Spiritual self defense, especially for cult exits

                This article is written for those, who feel ‘attacked’, harassed or cursed spiritually, especially after leaving a cult. I am a Spiritual Healer mNFSH (member National Federation of Spiritual Healers, aka The Healing Trust), but more importantly perhaps, I used to be member of a (religious) cult myself. I will try to share my experiences and what has helped me.. Please note that I am NOT a trained psychotherapist or medical professional, and what I write is not meant to replace any medical advice or treatment. The reason I wrote this is, that I have found articles and books before, which either deal with the psychological side of cult exit or with spiritual self-defense, but none, which combine the two, so hopefully this article will bridge that gap.

(N.B. this article is written using mainly religious cult wording. There is not just ‘religious’ cults though, there is also e.g. political, psycho-analytical or family cults. If you are/ were member of such, some of what I report might be helpful to you too, mainly though, if you can consider using spiritual tools to assist you in your recovery. Also – brainwashing does not necessarily have to happen through a physical guru or group, potentially you can take on erroneous, damaging and limiting teachings through just reading books etc. Digging yourself out of such teachings can be hard work too, and below tools might help too.)

                What is a spiritual attack? It is hard to put into words. The most plausible way to describe it, is to say, that another individual/ being, or group of individuals/ beings, think ill of you, and, in a quite targeted manner, direct that ill-will towards you. You might hear voices (e.g. either trying to diminish your self-confidence, or give you instructions, which, if followed, might harm you or others); you might ‘feel’ attacked -  there might be sudden irrational bouts of (extreme) fear,  you might (irrationally) feel like just curling over and wanting to die, there might be phantom pains or other medically unexplained ill-feelings, sudden or continuous feelings of weakness or tiredness (as if your energy is being drained), to some even feeling (spiritually) raped, and others.

You ‘feeling’ these negative energies, may either be because they are very strong and or because you are more sensitive than the average human? Obviously I am well aware that this might be seen as a ‘contentious’ subject. Feeling or fearing one is being spiritually attacked, harassed or cursed will be seen by many as a bit of a loony subject. Many members of the public would likely class your experiences as paranoid or psychotic. That is fine! It is their choice. – From a spiritual perspective, everything we feel is energy and ‘real’. It will feel (very) ‘real’ to you anyway. To say that the attacking energies are ‘real’ obviously assumes though that there is (spiritual) energies, which one can potentially feel, and which might be able to influence what we think and feel – i.e. we are not just material bodies, and what you experience is not just e.g. random nerves mis-firing, or hormones or neuro-transmitters  malfunctioning. If one does allow though for e.g. telepathy, telekinesis etc. then what you do feel might be ‘real’? I say ‘might’ be, as spiritual energies are usually ‘unseen’, so there is seldom cast iron guarantees. You feeling attacked by e.g. your ex-guru, therefore does not mean that your ex-guru is the source of these energies. They could come from spiritual beings associated with him/ her, his/ her followers, another source ‘masquerading’ as coming from your ex-guru and or you actually do suffer from a mental dis-ease (if that too is not just some ill-energies messing with you, remains to be discussed!). Where the energies and ultimately your un-wellness originate from, we might never know 100% (well, we might find out in the after-life, if one can believe in that. Trust me though, I am confident the uncertainty does not warrant you throwing your (physical) life away over it!). When utilizing spiritual tools (as described below), to combat spiritual attacks, it is not essential to know their source, but I do understand the natural urge to want to know. You might suffer considerably, and it is a natural human reflex to want to understand ‘why?’ and ‘what is happening to you?’. Being in the midst of heavy suffering can make it hard to stay calm and rational. I find it does help to ask myself questions such as – ‘Does the person(/ persons) I am suspecting have enough of a motive?’ ;  ‘Are they likely to have the spiritual tools to attack me?’ (i.e. if you feel very off, they would have to possess considerable e.g. black magic knowledge); if attacks go on for a long time –‘Is there enough motive to justify such prolonged attacks?’. Attempting to answer such questions can be difficult and outside (more detached) help might be helpful! It is good to ask these questions though, to rule out potential paranoia. I am not saying that our feelings would be delusional, but have you e.g. checked potential physical sources or considered other explanations, then just the cult?

