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Date Posted:08/12/2007 2:20 PMCopy HTML

10 things you need to know if you have a cult member in your family...

1. This is NOT a family disgrace. It can happen to anybody and is really a back-handed compliment for parents who raised their child to be independent of them and an idealist who wants a better world.

2. Don't nag, preach or lecture the cult victim. Chances are the cult has already told him that you will do this and that this is a sign that they are in the one true channel or on the true road to freedom or in God's true church. The cult member will take just so much and reject the rest as persecution.

3. Guard against the holier-than-thou or martyr-like attitude. It is possible to create this impression without saying a word. A cult victims sensitivity is such that he judges other peoples attitudes toward him more by small things than by outspoken words.

4. Don't use the ‘if-you-love-me' appeal. Since the cult victim doesn't believe that you love him as much as the group or God does anyway, this won't work!!

5. Avoid threats. There may be times when a specific action is necessary to protect under-age children but idle threats only make the cult victim believe you don't mean what you say.

6. Don't destroy their books or tapes. Usually this only pushes the cult victim further into the group and shows a disrespect for their personal belongings.

7. Don't let the cult victim persuade you to join with them on the grounds that it will help you understand them better. It rarely does more than make you angrier or get you converted too. Wait until you are educated enough to take this step. When you are fully prepared you can then attend their meetings etc. and discuss this with them rationally.

8. Don't be jealous of the cult. The tendency is to think that love of home and family is enough incentive for them to leave. It isn't. Mind control is stronger than family ties.

9. Do offer love, support and understanding to the cult victim during the time in the cult, coming out of the cult and during recovery.

10. Don't expect an immediate 100% recovery when they leave. As with any trauma there is a period of convalescence. There may be relapses & times of tension and resentment during their grief.


Source: Cult Awareness & Information Centre.  PO Box 2444, Mansfield Q 4122, Australia

[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank][/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
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Re:Article: 10 things you need to know

Date Posted:08/12/2007 2:26 PMCopy HTML

When a Cult May Not Be Your Worst Enemy

by Randall Watters


Any study of the cult phenomena should have a chapter on understanding human nature, especially with regards to the family unit. If one can understand the dynamics of power and control in the family, one is much better equipped to help dissolve a family member's allegiance to a destructive cult. This is particularly the case where one's husband or wife is involved in a cult.

It is commonly accepted in all cultures that the family is the basic unit, the fundamental building block of human society. Within this miniature universe we call a family, there is one designated as the leader (typically the father). In reality, however, "leadership" is exercised in various forms by all of the family members from time to time. (Even young children can be quite adept at directing an evening's activities!)

Each member of the family finds a niche that he/she can comfortably operate in, and receive a measure of acceptance/approval from other members of the family. Each is allowed to exercise a certain amount of control over the other, though probably not in equal proportion. If members of the family are made to feel helpless, or they sense a lack of control ordinarily deemed necessary to remain sane and psychologically healthy, they may discover new ways to gain control as a form of protection.

Sounds complex, but it's not. Note the following example, based on a true story: The husband is a lawyer, the wife a homemaker. As the husband's career prospered, he found it necessary to spend more time working than formerly, creating a sense of abandonment in his wife, who finds she must raise two children virtually by herself. The husband was raised a Catholic, and although attempting to raise the family Catholic, the wife found a better source of friendship when the Witnesses came to her door. (A person that is lonely and insecure will sometimes overlook a good many critical questions when it comes to accepting new friends.)

Joan opened her arms to the friendly Witnesses at a time in her life when she was becoming increasingly unsure of her marriage, and felt a growing concern for the everlasting fate of herself and her children. She took the bait offered by the Watchtower and began studying with them, progressing rapidly. Though she was careful to keep her studying with the Witnesses hid from her husband, Joan began to feel a new sense of power and control in her life that she had not previously experienced. She now had hope for the future in a paradise earth, with or without her husband. If she raised up her children in the "mental regulating of Jehovah," they would be safe come Armageddon. Even if she fell short in the end, at least her children would be saved. This new hope, refreshed regularly by her association with the Witnesses at the Kingdom Hall and in her home study, became like a drug that enabled her to live a new life, and unlike chemical drugs, it came from within her, taking the form of spirituality.

Eventually her husband found out that she had been studying with the Witnesses and was indeed going to get baptized! He hired an exit-counsellor immediately to get her out of the Witnesses.

One thing must be understood at this point, which is typically overlooked. If a loved one has "finally" found a way to cope with life (chemical drugs, alcohol, and even religion), and this new direction has the characteristics of a drug-like euphoria or greatly-increased sense of personal power (i.e., more confidence, stability, security), then

(1) One cannot just take it away from the person without a fight. Their newfound faith and world view have become their predominate motivation in life; everything else is subservient to it. All kinds of things can potentially be "swept under the rug" in order to maintain this euphoric sense of empowerment.

(2) More often than not, the frantic mate (or parent) is partly responsible for their loved one's embracing of a new control mechanism. Perhaps they were not trusted with any decisions, were verbally abused or ignored, or restricted by unkind or even unspoken rules. This gave them a sense of inadequacy. Or perhaps their mate is suspected of cheating on them, or no longer loves them, etc. Their new idealism brings a sense of meaning to life that appears to be the only thing that will enable them to keep their sanity under the circumstances. And then, the one person who "caused" the unpleasant state of mind in the first place now wants to "violently take away" the only hope they have ever had? Not on your life, mister! A martyr is born.


