What Can Happen If Your Loved One Joins A Cult?
Over the years, I have personally experienced the shock, unbelief and tears of many, as I have shared my cult experiences with them. Many find it incredulous that man and his ‘religion’ can be so cruel and inhumane. I say this lest this article comes across as being sensationalist and exaggerated. If you want to study what goes on behind the closed doors of many cults, I believe you too will shake your head with unbelief of what humans are capable of.
There is a general increase in knowledge about religious cults, especially with the rise in shocking documentaries such as; My Scientology Movie with Louis Theroux, Prophet’s Prey about the fundamentalist Mormon church, Truth Be Told about the Jehovah’s Witness religion and many more.
However there are literally thousands of smaller religious cults which the world has yet to learn about. Most are secretive and many are disguised as charitable organisations. Some just get on with quietly worshipping their God and minding their own business. Some, according to ex members, are extremely damaging and abusive and have caused them great harm.
How does society define the harm of an individual? How do you? Society seems to agree that physical abuse and violence is unacceptable. Health and Safety goes into great detail in its attempt to protect people. Political Correctness goes to extremes to prevent offence but what about the psychological / spiritual harm that many ex cult members claim they have been subject to?
The aim here is not to cast judgement on particular groups, but to help people make well-informed decisions based upon the experiences of many and the warning signs. This information alone could save your life or the life of someone you care about!
The following is a list of what is going on today and what could literally happen if a loved one got recruited into one of these dangerous cults:
Family splits: This is where cult members distance themselves from their families because they see them as incompatible with their beliefs. The cult I was in banned members from eating with, writing to, visiting, or having any contact with any family members who were not in the cult. Some were not even informed of the death of their parents till after they were buried.
Finances controlled: When a person is brainwashed by a cult over their finances, they will willingly hand over everything that is asked of them whether it be 10% of their income, their life savings, signing over their house and their will.
Education and careers banned: Cults have laws and some forbid certain career paths. I wasn’t allowed to go to university or pursue any profession which involved a Trade Union, required a Professional Association or the signing the Secrecy Act.
Social life restricted: Many cults require your life commitment. This includes spending most of your time with other members and only socialising within strict parameters. I was banned from eating in restaurants, going to a pub, eating with anyone who wasn’t in the cult, and we all had to attend eleven meetings a week.
Life controlled: Cults exist by laws that are decided upon by the cult leader and enforced through fear of the consequences of disobeying him. His/her followers are often brainwashed and this means that the leader is able to control them at will. This may include areas of their life such as who they can marry, where they can live, what hairstyle to have, what clothes to wear, what schools you can attend, where you are allowed to travel. There is no limit to what a power-crazed cult leader can decide his followers have to obey.
Fear: Cults control their followers through fear. While there may be the outward factors such as losing your wife, husband, children, business, house, friends should you leave, there is the fear of disobeying the god you have been brainwashed into believing, and eternal damnation, shame and torment to face should you leave the cult.
Brainwashing: This is coerced or manipulated by any number of social, intellectual, and psycho-emotional methods, to do or accept things you wouldn’t have otherwise. I was brainwashed whereby my mind became completely closed to allowing any contrary thought into my head. It was like my mind was possessed with the doctrine of the cult. The goal of brainwashing is the internalization of the (unrealized or unrecognized) abusive control to where you believe and feel it necessary to enforce someone else’s will as your own.
Suicide: All cults deny that the suicide of a member or ex member had anything to do with them. Over the years hundreds of people have come under extreme pressure to conform to the laws of their cult. They have failed to keep the laws and have committed suicide. I knew one such person whose family was banned from seeing him because he was caught smoking a cigarette. He fell into depression and took his own life. There are many similar stories.
Mass suicide: In recent decades there have been at least three known cult mass suicides. In 1978, People’s Temple in Jonestown were brainwashed into poisoning themselves. 909 followers including 276 children died in the space of a few hours. In 1994 the New Age leader of The Order of the Solar Temple cult brainwashed 74 of his followers into committing suicide. He told them it was necessary to enter a higher spiritual plane. In 1997 the Heaven’s Gate cult followed their leader and 39 committed suicide believing his instructions to reach an extraterrestrial spacecraft that was following a comet.
It might surprise you that for a cult to inflict any of the above on their followers is not illegal. (The last two maybe are but by then it’s too late.) The purpose of Cult Escape and of this article is not to challenge the legalities. That is someone else’s job. For now the aim is to make you and your loved ones and friends aware of what being recruited into a cult could result in.
What Can We Do About it Right Now?
There is no time like the present.
Why not take action right now? We can make a positive difference to men, women and children whose lives could have been heading for family separation and disaster.
Here are 3 calls to action.
Have conversations with family and friends about cult recruitment and the dangers.
Read the articles on this site and search on Google i.e. ‘cult danger’ or ‘cult recruitment’
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