Victims of dangerous and abusive cults contacted Examiner, David Love, over the past few days wanting to tell their story, but live in fear of reprisals and lawsuits.
One cult victim that wanted to remain anonymous wrote:
“I feel like my fundamental faith in humanity has been completely shattered. I wish I had millions of dollars at my disposal so that I could take this organization to court for all the damages, pain and trauma they have put me through.”
Today, another victim who left a cult, wrote, “They love-bombed me for 7 years only to shut me up. They "let me go" only because they saw their magic power was not working on me. Today I am their enemy with the whole list that cults use for critics. (…) Love for human beings is not allowed. (…) “… Even advice to have an abortion in order to avoid the distraction of having children.”
One victim said, “I am now also paranoid about sending emails and having them fall into the wrong hands.”
"Destructive cult" has generally referred to groups whose members have, through deliberate action, physically injured or killed other members of their own group or other individuals. The Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance limit use of the term to specifically refer to religious groups that "have caused or are liable to cause loss of life among their membership or the general public.”
“In the United States, religious activities of cults are protected under the First Amendment, however cult members are not granted any special protection against criminal charges.”
On the ‘Top 10 Cults’ website, JAMIE FRATER writes:
“Cult roughly refers to a cohesive social group devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding culture considers outside the mainstream, with a notably positive or negative popular perception. Many cults are destructive or suicidal though others, whilst being controversial, do not commit extreme acts."
This is a list of the top ten cults. In no particular order:
1. Church of Bible Understanding – 2. Manson Family – 3. Aum Shinrikyo – 4. Restoration of the 10 Commandments – 5. Raëlism – 6. Scientology – 7. Order of the Solar Temple – 8. Heaven’s Gate – 9. Branch Davidians – 10. Unification Church
Concerted efforts at influence and control lie at the core of cultic groups, programs, and relationships. Many members, former members, and supporters of cults are not fully aware of the extent to which members may have been manipulated, exploited, even abused.
One victim in Canada lives in fear of speaking out until more ex-cult members are ready to talk, and understandably, will remain anonymous for now, not even mentioning the cult name in the Examiner for now.
“Until today I am the only to go public about the Brahma Kumaris cult … (…) Very specifically, yes, and gradually if necessary. Brahma Kumari leaders and other followers will give specific advice to males, but much more likely female adherents, on how to split apart from their partners. (…) This will graduate from stopping physical and sexual contact and changing sleeping arrangements and has in some circumstances even involved support in initiating divorce proceedings.”
Many of these cults don’t get much media attention until something devastating happens, such as the “Jonestown” deaths of more than 900 people dying in the largest mass murder/suicide in American history.
However, the powerful, well financed cult of Scientology, with a purported one BILLION dollars in reserves, is in the news media constantly around the globe – facing numerous lawsuits, human rights abuse cases, and wrongful death lawsuits at their drug rehab, Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma.
The ‘CULT INFORMATION CENTRE’ website, states, “cults have the characteristics and ‘common thread’ of using psychological coercion to recruit, indoctrinating potential members, self-appointed, dogmatic leaders, believing ‘the end justifies the means' -- their wealth does not benefit its members or society.
“As more abused victims speak out, dangerous, abusive, and deadly cults, will be exposed and investigated by authorities,” said one victim today.