During this year's Secular Summit, we hosted a panel called Leaving Cults and Conspiratorial Thinking Behind. We gathered three experts with deep backgrounds in the subject, including two which fled extreme beliefs themselves. They discussed what motivates people to become victims of high control groups—including Q-Anon, evangelicalism, MAGA, and ultra-fundamentalist sects—and how we can pull people out.
From their perspective, the answers lay less in confrontation and fact checking and more in slow, intentional relationship building—something more akin to addiction recovery than an argument or appeal to reason. We rounded up the top insights that came out of the panel.
It might give you new way to look at your "red-pilled" brother-in-law across the dinner table this Christmas—or help you give hope to somebody stuck in an extreme sect.