This morning I was very pleased to receive in the post copies of the ICSA Today – SGA Special Issue, which I really like at so many different levels. I felt moved to see this issue in print and proud to have my poems included in it. It feels so good to hold it in my hand. I wish I had held it in my hand twenty years ago . . . I particularly like the resiliency table and love the picture on page 16/17 – My voice. I wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who worked so hard to get this to print. It really is appreciated. Very well done!
Hi everyone. Thank you for allowing me to join in this on-line support group! I’ve been out of the cult for about 30 years now. I’m so grateful to have found ICSA, and such a supportive group of people! I felt right “at home” at the workshop. I had attended the Colorado workshop last year, and I knew I needed to go to . . . as soon as I saw the announcement! I, too, have been SO TIRED this week! Carol’s advice to be gentle with myself has definitely helped me get through the week! What are the things that helped me most at the workshop? First and foremost, it was WONDERFUL to be able to speak openly about my experiences, knowing that others understood! It was a comfort to know that many of my struggles are the result of my trauma, and not some “defect” in me. I’m hopeful that since I learned skewed ways to cope in the cult, I can also UNLEARN those ways of coping and learn healthier ways! When we were learning about resilience, the whole group came up with this amazing list of things we do, or can do, that show resilience. We’re a pretty resilient bunch! The way that the facilitators responded to what we had to say made me feel “heard” in a way that has been very rare in my life.
Dear Friends at International Cultic Studies Association. You have been the ones to keep vigil with me during the past several years as I worked towards this goal, and so you are among the first to know. Today I received in the mail the official notice from the . . . notifying me that they had approved my application for licensure as a professional counselor, and had been approved to sit for the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination. So I still have to apply for, sit for, and pass the exam and then be officially licensed by the Board. But the hardest part is over, after years of study and expense and months of gathering information, filling forms and jumping through a hundred hoops. I feel a great sense of achievement. There is the added benefit that soon I can take my place among the other “professionals” in ICSA with all the whistles and bells. Thank you for always believing in me, for encouraging me, and treating me like a colleague.
Joe – this is excellent. Thank you for the interesting and informative newsletters. I always enjoy them.
Thanks for the encouragement. We’ve read all the books and articles you suggested, and continue to do so. . . . We have favorite authors—all the ones you suggested plus many more, and your writings are especially helpful. They all brought us to the stage where we are at now, confidently informing the public and being able to see through and stay calm at their fear and intimidation tactics. Thanks so much to everyone in the line of work that you’re doing.
I can report that, since becoming aware of the pitfalls of these groups, I’m moving toward a more conventional life-style which seems quite rewarding. I wish you all success in your careful and scientific approach to your work.
got information on books. I think I have read nine books now, and I have read many journal articles, plus have
gotten information on groups, counselors, everything. It has been invaluable to me as I have researched a subject that I never dreamed I would ever need to know so much about. I have also learned through this process that many people – even in the ministry – do not realize the prevalence of these harmful groups. . . Thank you again for the work that you do that helps so many people like us.
I wanted to thank you for sending me the ICSA magazines, which I received several weeks ago. I also wanted to thank you for your help in sending me the contact information for the Swiss and Belgian associations involved with cultic studies, which both answered my mails.
First of all, thank you for such an informative website with a wealth of information. I am a freelance journalist and grad student writing my thesis . . . The larger idea of the story is mind control — the tactics that are used within these programs to turn teens against each other, to make the victims themselves restore the order, as well as the mind control of the parents by “consultants.” I would like to speak to an expert about these consultants and how they operate, and how many families they impact today. I’d also like to speak to an expert or be directed to information about how big the troubled teen industry is — whether it has grown over the past ten years, how many consultants exist, facts of that nature.
the rawness and insight I have about it. I find the group very amazing and encouraging for how these people including myself had the ability to get independent of the group or church when they had such a dependency of it and was brainwashed. I think I can really get a lot from this group and I look forward to going next month.
Thank you so much again for referring me to it.
making so many new friends, as well as seeing some old ones. I look forward to many emails and phone calls with these new friends.