Aug 6, 2022

CultNEWS101 Articles: 8/6-7/2022 (Special Event: Discussion on reproductive coercion and cults)

With the reversal of Roe vs. Wade, this is not only a timely but a critical subject area to explore with a population that is often stigmatized and in need of support and recovery resources.

 The Details:

Date: 12 pm - 2 pm Pacific Time, Sunday, August 7th, 2022
Format: Free zoom webinar, open to all!
The first segment of this webinar will be a presentation of research conducted by Ashlen Hilliard in fulfillment of the MSc Psychology of Coercive Control Program on the relationship between reproductive coercion, psychologically abusive environments, and the extent of group identity in a sample of those who have left cultic groups,
Ashlen's research is the first exploratory analysis of the complex experiences of individuals who have experienced reproductive coercion while under the influence of a cultic or destructive group setting. Her research fills an identifiable gap in the literature by specifically studying how reproductive coercion manifests in destructive group settings, which has only been anecdotally alluded to from survivor accounts.
Following the presentation of Ashlen's research findings, an opportunity for Q&A will be available. We understand that this can be a difficult topic, and we are grateful that therapist Doni Whitsett, PhD, LCSW, MFT will be joining Ashlen Hilliard as a discussant for the Q&A session.
Have any questions? Feel free to email Ashlen at

Presenter Information:
Ashlen Hilliard is a cult intervention specialist helping families with loved ones in cultic or high-control groups or relationships and is the face behind People Leave Cults. She completed her MSc in the Psychology of Coercive Control in early 2022 and conducted research on the relationship between reproductive coercion, psychologically abusive environments, and the extent of group identity in a sample of those who have left cultic groups. Ashlen has previous experience working for multiple non-profit settings in the field of cult recovery. Most recently, this has included working as Director of Events for the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA). During that time, she facilitated workshops, webinars, and conferences for those in touch with multiple aspects of the cult phenomenon including therapists, former members, legal professionals, media representatives, academics, and others. Previous to her work with ICSA, she also worked as a case manager in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the non-profit Holding Out Help, where she was involved in the front lines of helping individuals leaving diverse polygamist communities out West. She currently enjoys living in Portland, Oregon where she is a volunteer co-organizer of the Spiritual Abuse Forum for Education (SAFE) Meetup for those who have left or are considering leaving high-demand religious groups in the local community.
Doni Whitsett, PhD, LCSW, MFT, is a Fulbright scholar and a Clinical Professor Emerita of Social Work at the University of Southern California where she taught courses focused on neurobiology, trauma, mental health, and sexuality for over 25 years. As a psychotherapist in private practice she has been working with cult-involved clients and their families for almost 4 decades. She has presented to professional audiences both nationally and internationally in Australia, Canada, France, Poland, and Spain. Published articles focus on neurobiological implications of cult involvement and families and cults (co-authored with Dr. Stephen Kent). Her latest publications include chapters on "A modern psychodynamic approach to working with 1st generation cult survivors" and "Global violence of women in cults." As an AASECT certified sex therapist, Dr. Whitsett was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Scholarship in 2016 to study, teach, and do research on sexuality in China.; (323) 907-2400.

News, Education, Intervention, Recovery to help families and friends understand and effectively respond to the complexity of a loved one's cult involvement. assists group members and their families make the sometimes difficult transition from coercion to renewed individual choice. news, links, resources.




Instagram resources about cults, cultic groups, abusive relationships, movements, religions, political organizations and related topics.

Selection of articles for CultNEWS101 does not mean that Patrick Ryan or Joseph Kelly agree with the content. We provide information from many points of view in order to promote dialogue.

Please forward articles that you think we should add to

No comments: