CULT ESCAPE INTRODUCTION
Have you ever wondered what it must be like to be born into a strict religious cult, and how some people manage to escape and find healing and freedom?
My journey starts as an eight day old baby when my mother hands me to a small swarthy man with dyed black hair. Suddenly all goes quiet and to my shock I find I cannot breathe. What is happening? I am being held under water in a full bath in my home. Now I am fully immersed into the religious cult called the Exclusive Brethren.
Fifty years later, I am still here to tell you the story about growing up in a 45,000 member, religious cult called the Exclusive Brethren. You will get to know about my experiences of being brainwashed and my life being controlled by one man, ‘The Universal Leader,’ also called, ‘The Man of God.’ This man was a pig farmer who I never met. He lived in North Dakota, 3000 miles away from my family home in Liverpool, England.
I will take you step by step through the journey of my escape out of the cult at the age of 22, along with the challenges, the damaging psychological effects and the eventual healing and freedom that I am so blessed to have found. Over the years since escaping, the subject of my past has come up many times and I am used to the reaction of people which ranges from shock, disturbance, disbelief and tears. You might find it hard to believe what is still going on today behind the closed doors of some of these secret groups.
In case you have not heard of the Exclusive Brethren, I start with a brief overview to give context to the story. I will show you how they, and all religious cults, control people through indoctrination and evolving laws. I had to attend eleven meetings a week, 52 weeks a year. I will tell you why my school years were endured more than enjoyed. It felt like I was walking around with a tattoo on my forehead that said, ‘Separation from Evil.’ I recount awkward and embarrassing moments which continued into my work life. I was bound to a lifestyle of having to conform to strict rules about clothing, hair, relationships, technology, where to live, where to eat, where to sleep, what to believe and much more. Then there were the dire consequences for disobedience to any of these rules.
I have since deconstructed my escape which took me four years to execute. During that time I went through a deep psychological struggle that felt like I was a rope in a tug of war. There was no way I could leave my parents as I might never see them again. The rope snapped when I hit the tipping point on my 22nd birthday. It was as if the sun pierced the darkness of my indecision. However, there was still the unthinkable matter of saying goodbye to my parents for maybe the last time.
Going public with this book about my past makes me feel naked and exposed. I invite you to have a look at the private parts of my life of which I am no longer ashamed. Baring all, I have discovered, brings healing and freedom that only honesty and transparency can bring. I’d recommend it to anyone.
For two years after my cult escape I took a walk on the wild side. You will read about the explicit details of this adventure in the chapter; Life and Survival after the Exclusive Brethren. Now, at last I was able to explore and experiment with all the ‘evils of this world’ that I had been forbidden to enjoy. I even went as far as frequenting restaurants, football matches and the cinema! I had been like a tightly coiled spring that was suddenly released. Guess how long it took me to lose my virginity? How did I end up alone in London one night at a live sex show? How did I get to be taken hostage by a gang and held at knifepoint for four hours, and why did I run up a phone bill of £3500? I am here to tell you that there is life outside the cult you are in. You might have to make a few mistakes along the way, though you can learn from a few of mine if you like.
I invite you to explore questions such as; what really is a cult? What is the blind spot that causes a cult to start? How to identify if you, yes you, are in a cult right now, and how to escape any cult that you could be in. Although I use my Exclusive Brethren experience as my reference, because I can, my heart is for the freedom of all who are trapped in religious cults. There are millions of people right now who are suffering in silence and fear, whose souls and lives are under the control of a Leader and a system who claim to be ‘right.’ They all claim to be ‘right.’ All 40,000 religious denominations claim to be ‘right.’ Maybe I am here to just raise a polite question. Are you being loved unconditionally?
To make this book easier to read I have divided it into 30 chapters. Take a look at the contents and just read what catches your interest as the chapters can be read in any order. To communicate with me or read more about how people are dealing with their personal ‘Cult Escape,’ go to:
This book will show that no matter how trapped, how upset and how damaged you might feel today, there is hope for you. The past does not equal the future. My journey to freedom was unique to me but has principles that will apply directly to your situation.
My desire and prayer is that the talons of man’s lust for control and power, that have wounded, scarred and destroyed so many, would be exposed for what they truly are. Then a new understanding will take place whereby they completely lose their grip, and the healing that leads to wholeness can begin to take place.