[ot] cult influence and power, 1988-2018

Undiscussed Groomed for Male Slavery, One Victim of Many gmkarl+brainwashingandfuckingupthehackerslaves at gmail.com
Fri Oct 14 13:15:52 PDT 2022

Chapter 11, Continued

				 For the first year after I left the Moonies, every time I heard
the word _moon_, I would think, _Father_, and remember sitting at
Moon’s feet. Another example occurred about a month after I left the
group. As I was driving to a friend’s house, I had the thought, _This
would be an excellent fundraising area!_ I had to tell myself that I
was no longer in the Moonies. This thought was triggered because for
the last five months of my membership, I spent fifteen to twenty hours
a day driving around looking for places to drop off members to solicit

				For people who were long involved in a group that required
excessive meditation, chanting, “decreeing,”[185] speaking in tongues,
or other mind-numbing practices, episodes of floating can occur for at
least a year after they have left the cult. Many of my clients have
told me that suddenly, in the middle of a normal conversation, they
would find themselves doing the mind-numbing technique they had
practiced for years. This can be especially dangerous when you’re
driving a car. One former member of a Bible cult told me, “It’s very
frustrating to realize over and over again that my mind is out of
control. Particularly when I’m in a stressful situation, I’ll suddenly
discover I’m babbling nonsense words and syllables (speaking in
tongues) inside my head, and I’ve become disoriented from whatever I
was doing.”

				If not properly understood and responded to, floating can cause a
former cult member who is depressed, lonely and confused to go back to
the group.

				For people fortunate enough to receive good cult counseling,
floating is rarely a problem. However, for people who don’t understand
mind control, it can be a terrifying experience. Suddenly, you flip
back into the cult mindset, and are hit with a tremendous rush of fear
and guilt for betraying the group and its leader. You can become
irrational and begin to think magically, interpreting personal and
world events from the cult’s perspective. For example, you didn’t get
that job “because God wants you to go back to the group,” or the
Korean Air Lines Flight 007 was shot down by the Russians “because you
left the Moonies.”

				When you start to float, simply but firmly remind yourself that
the experience has been triggered by some stimulus, and that it will
pass. If you can, try to connect as soon as possible with someone who
understands mind control, and talk it over rationally with them.

				The most powerful and effective technique of all is to identify
the trigger. It could be hearing a song, seeing someone who looks like
a member of the group, or watching someone act or gesture in a way
that cult members often do. Once you know what triggers you,
_deliberately call forth that stimulus_, but make a new, positive
mental association with it. Think of something non-cult related. Do
this over and over again, until the association becomes a new, learned

				In my case, when I heard the word _moon_, I would form a mental
picture of a beautiful full moon. I would say to myself, _The earth
only has one natural satellite, the moon_. For about a week, I often
said to myself “moon,” and conjured up this image, until it stuck. I
referred to the leader of my former cult as Mr. Moon, not wishing to
call him “Reverend,” since that was a self-appointed title anyway, and
visualized him behind bars in prison garb. Similarly, for
ex-Scientologists, it is better to speak of “Ron Hubbard” rather than
“L. Ron Hubbard” or “LRH”, and not to call the cult “the Church”. Such
loaded language is a significant trigger.

				One ex-member of est told me that even though she loves the beach,
she avoided it because the sounds of ocean waves always reminded her
of her indoctrination. Even though she had been out of the group for
five years, that association was still inhibiting her ability to enjoy
something she had always loved. I encouraged her to change the
association. She could hear the sound of waves and deliberately
program in a new and personally gratifying association. I told her to
repeat the new association until it automatically overrode the cult
programming. Within a few days she was able to visit the beach again.
Ultimately, exposure techniques are the fastest methods to override
the programming and make new, healthy associations.

				Also keep in mind that floating is a natural byproduct of
subjection to mind control. It is not your fault and not a defect on
your part. Over time, its effects will naturally decrease, especially
if you practice the techniques described above.

