From the BBC website. The feature is about ex cult members . This mans experience as certain similarities.
"For us I think it was the emotional, psychological and mental abuse which did the most damage. I think my particular family - and this was even said by one of the cult ministers - was very extreme. It just made it more menacing when parents could justify their actions by cherry-picking verses and I get why half of my siblings have just left and said they want nothing to do with God.
Mr brother Alex was quite like me, very questioning. But, you see, this cult keeps you conformed. Conform is a word that has always troubled me. When we have to conform it's a problem. In having to conform; going to these meetings three times a week, looking our best, not growing up with a TV - Alex was like a spring that just wanted to be uncoiled.
Alex was 23 when he took his life.
At the funeral, I remember [a cult leader] saying something like 'He's saved! Now he's going to heaven.' On merit of what? Because he's ceased to breathe? Because his heart has stopped? That's religious garbage.
They have this weird belief in the cult that when you die, that's somehow when you're saved. The problem with that is: what kind of psychotic God, once you're alive, says: 'Sorry you're not saved yet.' It's just weird and it doesn't make sense. A lot of cults do this and this is how they exert control on people.
I've been through counselling but I realised there was a chasm. This was a very trained counsellor in trauma, sexual abuse, alcohol abuse - I even paid a bit more - but I realised this was one thing where she was out of her league. She just couldn't get it. A cult isn't just a set of religious doctrines, or interpretations, it's a way in which a person is conditioned socially. They train you to be socially retarded.
One common thing with all of us siblings is that we were aimless. We weren't encouraged in education, we weren't encouraged in any talents we had. They weren't cultivated.
I left when I was 26 in New Zealand. My parents reside in Arizona and we have very little contact. They show no interest in me, my wife or children.
With physical child abuse, it's wrong but it can be named, it can be shamed and you can seek healing and a road to restoration.
But with the cult, every aspect of the holistic beings we are is violated. Where do you start with such a mess? How do you start to unpack that without falling apart in the process?"
The other stories are more extreme and obvjious cults..but even so????