Friday, January 19, 2018

13 Siblings Rescued from Cult Like Upbringing

We've heard about these types of horrific stories before! 13 siblings were rescued in Perris, Ca from unimaginable conditions of torture by the hands of their own parents. Absolutely horrific!

The children were starved, beaten, tortured and deprived for years! Some of the children were shackled to furniture. The children, ages 2 to 29, were so emaciated the older ones still looked like children. Authorities thought the 17-year-old daughter who escaped and called 911 was only 10 when they found her.

Long time Riverside County prosecutor has this to say:

"They develop a kind of cultish doomsday type of religion where the father becomes this mythical leader and the mother and children's duty is to serve the father,"

Many will ask why did it take so long for one of these siblings to escape and go for help.

History has taught us that parents convicted in similar cases exerted extreme control over their children though intimidation, psychological and physical coercion, and in addition the parents frequently possessed their own belief system, which they would brainwash their children into believing and then practicing.

Vulnerable children growing up in these abusive, torturous circumstances are conditioned and raised to believe that their only source of survival is with their abusers. They are cut off from society, from an education, from television, from playing with other kids etc. They are psychologically, physically, emotionally and mentally stunted!

This case is very reminiscent of the 2010 Marcus Wesson case : http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/marcus-wesson-mass-murder-surviving-family-speaks-abuse/story?id=11089648

More on the 13 siblings and their story:
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/girls-escape-exposes-horror-13-siblings-captive-52398392

Preventative education is essential, being inquisitive and alert to the people, children, groups, churches etc that are around us is essential and is all of our responsibilities.

The extraordinary amount of courage and strength these 13 siblings posses - to have endured so much - our hearts and prayers go out to them.

Please visit our website to educate yourselves and your loved ones about manipulation, predatory personalities, high control groups / cults and abuse.

https://www.familiesagainstcultteachings.org/Cult-Education/

Thank you,

The FACT Team

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Components of High Control Groups and or Cults

Our blog post dated Dec 29, 2017 covered how High Control Groups and Cults Recruit New Members, especially targeting young, unsuspecting college students.

Today we're focusing on the main elements that contribute to mind control, undue influence, brain washing or the plethora of other terms used to describe this form of manipulation. 

An ex-Scientologist and activist did an extensive survey among six different ex-community group members. She then created this graphic based off her findings and submitted it to our organization. 


Let's take a look at each one:

1. Practice Shunning / Ex-Communication:

If you disagree, challenge or otherwise are not mostly in agreement with all the policies, practices and mentality of the organization and it's members - will you be shunned, ostracized or otherwise not part of the group?

2. Pressure to donate time and money:

Is it never enough? Your precious time for door to door service, bible study, disaster relief, handing out booklets, counseling others etc.

Does your group / church / organization ask more of your hard earned precious dollars? High pressure tactics to save the world, help others?

Many people mortgage off their homes, their estates, their jewels, all their assets, borrow money. Are you or someone you know being pressured to do similar things?

3. Reporting system in place; members reporting on each other:

We all should keep our Own Counsel. We innately Know what's right and wrong and what we need to do to survive well, if all our faculties are in tune! Do group members report on you to elders/ the organization, other members, if they feel you are not doing what is in line with the groups purposes?
This can be either in written reports or verbal gossiping; which can sway a persons view of you and your character.

4. Strict regime for All / Core Members:

A strict regime for example; for sea organization members (Scientology Billion Year Contract Members) would be something like 4-8 people living in an apt or dormroom style quarters; up at 6 or 7 a.m, eat, work, lunch, work, dinner, work again until 10 or 11p.m.

Weekends would still be full of work with the exception of possibly Saturday morning off for cleaning their personal living quarters, personal laundry etc for a few hours. Any real vacation time off would need to be approved by management, but only after an extensive written notice of how all their duties would be done already or covered by another staff member. Pay for these enormous hours would be a cot & three squares a day and maybe a $50 a week stipend (unless you're part of the elite upper management, which may get your more than $50). Sometimes 3 squares a day means rice and beans if you're work duties (statistics) are not above the prior weeks work load! This is the same regime for very young Sea Organization members who are recruited at a young age of 16.

