Author Topic: Ex PK Member  (Read 10954 times)

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exPK

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Ex PK Member
« on: January 29, 2012, 01:19:54 PM »
+1
Hello,

I am an Ex PK member of FDR and was pretty close to the heart of it all for some time.  I am a bit cautious about posting my experience publicly, as Stef and the other inner circle members keep a close eye on public forums that are critical of FDR (I know as I used to help him with that).  I have a lot to say about FDR, my experience there, and how it has effected my life but I don't yet feel comfortable doing that publicly as it may expose who I am.

Over the past few years I have been identifying who has left FDR and helping them connect with other members who have left.  As someone who came out of FDR with barely any connections with the real world, I thought it would be helpful to find out who had left FDR so I could talk with them about my experiences without fear of Stef and the other members talking about me or banning those who I associate with.

I setup an e-mail address for ex-FDR members and also members who are looking to leave FDR.  Right now I am just manually connecting other members with one another, and am taking suggestions on what the next steps might be with this growing list of "graduates" of FDR. 

Please e-mail me at exfdrmembers -at- gmail.com with your story and I'll help you get in touch with other ex members.  I really look forward to helping form a safe place for ex members to connect.  If you have suggestions for how we can privately exchange stories, I would be happy to hear them.

 :)

*EDIT*  I think it is important that if you are a parent or a friend of an FDR member that you know that I will not be connecting you with your children/friends.  Some members are still processing their feelings about their families and need time and space to do so.  Feel free to e-mail me to discuss, but I want to make sure that every ex member, especially the ones who cut contact with their family, feel safe.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 01:22:50 PM by exPK »

QuestEon

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Re: Ex PK Member
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2012, 04:48:04 PM »
+1
It sounds like you might be a very valuable resource for departing members. Finding a way to contextualize the FDR experience is a very important part of deciding where one's path should lead next.

I've sticked your post.
It isn't about winning the debate. It's about the truth.

exPK

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Re: Ex PK Member
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2012, 05:00:11 PM »
+1
Thanks for the sticky.  Trying to help as much as I can, since I know how lonely it can feel when considering leaving.

*EDIT: ALSO, feel free to spread this information around and let anyone you want that this e-mail address is setup.  I'd actually like FDR to find out about it, so existing members know there is a place they can go.*
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 05:22:33 PM by exPK »

QuestEon

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Re: Ex PK Member
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2012, 06:28:24 PM »
+1
I've placed a pop-up banner with a direct link to this thread on my home page.
It isn't about winning the debate. It's about the truth.

MartinB

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Re: Ex PK Member
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 02:13:14 AM »
0
Jes, I think it helps to have people with the similar experience to process it.

Martin

Arthur

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Re: Ex PK Member
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2012, 01:20:11 PM »
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I think it is important that if you are a parent or a friend of an FDR member that you know that I will not be connecting you with your children/friends.  Some members are still processing their feelings about their families and need time and space to do so.  Feel free to e-mail me to discuss, but I want to make sure that every ex member, especially the ones who cut contact with their family, feel safe.

I love what you are doing exPK.  Thank you.  I might have missed this.  Have you reconnected with your family? 
I do worry about the canard of protectionism.  I have been at this cult thing for a while.  Lots of meetings and discussions with former cult members.  To a person, they all said they waited much too long, after they left the group they were involved with, to reconnect with their families.  Their reasons were all similar.  Shame and embarrassment were common.  The other big one was fear of rejection or judgment by their families.  They all acknowledged that the fear thing was a lingering effect of how the cult.  As in: This idea that they would be rejected if they tried to return to their families was constantly reinforced during their days with the group. 
If someone leaves FDR, that is good, but it is not nearly enough.  The urgent next step is to reconnect with their family as soon as possible so the healing can continue.  I think if you want to perfect your efforts, you should at least ask them if they have reconnected with their families.   And if they haven't, you should encourage them to do so.  And if they still don’t want to make that move, encourage them to reach out to a real exit counselor (not a therapist) to help them deal with the ‘WHY’ of the matter. 

Hajnal

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Re: Ex PK Member
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2012, 10:30:21 PM »
0
Well, what is the difference then between pushing someone into reconnecting with their families and pushing them into leaving their families?

IMO it should be a decision that the person makes his/herself, not something to be pressured into. No matter how wise or unwise a decision I could not be more proud than one I have made myself.

Arthur

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Re: Ex PK Member
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2012, 01:30:08 PM »
+1
I despise moral equivalency arguments when there is a huge moral discrepancy.  A terrorist is not a freedom fighter.  In this (maybe over the top) analogy, Moly is the terrorist and exPK is the freedom fighter. 

