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Articles & Literature of Interest


The Top 11 Myths Used to Justify Abusive Groups

OPEN MINDS FOUNDATION
Editorial Staff

The Top 11 Myths Used to Justify Abusive Groups

People use many justifications to explain why a group is not a cult. Most are ingrained misconceptions about the term ‘cult’. If we learn to recognize these myths, we can stop public excuses for abusive groups, and strip away the groups’ own camouflage. It is just as important for us to know what doesn’t make a group not a cult as it is to know what does.

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In: 2017, Articles & Literature of Interest

ICSA: BORN OR RAISED IN CLOSED, HIGH-DEMAND GROUPS

ICSA
Leona Furnari, L.C.S.W.

BORN OR RAISED IN CLOSED, HIGH-DEMAND GROUPS: DEVELOPMENTAL SITUATIONS Leona Furnari, L.C.S.W.

An increasing number of individuals are entering mainstream society who were born and/or raised in cults or closed, high-demand groups. In my work as a mental health professional specializing in trauma and recovery from spiritual abuse, I regularly encounter these individuals.

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In: 2017, Articles & Literature of Interest

ICSA: CULTS AND CHILDREN: THE ABUSE OF THE YOUNG

ICSA
Arnold Markowitz, C.S.W. and David A. Halperin, M.D.

CULTS AND CHILDREN: THE ABUSE OF THE YOUNG

Cults and Children: The Abuse of the Young
Arnold Markowitz, C.S.W. and David A. Halperin, M.D.

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In: 2017, Articles & Literature of Interest

ICSA: CHILDREN AND CULTS: A PRACTICAL GUIDE

ICSA
SUSAN LANDA

CHILDREN AND CULTS: A PRACTICAL GUIDE

Children and Cults: A Practical Guide

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In: 2017, Articles & Literature of Interest

ICSA: CHILDREN AND CULTS

International Cultic Studies Association

CHILDREN AND CULTS

Children and Cults
Excerpt from Recovery From Cults Help for Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse.
W. W. Norton, New York, 1993, 410 pages, hard cover.

Michael Langone, Gary Eisenberg

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In: 2017, Articles & Literature of Interest

5/18/2017 – Now and Then: Fleeting Memories of the Alamo Foundation

Santa Clarita Gazette
May 18, 2017
Linda Pedersen

Now and Then: Fleeting Memories of the Alamo Foundation

Good and evil. Black and white. Those contrasts ran through my mind while reading about the recent death of infamous cult leader Tony Alamo. Tony, his wife Susan, and a disparate collection of lost souls inhabited the SCV for a few brief years in the early ‘70s, adding a bit of colorful perplexity to our sage brush-covered canyons. The evangelical couple reigned over a cadre of young homeless people “rescued” from drug-infested streets in Los Angeles. They established a headquarters north of the Soledad Canyon/Sierra Highway junction that professed to grant salvation through hard work and strict religious practices.

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In: 2017, Articles & Literature of Interest

Born or Raised in Closed, High-Demand Groups: Developmental Considerations

ICSA (International Cultic Studies Association
Leona Furnari, L.C.S.W.
ICSA e-Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 3, 2005

Born or Raised in Closed, High-Demand Groups: Developmental Considerations

An increasing number of individuals are entering mainstream society who were born and/or raised in cults or closed, high-demand groups. In my work as a mental health professional specializing in trauma and recovery from spiritual abuse, I regularly encounter these individuals.

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In: Articles & Literature of Interest

5/15/15 – 15 Narcissistic Religious Abuse Tactics

Psychcentral.com
May 15, 2015
By Christine Hammond

15 Narcissistic Religious Abuse Practices

If you suspect religious abuse, ask your clients this: is spiritual perfectionism demanded? Are you terrified of not being accepted? Does the narcissist in your life have crazily ridiculous implausible spiritual expectations?

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In: 2015, Articles & Literature of Interest

LOSING MY RELIGION FOR EQUALITY by Jimmy Carter

The Sydney Morning Herald
July 15, 2009
Jimmy Carter

Losing my Religion for Equality

Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

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In: Articles & Literature of Interest

1/2015 – 9 Ways Groups Become Cults

Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

9 Ways Groups Become Cults

The line between religions and cults can be a blurry one at times. Although some prefer to distinguish between cults and religions, there are some indisputable similarities. For example, both sometimes encourage donations from their followers and promote the sacrifice of food and other luxuries in the name of ritual observances. However, cults significantly differ in their belief systems, rituals and indoctrination. A religion that uses mind control techniques, deception and exploitation to teach its followers has strayed further away from a religion and is much closer to a cult. Here are 9 ways groups become cults:

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In: Articles & Literature of Interest

15 things not to say to a recovering fundamentalist

Defeating the Dragons
Posted on September 11, 2013 by forgedimagination

15 things not to say to a recovering fundamentalist

There have been plenty of things I’ve heard since I started talking about Christian fundamentalism, and most of them make me want to tear my hair out. So, I put out a general call for some of the gems you have heard, and here’s a few that I got back.

