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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Getting Refocused After the Cult

Last weekend I attended a workshop for those recovering from an experience with a high-demand, high-control group and its aftermath. Although a delay in the bus trip got me there a few hours late on Friday, and I didn't recover full alertness until Sunday, I still got some important insights I expect will help me make the most of the rest of my life. Even though my cultic experience was a long time ago, I'm still dealing with some of the aftereffects, especially since I didn't start to understand what had happened until relatively recently.

If you've had an experience with a high-demand, high-control group, it may likewise be affecting you in ways you don't yet recognize; such groups never advertise themselves as cults, and are very good at convincing you that if you leave -- voluntarily or otherwise -- there's something wrong with you, not with the group. I recommend that if you even think this might apply to you, or someone you know, you should check out the resources provided by reFOCUS and the International Cultic Studies Association. For that matter, these are things everyone should learn about to help them avoid psychological manipulation in the first place.

Remember, no one ever joins a cult. People join groups of friendly people who seem to be doing important things, and only later find themselves stuck in a cult. Asking what kind of person would join a cult is like asking what kind of person would step in quicksand.

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