Cult Resources



  • INDOCTRINATION – hosted by Rachel Bernstein LMFT, conversations with former cult members from various groups
  • NAVIGATING NARCISSISM – Psychologist Dr. Ramani interviews survivors of narcissistic relationships, including cultic groups, manipulations, etc
  • A LITTLE BIT CULTY – hosted by Sarah & Nippy, survivors of NXIVM cult talk with professionals and other cult survivors about crucial topics related to cultic groups
  • THE INFLUENCE CONTINUUM – Steve Hassan PhD in his interviews with cult survivors explores how mind control works
  • FRANKIE FILES PODCAST – Former Morningland member, survivor of the alleged sexual abuse talks about cults, coercion, abuse, etc

BOOKS – Educational, studies, examples (links to Amazon)

BOOKS – Personal memoirs of disillusionment (links to Amazon)

FILMS (links to trailers)


  • The Dao of Donato – Donato’s great niece wrote a master’s thesis on Morningland, “an analysis into how newly developed perceptions of the “self” shaped religious phenomena through the lens of Morningland in the 1970s.”
  • The Culture of Cults – Informative article outlining Cult Mind-Control, Religious Freedom and Moral Independence, the Nature of Personal Belief, Recruitment by Cults, Leaving a Cult, Problems in Exposing a Cult.
  • Spiritual Elitism: Narcissism of the Masses – C. Hammond LMHC presents some basic manipulation techniques that give a certain group an elitist and narcissistic attitude and self-image.
  • The Potential for Abuse in Guru-Disciple Relationship – “This paper tells a little of her [Mary Garden] journey and includes comments and insights into how a guru-disciple relationship can become harmful and destructive and why it is sometimes so difficult for disciples to extricate themselves when it does..”
  • Corporate Cults – Five signs of a corporate cult and seven tips for how to recognize and avoid them. “What characterizes a corporate cult is the degree of control management exercises over employees’ thinking and behavior.”
  • Traumatic Abuse in Cults – Daniel Shaw LCSW – Scroll down to find the Traumatic Abuse article. “The author presents psychoanalytic conceptualizations of narcissism in an effort to develop a way of understanding cult leaders and their followers, and especially of traumatic abuse in cults from the follower’s perspective.”
  • Understanding Unhealthy Leadership – Karla McLaren writes about four aspects of unhealthy leadership: charismatic authority figure + transcendent belief system + systems of control + systems of influence.
  • Cults and the Mind-Body Connection – S. Farber Ph.D. writes about the adverse side effects of “one size fits all” practices in cultic groups.
  • Singer’s Six Conditions of Mind Control – Excerpted from Cults in Our Midst, Margaret Thaler Singer, p. 64-69.
  • 11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting – S. Sarkis Ph.D. writes, “Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed.”
  • Understanding Manipulative Mind Control – This article addresses the subject of psychological abuse and what can be done when it happens.
  • Our Teachers are not Gods (by Rob Preece) and Unmasking the Guru are two articles that responded to sexual scandals in Buddhist communities. They argue against the medieval approach of worshipping teachers blindly.
  • The Guru – short audio series, Ishleen Kaur investigates abuse allegations in a yoga center she once called home, featured on BBC.


Many who leave cults or other abusive relationships struggle with depression, anxiety, PTSD, C-PTSD (complex PTSD or complex trauma), self-esteem and identity issues, and issues adjusting to the larger society. Seeking professional help can be a vital step in the process of recovery. Former cultic members may have experienced a lack of boundaries and were trained to please the cultic authority figure. A therapist is not an authority figure, someone we should please, or someone we should agree with. A therapist is a hired person to provide a service of unconditional positive regard, emotional validation, support, respect, and kindness! Ideally they should have a good understanding of how cults operate and work with you to better understand the abusive dynamics in cults. Cult Discovery 101 has a helpful page with questions to ask a potential therapist. Many therapists provide a free 15 min consultation to help ensure a good fit. Additionally, it is ok to disagree with a therapist, ask for a different approach, and to change a therapist.