Family Members of Cult Victims - Searching for Support Group
Date: May 22, 2004 01:08PM

Has anyone in your Family been a Member of a Cult? I am looking for others in the same position as myself, to form or locate a Support Group, preferably in Nassau County, on Long Island, N.Y.

My mother left to join a "New Age Healing Cult" called "Foundation For Shamanic Studies." She cut off her husband of 52 years as well as her friends and two of her three adult children.

I feel like I cannot reach the real 'Person.' She is different, now.
She is still following rituals of the group, but now is living away from them, for the time being.

Are there others out there who are going through a similar situation?
Please reach out to me. I need to be reassured that I am 'Not' going crazy, and am 'Not' imagining everything. It's so difficult to accept all the Changes. If you are out there, and understand what I'm talking about then respond to me! Thanks.

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Family Members of Cult Victims - Searching for Support Group
Posted by: randomfactor ()
Date: May 23, 2004 02:16AM

I totally understand and sympathize.

In my case, it's many of my freinds and others who are going "new age." I'm not averse to the beliefs, but it's suddenly blossoming into a much more cult like atmosphere, with a heavy "us" and "them" indoctrination and mindset.

"Healing" cults are especially bad. The "Healing" of Body, Mind and Spirit too often leads to physical, mental and spiritual coercion.

I know how hard it is: you probably get told that your mother is just part of a nice, liberal group (for some reason, the Spiritual movement is identified with quite harmless, vague beliefs, even though that is no longer the case in many areas). And yet this urgency to cut off ties to "unbelievers" or "negative people" is harshly pushed in many groups.

No, you are not alone out there. It's not well recognized yet, but it is very definately occuring. And groups are rapidly stepping over the line from "healing groups" to quite harsh cults.

Hang in there. I think this site can give you a lot of support.


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Family Members of Cult Victims - Searching for Support Group
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 23, 2004 05:10AM

First, no responsible spiritual teacher, healer or group would ever encourage someone to cut off ties to a spouse, friends and adult children as you describe your mother doing.

You'll need to get additional information to determine whether it is standard practice in this group to encourage members to sever ties with family and friends.

It may sometimes happen that a group may be OK, but a subgroup that is deviant and cultish can develop within the main group.

Or, you can have a set up where the leaders of the group subject a secretive inner circle of disciples to a harsh cultic discipline, but prescribe a milder, 'reasonable' practice for those who just take an occasional workshop or are members but not of the inner circle.

All too often members of the inner circle are kept quiet by a mixture of secrecy, fear and the conviction that they are special. They dont want to lose that sense of specialness, so they put up with all kinds of abuse and create alibis to support the leader and disarm suspicion.

Some time back on Craigslist, one member said he/she had been involved with pseudo shamanic practices based on Castaneda's work. The person did this for decades, and finally realized that it was all about believing one was special, doing certain things that made you feel special, and that it took more and more work to maintain and preserve that sense of being special.

The person felt tired and burdened by it all and reported that after getting rid of 30 years of files, books, notes and tapes, felt a tremendous sense of relief and unburdening.

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Family Members of Cult Victims - Searching for Support Group
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: May 24, 2004 08:54PM

To: "Hurting...need to know"

To better understand how to cope with a "cult" member see


There are also books listed at--


"Recovery and Support" groups and services are listed at--


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