Exit-counselling

Discussion of cults generally - not specifically related to the SES or its related organisations.
actuallythere
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:05 pm

Exit-counselling

Postby actuallythere » Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:13 pm

Seasons greetings all.

With family gatherings taking place today, perhaps it is a great time to think about change and fresh starts in the family. Am starting this thread to try to pool together some exit-counselling options for people considering leaving SES, and for their nearest and dearest who would like to help them with whatever they need at the moment.

In the United States, I am especially impressed with this place http://wellspringretreat.org/profession ... hp?page=16 and wonder if there are such centres in Europe.

Randomly, this is an interesting, though old, paper about exit-counsellors in the UK http://infobomb.org/cultout.txt

Please add any other possible avenues to this thread. But let's be mindful that some exit-counselling organizations are themselves offshoots of religious organizations, including the Baptists and the Catholic Church. I think the safest exit-counsellors declare up front that they have a strict policy of non-affiliation with any type of religious or spiritual group, nor any hidden links with any group. If they declare, up front, that they are associated with some exit-counselling umbrella group that should not be problematic. As far as I'm aware we still don't see such disclosure on those apparently innocent philosophy class posters on the tube.

Best wishes

AT

actuallythere
Posts: 180
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Re: Exit-counselling

Postby actuallythere » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:29 pm

Wellspring (linked above) told me their contact in England is Hope Valley Counselling (HVC), contactable here http://www.hopevalleycounselling.com/

I must say, my first impression of HVC, after reading every page of its website, is that it appears to be excellent.

One small exception is that it uses the term 'Post-Cult Counselling', when in my personal opinion they could be avoiding the C-word.

Plus with this term they're rather excluding themselves from the many people who are on the verge of leaving, or are in the (often highly stressful) long-term limbo of 'part-time membership'.

Please all take a look at HVC and comment if you can. There might be a lot of people who can benefit from it.

bluemoon
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Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:52 am

Re: Exit-counselling

Postby bluemoon » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:21 am

Thanks for this link to HVC in the UK actuallythere.

I have copied below the section from the HVC website on 'spritual abuse' in case it is helpful to anyone else:


"What do I mean by Spiritual Abuse?

Johnson & VanVonderen, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse (1991) define spiritual abuse as:

"..the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining or decreasing that person's spiritual empowerment." (p.20)

Lisa Oakley and Kathryn Kinmond in their helpful and fascinating article entitled: "Spiritual Abuse: Raising awareness of a little-understood form of abuse", suggest spiritual abuse is unlike any other form of abuse, that it affects many in the UK, that it is present in mainstream religion and that it is hard for those who are spiritually abused to face the abuse, leading them to doubt the validity of their experiences and even to doubt themselves.

They note that spiritual abuse has the characteristics of other forms of abuse, in that it is concerned with the misuse of power, but that there are differences in that it is perpetrated by those who are supposed to be caring, within the context of the church which is supposed to be safe and secure. They note that faith will have been a fundamental part of the individual's sense of self and identity which will have been deeply affected.

(Taken from: Thresholds - Summer 2007, quarterly journal for members of Association of Pastoral and Spiritual Care and Counselling - ASPCC)"
Last edited by bluemoon on Fri May 25, 2012 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
SES London, 1990-2009, Female

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morrigan
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Re: Exit-counselling

Postby morrigan » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:59 pm

It's interesting that it says addictions and cults are similar to get into those habits. Does that mean the people in charge of SES are addicted? Maybe they are, but don't realise, not accept that....

actuallythere
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Re: Exit-counselling

Postby actuallythere » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:19 pm

Does that mean the people in charge of SES are addicted?


Yes.

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bonsai
Posts: 322
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Location: London

Re: Exit-counselling

Postby bonsai » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:39 pm

morrigan wrote:Does that mean the people in charge of SES are addicted? Maybe they are, but don't realise, not accept that....


I have often felt that the SES has a very drug dealer/drug user kind of feel to it. I think the attraction of the SES is very much one of escapism. Those at the top of the organisation are quite willing to exploit the seemingly free choice of those walking through the doors to seek an escape. The trouble is that I think this is true of both mainstream religions and the new religious movements.

The difficulty with the mainstream religions however, is that few people choose them comparatively and that they therefore contain a certain amount of cultural heritage. And of course many people who follow their religions do so because they choose to belong to a community rather than because of any real faith or that they believe the religion necessarily holds the key to their own enlightenment.

Happy New Year everyone.

Bonsai

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morrigan
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Re: Exit-counselling

Postby morrigan » Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:55 pm

Happy New Year to all! Happy Long Life to us all!

bluemoon
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Re: Exit-counselling

Postby bluemoon » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:09 pm

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Last edited by bluemoon on Fri May 25, 2012 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
SES London, 1990-2009, Female

woodgreen
Posts: 219
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: Exit-counselling

Postby woodgreen » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:49 am

Hi and Happy 2012. May it be cult-free! Sorry but just couldn't resist the c-word somehow.

A quick observation on the Hope Valley Counselling site - if you follow their links - via the Wokshop one in particular you will see that it is Christian based and is connected to what is (or was) the Salvation Army. Seems like a new broad-based Christian Church looking to help people in urban centres. I have no problem with this, in fact the Salvation Army gave spiritual help to a colleague of mine many years ago when she was dying. But perhaps we need to be clear on here given the sensitivities many people have about faith and religions. On which I hold my hand up - if you pick this up actuallythere, can you point me to the Catholic exit-counselling organisation. I am a catholic so I would love to see how they might counsel me!!! Particularly in terms of the SES, who have no doubt infriltated the Catholic Church at some level given the SES's ability to get in under the radar!! On a serious note I hope the Catholic Church is not recruiting via exit counselling.

regards, woodgreen.
Ex-SES Member. (Member for 3 years in late nineties).

actuallythere
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: Exit-counselling

Postby actuallythere » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:43 am

@bluemoon

Understood.