Please think about this and consider that there is a huge difference between:
a: being influenced into joining a destructive group, destroying your family, leaving your friends wondering what happened,  foregoing your education, finding yourself isolated, sad and alone and
b: being asked to confront the reasons you may not be "ready" to  reconnect with your family after you leave this group. 

Hajnal

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Re: Ex PK Member
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2012, 04:43:54 PM »
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I see your point in the difference. You see, I don't believe in taking sides morally so I won't say that anyone is good or bad, but I really don't like it when people tell other people to do things. That's something I've learned in getting out of FDR. A cult works through undue influence, so it bugs me that we would then hand over cult survivors to a therapist specifically trained to make their client do things (even if getting them to reconnect with their family is a good thing). It's the "making them do things", the controllingness, that is the problem here. It doesn't fix the root cause, a lack of self-leadership.

In my humble opinion, giving a person advice on "what" to do (as opposed to "how" to do something) is no better than being in a cult again.

(I realize this inevitably includes religions. Yeah.)

Personally I feel I am much better off now that I won't take advice from anyone, not just some bald guy, but anyone. I have learned to trust myself and my own judgment. This doesn't mean I won't take advice on how to best achieve my goals, as that is definitely necessary, but I won't let anyone else set my goals for me.

Maybe this works for me and not someone else, but that's my 2c. If a person has already managed to leave a cult on their own, then I think they'll be OK!

DISCLAIMER
****The opinions above represent user Black Swan, not FDRLiberated. The administrator of FDRLiberated has expressed that he does not have authority to say whether FDR is a cult. And it's all semantics anyway. Readers please keep in mind that swans cannot be held legally accountable as they live in a galaxy far far away and there is no such thing as "FDR" anyway in fact there is no such thing as a black swan*****

Cindy

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Re: Ex PK Member
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2012, 04:43:56 PM »
0
Arthur
Quote
If someone leaves FDR, that is good, but it is not nearly enough......     I think if you want to perfect your efforts, you should at least ask them if they have reconnected with their families.   And if they haven't, you should encourage them to do so.  And if they still don’t want to make that move, encourage them to reach out to a real exit counselor (not a therapist) to help them deal with the ‘WHY’ of the matter.
This is an incredibly judgmental statement.  I think exPK is very brave for undertaking such a difficult task.  Nobody is making exPK do this, he/she is doing this because they want to, because they choose to.  There are no rules here.  Please keep in mind how many people walk away from the group and don't offer this assistance.  I think many people will be grateful for this help.  You probably did not intend it this way but you have just told exPK that his/her efforts aren't good enough.  ExPK has lived through this experience and probably knows best how to approach those people contemplating leaving the group.

Arthur
Quote
The urgent next step is to reconnect with their family as soon as possible so the healing can continue.
I'm with Black Swan on this one, I think the person has to make this decision him/herself and not be pressured.  I'm guessing, the more pressure applied, the more likely they are to stay away longer.  Could be very tricky.

In all fairness, I hear the frustration and anguish in Arthur's post.

 

exPK

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Re: Ex PK Member
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2012, 11:12:25 PM »
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I don't want to reveal too much about myself as I am trying to make this account simply a gateway for other ex-members who want to connect with other ex-members (or members who want to get out but are unsure what's on the other side). 

That said, I do want to express a few things regarding the adult sons and daughters and disaffected parents of FDR/exFDR members.  This is my opinion and I am sure other ex-members disagree with me on a few points.

To the adult sons and daughters of FDR:  I think the level of communication that you have with your parents is up to you and you alone.  I recommend therapy.  It's largely what helped me see through the bullshit at FDR and helped me to process what I had been through there and reconnect with those I wanted to reconnect with.  A good therapist will be patient with you.  The scariest day I had was when I told my therapist about FDR and asked him what he thought.  But it was the best step I made in therapy up until that point.  Also don't forget to take the good with the bad.  FDR has some great ideas and I think that discarding everything you learned there is setting up a false dichotomy that will not help you learn from what you went through.

To the parents effected by FDR:  I think most of the people who are at FDR are there because they are sick of the shit they had to put up with in their childhoods.  And that's putting it mildly for the most part.  Many of those I knew were outright abused and have been looking for a champion to stick up for what they've been through.  If Stef had have stopped sympathizing with the emotional toll a hard childhood can have on an adult, it would have been a great resource for people to connect and heal from the pain they had suffered.  But unfortunately he used those strong emotions to build a cult.

