Psycho-educational Support Group for those affected by cults

for ex-BKs to discuss matters related to experiences in BKWSU & after leaving.
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FireExit

  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2018

Psycho-educational Support Group for those affected by cults

Post07 Oct 2020

Psycho-educational Support Group for those whom have been affected by cults or extremists groups

Dear Friends,

The Family Survival Trust invites you to our online psycho-education support group meeting, via Zoom. We meet in a group for a presentation and group discussion.

A one-to-one introductory meeting is required for anyone who would like to attend the group sessions.

More information below; feel free to contact us if there’s anything else you’d like to know or if you’d like to arrange an introductory meet.

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Introduction Meeting

If you would like to attend a session and haven't had an introduction chat with us over Zoom yet, please get in touch so we can arrange that.

In our chat we'll get to test any technical concerns related to Zoom, discuss the group sessions and introduce ourselves.

Given the sensitivity of the subject matter this meeting is necessary for all prospective participants. It is an opportunity to ask any questions, consider the appropriate use of these sessions and it usually takes around 30mins or less.

The zoom link for these meetings is sent, once we’ve had this introduction, by email on the morning of the meeting.

Meeting structure

When we meet we'll agree the terms of confidentiality at the start of each session.

After introducing ourselves, There will be an educational presentation on a topic related to the psychology of coercive control and recovery. This will form the basis for sharing related experiences in a reflective group discussion.

We usually have a brief comfort break around half-way through the session.

After the support group meeting some people choose to continue conversation and socialise in a non-facilitated and more informal way (usually in the pub/Zoom-room).

Timings

The Zoom meeting room will be open from around 6.30pm, so that you can arrive early if you want to check equipment, meet others, and/or settle in before the session starts - just as we might do in a geographical location.

The 2 hour support group session will start promptly at 7pm, finishing at 9pm; to avoid disruption, no late entry please.

If you need to exit the meeting before the end, for any reason, please let the meeting Host/Facilitator know.

Environment

For our Zoom meetings please ensure that your environment is safe, comfortable, non-distracting, and unlikely to be overheard/witnessed by non-participants.

Confidentiality

In the interests of confidentiality, for everyone involved, there is a very strong emphasis not to record anything related to these meetings. Given the sophistication of modern technology & surveillance we cannot guarantee this adhered to.

When a meeting is held under Chatham House Rules, as ours are, participants are free to use the information disclosed during the meeting but the source of that information may not be explicitly or implicitly identified.

Communication

During the sessions there is no obligation to say anything you don't want to, and you're encouraged to take care of yourself in this regard.

Facilitators may interrupt on occasion, usually this is to give enough time for everyone to speak or to bring the subject back to the topic, and sometimes the facilitator may make space and invite anyone who hasn’t had a chance to speak yet.

We find it best to be patient, sensitive and non-judgemental to the unique journey, recovery and experiences of every attendee, without offering unsolicited advice or labels.

Technology

Zoom is a free app/tool for video-conference, available on laptop/pc/tablet/smartphone. Tablets/mobiles may require a free app & account whilst other laptops/computers may be able to join via web browser without an account/app. A paid Zoom subscription is not required for participants.

To attend you'll need a device with a web camera & microphone (standard on many devices) as well as a reliable internet connection. Web cameras must be kept on by all group participants.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Who can attend?

This group is made available to people affected by a wide variety of cults and extremist/exploitative groups (eg political, therapy, religious/spiritual, business, sports - among others) in various roles (eg former members, family of members, those who support former members etc).

We have a collective of volunteer facilitators who have personal and/or educational experiences in this area, are all former members of cults and take turns to lightly facilitate these sessions. Often some of these individuals will attend as participants in their own right.

How does the group support its members?

Attendees often report to find this group process to be helpful, at an appropriate stage of their journey, for contextualising experiences and understanding the dynamics of such abusive groups.

However this is not a therapy nor counselling group and as such is not supported in that way.

Hearing and sharing of personal experience can be an illuminating and validating resource for mutual support. Sometimes discussions can be unexpectedly unsettling and then you may want to arrange your own extra support outside the group.

Is there a cost?

We do not charge, but a donation of £5 or more is appropriate. However, if your circumstances do not permit this please do not hesitate to attend.

We are a small charity of limited resources, staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers. Donations enable us to continue our work and can be made when booking your place or afterwards via our Eventbrite event listings using the ticket/donation facility: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/the-family ... 8774911807

How do I give feedback?

We're interested in making these meetings interactive and valuable to you. This is helped by having your requests for particular discussion topics/themes among other suggestions, queries or feedback - please do share those thoughts with us (by email, in the group, or one-to-one).

Mailing List

Our newsletters, announcements and reminders about our events are sent out by email.

