Online Book - 'From Fear to Freedom' by Peter Black
The only life he knew was in a controlling cult. After 30 years, a broken marriage and ravaged self esteem, Peter steps out into suburban Brisbane, a world of unknown technology, few friends and years of rebuilding.
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As I sit at the computer thinking of just how to finish the book which I have written as an effort to help my fellow cult survivors, a number of thoughts come to mind. Have a good hard look at modern society and you will see that itís not all bad.
Human kind has made some amazing progress toward a better life for all and letís have a brief look at some positives. Although domestic violence and child abuse still tragically happen, these subjects are openly discussed nowadays. Of course this doesnít solve the problem but it means that we donít bury our heads in the sand on the issue any more. If we communicate about an issue then surely thatís a start toward dealing with it.
Even other creatures with whom we share this planet are benefiting from our new attitude of enlightenment. For example, most nations of the world no longer hunt whales and subject those amazing animals to a cruel and unnecessary death. Most people at least in our Western society now believe that such hunting is a thing of horror and should never have happened. That has to be progress doesnít it?
People with disabilities still face some tough times as I know all too well however issues such as discrimination are being dealt with by Governments at all levels and also by the private sector. Society as a whole is more likely to view people with disabilities as useful members rather than shutting us away as might have happened some decades ago.
I am a frequent rail commuter here in Brisbane and often see people in wheelchairs traveling with ease on and off of trains. This for the most-part wasnít possible even 20 or 30 years ago as many stations werenít wheelchair accessible and the trains werenít either.
Although I believe that the damage which religious cults do is still not well understood by the majority of people here in Australia, itís also true that more help is available now for us than would have been around say 20 years ago or more. So then, even we cult survivors are able to benefit from this progress in human thinking.
Unfortunately though itís not all good news. Even though World War II ended many decades ago, we still see that human kind thinks that international conflicts can sometimes be solved by military means.
Also if we look at the subject of deforestation, we see that we are making very little if any real progress at all. So itís a mixed bag then and sometimes people look at these ills of human society with a dream of making a real difference. Whatís wrong with that then? Well nothing unless such a person becomes corrupt and uses his talents of leadership to influence others to the point where he or she has undue control over them.
We might all have ideas of how we would like to change the world but if we ram those ideas down the throats of people looking for that strong leader then that can rapidly become cultic. We must change the world through cooperation not domination!
Also if we find a person with a powerful and charismatic personality having a strong message, and a group of people willing to listen and follow plus a place to meet then another cult is likely to join the thousands already reported all over the planet. In my experience I have seen even how something as innocuous as a meditation group has the potential to turn cultic. This may happen when one strong-willed individual has too much influence and when the others within the group are too willing to submit.
The message here is this: we must always remember that as adults, we and we alone are in charge of our minds and what goes into them. Trust your own intuition Ė that gut-feeling, if something seems wrong, then it just might be.
As you progress along your own path toward recovery from what ever cultic experiences you have been through, why not try writing a story on it? As I write, Iím finding the experience of doing so is helping me heal as well as helping others I hope. Even if you donít publish it, you might be surprised about just how much interest your family and friends show in your story and itís a way they will learn more about you and about cults in general.
In this way, a positive can come from your particular cultic journey no matter how horrible it may have been. Do I hear you say, but no one would be interested? Or I donít have a degree and have no idea how to write anything? Well all of that also applies to me but even now Iím surprised by the interest shown in my story from family and friends Ė so go on, give it a go.
May I leave you with this final thought:, recovery is surely about healing through forgiveness, not about vengeance or getting even.
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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.