Mind control (not to be confused with "brainwashing") refers to a broad range of psychological tactics able to subvert an individual's control of his own thinking, behavior, emotions, or decisions. Brainwashing (also known as Thought reform or as Re-education) consists of any effort aimed at instilling certain attitudes and Beliefs Psychology (from Greek grc ψῡχή psȳkhē, "breath life soul" and grc -λογία -logia) is an Academic and Thought and thinking are mental forms and Processes respectively ("thought" is both The concept is closely related to hypnosis, but differs in practical approach. Hypnosis is often thought to be a wakeful state of focused attention and heightened suggestibility with diminished peripheral awareness
There are a number of controversial issues regarding mind control and the methods by which control might be attained (either direct or more subtle) are the focus of study among psychologists, neuroscientists, and sociologists. Mental health professional A psychologist is a practitioner of Psychology, the systematic investigation of the mind including Behavior, Cognition, A neuroscientist is an individual who studies the scientific field of Neuroscience or any of its related sub-fields Sociology (from Latin: socius "companion" and the suffix -ology "the study of" from Greek λόγος lógos "knowledge"
The question of mind control has been discussed in relation to religion, politics, prisoners of war, totalitarianism, black operations, neural cell manipulation, cults, terrorism, torture, parental alienation, and even battered person syndrome. A religion is a set of Tenets and practices often centered upon specific Supernatural and moral claims about Reality, the Cosmos Politics Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a concept used to describe Political systems where a State regulates nearly every aspect of public and private A Black Operation or Black Op is a Covert operation typically involving activities that are highly Secret due to questionable Ethics and This article does not discuss "cult" in the original sense of "veneration" or "religious practice" for that usage see Cult (religious practice Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion Torture, according to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, is "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental is intentionally Battered person syndrome is a physical and psychological condition that is classified as ICD-9 code "Battered person syndrome" NEC or otherwise included
Mind control as a legal defense tactic (see also temporary insanity) was rejected by the court in the case of Patty Hearst, and in several court cases involving New Religious Movements. In Criminal trials the insanity defenses are possible defenses by Excuse, an Affirmative defense by which Defendants argue that Patricia Campbell Hearst (born February 20, 1954) now known as Patricia Hearst Shaw, is an American newspaper Heiress, A new religious movement or NRM is a term used to refer to a religious faith or an ethical spiritual or philosophical movement of recent origin that is not part
Also, questions of mind control are regarding ethical questions linked to the subject of free will. Ethics is a major branch of Philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life The question of free will
In his 1961 book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China, psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton, M.D., describes eight coercive methods which, he says, are able to change the minds of individuals without their knowledge and were used with this purpose on prisoners of war in Korea and China. Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism A Study of "Brainwashing" in China is a Psychology Non-fiction book on Brainwashing Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism A Study of "Brainwashing" in China is a Psychology Non-fiction book on Brainwashing Psychiatry is a medical specialty which exists to study, prevent, and treat Mental disorders in Humans Psychiatric Robert Jay Lifton (born May 16, 1926) is an American Psychiatrist and author chiefly known for his studies of the psychological causes Doctor of Medicine ( MD or MD, from the Latin Medicinæ Doctor meaning "Teacher of Medicine" is a doctoral These include:
In his 1999 book Destroying the world to save it: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence and the New Global Terrorism, he concluded that thought reform was possible without violence or physical coercion.
Robert W. Ford, a British radio operator who worked in Tibet in the 50's, spent 5 years in Chinese jails. Robert W Ford was a radio operator who worked in Tibet in the 50's and a diplomat of UK born at Burton-on-Trent on 27 March 1923 Definitions of Tibet See also Definitions of Tibet Name In English The English word Tibet, like the word for Tibet in most European He published a book entitled "Captured in Tibet", describing and analyzing thought reform to which he was harshly subjected. 
