Rock Valley College

David H. Caskey Memorial Lecture

The 2022 Caskey Lecture will be held at 6 p.m. on April  7, 2022, featuring Dr. Steven Hassan. 

Please note: the virtual link will become active on the day of the presentation.

If you need assistance accessing the virtual presentation via Zoom, please check out the helpful resources found on the CLR General FAQs page (by clicking here).

About the 2022 Caskey Lecture

Understanding Destructive Cult Mind Control: How undue influence works in modern-day relationships, groups, and belief systems, and how to help people to become free. In 2022, psychological warfare is being waged through the internet by state actors as well as ideological interests that wish to convert or at the very least confuse people, divert them, and neutralize them as empowered citizens. Authoritarian cults--on the left and right--seek to coopt critical thinking, media literacy, and independent action. They wish confusion and chaos to disrupt the government and human rights.

By understanding the Influence Continuum and the BITE Model of Authoritarian Control (Behavior, Information, Thoughts and Emotions), people will have the necessary basic tools to evaluate and reality test any relationship or group involvement. Cults exist along the Influence Continuum, so there can be healthy productive cults too.

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the guiding document to help discern healthy versus unhealthy policies. Authoritarian cults can exist in a variety of sizes from a dictatorship with one billion and a half people to a one-over-one controlling relationship. There can be commercial cults (including but not limited to trafficking and multi-level marketing cults), political, religious, psychological, and large group awareness training cults.

About Dr. Hassan

Education and Experience
Steven Alan Hassan, PhD, MA, MEd, LMHC, NCC holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Development and Change (ODC) and a Master of Arts in Organizational Development & Change, both from Fielding Graduate University, School of Leadership Studies in Santa Barbara, CA, and a Masters in Education in Counseling Psychology from Cambridge College in Cambridge, MA. He is a Nationally Certified Counselor and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Massachusetts.

Dr. Steven Hassan is a mental health professional and expert in undue influence tactics used by authoritarian leaders and destructive cults. His expertise includes harmful influence in cases of destructive religious and political cults, human trafficking, extremist and terrorist groups, one-on-one relationships, families, and many other social groups.

Dr. Hassan began helping people affected by undue influence after he was deprogrammed from the Moon cult in 1976 at age 22. His 45-plus years of experience give him a unique perspective on the damaging effects of undue influence and exploitation by destructive cults.

He is the Founding Director of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center, which provides training, consulting, and support to individuals who are struggling to leave or recover from a cult, and to families and organizations that are concerned about cult behaviors.

He developed the BITE Model of Authoritarian Control to identify control tactics used in cults, and he developed the Strategic Interactive Approach (SIA), an effective and legal intervention alternative for families to help cult members.

Dr. Hassan is the author of four books, including Combating Cult Mind Control, Freedom of Mind and The Cult of Trump, and he has a foundational online course called Understand Cults: The Basics.

Sponsored by

The Family of David H. Caskey and the RVC Foundation.


For more information please contact Dr. Julie Hernandez at (815) 921-3388.

To request disability-related accommodations, please contact the event contact that is listed above. Advance notice is appreciated. To request this publication in an alternative format, please contact Disability Support Services at (815) 921-2371.