Book review:

RELEASING THE BONDS: Empowering People to Think for Themselves.
Freedom of Mind Press 2000

In Steven Hassan's latest book "Releasing the Bonds", he sets out step-by-step the various stages of how to free an individual from the adverse effects of behaviour-modifying techniques associated with cultic practices. He breaks new ground by skilfully considering aspects beyond the well-recognised problems associated with leaving a cult. He describes the stages of immediate and long-term recovery from a mind-controlling environment. Hassan explains how behaviour can be modified to benefit either an individual or a cult leader. By so doing, the reader learns how individuals can attain the healthy high ground free from a mental captivity.

To help families and friends the author presents a more refined method of "Releasing the Bonds". He calls this the " Strategic Interaction Approach". He considers this legal and non-coercive approach to be far better than deprogramming and exit counselling

Topics covered in depth include: evaluating the situation; interacting with dual identities; understanding and utilising cult beliefs and tactics; techniques to reality-test and promote freedom of mind. He cites many examples of how these can be put into practise. He emphasises that each family situation is different and that each individual learns and absorbs through the five senses and by exercising the brain.

"Releasing the Bonds" is essential reading for all those interested in furthering their study of mind control and the effects upon individuals trapped in a totalitarian regime, whether it is in a "one to one" situation or in a multinational cult.

The book is well researched, and the works of others such as Robert Lifton, Jolyon West, Margaret Singer, and Philip Zimbardo are generously quoted. Hassan's bibliography is excellent and the index is comprehensive.

Daphne Vane

The author holds a Masters degree in counselling Psychology and is a licensed Mental Health Counselor.
Publishers: Freedom of Mind Press.
ISBN: 0-9670688-0-0.
Library of Congress number 99- 68918
Price $24.99
Order from: website
email Hassan@freedomofmind.com
Fax + (1)203 794 0008, include cc information.
Cheque or money orders: Media Management Inc. PO Box 273 West Redding CT 06896, USA.