ARE YOU BEING ABUSED?
Ask yourself these questions:
Are you frightened by your partner's temper?
Are you afraid to disagree?
Are you constantly apologizing for your partner's behavior?
Do you have to justify everything you do, everything you say, everywhere
you go, or every person you see just to avoid your partner's anger?
Does your partner put you down but then tell you that he/she loves you?
Have you ever been hit, slapped, kicked, shoved, or had things thrown at
Do you not see friends or family because of your partner's jealousy?
DSM-IV ON ABUSIVE PERSONALITIES
Antisocial Personality Disorder. Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Psychopathic tendencies. Crazy.
These are all terms that you will hear the professionals to the
layperson use when discussing the person that is abusive in a cultic
relationship or even the cult leader. Just what do these terms mean? How
do these descriptions actually compare to the person that is abusive?
The following excerpts from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders fourth edition (DSM-IV) have been provided as a
Psychological & Sexual Abuse in a Cultic Relationship
Well, this is it folks. The final chapters to the
book that my former partner wrote about the trip
across the United States.
I know some of you would consider that what I went
through as not the norm -- how many people
undertake something of this nature in their
lifetime, right? But if you look behind the
excitement and the drama you will find that the
very nature of how a cultic relationship is set up
in this book.
Article temporarily under construction due to threatened legal action. continued....
Freedom and Recovery from Cults and Abusive
CAPTIVE HEARTS, CAPTIVE MINDS
By Madeleine L. Tobias and Janja Lalich, summary by Pamela Fitzpatrick
Chapter One, Summary - The Cultic Relationship
The one-on-one cult is a deliberately manipulative and exploitative
intimate relationship between two persons.
In the one-on-one cult, which we call a cultic relationship, there is a
significant power imbalance between the two participants. The stronger uses
his (or her) influence to control, manipulate, abuse, and exploit the
other. It may even be more intense than participation in a group cult since
all the attention and abuse is focused on one person, often with more
Since the upsurge of interest in the issue of domestic violence, there has
been to the link between mind control and battering. People who batter
their partners sometimes use manipulative techniques similar to those found
in cults. The most common include "isolation and the provocation of fear;
alternating kindness and threat to produce disequilibrium; the induction of
guilt, self-blame, dependency, and learned helplessness." The degree to
which these features are present in a relationship affects the intensity of
control and allows the relationship to be labeled cultic.
An abused partner is generally made to submit to the following types of
Cults Have Scored With Youth, Now They're After You
CULTS AND ELDER ABUSE
Bluntly put, the cults see where the money is and it's in those retirement
funds that mom and dad have been saving all those years. You won't get a
phone call from your loved one about this happening to them because there
is just way too much shame involved in being duped into the cult. Losing
money is usually the least of the elder's concerns; they are more concerned
in losing the trust and love of their children. So, the secret stays
The shame is that the cults actively recruit the elderly now, and they use
methods that prey on the fears of getting old and being alone. Hopefully
the following articles will open your eyes up to this concern and maybe
encourage you to keep in contact with that person that means so much to
you. Be it Aunt Clara and Uncle Joe or your own mom and dad these people
deserve to know that we are there for them.
Lets keep the cults from knocking on their door. Spend time with Aunt Clara
and Uncle Joe -- call mom and dad. Guaranteed this will make it that much
harder for the cults to become involved in their lives.
The first article is linked with permission of Grand Times. It is entitled
"Cults Not Just for Kids," written by Beth Niestat.
The second article is "Let Us Prey," written by Catherine Collins and
Douglas Franz, Modern Maturity, June 1994. Copyright to: American
Association of Retired Persons 1994.
Cults have changed the focus of their attention from young people to older
people. The most obvious reason for the shift in attention is the wealth
older people have accumulated. There are as many as 5,000 cults operating
in the US, with an estimated one million members over the age of 50.
These books and more are available through
Straight Talk About Cults by Kay Marie Porterfield: "Written in a clear, straightforward
style, Straight Talk about Cults explains in
detail how the thinking and behavior of average
people can become so twisted by cult leaders that
their lives end in tragedy. It is the most
complete resource of its kind, giving teens the
factual information they need to understand what
distinguishes cults from small religious groups
and 'fringe' political groups. It also examines
the possible dangers and/or complications of
joining a cult and provides resources where young
people can go for help and further information.
Published by Facts on File, it is part of the
Straight Talk Series."
Communication, Cognition, and Anxiety by Melanie
Booth-Butterfield: "Adding to our knowledge
concerning anxiety and anxiety-related constructs,
this unique volume uses diverse research
perspectives to explore the interrelationship of
communication, cognition and anxiety. Two major
aspects are emphasized: how cognition and
communication are altered by anxious arousal and
how the cognitive thought process acts to enhance
or diminish anxiety."
To Be An Anchor In The Storm: A Guide For Families
and Friends of Abused Women by Susan Brewster:
"This is the first hands-on guide for assisting a
friend or loved one in her struggle to escape the
cycle of domestic violence. A survivor of
battering herself, the author has counseled abused
women for over a decade. Weaving together lessons
from her own life and many case histories, this
compassionate book will teach you to recognize the
signs of abuse, handle your own negative feelings,
become an effective advocate, deal with the
batterer, and so on."
RECOVERY USING THE HERMAN MODEL
When the cultic relationship ended it was like my
life was still on hold. I was still modeling my
behavior as if I was still in the abusive
relationship. I was isolating myself and still not
taking care of my needs (physical or financial). I
had come to believe heart and soul the lies that I
was told by my former partner about what kind of person that
Sometimes a person in the recovery
process from a cultic relationship will not deal
with "real life" for years, as was true in my
case. It is almost like my life was on hold until
I could trust someone enough to care about me and
be in my life.
Recovery does not occur in a
vacuum -- the abused have to get back into the
world to even begin the process of recovery.
Otherwise the victim of abuse will continue with
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
This is your place to tell me what you would like to see in future
issues, discuss what has worked for you in your recovery process and let
me know if I did good (hey, it's nice to know!)
I also would like this to be a place for what isn't getting discussed
regarding cultic relationships -- how you feel if you are seeing your
loved one in such a relationship. Or share with us what is working. All
postings will be anonymous if you request and will not be stored/saved once
These are just some ideas to get us started here. Email me at Pam Fitzpatrick