Ex-members Essay: “Shame and Coming Out of a Cult”

An ex-member recently wrote a detailed essay in which he shares his thoughts on the guilt and shame that can be experienced by people who leave destructive abusive cults like The Ashram, Mount Eliza.

People who leave a destructive cult are faced with enormous potential for shame spirals. A shame spiral is defined here as “acting out” in defensiveness, anger, judgement and retaliation in order to avoid our own shame. Leaving a cult naturally creates the possibility of shame: We don’t want to be seen as stupid. 

After talking to ex-members, many describe a “sunk-cost” driven motivation to find meaning in their cult experience or they seek a way to use it as grist for a different mill. It’s human nature to try to avoid walking away completely empty-handed from decades of selfless service to a cult, and it takes courage to acknowledge that joining the group was a mistake and ultimately a waste of time.

We don’t want to be seen as “unspiritual” or “haters” which is how Kruckman loves to paint us. Inside the walls of the ashram, those that speak out against it are painted in the worst possible ways. Kruckman will do anything he can to dissolve our credibility, to character bomb us, and to turn his cult following against us.

You can read the whole article here:

https://alexander-paz.medium.com/shame-and-coming-out-of-a-cult-4a38b80761b3