William Sargant connected Pavlov’s findings to the ways people learned and internalized belief systems. Conditioned behavior patterns could be changed by stimulated stresses beyond a dog’s capacity for response, in essence causing a breakdown. This could also be caused by intense signals, longer than normal waiting periods, rotating positive and negative signals and changing a dog’s physical condition, as through illness. Depending on the dog’s initial personality, this could possibly cause a new belief system to be held tenaciously. Sargant also connected Pavlov’s findings to the mechanisms of brain-washing in religion and politics. 
"Though men are not dogs, they should humbly try to remember how much they resemble dogs in their brain functions, and not boast themselves as demigods. They are gifted with religious and social apprehensions, and they are gifted with the power of reason; but all these faculties are physiologically entailed to the brain. Therefore the brain should not be abused by having forced upon it any religious or political mystique that stunts the reason, or any form of crude rationalism that stunts the religious sense. " (p. 274)
Psychologist Margaret Singer describes in her book Cults in our Midst six conditions which she says would create an atmosphere in which thought reform is possible. Margaret Thaler Singer (1921 - 2003 was a clinical psychologist and adjunct professor emeritus of Psychology at the University of California Berkeley, Cults in Our Midst The Hidden Menace in Our Everyday Lives is a Nonfiction Psychology book on Cults by Margaret Singer and Singer states that these conditions involve no need for physical coercion or violence. 
A report on brainwashing and mind control presented by an American Psychological Association (APA) task force known as the APA Taskforce on Deceptive and Indirect Techniques of Persuasion and Control (DIMPAC), chaired by Singer, was rejected in 1987 by the APA's Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology (BSERP) as lacking "the scientific rigor and evenhanded critical approach necessary for APA imprimatur. The American Psychological Association (APA is a professional organization representing psychologists in the U " and cautioned the task force members to "not distribute or publicize the report without indicating that the report was unacceptable to the Board. "
In 2001, Alberto Amitrani and Raffaella Di Marzio, from the Roman seat of the Group for Research and Information about Sects (GRIS) published an article in which they assert that the rejection of the report should not be construed as a rejection of the theories of thought reform and mind control as applied to New Religious Movements, and that the rejection by one division of the APA does not represent the whole association. Raffaella Di Marzio is an Italian Psychologist and Theologian. They quote a personal e-mail from Benjamin Zablocki, professor of sociology, from 1997 in which Zablocki told the authors "many people have been misled about the true position of the APA and the ASA with regard to brainwashing", and that the APA urged scholars to do more research on the matter. Benjamin Zablocki (b January 19, 1941 in Brooklyn) is professor of Sociology at Rutgers University and teaches Sociology They also write that they have reason to believe that the APA still considers "psychological coercion" to be a phenomenon worth investigating, and not a notion rejected by the scientific community. They also write "Otherwise, why would people such as Margaret Singer, Michael Langone, and others considered to be 'anti-cultists' contribute to APA Conventions and be respected in other prestigious professional bodies as well?"
Writing in 1999, research and forensic psychologist Dick Anthony noted that the removal of Singer's brainwashing concept from the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) "would seem to indicate that the American Psychiatric Association, like the American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, has repudiated Singer's cultic brainwashing theory because of its unscientific character. " Anthony also noted that Singer's testimony had also been repeatedly excluded from American legal trials. 
