Argh! A support group forum leader is driving me berzerk!

A bit of background: in the 70s I belonged to a religious cult (best left unsaid which one for reasons that will be obvious…) for about 4 years. I was able to leave, on my own, and just went on with my life. Fast forward nearly 25 years, the spring of 2002, when I discovered an on-line forum of support for X-cult members. It brought up a lot of stuff that I guess I had hidden deep inside for many years, but it must have needed to get out, because I started feeling better about a lot of things after I started participating in the forum. Actually, there are two separate forums right now, and the forum moderator of one of them is the one who is driving me bezerk!

This person was in the cult for 20 years, a good part of their adult life–and many of the other participants were long-term committed as well. Not all of us, naturally, had the same or even similar experiences in the cult, and recently “brainwashing” has been one of the main topics of discussion. This moderator had a nervous breakdown not long after they left; they became convinced that the group was going to come after them, etc. The moderator is also very focused in on some of the illegal and (yes) illicit activities of the Leader and the “Inner Circle,” to the point where if you don’t agree with the moderator’s viewpoint, your posts could be subject to editing or even deletion at times.

I realize and understand what the moderator has been through–I was there myself, though not at the same level, granted. It really sets me teeth on edge, though, to have to preface almost everything that I post with “in my opinion,” or else worry that it will not even make it onto the forum. What’s even worse, though, is that the moderator is also very hung up on males “dominating” females – the “Baboon Troop” mentality (what the moderator calls it) and actually got into a heated discussion with several others on the use of masculine/feminine pronouns when discussing G-D. It’s the same damn story every time; my kids think I’m crazy myself for continuing to even read the forum, let alone posting on it from time to time. The latest go-round is all about slander/libel and being afraid that someone is going to sue for what is written about them in the forums! Have there ever actually been any cases of suits brought for what was written about someone in a forum online? Does anyone know?!

Well, if you’ve read all this, I must congratulate you; I know it’s a strange and specific rant, but actually now I feel better having been able to share it here. Thanks!

It’s certainly an interesting rant!

I had someone threaten to sue me for libel for calling him a deadbeat dad on a forum. He didn’t deny the truth of it, but said that he just wanted to cause me trouble. Of course, I made copies of all of this and hoped like hell he would sue. What a disappointment. But I feel certain that there have been lawsuits.

It may be burdensome to use that “in my opinion” all the time, but it can keep you out of trouble. That may be why the moderator is insisting on it. She doesn’t want the website to be libel for lawsuits. I can’t blame her. A little paranoia is perfectly understandable – especially when you have left certain groups.

Has she always been the moderator? How do other members feel about her rules and practices? Have you thought about trying to find another group? Have you thought about trying to start your own? Have you talked with the moderator privately about your concerns?


I don’t mean to be insulting, nor am I making a joke in any way, but were you a Mormon? The whole ‘male dominance’ and ‘Baboon troop’ parts were things a friend of mine had said before.

Um, is there any chance this is Daism? My father got into that when he was younger. I’m just curious, if you don’t want to share it on the boards, could you please send me an email?

My partner belonged to a cult in the early 1980’s. I know the forums for ex-premies had problems with the cult threatening to sue and there was considerable harassment. I don’t think the forum leader is out of line to be nervous – I know I’d prefer not to be dealing with a guru with bottomless pockets and a lawsuit. The guru’s organisation had a website in Russia where they named ex-cult members and accused them of cyberstalking, kidnapping and child molestation. An ex-member’s child was named and their photo and address was up on the site. Some really ugly things do happen. Some ex-members have been sued although I’m not finding the details on line that used to be there.

But the rest of it sounds difficult to deal with.

Obviously you’re still hurting from the experience, and the forum is helping you in some way. I do hope you can work through this. Have you tried professional counseling?

Thanks for the supportive posts all! No, wasn’t a Mormon nor Daism either.

Thanks, Lynn, for the suggestion–I was in counseling for a year when I did leave the group; this x-members forum has brought up old feelings still there, plus I found out a lot of information I didn’t know previously about the leader’s sexual exploits, etc., that boggled me. I guess I should be glad that I left when I did and without any real problems.

There are two forums; it’s just the one that the moderator is a bit … well, controlling. There are other issues and the moderator has been approached by several other forum participants in the past regarding them, but takes nearly everything as a personal attack. Like I said, though, I just needed to vent somewhere about it. My kids, who I’d never really shared about being in a cult with, just don’t understand and think I should just not participate in the forums any longer. It did help to share my feelings here, though. Thanks again all!