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Hidden Warnings

Seek The Truth Blog

Hidden Warnings:

People who join or were born into a cult often fail to see the warning signs of Group Dependence Disorder. Changes in their personality and lifestyle happen gradually, and the subtle adjustments are unrecognized. These changes remain unnoticed until coming in contact with unchanged persons or places from their former life. If this happens after a shift towards cold, distanced, or hostile views of former life, any contrast noticed is viewed with the same hostility.

While seen as dangerous by those aware, cult members are manipulated into believing that many of the symptoms of GDD are "healthy"or "trivial". Some cult members would say that their increasing time of dedication to the group was a result of new or renewed vigor. Others might say their dedication has not increased, unaware of the mental time and energy spent thinking about cult doctrine. As the cult manipulates members to view parts of their former life as "lost", "wayward", or "evil", members feel honor in detesting their previous environment. Over time, they speak or act out against former life, and non-cult members recognize the hostility. Sadly, most cult members do not. Those who do feel "honor" in being aggressive.

This is very challenging for former members as they attempt to transition away from hostility and towards non-cult life. Many of those now receiving them with open arms are the same people cult members had displayed hostility towards, whether publicly or privately. The feelings of guilt or shame feel unbearable. Worse, some relationships were broken that may never mend. Hostile memories are difficult to forget, both for both former cult and non-cult people.

Those escaping must learn not to fall into the same patterns. Excessive time spent reflecting on cult life can prevent enjoying freedom. Self-criticism of their cult-past must be avoided, while self motivation of new life must be established. Former cult members must become survivors, not victims.