MeadowHaven, Lakeville, Massachusetts
Meetings temporarily cancelled because of Covid-19.
ICSA conducts two-hour meetings in the Boston area, jointly with MeadowHaven, a residential facility for former group members that is located about 25 miles south of Boston. The meetings take place at MeadowHaven and are directed by MeadowHaven's founders, Rev. Robert and Judy Pardon (see bios below). The meetings are educational yet supportive. The plan is to explore a particular topic, e.g., resolving trauma, recovering from an aberrational Christian group, for 8 meetings, and then to explore another topic. Meetings take place on Saturday morning from 9:00 - 11:00.
Former members of any high-control or cultic group are welcome. Through these meetings, participants can acquire conceptual tools to help them understand troubling issues, get to know others wrestling with similar problems, improve communication skills, and facilitate healing.
There is no fee for the meetings, although we ask that participants become ICSA members, if they are not currently members. Contact ICSA if you are interested in participating or want additional information.
Please tell others who might be interested in these meetings, especially if you think they are not on our mailing list.
Next Meeting Series Schedule
March 7th, 21st
April 4th, 18th
May 2nd, 16th, 30th
Rev. Robert Pardon says:
Our topic will be one we covered in 2015: Trauma, Forgiveness and Authentic Healing. Surviving a destructive cult attacks the core of a person’s sense of self; their identity. The resulting sense of betrayal can be deeply traumatic. However, if this betrayal occurred in a Bible based group or relationship (or other religious worldview) the issues are compounded almost exponentially. “God” is now implicitly responsible, and this rips the very fabric of a survivor’s understanding of the universe, their place in it, and whether God is truly good and just. What is to be done? A crisis of faith has been initiated. Platitudes like, “Just forgive and forget” or, “Just thank God you’re out of there and move on” or, “Let it go, and ask God to forgive you for getting drawn in”, etc. just do not work. If anything, the survivor’s feelings of anger and sense of guilt are only increased.
This support group series will explore:
What forgiveness is not and what it is
Who benefits from authentic forgiveness, why it is critical
Forgiveness and transformation/healing
The end goal
We hope you will be able to attend. Healing is always a journey with various issues along the way in need of attention, and this sometimes involves doubling back to revisit a particular struggle. If you intend to come, please let us know so that we can better prepare.
About the Facilitators
Judy Pardon, MEd, has been a teacher and a counselor. Since 1992 she has been Associate Director of the New England Institute of Religious Research and MeadowHaven, where she has worked with former cult members, including some who have experienced profound trauma. She has also spoken widely on the subject and conducted training programs for human service personnel.
Robert Pardon, MDiv, ThM, is the Executive Director of the New England Institute of Religious Research and MeadowHaven. During the past several years he has specialized in Bible-based communal groups. Much of his work involves counseling, support groups, working with those born and/or raised in groups, and helping former members rebuild their lives. To facilitate the recovery process MeadowHaven, a long term rehabilitation facility was opened in 2002. It can accommodate individuals or families who require long term (up to a year) care to recover from trauma and cult abuse.