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Extreme Beliefs or Delusions: Understanding the True Believer

Saturday, March 6th, 2021 @ 9:30 am 11:30 am

Presenter: Steven M. Crimando, MA, CHPP, CTM

It can be difficult and frustrating to try to reason with people whose beliefs range from extreme to delusional, or to try to refute their evidence—especially if there are hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of others who believe the same conspiracy theories. When so many people support the same views, is it as simple as considering them paranoid, extreme, or delusional? And how would you respond if that same conspiracy theory might incite violence or was viewed by the FBI as a potential domestic terrorism threat?

People become radicalized into extreme beliefs in different ways, in different roles, and for different reasons. It may be helpful to distinguish between reasons for joining, remaining in, and leaving extremist organizations. Perceived injustice, a need for identity and need for belonging are common vulnerabilities among potential extremists, but there are other powerful psychological forces. 

Presenter Bio:

Steven M. Crimando, MA, CHPP, CTM, is a subject matter expert and trainer specialized in human factors/behavioral sciences in homeland and corporate security, anti-terrorism, violence prevention and intervention, emergency and disaster management.

Steve is a Certified Threat Manager (CTM), Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress (BCETS) and Certified Homeland Protection Professional (CHPP). He is recognized as an expert in the violence prevention and the behavioral response to CBRN emergencies and mass violence.

Presentation Overview

• The mindset of the “true believer”
• Three views of radicalization: Social, Cognitive and Clinical
• Differentiating between extreme beliefs and delusional thought
• The nexus between mental illness and terrorism
• The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit’s view current extremist threat landscape


Venue: This event will be held via Zoom
One session: Sunday, March 6th, 9:30am – 11:30am


Free for Members
$50 for Non-Members (2 CE’s for NYS-licensed social workers. CE’s for psychologists: pending.)