Dangerous to contact cult member?
Posted by: Questions_2 ()
Date: April 29, 2011 03:18AM


I would like to make my ex-boyfriend / cult recruiter (fell in love with / recruited me) aware that he is involved in a group that uses coercive persuasion. 

When I was becoming aware of the nefarious nature of my ex's relationships, I was threatened in my hometown, which is many miles away). I'd like to believe that it was conincidence - that the veiled threat was a misunderstanding on my part. 

My friend and his family are very high up in this organization, being major donors. One of the members of my friend's direct family (through marriage) is a hypnotherapist, who is using coercive persuasion on my friend. 

It's been four months since I broke contact. I'm annoyed that I'm letting concern for my potential danger win, and not contact my friend / ex, just saying that I believe he's involved in cultic relationships.

What are your thoughts? Am I likely to be aggressed again (I was warned in that "metaphorical" language that next time I don't get the message, it will be worse)? Am I safe writing a simple e-mail?

I don't want to get re-involved (in the broad sense) unless he cut ties with the group; I'm not interested in taking on a project. 

I'm interested in saying my peace, so that I can move on, which I've been having difficulty doing - I'd like to stop reading about cults, and checking his and the cult leaders websites / pages.

Hope all are well,


Re: Dangerous to contact cult member?
Posted by: Sparky ()
Date: April 29, 2011 08:50AM

Questions_2, can you share with us what group/sect/cult you were involved in?

Re: Dangerous to contact cult member?
Posted by: Questions_2 ()
Date: April 29, 2011 09:29AM

I'm going to keep it vague. It's a large fairly mainstream religious organization - I always thought that members of this religion / group were somewhat "flaky" (speaking in abstractions), but didn't know anything about cults, and didn't think too much of it when I met my ex. 

I didn't realize how involved he was in the organization, because his involvement is mainly with one person - one of the main leaders directly.

Re: Dangerous to contact cult member?
Posted by: Questions_2 ()
Date: April 29, 2011 10:07AM

I will add that I've tried to make phone appointments with two prominent exit counselors (one more so than the other). After agreeing to speak with me, both suddenly decided they were too busy (this one after the other).

I wrote a third for a consult; perhaps he never received my e-mail (that went into greater detail than the others had), but I never heard back from him.

Are some groups dangerous to the point that counselors don't want to deal with them, or are these coincidences? There is very little bad PR written about this group - though there is some. There is no mention of them in a cultic context on this site, for example.

I was thinking of sending something like this:

I'm sorry that I got so upset, but it was part of a gradual process in which I became aware that what I was recognizing in your close relationships was coercive persuasion. Understanding the techniques used; how they would affect you; how you would unknowingly affect me with them as well - I didn't understand until I educated myself further about the nature of cultic relationships and how they work, which I've done over the past few months.



Re: Dangerous to contact cult member?
Posted by: ghostwriter1984 ()
Date: May 02, 2011 08:02AM

If you tell someone outright he/she is in a cult, that person is more than likely going to push you away. Why? One of the first things these groups do is prepare new recruits on how to handle the cult accusation. In my former group, there was an entire canned rap for how to handle such an accusation. There was variation based on whether or not it was received in front of a grocery store or from a family member, but essentially you were prepared just in case.

I can't speak to the tactics your friend's group might employ, as some are more hostile than others. The group I used to work with usually didn't do much of anything -- unless someone began speaking up and speaking out about the group activities. A professional probably has better advice than this.

Re: Dangerous to contact cult member?
Posted by: Questions_2 ()
Date: July 25, 2011 02:23PM


Well, I've been having counselling sessions with an exit counsellor, which has been incredibly helpful.

One thing he said is that most of the cults don't actually kill people; they just try to push you over the edge.

I decided to contact my ex after six months, through Facebook, as I was sure that he wouldn't have blocked my e-mails there.

