A masterful and eye-opening examination of Trump and the coercive control tactics he uses to build a fanatical devotion in his supporters written by “an authority on breaking away from cults…an argument that…bears consideration as the next election cycle heats up” (Kirkus Reviews).
Since the 2016 election, Donald Trump’s behavior has become both more disturbing and yet increasingly familiar. He relies on phrases like, “fake news,” “build the wall,” and continues to spread the divisive mentality of us-vs.-them. He lies constantly, has no conscience, never admits when he is wrong, and projects all of his shortcomings on to others. He has become more authoritarian, more outrageous, and yet many of his followers remain blindly devoted. Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert and a major Trump supporter, calls him one of the most persuasive people living. His need to squash alternate information and his insistence of constant ego stroking are all characteristics of other famous leaders—cult leaders.
In The Cult of Trump, mind control and licensed mental health expert Steven Hassan draws parallels between our current president and people like Jim Jones, David Koresh, Ron Hubbard, and Sun Myung Moon, arguing that this presidency is in many ways like a destructive cult. He specifically details the ways in which people are influenced through an array of social psychology methods and how they become fiercely loyal and obedient. Hassan was a former “Moonie” himself, and he presents a “thoughtful and well-researched analysis of some of the most puzzling aspects of the current presidency, including the remarkable passivity of fellow Republicans [and] the gross pandering of many members of the press” (Thomas G. Gutheil, MD and professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School).
The Cult of Trump is an accessible and in-depth analysis of the president, showing that under the right circumstances, even sane, rational, well-adjusted people can be persuaded to believe the most outrageous ideas. “This book is a must for anyone who wants to understand the current political climate” (Judith Stevens-Long, PhD and author of Living Well, Dying Well).
Brainwashing, not politics, explains Donald Trump's presidency, according to this overwrought jeremiad. Hassan (Combating Cult Mind Control), an anticult counselor who left Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church after being deprogrammed, argues that President Trump's base constitutes a cult that the president assisted by Fox News, the Christian right, the alt-right, and Russian agents manipulates with mind-control techniques. These include flattering audiences; fear-mongering against immigrants and reporters to create an us-vs.-them mentality, using "hypnotically repetitious" slogans and chants at rallies; distributing MAGA hats to "anchor" approved thoughts, disorienting people with false or nonsensical tweets, seeking to "delegitimize" government through policies and judicial appointments, and forcing underlings to eat junk food and dress alike. Recasting politics as psychopathology, Hassan offers tips on deprogramming Trump supporters and recommends that aspiring presidential candidates undergo "a full neuropsychiatric, forensic evaluation" before being certified to run. Hassan's concept of cultic mind control is so promiscuous "alternating praise and criticism is a common technique in cults" that virtually everything politicians normally do could qualify, and his caricature of brainwashed Trump voters doesn't engage with their substantive policy concerns. Readers hoping for an illuminating analysis of Trump's appeal will have to look elsewhere.
Never Trumper loses
Clearly another liberal with delusions of grandeur. President Trump was so successful as an outsider, these life long politicians can’t stand it. He broke up their old club, disrupted their pyramid scheme. This book is proof of his effective strategy to keep America, AMERICA! 🇺🇸