Much of the early discourse on the reasons for cult involvement missed the boat entirely by focusing on real or suspected pathology in the newly converted cult member. Though individual psychopathology should not be entirely dismissed, my experience as a cult member, cult recruiter and cult workshop director and ultimately as an exit counselor and educator on the cult phenomenon has consistently led me to consider the psycho-technology of the group in question. Psycho-technology, simply put, is the combination of a cult’s teachings, doctrine and recruiting/training procedures.
Wood knows what he is talking about. He spent five years in the Unification Church.
He describes his experiences in the book Moonstruck: A Memoir of My Life in a Cult
The family of a cult member has a tough row to hoe. Coming to terms with a member of one’s family joining a cult group is a complex and difficult task. Many find themselves asking questions like “Why has my child, husband or wife joined this group?” or “Why won’t they just snap out of it?”
For further information on the subject, I highly recommend the work of my friend Steven Hassan. His two books, “Releasing the Bonds” and “Combatting Cult Mind Control” are far and away the best resources for those trying to understand this complex issue.
The Thirteenth Amendment put a formal end to slavery in the United States and its territories. In the last quarter century, however, many groups in the United States, i.e. paramilitary organizations, destructive cults, gangs, and criminal organizations have used the mantle of religion and along with it the protections and guarantees of the First Amendment in a deliberate strategy designed to defraud the innocent, the unwary, and the unsophisticated out of the protections guaranteed by the Thirteenth Amendment.
For further information, please visit the following sites:
The publishers of Apologetics Index, the site behind Religion News Blog, recommends Allen Tate Wood as well as Steve Hassan and other professional cult experts.
A buyer beware: the field of cult education and exit counseling has attracted its share of odd characters — including belligerent self-promoters without much, if any, applicable education and/or professional oversight (while charging steep fees for their involvement).
Therefore we provide these
guidelines for selecting a cult expert/counselor