“Actually Interact with Keith Raniere,” Eduardo Asúnsolo Questions Professionalism of Anti-Cultist Dr. Steven Hassan
On February 8th, 2021 I called Dr. Steven Hassan’s office and asked to speak to him. I stated to his assistant that I wanted to discuss the possibility of him interacting with my friend Keith Raniere and, failing that, viewing extensive video footage of him. I told his assistant that this was important because Dr. Hassan had already labeled Keith as a malicious narcissist publicly (he did so on Seduced on Starz, as well as a recent podcast and other outlets). I explained that it didn’t seem right for an expert licensed psychologist such as himself to diagnose someone publicly without any examination, or even any interaction.
Eventually, Dr. Hassan’s assistant came back to the phone and told me that Dr. Hassan did not desire to speak with Keith or with me. He recommended that I read his books.
At that point I emailed him the following:
“Hello Dr. Hassan, I hope this finds you well.
My name is Eduardo Asúnsolo Ramírez, I am a former teacher of ESP (Executive Success Programs), one of the founders of Make Justice Blind, and a friend of Keith Raniere.
I’m reaching out to make sure I was clear with the offer I made to you through your assistant earlier today on the phone. I’d like you to look into Keith as the expert you are, this means with access to materials and even a possible back and forth with him through email and on the phone. I’m not a scientist like yourself, but it sounds to me that this kind of access is what any expert would find ideal when tasked with making an assessment.
I find it personally wrongful that an expert voices their weighty opinion on a person and group on major outlets without a personal interaction with the subject or the group, especially when this opinion is so negative and creates so much damage. I may understand when this direct interaction is not possible, but in this case the person you’ve voiced your opinion on is reaching out to you to let you look into him. Rejecting this offer seems a violation on the foundations of your profession.
Please excuse the roughness of my words, but I believe that if someone is able to create a lot of damage with the authority of their words, they need to be willing to have a dialogue with the person whom they’re speaking about, and in this case even lecturing about.
Given all of this, I would find it very helpful if you were to explain your position to me.
Eduardo Asúnsolo Ramírez”
Hassan’s response to my email was almost exactly the same as the response to my phone call :
I am Steven Hassan’s assistant. We spoke earlier today.
Thank you for following up with your email message.
Steven read your email. He suggests that you please read Combating Cult Mind Control 30th anniversary edition and several of his blogs on NXIVM to better understand his point of view.
After you review those resources, if you want, respond with feedback.”
A few days later, Dr. Hassan appeared on the podcast “A Little Bit Culty,” produced and hosted by former members of NXIVM, Sarah Edmonson and Anthony “Nippy” Ames.
In the episode, Dr. Hassan and the hosts discussed my reaching out to him, or rather a distortion of it. They decided to keep my identity anonymous, which I object to, I hereby make it public that the interaction they discussed on their podcast with whom Dr. Hassan labeled as “a true believer” refers to me, Eduardo Asúnsolo Ramírez.
I also object to Dr. Hassan’s misrepresentation of our interaction, and to his refusal to examine Keith.
In his rendition on the podcast, Dr. Hassan stated that a “true believer” had reached out to him. Then, in a mocking tone, said “there’s no evidence of Keith being a narcissist!” implying this was what the true believer said and what they sounded like.
I did not say or write those words, and he doesn’t know how I sound because we’ve never spoken. The words I used are in my email above.
I invite everyone to observe the distortion between the email he received and his rendition of it, the latter is almost a pure fabrication. If you find dishonor and lies, consider that this is what has been done to anyone and everyone who took courses in NXIVM.
Why would a licensed psychologist deny direct interaction with their subject – especially when he has already very publicly labeled them with a serious psychological condition?
Here’s Dr. Hassan’s own explanation of the matter from a transcript from the podcast:
Sarah Edmonson to Dr. Hassan, “You feel like you don’t need to talk to Keith to make that assessment. Can you tell us why not? How can you assess him without meeting him? Can you explain that?”
Dr. Hassan’s response was “Well, to be honest, watching The Vow that you both were in, and thank you for your courage.” So he had diagnosed Keith Raniere solely by watching The Vow on HBO, which is a documentary produced by an entertainment-based commercial broadcasting company. Is this standard permitted by his profession? Is it ok for an expert on Narcissism to label someone publicly as a Malicious Narcissist based on a documentary? I can’t imagine any licensed profession allows such a low standard.
Furthermore, this particular documentary contains, in its majority, the opinions of people who have filed a civil lawsuit against the subject of the documentary, Keith Raniere. If they can convincingly portray “damages,” then they can justify receiving large sums of money from the civil lawsuit. If this is not biased, what is?
NXIVM Members Subjected to Anti-Cultist Superstition and Pseudoscience
What does it mean to mock a minority subculture on the air, and to call them names, to diagnose them with serious psychological conditions without examination, etc.? In our current times, if someone did this to a woman, or to a member of a minority racial group, or to a gay person, it would be completely unacceptable.
A publication recently said that it was dangerous that a large group of NXIVM supporters were publicly gathering, contrary to their right to freedom of assembly. They were referring to 14 people who participated at a dance party outside of MDC Brooklyn. Half of them had participated in the Executive Success Programs and other NXIVM courses. After this publication stated that their gathering was dangerous, the people who continued to dance received all sorts of insults, and even threats.
Mainstream culture has come to recognize that racial minorities, minorities in sexual or gender orientation, should never be an object of mockery. But anyone in support of NXIVM, or other minority subcultures, should? It’s tragic how societies often recognize and condemn the prejudice of the past, while they’re creating the same prejudice in the present.
Again, my name is Eduardo Asúnsolo Ramírez, I am a husband and a father. I am not brainwashed, and the use of this dehumanizing stereotype should be reprehensible to any reasonable person. I do not subscribe to the existence of brainwashing, and neither does the science – it has been debunked by every single scientific study ever conducted on it since the 1950’s.
Brainwashing is a term people use to dehumanize minorities while they pretend to “help” them.
I am a friend of Keith Raniere and many other former members of NXIVM, a group of people who have been and continue to be slandered by the mainstream media, the government, and others who stand to benefit financially.
Eduardo Asúnsolo Ramírez