump, of course, takes a kind of giddy delight in all things dictatorial and authoritarian. Maybe the most chilling part of the book is the overview of the authoritarian, fascistic, and theocratic organizations that are backing Trump. The biggest of them are as immensely wealthy as they are antidemocratic.
This is the kind of book that should be read and shared, and defended from the kinds of attacks it will draw. The book is exhaustively researched and footnoted, which won't deter any of the anti-intellectual types who will go trolling against it. There is real heroism in producing a book like this. Of course, Steve Hassan has been busting destructive cults since the 1980s. He has written some of the most important books on this grim subject. This latest one deserves your support -- and "word of mouth."
He ends it on a hopeful and optimistic note. Keep the lines of communication open with those whom you may know in the Cult of Trump. Skip the name calling and vitriol. It only plays into the us-versus-them programming. Building trust and rapport is the way to reach people in any cult. Follow-up resources are offered, including Hassan's own Freedom of Mind Foundation.
I'm sorry I am limited to giving this book five stars. The Cult of Trump! Read it and pass it along.
For those of us who have been victims of undue influence this and Hassan's other books are such a breath of fresh air! They explain what we, ourselves, cannot - how we came to think and act in ways so contrary to our authentic selves. They give explicit examples of objective behavior that's used to manipulate others (in this case with direct quotes from Trump, his supporters, and those who have woken from his influence to find they don't recognize themselves). Most importantly, they emphasize the importance of critical thinking - even going as far as citing numerous statements in every paragraph to give readers the power and permission to think critically about this book!
Top international reviews
American loves a charaltan, L Ron Hubbard, Joseph Smith, Stadium preachers, etc. America loves the showman, no matter how see through. Donald has just taken cult-like charismatic leadership to its logical conclusion!
Its all about "alternative facts" , 100% cult.
My only problem is how America, the supposedly World leader gets out of this. It's really hard to get people to see through him!