In his book Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves, mental health counselor and exit counselor Steven Hassan describes his mind-control model, "BITE". Releasing the Bonds Empowering People to Think for Themselves (2000 is Steven Hassan 's second work Mental health counselors (in this article MHCs) practice Mental health counseling which is a dynamic Psychoeducational discipline born in the late 1970’s Exit counseling, also termed strategic intervention therapy, cult intervention or thought reform consultation is an intervention designed to Steven Alan Hassan (born 1954 is a licensed Mental health counselor and an exit counselor. "BITE" stands for "Behavior, Information, Thoughts, and Emotions. " The model has a basis in the works of Singer and Lifton, and in the cognitive dissonance theory of Leon Festinger. Margaret Thaler Singer (1921 - 2003 was a clinical psychologist and adjunct professor emeritus of Psychology at the University of California Berkeley, Robert Jay Lifton (born May 16, 1926) is an American Psychiatrist and author chiefly known for his studies of the psychological causes In Psychology, cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling or stress caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously Leon Festinger (pronounced Feh-sting-er ( New York City, May 8, 1919 – New York City, February 11, 1989) a prominent 
In the book, Hassan describes the components of the BITE model:
Hassan writes that cults recruit and retain members through a three-step process which he refers to as "unfreezing," "changing," and "refreezing". This involves the use of an extensive array of various techniques, including systematic deception, behavior modification, withholding of information, and emotionally intense persuasion techniques (such as the induction of phobias), which he collectively terms mind control. Phobias Phobias (in the clinical meaning of the term are the most common form of Anxiety disorders An American study by the National Institute of Mental Health He describes these steps as follows:
In Releasing the Bonds he also writes "I suspect that most cult groups use informal hypnotic techniques to induce trance states. They tend to use what are called "naturalistic" hypnotic techniques. Practicing meditation to shut down thinking, chanting a phrase repetitively for hours, or reciting affirmations are all powerful ways to promote spiritual growth. But they can also be used unethically, as methods for mind control indoctrination. "
Hassan, after taking part in a number of deprogrammings in the late 1970s, states that he is no longer involved in this practice.  and which eventually became completely illegal except in the case of minors.
In Releasing the Bonds, Hassan describes an approach that he calls the "Strategic Interaction Approach" (SIA) in order to help cult members leave their groups, and in order to help them recover from the psychological damage that they have incurred. The approach is non-coercive and the person being treated is free to discontinue it at any time. He writes: "The goal of the SIA is to help the loved one recover his full faculties; to restore the creative, interdependent adult who fully understands what has happened to him; who has digested and integrated the experience and is better and stronger from the experience. "
In 1998 the Enquete Commission issued its report on "So-called Sects and Psychogroups" in Germany. Reviewing Hassan's BITE model, the report said that:
Thus, the milieu control identified by Hassan, consisting of behavioural control, mental control, emotional control and information control cannot, in every case and as a matter of principle, be characterised as "manipulative". Control of these areas of action is an inevitable component of social interactions in a group or community. The social control that is always associated with intense commitment to a group must therefore be clearly distinguished from the exertion of intentional, methodical influence for the express purpose of manipulation.
A very different explanation of the control some groups have over their members is by associating it with Battered person syndrome and Stockholm syndrome. Battered person syndrome is a physical and psychological condition that is classified as ICD-9 code "Battered person syndrome" NEC or otherwise included Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in an abducted hostage in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker regardless of the danger This has been done by psychologists Teresa Ramirez Boulette, Ph. D. and Susan M. Andersen, Ph. D.
A contemporary view of mind control sees it as an intensified and persistent use of well researched social psychology principles like compliance, conformity, persuasion, dissonance, reactance, framing or emotional manipulation. Social psychology is the study of how people and groups interact Persuasion is a form of Social influence. It is the process of guiding people toward the adoption of an idea attitude or action by rational and symbolic (though not always In Psychology, cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling or stress caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously
In Influence, Science and Practice, social psychologist Robert Cialdini argues that mind control is possible through the covert exploitation of the unconscious rules that underlie and facilitate healthy human social interactions. Robert B Cialdini is a social psychologist who is currently a Regents' Professor of Psychology and a W He states that common social rules can be used to prey upon the unwary, and he titles them as follows:
Using these six broad categories, he offers specific examples of both mild and extreme mind control (both one on one and in groups), notes the conditions under which each social rule is most easily exploited for false ends, and offers suggestions on how to resist such methods.
