[ot] cult influence and power, 1988-2018

Rooty arpspoof at protonmail.com
Fri Oct 14 17:15:24 PDT 2022

Thanks for your concern and hard work Karl but I’m not in a cult!

------- Original Message -------
On Friday, October 14th, 2022 at 1:15 PM, Undiscussed Groomed for Male Slavery, One Victim of Many <gmkarl+brainwashingandfuckingupthehackerslaves at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
> money.
> 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
> response.
> 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
> healing!
> 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
> normally.
> 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
> subservience.
> 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
> needs.
> 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
> life.
> 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.

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