by Patrick O’Reilly
and Phyllis Rosen
Internet scams, Ponzi schemes, real estate rip-offs, weird cults, fortune-telling cons—it’s hard to read the news without finding another example of a successful con artist at work. As the number of cons (and victims) grows, the term undue influence is gaining widespread use.
Undue Influence: Cons, Scams and Mind Control identifies the tools and techniques con artists use and the vulnerabilities they look for in victims. Most scammers, including some charismatic psychopaths, have the uncanny ability to adapt common techniques of manipulation and control to the personality of their victim, and given the right circumstances, everyone is susceptible. The information in this book might be your best resource the next time makes an offer so good you can’t turn it down.
About the Authors
Patrick O’Reilly, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. He is past president of the San Francisco Psychological Association and former chair of Bay Area Skeptics. He was a postdoctoral intern of the late Dr. Margaret Singer and has served as an expert witness on matters related to cults, gangs, undue influence, and false confessions.
Phyllis Rosen, J.D. has been a member of the California Bar since 1991. In the 1970s, Ms. Rosen was herself a member of a psychologized cult acting under the guise of being part of the human potential movement. Ms. Rosen was a research collaborator with Dr. Margaret Singer on matters of undue influence.
“We’ve all wondered about the mysterious forces that compel bright people to follow leaders who are bad for them, or why we ourselves have been fooled. Patrick O’Reilly and Phyllis Rosen offer a sparkling page-turner filled with stories and insights that will leave you smarter than before.”
—Nanette Asimov has written about fringe groups as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. Her work includes coverage of cults and high controlling relationships.
“One of the clearest, most accessible, and informative books on social manipulation and undue influence available … a remarkable feat.”
—Stephen A. Kent, Ph.D., professor of sociology at the University of Alberta, specializes in research on new and alternative religions and is the author of From Slogans to Mantras: Social Protest and Religious Conversion in the Late Vietnam Era
“… an important text for mental health practitioners when treating clients and patients who have been victimized.”
—George Taylor, Ph.D. is a professor of Special Education at Coppin State University, whose academic specialties include research methodology and special education. He is the author of twenty-three books in social science, including Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Research