I personally shied away from asking for outside help, as I feared, that I will be just classed as paranoid, psychotic or delusional. In retrospect, I think, I though made things harder for me than necessary! I’d strongly suggest, if you have not already, to buy books about cult psychology and cults in general1.)2.)3.). I unfortunately did not do so until about 10 years after I left my cult. It might have saved me many worries! Reading about other cults really put things in perspective! E.g. my guru had always claimed that he was one of the strongest on the planet, and in regressions, he had been identified as major religious figures/ teachers from the past (such as Buddha, Jesus etc.)! Reading that there is hundreds, if not thousands of gurus though, who likely claim similar, really helped. (There seems to be a lot of re-incarnated Jesus-es around.) Understanding how sociopathic individuals (like manipulative gurus) operate, how charisma works and how easy it is to fall for it, helped me to forgive myself for having fallen for my guru’s lies. It also helped me to dismantle my vision of him being holy, perfect and unimpeachable.  Furthermore finding out that pretty much all cults (and there is many more than I had suspected) operate in similar manners was helpful. I learned that brainwashing techniques are not easy to spot for a layman, and that just about anyone can fall prey to them (most cult followers are actually higher educated). I.e. I had not just been stupid, naïve or (too) ignorant! Furthermore – many cult-exits experience feelings of psychic attack, for a while, after leaving their cult. It is quite common, and clued in therapists will rather classify your symptoms as temporary and trauma induced (similar to PTSD), rather than a full blown (genetic?) mental illness!

Clued in therapists? Yes, it seems there is psychotherapists, psychiatrist etc., who know about cult psychology, what damage it can inflict in followers and who potentially can help and support you professionally! If you do decide to seek professional help, and have a choice, try to find such a therapist! If you do not have a choice, try asking your therapist to read about cult psychology, brainwashing techniques and their effects on followers. Especially if you were member of a bigger cult, there might also be self-help groups, organized by other ‘cult-exits’, who can support you!

I should have done so in the beginning, but if you are a cult-exit, first of all – Congratulations! You might still feel like you’re a no-body (the cult will likely have tried it’s best to undermine your self-confidence), fear you are a traitor (many cults will have induced fears that leaving them is unforgivable, another nail in humanities’ coffin, et. al.) , sooo stupid for having fallen for your guru’s lie, etc., etc. NO -  you should actually congratulate yourself for having made it out, potentially unmasked the guru, and or his lies! I used to beat myself up, that it took me two long years to unmask my guru and leave my cult – in retrospect, 15 years on, some of my fellow cult members, back then, are still with him! 2 years is nothing! Also, you might not be able to see it yet – but you will likely have learned several great life skills. Your time in the cult is likely not a total write off. You might not feel like it yet, but you are probably a much stronger individual for it! Wiser - anyone just try to manipulate or brainwash you in future, you’ll soon see through their attempts! More fearless – if you could survive the cult, there is not much else life can throw at you, which you cannot master! Then there likely is potentially thousands of hours, your guru might have made you meditate or perform other spiritual tasks – you will be further spiritually developed for them (even if you cannot feel or see it yet!), etc. You can survive this! And it will come to a stop at some point (hopefully not too far away)!

So you are out of the cult, and besides having to re-integrate into ‘normal’ society, having to sort through all of your guru’s/ cult’s teachings and weed out the truths from the lies (mixing spiritual truths with lies is what makes such teaching so insidious and hard to spot), potentially apologize to family of friends you might have shunned or hurt during your cult time – and on top of all that you feel attacked and pretty rotten!  Fortunately there is help available. Hopefully (at least some of) your family and former friends will have forgiven you/ welcomed you back, and are supporting you too. You might find new friends and or get professional help – I am talking about spiritual help though.

Coming out of a religious/ spiritual cult – you might not have a taste for using spiritual tools at the moment. That is fine! The Divine will not be offended. The Divine (or I call it Ultimate Good), I believe in, is unconditionally loving and knows It and You are eternal. There is no rush finding back to It!

