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Why Some Don't Wish to Speak About Their Cult Experience

Many people who leave cultic groups are not interested in speaking out about their experiences. Sometimes they just want to put the whole experience behind them, other times they are worried about there being a consequence if they speak out, and other people know that they have been through something that was destructive to them but can't put it into words and explain it to others quite yet. In my 30 years of practice, I have seen all of these reactions and they are all valid. I help a lot of people find the words and the psychological definitions to describe what they have been through so they can talk about it with their friends, or family, or the public. And sometimes also so they can finally be able to explain it to themselves.


Often people don't want to speak out about their bad experiences because they think the leader may change and turn themselves around and they'll feel guilty about making them possibly look bad. I don't think I have ever seen a leader who did serious damage to their followers who changed for the good. If they do change, it seems, it is usually for the worse, as their feelings of entitlement and their enjoyment of their power increases over time, and if they are able to skirt the law and get away with so many things that are illegal, unjust or abusive.


It is very healing to be able to move past your fear to speak your truth, whether you do it anonymously or not. Cults and cult leaders often exist in the shadows by keeping people quiet and that's why they get away with things they shouldn't for too long.  It keeps justice from ever being served and people from being protected and rescued.


It so unfair that people who leave feel too scared to come forward and participate in doing necessary education and prevention. Former members are the true experts on what happens in their former group and they should be heard. I wish they knew that the leader has no power over them once they've left. The truth is that the power the leader had over them when they were in the group was power that he took and manipulated away from them instead of truly earning or deserving it so it wasn't ever real power. It was a power play.


I wish there were more people who could shine a light on groups that people need to be warned about so fewer people are drawn into them and harmed by them.


Be well!


Rachel Bernstein

Host - IndoctriNation podcast

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