could this be a cult?
Posted by: lilsis ()
Date: February 24, 2004 05:39AM

Please help me understand this. Any honest input is appreciated!

My brother, who was a very successful member of the medical community, recently lost everything due to a drug addiction. He is now in a rehab center. His counselor at the rehab center got him involved in her "church". The conselor told my brother, who is at probably the most vulnerable time in his life righ now, that God "speaks to her" and that he can be "healed" only if he goes to her church. My brother is married and has 2 beautiful, severely disabled children. The counselor told my brother that his children are actually forms of Satan. She told him they must be "healed" at a ceremony in her church. His wife drove with her children to a church service at the request of my brother. She stayed for 15 minutes and left. She said there were bean bag chairs all over the floor because of people passing out when they are "healed." My brother claims to have passed out himself at one of these services, due to the healing powers of the clergy. His drug rehab counselor told him she was sent to earth from God to heal people.

His wife told him that she would not tolerate her family being a member of that church. My brother said he would stop going, but then he changed his mind after talking again with the drug counselor. His wife even told him that they could find a church to attend after he was out of rehab, but right now was not the time to make such a huge decision. My brother is convinced that he is doing the right thing.

My first question is, could this be a cult? Second question is, and this may be unrelated to this forum, does the rehab center, which claims no ties with ANY religious group, have a responsibility in this? Doesn't seem right that a counselor can go after people like this at such a vulnerable time.

Your insights are appreciated!

could this be a cult?
Posted by: concerned2 ()
Date: December 03, 2004 11:57AM

Here's the deal. No one church has the corner on healing or God. The fact that the lady was very bold to state that she was a healer sent from God worries me. A humble person let's the miracles speak for themselves and will not give themselves a title or label. Lady minister makes me a little nervous. Who is she accountable to? The fact that she thinks that hers in the only place where God can show himself is a sign of at least a cult-like group. If she has no respect for his wive's opinion, another telltale sign. Does God heal today? I believe so, I have seen miracles. Does he heal at that church? Don't know, but other things make me suspicious of it. The practice of falling down is called "slain in the spirit" and common in charismatic churches. Some say it is demonic, others say it is angelic. But to be sure, God is there for everyone who calls on him and is not found only in this lady's church! Your brother is obviously being pulled by her personality and persuasion. A true woman of God would let him make his own mind up without pressure. Good luck.

could this be a cult?
Posted by: nativeflower ()
Date: February 14, 2005 06:04PM

I was in a charasmatic church like that....I later found out that passing out in ther spirit has nothing to do with God or is hypnosis....when the person is in this altered state they are more accessable to brainwashing....beware of chuches who practice this

secondly she is deliberatly trying to divide the family by calling your children satanic......those are fightin' words

third does she answer to anyone in her job as drug rehab? or is she self need to report her because public mental health has to follow guidlines that prohibit the therapist mentioning faith, not to mention trying to recruit people to her church

logic tells me that she is using her job to recruit members to her "church"

all telltale signs of a cult.

when I was in a cult....there were several methods to achieve altered states of consciousness

"slaying in the spirit" or passing out due to hypnosis
chanting or "talking in tongues"
dancing for long peroids of time
"laying on of hands"
long periods of prayer
and certain music

these methods are seen in charasmatic churches....and the altered states are used to make people more suceptible to being brainwashed into accepting crazy ideas and notions

also NEVER allow them to try to extorsize your children..people have died from extorsism not to mention it totaly screws with people's self concept

best wishes,


could this be a cult?
Posted by: Stoby goby ()
Date: February 24, 2005 06:03AM

I don’t think there is any possibility of passing out in the spirit of god, I have never hered of this before, an neither in the bible. It sounds like hitmatising.

I think you should go along to the church and the re hab to see your self, what goes on
If you truly believe them; then you will become brain washed

could this be a cult?
Posted by: Angela ()
Date: March 16, 2005 08:26AM

You are right to be cautious!

First of all, the counselor is using mind-control tactics on particularly vulnerable individuals and her behavior should definately be brought to the attention of the rehab center's directors. His wife is correct in stating that during rehab is not the time to make a huge, life-affecting decision about matters of faith. Any religious leader with a proper perspective will admit that decisions made under stress such as that are generally not good as will any honest rehab counselor.

What really concerns me is the counselor's claims that only her church is true, that his children are incarnations of satan, and that she was sent by God! Be wary of anyone claiming that only they are correct and others are all wrong or false. That's us-vs-them mentality in it's most blatant form. It is unusual that a brand-new recruit would be immediately subjected to the mind-control tactic of trying to divide him from his family - but that is exactly what the counselor is doing by telling him that his children are satan and causing him to disagree with his wife. And, whenever someone claims that they were 'sent by God' it is good to see that as a potential warning sign - especially when combined with others.

Re: could this be a cult?
Posted by: cultsurvivor22 ()
Date: June 04, 2010 12:08PM

Sounds like there is something wrong with this counselor. Counselors shouldn't push their religion on others. You should try to get your brother help to understand what is going on here.

Re: could this be a cult?
Posted by: dsm ()
Date: June 06, 2010 09:40AM

There are a lot of regulations on licensed counselors that are supposed to prevent the kind of relationship you describe.

Type in the full title of that counselor into Google and the name of your state (where she has an office) and either "license board" or "professional association" and see what comes up. You should be able to find instructions on how to file a complaint of unethical practice as well as a guide to exactly what they consider unethical.

Re: could this be a cult?
Posted by: raymondadam ()
Date: August 12, 2011 10:56PM

The hard thing about escaping this kind of cult is ex-addicts can be weak minded, and can be dependant on them because of their fear of relapsing. Cults exploit that fear.

Re: could this be a cult?
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: August 13, 2011 12:27AM


That's why it's important to seek professional help during recovery.

See []

Re: could this be a cult?
Posted by: poacwqnh ()
Date: October 26, 2011 01:04AM

What dsm said. There's a clear issue of professional boundaries here - using her counselling practice to proselytise for her religion, and socialising with clients outside of work. Complain to the rehab center and also to her professional association.

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