Kathi and I attended the Spiritual Abuse Forum for Education (SAFE) meeting last Friday in Portland. This is a group that SSB friend and spiritual abuse expert/survivor, Pastor Ken Garrett hosts in a community room at a local restaurant/pub. (If you are ever in Portland, you are welcome to attend. It’s at McMenamins Kennedy School, in a very cool non-churchy environment. Kathi and I even had wine while at the meeting!)
In the meeting, Ken was discussing why people leave high-controlling groups (churches or cults). One reason he mentioned was “unsanctioned friendships.” Those who have read my story know that I have discussed this, but didn’t use that label.
Ken described unsanctioned friendships in his dissertation:
Abusive churches know that genuine friendship between members and non-members present a threat to the church’s control over its members, so such friendships are discouraged. Friendship with outsiders presents the possibility of second…
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