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Online Events

ICSA Conversations - Updating The Legal Concept of Undue Influence in the 21st Century

This talk will explain how the legal concept of undue influence, which has existed for centuries, can be helpful to former members of cultic groups today. Judges have hesitated or refused to hear testimony about brainwashing, mind control, and thought reform on the grounds, that, in their opinion, these concepts lack scientific validity. How can expert witnesses be more persuasive in court? What will help bring clever influencers to justice? The discussion will focus on how the undue influence concept can be updated and applied to cultic relationships, human trafficking, domestic violence, and other influence situations.

ICSA Conversations - Sexual/Romantic Intimacy: Challenges for People Raised in a Cult

This talk is an introduction to the ways that cult dynamics can negatively impact the normal sexual development of children. Issues include the effects of institutionalized sexual coercion, hypersexuality and/or sexual repression. Psychological abuse related to sexuality will be discussed, both in terms of sexual and intimacy issues while in the group, and after a person leaves the group. Strategies are offered for developing beneficial attitudes and behaviors related to sexuality and intimacy as a part of healing from cult involvement.

ICSA Conversations

[su_row][su_column size="2/3" center="no" class=""] ICSA Conversations is a new, free, series of discussions to be hosted in accessible locations throughout the country. We plan to include online conversations in 2018. Launched in New York City in the Fall of 2017, each conversation will consist of a brief talk followed by open discussion. ICSA Conversations are free and open to the public. However, registration is recommended because some venues have limited space. | Register Online

Unlike closed, cultic groups, ICSA is firmly committed to freedom of thought, expression, and religion. To counter the closed thinking of cults and other “true believers,” ICSA events provide an open arena for people from diverse backgrounds with diverse points of view. Opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of ICSA’s or its partner organizations’ directors, staff, advisors, or supporters.

Upcoming ICSA Conversations:

More Coming Soon!

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Other Online Events

Applying Cultural Competency to Work with Former Cult Members

How can we improve competence in counseling clients emerging from coercive religious backgrounds? Training and conceptual models for use with this specific population are scarce. However, research and anecdotal evidence indicate that each coercive group (broadly defined, a cult) creates its own culture, complete with a unique body of knowledge, morality, rules, literature, and terminology. This culture so shapes its adherents that second-generation adults often feel like third-culture kids when assimilating into mainstream culture after exiting the cult. A question we often encounter in our online cult-recovery groups is whether anyone can recommend a local counselor who “gets it” — that is, someone who understands how deeply the cult's teachings are ingrained and can help them overcome the conditioned responses that inhibit their assimilation into society outside the cult. In this session, we will address the vacuum that exists for counselors working with this population by building on the premise that a cult is a culture. Approaching a cult as a culture provides counselors with an opportunity to apply their existing cultural competence. It also implies possible challenges for the client that might not otherwise be obvious in communicating between the cult and mainstream culture. We will use the knowledge and skills related to cultural competence in general to suggest interventions for working with those who have experienced abusive spiritual systems.

1 239 514 3081 mail@icsamail.com