My guru claimed to have been Jesus, so I was scared that it might in fact be true? If so, were the (Christian) heavens in league with him? Was the whole Universe unjust and based on cruelty and lies? I tried to remember that there is plenty of other humans, who have higher believes, who seem to be getting along just fine, and who seem to feel helped and supported by the Divine. Were they all prey of some huge Divine conspiracy? These questions were very scary. At least they helped me not attempt suicide though – perhaps I was safer in a human body than up there with ‘Them’.  Questions such as these plagued me for a good while. The reasoning I found, and which helped me,  is, that I can see enough ‘Goodness’ in e.g. my fellow humans, to rule out that in our core we are all just rotten. If the Divine would be so evil, everything would be evil – no? Somehow believing that ‘Goodness’ is at the core of life and consciousness just makes more sense to me, than evil! So I figured that beyond any negativities we encounter on this planet, must be infinite Ultimate Goodness. (I do delve deeper into these philosophical questions in – Tours and Cures of a Lightsoldier4.), and attempt to explore them much more thorough and convincingly there). Anyway – over the years, my believe in Ultimate Good, bigger and stronger than any potential evil, has re-enforced itself evermore. Furthermore I am confident that evil is but a temporary and finite illusion, and the only eternal reality is - Love and Goodness! Since in the cult spirituality, pain and lies were likely so real and intertwined with teachings of Goddness, it might take you a while to dis-entangle the two and reassert your believes in an all-powerful, unconditionally loving and all-good Divine though – again that is fine! Once you can give Goodness any credence at all, perhaps consider praying to It/ Them again? Just address your prayer to ‘Ultimate Good Energies ONLY!’ – and ask such for their help to heal, cleanse and protect you and your life, etc. If Ultimate Good exists, you’ll receive help. Perhaps think of it this way too – if Ultimate Good does exist, and we live in a free will system -you have to ask for help to receive it. Now – you being miserable, paranoid and disconnected from Ultimate Good is exactly what the cult/ your ex-guru wants – will you give them the satisfaction?? Personally I had found my believe in higher, benevolent Forces, before my guru spoiled them, and I rather fought to find them again than succumb to his restrictive and punitive teachings!

(NB.:  This article does not attempt to answer the fundamental question – ‘Is there a spiritual realm in the first place?’ I cannot say that I was all free already from such doubts, after leaving the cult, but then I had experienced enough spiritual events to affirm my believe that a spiritual realm was definitely a possibility. If you are still struggling with that question, I would recommend perhaps looking into literature about e.g. Near Death Experiences (especially E.Kuebler-Ross’s works 5.)), Remote Viewing, works on the effects of spiritual healing and remote healing, by e.g. Daniel J Benor, MD 6.)or the book - The Field, by Lynne McTaggart7.).)

I am not saying finding your believes and stopping the attacks (wherever they are from) will always be easy, even with the more advanced tools I’ll give you – but I have never found a better, more viable alternative than to fight! Even if some victories in this battle do not seem large, any single one is a potential kick in the butt for your guru/ cult, or other negative energies – and that can be very satisfactory (obviously in a loving, non-revengeful way J). All that besides the fact, that I believe, that reconnecting with Ultimate Good is finding (or re-asserting) your own true Self and strength again!

So let’s come to spiritual healing and self-defense tools. I do believe in ‘Ask and it is Given’, especially on a spiritual level, and even more so if it is regarding healing and absolving suffering. – So ultimately you just have to pray and ask for ‘’Perfect’ divine help to heal any suffering in your life,  as well as perfect divine protections, for as long as they are required and sensible - As much help and protections as necessary, possible, available and sensible!’ In order to make this prayer as effective as possible – I’d also tell the Divine, that they have card blanche with regards to the amount, strength, frequency and extend of help they deem necessary.  - Some battles e.g.  might require armies of Angels; so if you were to believe you only have one Guardian Angel to help you – you might restrict the help necessary and available to achieve a full healing. A full healing might then take a very long time, or even become impossible…). I always ask for perfect healings, cleansings, protections and recharges of my energies/ my bodies plus my life (to include possible healings that have to happen outside of ‘my-self’ – e.g. stopping an ex- guru from attacking you again…). (And if, like I used to, you might be afraid, that, whatever is attacking you, might go on to attack your family, friends, work-colleagues etc.  – just ask for ‘perfect’ protections for them too. And potentially takes some comfort out of me telling you that none of my family, friends, colleagues etc., did come to undue harm, during my years of feeling ‘attacked’)

