Leading Scientific Research on Undue Influence, its Effects and the Law

Leading Scientific Research on Undue Influence, its Effects and the Law


Steven Hassan, Primary Investigator

Our purpose is to conduct and publish research on undue influence in order to develop the scientific knowledge needed to update legal and social policies to reflect the current understanding of bioethics and to help diverse individuals and groups affected by undue influence.  We develop curricula and provide trainings to assist individuals, organizations and governments in combating undue influence. We use the latest knowledge in social psychology, neuroscience, human development and related issues of identity to increase the understanding of healthy and ethical influence as well as unethical influence.

Freedom From Undue Influence is a division of Dare Association, Inc.

Research is supervised by Dr. Judy Stevens-Long, Steven’s faculty supervisor from Fielding Graduate University, along with Dr. Michael Commons and Dr. Thomas Gutheil, M.D.

Freedom From Undue Influence is dedicated to human rights and empowering people to think for themselves and make independent decisions. We study undue influence in all its myriad forms: from the individual predator, who is skilled in the use of covert hypnosis, to misuse of authority and boundaries for exploitative purposes. This includes destructive cults of all types: religious, political, “therapy,” Large Group Awareness Trainings, Commercial cults including pimps and traffickers, multi-level marketing groups, terrorist cults like Daesh, Boko Haram, violent Neo-Nazi and White power groups as well as authoritarian governments.

I wish to thank everyone that participated in the research study on undue influence. The data was used in my first peer-reviewed journal article:(available online for free until the end of May)

Hassan, S., Shah, M. The Anatomy of Undue Influence Used by Terrorist Cults and Traffickers to Induce Helplessness and Trauma, so Creating False Identities. Ethics, Medicine and Public Health, Elsevier Journal. In press. 2019

Another study is now available: Research Study on Personality