Steven Hassan, author of the “The Cult of Trump,” a book that is very critical of those who mislead people, seems to have a problem with the facts himself. Hypocritically, Hassan lambasts President Trump for distorting the truth, while he deliberately conflates his own CV with false claims of professional status and even a fictional medal of honor.

Hassan says that he is a teacher and/or instructor at both Harvard Medical School and Harvard Law School. However, Harvard University does not list Steven Hassan as occupying any official teaching position through its faculty locator. In fact, Steven Hassan is not even so much as mentioned anywhere on the Harvard University website.

Hassan apparently deliberately misled multiple media outlets about his professional status. WMNF Radio host Rob Lorei states at the broadcast’s official website that “Hassan now teaches at Harvard Medical School.” The Daily Beast also reported that Steven Hassan “teaches at Harvard Medical School.” And The Daily Mail in the UK describes him as “Harvard Medical School teacher Steven Hassan.”

Hassan’s CV specifically states that he is “Member of the Program in Psychiatry and the Law at Massachusetts Mental Health Center- A teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.” Hassan also states that he was a “participant” at a Harvard Law School “workshop.” But participating in a program or a workshop does not confer any official teaching status upon Hassan at Harvard.

Steve Hassan with his book

Hassan’s Facebook page shows a photo of him apparently volunteering at a Harvard program. But again, volunteering is not the same as having a faculty appointment as an instructor or as a teacher at Harvard University.

Hassan’s CV lists Harvard several times, notably Harvard Law School. Hassan states that he was a “participant in Trial Advocacy Expert Witness Workshop.” On his Facebook page Hassan says he has been an “instructor” at Harvard Law School five times rather than simply a “participant.” Interestingly, Hassan doesn’t list any expert witness work or any court jurisdiction where he has been qualified, accepted and testified as an expert witness on his CV.

There is a Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard with an expert witness component, but Steven Hassan isn’t mentioned anywhere in the workshop description, which denotes the inclusion of “experienced trial lawyers and judges who teach as volunteers during the workshop.”

CultNews contacted Harvard University directly for comment. The Office of Faculty Affairs at Harvard Medical School responded unequivocally that there is “no record of Steven Hassan currently holding or having held in the past a faculty appointment at the medical school.” That is, despite the fact that there are thousands of full- and part-time faculty members consisting of assistant, associate, full professors and part-time instructors, Steven Hassan is not and has never been one of them. Melody Jackson, spokesperson for Harvard Law School, told CultNews that Hassan has never held any faculty appointed teaching position as an “instructor” at Harvard Law School.

But Hassan does have at least one proven personal and professional link to Harvard Medical School.

Steven Hassan’s wife Misia Landau who received a PhD in anthropology from Yale University and a Diploma in human biology from Oxford University, taught at Harvard prior to becoming a senior science writer at Harvard Medical School. Landau left her position at Harvard in 2009.

Hassan received his Masters degree from Cambridge College, which features online education. The college has a branch near Harvard. Hassan says he is currently working on a PhD from Fielding Graduate University, which is also known for its distance online educational programs.

Hassan also lists Boston University School of Medicine, but not specifically as an employer. It appears that he may have done volunteer talks at some hospital programs, again without any official status.

Steven Hassan is licensed as a Mental Health Counselor by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. But it must be noted that a serious complaint was filed against Hassan by a former client. The Massachusetts licensing board charged Hassan with an ethical violation for breaching client confidentiality. Hassan was prosecuted, but ultimately the matter was dismissed without prejudice in November 2012. The board warned Hassan that any further failure to adhere to its ethical standards might “result in disciplinary action against [his] license.”

In addition to Hassan’s ethical lapses and conflated teaching status at Harvard he also claims to have received a nonexistent medal of honor. At his CV under the heading “Honors” Hassan lists the so-called “Jerusalem Medal,” which he implies was awarded to him by the Director General of the Israel Ministry of Social Affairs.

In fact, there is no such honor known as the “Jerusalem Medal” awarded to anyone by the Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs.