I know that a lot of cult experts say that you shouldn't blame yourself for your sons or daughters not talking to you anymore.  They are partly right.  There is a lot of emotional manipulation by Stef.  Every negative emotion I had for my parents was enhanced 10 fold when I was at FDR and there was a sense that you had to tell the best abuse story in order to fit in, which lead me to outright lie sometimes.  That said, I would really challenge the disaffected parents to seriously look at why their sons or daughters are so angry/hurt about how they were brought up.  When and if they do want to reconnect with you, that will be the subject at the top of their minds and if you don't want to have a serious discussion about it and really listen to them, you will lose a golden chance at not only reconnecting, but deepening your relationship with them.  I suggest you too get into therapy and try to understand them.

And to those of you who are being very public and vocal about FDR being a cult, your sons and daughters are reading, and you may be hurting them more with what you are saying.  I'd trust the cult experts on that one and keep yourself and them out of the limelight.

Arthur

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Re: Ex PK Member
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2012, 04:46:35 PM »
+1
hmmm.  This is beginning to have  certain feel.  I can see why exPk says: "I don't want to reveal too much about myself." 

Your arguments are right out of the FDR play book.  The most obvious is the highly general yet totally judgmental comments about parents without any knowledge or evidence to support the judgement (this is the founding premise for FDR's existence).  You are also promoting other pillars of FDR dogma.  It is mesmerizing to me that my obvious and thoughtful comment that trying to help get the ex-members back to the parents is met with the simpleton Moly like platitudes about moral equality, no judgement, no values, and vague references to the benefits of therapy.  There is also the standard BS on avoiding any criticism of Moly.  Someone brought up the infuriating argument that you don't want to tell people what to do.  Good heavens.  This is the refuge for anyone who doesn't want to deal with an issue.  I am not saying you need to force anyone to do anything.  I am merely pointing out the obvious.  The morally right thing to do is to help yourself and others find their way through to the healing that helps everyone involved. 

exPK:  You are very vague on re-connecting with your defoo victims. Have your rejoined your parents?  This is important if you haven't.  Anyone who engaged in something as cruel as a defoo, would know that there is a moral duty to make good with those you hurt so badly.  The only excuse for NOT knowing this truth is if someone is still in under the influence of Moly.  Once someone is out of FDR, that excuse no longer exists.  There is no morality based on reason, ethics and human nature that can be neutral on this subject.  Not in your own situation and not with other ex-Members.  If you may have a chance to influence and FDR victim in a morally positive way, you have a moral duty to do so.  This is not a situation where you sit back and dismiss value judgments or decide not to take sides. 

One more thing.  It is troubling that you accept the premise that FDR members are there mostly to get away from the pain caused by their parents.  An ex-member would know that the reason you were there and others are still there is 'mostly' because of Moly and his wife.  Long story short, I just don't think the things you are writing here are the things an ex-FDR member would say. 

Of course I could be wrong.   

Conrad

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Re: Ex PK Member
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2012, 09:47:54 PM »
0
I don't want to reveal too much about myself as I am trying to make this account simply a gateway for other ex-members who want to connect with other ex-members (or members who want to get out but are unsure what's on the other side). 

That said, I do want to express a few things regarding the adult sons and daughters and disaffected parents of FDR/exFDR members.  This is my opinion and I am sure other ex-members disagree with me on a few points.

To the adult sons and daughters of FDR:  I think the level of communication that you have with your parents is up to you and you alone.  I recommend therapy.  It's largely what helped me see through the bullshit at FDR and helped me to process what I had been through there and reconnect with those I wanted to reconnect with.  A good therapist will be patient with you.  The scariest day I had was when I told my therapist about FDR and asked him what he thought.  But it was the best step I made in therapy up until that point.  Also don't forget to take the good with the bad.  FDR has some great ideas and I think that discarding everything you learned there is setting up a false dichotomy that will not help you learn from what you went through.

To the parents effected by FDR:  I think most of the people who are at FDR are there because they are sick of the shit they had to put up with in their childhoods.  And that's putting it mildly for the most part.  Many of those I knew were outright abused and have been looking for a champion to stick up for what they've been through.  If Stef had have stopped sympathizing with the emotional toll a hard childhood can have on an adult, it would have been a great resource for people to connect and heal from the pain they had suffered.  But unfortunately he used those strong emotions to build a cult.

I know that a lot of cult experts say that you shouldn't blame yourself for your sons or daughters not talking to you anymore.  They are partly right.  There is a lot of emotional manipulation by Stef.  Every negative emotion I had for my parents was enhanced 10 fold when I was at FDR and there was a sense that you had to tell the best abuse story in order to fit in, which lead me to outright lie sometimes.  That said, I would really challenge the disaffected parents to seriously look at why their sons or daughters are so angry/hurt about how they were brought up.  When and if they do want to reconnect with you, that will be the subject at the top of their minds and if you don't want to have a serious discussion about it and really listen to them, you will lose a golden chance at not only reconnecting, but deepening your relationship with them.  I suggest you too get into therapy and try to understand them.

