Hassan speculates that Peale's demagoguery rubbed off on Trump.
"He's a narcissist psychopath who has no empathy, and puts everyone else down and uses fear and guilt to manipulate people into wanting follow him," he told Revelist.
"[Trump] keeps saying, 'Trust me, I know what I'm doing. Trust me.' But he has no plans, no clue as to what he's doing. So there's lots of 'magical thinking.'"
This "magical thinking" is a way cult-like leaders (and Peale...and Trump), persuade followers to blindly trust them, Hassan explained.
"When you look at Trump's behavior, and how crazy he is for even thinking he could run a country...that nobody's going to see what he's really about, it's like he's doing thought-stopping and emotion-stopping for anything that's negative about him," he said.
Thought and emotion stopping is commonly employed by cult leaders to keep their followers obedient.
Though it's unclear if Trump still follows Peale's teachings, who taught his followers that self-reflection was a sin, it's not hard to make the connection.
Sure, the candidate's inflated ego is repugnant — but it's also gained him millions of fans. Trump's unwavering belief in himself is scarily similar to that of a cult leader — which is even more terrifying when you consider how much power he wields.
"It's like he's continually programming himself that if he believes he'll be president, he'll be president," Hassan said.
Revelist has reached out to Donald Trump's campaign for comment.
Editor's note: This post's headline has been updated to clarify that Trump's childhood church was "cult-like."