Enough Is Enough!

Note: The following document contains very harrowing accounts of the suffering that has been caused by 'the cultic separation of loved ones.' There are 91 accounts here, all from ex-cult members who all deserve a big thank you for contributing and for sharing their feelings and pain. Thanks to all!



Sometimes, facts about an atrocity need to be dissected and spelt out bold and clear for all to see. Only then, when it is seen for what it actually is, will society rise up shouting, "Enough is Enough!"

Enough Is Enough highlights one of the most appalling acts of humanity; 'Cultic Separation' of families. This is where man-made religious laws, are used by groups, in the name of their leader or god, to coerce and overpower people's minds. It results in parents shunning and have nothing more to do with their children, husbands from wives, wives from husbands, siblings form siblings, children from grandparents etc etc.

For example, a survey conducted with 240 ex Exclusive Brethren members in 2012, revealed that 76% of this group, had family (Children, Father, Mother, Siblings or Grandparents) still in the group and thus were separated from them. If Uncles, Aunts or Cousins were included this number would rise. (Mytton, 2012)

There are over 1000 cults in the UK alone.

The compilation list on this page is from 3 questions asked of ex-cult members:

1: What family members are still separated from you?

2: How do you feel about the effects of the family separation?

3: The group were you part of?

Do you have family members separated from you by a religious group? Can you answer the 3 questions above? If so, please email me on contact@cult-escape.com and I shall add your facts to the list. (Use Anonymous/Initials or full name if you want).

Your contribution will help create awareness which can lead to people getting set free from the clutches of man's control!

Thank you for your support

John Spinks


1: Separated from 4 grandparents, 2 Uncles, 2 Aunts and 10 Cousins since 1970. My Dad, Mum and brother separated from me since 1988. (32 years)

2: The effects: My family unit destroyed, missing out on decades of love and support.

3: Group I was in - Exclusive Brethren.

John Spinks (Liverpool UK)


1. When we left in 1960 I was separated from my brother and all my extended family apart from one aunt and one set of grandparents.

2. The impact on my mother of losing her son was profound. For over 30 years she did not see him and could not understand why not as she was a christian. She saw him before she died but it was not a real reconnection and she died desolate. Her distress impacted on us all. We all missed out on years of love and support from our aunts, uncles, cousins and one set of grandparents.

3. The group was the Exclusive Brethren.

Jill Aebi-Mytton


1: Separated by being shunned from my daughter and two grandsons (her sons)

2: Missed out on the joy and love of family life with them. Also her siblings have missed out on their relationship with their sister and nephews.
We are now old and in ill health and need her support more than ever.

3: The cult is Jehovahs Witnesses



1. Separated from parents, brothers, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts, cousins since 1977.

2. My kids have missed out on so much love and support and as a young mother, I could have so used my mother's advice and help.

3. The group was the Exclusive Brethren.

Cecilie Palmer


1. Separated from just about everyone, 1st was the 60 split, then the 70 split when most left, all are in different cults as far as I understand, also appear to have Separation, and never seen since.....

2. I left in early 1973.... Parent + all 6 uncles and aunts have died, some years ago I understand, All 22 nephews and nieces [maybe more ?] + Sister have got married some years ago Understand all of there kids are married with kids. 47 - 60 years Separated is a long time, the odd times I hear a nephews or niece has died........... This is a so say a religious system ?

3. The group was the Exclusive Brethren.

Philip from Cirencester


1. My mother, my father, my brother, his wife, my nieces and nephews and my grand nieces and newphews, my grandmother, all of my aunts, uncles and cousins.

2. I never saw my father again (from 1990 - 2000 when he died) as they refused to let us see him - even when he was dying. They didn't even tell us that he had died until they had already buried him. I did see my mother a couple of times - one of the times she talked to my brother and I through the screen door. The second time was when the PB were going through their little exercise of trying to get people to return to their fold around 2003. The one brother that stayed in the brethren hasn't made contact with his siblings (3 of us) since we went to our mother's graveside in 2004.
It's a pain that never goes away. One minute you are part of a big loving family and then you are dead to them as if you never existed.

3. Exclusive Brethren.



1: Separated from twin brother and eldest brother and their extended families.

2: Missing out on family celebrations , closeness , not being involved in their lives.

3: Part of the U.K. LDS

Sharon Jagger


1: I have lost 6 children and their children - my grandchildren: 12 I believe 18 direct descendants in total. And numerous cousins.

2: The effects are really too many to list as 18 years later problems related to my upbringing still arise. The biggies are unimaginable grief. PTSD, loneliness, and difficulty living with other people.

3: Exclusive Brethren



1: What actual family members have been separated from you? My mother and my father (20 years) and a sister that turned her back three years ago.

2: I was on my own at the age of 18, became pregnant shortly after. I had to figure out how to be an adult and take care of a child on my own. I had no college education and barely any life experience. So I made some really stupid choices along the way. My two kids and my husband have no idea what my parents are like. Let alone met them. My parents drove 5 hours to tell me they were moving. I called up my mother in law and said this is your chance, come meet my parents. So we pretended that she needed to borrow a dish. Lol. They stayed for twenty minutes.
I lost my sister for 17 years. I missed her kids growing up. And she dealt with some serious domestic abuse that was just swept under the rug.

3: What group were you part of? Jehovah Witness Boulder CO Hall

Linzie Sewald


1: My dear mum and dad, and brother, wife, and children. Multitudes of cousins of who I was very close too.

2: Great sadness by my husband and hurt for me. Children very scathing of my family and the eb’s and not entertain churches and religion of any kind, as if that’s what religion is tearing up families they didn’t want a bar of it. Myself a life of constant heart ache, a shadow I can never erase.

3: I grew up in the Exclusive Brethren, Plymouth Brethren.



