About Us

With nearly forty years of research and experience as activists, campaigners, writers and practitioners, Open Minds is established as the country’s leading authority on cultic abuse and terrorism. While fear focuses on the very real threat that terrorism poses to the lives of so many people worldwide, the methodology behind this frightening phenomenon is little … Continue reading About Us

March 24, 2016
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Steven Hassan

ISIS Is a Cult That Uses Terrorism: A Fresh New Strategy

By Steven Hassan, The World Post, October 17, 2014… Who is drawn to join violent terrorist groups and why? Could it be the violence itself? Last week The New York Times suggested that the group calling itself Islamic State has adopted a ‘cult of sadism’ — using its brutal images of rapes, crucifixions and beheadings … Continue reading ISIS Is a Cult That Uses Terrorism: A Fresh New Strategy

February 23, 2016
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Abigail Clay

Why improving understanding and increasing confidence among education professionals can help prevent young people from falling victim to radicalisation

Abigail Clay, Telegraph and Argus, February 10, 2016… There are few, if any, who would dispute the fact that radicalisation of young people is a form of abuse. But those who work in safeguarding could be tackling this more effectively by recognising a disturbing but overlooked facet of this challenging issue. Let us first question … Continue reading Why improving understanding and increasing confidence among education professionals can help prevent young people from falling victim to radicalisation

February 11, 2016
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Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

Deceptive Recruitment – from Canada to Colorado

By Anne Khodabandeh, Iranian.com, February 9, 2016… A father from Aurora, Colorado managed a last minute rescue of his daughter and two other girls from the nightmare of travelling to Syria. He said hed had no previous indication that she had been radicalised, but that his intuition kicked in when he discovered that her passport … Continue reading Deceptive Recruitment – from Canada to Colorado

February 10, 2016
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Aurora dad exclusively tells Denver7 how ISIS lured his daughter through social media

Tony Kovaleski, February 5, 2016… PART 1: ISIS recruits teens from across the globe AURORA – A Colorado father has broken his silence, more than a year after his teenage daughter and two friends boarded a plane to the middle east intending to join ISIS. In an exclusive interview with Denver7 Investigator Tony Kovaleski, the … Continue reading Aurora dad exclusively tells Denver7 how ISIS lured his daughter through social media

February 8, 2016
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Girl, 16, who tried to travel to Syria must be removed from her home

High court rules schoolgirl from east London should be taken away from deceitful parents and a household full of Islamic State propaganda Mr Justice Hayden, sitting in London, said: I can see no way in which her psychological, emotional and intellectual integrity can be protected by her remaining in this household. Press Association, Friday 21 … Continue reading Girl, 16, who tried to travel to Syria must be removed from her home

January 28, 2016
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Sixteen year old who attempted to reach Syria removed from parents care

Radicalising materials found at home Family Law Week, 31 August 2015 Mr Justice Hayden has ordered that a 16 year old girl who had attempted to travel to Syria in order to join Islamic State should be removed from her parents’ care. Mr Justice Hayden, determining the application in London Borough of Tower Hamlets v … Continue reading Sixteen year old who attempted to reach Syria removed from parents care

January 28, 2016
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The Islamic State’s Territorial Methodology

In this new study, jihadi expert Aaron Y. Zelin provides a framework for understanding how the Islamic State goes from no control to full consolidation of control in a particular area. Three case studies show how this framework plays out …   The Islamic State’s Territorial Methodology: Policy Analysis By Aaron Y. Zelin, The Washington … Continue reading The Islamic State’s Territorial Methodology

January 22, 2016
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Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

Brainwashing? There should be a law against it

…In the modern vernacular, the term brainwashing is used by ordinary people exactly to describe an unaccountable change of mind and/or personality in an otherwise normal person. Bewildered families of young people travelling to Syria say their children have been brainwashed. The government needs to catch up with scientific and social understanding of this phenomenon … Continue reading Brainwashing? There should be a law against it

January 21, 2016
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The psychology behind religious belief

…Reisss theory of what attracts people to religion is based on his research in the 1990s on motivation. He and his colleagues surveyed thousands of people and asked them to rate the degree to which they embraced hundreds of different possible goals. In the end, the researchers identified 16 basic desires that we all share: … Continue reading The psychology behind religious belief

January 16, 2016
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