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Trump is a ‘malignant’ cult leader who employs ‘universal mind control’ techniques: Former cult member

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Donald Trump Tampa rally

A former member of the Unification Church cult led by Sun Myung Moon sees a lot of similarities between the man he once blindly followed and President Donald Trump.

In an interview with Vox, author Steven Hassan, who has written a new book called The Cult of Trump, explains why he believes Trump fits the exact profile of a malignant cult leader.

“I began this book with the assumption that Trump is a malignant narcissist,” he tells Vox. “Actually, watching him and listening to him reminded me of Sun Myung Moon, the leader of the cult I joined in college, in that both have a kind of God complex where they’re the only one with the answers, the only one who can fix things.”

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He then points to statements by prominent evangelical leaders who believe that Trump was chosen by God to lead the United States, and also dives into how Trump was exposed at a young age to a prosperity gospel preacher named Norman Vincent Peale.

“Peale preached a cultish prosperity gospel, where everything’s about how God is going to bless you with material rewards,” he said. “It’s not about spirituality or Christ or anything like that. It’s all about turning self-confidence into a religion.”

Hassan concludes that the religious devotion Trump inspires is akin to mass brainwashing.

“The bottom line is that I see very sophisticated mind-control techniques being used through the media, through religious broadcasters and radio talk-show hosts,” he says. “It’s a black-and-white, all-or-nothing, good-versus-evil, authoritarian view of reality that is mostly fear-based. And there’s a deliberate focus on denying facts in order to protect the image of the leader. These are universal mind-control techniques common to all destructive cults, and something I call “phobia introduction.” Irrational fears are drilled into people’s minds so that they can’t even imagine leaving the group or questioning the leader without terrible things happening to them.”

Read the whole interview here.

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Trump officials demanded the Army ‘dig for misconduct’ to justify firing Lt. Col. Vindman

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This week, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman willingly left the Army after decades of honorable service. He cited a concerted campaign of "bullying" from the highest branches of power in the United States, and now more details are becoming known.

A New Yorker report revealed that top aides to President Donald Trump were told that they needed to find dirt on Vindman that could justify the firing of the decorated war hero.

"Vindman expected to go to the National War College this fall—a low-profile assignment—then take another foreign posting," the New Yorker reported. "But, in a final act of revenge, the White House recently made clear that Trump opposed Vindman’s promotion. Senior Administration officials told [Defense Secretary Mark] Esper and Ryan McCarthy, the Secretary of the Army, to dig for misconduct that would justify blocking Vindman’s promotion. They couldn’t find anything, multiple sources told me. Others in the military chain of command began to warn Vindman that he would never be deployable overseas again—despite his language skills and regional expertise."

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George Conway reveals how Mary Trump’s book and the Supreme Court prove the ‘walls are closing in’ on the president

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Republican lawyer and "Lincoln Project" co-founder, George Conway, wrote in a Washington Post column Thursday that there are a lot of commonalities in Mary Trump's forthcoming tell-all book and the Supreme Court decision passed down in President Donald Trump's case with New York prosecutor Cy Vance.

Mary Trump, who is a clinical psychologist, delivers "professional judgments about the president's indisputable narcissism and, perhaps, sociopathy dovetail with those that other experts have reached before," wrote Conway. "Yet it's not the possible diagnoses that give Mary Trump's book its punch. It's the factual detail — detail that only a family member could provide."

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Tennessee Republican says he hasn’t ‘really studied’ whether the Civil War was about slavery

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On Thursday, The Tennessean's Natalie Allison reported that Tennessee state Rep. Mike Sparks, who makes a habit of complaining that "young people" and "journalists" don't bother to study history, could not answer a basic question about what the Civil War was fought over.

"Was the Civil War about slavery?" asked a reporter.

"I haven't really studied it," said Sparks.

"You said you know history!" said another reporter.

"I just think we need to all study history," said Sparks, still not answering the question. "There's different contexts."

This comes during a debate over whether to remove a bust of Confederate general and suspected Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest. Another lawmaker, state Sen. Joey Hensley, defended Forrest, arguing that "3,000 Blacks attended his funeral" — a common but unproven claim of Confederate sympathizers.

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