What People Say


This morning I was very pleased to receive in the post copies of the ICSA Today - SGA Special Issue, which I really like at so many different levels. I felt moved to see this issue in print and proud to have my poems included in it. It feels so good to hold it in my hand. I wish I had held it in my hand twenty years ago . . . I particularly like the resiliency table and love the picture on page 16/17 – My voice. I wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who worked so hard to get this to print. It really is appreciated. Very well done! 

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Thank you so much for your comments. I’m so happy that you were pleased with the SGA issue. . . The thing I love about this team of facilitators is they are so keen on listening to the participants. Let me tell you the first three years of the SGA workshop were such a learning and stretching experience for all of us. I love working with SGAs because they really tell you what’s going on with them when they feel safe. . . It’s just so heartwarming to see their interactions
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We got the book and info package. Thanks so much. We have read a lot of books to help us understand and recover from cults, reading your books along with Margaret Singer, Steve Hassan . . . to name a few that have been instrumental in our recovery. Getting more reading such as what you sent is like a pressure release valve to us, hard to explain. We have friends we share cult recovery literature with; it is eye opening to them how big these problems really are. Thank you very much!
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Hi everyone. Thank you for allowing me to join in this on-line support group! I've been out of the cult for about 30 years now. I'm so grateful to have found ICSA, and such a supportive group of people! I felt right "at home" at the workshop. I had attended the Colorado workshop last year, and I knew I needed to go to . . . as soon as I saw the announcement! I, too, have been SO TIRED this week! Carol's advice to be gentle with myself has definitely helped me get through the week! What are the things that helped me most at the workshop? First and foremost, it was WONDERFUL to be able to speak openly about my experiences, knowing that others understood! It was a comfort to know that many of my struggles are the result of my trauma, and not some "defect" in me. I'm hopeful that since I learned skewed ways to cope in the cult, I can also UNLEARN those ways of coping and learn healthier ways! When we were learning about resilience, the whole group came up with this amazing list of things we do, or can do, that show resilience. We're a pretty resilient bunch! The way that the facilitators responded to what we had to say made me feel "heard" in a way that has been very rare in my life. 
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Dear Friends at International Cultic Studies Association. You have been the ones to keep vigil with me during the past several years as I worked towards this goal, and so you are among the first to know. Today I received in the mail the official notice from the . . . notifying me that they had approved my application for licensure as a professional counselor, and had been approved to sit for the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination. So I still have to apply for, sit for, and pass the exam and then be officially licensed by the Board. But the hardest part is over, after years of study and expense and months of gathering information, filling forms and jumping through a hundred hoops. I feel a great sense of achievement. There is the added benefit that soon I can take my place among the other "professionals" in ICSA with all the whistles and bells. Thank you for always believing in me, for encouraging me, and treating me like a colleague.
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Thank you so much for this website. It has been a blessing to me to open my eyes towards my special friend who I am scared to be around when she is with her people. I almost want to break in tears, but reading this information has helped me a lot in being patient with her, and just allowing the cult to convince her that they are dangerous. God bless you all, and may he bless your work.
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Thank you so much for this very useful email. I really appreciate your suggestions of UK academics and I'm grateful to you for forwarding on my details. There is so much useful info on your website - it's great to have some starting points for reading. I really appreciate your advice on former members and the protection we must afford them. I understand what you mean about the importance of protecting their identities. Many thanks again.
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Thank you for your reply. I really appreciate that you took the time to answer me so promptly. I will take your suggestion Re: family mediation in my working with this family. They now seem to be more willing to accept that it will take time to open up communication with their daughter.
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By the way, I find your comments below extremely helpful and to the point. Thank you so much for taking the time!!!! 
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Joe – this is excellent. Thank you for the interesting and informative newsletters. I always enjoy them. 
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Thanks for the encouragement. We've read all the books and articles you suggested, and continue to do so. . . . We have favorite authors—all the ones you suggested plus many more, and your writings are especially helpful. They all brought us to the stage where we are at now, confidently informing the public and being able to see through and stay calm at their fear and intimidation tactics. Thanks so much to everyone in the line of work that you're doing.
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I can report that, since becoming aware of the pitfalls of these groups, I'm moving toward a more conventional life-style which seems quite rewarding. I wish you all success in your careful and scientific approach to your work.
