Reviewing your recruitment:
- What was going on in your life at the time you joined the group or met the person who became your abusive partner?
- How and where were you approached?
- What first interested you in the group or leader?
- How were you misled during recruitment?
- What did the group or leader promise you? Did you ever get it?
- What didn’t they tell you that might have influenced you not to join had you known?
- Why did the group or leader want you?
Understanding the psychological manipulation used in your group:
- Which controlling techniques were used by your group or leader: chanting, meditation, sleep deprivation, isolation, drugs, hypnosis, criticism, fear? List each technique and how it served the group’s purpose.
- What was the most effective? the least effective?
- What technique are you still using that is hard to give up? Are you able to see any effects on you when you practice these?
- What are the group’s beliefs and values? How did they come to be your beliefs and values?
Examining your doubts:
- What are your doubts about the group or leader now?
- Do you still believe the group or leader has all or some of the answers?
- Are you still afraid to encounter your leader or group members on the street?
- Do you ever think of going back? What is going on in your mind when this happens?
- Do you believe your group or leader has any supernatural or spiritual power to harm you in any way?
- Do you believe you are cursed by God for having left the group?
–adapted from Captive Hearts, Captive Minds: Freedom and Recovery from Cults and Abusive Relationships. Madeleine Landau Tobias and Janja Lalich, Hunter House, 1994. Reprinted with permission