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Fear of the Unknown

Seek The Truth Blog

Fear of the Unknown:

When cult members first begin to realize that they have invested much of their life into an ideology that is centered around one single individual, panic begins to form. "What if I'm wrong?" they ask themselves. Creating a mental checklist in their minds, they go through each and every one of the cult's beliefs that they can agree with, trying to convince themselves they have good reason to stay. It isn't long, however, before they realize that the weight of one single reason to leave is far greater than the reasons to stay, and ask the more difficult question, "What if I'm right?"

Leaving is difficult, no matter how it happens. Some try to break away abruptly. Like ripping a band-aid off, they find instant relief followed by instant grief. Others try to leave gradually, pulling themselves out slowly while trying to keep one foot in the door. As time progresses, they find the world outside the cult to be much different than in, and the two worlds begin tearing them apart.

The ancient philosopher Seneca once said, "We suffer more in imagination than in reality," and many former cult members find this to be true. The thoughts of leaving were far worse than the experience. Though most would say that leaving was the single most difficult time in their life, it could not even compare to how badly they pictured it in their minds. Fear of the unknown was far worse than the struggle they faced.

As time continues, the reverse effect happens. Though the experience was painful, it is seen through the eyes of freedom. The weight of the negative experience is offset, and a balance begins to form, and the fear they anticipated begins to fade; freedom is a powerful weight in the balance scale of life.