The zoom link for these meetings is sent, once we’ve had an introduction meeting, by email on the morning of the meeting.

Please confirm if you’d like to be on our mailing list to receive these emails - you can unsubscribe/resubscribe at any time

If you know anyone for whom this group might be appropriate please ask them to get in touch with us by email at thefamilysurvivaltrustuk@gmail.com or contact us via our facebook page.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Warm Regards,

The Family Support Group co-facilitators

Contact:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/The-Family-Surv ... 5528082741

Email: thefamilysurvivaltrustuk@gmail.com

Web: http://www.thefamilysurvivaltrust.org/

Event listings/booking/donations: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/the-family ... 8774911807
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Pink Panther

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Re: Psycho-educational Support Group for those affected by c

Post08 Oct 2020

Very useful links and connections. Anyone who still feels the shadow of the BKs over their lives should make a point of connecting with other groups - not just support groups but any interest groups that you may like to explore, be it an art, a book group or philosophy group, craft or sport, go for it!

FireExit

  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2018

Re: Psycho-educational Support Group for those affected by c

Post08 Oct 2020

Pink Panther wrote:Very useful links and connections. Anyone who still feels the shadow of the BKs over their lives should make a point of connecting with other groups - not just support groups but any interest groups that you may like to explore, be it an art, a book group or philosophy group, craft or sport, go for it!

I agree, PP, though I also suggest some bold caution when engaging with new groups as the phenomena of cult-hopping is all too real, just as someone who's been in one abusive relationship often finds another.

I've been involved in some surprisingly wonderful groups since leaving - not always comfortable initially because they have a different dynamic to the ones I'd become habituated to. I've also visited other cults for a sniff as well ;-).
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ex-l

ex-BK

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Re: Psycho-educational Support Group for those affected by c

Post09 Oct 2020

FireExit wrote:I've also visited other cults for a sniff as well ;-).

Have you become a cultic voyeur or a cultic first responder, running into flaming cults to drag out victims before it is too late?

The latter would not be bad thing to do now and again.

FireExit

  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2018

Re: Psycho-educational Support Group for those affected by c

Post09 Oct 2020

ex-l wrote:Have you become a cultic voyeur or a cultic first responder, running into flaming cults to drag out victims before it is too late?

The latter would not be bad thing to do now and again.

"Cultic voyeur" - nope, unless you count netflix

"Cultic first responder, running into flaming cults to drag out victims before it is too late" - errr ... definitely not.

After a cult experience, I believe, it's impossible not to notice other cults or similar features wherever they're encountered (almost everywhere). I kept finding various cults recruiting in an area where I was active, and so I went to check them out one by one. I learned a lot and the process was helpful for recognising the different tricks & tactics & bullsh** narratives used. Something to be done with caution I'd say (take a solid friend - have a chat about it over a beer afterwards).

Many of the features aren't unique to cults (eg in-group/outgroup bias; use of ritual; group norms; narcissism) so getting a handle on that can help wherever they arise (eg workplace; kids' school; relationship patterns).
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Pink Panther

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Re: Psycho-educational Support Group for those affected by c

Post10 Oct 2020

I have noticed how BKs tend to avoid any discussion, interrogation of the issue or even viewing any documentaries about cults. I think it makes them uncomfortable. I do know some BKs who kind of accept that BKs have cultish qualities but equivocate about it being ”not as bad” as some! And any news reports about religious extremism or cults simply let's them know they are "not as bad”.

That’s where this forum becomes useful. Read a few of the reports here, then ask them - did you hear about the cult where one person murdered another/molested a child/ cover ups/ stabbed another/forced someone out of their home etc etc; and then inform them it was the BKs!
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ex-l

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Re: Psycho-educational Support Group for those affected by c

Post11 Oct 2020

Do you remember the shiver that ran through the organisation when they were first featured in a cult documentary, back around 1980-ish?

They've been so careful to avoid it happening since.

I suppose from a sociological point of view, there's a phenomenon to question, where the group becomes to big it operates in various different ways; cultic at its fringes, more orthodoxly as a kind of cultural association in other areas.

I don't have the technical language to describe it. A sort of state within a state, or supra-national state.

I suppose the "not as bad as" also fits the crazy, mutating beliefs?

Interesting also to note how in the lesson of The Tree it sets BKs up to disarm cultic associations, other cults being merely twigs at the outer extremities, whereas they are the seeds and roots and trunk of The Tree.
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Pink Panther

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Re: Psycho-educational Support Group for those affected by c

Post21 Nov 2020

Bill Maher riffs on how to deal with cult members who cling to their belief in their leader even despite evidence to the contrary.
The Great Disappointment

The challenge for us is, how do you get people out of a cult? When you're fighting a cult you're not just fighting the leaders, but all the enablers who see you as an enemy. “Hate the cult, love the cultist.”


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