You want to remain in your group.
I know what it is like to want to remain in a group, even though part of me wanted to leave. My struggle with making up my mind lasted four years. It took me that long to come to terms with the thought of possibly not seeing my family ever again.
There are many reasons why people want to remain, even after discovering their group is cultic. I hope this article will help you come to a place of peace and single-mindedness about where you are, at least for now, even if you find you have to take one day at a time.
Maybe one of the biggest reasons not to leave your group, even if you believe it is cultic, is that part of your family could remain which would cause separation, either emotionally, physically or both.
This can be one of the hardest decisions to make. What comes first? Family, or freedom from the cult? Every situation and circumstance is different so there is no one single answer for all. Four possible variations could be:
A: Stay, and with your family aim to gradually sow seeds in discussion and research that might eventually make the family realise that it is a cult that you all don’t want to be part of. I know someone who did just this. His wife and three children were committed to the cult but after 18 months of research and really examining where they were, deeply looking into the issues of the self-righteousness, changing laws, hypocrisy, control, fear, exclusivity etc the whole family came to a place of agreement and they all happily left together.
B: Stay, and change the system from within. Not an easy option but if you are proactive and are prepared to take the journey of research, study and the pursuit of your values, then commit yourself and make a plan of action. Find people who have left, read books, study their stories and their reasons for leaving and utilise the resources on the internet and YouTube. Cult leaders and committed members are usually fixed in their mind, they are not open to change, so arguing against their doctrines will never work. Ultimately only love will melt frozen hearts as dramatically shown by the Westboro Baptist member who was befriended on Twitter. She was not argued with but instead was deeply respected, listened too, gently challenged until she was at the place of looking at an alternative viewpoint. She ended up leaving and marrying the man who knew what it means to love people.
C: Stay, put up and shut up. This is a real option that most take. Consider this; not all have the strength to leave a place that is all they have ever known. Leaving can be very daunting and can cause fear to even think about it. Is there a place for accepting this and seeing ourselves kindly? We all have strengths and weaknesses and by accepting this and not being hard on ourselves, we can live our life knowing we are doing our best with the strength we have. Being ruthlessly honest with ourselves is always the best way forward and even if you live with a conflict of values and live your life under the control of the cult, at least you can live your life knowing you are doing your best with the strength you have found in yourself so far. You can always change your mind in the future.
D: (Which may include B): Stay, and have faith in God to guide you. Do you believe in a God that can guide you? If so, this is the option for you.
If you have chosen to stay, at least for now, I fully respect your decision and I wish you all the best.
Thank you for taking this test.
John (Cult Escape)