We began our support group for former cult members in 1976 because we felt that this would be a way for ex-members to gain support and ideas for helping them cope with post-cult issues. Family and friends usually are unfamiliar with former cult members' experiences, and most people find it helpful to speak to those who are dealing with similar issues. Presently, our group is the longest running support group of its kind in the country.
The purpose of our group is to help former members move on after the cult. We are told by ex-members that after being involved in an environment that was so intense, post-cult life can be quite lonely and isolating. A group for former members can help counteract that sense of loneliness. It's also helpful for former members to see that the manipulations and power tactics used on them were the same whether they were involved in a religious, new age, political, or therapy cult. Participants in our group are often amazed that even though they have left cults whose ideology had nothing in common, their experiences were more alike than different. In fact, seeing the similarity of the techniques used by the leadership helps to demystify the cult experience. Of course, it's also helpful to get practical suggestions from people who had left their groups earlier and have coped with similar issues.
Meetings are held monthly on Saturday evenings at our home in Englewood, New Jersey. We live in a NYC suburb, five minutes from the George Washington Bridge. Our meetings begin at 7:30 PM and end at 10:00 PM. If members have come long distances and would prefer to stay overnight, we can help with arrangements for that.
Before being invited to participate, we ask that potential members meet with one of us for an intake/consultation. The focus of this meeting in on the individual's cult experience. It gives us an understanding of each individual's specific experience and we can make recommendations at that time. Of course, we also try to ensure the fact that everyone who attends our group is a former cultist. The intake/consultation also gives potential group participants the opportunity to ask us questions about the group. There is a sliding scale fee for this consultation. However, there is no fee for the group meetings.
Participants are free to come to as many group meetings as they wish. Some come for one or two meetings. Some come on a regular basis. Others attend meetings when they feel the need to touch base or to deal with a particular issue that develops.
If you are interested in attending meetings, or have unanswered questions about the support group, please feel free to telephone us or .