Independent South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon will address a conference in Brisbane which claims to be the first specifically organised to help people who have left cults.
In a speech in Parliament late last year he raised allegations of false imprisonment, coerced abortions and embezzlement of church funds, of physical violence and intimidation, blackmail and the widespread and deliberate abuse of information.
The support group’s spokeswoman Helen Pomery says former members of cults tend to suffer in silence.
“Many of these people have never had any treatment before,” Ms Pomery said.
“They’ve gone away, they’ve resumed their lives, they’ve shelved a lot of the issues, and this is the first time they really have a chance to start to process the pain that they’ve suppressed within themselves.”
• Coming Out Of The Cults: Clinical research has identified specific cult-related emotional problems with which ex-members must cope during their reentry into society. Among them: indecisiveness, uncritical passivity–and fear of the cult itself.