Join former Legionaries of Christ, Xavier Leger, Paul Lennon and other former members of Catholic and Christian high demand groups and learn how European and other countries deal with questionable groups and communities, enjoy comeraderie and support of people who know where you are or have been…
Addict, Idol and Cult Member: Reflections on the Loss of Self: A Phenomenological Examination of Destructive Cult groups
Tate Wood, Allen
My paper and talk are a phenomenological morphology of religious and political extremism. In the presentation, I give a detailed exposition of seven key elements that are present in the mind of the successfully indoctrinated group member. These seven elements include: absolute leader, absolute teaching, hierarchical social structure, the psychology of the adversary, the ends justify the means as a modus operandi, crisis psychology and the inner circle. The second part of my presentation includes an examination of the variables at play during the process of recruitment and indoctrination: milieu control, communication web/the manipulation of intimacy, peak experiences and planned spontaneity, the splitting phenomenon: the experience of evil, metaphor and ritual: the binding chains, the repudiation of the conscience, the rejection of the critical faculties and the colonization of the imagination understood as an experience of god. My remarks will be punctuated by anecdotal material from my life in the Unification Church including my direct contact with Sun Myung Moon. In addition, I shall be drawing on my 27 years as an addiction counselor working with alcoholics and addicts in county jails and state prisons.
Coping with Triggers and Floating… A Recovery Issue
by Carol Giambalvo
“Floating” is a word often used in association with “trancing out,” “spacing out,” “being triggered,” or “dissociation.” Ex-cult members describe it in several ways, including (but not limited to) feeling disconnected, feeling as though you’re watching yourself live your life, having spells where you experience uncontrollable emotions (usually sadness or anger) that is not appropriate to what is happening at the moment. It is also described as having exaggerated physical sensations, having anxiety or mild panic attacks, or having a fantasy or dream like vision, almost like a dream that invades your waking state. Most ex-members report that these experiences make them feel as though there is something drastically wrong with them; they feel as though they may be going crazy.
The purpose of this article is to take the fear out of these experiences and bring about some understanding that they are not abnormal.
Triggered experiences are common to people who have been through a traumatic experience or prolonged periods of stress. Life in a cult is stressful and, for some former members, extremely traumatic. In addition, cults induce altered states of consciousness in many ways. Continue reading Common TRAUMA Symptoms After Leaving the RC/LC
An Exit Counselor’s Perspective
Classification of Ex-Members
There are several classifications of ex-members, based on how they left the cult. Former members usually fit into one of the following:
- Those who had interventions.
- Those who left on their own, or walkaways .
- Those who were expelled, or castaways
Walkaways and castaways need the most help in understanding their recovery process. Former members who were cast out of a cult are especially vulnerable; often they feel inadequate, guilty, and angry.
Continue reading Post-Cult Problems