				Overcoming Loaded Language

				Substituting real language for the cult’s “loaded language” can
speed up a person’s full recovery. By eradicating the cult jargon put
inside my head, I was able to begin looking at the world again without
wearing cult “glasses.” The cult’s _loaded language_ had created
little cubbyholes in my mind, and when I was a member, all reality was
filtered through them. The faster an ex-member reclaims words and
their real meaning, the faster recovery happens.

				When I was in the Moonies, all relationships between people were
described as either a “Cain-Abel” or a “Chapter 2” problem. The term
“Cain-Abel,” as explained earlier, was used to categorize everyone as
either a superior or a subordinate. “Chapter 2 problems” were anything
that had to do with sexuality, and any attraction members felt towards
others. Therefore, all personal relationships fell into either of
these two categories.

				The most common mistake made by ex-members is to tell themselves
that they should not think of the cult word. The mind doesn’t know how
_not_ to think of something. Language is structured so that we have to
think in positive associations. So, if you are an ex-member, make a
new association, just as I described for the problem of “floating.” If
you are an ex-Moonie and have trouble getting along with a person,
think of it as a personality conflict or a communication problem. For
anyone who has been a Scientologist, it is absolutely essential to
stop using the enormous cult vocabulary to stop thinking in the loaded
terms invented by Hubbard and recorded in two dictionaries totaling a
thousand pages. These folks are still thinking in the cult cubbyholes
of the human experience. This becomes an issue with ex-Scientologists
because unless they have made the intense effort necessary to
eradicate the cult jargon installed in their minds, they inevitably
use this jargon with each other and triggering happens all the time.
Check the real meaning of words in a proper dictionary. Choose your
friends and reclaim your native language! It will speed up your

				Loss Of Psychological Power

				Another common problem for former cult members is the loss of
concentration and memory. Before I became involved in the Moonies, I
used to read a book at one sitting, averaging three books a week. But
during the two and a half years I spent in the group, virtually all I
read was Moonie propaganda.

				When I first left the cult, I felt frustrated whenever I tried to
read non-cult literature. At first, getting through a single paragraph
was nearly impossible. I would continually space out, or have to stop
to look up words that I once knew but now couldn’t remember. I had to
read and re-read material before I was able to force the creaky gears
of my mind into operation. I also needed to buy a 400,000-word
dictionary to relearn the meanings of words I had once known. I needed
to look at old photographs, read old college papers, and be reminded
of people I knew and things I had done prior to being in the group.

				Fortunately, the mind is like a muscle. Although it tends to
atrophy from disuse, with effort it can be built up again. It took me
nearly a full year to get back to my pre-cult level of functioning. It
took a lot of will and many hours of effort. But I did it. When I
first was deprogrammed, I knew I wanted to go back to college but knew
I needed time to strengthen my mind before I could function again. It
took me a full year to regain my ability to concentrate and read

				Nightmares, Guilt, Grief, And Remorse

				Nightmares are a good indicator that a former cult member needs to
receive additional counseling in order to work through their cult
experience. These unpleasant dreams come from the unconscious mind,
which is still wrestling with the issues of cult involvement.
Nightmares indicate unresolved conflicts within the mind.

				Common nightmares for people who have lived with mind control
include being trapped, feeling that people are coming after them, and
being in the midst of a storm or a war. Ex-cult members also
frequently report having upsetting dreams in which people inside in
the group try to get them to leave, while friends and family outside
the cult pressure them to rejoin.

				Another key issue for some former members is _guilt about things
they did in the group_. Some people were involved in illegal acts,
such as fraud, theft, breaking and entering, harassment of critics,
arson, sex trafficking, and the use and sale of drugs. I have met
people who went AWOL from the armed services because a destructive
cult group recruited them, and had great trouble when they tried to
clear themselves later.

				Fortunately, the vast majority of ex-cult members have not been
involved in such things. However, even if they were not coerced to
break the law, most have to cope with how they treated their family
and friends during their cult membership. For example, some people had
parents who became ill, but cult leaders prohibited them from visiting
the hospital. In some cases, a parent died, and the cult member was
not allowed to go to the funeral, even though it might have taken
place only 20 miles away.

