Like the leadership in The Black Cloister, cult leaders often misuse their spiritual gifts as they cloister_flat_390demand obedience, exclusivity, and sacrifice from their followers. Those who join a religious cult are usually attracted to it because of a group’s dedication to community, outreach, and Bible study. Often it isn’t until after they have joined that they discover the darker side of deception and manipulation.

Though my novel is not meant to mirror one specific religious group, my hope is that it portrays the confusion, and often abuse, of children who are born into a cult, as well as the opportunity for healing.

Below are resources that describe individual cults as well as give an overview on how to recognize spiritual abuse and toxic religion.  There is also information on how to find psychological and spiritual healing for ex-cult members.



Wellspring Treatment Center for Survivors of Cultic Abuse

Cult News and Information

International Cultic Studies

Cult Awareness Information Centre

Interview with Stephen Arterburn on spiritual abuse and “religious addicts”

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