healing and recovery

The Freedom of Mind Approach to Recovery and Healing from Destructive Cults

2018-12-16T19:49:06-04:00May 17th, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

The Freedom of Mind approach to recovery and healing from destructive cults is customizable and designed to meet the needs of most any person who has been influenced by a cult. People who were born or raised in a cult have spent their early developmental years under cult control. Other people may have entered into a cult later on in life as adolescents, young adults, adults, or older adults. Both sets of former cult members may have very significant needs for recovery and healing. The Freedom of Mind approach to recovery and healing helps the former cult member to [...]

How Can I Rescue My Child From a Cult?

2018-12-16T19:49:18-04:00January 18th, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

How Can I Rescue My Child From a Cult? Whether you are looking for help for your son or daughter, your brother or sister, mother or father, or husband or wife, my advice is to do your homework, first. In the coming weeks, I plan to share the errant beliefs I wrote about in my book, Freedom of Mind: Helping Loves Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs. In this digital age, make sure you are not signaling online that you are worried or seeking to help someone to reevaluate their involvement. Protect Your Identity Change all of [...]

Beware of Logical Fallacies when Seeking the Truth

2018-12-16T19:49:33-04:00June 30th, 2017|Blog|

Throughout my years as a mental health professional, I have made it part of my mission to educate people to be smart consumers. I believe that knowledge of how the mind works gives us true power, and that when a person takes the time to learn the facts about any given situation they will be better equipped to make informed decisions. True freedom of mind means that the “locus of control” for your life is within yourself and not with some external authority–someone else or some institution. How to think clearly and analyze words and claims is an essential tool [...]

Ex-Members Supporting One Another is a Good Thing!

2018-12-16T20:51:59-04:00June 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 [...]

Old Cult Objects: What to Do with Them?

2018-12-16T21:05:44-04:00June 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 [...]

Effective Healing Takes Hard Work

2018-12-16T19:50:05-04:00February 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 [...]

For Ex-Members: Surviving the Holidays

2018-12-16T19:50:21-04:00December 23rd, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

For many people, family-oriented holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah are loving, happy times: baking, singing, playing games, decorating, sleeping in, giving gifts, and spending time with family and friends. However, for former members of “high-demand” groups, it can be a very difficult time. Especially for those with family members still involved with the group, holidays can provoke a lot of anxiety and even phobic reactions. One option is to avoid the visit. Some people decide it would be too stressful or even harmful for them. This is unfortunate, but everyone must take care of their own health first [...]

Freedom of Mind for LGBTQ Youth

2019-06-10T07:21:25-04:00December 16th, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

Freedom of Mind, as an organization and as a meme is grounded in a commitment to basic human rights as expressed by the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Please take a moment to look at these profound statements. It’s not surprising that many cults hold doctrines and practices which are intolerant and even violent towards the LGBTQ community. Just combine absolutist, black-and-white, rigid thinking with tight control over members’ sexuality. A young person asserting their own individual desires (which may be unconventional, complex, or constantly evolving) presents a threat to a cult leader who seeks to mold their followers [...]

A Call to Activism

2018-12-16T19:51:49-04:00November 11th, 2016|Blog, Current Events|

From Combating Cult Mind Control (2015) I am still recovering from shock and dismay over the results of the 2016 American presidential election. I still stand by my appraisal of Donald Trump as a person who holds the stereotypical characteristics of a cult leader. Now that he is America’s President-elect, we have an even greater opportunity to educate the planet about the characteristics of cult leaders and followers. More than ever, we need organizations like the newly formed Open Minds Foundation to raise public awareness of the dangers of undue influence, and how we can fight it! I refuse [...]

Belief vs. Fact

2018-12-16T19:52:19-04:00October 28th, 2016|Blog, Resources and Support|

Mark Twain once said, “It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” I was listening to this podcast, and it got me thinking about the reality that so many people are walking around with beliefs which they consider “Truth” with a capital “T.” Sometimes even intelligent, educated people seem to be locked into belief-driven mindsets which prevent them from changing their views despite overwhelming evidence. In the past few years, climate change denial has appeared as a topic of study in social psychology circles. Despite the overwhelming evidence of global climate change, there [...]