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Escape Stories

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Escape Stories:

When former members of a cult first begin to tell their story to others, they are faced with a harsh reality: they have escaped from a world that others do not understand. Most of them would describe their journey to freedom as the single most painful experience of their lives, one that required more courage than ever before. About halfway through the story of their escape, the listener who has never experienced a cult asks the painful question: "Why didn't you just leave?"

Those who have never been manipulated into the control of a cult often find it difficult to relate to the hardships former cult members face as they try to integrate back into society. With no similar frame of reference, the best they can do is to reflect on their worst experience in a religious group, and it does not come close to comparing. Though they may have mistakenly visited a cult group, without having been subjected to the fear and control of a man or woman who is manipulating the unaware, they will never understand breaking free from that manipulation.

At the same time, many former cult members are unable to accurately describe what they experienced. While they knew that they were influenced into the control of a cult leader, they do not fully understand the techniques used by the group to control their behavior, information, thought, and emotion. Unable to answer the question, "why didn't you just leave?", former members often become frustrated and vow never to tell their story to another person. Unfortunately, this vow of silence is a huge roadblock in the process of healing. As they bottle up what their soul is dying to express to others, they are placing themselves in yet another prison.

When a former cult member understands how the cult manipulated their thoughts, behaviors, and emotions, they can express their story in a way that others can understand. There are many kind-hearted people in this world. When others know how to help, they often will.