5. Us vs Them Mentality:

Does the group you're involved in say things like: 

"We have the Only Answers to Mans Demise", "The End Times are Coming or Upon Us", "There is No Time to Waste", "We are the Only Answer to Spiritual Salvation". The ONLY Answer is within our Group, The Planet Depends on Us" !

These points are all Things to Critically Think About and Discuss with others.

If you or someone you know would like to Report a Cult, Need Help and or Support or want to Tell Your Story please feel free to fill out and submit one of the forms on our website:

https://www.familiesagainstcultteachings.org/cult-help/contact.html

 We receive e-mails and calls daily asking for help and support from victims.

Although we'd like to help every single victim who reaches out to us, we are very limited in resources. We hope to double and or triple the amount of help we can offer to victims this year. Any help you wish to gift will go a long way to reaching that goal and is extremely appreciated.

https://fact.networkforgood.com/projects/27300-fact-fundraising-for-2018


Please feel free to comment and share this with friends, family, on social media platforms etc.

Thank you again for all your continued support in this fight of darkness.

Sincerely,

The FACT Team
Families Against Cult Teachings, Inc
 www.FamiliesAgainstCultTeachings.org
 



Friday, January 5, 2018

Activism and Avatar Expose

We were recently contacted by a woman named Amanda, in Australia who told us her story of being victimized,  manipulated, financially exploited and brain washed by a group that sells "classes" under the names of the Stars Edge Network, the Advanced Intern Program, Avatar Course and Stars Edge International. She had recently gotten out and part of her healing is that she wanted to tell her story, help others who've been harmed by this group, try and help those who are still involved and expose the violations that she knows to be her truth!

Exposing a group, church, cult, guru etc is quite extensive. It takes a lot of time, energy and effort; talking to victims, compiling facts and putting it in a format for the general public to review and digest. You're donations are extremely valuable and appreciated, they go towards supporting victims, preventative education and exposes. We here at FACT would like nothing more than to expose every single church, group, guru etc that exploits and manipulates vulnerable, unsuspecting victims. We receive emails, calls and messages daily from people asking for our help! Here are examples of just a couple of the emails out of dozens we've received just in the last couple of days:

"Assembly of Yahweh in Bethal, Pennsylvania is a cult. Please help me get my daughter back"

"The meeting consisted of a long speech given by (name left out for now). During the speech he talked very passionately, quickly, and angrily about the ills of capitalism and the need for revolution. I was instantly hooked, and I have talked to other students that were hooked by this same tactic.

I would like others to know that the facade fades quickly. It feels as though you are home and you are taken seriously, yet any failure to live up to your tasks is met with disdain; this is personally damaging for a newly-independent college freshman.

Damaging Aspects: I suffered from (and still suffer from) complex post-traumatic stress disorder. I was hospitalized twice. I am currently attending therapy twice a week, and I am fighting urges to cut, binge+purge, starve, and commit suicide."

However, due to the limited budget constraints we can only do so much. A lot more help is needed so that we can be available to a lot more victims and educate a lot more of society. Until then, we do the best we can with the resources we have. If you would like to donate to our cause, it would be greatly appreciate and you can do so here:

https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/fact


Amanda is a true activist, her heart is in the right place and she has invested a lot personal time and dedication into uncovering and exposing what she knows to be her truth.

This is her website and her expose : Avatar Uncovered 

https://avataruncovered.is/

Here is what Amanda e-mailed us after the launch of her website and expose!

"I want to thank you and the whole of FACT.  Your organization has been by far the most proactive I have communicated with regarding this expose and indeed the way you bring other destructive cults to light. Your work and exposes have inspired me.  As you see I have used the essence of it in our perspective"

She is very excited about the launch of this expose, she hopes to help those who have been harmed by this group and also to educate others so they don't fall victim to the things she experienced.

She also said in her email to us "Its already making an impact"


We Salute you Amanda! 

