Who we are and what we do.


Thinking Agenda LLC, is the umbrella company for many projects that are about cults, undue influence and critical thinking. Founded by Debra Van Neste and Dr Cathleen Mann, pictured above, who passed away in November 2020.  Dr Mann and Debra Van Neste formulated and co-created what is now known as “The MIND Model of Cults and Undue Influence.”

Dr Mann used this model in a court case, against a cult, and it was judicially recognized as a model for cults and undue influence. No other model on cults has achieved this.

Since Dr Mann’s demise, Debra Van Neste has also used this model as an expert witness, and it was accepted and integrated. Thinking Agenda is centrally located in Orlando, Florida.  After the success of their cult education journal titled “Ethics and The Modern Guru” it was decided by Dr Mann and Debra Van Neste to branch out and invest the time and investment to offer genuine engagement, education, and research.

Steven and Debra Van Neste teach the MIND model of cults for free to the public, such as schools. churches, libraries, or educational seminars throughout Florida provided transportation, hotel or necessary and reasonable accommodations are provided. Steven and Debra serve as educational consultants and educate lawyers or Heathcare professionals on the MIND model on an hourly agreed contract on cult cases, or to assist their preferred expert.


Debra Van Neste​ ​was a survivor of a cult in her teens (Jesus People USA) and a trauma survivor with an abusive Swami in a small sect. She started out publishing a free newsletter, exposing Gurus and then she launched her own educational journal on cults. Published thru Amazon, called “Ethics and The Modern Guru” she then founded, “Thinking Agenda” as a legally registered LLC, a cult education resource center, with Dr Cathleen Mann.  Her title is Founder and CFO. Debra still works full time for over 20 years, in a healthcare environment. She is dedicated to working with top professionals and ethical educational organizations. ​ She was mentored by Dr Cathleen Mann for 6 years, to research cults, the law and undue influence.  She now serves as a consultant on cults, and an expert witness.  Dr Mann was judicially qualified in over 15 states as an expert witness.


Steven Van Neste, accepts the role of Director of Thinking Agenda LLC and assists as an Expert and Researcher in cult-related cases. He is currently working on a book on cults and a separate book on the MIND model of cults.
Steven Van Neste is a Belgian born researcher whose initial field of interest was philosophy, but over the years has moved almost exclusively into psychology, neuroscience, and cults. He is very interested in the dynamics between self and other, as well as the intersection of self and society. Central to his approach is the overvaluation of consciousness paired with an undervaluation of the unconscious, which he sees as one of the main reasons for mental distress, as well as playing a large factor in interpersonal issues and why we fall prey to cults and undue influence. His approach is rooted in viewing the mind as something biological. His other great field of interest is sleep and dreams. Aside from his research, he is also an artist (mainly in the abstract expressionist tradition), as well as being an avid long-distance runner. His goal is to become a licensed Psychologist.

We offer the first consultation free of charge. However only thru email or you can contact us through our forms on our various websites. Do not use our form to solicit us or spam.


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