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It Was OUR Cult

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It Was OUR Cult:

One of the most common mistakes made by former members of a destructive cult is the continued claiming of ownership when thinking about or speaking with others about their experiences. They say things like "in our cult", possessive statements that continue to link them to the group from which they escaped. Instead of distancing themselves from the group, they create new links and further associate themselves. In most cases, former members are unaware that they are doing so; they are simply continuing a programmed response.

By design, destructive cults are both inclusive and exclusive. As the personality disorder(s) of the cult leader progresses, non-members are scorned or condemned while cult members are drawn closer together. Over time, the group becomes the primary focus while all outside connections become secondary. As a result, membership status in the group signifies a stake of ownership. The group becomes "ours" while all non-cult communities, churches, and lifestyles are "theirs".

Former cult members must learn to use the word "their" instead of "our" when referring to the cult from which they escaped. They must learn to place quotation marks around the name given to the group, even when thinking about it in their mind. The group, its name, its people, its doctrine, and its "secret mysteries" are not objects of possession and are no longer valuable to stake any claims. The group, though an important part of the past, must be described and reflected upon as an unimportant part of the present.