cult recovery 101

Strong Indications that our Relationship with a Spiritual Teacher is unhealthy

1. Instead of loving from our hearts, we expect our teacher’s love to fill our empty spaces.

2. Because we cannot love ourselves, we focus our attention on getting our leader to love us more.

3. When we have no spiritual leader, we panic instead of working on our growth.

4. We try to protect ourselves from our teacher because we feel fearful and vulnerable, yet we stay in the relationship and pretend nothing is wrong.

5. The leader seems to be our missing half.

6. Instead of feeling comforted and peaceful in the presence of the teacher, we feel anxious or angry.

7. The longer we stay with this teacher, the more our fear and dependency increase.

8. Without the teacher, we fear spiritual or emotional destruction.

9. Rather than broadening our horizons and interests, our relationship with the teacher dramatically narrows them.

10. We think obsessively about the teacher, have imaginary conversations, and are unable to focus on other parts of our lives.

11. Our friends, values, and interests drop away or change as we become more involved with the leader or the group.


Porterfield, Kay Marie. (1993). Blind Faith: Recognizing and Recovering from Dysfunctional Religious Groups Minneapolis, MN: CompCare Publishers