Why an "Information Onslaught" May Not Work

When you realize that "strong drugs" such as mentioned above may be the glue that keeps your loved one stuck to their newfound faith, you can also appreciate that trying to pry them loose may be counterproductive, and even destroy your chances of reaching them later. For if their involvement is partially a consequence of your failed relationship with them, feelings of anger, resentment and even "psychological rape" may surface on their part. I have worked in cases where the wife knew exactly why she had gotten involved with the Witnesses and later told me so. One said that she wanted some vestige of independence and self-esteem to prevent her from going crazy. She had five kids and her husband wouldn't even allow her to pay the bills! He made all the decisions; he determined the religion and the church. Resentment over this lack of control was relieved the only way she could see how, by becoming a "somebody" to at least someone, and that just happened to be the Witnesses who ventured across her path. They made her feel respected and loved, something she had never experienced before.

Typically, the reaction of the husband was to get all the information and resources he could muster, and the priest, and go after her with the Bible and Watchtower errors. When that didn't work, he hired two exit-counsellors. Yet, as in many situations, he was really the one who needed counselling the most! He needed to grant his wife some power and respect in her own domain. I am convinced that if he did, she would have dropped the Witnesses like a hot potato. But to her, it kept her sanity in the midst of his unbearable domination over her life. His attack of the Witnesses only made her more resentful that he did not see just what his real problem was. No way would she leave the Witnesses, it was the only thing keeping her from giving up.

I have found that in the majority of husband-and-wife scenarios where one joins and the other wants to get them out, that helping them reconcile their personal differences is THE MAJOR STEP that must take place before the intervention can be truly successful. With cults there is never a shortage of information to damn them. The problem may not be demons, false doctrine or even brainwashing. It may be you.

Counselling is the best arena to bring problems to the surface that underlies the cult experience. When assessing a case for a possible intervention, I think it important to ask if they have seen a marriage counsellor. The answer often tells you if there is a problem, without asking any further questions. "I've tried, but I can't get her into counselling." "He is very stubborn; he wouldn't go even if I threatened him with divorce." "She/He won't change, it's that d____ religion." Answers such as these are like a red light flashing in my head. Communication has broken down, and they want you to clean up the mess. In this case, a marriage or family counsellor is usually the best first step to take. If it "only" succeeds in improving the communication between the two, it has done a large part of the work left to go. One can hardly expect a loved one to give objective consideration to evidence that they are taking a foolish course, if they harbour hidden resentment against you!


What Can Be Done

If you have determined that your loved one is, in fact, involved with a destructive cult, be aware that they will probably believe that you and anyone else that attempts to dissuade them from their religion is misled by or even directly led by the devil. They have found "the truth," and it is the best thing that has ever happened to them (they think). You are the one who has come to take that new and precious thing away. That is all they can see. Try to understand how they see you, and pray for God's grace to give you the empathy for them to weather this storm without losing them. You will need a lot of patience, and help. Don't call them stupid or deride the religion. Assume a curious yet concerned posture. If you are their major antagonist, try to enlist other members of the family or old friends so as to allow them greater objectivity. Find a marriage or family counsellor that has read Combating Cult Mind Control or other similar works, and who understands at least the basics about cults and their techniques. The advice of an exit-counsellor can be sought as well. You are seeking to rehabilitate a person that has lost his/her way. If you show them warmth and love rather than building a bonfire under them, the cult may no longer be useful to them.


Do's and Don'ts


... attack them verbally (or physically!), creating walls to communication. They have a persecution complex inherited from the cult, believing that all non-members are agents of Satan. Don't feed the complex! Have a curious yet cautious attitude, striving to get them to see things from another perspective.

... argue the Bible (the most common mistake). Their problem is not lack of knowledge, but the inability to process it correctly! They must be taught how to process the facts consistently, and before you can teach them, you need to gain their confidence and respect.


... educate yourself in the area of cult mind control techniques, through books and seminars. Talk to former members of any group, as cult techniques are all quite similar.

... enlist the help of others, either professionals in the field, or by educating friends and family members and soliciting their support. Long-time friends of the victim are the most effective.

[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank][/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
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Re:Article: 10 things you need to know

Date Posted:26/01/2008 9:15 AMCopy HTML

Excellent article Moth. I was just having a conversation with my mother over Xmas about the cult`s indoctrination. It is now 2 years since I left the splinter group of rci and 5 years since I got out of the clutches of the main rci assembly.
My parents are very aware of what I have come out of and have  been very supportive. However to my surprise my mother  said for the first time that  I should have told her (and my father) what was going on when I  got into the cult and maybe they could have done more.

Yeah well as listed in the  list  you posted here mind control is stronger than family ties .

I explained to her that the organisation ` had such a way of brainwashing and controlling us  so very very  early on in the piece that I couldn`t listen to any outside opinions or logic.   Regardless of the arguments family and friends not in this cult put to us  we were trained with  answers and responses to just about every single point that was brought up.
 Hard to believe isn`t it especially when it happened over the space of a couple if months.
 But then with meeting how many times a week .......right from  the onset  that`s exactly the outcome `they` wanted so that we were indoctrinated quickly.  Interesting.....Anyway  thanks again for the post.
if you can`t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. I did and what a relief!!
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