Christian Counseling Doesn't Work With Current Members!

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  • #8124

    I know that the title of this tread is not very hopeful. In order to try and make myself more effective I just completed an intro course into Christian Counseling. As most of you know I am a Christian and even though I do not throw around a bunch of scripture verses here in our forum I still try to respond from a Christian perspective. (Not the easiest thing to do!) So in this course there came a point where we could ask questions of the counselor teaching the course. it was called' "Stump the Counselor." Well, with my background over the last 5+ years I asked about counseling current members of religious control groups. I was really hoping for some excellent advice as to how to move forward helping current members out of these control groups.

    I got some excellent advice as far as "Christian Counseling" goes. The instructor told me and the class that he would tell them that he cannot counsel them. The main reason is that when it comes to Christian Counseling the first requirement is that you are counseling "Christians". He said that he would not be able to advise them because they do not share the same Jesus and the answers that he would be coming forth with would be Jesus answers.

    This makes sense but it puts me into a different catagory of counseling. I am NOT advising not to go to your church and ask for help. They should be able to help you (providing you are a Christian) cope with the current situation but they will NOT be able to help get your loved one out through counseling.

    I remember when my family was in the middle of all this. I asked repeatedly for my church to help. I had hoped that they had the magic words that would instantly get my loved one to snap out of it. All they really could tell me was to keep praying, keep showing them love, and eventually there would be something that would bring them out. I continued to love and share things that I found out about the group. I kept asking non-confrontational questions that would only lead to the idea that there is something wrong with the group and their beliefs. Finally the group itself mad a big enough blunder that my loved one saw it for the pack of lies it really is. This combination in what successfully brought my loved one out.

    Please don't look down on Christian counseling and if your loved one (member) is willing to go and see one prepare both sides for the encounter and prepare yourself for the possibiliy of the Christian Counselor to say, "I cannot help you."

  • #73577


    Great post Joshua!! I think this can go for any Counselor though. Alot of counselors are not trained on the subject and therefore aren’t able to help you. I went to counseling when I first left. It wasn’t a Christian counselor but she was a christian who was a Counselor. I think the problem arose because she had no idea about cults and what they do to a persons mind. Some christians believe that a scripture can heal you and thats all you need. I am Christian however I don’t believe that. I believe you have to work out the things in your mind. When I first left I couldn’t hear scripture. Almost every verse was a trigger for me and I would start back thinking in their mindset so it was counterproductive.



    The first thing that came to mind, Joshua, was Christ on the cross:

    forgive them, for they know not what they do

    So, if Christ could not get through to them, how do we expect to?

    I'm waiting for the day that my friend exits this bullthis group.  And, tbh, I flip a coin daily as to if I will rub it in his face or just be a kind friend.


    Ms Freedom

    Unfortunately, a Christian counselor is not the best choice. It is their doctrine against the cult doctrine. One side can't believe that the other side can be so gullible to believe ____." I met with a Christian counselor after our child entered WMS and she told me she really had no idea how to counsel a cult member. My husband and I also worked with our pastor and staff. That was a disaster. They thought it was an "evil spirit," "Satan", etc. They held prayer meetings, people fasted, our whole family was counseled. In the end when we wanted them to confront the WMS, their attorney advised they step away. He said WMS may sue the church. So in the end, the members were prohibited from any involvement at all. So fear of a costly lawsuit took priority over Christian warriors. Now, four years later, the pastor admitted to me he was wrong. Too late.  

    There are counselors who specialize in cult counseling. Steve Hassan is probably the best but also the most expensive. Plus since he was just on the finale of Leah Remini's Scientology show on A&E, he is probably in high demand. His office can point you in the right direction for a referral. Rick Ross is another and also has several people that his office can refer to.

    One thing that I think helps is to have them read a book about an ex-member of another cult. (There are many!) If they don't read, have them watch a documentary about cults. One of the very best I have seen (and I ordered several copies) is "Visions of Paradise" by Ronin Films out of Australia. Four different former cult members (various cults) are interviewed. They are each asked what got them involved, what happened when they were in, what they saw that made them doubt and what got them out. It is a very good teaching tool. If you  need something quick – one of the best is Going Clear – on HBO. I takes you through the beliefs of Scientology, but there are some really good similarities to all cults (because cult behavior is the common denominator for all cults.) The doctrine is different; the behavior is the same.



    I'm going to be brutally honest.  Sorry for that in advance.