I wrote him once about a month ago, and mentioned that I'd send him some books. I wrote him a second time this past Thursday, being more specific, and telling him that I still love him. Today he blocked me on Facebook - this means if I do a search for him on Facebook, there is no trace of him; his posts on public pages are blocked from my view, etc.

The exit counsellor warned me that from what I'd told him, he didn't think my ex would be reached; that one basically has to have an open mind and a spirit of self-examination in order for anything I said to my ex to reach him.

I thought that by being direct it would reach him, because I thought he was a critical thinker. I guess he is about some things.

It's very frustrating, because as I see it he's pretty much mind-controlled by a family member who is using Ericksonian hypnosis techniques - I read his blog; two days after I wrote my ex the first time, a post on the hypnotist's blog: how he is on a land trust that owns a beaver dam, and it's a beautiful headache, and would someone like to buy the dam as it needs dredging, but then would be in danger of contamination? A few days later it was July 4 - all these blogs about how dangerous independence is; how it's good to be lazy on independence day...It's pretty upsetting watching the control going on.

I'm grateful of course that I recognized that there was weird sh*t going on, or else I could have blissed out with my ex (we were pretty blissed out together) and not realized for...how long? that there was nefarious stuff underlying his life. As it was, it took me about a year to realize what was going on (long distance relationship), and why it was he suddenly pulled back after meditation retreat; before he left we were discussing building a house together. The whole thing is rather heartbreaking.

Frustrating as well is that I was effected by the hypnosis while I was with him. I guess I was fortunate when one looks at the overall balance that I'd been exposed to NLP to the level of master practitioner in my teens. I'd walked away from that by the time I was 20, basically, feeling manipulated, and that NLP didn't deal with root issues (I now have massive issues with NLP) but eventually the lightbulb went on and I realized that people were interacting with my ex using those techniques. I got very concerned and had a massive panic attack. I guess that's to be expected.

Frustrating as well, is that whenever my ex is upset, he tends to cut off what he targets as upsetting him. Unfortunately that leaves only the people who speak in ways that trying to understand what they're saying is like nailing jello to the wall.

I'm less naive in general, still alive! and saddened that someone who I care sincerely about is stuck in a sick relationship with a family member. I guess there's nothing I can do?



Re: Dangerous to contact cult member?
Date: August 31, 2013 04:05AM

Questions_2, I don't know if you're still around, and, if you are, I'll bet you've resolved all these difficulties (of course we'd all like to hear about how it turned out!). What is clear from these few exchanges is that you are obsessed with your ex. THAT is the issue here, not anything cult or not. Every person's first responsibility - first and foremost - is to take care of himself. Each of us has to get to a healthy, balanced frame of mind before we can take sensible action, especially with regard to a situation such as yours. If you're still obsessing over your ex, you're in no position to be contacting him. That's just the obsession talking - while you frame it in concern for his safety/welfare, it's really just a means of keeping you in his consciousness. You want him to remember you and to be thinking about YOU, just as YOU are thinking about HIM! Your first post betrays that you are (were) still carrying the torch for this guy. Got to get over him first. Then, once your life is going independently, you can see if you feel any "rescue" operation on your part is worth your effort. As an adult, he has the right to be in whatever organization he wishes (including none), and the fact that it's his FAMILY's organization means that there's powerful incentive for him to stay right there. If people are in a religion, it is overwhelmingly the one they were raised in, you know.

So get yourself disentangled. Completely. To the point that you're no longer thinking of him all the time. Get healthy, get to the point where you're enjoying your life on your terms. Then you can see if you still want to address this. There are people who stay in cults, even really destructive ones, just because they've got something inside that drives them to do that. Until he fixes whatever inside is damaged, he's going to feel driven to remain within that organization. And it's entirely up to him. Maybe he'll be able to fix himself while still "in"; maybe he won't. I've seen it go both ways. But I certainly hope you aren't contemplating kidnapping him and forcibly deprogramming him yourself! That would be disastrous :P

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