Writing in the Journal of Homeland Security, a publication of the ANSER Institute for Homeland Security, Anthony Stahelski identifies five phases of social psychological conditioning which he calls cult-like conditioning techniques employed by terrorist groups: [Stahelski, 2004]:
Subliminal advertising was proposed around 1960 as a means for organized mass control of human behavior. Analytic Services is a not-for-profit institute based in Arlington Virginia which provides analysis and studies in the areas of National security, Homeland security Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion A subliminal message is a signal or message embedded in another medium designed to pass below the normal limits of the human Mind 's perception The allegations has since then fallen out of the common debate, because there are few reports that subliminal advertising has any real effect in the way advertisers may wish.
Some of the mind control models discussed above have been related to religious and non-religious cults (for debates regarding what is a cult, see the article). This article does not discuss "cult" in the original sense of "veneration" or "religious practice" for that usage see Cult (religious practice There is debate among scholars, members of new religious movements, and cult critics whether or not mind control is applied either in general or by any particular group. A new religious movement or NRM is a term used to refer to a religious faith or an ethical spiritual or philosophical movement of recent origin that is not part Opposition to Cults and to New religious movements (NRMs comes from several sources with diverse concerns
While the majority of scholars in the study of religion reject theories of mind control (e. g. , Massimo Introvigne and J. Gordon Melton), it is often accepted in psychology and psychiatry (e. Massimo Introvigne (b June 14, 1955 in Rome) is the founder and managing director of the Center for Studies on New Religions ( CESNUR) an international John Gordon Melton (b September 19, 1942) is an American religious scholar who was the founding director of the Institute for the Study of American g. , Margaret Singer, Michael Langone, and Philip Zimbardo) and in sociology the opinions are divided (e. Margaret Thaler Singer (1921 - 2003 was a clinical psychologist and adjunct professor emeritus of Psychology at the University of California Berkeley, Michael D Langone, is an American counseling Psychologist who specialises in research about " Cultic groups" and alleged psychological manipulation Philip G Zimbardo (born March 23, 1933) is an American psychologist and a professor emeritus at Stanford University. g. , David G. Bromley and Anson Shupe contra, Stephen A. Kent and Benjamin Zablocki pro). David G Bromley is a professor of Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA Anson D Shupe is an American Sociologist who studies religious groups and the Anti-cult movement. Stephen A Kent, is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Benjamin Zablocki (b January 19, 1941 in Brooklyn) is professor of Sociology at Rutgers University and teaches Sociology Most scholars have either a decided contra or a decided pro opinion; there are few who advocate a moderate point of view.
James T. (Jim) Richardson, professor of Sociology and Judicial Studies at the University of Nevada, writes in his "Brainwashing" Claims and Minority Religions Outside the United States: Cultural Diffusion of a Questionable Concept in the Legal Arena that, while heavy on theory, the mind control model is light on evidence:
James Richardson, also states that if the NRMs had access to powerful brainwashing techniques, one would expect that NRMs would have high growth rates, while in fact most have not had notable success in recruitment. James Richardson. is a Professor of Sociology and Judicial Studies and the Director of the Master of Judicial Studies Degree Program at the University of Nevada, Reno Most adherents participate for only a short time, and the success in retaining members has been limited. In addition, Thomas Robbins, Eileen Barker, Newton Maloney, Massimo Introvigne, John Hall, Lorne Dawson, Anson Shupe, David G. Bromley, Gordon Melton, Marc Galanter, Saul Levine and other scholars researching NRMs have argued and established to the satisfaction of courts and relevant professional associations and scientific communities that there exists no scientific theory, generally accepted and based upon methodologically sound research, that supports the brainwashing theories as advanced by the anti-cult movement. Eileen Vartan Barker (born 21 April 1938 in Edinburgh UK is a Professor in Sociology, an emeritus member of the London School of Economics (LSE and Massimo Introvigne (b June 14, 1955 in Rome) is the founder and managing director of the Center for Studies on New Religions ( CESNUR) an international Anson D Shupe is an American Sociologist who studies religious groups and the Anti-cult movement. David G Bromley is a professor of Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA John Gordon Melton (b September 19, 1942) is an American religious scholar who was the founding director of the Institute for the Study of American For the psychiatry professor see Marc Galanter (psychiatrist Marc Galanter is the John and Rylla Bosshard Professor of Law and South Asian Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters Inc is a Los Angeles -based company owned by Saul Levine 
