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  • The deprogrammers were making comparisons with Hitler and Moon, and I said,


  • "I don't care if Moon is like Hitler;I've chosen to follow him, and I'll follow him to the end!"


  • (the Believers - Meet a Former Cult Member)

    (the Believers - 與前邪教成員見面)

  • - This was me just before being recruited into the Moonies. - Look at that!

    - 這是我被招入統一教之前。 - 看看你!

  • Steven Hassan is a counselor, cult expert, and former cult member.

    Steven Hassan 是一名諮詢師、邪教專家和前邪教成員。

  • We went to talk to him about his experience.


  • My name is Steve Hassan, I'm a licensed mental health counselor, and I'm an author of three books about cults, the most famous of which is "Combatting Cult Mind Control".

    我是 Steve Hassan,我是執照的心理諮詢師,也是三本邪教相關書籍的作者,而其中最有名的是《對抗邪教的精神控制 》。

  • I got interested in this whole subject after my family deprogrammed me from a two-and-a-half-year involvement with the Moon Cult in the early '70s.

    我在 1970 年代早期、入統一教兩年、我家人幫我脫離統一教後,開始對邪教主題感興趣。

  • The Moon Cult, or "Moonies", refers to the Unification Church founded in the '60s by Sun Myuan Moon.

    明教,或稱 「統一教」,指的是世界和平統一家庭聯合會,是由文鮮明在 60 年代創立。

  • The group was known for its mass weddings and staunch anti-Communist beliefs.


  • The world view of a member of the Moonies was very "us" versus "them".


  • We are the chosen, we are the elite, we are gonna take over the world.

    「我們」是被選中的人、「我們」是精英 、「我們」將接管世界。

  • Only Korean will be spoken, all other religions will be abolished.


  • When and why did you join?


  • So, I was 19, I was gonna graduate, I was gonna be a poetry writer.


  • But my girlfriend dumped me, and I was lonely; three women, well, flirted with me.


  • And I remember asking at one point, "Are you part of some religious group?" and they said, "Oh, no, not at all."

    記得有一次我問他們: 「你們是某個宗教團體的嗎?」他們說:「噢,才不是。」

  • They invited me over for dinner, and they were like, "Hey, we're going away for the weekend; it's gonna be so cool, you need to come."


  • And I was very naive and trusting, and everyone was smiling and sincere and warm, and I was just like, not getting that this was a cult, this is how they operate.


  • What was your life like when you were with the group?


  • A lot of recruiting or fundraising or political actionizingthose were the three major roles.


  • They... they would say you have to look three inches into people's eyes, like this.


  • Hi, there.


  • - How are you? - Stop.

    - 你好不好? - 停。

  • Right, I was there for for two-and-a-half years, but I was made a leader, and that was the part of the allure, I guess?


  • So, when and what was the turning point that led to you leaving the cult?


  • Well, my last job in the cult was as a fundraising captain in Baltimore, and we were selling flowers on street corners.


  • Everyone on my team had to make a minimum of $100 a day, otherwise they couldn't sleep at night.


  • I would never ask of my members what I wouldn't do myself.


  • So, while I was sleeping three to four hours a night, normally, now I was not sleeping at all.


  • And it lasted three days, and I fell asleep at the wheel of a van.


  • Woke up as I was driving into the back of a tractor trailer truck at 80 miles an hour or so.


  • That accident put me away from the group for a few weekssleeping, eating away from the constant indoctrination,


  • which led to me reaching out to my sister, who is the only person who hadn't said I was in a cult and I was brainwashed.


  • So, she lured me to her house, basically, didn't tell my parents who had been wanting to find me to help me.


  • - So, it was actually the near-fatal accident that saved your life in the end? - Yeah.

    - 所以這場差點致命的事故實際上最後救了你的命? - 對。

  • Have you been in contact with anyone since the day you left?


  • So, as soon as I woke up, I wanted to get all the people I recruited out.


  • Obviously, naturally, I felt ashamed and embarrassed and guilty.


  • And I've reached out to them all, but nobody wants to talk to methey think it's too wrong.


  • What was it like to reintegrate back into wider society?


  • It took me months to admit I was in a cult and speak out publicly.


  • It took me a year before I could kiss a woman and not have the indoctrination in my head.


  • It was very traumatic.


  • Is there such a thing as a benign cult?


  • Definitely.


  • Yeah, of course.


  • I believe in there are positive religions and that spiritual experience is a great thing.

    我相信有一些正面的宗教,而靈修也是一個好的體驗 。

  • If people know what they're getting into, if people are free to leave, if people are allowed to read whatever they wanna read and talk whoever they want.


  • What are we getting wrong about people who've joined cults?


  • Nobody joins the cult to deceptively recruit it.


  • Citizen of the world look at someone in the cult and says there's something wrong with them.


  • They're weak, they're stupid, they're this, they're that, instead of going...


  • Wow, there was a very systematic mind-control regime that was implemented on them, and they just didn't understand what was happening to them, so they got programmed.


  • What techniques do cults use to recruit and influence followers?


  • They use deceptive recruitment so people don't know what is happening to them, thought-stopping, loaded language, totalist black-and-white ideology.

    他們使用欺騙性的招募,所以人們不知道在他們身上發生了什麼,思想僵化、煽動性話語、總體主義的黑白意識形態 。

  • Those are the universal techniques.


  • As someone who's being in a group that has been called a cult, how do you help people in those same situations?


  • My influence campaign is oriented to empowering people to think for themselves and give them information to reality tests so they can actually make a choice.


  • I can tell you what you shouldn't do is say, "You're in a cult!" and try to argue the person rationally out of it

    我可以告訴你,你不該做的就是說 :「你在邪教裡!」並試圖從理性上和這個人爭論。

  • because they've already been programmed to expect prosecution from people who are ignorant.


  • What it isn't is a quick fix.


  • I'm very grateful that I was rescued by my family, and I wish everybody had family who cared as much as mine and had the means to be able to help.


  • And most people don't.


The deprogrammers were making comparisons with Hitler and Moon, and I said,


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