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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: ULTAWARE ()
Date: January 09, 2005 09:00AM

Escapee & Jewells,

I might suggest checking-out Carol Giambolvo's site. Since I am not sure the spelling is correct, try a search engine for her! Good Luck! I f I find my notes, I will post.


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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: January 09, 2005 11:13PM

Please understand that though Steve Hassan is a resource, his fees are quite high.

He charges $2,500 per day to work at a client's home location.

His hourly rate is $250.00 and travel time alone to arrive at a location may be as much as $1,000 during a single day plus expenses.

See []

His most "reduced rate" for telephone counseling regarding recovering cult victims is $150 per hour.

By contrast Wellspring Retreat, which is a licensed mental health facility, has a residential treatment program specifically designed for recovering cult victims that runs $2,500 per week.

They have a paid professional staff, which includes two Ph.D. level clinical psychologists.

Wellspring has been a working rehab facility for more than 15 years.

See []

Wellspring Retreat is also an excellent referral source for recovery resources in local areas.

Anyone considering professional help should be very careful to compare costs/fees and also specifically question what fees may be charged for preparation/research before casework begins.

Get everything in writing first, before beginning.

Also you should request both past client and professional references.

On the Links page of the Ross Institute there is a section devoted to recovery and support for former cult members.

See []

To whom it may concern:

See []

Disclaimer regarding Steve Hassan

The Ross Institute of New Jersey/May 2013

The inclusion of news articles within the Ross Institute of New Jersey (RI) archives, which mention and/or quote Steven Hassan, in no way suggests that RI recommends Mr. Hassan or recognizes him in any way.

News articles that mention Steve Hassan have been archived for historical purposes only due to the information they contain about controversial groups, movements and/or leaders.

RI does not recommend Steven Hassan.

RI has received serious complaints about Steve Hassan concerning his fees. Mr. Hassan does not publicly disclose his fee schedule, but according to complaints Steve Hassan has charged fees varying from $250.00 per hour or $2,500.00 per day to $500.00 per hour or $5,000.00 per day. This does not include Mr. Hassan's expenses, which according to complaints can be quite substantial.

Steven Hassan has charged families tens of thousands of dollars and provided questionable results. One recent complaint cited total fees of almost $50,000.00. But this very expensive intervention effort ended in failure.

Dr. Cathleen Mann, who holds a doctorate in psychology and has been a licensed counselor in the state of Colorado since 1994 points out, "Nowhere does Hassan provide a base rate and/or any type or accepted statistical method defining his results..."

Steve Hassan has at times suggested to potential clients that they purchase a preliminary report based upon what he calls his "BITE" model. These "BITE reports" can potentially cost thousands of dollars.

See []

Steve Hassan runs a for-profit corporation called "Freedom of Mind." Mr. Hassan is listed as the corporate agent for that business as well as its president and treasurer.

RI does not recommend "Freedom of Mind" as a resource.

RI also does not list or recommend Steve Hassan's books.

To better understand why Mr. Hassan's books are not recommended by RI read this detailed review of his most recently self-published book titled "Freedom of Mind."

See []

Steve Hassan's cult intervention methodology has historically raised concerns since its inception. The book "Recovery from Cults" (W.W. Norton & Co. pp. 174-175) edited by Dr. Michael Langone states the following:

"Calling his approach 'strategic intervention [sic] therapy,' Hassan (1988) stresses that, although he too tries to communicate a body of information to cultists and to help them think independently, he also does formal counseling. As with many humanistic counseling approaches, Hassan’s runs the risk of imposing clarity, however subtly, on the framework’s foundational ambiguity and thereby manipulating the client."

RI has also learned that Mr. Hassan has had dual-relationships with his counseling clients. That is, clients seeing Mr. Hassan for counseling may also do professional cult intervention work with him.

Professionals in the field of cultic studies have also expressed concerns regarding Steven Hassan's use of hypnosis and Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

Based upon complaints and the concerns expressed about Mr. Hassan RI does not recommend Steve Hassan for counseling, intervention work or any other form of professional consultation.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2013 08:35PM by rrmoderator.

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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: jewels36305 ()
Date: January 13, 2005 10:32PM

Thanks everyone for your e-mails. I appreciate them.

Getting help that will help is pretty pricy. I think I will stick to books for now. I just got a little too involved in the stuff the last couple months doing research for my paper DAILY. Now that it is finished I couldn't feel better.