				It can be extremely painful for a person to leave a destructive
cult and have to deal with the havoc and emotional damage that their
membership caused. This is especially true for people born into a
cult. When they leave, typical cult policy is to excommunicate or shun
them. This means they are rejected by their own families and friends,
whom they might never see or speak with again. Alternatively, they
might experience extreme pressure from their loved ones to “come back
to God.”

				When I first left the Moonies, I felt an incredible sense of guilt
about my role as a leader. I blamed myself for lying and manipulating
hundreds of people. I felt I had allowed myself to be used as an
American front man, a stooge for the Koreans and Japanese, who really
held the reins of power in the group. For me, speaking out and helping
others to leave was a form of making amends for what I had been
manipulated to do.

				Another issue involves feelings toward friends still in the group.
When I left the Unification Church, at first I desperately wanted to
rescue those people I had personally recruited. Unfortunately, the
Moonie leadership cleverly shipped the people who were closest to me
away from New York. They were told that I was away on a secret
mission. The people I had recruited, my “spiritual children,” didn’t
find out that I had left the group for more than three months. I
believe they were told then only because I had started appearing on
television to speak against the group.

				About six months after I left, I went back to Queens College,
where I had started a chapter of C.A.R.P., and gave a public lecture
on cults and mind control for the psychology department. In the
audience were my top three disciples, Brian, Willie, and Luis.[186]
They sat and listened to me lecture for over an hour about mind
control. I gave specific examples of how I had lied and tricked each
one of them into membership. After the lecture was over, I walked over
to them, and anxiously asked them what they thought. Willie smiled and
said to me, “Steve, you shouldn’t forget the heart of the Divine
Principle or the heart of Father.” I was crushed. They didn’t appear
to have heard a single thing I had said.

				At that moment I remembered how, when I was a member, I had been
instructed by Mr. Kamiyama to raise my spiritual children to be
faithful, even if I left the group. I didn’t realize at the time why
he had me do that, because I never imagined leaving. Now I understood.
To my great relief, many years later all three of them eventually
walked out. I am so relieved and hope that one day they will forgive
me and speak with me again.

				Many people involved in faith-healing cults have to deal with the
death of a child or other loved one who was prevented from receiving
medical treatment. The remorse they feel when they leave such a group
should not be turned on themselves in the form of blame or guilt.
_They need to realize that they were victims, too, and did what they
believed to be right at the time._

				Other ex-cult members have to deal with the anger and resentment
of their children, who in some cases were beaten, neglected or
sexually abused. Many were deprived of an education and a normal
childhood. Some were deprived of their own parents; certain cults,
such as the Hare Krishnas, systematically separated children from
their parents and allowed them to visit only infrequently.[187] Yogi
Bhajan’s 3HO group sent some of its members’ children to the
organization’s school in India. By separating children from their
parents, the allegiance of both generations became solely to the
group.[188] For years, Scientology “Sea Organization” parents were
only allowed to see their children for an hour a day, if their
production statistics were up. Children ran wild with almost no adult
supervision. Leader David Miscavige has since prohibited Sea Org
members from having children, and many women have been coerced into
having abortions.

				For others involved in less destructive cults, the emotional toll
on children can ultimately yield positive results. I saw that in the
life of my client Barbara. She explained how, for most of her life,
she had thought she was crazy. Then she realized, from talking with a
friend, that the group her parents had been involved with for the
previous decade was actually a destructive cult. Barbara had spent a
good deal of her childhood growing up on the group’s commune. She and
her brother Carl had been taught since early childhood that all
negative emotions were harmful. Sadness, anger, jealousy,
embarrassment, guilt and fear were all to be avoided and not “indulged
in.” Of course, all of these emotions are entirely normal, but Barbara
and Carl had been taught otherwise. They were very relieved to know
that their lifelong problems were not signs of mental illness, and
that help was available for them.