1: Separated from father, sister, wife and two children.

2: The effects: sense of family ruined.

3: The group I was in was Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Robert Walker http://leavingjws.blogspot.com/


1: Lost contact with many relatives when the separation edict came in; uncles, aunts cousins etc. Both my parents had siblings who never joined. I lost all my neighbourhood friends too at this time. I think I was about 8. My 3 girls have never met 4 of their aunts, their fathers sisters although they oldest two are in their 40s. Two out of three never met their grandfather who lived in the same city. When their GF died on a Tuesday, he was buried on the Wednesday and we only found out the following Friday when someone told their GF’s brother who had never been in the EBs.

2: As an only child my friends and cousins had been an important part of my upbringing. I was so lonely as no EB kids lived close by. I remember hanging over the fence watching my friends play and also looking through a hole in the fence as well.

I remember sitting outside in the car when my dad visited one of his brothers briefly, so I was unable to talk or play with cousins who I had previously spent a lot of time with, who we shared Christmases and birthday parties with.

I remember coming to the conclusion that I certainly didn’t want to have children in that restrictive environment. I was fortunate to attend school to Grade 12, did well at school and got entrance to Uni and a scholarship to attend as well. I still planned to leave and go but loved my parents dearly. Unfortunately, my father died 6 weeks before my matriculation exams. I felt I could not leave my mother in the midst of her grief. My worldly friends from school all went off to Uni and again I lost good friends. I stayed solely for my mother for the next two years. Meanwhile I met a guy an EB who was later kicked out. Half his family were in, half out. His parents had broken up because of EBs when his Dad was told to kick his older brother out of the house at age 16. The mother left then too, leaving her other 8 children who had no contact with her even though she had been granted access by a judge. This screwed up the whole family I believe as I would class this as early childhood trauma.

I ran away from home to another state of Australia at age 20 but was cut off from my mother from 1972 until her death in 2006.

I married the ex EB guy and we were together 40 years and had 3 beautiful children. This impacted even their lives. They had one grandparent out of 4 and she had her own issues from leaving her children behind. I used to try to keep contact with my mother by writing letters and always visited when in the old home town but if the EBs knew I was coming she was shipped out of town. Visiting was always a quick five minutes at the front door where she was obviously fearful someone would see her talking to me.

Our kids never formed a bond with her. Eventually she lived with other EBs (she had no relatives in) and I totally lost where she was for about 5 years. I remember visiting the last time with my children in 1999 and my then husband I having to sit outside on a garden wall while the 3 girls got to talk to her in the front hall. I couldn’t even see her through the sun shining on the screen door. One of my daughters said she had tears running down her cheek and just kept looking at me.

A couple of years ago I heard she had tried to leave but was prevented. I have no proof of this but have no reason to doubt the story. I never got to visit her unchaperoned again.

They did tell me when she passed away and I did go to the graveside not the EB funeral. If she hadn’t died on a Friday afternoon so the funeral couldn’t happen before Monday morning first thing I would have been unable to make it up there.

Both my ex husband and I tried to connect with our “out” relatives after we left but it was difficult and I believe some even blamed us for how we or our “in” relatives had cut them off. I think for me it is easier since my mother passed away but the ongoing rejection and even grieving her alone has certainly contributed to a lot of heartache and anguish. I used to feel as if the first 20 years of my life had never existed. I never doubted my mother loved me as I was a very wanted only child after she suffered numerous miscarriages. I lived with the guilt of hurting her. I found her rejection of my children’s separate issue. Getting married and having children is something you normally share with your family. I felt we didn’t have that extended family to share with. I believe the traumas both my ex-husband and I suffered contributed to our marriage breakdown for two wounded people after 40 years together. I believe too, although our children were born out of the cult it has affected them to a lesser degree as well. There is so much family they have been cheated out of getting to know and they have grown up with two parents who experienced trauma at the hands of a cult which has certainly affected our attachment with them.

3: Exclusive Brethren



1: Mum and Dad, 3 brothers and 1 sister and all their many children, Grandmother, Aunts and Uncles, many, many cousins and now great nephews and nieces.

2: My children have had no grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, and no reference to the older generation of relatives and their younger relatives. Personally I lost my entire culture, friends, family and reference to life and living.

3: Exclusive Brethren / PBCC

Jenny Dowding


1 I was separated from my extended family, father, step siblings, 2 grandparents, and cousins from around 1960. I was separated from my siblings and my mother in 1976.
2. Severe isolation when I first left. I had no friends, no support group. It was like moving to a foreign country without going anywhere.
3 Jehovah's Witnesses

Steve Otta


1. My dad, my five brothers and sisters, my eight kids since 2013. There is been absolutely no contact except occasionally from my older brother.

2. For me, I spent a total of four months in a mental rehabilitation hospital because of nervous breakdowns and 2 attempted suicides.


Peter Evans


1: As of Oct 2017 my only daughter. Since then my 2 sons have returned to me & my youngest son who left the organization with me.

2: My youngest willing to take his life knowing he would lose his family.

3: JWs

Teresa Garcia Espinoza


1: Mother, Father, two brothers, aunties and uncles.

2: When parents died, no word of this to me - times changed and was allowed to see my younger brother just before he passed .. my children have grown up not knowing their grandparents, uncles and aunties, and their cousins. Had to make a new life with new friends, always held hope parents would see the light and leave, but no .....

3: Of course - Exclusive Brethren.



1: My two children, ages 3 and 4.

2: The effect was tearing my heart out and the effect on then was they did not have a mother and we are still estranged 35 years later.

3: I was Mormon.

