How I left the cult

I was a member of a spiritual group for many years. It was my whole world. But what began as a spiritual adventure turned sour as I butted up against limitations to my creativity and expression.

Facing the disillusionment

The members of my spiritual group strolled around the room greeting each other before the Sunday worship service. I sat in my chair looking down at the mildewed carpet and back to the snack table wondering if I had put too much mustard in my deviled eggs. My husband, Mike, sat next to me eyeing the buffet table. I knew he was planning his ambush on the snacks.

The “high initiates” of the spiritual group were at the front of the room ready to dispense their wisdom about the pages we would discuss while the rest of us sat at attention.

I had joined the group 16 years earlier. They called themselves a spiritual group but insisted they weren’t a religion. However, they had worship service on Sundays, a spiritual leader, a hierarchy of initiations which determined the clergy, and books that were like their bibles.

How did I get here in this smelly old room more concerned about deviled eggs than helping the world? How come after more than 16 years I still didn’t feel enlightened? Wasn’t this a path of spiritual freedom? So why was there a hierarchy where some people were wiser or more important than others? Didn’t this contradict the belief that we were all equal as soul?

I stared out the window at the poplar leaves blowing in the wind. Were they trying to tell me something? My reverie was interrupted and I was propelled back into the room with a voice at the front of the room.

Seeking alternative help

After the service, I went home and sunk into the couch in the living room. At the worship service, I had been publicly snubbed by the head honcho higher initiate when I tried to share my authentic thoughts about the service. Whatever passion I had for exploring truth got extinguished by the domineering voices of those at the top of the pecking order.

I got online searching for help. I needed therapy, someone to talk to. A name popped out as I scrolled Facebook: dynamic energy healer, Jen Ward. One of the people from the spiritual group shared something Jen had written about empowerment. I thought, she must be okay if this friend from the spiritual group shared it. I was so enmeshed with everything about the group I didn’t look for help outside of it. I messaged her for a session. I was cautious about seeking help, but also miserable. Besides, what could possibly happen in just one session?

Jen Ward’s unique healing approach

In two days, I was waiting for Jen’s call in the second bedroom for our session. My heart was racing when the phone rang. I didn’t realize back then her healing energy was already working with me before the call.

Jen introduced herself and explained that she could communicate in energy. She could see the root cause from this life or a past life contributing to the difficulties and pain in my life. She got straight to work and to my shock and delight, immediately identified a family relationship that had been traumatic for me because of a past life with that person. I hadn’t even mentioned the person! I didn’t need to say much. She said that if I talked too much about the details in my life, I might distract her from seeing the deeper issues that needed to be released.

She was able to see imbalances in the person and move these stagnant energies with sound and intention. In addition, she had created the SFT (Spiritual Freedom Technique) taps which she shared on her website. During a session, Jen created unique taps for the client. Doing the taps, she told me, helped bypass the ego’s scrutiny and release these imbalances in energy. These imbalances could come from negative connections with a person, place, thing, or belief.

Jen identified an emotion, belief, person, or past life that needed to be released and created a sentence for me to say three times while tapping on the head, once while tapping on the chest, and once while tapping on the stomach. Unlike EFT, SFT tapping released the energy from many levels of consciousness including physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

After 10 minutes into the session, I felt a vibrating energy in my hands and chest, and sensed an inner light. I could tell that she was seeing the truth about people and my past and giving it to me straight. It helped me trust what she was doing in energy.

At one point, she asked how I had heard about her. I explained how someone from my spiritual group had shared a post about her on social media. She knew of the group, and had been a member. This struck me at the time, that she “had been” a member. Why would someone leave? At the same time, I did not detect any ill will towards the group from her. It didn’t feel like she had an opinion or any agenda. And I was being seen and heard at a deep level, possibly for the first time.

Releasing energetic cords and attachments

Then she began to do taps about me and the group. One tap I remember was, “We sever the strings and cords between me and the group, in all moments.” I hesitated for a second, but since the previous taps had invigorated me, I went ahead.

And then something felt really weird. As I did the taps on the strings and cords and Jen made sounds, I felt actual energetic strings separating and coming out of my head. It was freaking me out as we were doing the tapping and I wanted to stop, but I said nothing. Jen was busy making her sounds to move the energy as I did taps. Was part of my brain leaving? I didn’t know what was me and what was not me.

We kept going through more taps. Something was leaving out through my head, but I wasn’t sure what. There was no physical pain, but there was “separation anxiety” from the strings and energies leaving me. We did another tap, “We dissolve all karmic ties between me and the group, in all moments.” I paused.

Jen must have sensed my anxiety because she added, “The love always remains, Therese. You are just letting go of anything that is not love.”

I kept tapping. Jen kept making her sounds and it seemed as if she was doing everything in her being to retrieve my lost parts and get rid of what was not me.

By the end of the session, we had done over 30 taps on separating my energy from the group. The weight of the group was no longer gripping me, though before the session, I had no consciousness of the group’s weight.

We spent a few minutes talking at the end. Jen explained how most groups were energetic Ponzi schemes and that the new members had to fortify the old members with their energy. The group depended on having to get new members, and that only certain members who were high on the hierarchy benefited in energy. She said nothing negative about the leader or members. We simply did taps to separate anything that was not love between me and the group. After the taps, Jen chatted a bit and I thanked her before we hung up.

I sat back on the couch and reflected on my years in the spiritual group and all their promises. They hadn’t delivered. I wasn’t enlightened. I hadn’t dissolved all my karma. And the hierarchy had become so conspicuous. It was all about what level of initiation you had and if you were a “high initiate” or not.

Could it be that this group that I devoted my years and energy to for so many years was a cult after all? I looked around my apartment covered with books and pictures from this group. And then out to the living room where my Mike sat reading. He was still entrenched in the group. I wondered how he would ever leave. Could we survive if he remained in the group and I was out of the group?

Embracing empowerment and upliftment

It was a little bit like Jim Carrey’s character Truman in the Truman Show when he discovers he’s been living in an illusory dome world created by the TV producers. Jen had energetically pulled me from the group to a higher perspective so that I could see outside the illusion. Then I could see the lies that the group was using to keep me out of the larger reality of expanded consciousness.

Now I had new issues, like how to build a new life. But after one session with Jen, new awareness of who I was as an energy being was flowing into my consciousness.

I stopped attending the group events. And I bought a session for Mike. And though there were many more future taps to do to free myself from people or learned behaviors, I was able to see outside the group from a more expansive viewpoint.

There was no going back now even though I didn’t know what lay beyond the illusory elitism of the group’s dome. It was the beginning of a new trajectory of my life’s journey. But the work was just getting started. I had much to learn about transcending ego and learning to uplift not just myself but others. There were pitfalls and problems along the way, but a whole new connection to my authentic voice within was waking up.

Therese Kravetz Avatar

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