				Growing up, Barbara and Carl had tried to do what they were told,
and dutifully attended cult indoctrination programs, but had never
felt right about it. Nevertheless, they loved their parents and tried
to do what would please them. Now that they were in college, as soon
as they discovered that the group was a cult, they arranged for me and
a former group member to counsel them, and then planned a rescue
effort for their parents.

				Their parents were bright, successful people in their fifties. He
was a practicing attorney; she was an elementary school teacher. He
had been recruited into the cult by an old friend from college. As a
lawyer, he was quite skeptical at first, but was eventually drawn
further and further into the group. He and his wife became mid-level
leaders, and eventually ran the group’s meetings in their city.

				The rescue effort was a complete success, and the entire family is
now closer than ever before. Both parents have helped others in the
group to reevaluate their commitment. Several have left it.

				Harassment And Threats

				Another issue for some former cult members involves harassment,
threats, break-ins, lawsuits, blackmail and even murder, particularly
if an ex-member goes public. Since cults believe that anyone who
leaves is an enemy, there is always some risk that harm will be done
to a defector.

				I have been threatened many, many times by cult members—usually by
mail or phone, but also in person, particularly when I am picketing,
demonstrating or otherwise exposing a particular group’s activities. I
have only once been physically assaulted, however, when a Moonie
punched me in the face and incited me to punch him back. I looked him
in the eye and asked him, “Is this what the Kingdom of Heaven is going
to be like—silencing the opposition?” I took him to court and he
pleaded no contest. The judge ordered him to pay for a new pair of
glasses for me, and gave him a stern warning to stay away from me.
Years later, he left the group and contacted me. He apologized for the
incident, and told me he was only doing what he had been instructed to
do: “Take care of him.”

				Even though violence toward former cult members is relatively
rare, the fear factor has kept many people from going public and
telling their stories. What they don’t realize is that once their
story is told, it would be stupid for a group to retaliate, because
that would only incriminate them more. When I started Ex-Moon Inc. in
1979, it was partly because I realized there would be much more
strength and safety in numbers. That strategy was successful.

				Some of the larger, more aggressive groups, such as Scientology,
believe in attacking critics rather than defending against
accusations.[189] Scientology has initiated hundreds of lawsuits
against former members and critics, including Paulette Cooper, author
of _The Scandal of Scientology_,[190] and Gabe Cazares, former mayor
of Clearwater, Florida. Typically, these suits are filed purely to
harass and financially drain cults’ opponents. To a certain extent,
this strategy has been successful: most former members of Scientology,
for example, are afraid to take any public action against the
organization.[191] However, when the FBI raided Scientology
headquarters, documents were obtained that proved the illegality of
many of the organization’s activities, and Hubbard’s wife and ten
other Scientologists were sent to jail. Guilty verdicts have also been
handed down in Canada and France.

				Problems With Intimate Relationships

				Inside cults, members often have little chance to form a normal,
satisfying intimate relationship with a partner. They may be forced
into celibacy, paired with someone they would never have chosen on
their own, or coerced into a life of sexual servitude. When they leave
the group and begin to live in the real world, sooner or later they
have to deal with the fact that, for years, their need for a
satisfying relationship was never met.

				Yet the experience of having been taken advantage of, often for
years, makes it hard for people to take the emotional risk of forming
close relationships with others. Some people have denied their own
sexuality for so long that they may have difficulty expressing it. In
other cases, ex-members got into sexual relationships with trainers or
leaders who manipulated them, with little regard for their feelings.

				That said, I have met a number of people who married in a cult,
raised children, left the cult and managed to navigate their lives
together. They are by far the exception. Most relationships break up
after exiting the group. Sometimes one person stays in the group,
which makes it very difficult when there are young children.

				Trust in yourself and learning to trust someone else, much less a
group, is a really big deal for ex-cult members. Feeling your real
feelings and learning how to express them in healthy ways is so
important. Learning to respect yourself and your partner as a separate
and individual human being is essential. How to problem solve and
share power is another essential issue. Some Christian cults put women
under the control of men, and it can be difficult to unlearn such

				In all of these cases, it’s best to seek therapy with a mental
health professional who understands undue influence.

