top of page

Currently there are at least four major, identifiable perspectives on how people best understand and recover from religious abuse.  These basic theoretical viewpoints are:


                 (a) thought-reform or mind-control perspective,

                 (b) deliberative or Conversionist conceptualization,

                 (c) psychosocial needs-based perspective and finally

                 (d) dynamic-systems approach.  


Both secular and faith-based (Christian) adherents can be variously identified in each of these perspectives.  All these viewpoints have various strengths and limitations.  Each is helpful to the extent possible, given the limitations of its assumptions.  A larger contextual approach is helpful to better understand involvement in and recovery from religiously abusive environments.


As a result of decades of personal religious abuse recovery, study and coaching practice this book suggests an integrative model SECURE for the benefit of clinicians, supportive loved ones and former members. 

New Book by Dr. Patrick J. Knapp

Final draft of cover1024_1.jpg

This book was originally a doctoral thesis, but was modified for a broader readership.  It is most likely of benefit to academics or clinicians interested in understanding religious abuse and recovery. 

This book was written primarily with clinicians in mind. Multiple authors provide excellent insights for the broad spectrum of counselors as they seek to best meet the needs of their religiously abused clients. 

This book was written primarily for those with experience of religious abuse within a aberrant Christian environment and are seeking recovery. 

                                                               Two New Books on Religious Abuse Recovery - 

                          Wounded Faith: Understanding and healing from spiritual abuse.  Cult Recovery:  A clinician's guide. 




                                                    Book Reviews by Dr. Patrick J. Knapp


William Lobdale Losing my Religion 

Michael J. Kruger Bully Pulpit:  Confronting the Problem of Spiritual Abuse in the Church

Barbara Orlowski Spiritual Abuse Recovery 

Watchman Nee Spiritual Authority 

Michael Langone Recovery from Cults 

Philip Yancey Disappointment with God:  Three questions no one asks aloud 

Lauren Hunter, Leaving Christian Science: 10 stories of new faith in Jesus Christ. 

Kenneth J. Garrett, In the House of Friends:  Understanding and healing from spiritual abuse in Christian Churches. 

Eric Metaxas, Letter to the American Church.



Autobiography of Patrick J. Knapp (In revision)

The Place of Mind Control in the Cult Recovery Process (MA thesis) by Patrick J. Knapp                             

Logotherapy and Recovery from Religious Abuse by Patrick J. Knapp

A Short  Evaluation of Watchman Nee by Patrick J. Knapp

The Latter Rain Movement parts I and 2 by Dr. Robert McGregor Wright

A helpful understanding regarding divorce and remarriage, by Dr. Craig Blomberg

Still Side by Side by Janet George (A concise explanation of biblical gender equality)

How a Dysfunctional Family Functions like a Cult by Jose Fernandez Aguado 

                                                      Additional educational websites

International Cultic Studies Association

Take Back Your Life Recovery

Watchman Fellowship

Apologetics Index

                                                                    Free Books on line by Ron Enroth


Churches that Abuse –

Recovery from Churches that Abuse –

                                                                       Counseling resources

Carson Miles, MA LPC, 5690 DTC Blvd, Suite 120W, Greenwood Village, Co. 80111 phone 303-596-8586

Doug Feil, MS, LPC, Feil Counseling and Consulting, 6112 S. Devinney Way, Littleton, Co. 80127

    Littleton, Co. phone 720-689-4631

International Cultic Studies resources: 


                                                           Life-Recovery Coaching

Pat & Heidi Knapp – We can provide personal support along with helpful coaching that can assist and guide you through the healing process of your recovery journey.  For details on our one on one Life-Recovery Coaching go to our coaching link located in the Menu bar.


                       Other books for understanding Spiritual or Religious abuse & recovery

I Can't Hear God Anymore:  Life in a Dallas cult by Wendy J. Duncan

Boundaries: When to say Yes, when to say No, to take control of your life by Henry Cloud & John Townsend

Being Human: The nature of spiritual experience by Ranald Macaulay & Jerram Barrs

Captive Hearts Captive Minds: Freedom and recovery from cults and abusive relationships by Madeleine Landau, Tobias & Janja Lalich

True Spirituality by Francis A. Schaeffer

Bounded Choice:  True believers and charismatic cults by Janja Lalich

Families Where Grace is in Place:  Getting free from the burden of pressuring, controlling and manipulating your  spouse and children by Jeff VanVonderen

Leaving Christian Science: 10 Stories of new faith in Jesus Christ by Lauren Hunter

Out of the Cults and into the Church: Understanding and encouraging ex-cultists by Janis Hutchinson

Soulcraft: How God shapes us through relationships by Douglas D. Webster

Soul Repair: Rebuilding your spiritual life by Jeff VanVonderen, Dale & Juanita Ryan

In the House of Friends: Understanding and Healing from Spiritual Abuse in Christian Churches by Kenneth J. Garrett

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing and escaping spiritual manipulation and false spiritual authority within the church by  David Johnson & Jeff VanVonderen

Shepherds & Sheep: A Biblical View of Leading & Following by Jerram Barrs

Recovery From Cults: Help for victims of psychological and spiritual abuse – Editor Michael Langone



                         Organizations: The following links are provided, not necessarily fully-endorsed 

  • MeadowHaven – is a medium term (1-2 month) residential recovery center for those coming out of cults or religiously abusive environments.

  • Freedom of Mind – Steve Hassan is author of “Combating Cult Mind Control” and “Releasing the Bonds”.  

  • Reveal – Reveal is an organization of former members of the International Churches of Christ (ICC) (ICOC), Boston Church of Christ/ “Boston Movement”, and Crossroads Church of Christ/”Crossroads Movement”.

  • INFORM – INFORM (Information Network Focus on Religious Movements) is affiliated with the London School of Economics.

  • International Cultic Studies Association (Previously known as the American Family Foundation) – The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) provides practical, cult-related resources and services for families, former group members, mental health professionals, clergy, attorneys, educators, and young people.

  • Apologetics Index – Vast clearing house of cult-related news, information, resources, etc. One of the best sites on the Web regarding cults and abusive groups.

  • Christians for Biblical Equality - Organization that educates on the importance of male/female equality

  • Darkness to Light – a large Christian informational website providing thoughtful and carefully researched material on the topic of religious abuse and belief

  • Cult News - information website on various newsworthy articles on religious abuse and resources for thought reform interventions. 

  • Witnesses for Jesus - a Christian information website for those particularly challenged by Jehovah Witnesses and Mormonism. 

  • Watchman Fellowship - a Christian information website with a well-informed large base of information about various groups

  • Ananias - a Christian website, by former members of Christian Science for those seeking answers about Christian Science.  Excellent resource for those struggling to understand and recover from Christian Science. 

  • Fellowship of former Christian Scientists - a Christian website, by former members of Christian Science for those seeking support and education for recovery.  Another excellent resource for those struggling with recovery specific to Christian Science. 

bottom of page