Just praying can potentially be a bit boring, plus, especially when feeling bad, I have a strong desire to be a more active part of my healings. I might therefore e.g. use visualizations to append them. I e.g. work a lot with healthy, divine Earth and Sun energies. I ask them to connect to me, and visualize such. I then ask them to help me heal, to find whatever is attacking me and to help heal , stop or remove those energies. Working with allies, such as the Earth and Sun helps me put things into perspective too! E.g.  – even if my Ex-guru and his about 100 followers were to attack me, their biomass is but a dust particle, compared to Earth’s + Sun’s! I also believe that ultimately there is abundant Ultimate Help available to heal everything negative on this planet (and wherever else). So mentioned Angel-armies are always on stand-by – and will always far outnumber any possible non-benevolent entities….  Another tool, whichI found to be helpful is – Angel Hierarchies! So there is – Angels; Archangels; Principalities or Rulers; Powers or Authorities; Virtues; Dominions; Thrones or Ophanim; Cherubim; Seraphim and ultimately Gods and Goddesses (or God, if that is what you believe). I.e. if, when fighting some negative energies calling upon Angels (even armies), does not seem to shift enough, I go one step up the Angel Power hierarchy and call upon Archangels. If even Archangel armies don’t seem to be shifting anything – Rulers etc, etc. Nowadays I just remember that I asked for as much and as strong help as necessary, possible, available and sensible – but it still feels good to know that whatever strength Ultimate Good beings are required to help – will help. You can obviously work with other beings (you might believe in) – such as healing Dragons or Unicorns, Power-animals etc. (I friendly warning though -  as I started to work myself up the Angel hierarchy – I indeed had to work myself up it. With each step up, I’d usually be attacked by feelings of – ‘Am I worthy of their help?’, which could be quite uncomfortable, but then usually did not take too long to dissipate. )

Many books on spiritual self-defense will recommend visualizing and or asking for protections around yourself – such as e.g. a healing and protecting bubble of Divine light around you and your aura. I’d just ask that all your protections be semi-permeable. I.e. they should let ‘good’ energies in – un-impeded, let negative energies out effortlessly and keep out, as well as possible, any energies that are not beneficial to your well-being. I usually ask for those protections to be self-healing. –cleansing, -re-charging, and  -protecting! Now, especially when attacked, some writers will recommend to have a mirror between you and your attacker – deflecting any negative energies sent. It can be tempting to do so. If someone/ something makes you hurt – they should hurt too (even if just to taste their own medicine?). It has taken me some years to clear myself fully of such confusions. Nowadays I ask for any ‘attacking’ negative energy to just be removed and taken to the big, cosmic, ultimate-good energy recycling – or whatever my divine helpers think suitable! Sending energies ‘back’ might just stoke the fire and give your attackers even more justification to hate you, potentially they can re-use the sent-back ammunitions – all things that I try to avoid! (then there is the not so small worry too, that a mirror might reflect energies wrongly, e.g. at an angle, and in my retaliation, I would end up hurting innocent bystanders…)

Ideally after doing all this, you just have to sit back and wait and or get on with your normal life. With bigger battles, which can initially really zonk your energy, make you feel depressed or else – that is easier said than done. You’ll have to train your patience and trust that the Divine helpyou have asked for is indeed, bigger, cleverer and stronger than your opponents. Then there is the trust that the helping beings and energies ‘know’ where your attackers reside etc. All this does get somewhat easier with time though, I found! (before I learned, trusted and then believed that all healing energies and beings are intelligent and all-knowing, I frequently feared that I had to exactly visualize what (e.g. color of energy) I had to send exactly where – and that if I got it wrong my efforts would have little effect, if not naught. Today I am confident that I do not have to worry, or know! I just have to trust healings are happening, even if during heavy attacks I might not be able to feel much of my helpers at all. I then have to remember, that past attacks always passed too!) If I am in a deep valley, and the only thing that really is needed is patience, I try my best to not dwell on my misery too much. Distract myself, watch some comedy, read a riveting book, meet with friends etc….

