Re: What books have helped you the most in cult recovery? ...
Date: July 25, 2008 04:06AM
Stephen Cope's book, "Yoga and the Search for the True Self." Cope writes about his experiences in the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts, with Yogi Amrit Desai. My group was, in many ways different than Kripalu, but there were still many things I could relate to in Cope's book. Like Deikman, Cope writes about how people can become involved with a charismatic leader and his/her group because they feel adrift and unconnected. You can long for family, and the leader can feel, at first, as if they are the all-wise and loving parent you never had, and the group can feel like the brothers, sisters and friends you've longed for. These longings can really keep you from seeing the leader and the group as they are, for quite some time.
This book really helped me understand how I got drawn into the group I was in -- as well as how I eventually became disillusioned with it, as well as giving me hope that I could do well after leaving.
"Controlling People," by Patricia Evans also helped me. When I read it, I saw how, in my family, my role had always been to take care of others, regardless of my own needs. No surprise, as an adult I was very drawn to this group in which I was expected to play a similar role.