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Quote of the Day:
'Victims gradually lose their ability to make independent decisions and exercise informed consent.'
- Dr Margaret Singer

 



Personal Stories:
People caught up in the cult phenomenon always have deep personal experiences. By sharing our stories we come to realise that we are not the only ones affected by manipulation and deception...

You are welcome to share your experience here. Your privacy is respected. Contact info@cifs.org.au.


Stories of personal experiences:
  • Sunglasses and Salesmen – an ex Pastor's story of sophistry and the soft cult.   (Name Withheld) I gave almost a quarter of a century of my life to 'its vision and values' and have not one communicant/'fast' friend left to speak of - further I have a decimated former family and finances (pun of 'f's totally intended).

    I am still on the mend after six years in ‘recovery’ but I’m getting there. After 'serving' and being zealous enough to actually do what was preached (told) - I am now poorer than twenty years ago and live alone. Sound familiar?   more...


  • realised that they had misinterpreted the scripture   (Rhona Johnson) We were told that we would be disfellowshipped and that is what they did.

    My sister in S. Africa was still in the Cult and she cut me out of her life and that was in 1968 and still will not contact me and it is now 2012.   more...


  • I had a lightbulb moment   (Paul Schofield) I was stopped on a street near Central Railway station in Sydney one afternoon. A seemingly friendly guy asked me if I could do a short survey and then he took me for a free personality test. I had plenty of personal flaws and a girl there pointed them out to me and told me that Scientology could help me with them. I gave it a go – for the low, low price of $30.

    ... Within a few years I was working 80 plus hours a week and earning maybe $50 for it. And I had to pay rent, food and clothing out of that.   more...


  • My Journey   (John McAlpin) I was born in 1944 in the Exclusive Brethren group (EBs), I was taught their beliefs, lived by their rules, married and had three children while in the group, until they excommunicated me in 1980.

    Suddenly after 36 years of this way of life, I was kicked out. I knew no other life....

    Then kicked out, I was treated like a leper who they would refuse to acknowledge in the street. I was made to feel worse than the worst.

    So what happened? The reason was business related, not religious.   more...


  • My son and MJB SEMINARS…. My Story   (Name Withheld) One of my sons was searching for a way to better his life.

    The numerous Google advertisings says your life will be transformed in 48 hours - on his own sites I saw that people have repeated the same courses - check out his Facebook site one person has done the 'Prophet Teacher Student course' several times. Mitch J Behan claims he will transform your life in 48 hours, and there is just one catch, you have to go to more and more Seminars to stay transformed.

    From what I have seen, Mitch and his team break ethical boundaries that an ETHICAL QUALIFIED therapist would maintain.   more...


  • Scientology Disconnection tore apart my family….    (Adrian Kelsey) I told her this is not me wanting to break our bond nor is it you, take a look what your heart says, this is somebody else - the Church - saying we cannot be together. I am not forcing this situation on you and vice versa, Scientology is forcing this on us.

    They still went ahead, getting a 13 year old girl overwhelmed by tears to call her father and say she will not speak to him again until he is in good standing with Scientology. It’s beyond reason that this could even be asked of anyone let alone a 13 year old girl.  more...


  • Online Book - 'From Fear to Freedom'   (by Peter Black) Taken into 'The Worldwide Church of God' at the age of 3 by his believing parents, Peter lived in a cultic world for over 30 years. When he left, he was confronted with a world of unknown technology and a need to re-establish his self-esteem which had been worn down over many long years of control and secrecy.

    This in an online book of 11 engaging chapters of experiences and information for those trying to rebuild their life.  more...


  • Twenty five years on the bridge to OTVII   (Kevin Mackey 'Feral' from esmb) ...the story of my involvement with the cult of scientology, it spans a quarter of a century where I got most of the way up the bridge and did scores of courses, trained as an auditor and did admin training as well.

    I hope I show how in this strange environment a man can lose sight of what matters to him, his goals, values and passions, himself and the reason he joined the church in the first place. more...


  • Forty years on: reflections on another life   (Peter Flinn) Like Martin Luther King, I have a dream. A dream in which the current Brethren leadership acknowledges the dreadful damage done to so many individuals and families across the world over 50 years, and opens the door for re-unification, with no strings attached. A dream in which the Exclusive Brethren positively engage with the outside world, broaden their horizons and encourage their children to receive a full education commensurate with their capabilities.

    . . .That was the moment when I walked out of a meeting, and out of the only world I had ever known, never to return. It was the closed and tightly controlled world of the Exclusive Brethren, and I was 21 years old. more...


  • I lost my son to a one-on-one cultic relationship   (Name withheld) It was September 1999 when I lost my only son. A mother’s worst nightmare, they say. But my son didn’t die, and I didn’t lose him to drugs or a mental illness. So why does a loving, caring, family-oriented young man suddenly shun his entire family and cut ties with all his friends? more...
  • Former member of Circle for Investigation of Gnostic Anthropology Aust (CIGA)   (Name withheld) ...people make big life-decisions based on this subtle influence from the group and the main instructors. Then rather than empowering the individual to make clear intelligent choices, a person may make choices based on the interest of the group and its leaders. Then there is a gradual loss of personal and inner freedom...  more...
  • My Encounter With 'Kenja'   (Name withheld) I wasn't so much as recruited into a cult. The cult enveloped me. From 1975 to 1976, I saw my father die slowly and painfully. The death of a parent at a young age makes one reflect on life and its meaning...  more...
  • Life in 'The Children Of God' - Able's Story   (Name withheld) I grew up in a utopian seaside town learned to surf and completed a trade as a motor mechanic. I had no sooner completed my trade at the age of 20 when my mother passed away. A sequence of events was put in motion from that point that was to mould my life in many significant ways.  more...
 


Disclaimer: This page is about groups, organisations or movements, which may have been called "cults" and/or "cult-like" in some way, shape or form.  But not all groups called either "cults" or "cult-like" are harmful.  Instead, they may be benign and generally defined as simply people intensely devoted to a person, place or thing.  An account from one person must be read as that; ideas could have been taken out of context or have been misunderstood.  Also, practices may change over time, or between one centre and another.  CIFS encourages readers to research widely before forming an opinion.  Information from one single source would need to be judged against other sources and one's own personal experience.  Therefore, the discussion or mention of a group, organisation or person on this page is not necessarily meant pejoratively. 
 
S i t e   S e a r c h :

1 0 0 0 +   p a g e s

 

CIFS:

 
ABC Radio:
16 Oct 2010
14 Oct 2010

 

 
CIFS Conference:
Brisbane 2012 *
Canberra 2011
Seminar 2011
Brisbane 2010

 

 
Video:
Visions of Paradise

 

 
Research:
Cults: After-Effects

 

 
Powerpoint:
Cults

 

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