Tag Archives: Jon Atack

Porkins Policy Radio episode 196 How to be a cult leader with Jon Atack and Sam Atack

This week Jon Atack and Sam Atack joined me to discuss their new videos series Think Like a Cult Leader. Jon and Sam described how their criteria for being a “successful cult leader” matches up with so many people currently in positions of power today. We also talked about Sam’s prank creation his own cult “The Unification Church of Saminanity” and how he was able to persuade 50 people to join. We then discussed the issue of impulsivity among cult leaders and how this affects their actions. We talked about how this behavior, and the trend of extreme boredom. We closed out the first hour by focusing on how this might influence future generations and cult groups alike.

In the second hour, we discussed the destructive influence of the Christian fundamentalist group “The Family” and their late leader David Coe. We talked about how the group developed a far-reaching influence in America and abroad. We finished off the hour by talking about the political situation in Xinjiang. We talked about the repression of Uighur’s and the use of re-education camps by the Chinese government. Jon and I discussed the cult-like devotion among the political left when discussing China. We also talked about the real threat of extremist groups like the East Turkestan Islamic Movement and how the Chinese government exploiting them.

Download episode 196

Show Notes:

Opening Minds YouTube channel

Think like a cult leader

An introduction to Saminanity

Further thoughts on Saminanity

Mind Control Made Easy (or how to become a cult leader)

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Porkins Policy Radio episode 188 Editorial Report: Journalistic integrity and why racists are not welcome here

This week I addressed some editorial issues regarding the radio show and the types of guests I will not support or promote. I talked about the backlash I received for calling Ryan Dawson a “racist grifter” and why I continue to stand by that statement. I discussed my own journalistic integrity and why I will not allow myself to be tainted by right-wingers simply because they do “good research.”

In the second hour, I took a call from Dimitri who questioned my decision to have Lucien Greaves on the show and take much of what he was saying at face value. We talked about Greave’s’ problematic past which I, admittedly, did not research before when I had him on. I talked about my own reservations now about having him back on, and how this is an inevitable problem when it comes to radio journalism. Later we talked about another controversial figure that people ask me about Dr. Joylln West, whom Jon Atack knew and has talked about on the show before. I talked about the theories regarding West and the Oklahoma City Bombing and how much of that story doesn’t hold up. Chuck helps me finish off the show by talking about the problems that we face as journalists and radio hosts.

Download episode 188

Show Notes:

Anatomy of a Crypto-Fascist Sect

Open Minds On Air episode 7 Communication or Miscommunication?

This month, Christian Szurko of the Dialog Centre returns, joining Jon and Pearse in this informative, witty, and often hilarious discussion. They start with the idea of how communication is used – or, rather, misused – as a means of control in recruitment and indoctrination, and the impact this has in the recovery of those leaving authoritarian relationships. They move on to explore how the misuse of communication plays out in groups such as cults and gangs, as well as in everyday relationships. They also take a hard look at how our education system can act as the foundation for this type of control, and discuss how redefining words and phrases has long been used by authoritarian groups to exert control.

Download OMOA episode 7

Open Minds On Air episode 5 Brainwashing and Cult Apologists

From OpenMindsFoundation.org

In this episode, Jon Atack and Pearse Redmond speak with their good friend Yuval Laor. They start by discussing a recent article by professor Rebecca Moore entitled The Brainwashing Myth, dissecting the strange assertions Moore makes, primarily that brainwashing does not exist. They also talk about her three “scientific, neutral, and precise” terms which can replace brainwashing.

Jon and Yuval talk about the historical roots of the term from ancient China to the through reform camps of the 50’s. They also address our problems with the flawed term “new religious movement”, discussing Moore’s history defending Jim Jones and The Peoples’ Temple. They talk about her sisters, Carolyn Layton and Annie Moore, both high-ranking members who organized and oversaw the murder of over 900 people. They look at how this has colored Rebecca Moore’s books defending Jones and the legacy of the Peoples Temple. They close out by talking about the problem of arguing over semantics within the counter-cult world.

What do you think about this podcast? Do you agree? Do you have a story about brainwashing – or the misuse of the term – that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!

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Show Notes:

The Brainwashing Myth

Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple

Understanding Jonestown and Peoples Temple

Jim Jones’ Tenured Apologist

Jonestown Apologists Alert

Open Minds On Air Episode 4 – Christian Szurko on Radicalization

Christian Szurko of the Dialog Centre joins us once again for a discussion about radicalization. We start off by talking about Jon’s recent trips to Lisbon and Rotterdam for a series of conferences hosted by the Radicalization Awareness Network. We discuss the growing problems of radicalization, looking at groups such as the far-right and gangs. We touch on the public’s reluctance to engage with radicalized individuals, and the false concept that they are “too far gone.” We round out the conversation by discussing how conspiracy theories play a central role in the radicalization process.

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Show Notes:

Open Minds

Dialog Centre

Open Minds

Open Minds on Air ep 3 Christian Szurko on Recovery

From OpenMindsFoundation.org

In this episode, Christian Szurko of the DialogCentre UK joins hosts Pearse Redmond and Jon Atack to discuss his work counseling people who have become involved in extremist or authoritarian groups. Christian explains how he first got involved in this field of work, and they talk about how this process works from the initial first meeting all the way through to recovery. Christian and Jon both discuss the dangers of “deprograming” and the positive alternatives that are out there. They also touch on the psychological effects that leaving an extremist or authoritarian group can have on an individual.

