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Fortress of Solitude

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Fortress of Solitude:

The effects of indoctrination in the life of a cult member are not limited to group gatherings or moments of religious study. As cult members become fully indoctrinated, they apply elements of their programming to casual thought and common situations. Because their worldview has been altered, cult indoctrination can be applied to all aspects of their life. As a result, the cult's grip on their mind continues to increase, even outside of the group. In fact, isolation from the group can exponentially increase the effects.

Though it may be difficult to find, former members must identify areas of their lives that are unaffected by cult indoctrination, and expand upon those areas. Former members who either live with or continually visit current members must take time for themselves, using personal space as a means to allow their non-cult identity to grow and strengthen. The benefits of choosing a time of the week to avoid thoughts of cult experience and programming is critical to reversing the indoctrination. It helps to establish freedom by creating positive memories and placing invisible walls between their new and former life.

Just as the cult indoctrination process is accelerated by indoctrinated peers, the reversal of this process is much more effective with peers who have never experienced or understand cult life. While it is difficult after first leaving, former members must avoid discussing the cult aspects of their former life during this time of personal freedom, and instead focus upon healthy areas of growth. At the same time, they must avoid engrossing themselves in common routine as a means to heal. Those who leave a cult and bury themselves in work, for instance, may struggle. Those who treat themselves to personal growth find strength. Sports, hobbies, focus groups, and meditation are all healthy ways to establish and secure their non-cult personal space. Recognizing self-worth and self-importance is powerful towards healing.