In 2010 the Israeli agency’s Director General Nahum Itzkovitz visited the United States and while in New York he gave out a few token gifts of appreciation to some people that were helpful to his research. CultNews has what Hassan calls a “Jerusalem Medal” sitting on an office shelf, but it’s merely a souvenir memento with the word “Jerusalem” engraved on a small metal medallion displayed on a little wooden stand. It has a sticker on the back, which says that it’s a “gift” from Director General Itzkovitz.

Steven Hassan seems to have penchant for conflating his CV and also behaving badly with clients. CultNews has received many complaints over the years.

Cult leaders often conflate their biographies in an effort to impress people and are known for their ethical lapses. Hassan’s attempt to mislead the media and public, while simultaneously criticizing others for deception, is really rather rich isn’t it?

More information about Steven Hassan

Serious complaints about cult specialist Steven Hassan

Cult Watcher Steve Hassan’s links to fugitive sex offender

Steve Hassan fans want “information control”

Third installment of Steven Hassan’s trilogy adds little understanding

Disclaimer regarding Steve Hassan

Postscript: Steven Hassan has changed his CV since this report was published online (CultNews has screenshots and a printed copy of the original). He has somewhat softened his claims concerning any official teaching status at Harvard. Hassan has also changed his “Honors” heading to “Honors and Awards” and added that his so-called “Jerusalem Medal” was “given with gratitude.” However, Hassan still won’t admit that he never received a “medal,” only a souvenir gift, which has no special status or meaningful significance to credibly list on his CV. Hassan has also apparently encouraged a number of his devoted supporters to post as his seeming surrogates on Facebook in an attempt to discredit this report. However, CultNews firmly stands by its reporting and fact checking.

Update: Steven Hassan has been busy apparently doing “damage control.” The day after this CultNews report appeared Hassan apparently sought and received a one-page letter from the Massachusetts Mental Health Center (75 Fenwood Road in Boston), which was subsequently posted on Facebook (the link is now restricted though CultNews has a copy). The letter is signed by Angie Mines, Residency Program Coordinator. The letter consists of one short paragraph. Ms. Mines writes that Hassan has been “teaching an elective course” for psychiatric residents. Addressed “To Whom This May Concern” Mines states, “If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.” CultNews contacted Ms Mines who seemed surprised that her letter was posted online. When asked specific questions such as is Steven Hassan paid to teach? And is teaching at the Harvard affiliated Longwood Hospital the same as “teaching at Harvard Medical School”? Ms. Mines replied, “I will have to talk to the program director.” Ms. Mines later concluded in an email, “As advised by my supervisors, I’m not going to be providing any further information.” Mines has since requested that her name and contact information be removed from her letter, which is now linked from Hassan’s website. Hassan later posted a letter signed by a doctor that says he has been “a valued invited presenter” at a Harvard affiliated hospital where the doctor co-teaches a course. Steven Hassan has also added a link to a video of one of those presentations. Apparently, Hassan has been a volunteer at the hospital as a guest speaker for a classes there. Steven Hassan has also recently recruited people to email CultNews in an apparent effort to pressure CultNews to remove this article. Hassan now insists that he is “teaching at programs that are part of Harvard Medical School” [see “The Truth About Steven Hassan”]. However, no one from Harvard Medical School confirms his claim. None of the letters posted confirm this claim and more specifically, certainly not Harvard Medical School. Hassan continues to perpetuate this misleading mythology about his supposed Harvard teaching status in an article he wrote for Medium (April 12, 2020) criticizing Donald Trump for “misinformation” and “falsehoods.” Medium states in a disclaimer, “per our Policies, but we don’t fact-check every story.”

