[TOC] [Title] [Author] [Endorse] [Acknow] [Preface] [Intro] [Ch 1] [Ch 2] [Ch 3] [Ch 4] [Epilogue] [Ap A] [Ap B] [Ap C] [Ap D] [Ap E] [Readings] [Bib]


But screw your courage to the sticking place,
And we'll not fail.

- Macbeth

In 1980 I left The Way International, one of the most successful cults of the 1970s. For more than ten years I have struggled to rebuild my life. From those struggles has come a great deal of learning, growth, and healing. I thought I would share with you my thoughts on the process, what has and hasn't worked for me, in the hope that your healing or the healing of one you hold dear will be less painful and less time-consuming.

You may find in these pages ideas that can help you even if you were not in a cult but were in another abusive or all-consuming relationship. Many who have read the first edition and who came from abusive relationships, such as alcoholic spouses or families, have commented that they found this book very helpful and encouraging.

Ingredients for Recovery

I have learned that there are three main ingredients needed for recovery. Without these, you can only heal a little bit. They are:

1. Time

2. Discipline

3. Courage

It took a great deal of time to heal, much more time than I ever imagined. It took a tremendous amount of mental discipline to disassemble the tangled web of the group's "logic." As I recovered from this snare, I was disheartened to find embedded in our culture additional "logic" also of dubious nature, and so my work to disassemble did not and could not end with the group. And, it took courage. Courage to face a depth of hopelessness I pray I never face again. Courage to let go of myths and wishes and fantasies, and to let go of innocence.

Working it Out

This book pulls together what I've learned helping ex-cultists and their families since 1980, but I am not a trained counselor or psychiatrist. This book is not intended to and should not replace good therapeutic and medical help. Many, many people have expressed to me how very helpful this book has been. I think you will find some good ideas and suggestions here. As you read it through and discuss the ideas and exercises with family and friends, pick out what you think will work for you. These are suggestions, not a ``bible."

What is a Destructive Group?

Below are listed the marks and techniques of a destructive group as noted in the Cult Awareness Network's brochure. For an in-depth reading on the psychological steps and techniques of coercion, see Lifton's classic work entitled Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism (1961), specifically Chapters 5, 12 and 22. (See Appendices B and C.)

(Balance of chapter commented out. Please consider purchasing the book from the American Family Foundation .

[TOC] [Title] [Author] [Endorse] [Acknow] [Preface] [Intro] [Ch 1] [Ch 2] [Ch 3] [Ch 4] [Epilogue] [Ap A] [Ap B] [Ap C] [Ap D] [Ap E] [Readings] [Bib]