The cult of Trump (and LaRouche's)
This is a most welcome book on Donald Trump's America. It is timely. For the last three years many commentators from around the world have suspected that Trump might not be just about politics, freedom of expression or democracy any more. It might just be the opposite.
This book can be used as a tool to understand, identify, combat and recover from cults' abuses whether they are local or State-run. It explains very well how Steven Hassan's BITE Mind Control Model , his “influence continuum spectrum” can apply and how D. Trump's network and power structure are organized in a strikingly cultist way. This book is well structured, documented and supported by a wealth of evidence and experience.
A déjà vu?
At first many were in disbelief that such a TV entertainer as D. Trump could possibly become the most powerful man on earth. Critics called him then a joke, or a clown who could never be elected as president of the United States.
But be aware that not all clowns are funny or entertaining. When Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini met Adolf Hitler in June 1934, Mussolini commented afterwards about Hitler: “Un clown po’ matto” (A mad little clown), he said. History doesn't repeat itself but it can have hiccups.
I am not the only one who had a cult experience to feel a sense of déjà vu when D. Trump was elected. Many cult experts or those who experienced cults in real life have sensed this déjà vu whereas prominent psychiatrists and psychologists such as Philip Zimbardo have raised their concerns.
Even the New York Times of June 7, 2018 ran an editorial: “The Cult of Trump.” This book of Steven Hassan answers to all these questions.
Steven Hassan has been a full time member and devotee to the cult of Sun Myung Moon. So was I to the cult of Lyndon LaRouche. I was a “larouchie”. He was a “Moonie”. Like the Moon‘s cult, the LaRouche cult hides behind many names. Trump's devotees are now called “Trumpists” (or “trumpettes”) and his cult (not an ideology) is known as “trumpism”.
Steve and I experienced similar coercive brainwashing methods as typically found in cults. Although we did not consult each other on D. Trump we both felt the same sense of déjà vu. Cults have similar patterns of operating and this comparison is the proper scientific method: it is about comparing what many would describe as mere subjective personal experiences. When patterns emerge then we are led to conclude ”there is something objectively real there”. Cults might be real phenomena, not just social or psychological constructs.
In his introduction, Steven Hassan writes:
I had a bizarre kind of déjà vu. It struck me that Trump was exhibiting many of the same behaviors that I had seen in the late Korean cult leader Sun Myung Moon, whom I had worshiped as the messiah in the mid-seventies. Moon had promised to make America—indeed the entire world—great. He promised a re-creation of the Garden of Eden. No wars, poverty, crime. Everyone would live in harmony together in God’s paradise on earth. Moon, of course, was not a messiah, nor were his aims beneficent. That is the case with many cult leaders—they promise something that people want to believe in but that they can never actually deliver. They do so by utilizing a set of influence techniques that can be likened to a cult leader’s playbook. […] these are the same methods used by Moon and other cult leaders such as L. Ron Hubbard, David Koresh, Lyndon LaRouche, and Jim Jones, to name just a few high-profile ones. […] Trump uses all kinds of cult tactics—lying, insulting opponents, projecting his weaknesses onto others, deflecting, distracting, presenting alternative facts and competing versions of reality—to confuse, disorient, and ultimately coerce his followers. […] In this book, I will show how Trump employs many of the same techniques as prominent cult leaders, and displays many of the same personality traits. He has persuaded millions of people to support, believe, and even adore him by exerting control in four overlapping areas: Behavior, Information, Thought, and Emotion (BITE). I will describe how cult leaders exert control in each of these areas and then show how Trump and his adherents have exploited them to their own ends.
Unsurprisingly the LaRouche's cult or Sun Myung Moon‘s son are today enthusiast supporters of Donald Trump.
“This will never happen to me! “
As Steve explains well in his new book: cults are not just about “religious beliefs”: they can be about any beliefs; whether religious, political, personal improvement, business, health, therapy or... UFOs. It is like a supermarket of all beliefs. Cults are defined as power structures that are organized and used to control, abuse or enslave people by imposing their beliefs. They go far beyond the realm of religions and can come as positive to destructive.
Steven Hassan writes:
Ultimately, it’s not a group’s content or ideology but rather its pattern of behavior that generally defines it as a destructive cult. Cults can promote all kinds of beliefs in all kinds of areas—commercial, political, psychological, beliefs in UFOs, science fiction, as well as religious—but they typically possess a common structure.
Our respective cult experiences can be helpful to understand what happened and answer to the typical comment “This will never happen to me!” Well it did and still does to millions of Americans!
Populism: “He is one of us”
In 2016, buffoons, clowns and other fools landed on our political landscape, exploiting the rage against established parties. Both populist campaigns in the U.K. and the U.S. were won against all odds and by small margins. How was this possible? These small-time demagogues were playing the “exotic” fool/wild/clown card while spreading hatred and lies.
Populists arrived that year on the political scene using this old P.T. Barnum trick: "there's a sucker born every minute". They claimed they were “people’s voice”, the “will of the people” and sold foolish unrealistic promises such as “building a wall on the US-Mexican border which Mexicans will pay for” or that leaving the EU will make the U.K. wealthier or more free.
Why and how some people believed such nonsense? It is known as the psychological phenomenon called the “P.T. Barnum effect”, also called the “Forer effect”, whereby people will give high value to what they believe are descriptions of themselves. So when populists like D. Trump are claiming they are “people’s voice”; they use this known psychological trick to win people over. Their supporters are turned into blind followers or devotees. They are hostile to facts, to logic, to common sense or basic morality. Trump's supporters are being turned into cult followers, some have become “true believers” and no discussion can take place with them so long they are under his spell and “mind control”.
Steve Hassan's new book can help us on how to deal with this conundrum, having himself spent decades to free people's brainwashed minds.
Book available HERE
By Yves Messer