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How to help someone who defected from a cult?

The jumping of a sect-like movement can carry traumas from their childhood, and suffer for many years – often even after they have left the group. Since the 1990s, the deacon and socionomen Julia Isomettä supported approximately one hundred and fifty defectors from the various sects or sect-like movements, inter alia, through the ngo support source.

In the day leads Julia Isomettä regularly group together with psychotherapist Anne Pertot for the people who left these groups and who need support. Only during such conversations, she has met hundreds of defectors.

have fully or partially grown up in a sect-like grupptillvaro. Julia will also be in contact with many who joined in a manipulative and undemocratic movement in the adult age.

– Gruppsamtalen gives the rebels an opportunity to openly speak about their experiences and reflect themselves in others ' similar experiences. Often one will find many similarities in the manipulationstekniker and the control to which the group exposes its members, " says Julia Isomettä.

Read more: Factors that may increase the risk for to be lured into a cult

Julia Isomettä. Photo: Private

She says that it is very enriching for the gruppsamtalen that the participants have been members of different types of groups. During the talks, Julia met defectors from including scientologists, Jehovah's witnesses, mormons, Moonrörelsen, the word of Life and Maranatha.

Julia Isomettä says that there is a relatively large understanding of different authorities for the refugee situation, violence in close relationships and for the children who grow up with parents who live with addiction or have a mental illness.

" But children and young people who have grown up in destructive sects seem to have a hard time finding both the understanding and the right help and support if they need it. They tend to be forgotten, or dismissed as a marginal problem, " says Julia Isomettä.

the ignorance is still big out there in the community about how destructive cults affect individuals, and how people feel after leaving a cult. Better information in the elementary school, in psychiatry and in terapeuters and clerical training courses is a way to stop the destructive sekters sprawl, " she says.

– The problems that a child may have grown up in such environments can be many. There it is, inter alia, to control their behaviors, emotions, thoughts and the information they receive. It affects the child in many different ways, and is something that the individual itself has been difficult both to detect and see through.

– A child has not the maturity required. The children do not choose but are forced into a destructive sekttillvaro. Often is it where a abusive treatment, with spanking or other punishments, which can lead to deep trauma.

Read more: Researcher: So do you recognize a cult

is not really what group or sect chooses to believe in, says Julia Isomettä. Without the group uses unfair and manipulative methods. According to her, displays a destructive cult is often up several different ”faces”:

this is a facade for the people outside the sect, or group. The sect wants to attract people to themselves and to be an attractive alternative to the rest of society. You want to show off a ”nice facade ”for everyone, including the media and relatives.

Consecrated members who have chosen to join may find more information about the group. Some groups try to avoid that sect information from falling into the ”wrong hands”, that is to say, of any third party.

But there is also some information hidden for their own members, often of a sensitive nature. If the members would take part of that information could have major consequences for the group and its future, perhaps many people would like to jump off.

" Such sensitive information may only a few leaders at the top have the knowledge about. They keep silent about the things that happened to the negative consequences also would be able to hit them.

Julia Isomettä during their counselling've met a hundred people who have left a cult or a sect-like movement. Her experience is that quite a lot of feel bad mentally after a drop off.

" They are trying to find help. Several people I've met have, however, been disappointed after the contact with psychiatry. They have not received the help they needed.

In a previous article we talked about a phd thesis where children and young bred in the University assembly to talk about their experiences. Otherwise, there is not much research on the subject.

in 1991, presented a report on mental disorders among former students at word of Life's bible school. According to the report, told us many about the suicide attempt, and anxiety, sleeping problems and feelings of guilt.

– The ordrörelsen was quite extreme during the 80's and 90's. The way it is today is difficult to comment on, I'm guessing that it is not as extreme now as it was then. It would be interesting with a follow up of that report to see how those who participated in word of Life's bible school and left the movement feeling of the day.

after having been in bible school and was a member of the movement for a few years in the 80's. After leaving word of Life and received good help she could in the space of a few months to start working again, even if the machining time in total lasted about a year and a half, " she says.

She had the big advantage of the group she dektig in along with several others who have left the word of Life at about the same time. They supported each other and worked their experiences, looked at the material about the sects and learned about how cults manipulate people in several different ways.

– Later, we talked with other former members of sects who have left similar groups and was struck then by the similarities we experienced, regardless of group membership.

Julia Isomettä further trained in the 1990s, to a social worker and a deacon, and has worked for many years in the Swedish church.

" I try to support people who have left an undemocratic, manipulative and strong ruling group. This is accomplished by the caller I and Anne Pertot leads together, and through the help source pages on social media sites on Facebook.

In the groups I meet adults defectors, not children and young people. Perhaps it is an important point.

According to Julia, it is difficult to conduct research on cults and their impact. She does not believe that psychiatry, in particular, often ask patients about the belief, but maybe it would be a good idea, she says.

– otherwise It can be difficult to detect whether group affiliation affects the mental and physical måendet. The who is a member of a manipulative group are probably often convinced that engagement in the group is only positive.

Read more: the Monastery proved a cult

in Footnote. Course consists of volunteer professionals and individuals who themselves have been in a closed movement, a sect or a community. The report on the mental ill-health of 43 previously bibelskoleelever at the word of Life was presented in 1991 in an article in the Journal of the Gudrun and Per Swartling.

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