    If you, or anyone else for that matter, believe that Hassan is the best then you're living in a dream world.  She did preface it by saying "probably".  IMHO, he's not.  There are others.  They may not have "best selling" books or cool twitter handles, but the ones I researched all spent time in manipulative groups and counsel families about these manipulative groups operations with a lower profile than Hassan does – the exception is obviously Rick Ross because he's on a fair amount of tv also.  Leave Steve to television specials and Scientology.  Even in the Ramos video he can't help but take over the interview to talk about himself.

    The doctrine may be different but the behavior similar, but to a member all they need is the BS they've been told by their group and they'll only see "STEEEEEEEVE".  For this reason, newbie cult discoverers (families affected by this) should research and interview a minimum of 4 or 5 "experts".


    Mayor and Mike

    Hmm… and hmm…

    Ya'll bring up interesting points. 

    Mayor and Mike is just gonna head in and physically extract each family member one by one. Done. 

    But… Maybe we should ask the ex members what reasons got them to leave the wmscog, what got them out?

    Everyone would have a different reason. 

    Also what's gets the member to stay in the church? Do they believe them have salvation. And do they believe they have the privilege of being "saved"?

    My concern however, is that the wmscog is fulfilling the prophecy of the "beast from the earth." Revelation 13:11-18. He (the beast out of the earth) made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast. He deceived the inhabitants of the earth. This is what (IMO) is doing right now. If I am right then there is no stopping them, the church of you know who. 

    I saw the wickedness of this church through my overseer. I left and saved my soul. Others will do the same. Hopefully sooner than later. 


    Ms Freedom

    Thanks for that honest feedback. I'm sure you are correct in your assessment that WMS members believe Steve is Satan. However, I do know that he was able to get at least one devoted WMS member out (who now believes he is a hero) and has counseled several others after they left. And to your point Steve did spend time in a manipulative group (Unification Church) so he does have first had experience of being in a cult (especially since WMS copied a lot of the Moon doctrine). For a mother with a child in the group, I would want the best. I think one has to be careful in choosing a counselor. I don't believe that a former member (who is not a licensed counselor) is the best choice if they alone are counseling the member (in partnership with a counselor – then yes). What I have seen happen in a case of ex-member counseling is (example) the member has not had to think critically on their own for some time. When they feel they can relate to the former member's story, that creates a bond between the two and instead of the member thinking for themselves and making their own decisions, they rely on what the former member has done: Former member doesnt believe in god anymore – I don't either. A good counselor relates but then just asks questions so the member is responsible for thinking and deciding.

    I know I may have a lot on this forum disagree with me on this, but I would stay away from church counselors or clergy (biased by my own experience, I'm sure). I just finished a book by a woman who was raised in the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Church (IFB). This is believed by many to be a cult. They have their own university (Bob Jones University) where pastors and lay people get counseling degrees. However, they believe that mental illness is of the devil. The author had gone to the counselors and reported abuse and the counselors pointed the finger back at her. She was looking for support but was asking people who were in a cult themselves. 

    I do think that counselors for former cult members is limited. And that is not the only problem. Former cult members many times don't seek out help because of financial reasons. They try to go it alone and just withdraw from the whole mess all together (understandable). But without counseling there is a greater chance of them becoming victim to other cults. 

    jw – Your advice for them to interview 4-5 people is good but nearly impossible if one is looking to look in the area where they live. I would think there may be new ways of counseling (skype) for situations like this where access is limited.

    Like I said in my post above – one of the best ways to start is to get them to read and watch. The more they learn, the sooner they will start to think for themselves and begin to disconnect.


    Mayor and Mike

    If Christian counselling doesn't work, than what does?

    I agree with jw that one person shouldn't and isn't always good enough. I believe getting another opinion is important. Whether you are getting health advice, seeing a doctor, relationship advice, or new outfit advice, another opinion is best. I don't know about getting 4 or 5 experts. It might be too much. 

    A friend of mine wanted to know which color Jersey to get. I purposely threw him a wrench and told him to get the blue one, the other Jersey, the one that I didn't have. I waited for him to get another opinion. But no, he didn't. He would have needed to get a third opinion. The popular choice ended up being the one I owed. But it's cool, it's still the same team, and it's cool for him to be different. We are all going to have to get new jerseys next year anyways because addidas is taking over. 🙂


    We are approaching year 6 with our family member trapped in this cult.  Don't rule any approach completely out.  But until your loved one feels the pain, or wakes up, hang on for the ride.  There needs to be a certain level of frustration before the cult victim begins to think themselves out.  Another thing that former members say moves them out is the financial hardship and wearing down process of keeping up with all the BS Wmscog requires.  Arguing members out with theology rarely works.  But, try it if you want.  Try anything.  Just be prepared for the rejection.






    I don’t know how wmscog can actually manipulate their members so bad that they become so closed minded on even looking online to find sources

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