So what kind of progress can you expect when using the above tools? I wish I could give you a definite answer, such as – use for three weeks and all will be well again. I have met two other cult exits personally, one had Chronic Fatigue symptoms, and initially feelings of being attacked, the other felt initially raped (by demons) and attacked. I talked to them though before I started to analyze more and write, so I did not ask about time frames, I just know that they got over it (or the attacks ceased after a while).  Personally I felt ‘attacked’ for a good few years. About a year after the cult I started to develop Chronic Fatigue, which lasted almost ten years. The first few years of which, I often feared that my un-wellness was due to my ex- guru attacking.  I used most of the above tools (except for angel hierarchies), but still did not feel better.  That does not mean I do not believe in those tools though. What eventually helped me to stop believing, that I was ‘being attacked’, by my ex-guru, was reading about cults and cult psychology. Thereafter I talked to a psychotherapist, who specializes in cult issues - he had been ‘threatened’ but many a guru, and his/ her followers, over the years, but actually his health had improved, since doing his work.  - I had called in as much Ultimate Good help as necessary, possible, available and sensible – surely an army of angels could stop my ex-guru attacking! I realized that I was giving him far too much power. Even likely being psychotic, I doubt he could hate me enough to come after me for years, nor have the skills. That still left me with ‘unexplained’ Chronic Fatigue symptoms though, where were they coming from? Why were they there? It took a few more years to understand, and allow myself to accept, that I am an empath. I guess all hours I had invested in spiritual work, during my cult years, had made me more sensitive and powerful, then I had imagined. Only when I started to understand that pretty much any negative feelings and thoughts I experienced were not my own anymore (but taken on from others around me), did I stop to ‘hold onto’ such emotions, etc and just let them flow through. It seems that whatever I get in negative energies is either energies resisting my presence or trying to use me as a channel out. Sure, when negative energies flow through, they can be uncomfortable, but it always comes to an end again, and then I feel well and happy. It seems to be part of my divine purpose to be a bit of a negative-energy-Hoover on this planet.  Then it does help with my massage and healing work on clients, as it makes me more intuitive, so it can has it’s benefits too! (On the physical, I also discovered that I seemed to have been VitD deficient and required regular, strong probiotics).

I.e. that means that initially I might have been attacked by my ex-guru, sure, but then it was likely mostly other energies resisting my relative ‘lightness’ and or trying to use me as a channel-out! Some resisting energies can be relatively psychotic, so if they think that it will weaken you, to make you believe you are being attacked by your ex-guru or cult – they will masquerade as such. That is why I initially said ask yourself questions such as – ‘Does the person(/ persons) I am suspecting have enough of a motive?’ ;  ‘Are they likely to have the spiritual tools to attack me?’ (i.e. if you feel very off, they would have to possess considerable e.g. black magic knowledge); if attacks go on for a long time –‘Is there enough motive to justify such prolonged attacks?’ So again – I do hope that with the above mentioned tools you will be able to overcome any potential attacks, or what might feel like attacks within days, weeks, or at least months; if you still suffer after such time, you might have to look into other explanations of where the energy might be coming from, etc.. At least allowing armies of ultimate good beings to assist your happiness (and trusting my word/ believe, telling you that they exist and will help, ones you ask for it will alleviate any fears that you are not asking for ‘enough’ help. Even with armies of ultimate good beings some healing processes can take a while to work through, but in my experience (and having asked for it), I usually get some explanation of what is making me feel off, which in turn helps me understand, and stay patient.

So all the tools mentioned above really help me to deal with day to day potential energy battles. And nowadays, very few ‘attacks’ last longer than a few hours… I am confident too, that negative energies are finite, there might be plenty around, but the more people ask for them to be removed (and help with Lightwork), the sooner we’ll ‘clean up’ this, our planet, and make it a more pleasant place to live on.

This article covers some aspects which ‘Tours and Cures of a Lightsodier’ does not, but then the book obviously is more in depth in other aspects. E.g. ‘Tours and Cures of a Lightsoldier’ gives many more details about my cult experiences, and I attempt to analyze how energies (both good and bad) function on this planet, in order to defuse unnecessary paranoias, and or find more effective tools to combat ‘negative’ energies…

Again – I am not a psychotherapist, just a Spiritual Healer and an experienced ex-cult-member, but if you fancy an ally in combating whatever energies seem to pester you and or some help with potentially dismantling your cults philosophy (I am more versed with spiritual ones than say political), feel free to contact me and book an appointment.

 Feel free to share this blog – I just ask that you keep it as a whole/ unaltered, and reference it to me/ this website as the author. Thanks

Book suggestions:


1.) Combating Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best-Selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults – Steven Hassan

2.) Recovery from Cults: Help For Victims Of Psychological And Spiritual Abuse - Michael D. Langone

3.) Take Back Your Life: Recovering From Cults & Abusive Relationships – Janja Lalich

4.) Tours and Cures of a Lightsoldier: Surviving the Path to Enlightenment – Alexander King

5.) On Life After Death,  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

6.) Spiritual Healing: Scientific Validation of a Healing Revolution, Daniel J Benor

7.) The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe, Lynne McTaggart