Leana Lowery


1. Separated from my father, some of my aunts, uncles, and cousins in 1982.

2. The JW ex refused to work and entertained the brothers while I worked in a sewing factory, a true sweat shop. The ex punched me in the face, then the brothers told me it was my duty to go back to the marriage ?. The brothers monetarily supported custody battles while the kids and I lived in public housing. 10 years of fighting the ex and the JW team. My father is widowed, in his 90s and lives alone. His claims the congregation in Central PA is tending to his needs. He’s rail thin, can hardly walk, and they hold the meetings at his house. He plows the snow for their ease of passage to his front door using his old tractor. I’m not sure how he climbs onto the thing. My only living sibling and I don’t speak, and my other sibling died from alcohol and drugs. I found my victory through education and my 3 children, all have college degrees, 2 with their Master’s. My life is beautiful!



1. My Parents (including three mothers), two mothers in law, 20 siblings, 12 siblings in law (is that a thing?), around 50 blood related nieces, 50 blood related nephews, and around 10,000 friends and community members.

2. The effect was that I felt alone, betrayed, and abandoned. My husband and I faced the "wicked" Outside World and had to try to figure out things other people know already.

3. I was FLDS. Mormon fundamentalist polygamy.

Brenda Nicholson


1: I knew what I would be facing, before I left. Lost my three children and two grandchildren.

2: It was my choice...therefore I live with it. I miss them dearly, however, because I was raised in a dissociated life no attatchements to anyone, this made it a little easier on me.

3: JW's

Anna-Faith Wesley


1. Told to keep distancing from none JW relatives until no relationship exists. And then shunned and lost my mother, 2 sisters, 1 grandmother. The only family I had left.

2. Family unit distroyed, causing severe mental health problems on both my JW family side and my side. My grandmother's health deteriorating from stress. She will not make it to the summer. And I can't even be with her. Even if shunning were to stop. There is alot of damage. No one will ever view each other the same.

3. The group I was in was Jehovah's witnesses

Kristen Lizotte


1: Both parents,sister,niece,cousins,cousins children.

2: Family broken up, my 2 brothers xjws with me, rest against us, shunned and treated like dirt even when family tragedy happened. Depression,feelings of never being good enough, stress loneliness.

3: Jehovah's Witness

Sue Ford


1: Both parents, 2 sisters, 2 brothers in law, numerous nieces and nephews, and cousins.

2: 30 years of not being in each others’ lives - missing weddings, graduations, births, and other life events as well as basic family support.

3 - Jehovah’s Witnesses

Tracy Carsten


1. My husband and I have lost a daughter, son in law, granddaughter and grandson. I was never really close to most Jws, so nothing lost there.

2. It's been one of the most painful events in my life. Like 4 people died all at once. I rationalize that since we're family maybe they will see us some. Was I wrong, it's going into the 4th year.


Gail McCanless


1: Complete isolation from 4 sisters 2 daughters, Mum dad.

2: Scary, Sad, Lonely.
I stayed away from there religion because I was young at their time and then suppression of them rules unhealthy.
I became Very ill
My body shut down because I wasn't allowed to be a carefree happy little girl I absorbed all the critics and Harshness of the
Organisation and I had no one to talk to or Venture with even tho I had 4 sisters I
Couldn't communicate I shut out and down I was invisible and I became introverted and my Shyness believe it or Not was crippling
As we were taught not to associate with worldly people
And Armageddon was just round corner
All doomsday
I still suffer Anxiety find hard feel safe in this world
There's always music And wine!!
Let's Dance!!!


Debbie Lipping


1: Mines a bit complicated- husbands family who are in the “truth” - mother in law, aunt in law, cousins in law but my family don’t live nearby so this is stressful. Husband and I can’t pray together which has been hard and it has put a strain on our marriage but he’s not shunning me as such.

2: Fear of husband shunning me brought on a period of prolonged anxiety from which I am still recovering. I was pursued by elders and put through hearings while off work with a doctors cert for extreme anxiety. The Caroline Flack treatment by the media has been upsetting as it reminds me of this time. I’m estranged from my mother in law.

3: Jehovah’s witnesses



1: My mum and my sister.

2: I thought it what be this bad as I only left because I my dought

3: I was in the Jehovah's witnesses

Beverley Nelson

1: Father, mother, 75% of friends that remain in the org....

2: It's torture really, i'll think i finally put it behind me and another memory brings me back to anger, frustration wanting so bad to have that relationship with my parents, to feeling disgusted with them and the org.

3: Jehovah's witnesses

Joel Wilson

1. My mum (dad had passed away), my 3 brothers and their wives, my sister, my nephews and nieces, my cousins, my friends..everyone I knew and grew up with.

2. Being rejected by everyone you grew up with is something that is hard to comprehend or explain the effects of. It has had an impact on my mental health and relationships for years.

3. Exclusive brethren/ PBCC


1: What family members are still separated from you?

My father and brother.

2: How do you feel about the effects of the family separation?

They actually began shunning me BEFORE anyone with any authority in the cult officially excommunicated me. So, when they started doing that, I decided enough was enough and wrote my own letter of disassociation (as they call it) to their headquarters. They’ve been awful with their shaming for years, especially to my wife, so even if they left the cult and wanted to reconnect at this point, I’d not be interested in speaking to them until they made a great deal of apologies to both me and my wife.

3: The group were you part of?

I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Bob Downs

1: Mother, 9 siblings, 8 nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.

2: I have suffered severe depression and undergone years of counseling. But no amount of counseling can replace what’s lost.

3: Jehovah’s Witness.

Stephanie Jackson

1: Mom, 2 sisters, grandparents, aunts uncles and cousins. Only once did my mom come to my apartment when I was ill, to bring me soup. I really think she just wanted to see my place. I’ve not seen her or my sister in 45 years. She will write a letter to let me know about family health concerns.