But let me add more to my point: most of us here would agree that a characteristic manipulation within SES is that it uses jargon words in a loaded manner, but presents these words as if they are self-evident, universally accepted truths. Take for example the word 'philosopher'. The word is generally accepted to describe thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Kant, Sartre and AJ Ayer. Today, professors of philosophy tend to get called philosophers. Nobody at SES is a philosopher in any generally accepted sense of the word, but in the closed world of SES, one is enticed by the promise of becoming a 'philosopher' according to the SES use the word. Tutors, long term members and the guys at the top are seen to have become 'philosophers'. People outside the SES are doomed to live a philosophically impoverished life. Right? We're fortunate enough to have realised what is going here.

Words are power. There is a whole SES lexicon that mashes members' brains in this way. So, by that same token, we cannot use the c-word if it is not generally accepted to be true. To cut through abuse, one must stick to one's own rulebook, not echo abusive tactics.

The c-word is generally associated with mass suicide, organised sexual offence, and worship of a single charismatic leader who dominates the group. None of these apply to SES, no matter how strongly we know the c-word is appropriate. There are plenty of people in SES who are completely baffled by their group being referred to with the c-word. For some people in SES it is neither a religion, nor even a philosophy class, nor are they even concious of the anguish and destruction SES has caused families and individuals. They might even still enjoy it and derive happiness from it. If we use a term to describe SES that we subjectively feel to be true, we alienate these really lost people who are deceiving themselves just as much as they are deceiving everyone else. Getting them to become concious of themselves, rather than deceiving themselves about attaining a higher state of consciousness, is the key. No matter how appropriate we may know the c-word is, it is counter-productive if we really care about these poor people still in SES.

This is just a statement of my opinions, I am not an evangelist and I am not telling you anything you don't know already, of course.

Precisely for the reason I've just outlined, there is a body of thought that prefers the term 'new religious movement' (NRM) to the c-word. Personally I find the use of NRM a bit too funky and not down to earth enough. I'd probably just use the term 'group'. That is a word almost all parties could agree on.

I believe that understanding the power of words is key to understanding the severe problems that SES has caused, including the documented physical child abuse.

If we scrutinise the effect of our own use of words like the c-word, we'll be better able to encourage people to scrutinise the use of words like: philosopher, pause, living in the present moment, attention, absolute, fully realised, true self, negativity, criticism, ladies, duty, attachment, material, exercise, enlightenment.

@woodgreen

I haven't seen any evidence of HVC ties with the Salvation Army. Could you point out where that is, please?

When I read the disclaimer I thought the HVC clearly stated it was entirely independent of such organizations. Is this not so, have you seen the disclaimer?

A very good sign is that the HVC makes clear it has no ideology and no prescribed solution, that it tries to help the individual to find their own strength and their own way forward, without dependence on a group or technique. HVC even invites scrutiny by asking the question of itself, about what are the risks and dangers of therapy and therapeutic organizations. You rarely, perhaps never, see that in the devious persuasion techniques used by abusive groups.

Thanks all,

AT
Last edited by actuallythere on Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bluemoon
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Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:52 am

Re: Exit-counselling

Postby bluemoon » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:20 am

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SES London, 1990-2009, Female

bluemoon
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Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:52 am

Re: Exit-counselling

Postby bluemoon » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:49 am

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SES London, 1990-2009, Female

Justice
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

Re: Exit-counselling

Postby Justice » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:19 pm

The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) offers free advice to individuals and families affected by Cults, particularly through their workshops for former Cult members and for family members.

ICSA is not affiliated with any religious or commercial organizations.

Their website is at:

http://www.icsahome.com/

actuallythere
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:05 pm

Re: Exit-counselling

Postby actuallythere » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:58 am

@Justice

Thanks.

@Bluemoon

My additional, subjective observations - please either accept or reject them!

The c-word bruises the already very fragile ego of anyone inside the group. People are in the group because they have a sometimes desperate need both to escape from the world and to improve self-worth, to boost self-esteem (all of which is exactly what certain drugs do). That is why the c-word is so threatening, that is why when members hear it, it causes them to cling closer to the group, where they will be received with open arms, and ego-stroking, whenever they feel challenged by outside scrutiny. The outside world's use of the c-word has helped rather than hindered the group. Personal testimony on this forum was far more effective than outsiders shouting the c-word.

Incidentally, that's why Part One is all about the ego, with self-deceiving tutors deceiving new recruits into believing that the group is the opposite of what it is really all about. Brainwashing starts with doublespeak http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublespeak

Personally I found it is worth reading 1984 again, perhaps also Brave New World.

AT

bluemoon
Posts: 125
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Re: Exit-counselling

Postby bluemoon » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:05 pm

I understand what you mean about the group and I think we may be talking from different perspectives over the cult thing. I am not sure but your name implies you may still be in SES and you do seem to be more concerned about those in the organisation coming to terms with the issues and I am concerned more about those that may be thinking of getting involved so they have a better idea what they may be in for. I think similarly to you probably that most people still in the organisation don't really want to face the criticisms.

Best wishes, Bluemoon
Last edited by bluemoon on Fri May 25, 2012 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
SES London, 1990-2009, Female


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