Minimum Ingredients Needed to Exit a Cult

by rebel8 16 Replies latest jw friends

  • rebel8

    Conditions needed for a person to leave a high control group: [source]

    1. Courage. A person must be very brave to leave a high control group. It's no easy task to choose to abandon your entire life and start anew alone. Cultists often face loss of job, residency, family and friends if they leave.

    2. Critical thinking. A cultist must be ready to think logically. He doesn't have to think 100% logically about every single thing, but he must reach the critical mass of logical, honest examination of one's beliefs and a desire to verify and believe facts.

    3. Strong desire to have a more authentic, happy life. Again, he will need a critical mass of a desire to change. This could come from a decreased willingness to continue one's high control lifestyle, or there could be an immediate motivator, such as a major bullying incident or scandal.

    4. Humility. It takes honesty with oneself and a willingness to admit, to oneself and others, that he was wrong.

    In my experience, if a person does not have enough of all four of these, he will either not leave at all, or he will relapse after a brief soiree into normal life. The latter will be used by him as evidence that leaving is the wrong thing to do.

    I recommend any efforts to help someone exit are all focused on increasing the above four conditions. Doctrinal debates and other in-depth critiques of the group can provide Condition #3, but alone they will definitely fall sort of effecting change.

  • Dismissing servant
    Dismissing servant

    Agreed upon! Maybe:

    5. Some kind of social network at the outside.

  • Witness My Fury
    Witness My Fury

    We see plenty of examples of posters on this forum who havent got what it takes...

  • Narcissistic Supply
    Narcissistic Supply

    I like this. We have to visualize the life that we imagine. The more specific we can visualize it. The greater chance it will come to fruitation!

    Happy New Year All!

  • dazed but not confused
    dazed but not confused

    Damn, I was reading those thinking of my mom and sister:

    1- Nope, they have maybe 10% courage to do this

    2- None, 0% of this for them

    3- Maybe, about a 50/50 chance of this

    4- No, 1-2% chance of this

    I wish I lived closer so I could drop subtle facts about the cult, but then I risk them never talking to me again. Oh well, why ruin a perfectly sane delusion?

    Thanks for the post.

  • CyrusThePersian

    Agreed on all counts! I would add to that a catalyst, a motivator or a wake up call, if you will. Something has to happen I think, to wake a person up to what's really going on in their lives and to make them stop for a moment and say, "Hey! That's not right!"

    They have to see that there's something wrong before they can start the journey toward making things right.

    Great post!


  • valkyrie

    or he will relapse after a brief soiree into normal life.

    That is indeed brief! [Just one night... ] Perhaps you mean "a brief sortie".

  • Dismissing servant
    Dismissing servant

    I think Cyrus is in to something important....a negative experience that reduces the defences/the cognitive dissonance. Leaving a culd is not just about critical thinking.

  • rebel8

    Dismissing servant, in your experience, do most people successfully exit before or after developing a new social network?

    [For me, it was well before.]

  • Dismissing servant
    Dismissing servant

    It was the same thing for me......but this was long berore the internet. I think things might be a bit eaiser nowdays. At least I hope it is.

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