Starting a X-Cult support group. Any suggestions?

by Still Totally ADD 15 Replies latest jw friends

  • zeb

    whats ..UU please?

  • scratchme1010

    @OnTheWayOut, great point. I'd like to add that to the group I went, every now and then there would be some people who were more into support and recovery as a lifestyle, wanting to share and make the group something that was not. One lady was convinced that she needed help because she was hypnotized and when she "came back", she didn't completely and wanted the group to help her recover the part that was missing. Another guy wanted us to help him get his wife back that left him for other guy and he claimed that it was "mind controlled by him", and we could help him.

    However, those were two out of a rather large number of people who had real stories, real needs for support, and real family members that they lost to cults, some of which had not been in touch with them for years. I don't want bad apples to be discouraging to the idea.

    Not sure if there should be requirements or some kind of intake to improve the quality of the group, but there should be a plan for people who may want to make it something out of its scope. When groups are open to the public, high chances are that there will be people with no business belonging to that group coming to it for other reasons. I've seen that happening. At least, have a great facilitator that can make the group and the conversation remain on point and within scope.

  • Still Totally ADD
    Still Totally ADD

    On TheWayOut thank you for this insight. We do not want to morph into a 12 step program. We are using it only as a model not a set rule. No prayers we may just a moment of silence at the end of the group. Since I cannot stand bullies there will be no bullying. Maybe that will be a good rule for our meetings. We want to provide a safe place where a person can say anything without fear of disapproval. Our experience was helped by someone else listening to what we had to say without judgement. This is important to us. The declarations of helpless was something I didn't think of. I will be mindful of that. We are both atheist but we know how important it is to respect others beliefs. Very good points your brought out. Thank you. This is what we are looking for. Still Totally ADD

  • Still Totally ADD
    Still Totally ADD

    scartchme 1010 good points you brought out by your experiences. Thank you.

    zeb. UU is a short wat of saying Unitarian Universalist. It's easier to say and it doesn't take so long to tell. Lol. Take care. Still Totally ADD

  • Giordano

    The following quotes come from Hoffer's book..... The True Believer.

    There are hundreds of his quotes out there on the internet.

    Here's a few that I think go directly to the Cult and high control issue.

    Once again he never referenced the WTBTS however he describes them to a T.

    A number of them are worthy of group discussion.

    Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.
    It is startling to realize how much unbelief is necessary to make belief possible.”
    The quality of ideas seems to play a minor role in mass movement leadership. What counts is the arrogant gesture, the complete disregard of the opinion of others, the singlehanded defiance of the world
    Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves.
    All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth nor certitude outside it. ...To rely on the evidence of senses and of reason is heresy and treason.

    It is startling to realize how much unbelief is necessary to make belief possible. What we know as blind faith is sustained by innumerable unbelief's.
    "[They] pray not only for [their] daily bread, but also for [their] daily illusion."
    Here, as elsewhere, the technique of a mass movement aims to infect people with a malady and then offer the movement as a cure. (p. 54)
    Not only does a mass movement depict the present as mean and miserable - it deliberately makes it so. It fashions a pattern of individual existence that is dour, hard, repressive and dull. It decries pleasures and comforts and extols the rigorous life. It views ordinary enjoyment as trivial or even discreditable, and represents the pursuit of personal happiness as immoral.
    If a doctrine is not unintelligible, it has to be vague; and if neither unintelligible nor vague, it has to be unverifiable. One has to get to heaven or the distant future to determine the truth of an effective doctrine.
    The true believer is apt to see himself as one of the chosen, the salt of the earth, the light of the world, a prince disguised in meekness, who is destined to inherit this earth and the kingdom of heaven, too. He who is not of his faith is evil; he who will not listen shall perish.
    All mass movements rank obedience with the highest virtues and put it on a level with faith.
    There can be no mass movement without some deliberate misrepresentation of facts.
    When we believe ourselves in possession of the only truth, we are likely to be indifferent to common everyday truths.
    To know a person's religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance.
    Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.
    Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength.
    The suspicious mind believes more than it doubts. It believes in a formidable and ineradicable evil lurking in every person.
    To know a person's religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance.
    Take away hatred from some people, and you have men without faith.

  • jp1692

    I saw this thread when it was first posted and meant to comment but got sidetracked ...

    There is an organization known as the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA). I have attended a couple of their conferences and workshops and will actually be presenting at one coming up in the fall. (Click here for details.)

    As stated on their website: "ICSA is a global network of people concerned about psychological manipulation and abuse in cultic or high-demand groups, alternative movements, and other environments."

    You might find some of their resources helpful in your endeavor to create a support group for ex-cult members.

    I know that I greatly benefitted from participating at the conference and workshop I attended. One of the biggest takeaways for me was learning that -- although all cults seem superficially very different -- all cults are essentially very similar. It's all about one thing: control.

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