If you have knowledge about or have been victimized by the Avatar group, feel free to post your truth in our comment section of this post or contact Amanda via her website. Exploitation, abuse and manipulation is unacceptable in every form!   

Sincerely, 

The FACT Team
Families Against Cult Teachings, Inc
www.FamiliesAgainstCultTeachings.org

Friday, December 29, 2017

How Cults and High Control Groups Recruit College Students

College students are on Holiday break currently, so we thought this was the perfect time to get the word out again about the common tactics used by high controlling groups and cults to recruit college students, either on or off campus. These tactics don't just apply to college students, anyone can be fall vulnerable to these tactics. However, a point should be made that cults and high control groups actually target young adults and college students because They Know this can be a likely vulnerable time in their life and they will prey on the fact that these young adults can and do make big decisions sometimes without talking openly with their parents or family.

College students can be very vulnerable to recruitment, for several different reasons. Some of which may be:

1. This may be the first time on their own as an adult away from their family and home. This can be a lonely, scary time and they may want to fill the void by being part of a close group of people, this can sometimes feel like an instant belonging and "family" type atmosphere.

2. They may come from a very dysfunctional family in which their emotional needs were neglected. Being part of a tight group of people who give them lots of admiration and attention (Love bombing) can be very appealing for a young adult who was neglected of such basic needs.  

3. Their world view sometimes can change being out on their own away from the safety and comfort of their home and family. They may want to be part of something "bigger then themselves", something that feels very important and that would or could make them proud of themselves. Helping others, changing the world for the better, these type of ideals are very appealing to most of us, who doesn't want to "help" ourselves, others or the world. High control groups and cults know the right buttons to push.

These are just a few examples of reasons young adults / college students can be vulnerable to recruitment. It is essential to educate our youth so they are armed with the knowledge and can protect themselves from manipulation and coercion.





Of course some of these tactics are popular marketing practices, with that in mind, not all groups who use these tactics are out to manipulate or take advantage of people. But it is a starting point in educating young adults about the initial process of recruitment and indoctrination by high control groups or cults. Our next blog post on this topic will cover what separates a healthy group from an unhealthy group and or cult. What are healthy boundaries when being involved in a group.


In the meantime please educate your children, share this blog post, our website, social media pages etc with family and friends, share in facebook groups and other social media outlets, share with educators and counselors etc. Help us educate society.

Our website has a wealth of preventative education materials that can be downloaded, printed and shared with others.  https://www.familiesagainstcultteachings.org/Cult-Education/Fact-sheets/

As always Thank you for supporting our organization and the important cause we are tirelessly working for. Together we can make a big difference and save so many lives!

Sincerely,

The FACT Team
Families Against Cult Teachings, Inc   
 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Abuse in Group Settings - What Not To Do

Concerned about a friend or loved one who may be involved in a high control group? It could be a religious group, a gang, a new age self help meditation type of group, a guru that they seek counsel from constantly etc. Manipulation, exploitation, coercion and abuse happens in various kinds of relations. 

Often times an outsider can see things more clearly than someone who's involved heavily in a group setting. If you have a friend or loved one involved in a group that you are concerned about and you don't know exactly what to do yet or how to approach them, here are a few things to consider.

Until you educate yourself more and come up with a plan of action here is a few things you should consider Not Doing.

The most effective way to help someone who's involved in these types of groups or cults is to stimulate their Critical Thinking Skills. We all know and probably have experienced that when we feel the need to defend ourselves that stimulates our Defenses and the conversation tends to lean more towards an argument or disagreement, which is not going to help the situation. We want effective dialogue so the person we're seeking to help can actually think clearer and come up with their own answers, conclusions and "ahh ha" moments.


Before you have the conversation with your friend or loved one, do your homework. List out several thought provoking questions you plan on asking them. Try to do it in a non threatening manner, no raised voices, no heavy demands etc. Try to be as understanding as possible and ask specific questions that will get the person to think instead of reacting and defending their views.

Examples questions you may ask about the leadership of the church or group:

Who is the leader(s)?
What are their background and qualifications?
Do they have a criminal record, a legacy of allegations against them, or a history of misconduct?
Do they have emotional outbursts?
Do they physically abuse followers?

