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Cult expert Steve Hassan on John Walker (December 3, 2001)

John Walker: American Indoctrinated
with Cult Mind Control Techniques by Taliban

December 3, 2001
For immediate release

Al Queda terrorists and Taliban soldiers, including American John Walker probably underwent a thorough cult mind control indoctrination, according to a leading cult expert.”Terrorist cult organizations apparently employ many of the same mind control techniques used by destructive cult groups,” says Steven Hassan, director of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center in Somerville, Massachusetts. “These include isolation, hypnosis, sleep deprivation, dietary manipulation and the programming of phobias in the minds of members.” He needs to be properly counseled and can probably be a tremendous resource in the war against terrorism.

Zacarias Moussaoui, the would-be hijacker now jailed in New York, is a living example of that mindset. In a London Times story, his brother stated that Moussaoui went through a radical personality change of the sort that is often observed in members of destructive cults. “He was brainwashed,” said his mother.

Tonight on Larry King Live, John Walker’s father said, “He had no idea that John had become involved with the Taliban and hadn’t heard from his son since May.

“Counseling former members of terrorist groups is an important first step to asking them for their help,” said Hassan. “The more ex-terrorists that can be counseled and recruited to help, the more effective the antiterrorist campaign will be‹starting with John Walker and Zacarias Moussaoui. We need to teach them about cults and mind control. We need to show them how to evaluate what they have been through. We need to bring in Islamic scholars, and show them how the Koran has been twisted and misinterpreted by their leaders.”

Hassan, who has been counseling cult members for 25 years, has helped thousands of people who have been mind controlled using innovative methods (see freedomofmind.com). In 1995, 60 Minutes flew Hassan to Tokyo to be their expert on the Aum Shinrikyo cult sarin gas terrorist incident. A high-ranking cult member in the 1970′s, Hassan was so heavily influenced by mind control techniques that he was prepared to give his life for the group. “When I was in the group, I was trained to obey my superiors without hesitation, including being willing to die or even kill,” says Hassan, author of Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves. “I understand the mindset.”

Such methods might be applied not just to jailed terrorists but to the people of countries where terrorists have held sway as a way of counseling them out of terrorist groups, and out of their America-is-evil mindset. “Giving food and aid to the cult recruits will not undo mind control programming, though it is good start,” Hassan said. He believes that a massive education program needs to be launched. “Islamic religious leaders need to communicate to these people that what they have been taught is actually against the Koran,” he said. “Former members of destructive cults could come forward and talk about the techniques that were used to brainwash them.”

The methods could also be used for dealing with terrorists in this country, the anonymous few capable of inflicting so much damage. “As a nation, we need to have a higher sense of community,” said Hassan. “We should be using our knowledge of mind control psychology to undermine the control and power of the people on top of the pyramid of this and other terrorist organizations,” he says.