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New Life Reborn

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New Life Reborn:

Purging the cult identity is very traumatic. Former cult members experience a flood of emotion as they process the effects of having been manipulated. With large portions of cult doctrine attached to their core belief system, they feel as though they are attempting to perform surgery as they remove unwanted and unwarranted beliefs. Many feel like they are removing a living, breathing parasite from both the brain and the heart.

Since the identity they developed in the cult has replicated from the central figure, similarities between its removal and the parasitic example are often identified by former members. They are removing what the cult leader believed, felt, and even how the leader thought. In essence, they are removing the central figure from the place within their bodies that he or she had become attached: their mind. Though some had joined the cult by choice, they never willingly accepted the replacement of their authentic individual identities. Like a parasite invading, the cult leader had implanted cult identity through manipulation and undue influence.

Without even realizing it, many former members mentally associate the death of this "parasite" with a funeral. They feel as though a part of them died with the removal of the cult identity, and enter a period of mourning. Some hold a ceremony of sorts, burning or destroying cult propaganda and memorabilia. Some gather with former members, reflecting on the death of the "parasite" while feeling the emptiness inside. Some prefer to be alone, filling the void with comfort food or beverage.

This feeling is short lived, however, as the former member's individual identity begins to surface. After having been suppressed by the cult identity for so long, it has become a coiled spring ready to bounce up high. Like springs of water bubbling to the surface, their individual identity feels fresh and new. New life has risen; life that was there all the time. New life is reborn.