Perhaps one of the best ways I can think of to describe a cult is that the cult demands the individual abandon his identity and self-preservation in order to accommodate the in-group. This sort of behavior is unnatural and damaging to the psyche. If and when the natural desire to preserve the individual psyche kicks in, the cult member leaves. The result is often abandonment and loss of friends who remain in the abusive sect.
Marco Visconti, a musician and practitioner of esoteric spirituality lives in London. He recently left a cult to which I once belonged. His story is both fascinating and frightening. Since leaving he has been slandered online and watched as his friends have ostracized him. People who once told him they loved him like a brother simply turned their backs on him.
Leaving an in-group is never easy; it takes courage and tenacity. Marco’s story is unfolding even now. I’ve been watching, fascinated by his journey toward true freedom, and feel that he has a lot of offer people who are leaving cults.
Here’s Marco’s latest piece of writing on the subject. It is the first installment of a longer piece. If you or someone you know is in a cult, consider reading this. It may help.