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About People Leave Cults


Current and former members of cults and coercive groups share a fundamental need for resources and education catered to their circumstances. This is best provided through individuals already present in their lives, which is why PLC works with the family and friends of cult-involved individuals who seek to help their loved one. 


While a good deal of time and money has gone into documenting, understanding, and dramatizing the stories of cult-involved people, fewer resources have been spent providing the support that victims need to recover and reintegrate after leaving. Relatively few platforms currently exist in the effort to provide universal support that empowers cult-affected individuals. 


PLC seeks to catalyze change for all victims of cultic or coercive influence. 

Our Mission is to provide HOPE for those affected by coercion.


People Leave Cults is founded on four core values:


  • Honesty — We speak the truth as we perceive it, with the tools, research, and experience at our disposal. 

  • Opportunity — Cults often drain the resources of those they affect. Recovery already holds heavy personal costs for everyone involved, so equal opportunity and access to services is paramount. 

  • Patience — People Leave Cults when they’re ready. That may be today, but it may take much longer. Relationships that stand the test of time are cult recovery’s most valuable resource. 

  • Empathy — Great care is taken to understand the cult-affected mindset and the difficulties of the road to recovery.


Together, these values spell a simple word: Hope.


We hope for victims of coercion, their families and friends, and the communities affected by coercion all across the world.


Hope is what keeps us moving against problems that often feel too big for any one person.


PLC seeks to serve as a safe space for all people, including those in LGBTQIA2S+, BIPOC, and other marginalized communities.


The founder, Ashlen Hilliard (She/Her), is a queer woman who recognizes her privilege as a white individual and does not face the same barriers as other communities due to the color of skin she was born with. 


Black people, indiginous people, and people of color face many barriers in the United States and abroad when seeking to receive life-changing services, often due to systemic oppression and racial trauma. 


Consultation and education should be accessible to all individuals regardless of race, gender, skin color, affectional or sexual orientation, social or financial status, criminal history, or other factors which might affect a person’s privilege in life. 


No two people have the same experience with coercive control, so it’s vital to ensure that anyone interested in recovery services understands what they can expect from an organization like PLC. 


Our process is as follows:


  1. Free Evaluation

  2. Assessment

  3. Preparation

  4. Intervention


People Leave Cults utilizes a collaborative team to help families during intervention work. Each case is assessed by a multi-disciplinary team of cult specialists, including a licensed mental health professional.

PLCs current approach to addressing cult involvement is largely influenced by the mentorship of Patrick Ryan and Joseph Kelly, founders of Intervention101 and lifelong veterans of the Cult Intervention movement. While there are many factors to this approach, we feel that this quote from their website 


"Our approach is based upon our philosophy designed to help families and friends understand and effectively respond to the complexity of a loved one's cult involvement."  

Services from People Leave Cults

People Leave Cults offers a variety of services to help both cult survivors and the families/friends of cult-involved people. 

We invite you to explore whichever offering fits your needs at the links below. 

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