What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Cosmophilospher ()
Date: December 14, 2003 02:12AM

Which schools of therapy, methods, techniques, books, etc, have people found helpful in their Recovery from these groups?

Perhaps, over time, we can have a mega-thread, just briefly outlining all of the different techniques that have been helpful to people?
This way, people can look into things themselves, and find out what works for them.

For me, just to get the ball rolling, I have found GREAT help using CBT.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
I use the techniques of Dr. Aaron Beck, [www.beckinstitute.org]

and Dr. David Burns,

Also helpful was REBT, from Dr. Albert Ellis

Also what is GREAT for me are the principles of Skeptical Thinking.

This book can change your entire way of Thinking. Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World.

That is just a very small start to a couple of things that have been helpful to me. I am looking forward to hearing what has been helpful to others!


What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Cosmophilospher ()
Date: January 02, 2004 09:17AM

This is a good initial resource for dealing with trauma. Of course, seek good professional help, but there is a lot people can do to help themselves.

You can download the entire free ebook Psychological Self Help from here. It really is an excellent piece of work.




What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Wordgirl ()
Date: January 02, 2004 11:45PM

I spent 10 years in a cult. I eased my way out about 10 years ago. It wasn't all that traumatic for me. Maybe this isn't typical, but what finally forced my departure was simply LIFE.

By the time I started having serious misgivings about Cult Sahaja Yoga, I had a three year old daughter and infant triplets. I had no family nearby to help out, and I hired an Iranian woman (a fringe member of the cult), then later an elderly woman to give me a bit of relief. When my triplets turned 1, I decided to handle child-rearing with only the help of my husband. It was exhausting! I had no time for cult practices. I could no longer attend weekly meetings and public programs--I was just too busy! In the cult, these things were expected and required. We were made to feel terribly guilty for our lack of commitment to cult activities. Child rearing was no excuse for behavioral lapses.

I finally had to make a choice: my family or my cult. I chose my family. They needed me. And even though our cult leader had us convinced our children were "her children," I just couldn't accept that. She would have had me sending my babies to an ashram in Rome and later a school in India--a practice strongly encouraged with typical cult-pressure tactics. The thought of parting with my young children, especially at an age when they needed me most, was simply too much to bear.

Independent of each other, my husband and I chose to leave the cult. We never spoke of it. We just did it. After about a year, I began to ask him what had happened to us. We still weren't sure. It wasn't until we felt comfortable discussing it (about a year after we'd phased ourselves out) that we were able to admit we'd wasted 10 years of our lives in a mind-numbing cult. We were so embarassed and ashamed!

Neither of us has ever had any kind of therapy. We've been too busy with work and family! And a lot of time has gone by. We are older and wiser (I hope!)

These days I'm no longer ashamed of my involvement in a cult. Internet access has been a real eye-opener regarding the number of cults out there! I had no idea so much of this sort of thing went on. I used to think I was one of only a small number of people who'd been conned. I'm amazed at how many of us there are!

It helps to speak out about cults. My husband has built a website dedicated to exposing the cult that stole all those years from us. He is more bitter than I, and would like to ruin this cult and it's guru. He would not have bothered with this effort had it not been for some cult members putting up a slanderous website about us and other former members who dared to expose its fraudulent practices. I support him in his efforts.

In our own way, we're healing, and perhaps we are completely healed. We have a lot of catching up to do with real world living. It's wonderful to have the freedom to do it.

What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Hope ()
Date: January 03, 2004 02:00AM

It's been mostly reading on the internet that helped me, especially the material on Rick Ross and the support from some posters on this forum.

It took a long time to figure out the depth of the deception, as my doc did not tell me he was involved with LEC nor that he was using their "technology" on me as his method of treating some physical complaints. Our "therapeutic" relationship became a dual business relationship the second yr and formal office visits stopped about 9 mos before he left. By chance, or perhaps by his design, a phone call intercepted by his girlfriend 1 mo after he was gone was when I learned of his involvement in LE, some of his lies, and when he knew I knew, his behavior turned into by-the-book psychopathic.

At that point, I went to a counselor at school who pegged him to be sociopathic. A search of the web found info on that and another therapist specializing in narcissistic\verbal abuse. She also said he was a sociopath, but many questions still were not being answered so I stopped going. When I did a search on Landmark, I found Rick Ross and here I found many, many answers.