Anyway, good luck to you all, and I will talk to you later.

It really is not all that bad, I wouldn't say any worse than any others. It is what you are used to I guess. I'm sure if I saw something on your group I would be shocked.

I do realize I can go on to do something great and I plan to. Not to sound arrogant, but it puts you in an advantage to help others, if you can first handle yourself.


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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: Blue ()
Date: March 03, 2005 10:06PM

i was in one from age 3-6.
It was like awaking nightmare. I could not always tell what was real or fantasy.I often made things into fantasy, I think to make the pain less. they starved us(the children) and beat us.
It was a gurdjieff group I know. Animals were killed.
grownups were hurt too.

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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: jewels36305 ()
Date: March 03, 2005 11:13PM

Wow Blue,

It sounds pretty bad. It would be tramatizing, although you were only in the cult for three years. I guess any time in a cult is tramatizing; whether it is one year or 20.
I have not heard of this group before.
How long have you been out?

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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: Blue ()
Date: March 03, 2005 11:53PM

a very long time.
most of my life.
how about you?

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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: Toni ()
Date: March 04, 2005 02:58AM

Sorry to hear about the abuse in your parents' group. That is so painful to process in the name of 'love'.

Children look to their parents as guides in life.

As I'd recently commented to my grown daughter (she was cult born), "too bad psychological health is not a prerequisite for fertility."

From a variety of experts' the following was culled :

Cult parents are being exploited. Some part of themselves still exists, enough to be embarassed or ashamed of their behaviors. The parents learn to manipulate to hide their unhealthy behaviors from outsiders. Thus the parents model deceptive behaviors to the children.

Outsiders, whether neighbors or extended family think all looks OK, so don't get invovled. The children follow the model of deception to the outside world, both because they are told to and also just from unconsciously learning to do so.

As the parents are maintained as emotional children in relation to the cult leader, they cannot be appropriate adults to their children. Boundaries are not set as all are so lovingly FEEELING their way through life. The parents are lovingly dissociated from domestic concerns. Kids run the home life. Typical children-of-alcoholic syndrome.

The parents are so busy w/ their high demand group invovlement, that they have no time for true parenting, just being ballotted about by the demands placed upon them from the cult. Their demanding volunteer involvement is to bring enlightenment, Jesus, or political solace to the world.

To get attention, the children often have to manipulate the parents. As the parents respond to cultic manipulations, the children learn that manipulating their parents is how to get what they want.

The children are not taught to sort out personal goals, follow through on commitments, stepwise create their life, create equitable give and take. Of course, their parents don't know how to do that themselves (the cult does it for them). Besides, the parent is too busy to take on healthily educating their kids about goals and teamwork, like being a soccer coach or working w/ the school chess team, etc. The parent cheers from the side when the child manages to obtain some achievement, but it is w/o the parent helping to create it. Like the parent, the child usually picks up and drops a variety of interests. The parent is continually changing directions per the cult guidance.

Then, like any adult child of an alcoholic, the grown child learns that manipulation as a survival defense does not work in the real world. Dissociating for spiritual growth, feeling love, etc does not pay the bills, nor hold down a job, regardless of how charming a person is.

Other kids learn to work doubly hard to survive. They go into adulthood w/ a hyper work ethic, so used to solving others' problems and covering up the messes, that they have a hard time just enjoying life in a healthy way.

Some are afraid to leave their parents' home as young adults, because fear for their parents' wellbeing if left alone, or lack of functional skills in the professional or social world.

Some young adults just totally leave their parents and their parents' group to make it on their own w/o any emotional support nor practical skills.

More along the same syndrome as adult child of alcoholic. Then, depending on the cult, there could be further issues of various types of neglect, abuse, etc.

Inevitably there are issues about boundaries and trust. Many become addicts themselves, or join another cult. Occassionally there is a suicide, then we hear about it in the press.

There are no winners here.

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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: Angela ()
Date: March 14, 2005 03:09PM

Oh wow, what to say. I just commented in another thread here, that I was raised a Branch Davidian. Then I saw this thread and wanted to give my thoughts, but I am unsure where to even begin.

I guess I'll start with what's bound to draw the most questions. Contrary to popular belief, I was not physically or sexually abused by David Koresh or anyone else at Mt. Carmel. But of course I can only speak for my own experience, not that of anyone else. I wasn't abused, and I never saw abuse occuring, but I was a child so my knowledge may have been limited in that realm.

