As many of you might already know I was abused by a destructive bible-based cult. I was lucky to stumble across Margaret Thaler Singer's book "Cults in our Midst" a few years later. As I studied more about cults and brainwashing I was lead here in my search where I learned that cultic brainwashing tactics are employed by not only by cultic leaders but by abusers in abusive relationships. I bring this up because it has come to my attention that a man my friend knows (who I suspect just came out from a destructive group and/or relationship) is now being preyed upon by my friend's former best friend. Both the man and my friend's former best friend both come from abusive backgrounds. According to my friend her former best friend always seemed a little manipulative but she didn't know the half of it. When the manipulator unwittingly showed her true colors both of then cut off contact from each other, my friend informed me that the manipulator is not only taking advantaged of a weak-minded man going through hard times but she is trying to manipulate her. The behavior my friend described is not dissimilar to that expressed by cult members and cult leaders. The manipulator has managed to isolate this man from everyone and get him to listen ONLY to her. Also when I offered to intervene she said that they wouldn't listen to me and that both would resent me. My friend believes if I intervene the manipulator would turn her subject against me. I detest cultic mind control and brainwashing and I want to pull him out, I could use some advice,preferably from those that have actually intervened before.
Funny that this topic should come up. In my experience alot of times in a relationship (after getting out) ex-cult members can resort back to what they learned/were taught. The supposed innocent party can alot of times also precipitate (knowingly or unknowingly) this kind of behavior in the person who was in a cult, by not knowing what the person went through, and that they are still trying to heal/get better from it. It's a long process (atleast for me being in a cultish church/environment for 30 years), it does not go away over night. You don't know how to relate to the outside world or people because you did not associate with them, all you did learn/know was manipulation, brain washing, being a robot, never being able to be yourself, being put down. In my experience I was never in any "normal" relationships through my church, friends or family. You are like a child no matter how old you are once you leave....trying to learn and understand what a true, uncontrolled, unmanipulated relationship is like. I get very overly defensive from real or percieved critisim. I can become a control freak because I was never allowed to have control over anything in my own life. I am learning still how to live normally and have normal relationships. Your overly scared of being hurt or betrayed because your world fell apart when you found out your leader/group had in fact brainwashed, manipulated. and controlled you. You had worshipped and Idolized them. So now it's very hard to trust, I find myself running away from people I think are going to hurt me or getting in the mode of I'm gonna hurt them before they can hurt me first, its very hard to trust again.. Every cult, church, leader is different. I have gravitated towards manipulative, controlling, destructive people since I have been out because it's normal for me. What is not normal is a normal relationship, or knowing how to have one.....You feel displaced in the world, the church people you left shun you, and the outside world shuns you because you are different having been sheltered for so long. If I was you I would suggest to the person that maybe they need help, exit counseling etc. instead of judging and condemning them.