Fermín Cabanillas I Seville, (EFE) and studies indicate that it can take up to 20 years to completely get out of these types of organizations.
This is one of the issues being discussed at the congress held in Seville by the Association for the Investigation of Psychological Abuse (AIIAP), according to the clinical psychologist and teacher-supervising psychotherapist, Miguel Perlado, who recalls that sects “are a health problem, but they also constitute a social problem”.
In an interview with EFE, Perlado explained that it is “a hidden phenomenon that sometimes goes unnoticed”, but that anyone can experience at some point in their life: “There is no single profile, but there are situations in which we see similarities in moments of risk, such as when suffering a duel or being especially vulnerable.
At that moment, people become susceptible to discourses that touch on areas of fragility”.
young and idealistic
In this way, a person without studies or a university doctorate runs the same risk, and according to Perlado, the sects normally look for “young, idealistic people, who go out of their way, who want to change things in society”, in short, people “who wants to change the world”.
At this point, the clinical psychologist distinguishes between religious movements and sects, and recalls that the latter “are not always exclusively religious”, since, in essence, religions “do not force people, do not coerce, respect decisions, do not they distance people from their circles of relationship, and promote the growth of people in the face of sects, which dissociate them”.
“Religions do not seek to monopolize the mental life of people or turn them into subjugated robots,” he explains, adding that “in any religious institution we find moments of control, but that is not necessarily why they are sects.”
The analysis of sectarian movements goes as far as Nazism, of which he says that it had “a clear component” that would place it among these groups, in which “money is not always sought nor do they have a criminal beginning. There is knowledge of a person who believes he is endowed with extraordinary talents, and has something that the crazy man on the street who believes he is Jesus Christ does not have. I call them ‘malignant narcissists’, who want to parasitize, and when you are an empty shell they throw you away and move on to the next one”.
help to get out
This “malignant narcissism” -he continues- is seen in terrorist organizations such as ETA, because “terrorist groups have clear sectarian dynamics”, although “every group like this has a sect within it, but not every sect commits terrorist acts”, and cites cases concrete, such as Aum Shinriky, who on March 20, 1995 killed 13 people in the Tokyo subway with sarin gas. “Usually they commit psychological terrorism, but they don’t go into action in such a violent way.”
But, when does a person realize that they are subjected to a sect and want to get out of it? Miguel Perlado says that it is “when the temperature has risen so much that they are like frogs in boiling water and feel that they are burning. The group tells you that it is a necessary tension for your training, but when it exceeds certain limits, the person begins to break because control is daily and abuse, sexual and of all kinds, is suffered.
From there begins a process that can end 10, 15 or 20 years after joining the sect, and which normally begins when the family of the person affected is the one who goes to a psychologist or psychiatrist to help them.
A complicated job then begins, with many ups and downs, until that person is managed to leave the sect, but at least 450,000 in all of Spain continue within them, on many occasions without being aware of living with their mind canceled and prey to a situation from which it is very difficult to get out. EFE