As far as psychological/emotional abuse/trauma... Well I'm 25 now and still dealing with it all. Growing up at Mt. Carmel, leaving the only life I ever knew when I was ten, watching it burn with the only "family" I'd ever known a few years later, I don't think is something I will ever truly "get over" as so many frustrated therapists have tried to get me to do.

Growing up at Mt. Carmel... overall my life was good. I wasn't mistreated. I didn't have any frame of reference outside of life there, so not eating candy or drinking sodas, not having reliable indoor plumbing & electricity, not watching tv often, didn't bother me. I think a lot of that stuff is a matter of "what you're used to," because even today after being out of the group for over half of my life, going away to college, and living on my own far away from my family and the memories of central Tx... I still rarely watch television, don't eat much candy, and only occasionally have a soda. Not because I have any belief that those things are wrong, but simply because of ingrained life-long habbits of being health-conciouse and physically active that leave me relaxing by listening to the radio while I jog, and preffering a snack of fruit & water or juice to chips, candy, & soda any day.

The torment I endured as a child for being "wierd" after we left Mt. Carmel was perhaps the most damaging in the long run. Or maybe it was the teacher who, in the spring of '93, had us watch the live news coverage of the seige, and the fire which ended it. Day after day... that man is evil... those people deserve to die... and then they did, and the teacher was so happy to show us how wrong and evil they were and rub it in our faces that they had chosen to commit suicide and thus deserved their fiery death. I was twelve. He never knew that one of the children in his class was sitting in the back of the room, crying silently for the children I'd grown up with who died in that fire, desperately trying to hide my tears from him and from my classmates.

Of course I will freely admit that all was not "normal" in my childhood, and much of what I grew up accepting was "wierd." That can be said of a lot of things, "cult" or not, I suppose. I guess the bottom line of what I've come to realize is that (a) having been raised a branch davidian is something that is an inseperable part of who I am, and to try to forget that is more harmful than being a part of the group was and (b) it isn't necessary to forget, but only to learn how to live with the heritage by embracing the good, casting aside the bad, acknowledging that it was all a part of my life's experience and moving on with the ret of my life.

I try, and I think I'm doing an okay job. My spiritual walk is somewhat shaky, to say the least, because it took me a long time to even begin to trust anyone on matters of faith. But, I'm making it. And slowly but surely I'm learning to reach out and speak out and bring something positive out of my past, rather than hiding it in shame and fear.

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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: March 14, 2005 08:40PM

I am very sorry that you were raised within the Branch Davidians, under the control of David Koresh.

Koresh was an evil man who abused children and sexually exploited many women within the group.

See []

He raped Kiri Jewel when she was 10.

See []

And what a brute he was to Robyn Bunds and their baby boy.

See []

Koresh was a psychopath.

See []

The core reality of a destructive cult is that its members no longer control their lives and are instead typically dependent upon the leader(s) to make decisions for them.

This can be a formula for disaster when the leader slips over the edge of sanity.

This was the situation not only at Waco but historically that led to cult tragedies such as the Manson Family, the SLA, Jonestown, the Solar Temple and Heaven's Gate suicides, the Aum gas attack in Tokyo and the hundreds that died within the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments in Uganda.

Perhaps by studying the facts about the Branch Davidians and other destructive cults you can better understand the context the Waco tragedy.

One of the most profound wrongs of cult life is the suffering of children.

The Children of God is one of the most tragic examples.

See []

I am glad to hear that you did not have to endure abuse yourself and remained safe.

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Born or Raised in a Cult
Posted by: Angela ()
Date: March 15, 2005 12:43AM

I've read the articles, studied the "facts," etc. I can only speak for myself (in other words, I'm not going to debate the testimony of Kiri Jewel or Robyn Bunds), but the things I read about how horrible Koresh was and how all of the children were abused simply don't match with my personal experiences and memories. Was I so controlled that I didn't realize the extent to which I was being abused? Or, are people who try to tell me these things actually the ones doing the manipulation? That is the issue I constantly find myself struggling with. I believe the truth is probably a combination of factors. Being raised in the group with no comparison of "norms," I probably accepted things that would otherwise be considered abuse. But, I think a lot of people who only know one side of a very complex story have been misled on certain issues. Figuring out which portion of any of it is true or false is probably impossible at this point *sigh.* Everyone has their own experiences that they have to deal with in their own ways I suppose.

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