Groups

Spiritual Abuse Resources (SAR) does not provide detailed information on specific groups for the following reasons:

- Members of SAR's advisory board have received inquiries about thousands of groups, which vary tremendously and change over time. Maintaining useful information on a large number of groups is a daunting task.

- Much information on a specific group can be collected through Web searches.

- A number of Websites already provide large amounts of information on specific groups (see below).

Dealing with the adverse effects of spiritual abuse is enhanced with conceptual tools that recognize the common dynamics of control and influence found in most abusive groups. SAR's primary goal is to provide such tools.

When people leave a spiritually abusive situation, especially if the abuse occurred in a group setting, they often feel a sense of betrayal. What they once thought was good now appears to be bad.

It is natural for such persons to seek some degree of validation to help them feel more confident in their current view. Finding information critical of their former group helps them feel vindicated and more confident in their emerging negative view of their group.

Thus, seeking information, especially critical information, on one's former group is normal and useful. If, however, one ONLY seeks information on the group, one may neglect the challenges of (a) exploring how one might have been affected by the experience and (b) finding out what one can do to restore a sense of wholeness and well-being. SAR's Get Help or Information page directs you to resources that may help you deal with recovery issues related to spiritual abuse.

Since, however, group information is also useful, here are websites that have much group information or that focus on one or a few groups:

Apologetics Index
The Apologetics Index 'family of web sites' provides 47,830+ pages of research resources on religious cults, sects, new religious movements, and alternative religions. Also included: information about apologetics-, anticult-, and countercult organizations, as well as entries on doctrines, religious practices and world views. These resources reflect a variety of theological and/or sociological perspectives.
The Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) strives to democratize access to the best data on religion. Founded as the American Religion Data Archive in 1997 and going online in 1998, the initial archive was targeted at researchers interested in American religion. The targeted audience and the data collection have both greatly expanded since 1998, now including American and international collections and developing features for educators, journalists, religious congregations, and researchers. Data included in the ARDA are submitted by the foremost religion scholars and research centers in the world. Currently housed in the Social Science Research Institute, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Department of Sociology at the Pennsylvania State University, the ARDA is funded by the Lilly Endowment, the John Templeton Foundation, Chapman University and the Pennsylvania State University.
The Cult Education Institute (CEI) is an educational nonprofit, which offers the general public an online library about controversial groups and movements, some that have been called "cults." The CEI archives, which was first launched in 1996, has recently been redeveloped into a more modern information database. CEI is a member of both the American and New Jersey Library Associations. Together with Cult News.com and the Cult News Network the related CEI websites offer the public an interactive educational resource
The Freedom of Mind Resource Center, Inc. offers counseling, consulting, and coaching services along with information for those seeking help for themselves or a loved one concerning controlling people, cults, beliefs, and estrangement. We do a wide range of undue influence situations: estrangements, parental alienation, second generation, cults, and use the Strategic Interaction Approach created and developed by veteran Steven Hassan and explicated in Combatting Cult Mind Control and Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs. It is important to stay strong, involved, and to know that "love is stronger than mind control.”
Info-Cult is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1980 based in Montreal (Quebec, Canada) that offers help and information about cults, new religious movements and related groups and subjects.
Founded in 1979*, the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is a global network of people concerned about psychological manipulation and abuse in cultic or high-demand groups, alternative movements, and other environments. ICSA is tax-exempt, supports civil liberties, and is not affiliated with any religious or commercial organizations. ICSA is unique in how it brings together former group members, families, helping professionals and researchers.
Inform (Information Network on Religious Movements) is an independent charity, based at the London School of Economics and supported by the British government and mainstream churches. Its objective is to provide information that is as reliable and up-to-date as possible about minority religions, including new religious movements (‘NRMs’), spiritual, esoteric and/or other ‘sectarian’ or ‘cultic’ movements.
Disseminate accurate religious information. Expose religious fraud, hatred, and misinformation. Disseminate information. Promote religious tolerance.
Watchman Fellowship is an independent Christian research and apologetics ministry focusing on new religious movements, cults, the occult and the New Age. David Henke founded Watchman Fellowship in Columbus, Georgia in 1979. Today, Watchman Fellowship has grown to several offices in the United States. Watchman Fellowship serves the Christian and secular community as a resource for education, counseling, and non-coercive intervention and evangelism training. We accomplish these tasks through our church presentations, personal counseling, this website, and other activities. We have served almost every denomination including Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopal, Assemblies of God, Church of God, Lutheran, Nazarene, non-denominational, etc., as well as schools, law enforcement agencies, and civic groups.
"The World Religions & Spirituality Project (WRSP) was established in 2010 at Virginia Commonwealth University. The mission of the WRSP is to provide objective, reliable and comprehensive information about the world's diverse array of religious and spiritual groups. The central feature of the WRSP website is, therefore, profiles of contemporary religious and spiritual movements, established world religions, and historical religious and spiritual movements. Wherever possible, profiles are prepared by scholars of record for the groups that they profile. Each profile includes a presentation of the group's history, distinctive beliefs, rituals, organization and leadership, and issues/challenges. Particularly with respect to newer groups, reliable information often is less accessible, and this website offers comprehensive, balanced information for religion scholars, students, media representatives and those with a personal interest in understanding the diversity of religious and spiritual alternatives in the contemporary world."