Recovering From Churches That Abuse

© 1994  Ronald Enroth

Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan

All rights reserved. Used by permission. No portion of this online edition of the book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, except for brief quotations for the purpose of review, comment, or scholarship, without written permission from the author.


1. Church work with ex-cultists. 2. Ex-cultists—Religious life. 3. Ex-cultists—Pastoral counseling of. 4. Enroth, Ronald M. Churches that abuse. 5. Control (Psychology)—Religious aspects—Christianity. 
BV 4460.55.E67 || 259.0869 || LC: 94-13553 || ISBN 0-310-39870-3 || OCLC: 30318174 || 166p.

Recovering From Churches That Abuse is presently held by 147 libraries including the Los Angeles Public Library and the Boston Public Library.

Table of Contents

From the Jacket of the Book

Preface       9

Acknowledgments       13

1.  Searching for Freedom       15

2.  Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel?       33

3.  "I'd Like to Really Live, Not Just Survive"       49

4.  "Grace to People Who Know They Need It"       73

5.  "Next Christmas, We'll Get a Tree"       93

6.  A Broken Bone That Heals Is Stronger . . .        109

7.  "God Took Time to Visit His Lost Child"       121

8.  "Grace Is the Best Thing in the World"       137

Epilogue: Can Churches Change?       147

Notes (See each chapter)       161  

Dedicated to all those hurting Christians who thought nobody cared or understood. You are not alone.


When Ronald Enroth wrote the best-selling book Churches That Abuse, he touched a nerve with many people who had experienced the pain inflicted by fringe churches and religious groups having authoritarian or other hurtful styles. In this book Enroth points the way toward spiritual and emotional healing for those who have come out of these groups.

This book will help the victims of spiritual abuse and their families cope with reentry into the Christian mainstream, and it will prove invaluable to counselors and pastors who are helping these people to find their way. Specific topics, presented through the narrative style of the book, include dispelling emotional confusion, restoring relationships, regaining independence and making other life adjustments, coping with disorientation, returning to reality, and renewing a wholesome personal relationship with God.

What people say about Churches That Abuse:

"One of the top ten books of 1992." Christianity Today poll

"Enroth has done a tremendous service to the Christian and secular communities  will serve as a classic." Christian Research Journal

"By equipping readers with the very discernment skills for which Enroth pleads, Churches That Abuse may help break the spell of abusive ministers and churches." Christianity Today

"Pastors need to read this timely book." Advance, Assemblies of God

Ronald Enroth is a leading scholar on cults and cultism respected by both secular and religious media. He is professor emeritus of sociology at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California. Among his other books are The Lure of the Cults and New Religions and Youth, Brainwashing and the Extremist Cults.

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