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In: Articles & Literature of Interest

Getting Involved in a Cult Is Easy; Getting Out Never Is – ICSA

ICSA
by Gary M.

Getting Involved in a Cult Is Easy; Getting Out Never Is

For 29 years, I was associated with a Bible-based group with what I now know are the dynamics of a cult.[1] Most of the pastors from a variety of backgrounds whom I sought out soon afterward didn’t understand what it meant to leave a cult, or what my needs were.

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In: Articles & Literature of Interest, Cult News

How to Spot a Sociopath? Is Tony Alamo a Sociopath? You be the Judge!

NaturalNews.com
Friday, June 08, 2012
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/036112_sociopaths_cults_influence.html#ixzz2MPIHVuDY

How to spot a sociopath – 10 red flags that could save you from being swept under the influence of a charismatic nut job

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In: Articles & Literature of Interest

They Told Me If I Left…

Click here to view this article and other articles from spiritualabuse.org

They Told Me If I Left …
by Ron Henzel

One of the most insidious features of Spiritual Abuse is the state of terror in which it leaves so many of its victims.

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In: Articles & Literature of Interest

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.

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In: 2012, Articles & Literature of Interest

Choosing a Church After a Painful Experience by Lawrence A. Pile

Choosing a Church After a Painful Experience

by

Lawrence A. Pile

Twenty years ago I left what had been a warm, exciting Christian fellowship, but which had become an authoritarian, restrictive organization. I reached this difficult decision after months of wrenching deliberation and several talks with the group’s leaders about my concerns at the direction the fellowship was taking. I had joined the movement 5½ years earlier in another city, had served as one of four leaders of a church-planting team that brought the movement to Columbus, Ohio, and had led Bible studies and held other positions of responsibility in the church. I literally had expected to remain with the movement the rest of my life. To see it degenerate was, to say the least, a disillusioning experience.

I found myself saying good-bye to men and women I had considered my brothers and sisters. I felt like a part of my soul was being cut out of me. What was I going to do now? I had developed no contingency plans to fall back on in such an unforeseen situation.

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In: Articles & Literature of Interest

Identifying a cult

There has been much confusion about cults and how to ‘pickem’.

Some have difficulty identifying a cult because it is not so
easy to identify one that is not even religious. For this
reason, over the years, different definitions of what actually
is a cult have developed to make it easier when you know
little about their beliefs.

The different definitions:

SECULAR DEFINITION

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In: Articles & Literature of Interest

The Role of Critical Thinking in Recovery for Ex-members of Destructive Groups

December 2006
Hal Mansfield, M.A.
Director, Rocky Mountain Resource Center on Violent, Destructive, and Hate Groups

“In this article, I want to explore the nature of critical thinking in the role of recovery for ex-members of destructive groups. Former members face many difficult changes in the recovery process including anger, intimacy, and how to just get along in life, to mention just a few. I want to focus on critical thinking for the purpose of clarifying the role it plays in recovery and try to clear up misunderstandings of what we mean by critical thinking.

To start, let’s look at what critical thinking is. There are many popular ideas about it. I have heard everything from defining critical thinking as a measuring stick to reality, and to a more base definition as a crap detector. Both of those have some validity, but I prefer to use the definition from the Dictionary of Psychology by Arthur Reber. The dictionary defines critical thinking as a cognitive strategy consisting largely of continual checking and testing of possible solutions to guide ones work. Another way to look at it is to test existing ideas and solutions for flaws and errors. Looking at this definition, destructive groups block critical thinking.

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In: Articles & Literature of Interest

Dysfunctional Churches

by Ronald Enroth, Ph.D.

It is common practice for church goers in American society to refer to their own congregation as their “church family.” Students away at college make reference to their “home church.” Church people sing hymns about being part of “the family of God.” Parents often employ family imagery to convey spiritual content to their children.

As behavioral scientists remind us all too often, that most basic of social institutions—the family—is increasingly subject to frailty and failure. The label that is currently popular for unhealthy families is “dysfunctional.” Unfortunately, sociologists of religion (as well as many ex-members) know that some churches are also dysfunctional, even to the point of being spiritually abusive. If truth in advertising standards could be applied to religion, some churches would be required to display a sign reading: “Warning: this church could be harmful to your spiritual and psychological health.”

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In: Articles & Literature of Interest

How Could Anyone Join a Cult?

by A Wellspring Alum

With the Heaven’s Gate tragedy still so fresh in all of our minds certain questions seem to come up: What kind of person joins a cult? Why do they stay and put up with the abuse? How could anyone be so devoted that they would kill themselves? Can’t they see that what they are doing is crazy? Are they crazy?

I feel that I am in a unique position to address these questions as I spent 10 years with a communal cult. Yet, now being out for 11 years, I also can look at the horrors that happened at Rancho Sante Fe and ask, along with the rest of a stunned nation, “Why did they die like this?”

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In: Articles & Literature of Interest

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