Sociologist Benjamin Zablocki sees strong indicators of mind control in some NRMs and suggests that the concept should be researched without bias:
Sociologists David Bromley and Anson Shupe consider the idea that "cults" are brainwashing American youth to be "implausible". David G Bromley is a professor of Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA Anson D Shupe is an American Sociologist who studies religious groups and the Anti-cult movement. This article does not discuss "cult" in the original sense of "veneration" or "religious practice" for that usage see Cult (religious practice . Sociology professor Stephen A. Kent published several articles where he discusses practices of NRMs as regards to brainwashing  
In 1984 the American Psychological Association (APA) requested Margaret Singer, the main proponent of mind control theories, to set up a working group called the APA taskforce on Deceptive and Indirect Techniques of Persuasion and Control (DIMPAC). Stephen A Kent, is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The American Psychological Association (APA is a professional organization representing psychologists in the U Margaret Thaler Singer (1921 - 2003 was a clinical psychologist and adjunct professor emeritus of Psychology at the University of California Berkeley, Working Group can mean Working group, an interdisciplinary group of researchers or Working Group (dogs, kennel club designation for
In 1987 the DIMPAC committee submitted its final report to the Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology of the APA. On May 11, 1987 the Board rejected the report. Events 330 - Byzantium is renamed ''Nova Roma'' during a dedication ceremony but is more popularly referred to as Constantinople Year 1987 ( MCMLXXXVII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar) In the rejection memo  it is stated: "Finally, after much consideration, BSERP does not believe that we have sufficient information available to guide us in taking a position on this issue. ".
There are two interpretations of this rejection: one side (e. g. Amitrani and di Marzio 2000 and Zablocki 2001) see it as no position on the issue of brainwashing, the other (e. g. Introvigne 1997) sees it as rejecting all brainwashing theories.
Philip Zimbardo, who teaches a course on the "The psychology of mind control" at Stanford University, wrote that "Several participants [in a presentation called 'Cults of Hatred'] challenged our profession to form a task force on extreme forms of influence, asserting that the underlying issues inform discourses on terrorist recruiting, on destructive cults versus new religious movements, on social-political-'therapy' cults and on human malleability or resiliency when confronted by authority power. Philip G Zimbardo (born March 23, 1933) is an American psychologist and a professor emeritus at Stanford University. Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly known as Stanford University or simply Stanford, is a private Research university located in "
Recently, there are indications that some members of both sides are willing to start a dialog as, for example, in the 2001 book "Misunderstanding Cults: Searching for Objectivity in a Controversial Field". Additionally, professor of Sociology Eileen Barker was invited to speak at the 2002 yearly conference of the International Cultic Studies Association. Eileen Vartan Barker (born 21 April 1938 in Edinburgh UK is a Professor in Sociology, an emeritus member of the London School of Economics (LSE and The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA formerly the American Family Foundation describes itself as an "interdisciplinary network of academicians And J. Gordon Melton and Douglas Cowan were invited to speak at a conference sponsored by the Evangelical Ministries to New Religions. John Gordon Melton (b September 19, 1942) is an American religious scholar who was the founding director of the Institute for the Study of American Douglas E Cowan is a Canadian academic in Religious studies and the Sociology of religion and currently holds a teaching position at Renison College University
