Two sources that deal in depth with the problem of deep engagement are Christian Picciolini’s Breaking Hate and Michael Kimmel’s Healing from Hate. Picciolini was one of the “formers” who founded Life After Hate, and for several years he directed a parallel organization called the Free Radicals Project. His book sets up a framework for understanding the process of radicalization, and it discusses his experiences in helping white nationalists extricate themselves from the movement.
In addition, the video Healing from Hate provides many insights into the causes of radicalization and the process of exiting, as it portrays the leaders of Life After Hate interacting with young people transitioning out of deep engagement. Both Picciolini and Kimmel appear in the video.
Life After Hate has also produced a brief practical guide for friends and family members of people who have become involved with white nationalist groups: “What To Do When a Loved One Sides with White Supremacists.” The guide offers a concise list of principles and suggestions to help maintain lines of communication with young people who have become radicalized, which can make it possible to provide support when an opening toward disengagement arises.
J.M. Berger’s standard work, Extremism, presents a model of the process of deepening engagement in extremist movements (pp. 123-27). Rather than seeing engagement as a linear process, Berger pictures engagement as a dynamic alternation of decisions to deepen commitment, followed by periods of reassessment, during which members of the movement may be more aware of and attracted by the option of disengagement.
Updated, March 2022