So, for starters, info on narcissism was found at [www.drirene.com,] a verbal abuse website with some good basic info on the home page.

[www.geocities.com] also had good info on narcissism and sociopaths, but the content has changed a bit since.

The Guru Papers, Kramer and Alstad
Spiritual Vampires, Marty Raphael
Prophetic Charisma, Oakes
Turn Off Your Mind, Gary Lachman
Outrageous Betrayal, Pressman
Buddhism Without Belief, Batchelor
Many excerpts on Amazon, and many excerpts of psych textbooks provided by Corboy, one in particular by Robert Lifton on alternative medical practitioners and boundaries

Organizations - [www.] csj.org cult information service has articles and books that can be ordered. I went to my first monthly support group with them 2 mos ago and will continue that.

I'm awaiting approval by insurance to see a cult specialist who is an LSW (not covered due to a loophole in federal law). One visit with her was very validating regarding the deception and mind manipulation.

Speaking out about LGATs AND ethics and accountability in the alternative medical field has been very healing. Just getting the vocabulary to be able to do this has taken a long time, however. Truly believing that nothing is a waste, i.e., I did not waste 2 years with this person has helped. It cost me a lot, but it wasn't a waste.

What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: kico ()
Date: January 19, 2004 03:24AM

I’m interested in sharing, hearing and learning about the stages of recovery after cult or personal development involvement.

I had nearly 20 years of active group work in every form of personal development/Human Potential, high demand, and spiritual groups, from metaphysics, shamanism, yoga, earth healing, meditation, zen, co-counselling (RC and CCI), Landmark, NLP, past-life regression, Dianetics etc. etc. from 1983 to 2002.

Without the Internet (rickross, skepdic, freedomofmind etc.) I would never have found the information to get me out of the mental and psychological trap of cultism and personal development.

Although my life was going quietly down the pan during those 20 years (I lost my career, my marriage and my money) I was oblivious to the cause of my decline. I blamed everyone and everything except my ‘growth’ work. In fact, I believed that what was going wrong was my not doing enough personal development to get fully transformed.

But there was just enough unconscious doubt left in my head that when I fell out with Landmark and co-counselling in 2000 and started to research the Net I was able to take on board some of the valuable resources about the harm done by cultism.

So stage 1 in my recovery was a couple of bad experiences of abuse in cultic settings which I could not reconcile with my New Age idealism. This set up an internal conflict or dissonance or lack of congruence between my beliefs and my experiences. So I must thank the two people in co-counselling and Landmark who criticised my commitment to their causes sufficiently to get me to question their behaviour.

Even then I might have returned to personal development if I had not had an old latent interest in psychology which pre-dated my cult work, and the Net gave me just enough good psychological explanations for my cultic involvement to get my attention. I have a highish IQ and an enquiring mind which did not protect me from making the mistake of believing in personal development, but these qualities, plus being quite stubborn, did help me to make it beyond first base in my recovery.

I think if I had had just slightly less dissonance or marginally less scientific curiosity I might never have broken free from the mental and emotional bonds of my groups.
All my friendships, my wife and two children, and my whole social life were intricately dependent on the groups I was in. I had long since severed links with previous friends and reduced contact with my parents.

In future posts I want to describe the next stages in my recovery.


What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Raina ()
Date: May 29, 2004 02:29AM

I am new here, and this is my first post. I am still recovering, having left about cult 4 years ago, after 50 years if involvement. I have not sought professional help, although I have considered doing so many times.

What I find most disturbing [i:894b54b233][b:894b54b233]and[/b:894b54b233][/i:894b54b233] most beneficial are my dreams. I have both nightmares and dreams. Upon waking, I sort through their elements and recognize each one's meaning. Admittedly, I do not always understand their corresponding meanings, but 90% of the time, plus, I do.

Although my husband, who had attended this organization for 53 years, has come to terms with his experience enough that he will actually visit occasionally, when he is in a city where there is a church, I avoid them. I want nothing to do with that church. The thought alone, of sitting through a service, is a dread.

The best therapy, for me, has been attending the services where I go now, where the person at the pulpit is constantly submitted to scrutiny. Unlike the church, the speakers of which were never allowed to be challenged, where I attend now, the speakers are constantly questioned. If they say something that is in error, they are immediately confronted. If there are questions, they are asked and answered publicly before the day is over. Doing this, hearing it done, and knowing it is always possible is more therapeutic for me than anything else.