				Ways To Heal Yourself

				The most effective emotional support and information will usually
come from former cult members who are further along in the healing
process. But the actual healing is the responsibility of the former
cult member.

				Finding and becoming part of a _healthy_ group can be a big step
forward. It took me a full year, after I left the Moonies, before I
gingerly involved myself with a group of any kind—in this case, a peer
counseling organization at college, in 1977.

				In 1986, I served for a year as the national coordinator of a
loosely knit group of ex-cult members who wanted to help themselves
and others. It wasn’t easy to coordinate a group of people who have
all been burned by group involvement! But my experience taught me that
such a thing is possible.

				Support groups for former cult members can be especially
beneficial. One woman who attended such a group in Boston contacted
me, after she heard me on a local radio show. Deborah had been
involved with a political cult for ten years. One day she told me she
broke one of the group’s rules. She had lunch alone with a non-member,
and rather than face being “grilled” by the cult leader in front of
the entire membership, she called up her parents and asked them for a
plane ticket. She later decided that she was afraid to go home and
wound up living on the streets of Boulder for several months, until
she was able to slowly work her way back into society. When I met her,
she was a successful businesswoman.

				Even though she had been out of the cult for eight years, she had
never talked about her experiences in it until she began meeting with
other ex-members. “I feel like the whole thing is one big black box,
and I’m afraid to open it up,’’ she explained. But soon, with the help
of the group, she did open it. She mustered the courage to share an
issue she was dealing with. “I know that I am being hampered in my
ability to trust my boyfriend and make a commitment to him. I think it
is connected to what I went through,” she shared.

				We were all amazed at how successfully Deborah was able to
compartmentalize her mind control experience, for such a long time.
When she did start talking about it, huge chunks of time were still
unaccounted for. The more she talked, the more we asked her questions
and prodded her memory. Month by month, she got more and more in touch
with what had happened to her. She had been subjected to an unusually
intense degree of emotional and personal abuse while in the group.

				“I’m really glad I was able to meet and talk with other former
members,” she explained. “It’s nice to see other bright, talented
people who went through something like what I went through. I just
could never talk about the group to anyone without them thinking that
I was crazy or sick.”

				Being part of a support group can show people how mind control
operates in a variety of different organizations. It also enables
those who are still grappling with issues of undue influence that it
is possible to recover and become a happy, productive person. For most
people who leave a destructive cult, the first step should be getting
a handle on their group experience. Then, if there are other issues or
problems that existed before their membership, they can begin to
resolve them also.

				Support groups can also be a mixed bag, if they aren’t run by
experienced professionals. With the best of intentions, people in
support groups can wind up further traumatized if there aren’t clear
rules and boundaries of respect.

				Be a good consumer! When looking for a support group, be careful.
Some “support groups” are, in fact, fronts for cults themselves, which
use them to lure back people who have recently left the group, as well
as to recruit vulnerable people who recently left other mind control
cults. When researching support groups online, look for a legitimate
e-mail discussion group and/or Facebook page. I also suggest not
revealing your real name or _any_ personal information, until you are
confident that the group is legitimate. If there is no support group
in your area, see if there is an online support group that meets your

				It becomes apparent to former cult members in the first year after
leaving that any pre-cult problems they may have had were never
resolved while they were members of a destructive cult. This can be
very disappointing to the ex-member, because the illusion of becoming
healthier was one of the factors that reinforced continuing
membership, sometimes for many years.

				This realization is often more difficult for long-term members.
Imagine going into a group at age 18 and coming out at 30. You’ve been
deprived of a huge amount of life experience. Your twenties, typically
reserved for self-exploration, experimentation, education, skill
development, career and relationship building, have been lost.
Chronologically, you are 30, but psychologically, you probably feel
18. Friends from high school have good jobs; many are married; some
have children; some have houses. At 30, you may be inexperienced at
dating, and have been out of touch with world affairs for more than a
decade. At a party, you have little to talk about except your cult
experience, which only exacerbates the feeling of being in a goldfish
bowl. You have to catch up on _everything_. You may feel an acute
sense of having to make up for lost time.

