Oct. 19, 2022
People Leave Cults w/Ashlen Hilliard
Ashley Hilliard is a cult intervention specialist…
Ashley 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.
In this insightful conversation, Rachel catches up with her colleague and learns more about how her upbringing in a high-control religious environment impacts the work she does today. Together Rachel and Ashley compare notes on the emotional complexities of cult intervention and the plight of cult survivors and their families, offering up nuanced thoughts on methods for healthy recovery.
Before You Go: Rachel expands upon Ashlen's chameleon metaphor, explaining why blending in in different environments can be so beneficial for those who've lived under coercive control.
Find more information on People Leave Cults: https://www.peopleleavecults.com/
People Leave cults YouTube Channel:
You can sign up for Rachel's webinar series LIVING IN FREEDOM here:
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