Download OMOA episode 3

Open Minds On Air episode 2 – The Manipulative Power of Awe

From OpenMindsFoundation.org

Join hosts Pearse Redmond and Jon Atack as they discuss the concept of awe and its manipulative power with Yuval Laor. They talk about the psychological effect awe can have on an individual, and explore how this can be exploited by cult groups and toxic individuals in order to gain control. Yuval and Jon also discuss how all of us can be susceptible to the manipulation of our natural sense of awe, and the importance of cultivating healthy awe experiences in our life.

Download episode 2

Open Minds On Air episode 1 What is the Open Minds Foundation?

From Open Minds:

We are delighted to announce the first episode of Open Minds On Air. This is the official podcast of the Open Minds Foundation, hosted by Pearse Redmond, Jon Atack, and Yuval Laor.

In this episode, we introduce ourselves and give a little background on what the Open Minds Foundation is working on. We discuss the ever-present threat of the human predator, and how they infect our lives. Also, Jon and Yuval explain the methods and techniques of human predators. They talk about the tactics that these predators employ to gain control over an individual or group. We end the conversation by talking about ways individuals can combat this behavior.

Download episode

Show Notes:

Human Predator

Recruitment Seduction

Healthy Skepticism

Blink. Think. Choice. Voice.

Porkins Policy Radio episode 135 Jon Atack on Opening Minds, power of aversion, and the danger of obedience

Friend of the show and frequent guest Jon Atack joins me once again for a wide ranging discussion. We start off by talking about Scientology’s launch of their television channel. Jon and I watch a little bit of Scientology TV live on the air and comment on it. We talk about the stupidity of launching the a media platform this late in the game, and comment on David Miscavige’s increasingly manikin like face. We then move onto a discussion of Jon’s book Opening Minds: The Secret World of Manipulation, Undue Influence and Brainwashing. Jon starts off by talking about why he decided to write the book and why he choose to cover the topics involved. Jon and I discuss how Opening Minds deals less with cults such as Scientology or the Moonies, and more with how the human actually works, and why we are so susceptible to undue influence. We talk about how our minds are conditioned from a very young age to be obedient to authority, and how this can lead us into very toxic relationships and situations. Jon and I use the Louise Ogborn strip search phone call scam case as an example. Later Jon and I discuss the loaded term hypnosis and how most people experience some form of hypnotic or altered state throughout their daily life. Jon also talks about how salesman use these tactics in order to make you buy whatever product there are hocking.

In the second hour Jon and I explore the cult like realities of terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and salafi cults like Hizb ut-Tahrir. Later we explore the notion of aversion and how that is one of the strongest factors at play in the formation and devotion to a high control group. We talk about aversion as it pertains to racist cults like the Aryan Brotherhood or even the KKK. Jon and I discuss how we have become a society that unites around our aversion. As a society we would rather unite over what we mutually hate rather than a positive ideal. Jon and I talk about the effect this is having and why this opens us up to manipulation, particularly when it comes to the political and economic elite. Later Jon and I discuss the deteriorating political climate that we are in. We touch on the fact that the bar has been lowered to such a level where we now fully accept that politics is entirely corrupt from top to bottom. Jon and I finish by teasing our new exclusive podcast series for the Open Minds Foundation.

Download PPR episode 135

Show Notes:

Open Minds Foundation

Opening Minds: The Secret World of Manipulation, Undue Influence and Brainwashing

Strip search phone call scam

Institute for Propaganda Analysis

Hizb ut-Tahrir

Porkins Policy Radio episode 127 Jon Atack on Undue Influence, and the Open Minds Foundation

Jon Atack joins me again this week for another in depth discussion about cults, high control groups, and the dangers of undue influence. We begin by discussing the concept of being an “ex-Scientologist” or ex cult member in general. We talk about the stigma that this term carries and why it is unfair to categorize people in this way. Jon talks about the the term ex-Scientologist can become a negative defining characteristic of ones life. Jon also touches on the struggles that people go through after leaving a cult of high control group. Jon then defines the term undue influence and what it means in today’s society. We talk about how undue influence is much more complex and pervasive in our society than we may think. Jon and I then turn our focus to the undue influence of the school system and how it is damaging young people. We talk about how schools essentially create robots, and discourage independent thought. Jon also links this to adults desires to be obedient to an authority figure, even if that means inflicting pain and trauma on others.

In the second hour Jon and I talk about how we are all susceptible to undue influence and con artist’s. Jon talks about being nearly conned by scammers in India who allegedly wanted to fix his computer. We then return to the issue of children and young people and how they are continually the victims of predatory behavior. Jon discusses how predators can mean more than simply pedophiles seeking to abuse kids. Jon talks about the nasty every day predatory behavior of teachers, and the problems with the Western system of education. Later Jon and I discuss his recent work at the Open Minds foundation. Jon talks the foundations work in helping to better educate children about predators and toxic relationships. He discusses their work making short animations that will help to give young people a better understanding of the dangers out there. Jon also talks about how we need to better connect with young people through culture and popular cultural means. We also manage to touch on Stefan Molyneux, South Park, and Rick and Morty.

Download PPR episode 127

Show Notes:

Open Minds Foundation

The Open Minds Foundation – the Story So Far

PPR episode 118 Let’s Sell These People a Piece of Blue Sky with Jon Atack

Let’s sell these people A Piece of Blue Sky

Opening Minds: The Secret World of Manipulation, Undue Influence and Brainwashing

Halycon Daze

Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

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