				Some long-term former members liken the experience to that of POWs
coming home after a war. In fact, post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD) seems to apply perfectly to some cult member veterans. When
they come home, they have to catch up on everything. In the 1970s one
person I worked with had never heard of the Watergate scandal, didn’t
know who singer/songwriter James Taylor was, and wasn’t aware that we
had landed and walked on the surface of the moon.

				Paradoxically, however, you need to slow down and _take_ time. You
need time to heal, grow and develop. You’ll need to discover or create
your own path, and be concerned about your own unique needs, rather
than compare yourself with other people.

				One sensitive father of an ex-cult member said, “If someone gets
hit by a truck, naturally you expect that it will take them time to
recover. You wouldn’t expect them to get up out of bed, and go and get
a job the next week, would you?” His daughter lived with him for her
first year and a half away from the cult. He didn’t pressure her to
move out or seek employment during that time. He recognized that she
was doing the very best she could.

				Every person who has been in a cult is different and has different
needs. Some people are able to adjust quickly to the outside world.
Others, who have been more severely traumatized, need more time.

				Perhaps most importantly, former cult members need to _learn how
to trust themselves again_. They have to become their own best friend,
as well as their own best therapist. They have to realize that they
didn’t choose to be lied to or abused. They are not at fault.
Eventually, as they learn to once again trust themselves and their own
inherent wisdom and instincts, they also learn that it’s okay to begin
trusting others. They realize that all groups are not evil. In fact,
the good part of being involved with a healthy group—be it a
religious, social or political—is that you _can_ exercise control over
your participation. You do not have to stay one minute longer than you
want. Nor do you have to sit silently and blame yourself, if you don’t
understand what is being said or done. You can question, and you can
question some more. Not only is this all right, it is your
Constitutional right.

				Other Challenges And Issues

				Another important aspect of growth for any ex-cult member is
learning to get in touch with emotions and channel them effectively.

				When someone first leaves a mind control group, many of the
emotions may remain suppressed. But as they adjust to the outside
world, they may begin to feel shame and embarrassment, then anger and
indignation. They move from _What is wrong with me?_ to _How dare they
do that to me!_ This is normal and healthy.

				At some point, they may begin a voracious research project to find
out everything they can about their cult and answer every one of their
questions. This, too, is a very positive therapeutic step. Often, the
number one priority of someone who has just left a cult is to help
rescue the friends who were left behind. For cult members, their major
regret in leaving is usually losing contact with people they came to
know and care for in the group. It becomes particularly difficult when
a former member realizes that the friendships they thought were so
good were conditional on continued membership. A former member can
quickly see the strength of mind control bonds when their closest
friend in the group refuses to meet them, unless he brings another
member along.

				Eventually, when all their questions are answered, and all their
cult issues are addressed, they reach a saturation point. They declare
to themselves, “They’re not going to take the rest of my life!” and
start making plans for the future.

				Sometimes there are additional issues that need more extensive
individual counseling. Sarah, a former ten-year member of the Church
Universal and Triumphant, had been forcibly deprogrammed more than
five years earlier, yet was still experiencing cult-related problems.
I agreed to work with her for ten sessions. Her first homework
assignment was to begin writing down her entire cult experience. _This
is something I recommend for every ex-member_. It was certainly
something Sarah needed to do in order to reclaim her true self.

				I also suggested that, since she had been involved for such a long
time, she should begin by making an outline. I told her to take ten
folders and number them from 1973 to 1983; put 12 sheets of paper in
each folder; and label the sheets January through December. With that
as a starting point, I told her to begin writing down everything she
could remember that was significant, whether positive or negative. I
told her not to worry if there were huge gaps. Eventually they would
all be filled in.

