These sites contain great information, although we do not endorse everything presented. Read with discretion.
Apologetics Index - a huge Christian site packed with good information on aberrant Christian groups.
Battered Sheep - "The purpose of this ministry is essentially twofold: to educate, and to encourage Christians regarding authoritarian and abusive churches."
The Blog of Lema Nal searches out internet resources on spiritual abuse.
Cult Awareness and Information Centre - Mainly a recovering Jehovah's Witness and ex-Mormon site, but has a lot of good general information as well. It's creepy, by the way, how similar the Assemblies were in some ways to the JWs--going door to door, shunning those who leave, not celebrating Christmas or Easter, and on and on....
Ex-Cult.org - Lots of links and several good articles.
Exit and Support Network - A site for former members of the Worldwide Church of God, which was, and still seems to be in spite of a reorganization, a cult in the traditional sense of the word, i. e. not having the Gospel. Because of this, we want to reiterate that we do not agree with everything on this site - proceed with discernment. That said, Worldwide was quite similar to the Assembly in many ways - legalism, elitism, special leader, special seminars, special theology, etc.
Freedom of Mind - Homepage of Steve Hassan, former leader in the Moonies, now a clinician and author of Combatting Cult Mind Control and Releasing the Bonds, two excellent books on recovering from cultic groups.
Geftakys Assembly Bulletin Board - The Assemblyboard, hosted by Brian Tucker of Charleston, IL., is a separate entity from this website, having no connection other than a common background in the ministry of George and Betty Geftakys. Posts in 2003-2004 have a lot of valuable Assembly information and support. Mark Campbell has an insightful series of profiles (anonymous and composite) of various post-Assembly folks. Be prepared for anger and opinions you don't agree with. Much of the discussion in 2005 degenerated into rudeness and manipulation.
High-Demand Church: Post Assembly Musings - Editor's blog, mostly related to the Assembly and spiritual abuse in some way.
How Cults Work - Excellent brief easy-to-read overview about cults, that gives a lot of good basic information and dispels many misconceptions. Scroll to the bottom of the page for a link to the parent organization, Cult Watch (same URL). One of the best features is the "Mind Control Toolbox" under the "Cults" tab.
International Cultic Studies Association website - huge library of articles and resources. ICSA is the premier secular research organization worldwide on the subject of cults. They host an annual conference, as well as workshops around the country.
National Association for Christians in Recovery website - offers substantial help for recovery from trauma and spiritual abuse, as well as addictions. A goldmine of good articles. One example is an interview with David Augsburger, Forgiveness and Its Imitations--very clarifying.
The Plymouth Brethren - A former member of the Exclusive Brethren said, "The similarities [between the Geftakys Assemblies and the Brethren] reach right down to the style and language of the meetings, and, of course, to the rank immorality of the leader and the orchestrated cover up." H. A. Ironside, who was sympathetic to the Brethren, wrote a very revealing history of the movement.
Rick Ross - The most comprehensive site on cults of all varieties, including information on specific groups. There are many articles and short pieces about the Assembly that have been submitted by former members. There was also an article about G. Geftakys's excommunication on Jan. 21, 2003, on Rick Ross's "Cult News" site. The Rick Ross Cult Education Forum also has a thread on the Geftakys Assembly under the topic, 'Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups'.
Spiritual Abuse Recovery Resources - Jeff VanVonderen provides resources and support for people recovering from spiritual abuse. Jeff is one of the authors of The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse (the best intro on the subject, in our opinion) and one of the main speakers on the "Spiritual Abuse Conference" tapes (see Church of the Open Door above).
Stanford Prison Experiment - Slideshow and explanation of Stanford professor Philip G. Zimbardo's famous 1971 experiment showing how good people can be induced to do evil things to each other.
Stop Spiritual Abuse - A very comprehensive Christian cult recovery site, primarily for former members of the United Pentecostal Church. Many good links and resources on this site.
Watchman Fellowship, a ministry of Christian discernment – a Christian counter-cult and watchdog ministry since 1979, with a mission to educate and equip, and to evangelize the cults.
Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center - (Their site seems to be temporarily down for redesign.) Brian Steele, formerly of the Santa Barbara Assembly, has been to Wellspring. He says:
"I left the Assembly about 10 years ago. My experience, and yours I'm sure, is common to everybody who leaves an abusive, manipulative group. I had nightmares for years, seeing a particular leading brother in my dreams. I also ached for others still in the group. There is a whole host of spiritual, social and psychological baggage that we bring with us when we leave. It takes years to work through the issues. I was helped tremendously at a counseling center for cult victims called Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center in Ohio. A number of ex-Assembly members have gone there and can also testify to how helpful it is. The people who run Wellspring are ex-cult members themselves so they have a personal knowledge of what you are going through. I can't overstate their qualifications to help you. Please sincerely consider attending Wellspring. At least give their website a look to see what they have to offer."
Working Psychology - Website of USC professor Dr. Kelton Rhoades . In the section "Introduction to Influence", high-demand tactics are examined from the perspective of science, in a presentation that is very accessible to the non-scientifically minded reader.
Comments from Readers
July 3, 2008 An anonymous reader sent in a recommendation for links to Sovereign Grace ministries, blogs, etc. Another anonymous reader replied: "That is the wrong place to look for help in cult recovery. I barely made it out of SGM alive. Check out these links: Sovereign Grace Ministries Survivors and SpiritualTyranny.com." This is instructive. As with the Assembly, SGM looks okay in the area of doctrine, if you're into Reformed theology, but the practice and conduct of SGM ministries is problematic.