Starting a X-Cult support group. Any suggestions?

by Still Totally ADD 15 Replies latest jw friends

  • Still Totally ADD
    Still Totally ADD

    Mrs. ADD and I have seen a need in our area for this. It all started over month ago when she gave her yearly talk on what is a cult at our local UU congregation. Their was several newcomers in the audience who have recently left the high control cults. Since then they have been coming to our congregation and we have gotten to know them better. They have all expressed a need for a support group so my wife and I took it to the UU board of directors and they thought it was a great idea. They even gave us a small working budget and usage of the congregation building.

    We have already explained we are not mental health professionals we would be there to listen and give support nothing else. If we do see a need arise for greater help we will encourage them to get professional help and also we will have the suicide hot line phone number available. I think we will follow loosely the format of the AA meetings. We are starting very small and after we feel comfortable with it we will expand a little at a time.

    With that said is there any advice or suggestions you could give us to help us make this group work? We would appreciate any thoughts or ideas. Thanks for listening. Still Totally ADD

  • humbled

    Great thing to do.

    l used to imagine in the days following my departure that l returned to door-knocking to un-do my previous efforts.

    In my mind : l would begin by apologizing for my past visits. Then spell out the wrongs, the spiritual aggressions l had perpetrated when last at their door. And in addition l would express the harms that l realized personally my cult was part of. I would encourage them to evade capture.

    I am a survivor and l have found by being in fact open with myself and others l have become freer. I am sorry for the impact of my religious zeal on others but l was also captive.

    maybe if people actually play act st this they can get some relief?

    Just my 2cents worth. Good for you two.

    Spring is in the air!

  • Giordano

    Outstanding!! Best wishes for your success in helping EX believers normalize their lives.

    One book that helped me understand the organization of religions and political parties that present their group as True Believers was written by Eric Hoffer a plain speaking longshoreman who spent his dock time waiting on a ship by writing down his observations about those who were true believers.

    "The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements is a 1951 social psychology book by American writer Eric Hoffer, in which the author discusses the psychological causes of fanaticism.

    Hoffer analyzes and attempts to explain the motives of the various types of personalities that give rise to mass movements; why and how mass movements start, progress and end; and the similarities between them, whether religious, political, radical or reactionary. He argues that even when their stated goals or values differ, mass movements are interchangeable, that adherents will often flip from one movement to another, and that the motivations for mass movements are interchangeable. Thus, religious, nationalist and social movements, whether radical or reactionary, tend to attract the same type of followers, behave in the same way and use the same tactics and rhetorical tools. As examples, he often refers to Communism, Fascism, National Socialism, Christianity, Protestantism, and Islam."

    U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower read The True Believer in 1952, gave copies to friends, and recommended it to others. In 1956, Look magazine ran an article calling Hoffer "Ike's Favorite Author".[17]

    Ike understood Hoffer because for his early life his living room served as the Kingdon Hall in the small town they lived in. He left that behind when at 18 he attended West Point.

    This is the best recommendation I can give you.

  • Reopened Mind
    Reopened Mind

    Mrs. ADD here, aka Reopened Mind.

    When I gave my "annual cult talk" I emphasized that all cults have the same modus operandi which I illustrated with Steve Hassan's BITE method. Well, the next week two women approached me with their stories of being raised in a fundamentalist Christian cult from which they have exited but their husbands have not. Complicating matters both of them have small children. I suggested we form a support group which would meet at our church. They were glad to have someone to talk to who understood them. As Still Totally ADD said when we presented our idea to the church board they gave us their full support.

    Giordano thank you so much for recommending the book by Eric Hoffer. It sounds like something that would be useful for our group. I knew that President Eisenhower was raised by a Jehovah's Witness mother.

    I would like to add that we are in Jamestown, NY. If anyone is nearby and interested in being part of our group, please pm either me or Still Totally ADD and we will give you contact information.

    Reopened Mind

  • carla

    Put your group out on MeetUp for additional local members.

  • scratchme1010
    With that said is there any advice or suggestions you could give us to help us make this group work? We would appreciate any thoughts or ideas. Thanks for listening. Still Totally ADD

    Look for reputable, reliable organizations that are already doing that. One good starting point may be this one.

    I used to go to a group for people who have survived and/or lost loved ones to groups. They are very interesting, and the stories that people have made me feel fortunate that I was not in that kind of cult.

    I think a lot of people would benefit from such group. If it forms, it will be grate if people know more about it.

  • Still Totally ADD
    Still Totally ADD

    humbled I like the idea of play acting maybe as time goes on we will try that.

    Giordano Thank you for pointing that book out both of us will read it.

    Reopened Mind I love you and Happy Birthday.

    carla Good idea. After we are comfortable enough with our little group we will expand.

    scratchme 1010 the organization you provided us with in my opinion hits the ball out of the park. Thank you.

    All good suggestions. If anyone else can help with more information please comment. We can use all the help we can get. Again to all thank you. Still Totally ADD

  • dogisgod

    I am now a UU. What an experience to be in a congregation where you are actively involved instead of controlled by some men in NY. I also have found a couple of ex JW groups. One on meet up. One online. Meeting lots of people like myself. It is good to belong....even though damaged....

  • Still Totally ADD
    Still Totally ADD

    dogisgod it is amazing the freedom we have compared to the wt borg. When people tell me the UU's are a cult I just laugh and tell them about the signs of a cult by using the BITE method. Then say it's the furthest thing from a cult. It is funny how others are so scared of freely believing what you want to. We will look into meet up. Still Totally ADD

  • OnTheWayOut

    Religious cult recovery is quite different from addiction. Be careful and don 't try to morph the 12 steps. Don't say that your people must declare that they are/were helpless to the cult and came to believe a higher power can give them strength or guidance.

    Stick with just allowing people to say they were affected by a group or set of beliefs and desire to share with others like them. Tolerate no bullying of any current beliefs within your group, from atheism to non-Christian beliefs.

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