Resources and Support

2018: Looking Forward to Helping People to Help Themselves and Others

2018-12-16T20:12:03-05:00January 4th, 2018|Blog, News and Updates, Resources and Support|

Combating Cult Mind Control For over forty years, I have endeavored to help people understand my own cult experience- being recruited into a front group of the Moonies in 1974 while a student at Queens College in New York.  This year, on November 18th, 2018, my book Combating Cult Mind Control will be 30 years old.  That hardback volume was originally published with the British spelling, Combatting, and featured a bald-headed man with a padlock and chain around his bald head.  I fought with my then publisher and told him the cover was a total turn off for all [...]

Recovery from Spiritual Abuse and Healing Oneself to Trust Again

2018-12-13T21:09:21-05:00August 9th, 2017|Blog, News and Updates, Resources and Support|

This past weekend, I attended and spoke at a conference at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. This one-day event was sponsored by MeadowHaven, The Protestant Chaplaincy of the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, Dartmouth Bible Church, and International Cultic Studies Association. The title of my talk was "Spiritual Abuse: Strategies to Help Someone to Exit, Heal and Trust Again," which was quite a large topic to cover in forty-five minutes! However, many people have told me that they really got a lot from it. I was invited to speak there by my colleague and friend, Rev. Bob Pardon who along with [...]

Opioid Epidemic–Narconon: Scientology is Not a Treatment

2018-12-16T21:11:21-05:00July 12th, 2017|Blog, Current Events, Resources and Support|

The opioid epidemic in the United States is claiming more lives than ever. Recent data estimates that 59,000 Americans died from drug-related causes in 2016. And, the estimate for 2017 is even higher. Much of this can be attributed to opioid addiction which often starts with dependency on prescribed painkillers that leads to abuse and illegal drugs. With so many families being affected by this issue, the drug treatment and rehabilitation industry have been growing. Countless people are looking for help and often they do not know how to choose certified, respected programs which adhere to licensing requirements. Not [...]

Ex-Members Supporting One Another is a Good Thing!

2018-12-16T20:51:59-05:00June 15th, 2017|Blog, Current Events, Resources and Support|

I was going to New York City to tape an interview for a one hour documentary on Heaven’s Gate and reached out to see if I could finally meet Todd Kadish, an attorney who is an ex-modern Orthodox Jew. Todd and I had had several very interesting phone calls and I really wanted to meet him in person. He and Isaac Carmignani, an ex-Jehovah’s Witness, helped start what they termed an ex-fundamentalist support group a number of years ago. I had the good fortune of meeting Isaac previously and he kindly offered to assist me with a case in [...]

“Conversion Therapy” is Dangerous and Abusive

2018-12-15T20:26:38-05:00June 8th, 2017|Blog, News and Updates, Resources and Support|

The 48th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots is coming up on June 28, and many cities in America are holding Gay Pride parades and festivals around this time. With the Trump election and Mike Pence as Vice President, all the accomplishments advancing human rights seems like they are in jeopardy. This week, I attended the Pride Day celebration at Newton City Hall and Mayor Setti Warren created a liaison position and appointed trans activist Holly Ryan. Bob Parlin, founder of the Gay-Straight Alliance was recognized and given commendations from the Legislature. I’ve written before about how important it is to [...]

Old Cult Objects: What to Do with Them?

2018-12-16T21:05:44-05:00June 1st, 2017|Blog, Resources and Support|

Scientology E-Meter Here is an exercise for recovering ex-members: Look around your home. How many objects remind you of your former cult? Do you still have cult clothing, books, music, or art? How does having these objects affect you? I recently worked with a woman who had been out of a Korean cult for 7 years. She understood that it was a cult, knew the leader was a rapist, made the decision to leave, went back to school, and got married. But, she still struggled. When she and her husband came into my office to do recovery work, I [...]

Parental Alienation Harms Children by Using Undue Influence

2019-01-15T15:12:10-05:00May 4th, 2017|Blog, News and Updates, Resources and Support|

This past week, a very important legal custody case was decided which involves Infowars’ Alex Jones and his ex-wife Kelly. Kelly Jones was able to successfully show that her children had been turned against her and unduly influenced by Alex Jones. The judge awarded her the power to decide where her children will live from now on. She will now have the opportunity to re-establish relationships with her own children. Parental alienation is real and its results are devastating. My friend and psychiatrist Nick Child's site is filled with wonderful resources. Through my work, I have had the opportunity to [...]

Asperger’s/ Autism Spectrum Disorder and Undue Influence

2019-02-13T13:26:27-05:00March 7th, 2017|Blog, News and Updates, Resources and Support|

Artwork (used with permission) by Benyamin Wurmfeld, a member of the AANE Artists Collaborative Over two decades ago, a family asked me for help with a young woman who was being recruited into Kip McKean's shepherding/discipleship group called the Boston Church of Christ*. This case was particularly interesting because the young woman I was told had Asperger's Syndrome (currently subsumed under Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the DSM V). She had not been through the "counting the costs" indoctrination at that time. She hadn't been baptized yet and was open to meeting with me and learning about cult mind [...]

Effective Healing Takes Hard Work

2018-12-16T19:50:05-05:00February 4th, 2017|Blog, Resources and Support|

I’ve written before about why ex-members need to heal themselves before helping others. Even if they’re not interested in becoming a vocal activist against destructive cults, there are plenty of good reasons to learn about undue influence and work on personal recovery. It still amazes me to encounter incredible ex-member activists who have not done their own learning and healing! Unless people put the time and effort into educating themselves and doing the healing work needed, I have found that ex-cult members can be carrying around unwanted baggage. They can also be more vulnerable to other forms of undue [...]

Stereotypical Profile of Cult Members

2018-12-15T21:34:31-05:00January 27th, 2017|Blog, Resources and Support|

A few people have asked me recently what a typical cult member looks like. While every group and individual is unique, there are common patterns for how cult members think, feel, speak, and behave. Check out the BITE Model and the right side of the Influence Continuum graphic.  Cult members become “clones” of the group leaderCult mentality is usually absolutist, simplistic, rigid, and rooted in terms of black-and-white, Us vs. Them, good vs. evil. Rather than examining evidence and then forming beliefs based on that evidence, cult members start with the “answer” and pay much more attention to evidence or [...]