​Hi Maria,

Thank you for your words of appreciation.  It’s always good to hear that someone has found what I’ve shared helpful.  You have done a lot of research.  I’m not sure that I could add much to what you already know.  You probably have already come across the International Cultic Studies Association (  They have a lot of material on most of the things that you list.

I borrowed the term “shattered faith” from an apparently short-lived group, Fundamentalists Anonymous.  I think it is an apt description of what happens to so many former members of high demand groups.  Another useful concept that I came across in a book about the after-effects of the 9/11 attacks is “loss of the assumptive world.”  We all have a set of basic assumptions as to what the world is and how things work.  When that breaks down it leaves behind a lot of confusion as to what is and isn’t real.  It can be very difficult to recover from such a loss.  Especially when a belief system has been absolute and all encompassing.  

Those are a couple of thoughts…

I wish you the best as you continue your journey of self-discovery.

Jim Moyers, MFT