2: Thank God one of my sisters left 5 years after I did. She has since died of cancer and the loss has affected me terribly. Even before losing her, I had been in therapy whenever I suffered a loss of a friend or pet. Continued loss is very hard when you’ve experienced so much of it.

3: I left during the Symington era. (Exclusive Brethren)


1: Separated from my daughter.

2: Effects have been life shattering and long lasting. I’ve only see her once (for 1.5 mins) in 22 years.

3: Yes it was the JWs, Woking & Bognor Regis.

Adie Kitachi

1: I have lost a wife and 2 children.

2: I have been affected by extreme trauma. My daughter was abused sexually by a cult member from an early age. I suffer sadness grief and loss on a daily basis. I am angrier than I once was.

3: Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (Exclusive Brethren)


1: What actual family members have been separated from you?
My brother-in-law shuns me.
2: In one sentence or more, can you describe the effects the separation has had on your family?
He controls my sister and intercepts mail I send and even hung up the phone for her when we were talking. He monitors our calls. The rest of our family views him as ridiculous. It does NOT draw them to his religion -- the religion I left which is why he shuns me.
3: What group were you part of?
Jehovah's Witnesses

Julie McAllen

1: Separated from grandparents, Uncles, Aunts and Cousins since 1955. My Dad and siblings divided from me since 1956.

2: Family unit fractured and divided destroying any prospect of natural family development.

3: I was born into the Catholic Church.

John Brown

1. My daughter.

2. I have missed so much of her life and her of mine.. it has led to depression, anxiety knowing you have a child out there but to you the knowledge and heartache of knowing that they treat you like you don’t exist.

3. Jehovah’s Witnesses

Lori Ann Barton

1: Separated from father, mother, sister; extended family of aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews; all friends I ever made from birth to 30.

2: Effects: In order to “maintain their loyalty to God”, my parents are expected to face old age (stroke and Alzheimer’s) while turning down assistance and contact from a loving and supportive daughter. Depression, suicidal ideation, abandonment, rejection, and heartache all around in this shattered family.

3: The group is Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Laura M., California, USA

1: Separated from my parents, 3 siblings and their families, 3 grandparents, 3 uncles, 4 aunts, countless cousins and their families since January 2008.

2: The effects: loss of family love and support, depression, feelings of severe guilt over leaving my family behind, suicidal thoughts.

3: The group I was in was the Exclusive Brethren

Beth Seed

1: What actual family members have been separated from you?— My Mom and Dad, my little brother and his wife and three kids. My Aunt and Uncle and their four kids.

2: In one sentence or more, can you describe the effects the separation has had on your family?  I have missed seeing my brother married. I’ve never met his wife and kids. My Aunt Lisa was like my sister before, and I missed out on her love and seeing her kids grow up. My family has not met my partner nor my four kids.

3: What group were you a part of? Jehovah’s Witness cult.

Leslie Gorby, Staffanstorp Sweden

1: My mother (who has passed away), my oldest sister and her 3 children and her grandchildren.

2: I have never met my 2 nieces who are in their 30's. They don't know their mom's side of the family at all. Our family is broken with sexual child abuse, mental and emotional problems. No College so financial difficulties. The family still probably doesn't know all that went on as my sister is 18 years older than me and moved out of state.
3: Jehovah's Witness

April Ackerman

1: Separated from Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles, cousins , friends, community.

2: Effects have lasted a Lifetime.

For my parents...it was loss of farm, job, family, friends leaving heartache, faulty teaching, depression, grief, despair, they managed to rebuild their lives and chose to leave at the same time as being shut up, excluded, rejected, shunned.

3: I was born into an Exclusive Brethren group and left with my immediate family. As a child.

Glennis Boyd

1: My three sisters, aunties and uncles, cousins and mum and dad it was my nan but she has recently passed away.

2: I feel angry, hurt, wasted so much of my life and been punished for not wanting to be JW. But my ex husband who treated me badly is still at meetings.

3: JW

Maxine Mills

1: Since 1985 I have been separated from both parents, 7 siblings, 2 grandmothers (grandfathers were both deceased), 3 uncles, 4 aunts and 22 first cousins. I now also have more than 30 nephews and nieces that I have never met, plus the spouses of my siblings as I wasn't allowed to attend any of the weddings. In other words, my entire family. Plus ALL my close friends at that time.

2: As for the effects - amongst other things I struggled with deep and ongoing grief, depression, isolation, rejection, shame, very low self-esteem, was plagued with guilt and had thoughts of suicide.

3: I was raised in the Exclusive Brethren Church. 


1: Separated from parents, 4 siblings and their families. Countless aunts uncles cousins best friends. Everyone i ever knew and associated with for 34 years.

2: The effects are constant heartache, missed celebrations on both sides, kids growing up without the love of grandparents. Dark, helpless thoughts and emotions. My husband and I and our 4 kids got out 2 years ago, at the loss of both mine and my husbands families still in.

3: I was born in the exclusive brethren cult.

Alona Lyons

1: Seperated from my parents, aunty's, uncles, 4 siblings, nieces, nephews & friends.

2: Anxiety, fear & slight depression at times, when thinking about my family I feel angry at not being able to see them. In 2008, we left the Exclusive/ Plymouth brethren cult as a family of 6!

3: Exclusive/ Plymouth brethren cult

Jeanette Maiden

1. My mom, dad, brother and sis in law, sister, nephew, aunts and uncles, numerous cousins.

2. Being shunned for almost 2 years now( I’ve been out for about 4 years) it’s begun to give me physical, mental and emotionally damaging pain. Trying to manage while knowing for the rest of my life I won’t have the support and love of my parents and sister. Missing them each day, and missing so much of their life and vice versa. The pain is unreal. Therapy is the only thing that semi helps the hurt I feel each day of being ignored and shunned.

