I am planning on attending. Anyone else going? It will have other "cults" represented as well. That way, I can "look down" on others! LOL.
Joining, Leaving, and Recovering from a Cultic Group:
Giving and Receiving Support Former Group Members, Families, and Helping Professionals Share Experiences May 5-6, 2012
Fort Myers, Florida
In order to give more people an opportunity to have face-to-face educational experiences, ICSA is now organizing special events in various cities. Events have been held in London, New York, and Philadelphia. This is the first special event to be held in Florida. The event is designed so that each of the two days can stand alone, giving attendees the option of attending either or both days. Both days will include considerable opportunity for discussion.
Questions to Explore
Attendees and facilitators will explore questions that are often central to the concerns of former members of cultic groups and families/friends troubled about a loved one’s group involvement:
? How are cultic groups different from and similar to other kinds of groups?
? Why do people join (or are recruited or brought into) and remain in cultic groups?
? Why do people leave?
? Can departures be facilitated?
? What problems do people have when they leave?
? How can they manage these problems?
? Both days will begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 5 p.m., with a 90-minute lunch break. We hope that attendees will chat informally during breaks, in the evening, and after the event.
? Saturday will consist of directed discussions aimed at encouraging participants to describe their relevant experiences and explore their current opinions regarding the key questions listed above. (Participants may choose not to contribute to discussions, if they wish.)
? On Sunday, each facilitator will give a brief presentation on one or more of the questions, taking into account the discussions of day one. There will be additional opportunities for discussion after each presentation and a wrap-up discussion at the end of day two.
In short, the event will focus on attendees’ experiences and views, not presenters’ prepared talks, so as to help attendees better understand these important questions and enhance their capacity to express themselves and help others as well as themselves.
Michael D. Langone, PhD, who has been active in this field for more than 30 years, is ICSA’s executive director, an author and editor in this field, and a mental health professional. Carol Giambalvo, a former member of a new age traininggroupandaretiredexitcounselor,coordinatesICSA’srecoveryprograms. PatrickRyan,aformermember of an Eastern meditation group, is ICSA’s Webmaster and an exit counselor with more than 20 years experience.
The event will take place at the Fort Myers Airport Hotel (PH: 239-454-0040; FAX: 239-454-6006; www.FortMyersAirportHotel.com), 9401 Marketplace Rd., Fort Myers, FL 33912 - Exit 131 of I-75. Room rates are approximately $60/night, $70 for a suite. Other hotels within a short walk include: Marriott SpringHill Suites; Comfort Inn & Suites; Hampton Inn. You must make your own hotel reservations, if you plan to stay overnight.
The hotel is about midway between Tampa and Miami, about 2 - 2.5 hrs. driving time. The islands of Sanibel and Captiva, as well as Fort Myers Beach and Naples are nearby.
There are a variety of restaurants within a short walk of the hotel, which is at a busy I-75 interchange.
The event is free to current ICSA members, although contributions are always welcome and needed. Non- members: See the member levels and benefits list below. Select a membership level and include the appropriate membership amount. Members’ spouse or children can attend free. Mail, e-mail, or fax us the form below (see logo on page 1 for contact info). Space is limited to a maximum of 35 people and first-come-first-serve, so register soon. If you have special financial needs, please do not let that deter you from registering. Include a note with this form. We can work something out.