Resources: Identifying and Resisting “Undue Influence”

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This is the third and final article in a series about the clear and present danger of undue influence in the manipulative hands of charlatans, con artists, abusive partners, and cults. In this post, we will explore positive practices that directly address undue influence, identifying needed research projects, a questionnaire to test your knowledge and awareness – and finally a call to action.

Best Practices & Resources

There have been pockets of success involving groups and individuals who have been educating the public about undue influence. Their efforts are creating a broader awareness of the prevalence and danger of undue influence and suggesting effective ways to help victims recover.

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AAWA Rewarded with Tax Exempt Status from IRS

AAWA now qualifies as a non-profit charity

AAWA now qualifies as a non-profit charity

We are pleased to announce that on April 17, 2015, Advocates for Awareness of Watchtower Abuses (AAWA) was awarded 501 (c) (3) status from the US Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury.

So what does that mean for our future?

Per the letter from IRS, “We are pleased to inform you that upon review of your application for tax exempt status we have determined that you are exempt from Federal income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Advocates for Awareness of Watchtower Abuses – AAWA are deductible under section 170 of the Code.

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Let Me Repeat: “Undue Influence” is a Growing Plague

After reading my first article on the prevalence and danger of “undue influence,” I’m sure that many of you may have questioned my ability to edit my own writing. Some readers may have thought that I’d developed some strange quirk – or simply lost my mind.

No, I haven’t lost my mind. And yes – I did repeat the descriptive phrase “undue influence” 22 times in that article. I’m sure that many readers considered my essay to be a textbook example of an excessive use of a single two-word combination. I broke the rules and simply ignored my grammar checker as it kept firing off complaints about my repetitive behavior. Why?

Because I wanted to burn those two words forever into your conscious mind!

What scares me – and it should terrify you as well – is that undue influence may be the fastest spreading plague that most people are oblivious to, because they simply do not understand how this mentally debilitating “control process” works.Danse-macabre-public-domain

If you paid attention and share my concerns, this second article should prove enlightening and helpful as I explore and suggest various ways we can try to stop this fast-growing menace.

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Undue Influence – A Significant Threat?

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I am deeply concerned about the prevalence and danger of undue influence and how quickly it takes place in the manipulative hands of terrorist groups, cults masquerading as benevolent religions (like Watchtower), violent gangs, human traffickers, and political cults. These groups also violate basic human rights and siphon away resources that could be used to resolve other major problems in today’s world.

While each of these groups has its own unique ideology, this is not the significant problem; rather, these groups use the devious art of undue influence to drive their ideology. All too often, the public at large and the victims of these groups are completely oblivious to this use of undue influence. Indeed, victims usually believe that the techniques used to induce their submission are actually beneficial.

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Watchtower Caught in a Lie

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Stephen Lett told a lie. There is no other way to describe it – it was simply a lie. There was not one bit of truth to it. And, as my father used to describe misrepresentations like this one – it was “a whopper.”

When analyzed more closely, there were several components to his public statement that were all provably untrue. During his speech, Watchtower Governing Body member Lett was basically trying to convince his followers not to believe the facts. While the following is not a direct quote from the video or from Mr. Lett, he might just as easily made the following statement:

“Effective today, ‘black is white, up is down, and north is south.’ Don’t believe what anyone else says or writes about how we handle child abuse within our organization. Don’t believe your lying eyes, your lying ears, or those lying court documents. We don’t lie about anything. Satan the Devil just wants to make you believe we do.”

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