Any person can run into a cult in the most unlikely place. Who would have thought that in a seminar for parents I would have found a cult…
That's how it was. Without looking for it and, above all without expecting it, I found myself on a weekend course which promised to be one thing and turned out to be another.
From that course I went to another course about a completely different theme the very next weekend. Surprisingly the ideas turned out to be the same. From there I went to a therapy session with the cult leader a month later. And when I taught I was never going to go back there ever again, my partner signed up for a course of 100 hours and I decided to accompany him.
As those who have been in a similar situation will know, after this course there will be lots and lots of others.
All this now seems to be a well orchestrated maneuver. You start with an “inoffensive" course on some topic, it doesn't matter what. It finishes, you feel terrible and you know, or more correctly, they lead you to know, that you must change something about yourself because you are a disaster. By chance, somebody from the sect pressures you to accept the solution: another course, just what you need.
Although it has nothing to do with the reason that you agreed to go on the first course, this exact course is going to be the definitive solution to absolutely all your problems. Problems that you were not aware of because you didn't actually have them. Or if you did have a problem, no matter how bad it was, you weren't experiencing it with such drama.
When you've finished the course you need another and another and another… You don't realise that the courses will never finish. They have made you so dizzy that you no longer know where North is and you just go with the flow.
It just remains to be said that in all the time I lost in the sect and with all the money that I gave them, I learnt absolutely nothing about what the leader said he was teaching. I realised this when, repeating the same course for the third time, I compared myself with the new arrivals and I saw that we knew the same, which is to say, absolutely nothing. This made me feel bad and I used to promise myself I would start studying when I arrived home but it was in vain, I never did it.
Time passed and I was climbing ranks in the sect but knowing that I had not learned anything and that I wasn't doing things as I supposedly should have done them at these levels. The mixture of guilt and knowing that I was chosen by the leader was explosive. What I didn't understand in that moment was that this was how that psychopath achieved my submission to be able to sexually abuse me. It's probably the only way that someone with physical characteristics so opposite to what is considered attractive would be able to have women “surrender" at his feet. To say nothing about his personality… But in that moment you don't realize.
There were days when I looked back and recognised from experience the steps which members of a sect take because they were identical to what occurred to a family member of a friend of mine. And I, who had taken important decisions in my life, was no longer capable of doing anything without the consent of the leader. The worst thing was that what I was doing was going against my own logic. But despite this, I continued in the cult as if it was a never-ending spiral which was moving only in one direction.
I “swallowed" the doctrine like everybody else but I only accepted part of it. The rest of it I did not believe and then I was able to do one of two things. I was able to justify it thinking “he knows better than me" or sometimes even to leave those ideas to one side until they reappeared again. I think the fact that I didn't believe everything helped me later in my recuperation.
In my case the manipulation took me very far and was very aggressive. The leader was pushing me so hard that I was thinking of killing myself after only two years in the sect. Against all logic, the thoughts of suicide were followed by ideas about how good I felt, how happy I was, how “evolved" I was and how much better my life was when I changed my attitude. I believed it because that was what the leader said to me, but it was all a lie, including that the solution to my problems was suicide.
Fortunately, two marvellous people to whom I will always be eternally grateful, one of whom was an ex-member of the same cult, intervened at just the right moment and I was able to get out of the sect. In an instant my mind cleared and I found myself again, without having to leave this life at all, and feeling incredibly fortunate in being able to recognise myself again, me, the real me.
I found help in the hands of a psychologist who was a specialist in mind control to whom I am enormously grateful for all that he showed me. But above all I want to thank him from here for the comfort I got from his constant reminders that the victims are not to blame for what psychopaths do to us. For me, this is a very important focal point in the recuperation, that it's never convenient or fair to blame the victim, the blame lies with the torturer, who knows very well what he's doing and how he's doing it.
Through my own experience I can say that to find yourself in consultation with a psychologist who is judging how weak and influenceable you are when you tell them that you have been in a sect, is the most horrific thing that can happen to you. We do not need more blame or more attacks on our self-esteem, that never helps.
It's important that everybody knows that nobody looks for a cult, cults find us and deceive us in order to capture us. And very important too, is to realize that everybody can fall victim. Recognising our vulnerabilities is a good method of preventing this. It's simple, but difficult to understand for those who have not lived it, even if they have a degree in psychology or psychiatry. For this very reason I have to say that I find this website very interesting and skillful in its approach. Keep it up.
Thank you for the chance you have given me to write about my experience. I hope that for someone, someplace, it helps in some way.
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