Loved one in a cult? Want to leave a cult yourself? Don’t panic!!
- Read some books
There are some excellent books on the subject of destructive cults and mind control. Some (like “Combatting Cult Mind Control” by Steven Hassan) have been written by former cult members. Such books and invaluable for understanding how the cult member has changed, how cults recruit, and – most importantly – how someone leaves a cult. Visit the books section of this website to find out more.
If you’re currently a member of the ICC it can be useful to read up about other cults (for example, the Moonies or Scientology) and then make your own comparisons.
- The REVEAL Crisis Line
Probably the best place on the entire net to start. This page will tell you who the ICC are, what a cult is, how mind control works. It’s surprising how many people have been given the wrong idea of what a cult is by an excitable media. Importantly the page also tells you what to do and what NOT to do. By following some important rules you can avoid making mistakes made by the less-informed.
The page also has some useful suggestions on what books to read, and people you can call for assistance. I cannot underline enough the importance of talking to a former member when trying to understand what has happened to your loved one in the ICC. The REVEAL website also contains valuable contact information for support and help around the world. Such contacts can be helpful not only for those with loved ones in the cult seeking advice and comfort, but also for those who have left the group.
- The Do’s and Don’ts
Be sure to read this page before you rush in, all guns-blazing. Print it out and keep it somewhere safe. It is all too tempting when you first find out a loved one is in a religious cult to take drastic action. Unfortunately drastic action can often backfire, and make the situation much worse (for example, the cult member may have been warned that their relatives would try something like this and they may retreat further into the group). It can be tempting, for example, to send the cult member pages and pages of newspaper clippings describing their group as a religious cult – but it often badly backfires.
Again, these “Do’s and Don’ts” underline the importance of talking to a former cult member. They will be able to explain to you how they would have reacted in a similar situation when they were in the group. In this way costly mistakes can be kept to a minimum.
- What to do if a loved one joins a cult
Martin Poulter has put together this FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. He put together the page because he was receiving many questions along the lines of “I am worried about a work colleague/friend/parent/child who is showing interest/deeply involved in an organisation which I think is a cult. What can I do?”.
Some of the advice on the page is relevant to dissuading someone who is just becoming involved. Some of it is relevant if you know someone who is deeply involved.
|| Don’t panic!!
If you panic you’re going to make mistakes. Mistakes you might regret later on.
If you are trying to leave the International Churches of Christ (ICC) or have a loved one in the group the most important thing you can do is gather information. Fortunately in the last few years a lot of information about the group has been made available on the web. For example, both the TOLC and REVEAL websites have a lot of information on them, as well as links to other resources on the net.
This page is designed to start you off in the right direction. Good luck.
Hopefully the above links have started you off in the right direction. Further reading on this website includes the testimonies of former members of the ICC, and media reports as to their activities. You’ll also find a page of links to hundreds of other sites on the web dealing with the ICC and other cults.
TOLC offer a counselling service for families, friends, ex and current members of the ICC. TOLC’s qualified counsellor besides being a former member of the ICC, is also a member of the British Association for Counselling and the Association for Pastoral Care and Counselling. He has successfully dealt with cases around the world. Contact TOLC for more information.
Remember you are not alone – many other people have been in the same situation as you and come through to the other side. And there is always hope. :)