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11 comments untill now

  1. Brian J Birmingham @ 2019-10-24 22:03

    This man is one of the most hypocritical people who I have ever met in my life. He’s also one of the least genuinely empathetic people I’ve ever met, and I’ve got half a mind to write my own book and call it “The Cult of Hassan.” After all, I was a member of the Cult of Hassan for three years. In November of 2011, I was in severe distress and was hospitalized in a psych ward for five days. I was suicidal. While inside the hospital, I got in touch with Steve’s assistant and let her know where I was and what was going on. When I got out of the hospital, and for the rest of the time I knew Steve, he NEVER ONCE asked me how I was, how I was feeling now that I was out, if I was still suicidal, nothing. He never mentioned that to me AT ALL, and never expressed any concern for my mental state whatsoever. He never asked me about my hospitalization at all, asked me how I was doing, nothing. And this man holds himself up as a paragon of compassion and empathy?

  2. Brian J Birmingham @ 2019-10-24 23:02

    I am putting the link to this page all over Freedom of Mind’s Facebook page. Let’s see how long it takes Steve to practice some information control and remove the link. 🙂

  3. Brian J Birmingham @ 2019-10-25 01:00

    To whom it may concern: I used to be this man’s research assistant, and now I think him one of the most hypocritical people I have ever met in my life. I used to be a member of the Cult of Hassan. He’s certainly one of the top five biggest hypocrites I’ve ever met. If he’s not seriously narcissistic, then nobody is.

  4. Scott Williams @ 2019-10-25 07:24

    Thanks CultNews for having the compassion to post this revelation about someone who I’ve felt for years is quite frightening. Although he has a lot of information he doesn’t seem to be that knowledgeable.

    I noticed how critical he was on his FB page about a week ago, and actually commented to him about it; that I felt his comments were biased especially concerning the media.

    I served in Desert Storm and Bosnia with the 2d MarDiv and never saw a reporter there, period. Well, he replied that he wrote about that in his book. Yet now I see he has removed the whole dialogue.


    On a positive note, this reporting by CultNews, reflects there are people out there who truly care about us who are seeking help, not only for ourselves but in order to help others also.

  5. Brian J Birmingham @ 2019-10-25 14:21

    Hey Steve: I hope that you are reading this. People like you, would be nobody without people like me. You have exploited and abused a lot of people (myself included) to get where you are now. Don’t ever forget that, Steve. May God have mercy on your soul.

  6. Narcissists will often point to other “bad” people as a way to deflect from their own behaviors.

  7. Brian J Birmingham @ 2019-10-25 22:13

    Steve is on a Messianic-type mission to free everybody’s minds so that we can adopt the same world view, and come to the same conclusions about things in general, as himself!

  8. Sharon Tyson @ 2019-10-27 03:15

    Thank you for sharing this! This is why I left social media and cult activism. Birds of a feather flock together . . . He is involved with Open Minds Foundation also. Interesting indeed!

  9. He used to try to get me to call into radio shows and other venues in which he was being interviewed, in order to ask certain questions that were designed to make him look good (basically). I never did do so, though.

  10. Sorry, it’s not obvious for me that what sort of qualification Mr. Ross has, exactly? I couldn’t find it anywhere.

  11. I began as an activist and community organizer, but later worked for a social service agency and educational bureau. I have been researching destructive cults since the 1980s. And though I have never attended college, I have been asked to lecture at many universities both in the United States (e.g. Baylor, Carnegie Mellon, Penn, University of Chicago) and in Asia.

    My CV is here

    As a judicially qualified and accepted expert I have testified in 10 states, including United States Federal Court, subsequent to a Daubert Hearing, which confirmed my expertise. My work as an expert witness has included criminal trials, personal injury lawsuits and child custody cases.

    My book “Cults Inside Out” has been published in Chinese and Italian and includes two very carefully footnoted and relevant chapters, “Defining a Destructive Cult” and “Cult Brainwashing.”

    My work as an expert has also included working with law enforcement such as the FBI, BATF and also Israel’s Ministry of Social Welfare. I have also been a paid professional analyst for CBS News, CBC, Nippon and Asahi television of Japan and an expert consultant for Miramax Disney and Ubisoft.

    My work is fairly well known through documentaries and the news media in the US and internationally.

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