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Is [insert group here] a cult?

Put whatever you want in that sentence - we've been asked it! 

The answer to "is this group a cult?" is always: maybe? it's complicated. Probably, but even if it is you won't do any good calling them that. Not if you want to help people leave. 

 

If our objective was to keep a list of cults then we'd spend all our time trolling internet forums. That said, classifying the ways that cults manifest in our society can be beneficial. 

 

Rather than provide an exhaustive list of groups, People Leave Cults wants to educate you about where you might see coercion in our society. This way, you can share your knowledge and aid others as they recover from coercive influences. 

Types of Cults

The classic example: fiery sermons, strange rituals, and charismatic leaders. And perhaps... more. 

Relational Coercion

Intimate partner violence isn't just physical. Gaslighting, narcissistic control, and reproductive coercion happen at home too. 

Political Coercion

Is that new movement the political flavor of the month, or a sinister plot by coercive forces?

Online Drift

The Internet is wild and wonderful, but full of woes. Finding community online can be life changing, but cult-like? You may be surprised.

Business and Commerce

Multi-level schemes. Unfair labor practices. "Founder's Syndrome". Harm can happen at work, too!

Academic Coercion

Academia faces challenges of undue influence, coercive control, and psychological violence - just like any other place where likeminded gather.

Is "Cult" a Pejorative?

People Leave Cults actively aims to avoid the use of cult as a pejorative (expressing contempt or disapproval). 

This does not mean we don't believe cults aren't harmful!

Our goal is to remove the stigma surrounding these groups and bring compassion to people who need recovery. 

"I think there will always be cults because born into this world will always be people like us who are open, who are wanting to learn, who are wanting to grow, who are a bit trusting - because we have no reason not to be in a lot of situations and we're going to be vulnerable. There are people also simultaneously born into the world who feel totally entitled to take over someone else's life."

 

Rachel Bernstein LMFT

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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