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Cult trauma

Rachel U
Community Member

Hi, I just want to start a discussion about Cults. I was in a eastern religious cult for 16 years. It is still operating in Melbourne. Australia. I have ptsd as a result of my time and just want to communicate with other survivors.

2 Replies 2

Hi Rachel_U,  Welcome to the forums, we’re so sorry to hear what you have gone through. Please know that the forums and our lovely community are here for you, and it’s really good that you could share this here.   Please remember you can talk to Blue Knot about this on 1300 657 380, every day between 9-5 (AEST). Their counsellors are experienced in working with people who have experienced complex trauma. They also have some resources on their website which could be useful to visit, particularly the pages on Survivors Self Care.  The Beyond Blue helpline is here for you as well, on 1300 22 4636, or via our webchat or email here. It can make a real difference having someone to talk to especially in moments of distress.   Thank you again for your courage and strength in sharing your story. It might take some time for our kind community to spot your post, but we’re sure they will soon be here to offer their support and understanding.    Kind regards,  Sophie M 

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Rachel, welcome


I have a niece that joined a cult in eastern Victoria when she was about 13yo and frankly almost all the rest of the family has lost her. At 18yo I even bought her a car to help her with her new job. Obviously her blood family has reacted bitterly and in some cases uncontrollably towards her which the cult hierarchy used as a means to demonise blood relatives.  Looking back over 27 years we didnt have a hope unless we joined that organisation.


She has a family of her own now having (expectedly) married another cult member. Her eldest is near the same age as her when she left the cult to live with the pastor and his wife and 5 children. She even calls them mum and dad. But she wouldnt think how awful it would be for her eldest child to be cohearsed into leaving their loved ones. That lack of 'walking in others shoes' seems to be the common theme in the teaching of her church even by her now being a pastor also.


A good book to read is - "The shadows where we walk" by McIvor


I have no doubt your experiences have caused you great harm and your PTSD is the result and possibly other issues and here it is anonymous 24/7/365. In the middle of the night if upset, post your feelings, what's on your mind. 


Our primary concern here is anxiety, depression suicide prevention and all other mental health discussions so specifically the topic of Cults per say, eg finer details on life in it etc can be discussed with the links provided by Sophie_M, this is because we cater for all people even those in cults and various religious groups without judgement.


However your mental well being, your plans, your coping mechanisms etc are what we lived experienced members/Champions can talk about. We have a great library, just use search. Welcome again