				In order to help her remember, I told her to think of specific
places she had lived or visited. I also told her to think about
significant people. Lastly, I told her to recall specific activities
or events that were meaningful to her.

				Step by step, she was able to fill in her entire experience. She
recorded how she came to be recruited. She listed her likes and
dislikes about the group and its leaders. She was able to chart her
ups and downs as a member. She was also able to see that, at many
different points, she was very unhappy and disillusioned, but had no
way out. At one point she had actually come home to her parents,
complaining about her unhappiness, and they had taken her to a
psychologist, who unfortunately did not recognize her problems as
being cult related. After two months at home, Sarah had gone back to
the group.

				By writing down her entire experience, Sarah was able to process
her experience and gain a greater perspective on it. She no longer had
to carry around a lot of swirling, seemingly contradictory thoughts
and feelings. It was now all on paper.

				As part of her therapy, I explained to her that the person whose
story filled those ten folders no longer existed. I suggested that she
think about that person as a younger Sarah, someone who was doing the
very best she could. Back at the time of her recruitment, she didn’t
know about cults or mind control. If she had, she surely would never
have gotten involved.

				Then I had her imagine herself as a time traveler. I instructed
her to go back in time and teach the younger Sarah about mind control,
so she could avoid the group’s recruiters. I asked her to imagine how
differently her life would have turned out if she had never become
involved with the group. This enabled her to see that with more
information, she would have had more choices and could have averted
the danger. This became very important for her later in her therapy.

				I asked her to re-experience, one at a time, traumatic cult
experiences. This time, however, she could correct her responses. She
told off one of the leaders in front of the members and angrily walked
out of the cult. Even though she knew that we were just doing an
exercise, it provided her the opportunity to channel her emotions
constructively and reclaim her personal power and dignity.

				By standing up for herself and telling the cult leader to “Shove
it!” she could walk out of the group on her own and avoid the trauma
of the forcible deprogramming. Sarah knows that in reality, her
parents did need to rescue her. However, through this process she was
able to regain personal control over the experience. This was
extremely important in order to enable Sarah to move forward with her

				Like everyone else in her position, she needed to take all the
things she had learned, and all the people she had met and come to
care for, and integrate them into a new sense of identity. Integrating
the old into the new allows former members to be unusually strong. We
are survivors. We have suffered hardship and abuse, and, through
information and self-reflection, we are able to overcome adversity.

				Like all former members I have counseled, Sarah suffered from lack
of trust in herself and others, and fear of commitment to a job or a
relationship. By helping her to reprocess her cult experience, I was
able to show her that she now has resources that the younger Sarah
didn’t have, and that she is no longer the same person who was tricked
and indoctrinated into a cult.

				She is older, smarter and wiser now. She knows on a very deep
personal level that she can identify and avoid any situation in which
she is being manipulated or used. She can rely more completely on
herself, and if she needs assistance, she will be able to find what
she needs. Likewise, she needs to not fear making commitments. She
knows now to ask questions and keep on asking questions, and to
distrust any job or relationship that requires anything that violates
her core self, including her ethics and values.

				Like anyone who has been molested or abused, former members need
to learn to rebuild their trust in themselves and others step by step.
In their own good time, they can learn to take little risks and test
the waters. They don’t have to jump in any faster than is comfortable
for them.

				Recovery Facilities For Former Cult Members

				There are regrettably only a small number of facilities to help
ex-cult members heal, recover, rest, and grow. One such recovery
center is Wellspring Retreat, founded by Paul and Barbara Martin, in
Athens, Ohio. Paul, now deceased, was a licensed psychologist and
former eight-year member of the Great Commission International, a
Bible cult .192 Both provide healing and support, through a staff of
trained counselors and former cult members.

				For some former cult members, the opportunity to go to a safe
place for a few weeks or months, where they can get intensive support
and counseling, is invaluable. The problem is that these facilities
are very expensive to operate and most people coming out of cults have
no financial resources. Something must be done to offer the services
that people need to recover!

Endnotes for Chapter 11 are in previous content email.

More information about the cypherpunks mailing list