3. I was born and raised a Jehovah’s Witness, was apart of it for 28 years.

Crissy Thierry

1. My mother, brothers & sister, two nephews.

2. The feeling of being shunned by your own mother cannot be described in just a sentence. It's worse than death. When someone allows an organization (8 old men) to dictate such excruciatingly cruel actions, there truly are no words. My family CHOOSES to shun me, because I disagree with their doctrine. I'm not disfellowshipped. I faded. My kids don't understand why their grandmother doesn't want anything to do with them. They will never know their aunt & uncles, or their cousins. To say it's heartbreaking would be an understatement!!!

3. Jehovah's witnesses

Meredith Marie Mann

  1. what family members are still separated from you?

parents, 3 brothers, 7 sets of aunts and uncles,      5 grandparents, countless cousins,


  1. how do you feel about the effects of the family separation?

i have ptsd from the loss of everyone i’ve known    and love

  1. the group

jehovah’s witnesses

Haley Liberatore

  1. I was disfellowshipped in 05 I lost my big brother (then he died 4 years after) my sister in law. My 5 nieces and nephew. My cousins and an emotive congregation of people that said their love was unconditional, unless, I did something wrong.
  2. The effects have been hard. My family still shuns me. My brother died without us speaking for 4 years. I deal with trauma and pain of not having family I love in my life. I’m a good person. I don’t deserve to be treated like this. family is important for healthy lives. They are poisoned and the Jehovah’s Witness are a cult that needs to be stopped. My sister in law was raped and they never reported it. They hide this. She was a child!!
  3. Jehovahs witnessed caused this and it needs to be stopped. Janet Sims

1. I have lost 2 brothers 4 sisters & their children which I mostly don't know.

2. Just plain ridiculous. They destroyed our childhood dividing our Parents. I was told I was excommunicated wrongly .

They still treat me with disdain . My wife died . My second wife cannot believe They call themselves Christians.

3. Exclusive Brethren

Anonymous. I just don't want to make it worse .

1: What family members are still separated from you?

Little brother Andy, Mom Jeannie, uncle terry, aunt Lisa. Cousins, Jennifer, Stephanie. Stepdad Julian, step sister Amy, uncle john, aunt Camille, cousins corey, Charles, Felicia and her family. Cousins John and Robert and their families.

2: How do you feel about the effects of the family separation?

Extreme stress and emotional pain. If you had information that could save your own mothers life, but she refuses to read the life saving information because someone has told her not to read. How would you feel? What if you knew your mother was being physically/ mentally tortured every second of every day and she refused to look at information that could stop the torture and save her life? It hurts so deep that the English language does not contain words to describe the pain and distress I feel every second of every day. It is completely overwhelming. Mentally and physically. Since my eyes were opened, I lost 10 lbs due to my stomach pains from the stress. Although I have gained 3-5 lbs in past week. I’m mentally and physically ill constantly.

3: The group were you part of?

The watchtower bible and tract society, better known as Jehovah’s Witness. I was borne into 1985. Did not find out because of fear that was instilled in me until 35 years of age.

Logan Lyda

1: Im seperated from my dad and brother. Also most of my extended family too! Aunts, Uncles, cousins

2: It completely is a mental issue when raised by fear tactics. As an adult now out of cult, Im learning how to have critical thinking skills, the meaning of making memories. Memories that were lost because of not being with other family while growing up that were not in cult. To this day, my daughter and my brothers daughters have never met each other. A huge disconnect on what family values are. So unfair to kids. I've had to take deprogramming classes.

3: I was born into the Jehovah's Witnesses.  Been free for 2 years.

Thank you,

Laurie Bell

1 Wife. 6 children. 10 grandchildren. 2 brothers. Father and mother. 1 Uncle. 1 Aunt.

2: Sadness, grief, despair

3: Exclusive Brethren

Rob McLean


  1. My mother
  2. I've lost time with my mom, including that side of my family which is my grandparents. I never got to see them before they died because I wasn't allowed to be around them or talk to them.
  3. Jehovah's Witnesses


1: I never met my Grandfather, as he was excommunicated long before I was born.  Then, when I was a child,  my beloved aunt who had been a key caregiver for me suddenly disappeared.  She, too had been excommunicated and all photos and talk of her vanished.   As a teenager, I discovered that I had another aunt, who I had never been told existed and of whom there was no photographs or trace of either.   When I was 20, I became excommunicated too, and this time I lost everyone that I had known; family, friends and community.  I lost my parents, other grandparents, aunts, uncles, and many dozens of cousins.

2: I found myself alone in a strange new world, and if it wasn't for the generous care of strangers who provided a safe new home, I don't know where I would be.   It felt like committing suicide, because all of a sudden I was dead to my old way of life and everyone that I had known; the loss was tremendous and traumatic.  It has taken me years to slowly build a new life and learn to trust people.   The trauma of losing everyone continues to be a source of grief to me even ten years later, as I hear through the grapevine of deaths, births and marriages of family members whom I still deeply care about, and as I seek to raise my own family without the network of familial support that has been ripped off me.

3: The group who has done this to my family is called the Exclusive Brethren (or the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church).


1: What family members are still separated from you?

All of them. Not a single blood relative of mine speaks to me.

2: How do you feel about the effects of the family separation?

Like an alien. Like a leper. Like someone who doesn't deserve the love of anyone.

3: The group were you part of?

Jehovah's Witnesses

Amy Hollingsworth

1: My mother married into the EB after which she had to shun her father and mother and 5 siblings & wider range of family. After leaving rekindled some connection with them although it was too late to see her mother and father. So this side of my family I have had some contact but it would never be the same as knowing them from birth. Also after leaving I then was not allowed to see my wife’s family.

2: Missed out on family time, love and support.

3: Group I was in - Exclusive Brethren


1: Separated from all my immediate family, parents and brother, grandparents and many uncles/ aunts and cousins.

2: Not welcome in family’s home, can’t eat with family, has affected me in lack of support emotionally and physically, affected my children and them not being able to grow close to their extended family, and even affected my husband who misses out on in-laws and a brother in law.

3: Exclusive brethren


1: What family members are still separated from you?

My father (before he died), one blood sister and brother-in-law, and two second-cousins and their kin.

2: How do you feel about the effects of the family separation?

At first it was hard, but I left the cult knowing exactly what the consequences would be. ... I left anyway. ... It was SO worth it!

Neither my parents or my sister or her 'elder' husband attended my wedding to a non Jehovah's Witness.

My sister and brother-in-law 'persuaded' my father to cut me out of his Will, and make them the sole beneficiaries.

My sister has never known or spoken to her nephew (now 14 years old).

None of my Jehovah's Witness family or ex-friends take my calls, or reply to any emails I send them. They do not even inform me when they change residence, and they have 'un-friended' me on all social media - including LinkedIn.

My Jehovah's Witness family and friends consider me as already dead, and that I will be directly murdered by God at Armageddon, and that my corpse will be food for birds, while they march over my rotting body into their 'Paradise on Earth'.

I have learned to accept that Jehovah's Witnesses turn people into bad people without a conscience, and without natural feeling for the rest of humanity.

I deal with this by being very charitable to strangers, and building strong, honest bonds with my wife and son. I also run an expose Facebook page against Jehovah's Witnesses called 'Awake from the Watchtower' to help those who want to leave Jehovah's Witnesses.

I have a good life now - but I made the choice to make it so. I could only do that outside the cult.

3: The group were you part of?

Jehovah's Witnesses

Adam Phillips.

1: Our family became alienated from one and other, slowly by ones and two's over the years. We were separated from our mother (our father died) for 30 years or more until she died. My children never even got meet their grandma, not even once. We are still separated from one sister and a brother and sister in law. Many nieces and nephews. Our cousin's and uncles and aunts

2. It has ruined our whole family in one way or another. Rekindling of relationships between family who've escaped has not really ever been successful. Mental health issues are prevalent among us all. Most of us now deal with either attachment disorder's or C-PTSD, or both, along with all the other bad health problems as well that stem from depression and stress and unhappiness. All of my sibling have attempted suicide at least once, some more than once. There's this deep sense of sadness that hangs over us all that never lets up for very long. Even our offspring ,many of whom were born outside of the exclusive brethren, are also now struggling to bond and to form close relationships between themselves too, because of the way that the family kinship has already been broken. Its heartbreaking.

3 The group is Exclusive Brethren ( more recently renamed Plymouth Brethren)


1: Separated from my mother, three brothers, a sister, one uncle, two aunts, at least 18 nephews and nieces (maybe more!)since 1970 .

2:  This has caused much sorrow especially when hearing that my brother had died at the age of 59 long afterwards. Also later when my mother died and not being told till after the burial.

3: The Group I was brought up in was the Exclusive Brethren


1: What family members are still separated from you? Husband - (we are divorced now) and somewhat stand off relationship with his side of family and religious friends due to my openly opposition to the religion. 

2: How do you feel about the effects of the family separation? I did not know the religion was a cult when we met.  He knew it was extremely different from mainstream Christianity and if I didn’t convert, or come to believe his beliefs, He didn’t care. I felt this was unfair and absolutely deceptive. He got disfellowshipped immediately and there was separation from his family (His children and over the years grandchildren that were born) and religious friends almost the entire Relationship. It was a huge strain and A big part of our divorce.  I rededicated my life to Christ through the constant sorting out the falsehoods of his religion and our marriage suffered trying to find peace and fighting the invisible loyalty bond to an Organization that was His God  

3: The group were you part of?

Jehovah’s Witnesses 


1: I’m still separated from my parents and 3 sisters for 25 years now , also nieces nephews and cousins .

2: Shunned for being gay . The effects cause me to be very afraid of the world , I suffer severe anxiety and depression , had the most traumatic childhood that’s still troubles me now , no one could ever ever understand what this does to you until you have been through it .

3: Group jehovahs witnesses

Steve L

Sent from I phone


1: Separated from my parents and my only sister, and left 1 brother and his wife and nephew and niece, and they have since left. (Seperated since 1994)

2: Separated from the only people who loved me. I felt rejected by my parents.

3: Cult - Exclusive Brethren


1: What family members are still separated from you?

My father, my mother and grandparents before they passed, and all extended family. 

2: How do you feel about the effects of the family separation?

It’s cruel and unfair and has caused an unreasonable amount of suffering in my life. 

3: The group were you part of?

Jehovah’s Witnesses



1: What family members are still separated from you?

Two of my siblings, my mother, and various nephews, nieces, and cousins.

2: How do you feel about the effects of the family separation?

I had to acknowledge the pain of this. I used to view it as abandonment and deprivation, but I currently am able to acknowledge this as my choice to set healthy boundaries for myself. My mother is up there in age so I grieve the loss of my physical relationship with her and not being able to know how she is doing physically or able to offer her help. The illusion of what a healthy functional family is has been forever shattered along with the belief that religions promote love and unity. A suppressive high control system of any kind only supports those in power. What we do in mistreating and shunning others, we actually are doing to ourselves.

My journey to make sense of this tragic separation has been rocky and stumbling and almost cost me my life more than once. But the human spirit is resilient and I acknowledge the pain and the path of my choices. I still mourn the losses that accompany it.

3: The group were you part of?

Jehovah's Witness


1: What family members are still separated from you?

I lost 4 generations when I stopped beliving in the bible mythologi.  Grandparent, Parents, syblings, nephew and niece. I also lost my wife.

2: How do you feel about the effects of the family separation?

Its a very evil thing to do by organisations that claim they are charitys.  I think it causes a lot of harm and suicides.  I also think its a violation of the Law, since its used as blackmail to silence critic of the leaders.

3: The group were you part of.

Jehovahs Witnesses

My name:  Pær Jonas Gustavsson

1: I’ve been separated from my wife and 2 cousins since 1980 and my son since 1993.

2: As a consequence I have also been separated from my son’s children, of whom there are two, and probably more to come. Hence an entire family unit destroyed.

3: Exclusive Brethren, recently re-branded as the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.

Steve Otto

1: Mother, dad, 1 brother, 2 sisters, their spouses 3 nieces, 3 nephews, their spouses and children

2: I was disfellowshipped 1988, lost almost all ties to family, could not have any part of family gatherings. No family support.

3: Jehovahs Witnesses Cult

Stephen R. Rains

Georgia, U.S.A.

1: What family members are still separated from you?

My ex-wife, who divorced me under severe pressure from group leaders on pain of excommunication and hellfire. My six sons have struggled ever since, and my relationships with most of them are not as tight as they otherwise would have been. One of my two sisters, her husband, and their 9 children. My other sister got out with her family intact, as did my brother.

2: How do you feel about the effects of the family separation?

I grieve every single day. Even though now, 25 years later, things have much improved, my ex continues committed to reinforce the schism as much as she can -- she just can't as much anymore. The worldwide leader just last week announced in the Norwegian press that it's time for members to reconcile with ex-members. I haven't seen any change here on the ground yet.

3: The group were you part of?

Brunstad Christian Church, also known as Smith's Friends or The Norwegian Brothers. See https://bcc.no/en/ and https://activechristianity.org/

Millard J. Melnyk

1: What actual family members have been separated from you?

Mother, our two children and eleven Grandchildren plus unnumbered Great Grandchildren.

2: In one sentence or more, can you describe the effects the separation has had on your family?

I left the cult to join my husband 32 years ago because I did not agree with their teaching on complete separation from anyone who did not belong to their fellowship and not for any other reason than that. Should this cruelty be allowed to continue should their not be some law to give us free access to our family's?

3: What group were you part of?

Exclusive Brethren


1: Separated from my siblings, parents, relatives. for thirty years. Whole family very estranged.

2: Have had to self parent myself since age 12. Destroyed our family. CPTSD now rampant. Zero support. No trust

3. Synanon

Julie R

1: Separated from my mother in law, sister in law, and brother in law since May 1, 2018.

2: The effects. They will have no contact with my husband, myself, or our 2 teenage daughters. Our daughters were never baptized, but one has been very out spoken about the religion being a cult. We went from visiting them several times a year, and the kids spending 2 weeks a year with them, to no phone calls. My daughter will text them occasionally to tell them she misses them, but gets responses like “those were good memories”, or “thanks”.

3: Jehovah Witnesses

Sarah Frederick. Casper WYOMING

1/ shunned/ separated from my adult sons my sons wife and family also my mother and father in law.

2/The devastating effects are- I contemplated ending my life when my children cut me off. What saved me was having a young child at home, but the tragedy of them cutting off their sibling too when so young.

Also grandparents who formed a bond with my young child over night being cut out of their lives too. So unloving a child thinking they are not liked anymore like they did something wrong.

3/ These so called Christians who have a strong conditional love or lack of any sort of love are JEHOVAH WITNESSES!

so wish now i never got involved with this Cult and wasted over 20 years believing this was correct behaviour, when it is clearly not.

Reclaimed life.

1. As a child my mother was separated from her natural family during the war and went to live with an Aunt and uncle who happened to be EB. After the war her aunt and uncle had managed to persuade her that she would have a much better life if she remained with them! ( aunt and uncle didn’t have any family of their own) After this she was encouraged to cut off all links with her natural family which included both parents 2 brothers and 1 sister. She never had any contact with them since all who are no longer alive. She married my father who belonged to the EB.

I was excommunicated from at the age of 19 not long after marrying my husband, after which I was cut off from all my natural family, which included my parents, 3 siblings, grand parents and wider family circle.

2. Absolute heartbreak which I can never recover from. (Must add ... probably even more heartbreak for them also) Grief for the living &/always imagining that one day there may be a reconciliation. Children never knowing their grand-parents and visa versa. I lived in a world of imagining what it would be like to have that special bond that every normal person has with their families. The hurt & heartbreak never gets any easier.

3. I was excommunicated from the Exclusive/Plymouth Brethren (PBCC)


  1. All of my siblings are still in the Mormon cult. And the only time they have any interaction with me is once a year (usually at Christmas time) in a phone call to make sure I'm still alive.
  2. Separation from the church wasn't a significant issue for them, but coming out as a gay man certainly was. With that, I was effectively disowned all but officially. The last time I was home was in 1997 to attend my mother's funeral. I haven't been home since because of the restrictions they imposed (a list of 21 of them).
  3. The Mormon church (the main, "Brighamite" faction).
    Scott Bidstrup

1: Two sisters and two brothers in law.

2: It has destroyed the unity of the family. They treat me like if I died. I fell into depression, lost my job, made me suicidal. Chronic emotional stress, constant pain and impotence.

3: Jehovah Witnesses


  1. My dad, mom, sister and brother (my whole family)
  2. They dont want to see me. I can text my father and tell how I am doing and he will tell me highlights. For example couple months ago he told me my sister is married now. But no other contact is allowed by them.
  3. I was part of Jehovas Witnesses.


1: Separated from my elderly mom (father has passed away), my three brothers, two sisters, nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles, basically a whole community, all I’ve ever known, all were as close to me as family.

