Tuesday, August 7, 2018

How Do I Get My Family Out of a Cult?

If you are concerned about friends, loved ones or in general about those who are caught up in cults, high demand groups etc, it has been talked about by experts in the field of mind control and cults that it is extremely important to stimulate Thought Provoking Dialogue when talking to someone about their involvement.

In many cases the cult is aware that the member will receive opposition from their family and loved ones. It’s their modus operandi to use this opposition to further trap the member. They will often paint the opposition as evil and use it to distant the member from outside influence.

As you’re educating yourself and figuring out what to do, here are some suggestions of actions to avoid, which will give your strategy the best chance of working, and prevent you from alienating the person your attempting to help.

Don't say, "You're in a cult. You're brainwashed." 
Consider how you would react to being told something like that. You'd probably get angry, offended and put on the defense. Try to remain calm regarding your reservations about the group/leader/church, until you know more about it; and can discuss it, or think about it, logically.

Don't say, "You can't think for yourself, reason, or make decisions." 
This will only serve to make the member resent you—and it isn't true. While the group or leader may have temporarily interfered with the member's ability to reason about it, the member CAN STILL THINK. The whole purpose of "exit counseling" or an intervention-type conversation is to get the member to critically think for themselves and start reasoning about the group / leader / person.

Don't argue with the person about beliefs, or criticize the church or its leaders in front of the member or in public. Although cliche, the old saying, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer!” warrants repeating here. If you must use examples, use examples of other groups, churches or "religions" to point things out, not their church or group as they are conditioned to defend themselves and their group no matter what. If you're a Jehovah's Witness who's under the radar talking to a current Jehovah's Witness try to use examples of say Scientology or other churches who use similar tactics or have similar policies to try and make your point. Maybe use news articles about other groups / churches on the same topics you want to point out to your friend or loved one.

Always strive to maintain a friendly, neutral position towards the group and any of its members you come into contact with while you formulate your research, thoughts and plan of action.

Don't be confrontational, aggressive, or antagonistic to the member you’re concerned about, or to any of the other cult members. Family members or friends who have ongoing problems with the member should not attempt to resolve those at this time. Family members who cannot be around the member without quarreling should stay away until the member's cult involvement has been addressed and dealt with. This is not the time for bringing up other issues. Doing so, will likely drive the member deeper into the cult.

In addition, don't give the member large sums of money, or relinquish trusts, bank accounts, titles or property deeds to a member. At this point, you may be the only thing standing between the member and their blowing resources they’ll need to get on with their lives once out.

Be their Ally. Listen, Don’t Judge:

Make it safe for them to talk, don't accuse, be judgmental, or put them on the defense. What they will likely be experiencing is called Cognitive Dissonance.

By becoming their ally, they will start to confide in you and provide you with the intel needed to help them get out of the cult.
If you are Not in touch anymore with your loved one or friend due to shunning / disconnection there are a few of things you can try. You always have the option to reach out to them and try and rekindle the relationship. You can draft a letter, email or text saying something like:

“Dear xxxx,

I am sorry we’ve had difficulties understanding each other. You’re beliefs and religious views are your own and I’ve learned I need to respect those. You are a very smart person and have the right to your beliefs and viewpoints. I apologize for not understanding that sooner. My intention is not to condemn you, argue with you or otherwise push you away. I care about our relationship and you more than anything else. Can you please forgive my lack of understanding regarding this? I only care about restoring our relationship. If you are happy, I will support your decisions and am happy for you.”

In other words, you have the choice to eat crow and do whatever it may take to restore your relationship. For some it may be worth a try.

Three years ago we came up with a campaign to help people help others critically think about their involvement with groups and churches. This campaign was created as postcard mailers for a few reasons: 

1. It's more cost effective to mail

2.They can be mailed anonymously, if needed.

3.There is no mail to open, the person receiving it is alot more likely to read it and receive the message rather than having to open a letter. 

4. The mailers do not target any specific or active group/church. They were designed to provide Thought Provoking content for the receiver who is likely in "tunnel vision" and or "undue influence about their group/church. 

Here are the three postcard mailers. 

You can request your Free Postcard Mailers at Support@FamiliesAgainstCultTeachings.org  
Be sure to put in subject line "Postcard Mailers" and include your name and address in the email where we can send them to you. 

This information along with other resources are available on our website in our "Resource File" in pdf format. You can download it Here 

We can not do this work without your support and help, if you would like to help us in our efforts to continue supporting and advocating for victims and survivors please help us by making a donation towards our efforts, any amount is highly appreciated. $20 or $25 goes a long way to helping maintain our printing and mailing costs for the Free postcard campaign we offer to anyone who requests it. You can make your tax deductible donation https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/fact

We wish everyone who is struggling to reunite with friends and family the very best in your efforts.
Stay Strong!

Thank you,

The FACT Team
Families Against Cult Teachings, Inc


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