And to those of you who are being very public and vocal about FDR being a cult, your sons and daughters are reading, and you may be hurting them more with what you are saying.  I'd trust the cult experts on that one and keep yourself and them out of the limelight.
this is the correct position.

Hajnal

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Re: Ex PK Member
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2012, 01:08:11 AM »
0
The morally right thing to do is to help yourself and others find their way through to the healing that helps everyone involved.
Quote
Anyone who engaged in something as cruel as a defoo, would know that there is a moral duty to make good with those you hurt so badly.

So if I don't believe in morality and/or I don't believe "cruel" is a very objective description, what is there to compel me (and those like me) to comply with this?

Quote
no judgement, no values, avoiding any criticism of Moly
FDR is very much with the being judgmental, and does espouse values, yes. Values I may not agree with, but we can't say they have no values. And simply participating on this site implies criticism of Moly, and there has been plenty of it, so I don't think that follows.

Quote
It is troubling that you accept the premise that FDR members are there mostly to get away from the pain caused by their parents.  An ex-member would know that the reason you were there and others are still there is 'mostly' because of Moly and his wife.

How do you know, better than the ex-members themselves, why? That's really culty imo, to presume you know them better than they know themselves, and how are they to evaluate that if the locus of evaluation is placed outside of themselves? The only option then is surrender to your judgment -- this is why I say it's culty. And it is what Moly operated on, taking advantage of people who are insecure in themselves.

I realize you want to help. But do you see how you can harm?

So if you really want to help people out of a cult, I suggest becoming more aware of this problem.

The most obvious is the highly general yet totally judgmental comments about parents without any knowledge or evidence to support the judgement
Is your post not displaying the very same behavior you are criticising exPK for?

BTW, I don't have anything against you, this is just where my reasoning is taking me.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 01:16:21 AM by Black Swan »

AnotherExPK

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Re: Ex PK Member
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2012, 11:08:04 AM »
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As an ex-PK member myself, I thought I would also contribute to this discussion. I know exPK personally, and I'd like to assert that any allegations of something disingenuous about his/her intentions here are completely unfounded. This is someone who was truly a member of the FDR "inner circle" for a while, and he/she is giving of his/her time and effort to help people, despite the fear all ex-FDR members feel of retaliation.

I differ with exPK on the position that most FDR members are drawn into FDR because of somewhat dysfunctional family histories. I simply don't think there's enough information to draw that kind of conclusion. However, I would point out that the vast majority of us, if not all of us, have something dysfunctional about our family histories. I've yet to meet a single person in my entire life with a 100 percent idyllic childhood. What FDR and other psychotherapy cults do with this reality is something akin to the Barnum effect. Stef and the FDR leaders hook into real feelings of injustice, isolation, pain and humiliation that everyone shares, to some degree, about some of his or her childhood memories, and then they use the sense of familiarity this engenders to make the potential member feel that Stef has specific insight into the potential member's own unique history of what is then termed as abuse, whether or not this label should actually apply. The feeling this creates is, I imagine, similar to what people feel when they perceive that a Tarot card reader is tapping into their deepest fears and desires with supernatural abilities. It is a singular, almost intoxicating experience which serves to magnify and augment these original painful childhood feelings until eventually they are distorted and blanket the entire memory of childhood.   

It is for this reason that I would caution against completely dismissing the feelings an FDR member has about his or her personal history. Yes, some of these feelings are now distorted and even fabricated under the influence of the toxic social environment of FDR. Yes, many families did not "deserve" a defoo. However, there are potentially feelings of childhood pain in all of us that are real and to be respected. There are differences that we all have with some members of our family that exist independently of cult manipulation. I believe part of what makes some members steadfastly cling to FDR ideology despite doubts is that if they change their minds and go back to their families, they are afraid that even the legitimate feelings and complaints they have about the family will be dismissed as being completely manufactured by the cult. In other words, they're afraid the baby will be thrown out with the bath water, and that they'll never again be trusted to form a negative opinion of what someone in the family does. As someone who has been in this situation, admitting that you have been taken in by a cult initially feels a lot like admitting that you should never again be viewed as someone with functional critical faculties. Those waiting on the other side should be especially sensitive to this fear. I was lucky enough that my family was well-aware of all this, and treated me as someone whose thoughts and feelings were to be respected.

If anyone would like to get in contact with me about my experiences with this, I don't think exPK would mind if I asked that people just contact me through the ex fdr members e-mail link above. I'm happy to answer questions or talk with others who have been recently disillusioned with the group.