Do ordinary people find them inaccessible, unreachable, or elitist?

 Example questions you may want to ask about the transparency of the church or group:

Are there “in” groups and “out” groups?
Are there restricted teachings for initiates only?
Are there secret texts and publications “for your eyes only”?
Is there real financial accountability and transparency?
If a group says that you can look at its accounting records, does it actually provide access?
Does the group culture discourage you from asking questions?

Example questions you may want to ask about the groups claims and doctrine:

If “miracles” have been performed, can they be replicated under open observation and scientific conditions?
Are there other explanations for the “miracles,” such as magic tricks, hypnosis, etc.?
Does the group attempt to shift the burden of proof for extraordinary or unverifiable claims?
Are questions and doubts permitted within the organization?
Are all members expected to conform to group beliefs, or can they form independent belief systems?
What do former leaders and members say about the group?
Does the group claim to have access to absolute truth?
Does the group spread disinformation in promotional materials?

Example questions you may want to ask about personal time and resources:

Is the member being asked to give more and more of their time? For fellowship, helping to promote the group, "bible" study/classes etc?

Is the member being asked for donations and monetary support? If so, is it pressured, is it required, are they looked down upon if they don't want to or don't have the funds? 

Does the member have a balance of personal life, work life and life apart from the group/church?  In other words are other areas of life being neglected as a result of involvement in a group?

Does the member have re-occurring conflicts with a spouse over involvement with the group?

These are just examples of questions you may want to ask. It may take a few attempts at this topic of conversation with your friend or loved one before they are even willing to talk. Be patient and understanding, people don't knowingly get involved in high control groups or cults. They usually get involved as a way to try and resolve issues in their life or are seeking legitimate spiritual guidance or help. The last thing you want is for them to stop talking to you because you aren't being supportive or understanding. 

Be sure to visit our Education section on our website for more vital resources and information.
https://www.familiesagainstcultteachings.org/Cult-Education/Cult-Warning-Signs/



Friday, December 22, 2017

Happy Holidays and Thank you for your Support

Dear Fact Friends and Followers,

We here at FACT want to Thank you for all your involvement and support in our mission; to Save children, adults and families from exploitation, manipulation, suffering and hardship from self serving predatory personalities and groups.

The year 2017 was very productive for us, we were able to help many victims and survivors of mental, sexual and monetary exploitation. However, due to our budget restraints we were limited to the number of cases we could attend to. The work we do involves a lot of darkness, investigative work, man hours and demands a plethora of truth be uncovered.
Feedback from a recent expose we conducted:

"You've done more investigative work on this place than any local authorities. It's awesome!" Emily 

Feedback from a father who is trying to determine if his daughter is involved in a high control group / cult:

"I have read most everything on your site. It is very informative and a great resource!" Steve
"Thank you for all you do to help families & spotlight awareness of religious abuse!" Sonya 

 One of our main goals in 2018 is to double the cases where we save lives.

We urge our supporters and friends to share our work, stories and mission with your friends and family and we ask that if you can, please donate to our life saving cause. No amount is to small.

Please donate what you can to help us, help others.
  

On behave of all the victims who have experienced abuse, neglect and exploitation, and our entire team at FACT, we thank you for all of your support. We wish you and yours a Very Happy and Healthy Holiday Season.

Sincerely,


Tibor Stern
President of FACT

Monday, December 18, 2017

Dear Supporters,

FACT is featured in a full page article in the December issue of Apostate Monthly.

Apostate Monthly, is the only magazine written by, for, and about apostates, and those coming out of high-control, abusive religions and similar environments. With stories of survivors as well as columns and advice for how to rebuild and reclaim your life, this is a magazine anyone is sure to love! Be sure to subscribe and get your monthly issue! https://www.apostatemonthly.com/

We'd like to Thank the editor for her thoughtfulness in including our organization in the magazine and for helping us spread our message. Awareness is key to prevention!





Sincerely,

The FACT Team
Families Against Cult Teachings, Inc