2: It’s been excruciating for my family and myself. I am not allowed to help care for my mom. My younger sister is deeply saddened by my leaving. I have been devastated and depressed and in a state of constant mourning for people who are still alive. The shunning process has been almost debilitating at times and the reality of it is I have to love my family from afar as an outsider who is damned to destruction in their eyes.
3: Jehovah’s Witnesses destroy families.
Please use the initials AMA.

1: What family members are still separated from you?

I was disfellowshipped from my religion 2 times in my 20s. During this period all of my family members in my cult shunned me. I still believed in the cult during this period, so I was reinstated both times after about 2 years of each disfellowshipping. 

I now no longer believe in this cult, I am now 40 and only woke up a year ago. Because I don't want to lose my family I have not formalized the fact I have left, and I do not discuss my beliefs with them.  

2: How do you feel about the effects of the family separation?

By hiding my beliefs I have not lost any family members. It is very stressful to be looked down upon and considered bad association since I no longer attend meetings. But I am not shunned.

3: The group were you part of?

Jehovah's Witnesses

  1. Estranged from two sons, but it was more because my ex threatened to poison their minds if I left.
  2. Family unit divided.
  3. Jehovah's Witnesses


1: 4 grandparents, 2 of which died without me being told. 5 uncles, 4 aunts, 7 cousins since 2006. Mum, dad, and 2 siblings started shunning me in 2013.

2: My own suicide attempt which I barely survived. Much heartache from being treated this way by family. All those years lost. Didn't get to say goodbye to my beloved grandparents. Damage to self-esteem. Diagnosed with complex PTSD and it causes a lot of struggles in every day life.

3: The group I was raised in was Jehovah's Witnesses.


1: My dad, my brother, my sister.

2: They all got really cold and distant once they realized I wasn’t coming back to the religion. I’d say that it’s really very deep and hard to explain, my siblings just don’t ever reach out and basically the same with my dad. Sometimes I’ll call my dad but I just get one line responses and he doesn’t say much anymore because I finally started debating him on his religious ideas. It went like this for a few years, I’d call he’d preach and I would stay quiet, then I got to where I couldn’t hear the doomsday garbage anymore so I started debating him and he didn’t like that. That was the beginning of the shunning.

3: The Jehovah’s witnesses, very clearly a cult.


1: Separated since 2014: Father, Mother, Grandmother, Father in law, Mother in law, Brother in law, Sister in Law, all other extended in law family. All other friends made up until time of leaving.

2: It was completely emotionally devastating to lose all my family, friends, and support system. I was very depressed for a couple years although I continued to function in my every day life.

3: Left the Jehovah's Witnesses.


1: What family members are still separated from you?

My mother, my father until his death in 2016,my sister and her family (she has got 6 children - my nephews and nieces), in part my grandparents and my aunt because although they aren't jw's, they depend on my mothers' help,so when there are family gatherings they invite her and her new husband (who is an elder) instead of me

2: How do you feel about the effects of the family separation?

I often feel deeply hurt, left out, isolated, excluded, robbed of my family and emotionally abused. In my opinion it is a big social evil that something like this is still happening without being reproved in our modern 21st century society

3: The group were you part of?

Jehovah's Witnesses

R.K. from Germany

1. My Mum has been separated from her sister, sister's husband and sisters son for 49 years (since 1970)

2. Result; 50 years of depression, deprived of family support for my Mum, which has hugely impacted on us, her children

3. Plymouth Brethren. My parents are still "PB lite"


1: I've been separated from my daughter, and my wife no longer respects or loves me because I have left the religion. My son also left, so my wife and daughter shun him.

2: We are a family divided. My family is everything to me, now I have only my son. Jehovah's Witnesses have destroyed my life.

3: Jehovah's Witnesses, WA State USA


1 I left aged 17 and have been separated for the past 49 years from my entire birth family, Father, mother, 2 brothers and 1 sister.

2 The separation from my birth family gave me freedom to be myself. My parents and my younger sister lived with guilt and a huge sense of lack, and the tension and grief of treating me in a way that went against their hearts. Just last year my little sister said to me in tears, "WHY can't you come back?" I actually joined another family and my "adopted" brothers stood in for my family in every way, including being in the will! My children had grandparents and have not been tainted by the peeb stand at all. However, my birth family have missed out big time!

3 I was brought up in the Exclusive Brethren


1: I was separated from my mother, sister, brother in law and nephews.

2: I've lost out of many memories and love.

3: I was part of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

David Conklin.

1: What family members are still separated from you?

My entire family on the paternal side, aunt, uncle, cousins and extended family I haven’t met.  Also, my brother, his wife, my 2 nieces, and their children.  My sister.  Although I take care of my mother and step-father, my contact is mostly limited to their care and so my children and grandchildren don’t have a lot of contact with them at family gatherings. Lots of past long term friendships.

2: How do you feel about the effects of the family separation?

It changes my children’s ability to feel accepted and grow up with family relationships. I believe they feel more alone without being able to acknowledge what is even missing.  They don’t know anything else. They are mostly shunned by their fathers family also. They have said, mom, you are all we have.  As a parent, you want your children to feel loved and accepted and a part of, but it will never be

3: The group you were a part of?

Jehovah’s Witnesses.


1: What family members are still separated from you?

My daughter, her husband and their child.

2: How do you feel about the effects of the family separation?

I was devastated 18 months ago to find out that my daughterhad had a child over a years after he was born, this was my first grandchild, a boy. Why wouldn't she at least tell me or get word to me? I must really be dead to her. All I did was leave her church, I did not leave God. I am still a clean living Christian. I am 63 years old and I miss her.

3: The group you were a part of?

Cooneyites. AKA Two by twos or No Namers