Nov 11, 2021

Second and Multigenerational Adult Former Cult Member Recovery Series

International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA)
November 10, 2021

It's Hard to put Into Words:" Understanding my Experience with Spiritual Abuse Presented by Ashlen Hilliard

1:00 - 2:00 pm EST, Sunday, November 7th, 2021

About this presentation:
Spiritual abuse may present itself in many different ways, and have lasting impacts. This talk will focus on how unhealthy Christian churches may cultivate an environment for spiritual abuse to thrive, the role controlling theology can play in creating a high-pressure environment, and conclude with questions you can raise about a group to help evaluate spiritual abuse, the potential for it, or if high-control scenarios already exist. Understanding my experience was essential for my recovery to begin! The context for this discussion will pull from reflections of being a born and raised former member of a fundamentalist Christian sect.

Overview of series:
This series is specifically for second and multi-generational adult former cult members, however, this is going to be the first program for S/MGAs that is open to all. In the past, ICSA workshops for this population have been limited to those who were themselves born or raised in cults. But we see the increasing need for those outside of this population to learn about the unique recovery issues relevant to S/MGAs.

Presenter Bio:
Ashlen Hilliard is the Director of Events for the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA). Before ICSA, she worked as a case manager in Salt Lake City, Utah that helped individuals leaving polygamy out west. Ashlen relocated to Portland, Oregon in 2020 where she is involved in local Spiritual Abuse Forum for Education (SAFE) Meetups for survivors of cultic and spiritual abuse. Ashlen facilitates support groups and meetings online for former members of cultic groups.

Her current focuses with ICSA are event organization and former member outreach. Ashlen has also presented at multiple ICSA conferences, and continues moderating online conference and webinar programs. She has been interviewed on cults on NPR One Podcast Series with FGCU and The Tennessee Holler. She has published an article in ICSA Today 10.2 / 2019 on, The Genesis, Text, and Implications of Utah House Bill 214: Office for Victims of Crime Amendments.

She is currently pursuing her Masters in the Psychology of Coercive Control through the University of Salford.

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