Opponents of some new religious movements have accused them of being cults that coerce recruits to join (and members to remain) by using strong influence over members that is instilled and maintained by manipulation (see also Anti-cult movement, Opposition to cults and new religious movements and Christian countercult movement). A new religious movement or NRM is a term used to refer to a religious faith or an ethical spiritual or philosophical movement of recent origin that is not part This article does not discuss "cult" in the original sense of "veneration" or "religious practice" for that usage see Cult (religious practice The " anti-cult movement " ( ACM) is a term used by academics and others to refer to a perceived collectivity of groups and individuals who oppose cults and new religious Opposition to Cults and to New religious movements (NRMs comes from several sources with diverse concerns The Christian countercult movement is a collective description for many mostly unrelated ministries and individual Christians who oppose religious groups whose doctrines Such opponents frequently advocate exit counseling as necessary to free the cult member from mind control. Exit counseling, also termed strategic intervention therapy, cult intervention or thought reform consultation is an intervention designed to The practice of coercive deprogramming has practically ceased. Deprogramming refers to actions that attempt to force a person to abandon Allegiance to a religious political economic or social group (Kent & Szimhart, 2002)
Opponents of deprogramming generally regard it as an even worse violation of personal autonomy than any loss of free will attributable to the recruiting tactics of new religious movements. Deprogramming refers to actions that attempt to force a person to abandon Allegiance to a religious political economic or social group These people complain that targets of deprogramming are being deceived, denied due process, and forced to endure more intense manipulation than that encountered during their previous group membership. Due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle that a person has a right to receive notice and be heard in an orderly proceeding in order to protect his or her
Steven Hassan, who began his career as a deprogrammer, criticizes deprogramming in his book Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves. Steven Alan Hassan (born 1954 is a licensed Mental health counselor and an exit counselor. Releasing the Bonds Empowering People to Think for Themselves (2000 is Steven Hassan 's second work He writes that "Deprogramming has many drawbacks. I have met dozens of people who were successfully deprogrammed but, to this day, experience psychological trauma as a result of the method. These people were glad to be released from the grip of cult programming but were not happy about the method used to help them. "
Eileen Barker states that out of one thousand people persuaded by the Moonies [Unification Church] to attend one of their overnight programs in 1979, 90% had no further involvement. Eileen Vartan Barker (born 21 April 1938 in Edinburgh UK is a Professor in Sociology, an emeritus member of the London School of Economics (LSE and Only 8% joined for more than one week and less than 4% remained members by 1981, two years later. 
Tyler Hendricks, former president of the Unification Church, estimates that approximately 100,000 people "moved into" the Unification Church as full-time members from the 1970s to the 1990s. Tyler Hendricks (born 1948 is the president of the Unification Theological Seminary in Barrytown New York with an Extension Center in New York City The Unification Church is a New religious movement founded by Korean religious leader Sun Myung Moon. Membership in the church was 8,600 in 2004 (counting only those who joined as adults and excluding the children of members). This is an attrition rate of 93%.
Billy Graham, one of the most prominent evangelists of the last century had only an average of 1% of the attendants of his evangelizations heed the altar call at all. William Franklin Graham Jr KBE (born November 7 1918 better known as Billy Graham, is an evangelist and an Evangelical Christian An altar call is a practice in some evangelical churches in which those who wish to make a new spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ are invited to come forward publicly Follow-up work after evangelizations shows that only 10% of the people responding to an altar call actually do join a church. Therefore successful Christian evangelizations resulted in a longterm success rate of 0. 1%, as compared to the 4% of Barker's observation. And these 0. 1% do not become full-time missionaries as in the Unification Church. (Langone, 1993).
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) published a statement in 1977 related to brainwashing and mind control. The American Civil Liberties Union ( ACLU) consists of two separate Non-profit organizations the ACLU Foundation a 501(c(3 organization which focuses In this statement the ACLU opposed certain methods "depriving people of the free exercise of religion". The ACLU also rejected (under certain conditions) the idea that claims of the use of 'brainwashing' or of 'mind control' should overcome the free exercise of religion. 
Leon Festinger based his theory of the cognitive dissonance, a component of Hassan's Mind Control model, on his observation that the faith of most members of a UFO cult was unshattered by failed prophecy. Leon Festinger (pronounced Feh-sting-er ( New York City, May 8, 1919 – New York City, February 11, 1989) a prominent In Psychology, cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling or stress caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously .
