Response to Rick Ross’s Personal Attack
I want to respond to Rick Ross’s attacks on
my ethics and professional work counseling people in need. Initially
I tried to ignore his inappropriate and completely inaccurate accusations
but it has gotten out of hand. What is especially saddening is that
we are supposedly both fighting the same battle.
Of course there are some differences between Rick
Ross and myself and I wonder whether his perception of those differences
may not be part of the problem. Unlike Ross, I’m a trained
mental health professional, former cult member, author of two well-received
books, and have nearly three decades of experiencing people who
have been harmed by destructive mind control.
As for the accusations, my current fees are not $500
as Ross claims. I charge half that for an hour of counseling and
have done so for quite some time. In response to his suggestions
that I am unethical in my dealings with clients, I want to assert
that I abide by the ethical guidelines of my professional organizations
including the American Counseling Association. Every person I have ever worked with has known what
I charge in advance and has agreed to it. In recent months, in accordance
with the new federal HIPAA guidelines, clients must sign a written
contract that discloses all necessary information, if they wish
to work with me.
It is up to my clients to decide if they wish to
spend the money to help their loved one, and what they are willing
to pay for my services. To my knowledge no one has lost a house
because of me.
Ross failed to call my office and inquire about my
fees. He simply sent emails, faxes, and certified letters in an
accusatory tone, which I decided to have my lawyer deal with because
I feel my time is better spent helping those in need.
Finally I would like to add that I have done an enormous
amount of pro bono work over the past 27 years. Also, I charge less
for counseling former members who have difficulty paying my fees. I
provide a sliding scale for former members when necessary, and also
have arranged long term, no interest payment plans.
I hope this clarifies the situation. I’d like
to thank those of you who have come to my defense. I trust that
Ross will now remove the Freedom of Mind Resource Center from his
list of groups, a place it never, ever belonged.
Steven Hassan M.Ed LMHC