Thoughts for 2012 for Former Members ***COMMENTS***

Thoughts for 2012 for Former Members

“It Hurts”
By Jan Groenveld

IT HURTS to discover you were deceived – that what you thought was the “one true religion,” the “path to total freedom,” or “truth” was in reality a cult.

IT HURTS when you learn that people you trusted implicitly – whom you were taught not to question – were “pulling the wool over your eyes” albeit unwittingly.

IT HURTS when you learn that those you were taught were your “enemies” were telling the truth after all — but you had been told they were liars, deceivers, repressive, satanic etc and not to listen to them.

IT HURTS when you know your faith in God hasn’t changed – only your trust in an organization – yet you are accused of apostasy, being a trouble maker, a “Judas”. It hurts even more when it is your family and friends making these accusations.

IT HURTS to realize their love and acceptance was conditional on you remaining a member of good standing. This cuts so deeply you try and suppress it. All you want to do is forget – but how can you forget your family and friends?

IT HURTS to see the looks of hatred coming from the faces of those you love – to hear the deafening silence when you try and talk to them. It cuts deeply when you try and give your child a hug and they stand like a statue, pretending you aren’t there. It stabs like a knife when you know your spouse looks upon you as demonized and teaches your children to hate you.

IT HURTS to know you must start all over again. You feel you have wasted so much time. You feel betrayed, disillusioned, suspicious of everyone including family, friends and other former members.

IT HURTS when you find yourself feeling guilty or ashamed of what you were – even about leaving them. You feel depressed, confused, lonely. You find it difficult to make decisions. You don’t know what to do with yourself because you have so much time on your hands now – yet you still feel guilty for spending time on recreation.

IT HURTS when you feel as though you have lost touch with reality. You feel as though you are “floating” and wonder if you really are better off and long for the security you had in the organization and yet you know you cannot go back.

IT HURTS when you feel you are all alone – that no one seems to understand what you are feeling. It hurts when you realize your self confidence and self worth are almost non-existent.

IT HURTS when you have to front up to friends and family to hear their “I told you so” whether that statement is verbal or not. It makes you feel even more stupid than you already do – your confidence and self worth plummet even further.

IT HURTS when you realize you gave up everything for the cult – your education, career, finances, time and energy – and now have to seek employment or restart your education. How do you explain all those missing years?

IT HURTS because you know that even though you were deceived, you are responsible for being taken in. All that wasted time…….. at least that is what it seems to you – wasted time.


Leaving a cult is like experiencing the death of a close relative or a broken relationship. The feeling is often described as like having been betrayed by someone with whom you were in love. You feel you were simply used.

There is a grieving process to pass through. Whereas most people understand that a person must grieve after a death etc, they find it difficult to understand the same applies in this situation. There is no instant cure for the grief, confusion and pain. Like all grieving periods, time is the healer. Some feel guilty, or wrong about this grief. They shouldn’t — It IS normal. It is NOT wrong to feel confused, uncertain, disillusioned, guilty, angry, untrusting – these are all part of the process. In time the negative feelings will be replaced with clear thinking, joy, peace, and trust.


There is life after the cult.

Copyright (c) Jan Groenveld

In: 2012, Articles & Literature of Interest

| Back to Top |
Want to help?

Click the button!

7 Posts

  1. J Says:


  2. Christhiaon Coie Says:

    What a wonderful article. I hope those who have left and those who are considering leaving get a chance to read this.
    I also want to wish the good folks at Tony Alamo News and all the brave souls who have had the courage to leave a wonderful 2012.

  3. Bob Says:

    I agree with everything in this article except for retaining my faith in God. Religions are human construct, just like the cult. They range from innocuous to malevolent in temper. As human constructs there is no reason to believe any of them holds ‘ultimate’ truth or answers. It’s great to be free of the cult, and from religions in general. My bad experience in the cult has taught me accept reality and forget the wishful thinking of belief.

  4. Shelly Says:

    Wow, it’s like someone reached into my mind and pulled everything out, i thought i was alone in this, people who haven’t experienced this just don’t understand, we all have a grieving process, and we deal with it in different ways. thanks for helps

  5. Judy Says:

    It was on Jan. 4, 1982 that I officially left the foundation; Mine has been alot rockier route than alot of ex members. I agree with Chris; that is an excellent article. I am thankful for all the ex members I have been fortunate enough to re connect with and that we have been able to re build our lives.. I thought I would be ‘there’ for the rest of my life; am soo fortunate I ‘saw the light’ and left.. And most of all, to STILL retain my beloved Christian faith; there have been many who have left their faith…

  6. Mixter Says:

    I’m so glad I left that place before Susan died. At the time I guess I respected her and felt bad for her.
    ….Stupid. But when her and Tony started that spin that was a dead wringer false prophet pitch, I knew it was time to bail out while I could. I saw here things were going. Forget Tony as a pastor.

    Today I am so grateful to be saved and the Lord works through me.. At my church I lift up my hands and praise Him. Jesus is so great and I love serving the Lord who has blessed me. I am part of a church that is really serving God. I feel so alive and vital. Years ago someone burned our church down. It was just rebuilt it better. I guess stuff like that goes with the territory. Just press onward!!!
    I really hope you former members are still doing well. I pray for you all. The ones I cam in E-contact with. Peace be with you.

  7. Henry Says:

    You won’t believe this. Church members in his church mention his name MORE than they mention Jesus’ name!! They quote him MORE than they quote Christ! Trust me, I know. I’ve been visiting them quite a bit in the past..

Post A Comment

Please note: All comments are moderated. There is no need to resubmit your comment. Please submit a well thought out post with proper punctuation and spelling, so that it can be reviewed and posted promptly (as space allows).

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.