Barrett who is affiliated with CESNUR and Eileen Barker, whom some anti-cult activists consider cult apologists, wrote that logical arguments are irrelevant when trying to persuade some members to leave a movement due to the certainty that they have about their faith, which he sees as not confined to cults, but also occurring in some forms of mainstream religion. CESNUR (Italian Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni) is a Center for Studies on New Religions, based in Turin, Italy. Eileen Vartan Barker (born 21 April 1938 in Edinburgh UK is a Professor in Sociology, an emeritus member of the London School of Economics (LSE and The term cult apologist is used by some scholars and other opponents of cults and new religious movements to describe social scientists, religious scholars He also wrote that some members do not leave the movement even though they realize that things are wrong. See also Leaving a cult. This article does not discuss "cult" in the original sense of "veneration" or "religious practice" for that usage see Cult (religious practice
In the Christian counter-cult movement there are several commentators who refute mind control as a factor in cult membership, and membership in both Christian and non-Christian cults as a spiritual or theological issue. The Christian countercult movement is a collective description for many mostly unrelated ministries and individual Christians who oppose religious groups whose doctrines
In an article by the evangelical Christian writers Bob and Gretchen Passantino, first appearing in Cornerstone magazine, titled Overcoming The Bondage Of Victimization: A Critical Evaluation of Cult Mind Control Theories they challenge the validity of mind control theories and the alleged "victimization" by mind-control, and assert in their conclusion:
In a rebuttal to the Passantino's article, a protagonist of the counter-cult movement, Paul R. Martin, Ph. D. et al. in his Overcoming the Bondage of Revictimization: A Rational/Empirical Defense of Thought Reform, (first appeared in Cultic Studies Journal 15/2 1998), writes:
Some persons have claimed a "brainwashing defense" for crimes committed while purportedly under mind control. In the cases of Patty Hearst, Steven Fishman and Lee Boyd Malvo the court rejected such defenses. Patricia Campbell Hearst (born February 20, 1954) now known as Patricia Hearst Shaw, is an American newspaper Heiress, Steven Fishman (born ca 1957 is an American former Scientologist whose inclusion of Scientology's secret Operating Thetan levels in a court filing led Lee Boyd Malvo (alias John Lee Malvo or Malik Malvo) (born February 18, 1985) is a Jamaican convicted of mass murder
Also in the court cases against members of Aum Shinrikyo regarding the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system the mind control defense was not a mitigating factor. Aum Shinrikyo, now known as Aleph, is a Japanese new religious movement organization The Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, usually referred to in the Japanese media as the, was an act of Domestic terrorism perpetrated by members of Aum
Starting from the Fishman case (1990) (where a defendant accused of commercial fraud raised as a defense that he was not fully responsible since he was under the mind control of Scientology) American courts consistently rejected testimonies about mind control and manipulation, stating that these were not part of accepted mainline science according to the Frye Standard (Anthony & Robbins 1992: 5-29). Steven Fishman (born ca 1957 is an American former Scientologist whose inclusion of Scientology's secret Operating Thetan levels in a court filing led Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices initially created by American Science fiction author L Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning " Knowledge " or "knowing" is the effort to discover, and increase human understanding The Frye standard is a Legal precedent in the United States regarding the Admissibility of scientific examinations or experiments in legal proceedings Margaret Singer and her associate Richard Ofshe filed suits against the American Psychological Association) (APA) and the American Sociological Association (ASA) (who had supported APA's 1987 statement) but they lost in 1993 and 1994. Margaret Thaler Singer (1921 - 2003 was a clinical psychologist and adjunct professor emeritus of Psychology at the University of California Berkeley, Richard Ofshe (born in 1941 is a Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of California Berkeley. The American Psychological Association (APA is a professional organization representing psychologists in the U 
