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Solutions for Spiritual Damage and Cult Abuse 2
Repair Emotional Damage Martyn Carruthers

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Were you Abused? Part 2

Cult-like organizations increase compliance by installing beliefs and behaviors that separate people from their families and communities.

Continued from Therapist Damage & Spiritual Abuse Part 1

Many clients have tried other sources of help -
and taught us some of the consequences of psychological
techniques, philosophical theories and 'New Age' psycho-theologies.

Communities & Cults

Healthy relationships require maturity. Immature people often seek substitutes for parents, and join cult-like organizations as substitutes for a healthy community. Immature people may accept authorities as substitute family members who will tell them what they should want and how they should live their lives.

Joining a cult is often followed by life changes. Adults may find themselves subservient to cult leaders, and may alienate themselves from their families, friends and social connections. (Cult-like organizations include many multi-level marketing organizations, educational facilities, military groups and professional associations).

Affiliation to a cult-like organizations seems to follow predictable stages:

  1. first contact - you find the organization interesting
  2. acceptance - you like the organization's philosophy
  3. superiority - you perceive the organization's beliefs as better than other beliefs
  4. re-bonding - you perceive the organization's members as family and friends
  5. identification - you emotionally identify with the organization ("I am a xxx")

Many people join cult-like organizations hoping to to fulfill their need to feel accepted, to be a member of a community and to enjoy a sense of purpose. They usually want to feel connected to a human community and to share important life or social goals.

Friendship & Elicitation

Swindlers and manipulative salespeople push their schemes and scams with misdirection and lies. To do this, they need information about the people they intend to defraud or manipulate. While many con artists rely on people's greed, some tap into people's desire to help others - for example charity frauds.

Many salespeople disdain their customers and even their colleagues. Some are compulsive liars - if they cannot control people they feel that they have failed. Their lives are characterized by lies, shallow relationships and selfish distractions.

If you can fake sincerity - you've got it made!
An American idiom?

Such salespeople may pretend friendship to gain information from you - to better manipulate you. Cult members, politicians, multi-level marketers and other people will also try to influence or control your decisions. Their favorite saying might be, "It's for your own good!"

Authority Abuse & Relationship Bonds

Children defer to their parents. Students defer to their teachers. Employees defer to their managers. Devotees worship their gurus. As relationship bonds so strongly affect human lives, we often help motivated people recognize and change their bonds.

Many people will try to control your income, your vote, your sexuality or your behavior. Others may want your respect, or your recognition that they have power over you. Some may want to use your body for their own gratification. Some few demand your love or devotion ... or at least your good acting.

I spent years trying to be numb, trying to delete terrible memories of growing up
in a Christian orphanage. You helped me heal myself ... many people with
authority abuse those for whom they are supposed to care.

If you try to control people who are not your children, students or employees; if you want to become an authority in their lives; or if you depend on the dependence of others, you may watch a cult forming ... a cult of you.

Mentor & Spiritual Abuse

While you may not consider yourself to be a cult-leader or a cult follower - many intelligent, caring people are trapped in nets of good intentions. Just accept other people's ideas and decisions as truth without checking the facts. Just do as you're told, and ignore the consequences of your compliance.

Spiritual abuse is simple. Be prejudiced, criticize people, persuade them that your way is better, quote dogma and make important decisions for them. Promote empty abstractions as essential truths (e.g. "love is all you need"), over-simplify complex situations, treat adults like children and promote your own obsessions. It's common.

You can justify your obsessions by convincing yourself that you are somehow special or spiritual or chosen. As American president George W Bush said, "If I didn't believe that God speaks through me, I couldn't do my job". People who believe that they are divinely inspired may be unable to imagine that they might be abusing people.




Blame You blame others for your errors. You want people to pay for your mistakes. You are preoccupied with anger and judging.
You need to prove yourself right. You cannot forgive yourself - or others.
Shame You want to hide your mistakes. You want people to validate your life by following your advice. You only attempt what you are good at
You will not admit mistakes
You live a "double life", hiding much of yourself
Dogma You want people to believe what you believe - and you believe that you should teach them the right beliefs. You prefer philosophy to integrity
You avoid individual responsibility
You define happiness as following instructions
Thoughts You want to reduce your conflict. You want people to deny thoughts or opinions that differ to yours. You ignore your feelings and emotions
You feel threatened by different opinions
You are suspicious of people generally
Image You want to look good. Your facade is more important than your reality. You want to pretend to have integrity. You manage your image to gain recognition, respect and perhaps money, but you lose contact with your sense of life - your happiness
Authority You want people to support your authority. You try to minimize their relationships outside your system. You obsess about other people's behavior, how their behavior reflects your authority, and how things look to people more powerful than you.
Money You want to own or control other people's assets or possessions. You know what everything costs, except joy, happiness and integrity. You may be a thief.

It is unlikely that one person or role model can provide all your mentorship needs. Instead, seek mentors with specific skills and competencies. Decide what you want to learn - and what you want to reject. Why not choose how you want to learn?

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I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 2005-2018 All rights reserved.

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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email