What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: ataloss ()
Date: June 15, 2004 11:43PM

I have two cult experiences under my belt that have stolen the last ten years from me. I just left the last one three months ago after eight years of membership. I found that one of the things that drew me to cults was how my mother raised me. I actually hated to read books because I would become obsessed with the content and would join whatever I read about. This is also what my mother does. And she loves to read. She is probably caught up loosely with about 5-10 cultish casms at any given moment. She basically buys into anything that sounds "spiritually enlightened" or is "apocolyptic." She's the only person I know that believes that the movie "The Day After Tomarrow" addressed what is coming for us in the very near future.
I always knew she was "off" and I ran right into the arms of the Hare Krsna's just to get away from her. I love her, but she is worse now then ever and it literally has her living in poverty. She is talented in so many ways, but those talents always seem to devour her. I am actually afraid to develop any of the artistic skills that I have a tendency to because I've seen the hooey that it draws her, my sister, and my brother into.
So, I guess for my recovery, I had to acknowledge that, although I love my family dearly, I have to guard myself against the tendencies I was raised with. There is often someone who teaches you that surrendering your life away is honorable, when it isn't.
I also found that I am no longer taking any absolute stances (except that rape is wrong, etc.) and I am listening to views on all sides of an issue and giving the same opportunity to each. I make sure to be critical, too. I have to look for the flaws in the argument and the merits. If I found only one on a normal topic like "the war in Iraq," then I know that I was not listening and being critical. There are meritorious points on both sides of most debates and they beg to be addressed and scrutinized at the same time. It keeps me from jumping into the deep end automatically.
Those may not be referenceable things for people to look into, but they are what helped me leave and not go onto the next cult. So, maybe it can help others.

What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Aurora ()
Date: August 12, 2004 01:00AM

Wow, Sagan's Baloney detection kit takes me way back to some undergraduate philosophy classes I took around the mid to late 1980's.

Some of the philosophy class course content I had really "screwed" with the mind - or at least that was the common consensus among the student group. At least it seemed like [u:9fc9d8265a]conscious[/u:9fc9d8265a] influence.

One class- titled Critical Thinking- got into these same fallacies of logic as in this kit. I recall really thriving in that class dissecting arguments etc.

Thanks for the memories. I think I need a refresher course :?

* * * * * *

From Coz's first post on this thread:

This book can change your entire way of Thinking. Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World.

What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Aurora ()
Date: August 12, 2004 03:06AM

Coz and others,

I am in the early stages of re-programming myself back to a more independent state of mind and was wondering how one goes about losing the mind control jargon? (for me it's TonyTalk).

While I definitely quote AR(Anthony Robbins) less- I suspect his jargon has been imprinted in my routine vocabulary and hence my routine thought processes :oops:

Thankfully I was not fully indoctrinated and bankrupted - but I still need to re-discover my true self again. I hope I am making sense enough for readers to understand my inquiry.

Any advice or references?

What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Concerned Oz ()
Date: August 12, 2004 02:36PM

Hi Aurora,

Up to October 2003, I still had many sayings and "words" from my LGAT, (Robert Kiyosaki's "Money and You") running around in my head from my participation in 1991-2.

Oct. 2003 is the time when I was no longer in denial about my LGAT. Prior to that date I somehow still thought of it positively though parts of my conscience attributed my LGAT experience to my errors of the '90s.

Over the thriteen years the words and sayings became less frequent in my head. I was not actively doing anything to stop it, rather the errosion of time took care of it. The effects of certain situations that would normally trigger a word or saying became less frequent.

However, the lights came on for me in October 2003 when I was reseaching Landmark to get my girlfriend out of it. I then discovered what I had been involved in. This new knowledge together with handling my denial helped me to recognise the sayings and words that were put in my unconscious mind for what they really were - nonsense. I can now say that I am rarely triggered.

Coz recommends using logic and I have also read a while ago that writing down the sayings and words helps as it brings the unconscious to the conscious allowing critical reasoning to discern truth from fiction. While these words are in the unconscious, they exist happily as there is no critical thought processes in the unconscious mind. Once the word or saying is debunked by critical reasoning or logic in the conscious mind, I believe half the battle is won.

As Coz has recommended, CBT is very effective in these cases as it gives the client a "tool kit" to rationally debunk irrational beliefs that have been placed in the unconscious mind by the cultic group.

Hope this helps,

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