All posts tagged: recovery

high wind blowing hat off suited man on tiny island

Errant Belief #8: “She’s Better Off Where She Is”

Are They Better Off Being Left in the Group? Sometimes family, friends, and even mental health professionals may think that a person is better off in the cult. This way, the family, and friends may not feel obliged to do anything to help rescue the individual. Sometimes this is because the person has been a

Recovery from Spiritual Abuse and Healing Oneself to Trust Again

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

Scientology E-Meter

Old Cult Objects: What to Do with Them?

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

Effective Healing Takes Hard Work

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

New Book on Patty Hearst Falls Short of Understanding Undue Influence

I recently read a NY Times book review of AMERICAN HEIRESS: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin and listened to an interview done with the author on NPR. Honestly, I was horrified at his lack of knowledge and understanding about undue influence and disagreed 100% with

Use of Words, Loaded Language, and “Thought Control” of Believers

I recently read former Scientologist official Mike Rinder’s blog piece on “Word Clearing.” I suspect that most people who read his blog are ex-Scientologists, but I think it might be interesting for former members of other destructive groups to give it a read. I thought it could be a useful introduction to a blog I

photo of Steve Guziec

An Introduction to Steve Guziec

Guest Blog by Steve Guziec Update: As of January 2018, Steve Guziec is no longer working with Freedom of Mind Resource Center. He wished to take his life in a new direction and we wish him the very best in his academic and life pursuits. I’m so excited to be working with Steven Hassan and

gavel

Important New Model Offers Legal Guidelines for Cases Involving Undue Influence

Forty years ago, I was deprogrammed from the Moonies and months later I agreed to do involuntary deprogrammings with fellow cult members. During that time, parents had the legal recourse to help their adult children involved with cults. Families could go before a judge, and petition the court for a one week ex-parte “conservatorship” giving

School girls kidnapped by Boko Harum

Cult Survivors Need Compassion and Help to Recover

On Thursday, news broke that another of the missing Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist extremist cult Boko Haram two years ago has been found. The second in just as many days, she is being hailed officially by the authorities of Nigeria as a success story and paraded in front of the media as proof

A recent photo of Gladys Gonzalez, myself, and Nestor Garcia M.D.

My Waking Up Day- 40 Years Later- I am Filled with Gratitude!

A recent photo of Gladys Gonzalez, myself, and Nestor Garcia M.D. May 11th 1976 was the day. After five days of deprogramming, I “woke up” and emerged from being a “model Moonie” and leader to a very upset, confused, angry, ashamed self. A team of four people hired by my parents: Nestor Garcia, Michael Strom,

Reaching Out: Communicating After Cult Exit

I am often approached by concerned family members of adult cult members who need help. I work with the family by coaching them to use my Strategic Interactive Approach. This involves teaching them how to employ an ethical influence campaign based on compassion, and designed to help the cult member question the group’s leader, doctrine,