The Frye standard has since been replaced by the Daubert standard and there have been to court cases where testimonies about mind control have been examined according to the Daubert standard. The Daubert standard is a legal Precedent set in 1993 by the Supreme Court of the United States regarding the admissibility of Expert witnesses
Some Civil suits where mind control was an issue, were, though, more effective:
In the case of Wollersheim v. Lawrence Dominick Wollersheim is an ex- Scientologist. He brought a case against the Church of Scientology in 1980. Church of Scientology of California the court states church practices had been conducted in a coercive environment and so were not protected by religious freedom guarantees. The Church of Scientology is the largest organization devoted to the practice and the promotion of the Scientology belief system. Wollersheim was finally awarded $8 million in damages. (California appellate court, 2nd district, 7th division, Wollersheim v. Church of Scientology of California, Civ. No. B023193 Cal. Super. (1986)
"During trial, Wollersheim's experts testified Scientology's "auditing" and "disconnect" practices constituted "brainwashing" and "thought reform" akin to what the Chinese and North Koreans practiced on American prisoners of war. A religious practice which takes place in the context of this level of coercion has less religious value than one the recipient engages in voluntarily. Even more significantly, it poses a greater threat to society to have coerced religious practices inflicted on its citizens. " "Using its position as religious leader, the 'church' and its agents coerced Wollersheim into continuing auditing even though his sanity was repeatedly threatened by this practice. . . Thus there is adequate proof the religious practice in this instance caused real harm to the individual and the appellant's outrageous conduct caused that harm. . . 'Church' practices conducted in a coercive environment are not qualified to be voluntary religious practices entitled to first amendment religious freedom guarantees" 
In 1993 the European Court of Human Rights upheld the right of a Greek Jehovah's Witness Minos Kokkinakis, who had been sentenced to prison and a fine for proselytizing, to spread his faith, though the court sought to define what it regarded as acceptable ways of sharing one's faith. Jehovah's Witnesses is a restorationist, millenialist Christian denomination Minos Kokkinakis ( 25 January 1919, Sitia, Crete - 28 January 1999 Sitia was a Greek Jehovah's Witness from However, in a dissenting judgment, two judges argued that Kokkinakis and his wife had applied "unacceptable psychological techniques" akin to brainwashing. KOKKINAKIS v. GREECE (14307/88)  ECHR 20 (25 May 1993) 
Stanley Clawar and Brynne Rivlin have claimed in Children Held Hostage: Dealing with Programmed and Brainwashed Children that many forms of mind control are used in Parental alienation by one parent against the other parent using both parents' children as unwitting weapons. Events 1085 - Alfonso VI of Castile takes Toledo Spain back from the Moors. Year 1993 ( MCMXCIII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar) This use of devastating mind control is often detrimental to children and follows them into adulthood by creating a chronic condition which the authors have named Parental Alienation Syndrome. (It should be noted that there is no medical or psychological recognition of PAS as an actual syndrome, and that the use of this term serves to reify the age-old practice of one parent turning the child against the other). The authors claim the mind control used in Parental Alienation often permanently damages or destroys the target parent's bonds with his or her children. While this is undoubtedly true in some cases, in others, the alienating parent may be in fact protecting the child from an abusive or inadequate parent. These kinds of disputes are complex and the use of a simplistic term such as PAS can distract from the uniqueness of each situation.
The parental alienation syndrome is not currently considered a syndrome in the DSM-IV and the American Psychological Association officially takes no position on "the purported syndrome. "  It has been stated that the parental alienation syndrome should not be admitted in court, due to evidentiary and causation problems with its theory and due to the dangerous feeling of reliability and believability in this self-published theory. 
Despite, or because being a serious topic in itself, mind control have attracted a large interest in the eyes of the popular culture, since, by the same logic as in conspiration theories, it may make the plot believable and more exciting. Mind control has proven a popular subject in fiction featuring in books and films such as The IPCRESS File, and The Manchurian Candidate