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The conference was such a blessing to my husband and me. The professionalism of your organization is impressive, and we personally felt very welcome and understood. I happened upon your website months ago in a frantic search for information when we realized what might be happening with our daughter. That is where I 
got information on books. I think I have read nine books now, and I have read many journal articles, plus have 
gotten information on groups, counselors, everything. It has been invaluable to me as I have researched a subject that I never dreamed I would ever need to know so much about. I have also learned through this process that many people - even in the ministry - do not realize the prevalence of these harmful groups. . . Thank you again for the work that you do that helps so many people like us.
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This is very interesting information; it is so good to know that there are researchers out there who are continuing to study cults. 
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I wanted to thank you for sending me the ICSA magazines, which I received several weeks ago. I also wanted to thank you for your help in sending me the contact information for the Swiss and Belgian associations involved with cultic studies, which both answered my mails.
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What an insightful article on victimization from the ICSA library. X has already emailed me with more information. Again thank you for an amazing and timely reply.
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Wow! Thank you so much for the speedy response! 
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First of all, thank you for such an informative website with a wealth of information. I am a freelance journalist and grad student writing my thesis . . . The larger idea of the story is mind control -- the tactics that are used within these programs to turn teens against each other, to make the victims themselves restore the order, as well as the mind control of the parents by "consultants." I would like to speak to an expert about these consultants and how they operate, and how many families they impact today. I'd also like to speak to an expert or be directed to information about how big the troubled teen industry is -- whether it has grown over the past ten years, how many consultants exist, facts of that nature.
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Thank you for calling back and spending time on the phone educating and guiding me towards a deeper understanding of how to effectively impact my community regarding psychological manipulation. I will follow your suggestions regarding working towards being on law enforcement's team and educating the youth through some presentations at local schools and churches. Again, I want to say that ICSA's web site is a fantastic gift to those of us who need this valuable information to better grasp what we need to know to practice safely in our communities.
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Thank you so much for your prompt response. Your suggestion does indeed give me greater clarity of what I need to do.
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Before the progress of the days goes too far, I want to thank you wholeheartedly for these days you organized in Rome, which have been so rich and fruitful in diverse ways.
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Thank you so much for the packet containing the new International Journal of Cultic Studies, the CSR, and the ICSA Today which was sent to members. I so appreciate all you do and the professional manner in which it is all done. Although my son's situation is not resolved, his life is better than it was and I know I am more prepared to be a support for him as opportunities arise because of the help you have provided.
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I wanted to share my sincere gratitude for providing me with the opportunity to attend the conference. By adjusting the fee my family and I were able to attend. This experience was an opportune time as I was acquiring information as I was considering distancing myself from my cult involvement. Because of my attendance at the ICSA conference I was able to process my exiting.
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Thank you for making it easier for me to participate. The therapist I see seems to be somewhat skeptical, but when I gave her some of the materials from the conference, she was very impressed and may be interested in some videos (at least I told her about the possibility). She has one of your books that she may have purchased 
recently.
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I was in attendance at the ICSA conference this past weekend, and wanted to say thank you so much for everything. This was my first ICSA conference and I enjoyed the former member sessions you led so much. It was really a joy to be in a room full of people who could understand my experience (because they’d had it too) and to meet with those in the helping professions. . . who offer so much understanding toward such a complex issue.
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I just wanted to thank you for referring me to the Goldbergs’ group in NJ. I went for the first time last week and I found it pretty amazing. Even though I am still considered an "insider" because I have not totally left the church, they said I offered a lot to the group because of my awareness of what is going on there at the church and 
the rawness and insight I have about it. I find the group very amazing and encouraging for how these people including myself had the ability to get independent of the group or church when they had such a dependency of it and was brainwashed. I think I can really get a lot from this group and I look forward to going next month. 
Thank you so much again for referring me to it.
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I wanted to thank you for an excellent workshop this past weekend. It was intense, but it had the effect of jolting me out of the rut I was in re: my therapy and recovery. It gave me complete clarity about the direction I need to take at this time in my recovery from . . . and also from the cult I call my childhood. I especially enjoyed 
making so many new friends, as well as seeing some old ones. I look forward to many emails and phone calls with these new friends.
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Wow, what can I say! Many, many thanks for your swift reply! And, of course, for all the recommendations and little back door tricks for your website. Mighty trusting and generous of you. I shall certainly go onto your website and make a donation - it seems the very least I can do.