The proper use of the BITE model


Courtesy of Pinterest

Infographic of the BITE model and what the model entails.

Belle R. LeDuc, Reporter

Knowing the history of Utah, it is no surprise that nearly 77% of the population has a religious affiliation of some kind. It has been a part of Utah culture since it was admitted to the union. Depending on the person, their religion- or lack thereof- can play a large part in their life.

From Heaven Gate’s mass-suicide to the origin of the phrase don’t drink the kool-aid history is filled with people being taken advantage of. While these extreme cases are a once in a blue moon occurrence, regular people are being taken advantage of every single day without knowing it. 

While people like to think they are mentally strong enough to defend themselves from organizations, those that wish to manipulate them know the ways through people’s mind. 

B.I.T.E. stands for behavior, information, thought, and emotional control. Each section has questions related to it. According to Hanssen, these topics are important to every human. Everyone should be allowed to act following the law and their personality. Everyone deserves access to accurate information. Everyone should be able to think what they wish. Finally, no emotion should be blocked or forced upon someone. This is what Steven Hanssen- a well-known psychologist specializing in how cults affect the human mind- realized.

Sophomore Alix Van Leuven stated, “ I know that it [the bite model] is used to determine if a religion is a cult.” Hanssen intended for the BITE model to be used this way, a way to give freedom to people.

Kelsey Smith, a sophomore at Taylorsville High School, stated, “If I find something suspicious, I would use it to kinda determine behavior.”

On the website, Freedom of Mind Hanssen states, “I developed the BITE model to help people determine if a group is practicing destructive mind control.” It is a way of grading any organization. Anything from a political movement to a group of friends can be evaluated using this.

One word of warning when using it, Van Lueven puts it when they say “It’s not supposed to hurt people, it is supposed to help you learn.” When using this model, a person should use it only for themselves. 

Smith agreed by stating, “Assume the best. That they’re not being controlled. What they are doing is good until there is enough evidence to say otherwise. Don’t jump to conclusions.”No one can tell you what you’ve experienced, just as one cannot tell anyone what they are going through. Use this for yourself first and foremost, then share the information with others.

Everyone deserves the freedom to be themselves. A person can only be happy with all aspects of their life under their control. Even if someone needs help, even if they want to be a part of something greater. Those who take advantage of those in need and those that are unable to make their own choices will never stop existing. Yet information and mutual worry will be here for just as long. The BITE model will serve as the first step towards personal freedom as it helps liberate you from toxic influences around you.