TFST hosts monthly support groups which are attended by cult survivors and sometimes affected relatives. These are held on Zoom, normally on the third Tuesday of the month. If you, or someone you know would like to come, please contact by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information see Support Group.
We will circulate details of our next event in the New Year.
August 2022: The Family Survival Trust was happy to welcome Elgen Strait as this year's featured speaker for our annual public event. Elgen's talk was entitled Children Raising Children: Institutionalised Neglect in Cults.
Who are the Unification Church and "The Moonies"? What is it like to grow up as a "Moonie"? What difficulties do people who are born-in face? Does our society provide adequate support to former members? Podcast host and former second-generation Moonie, Elgen Strait, answered these questions and more in our 2022 Annual Public Event. Elgen shared his fascinating personal story as well as insights into how the Unification Church operates and the common themes that have emerged through interviews with second-generation members on his podcast. Elgen Strait is the host of Falling Out with Elgen Strait, a podcast focused on the experiences of second-generation survivors of the Unification Church, a cult commonly referred to as "The Moonies." Born into the Moonies himself, Elgen's work on the podcast aims to expose the abuse, manipulation, and hypocrisy of the institution, as well as to provide a forum for ex-second generation members to share resources that can aid them in their journeys out of the cult and through the transition into living in the "outside world." Listening to Falling Out has been a catalyst for multiple departures from the cult.
May 2021: We were honoured to welcome Rebecca Stott as this year's featured speaker for our annual public event
Rebecca Stott is a historian, award-winning memoirist, novelist and radio broadcaster. She is also Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at UEA. Her memoir, In the Days of Rain: A Daughter, A Father, A Cult, which tells her family story of life inside the Exclusive Brethren, a notoriously closed and secretive fundamentalist cult, won the Costa Biography Prize in 2017. The memoir's particular focus is on the long aftermath of the trauma experienced by the family as they go to live in the outside world. Since then she has received 400 letters from elderly ex-members of the Exclusive Brethren, many telling their stories for the first time. The archive of letters is soon to be lodged in the Christian Brethren archive at Manchester University.
March 2020: Panel presentation in March 2020. Cults and Coercive Control: Raising Awareness, Seeking Justice
The Family Survival Trust event, March 10, 2020, at University Women's Club. Featuring three talks by Emily Green, Ste Richardsson and Jacky Hart, about their cult experiences and subsequent activism. Click to watch video
April 2019: Conversation between Alexandra Stein and yoga cult survivor and journalist Matthew Remski
This exchange between two leading international experts in the field of cultic abuse was followed by discussion with an audience of TFST supporters, and focused on what kind of treatment is appropriate for people leaving a cult. Read more here
April 2018: Lecture What can we Learn from the Children of Cults by Janja Lalich Ph.D
Dr Lalich is a researcher, author, and educator specializing in cults and extremist groups (including terrorist groups and ideological extremists) with a particular focus on charismatic relationships, political and other social control. She is also Professor Emerita of Sociology at California State University, Chico. Janja gave the audience of about 80 at the University Womens’ Club in London a fascinating look at the extensive research carried out in over 12 countries for her book of the same name Escaping Utopia. This involved hearing harrowing testimony of consistent abuse of children brought up within pseudo-religious and other types of cults, and the legal and political obstacles of bringing offenders to justice. Read more here
We attended and addressed the annual meeting in Paris of FECRIS, French government backed pan-European umbrella group for cult family support NGO’s in 30 countries
FECRIS plays a vital role as one of the only functioning multinational anti-cult organisations, in a world where many of the larger cults are themselves multinational corporations, able to afford top legal and public relations professionals. Both Washington and Brussels have clearly been infiltrated by cult lobbyists. TFST and its predecessor FAIR have been long term active members of FECRIS. Tom Sackville served a 5 year term as President. Read more here
Keith Raniere Trial
Alex Stein was recently commissioned by the BBC to write an expert background piece to accompany their coverage of the shocking revelations around the New York sex cult run by Keith Raniere. Read more here
As mentioned in the piece, cult organisations are hard to prosecute: most countries’ statute books do not contain appropriate laws, and there are difficulties in making organisations rather than individuals culpable in criminal law. TFST has now received an offer from a Home Office minister to arrange a meeting to discuss how to extend the definition of Coercive Control, which is now defined in law for the first time, to include abusive behaviour within a group, rather than simply as now within a domestic context.