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Helping Cult Survivors: The International Cultic Studies Association

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she still stands
Swann house statue survivor, Tampa, FL. This image inspired me to keep writing about my cult experience.

I am dedicating this post to offering important information from The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), a non-profit dedicated to providing help to former high-control group (cult) members, their families, academics, educators, and counselors. ICSA is hosting several conferences around the U.S. this year. Last month, I gave a presentation at their wonderful Florida conference.

Feel free to forward this blog post to those who could benefit.

By the way, I am giving a presentation at the Bordeaux conference, “Breaking the Power of Cult Symbols.” You can read about it on the Events page of this website.


Conferences, workshops, and special events are important to the growth of ICSA because events are where personal contacts are made and friendships formed and strengthened. For this reason, ICSA is trying to offer a greater variety of events in different geographical areas.  Please tell others about events that may interest them. The following are scheduled:

ICSA Annual Conference in Bordeaux, France

June 29 – July 1, 2017 (preconference workshops on June 28th)

Bordeaux, France

More Info: http://www.icsahome.com/events/conferenceannual


Spiritual Abuse: A Conference for Victims and Those Who Want to Help

August 5, 2017

Dartmouth, Massachusetts

More Info: http://www.icsahome.com/events/spiritual-abuse


High-Control Groups: Helping Former Members and Families

Nov. 3-5, 2017

Santa Fe, New Mexico

More info: http://www.icsahome.com/events/conferencesantafe


Surviving and Moving On After a High-Demand Group Experience: A Workshop for Second-Generation Former Members

April 27 – 29, 2018

Chester, Connecticut

More info: http://www.icsahome.com/events/workshopsgas



ICSA (International Cultic Studies Association)

P.O. Box 2265

Bonita Springs, FL 34133

Phone: 1-239-514-3081

fax:  1-305-393-8193

E-mail: mail@icsamail.com

Web site: www.icsahome.com

Conferences and workshops  http://www.icsahome.com/events


Become a member of ICSA and gain access to an e-Library with over 23,000 items.




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4 Responses

  1. Mary Trudell
    | Reply

    Would love to hear more about the statue & its inspiration!

    • Charlene L. Edge
      | Reply

      Hi Mary,
      Thanks for asking. The statue was the only thing left standing after they demolished a huge mansion on Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa, FL that had been built by a man named Swann. He helped design the layout of the city. There’s a street named after him. I took this photo in 1996 or 1997, I can’t remember exactly. At the time, I lived in an apartment not far from there and every day after work, I walked along Bayshore to clear my mind and get some exercise. One day, without having known about the demolition, I came home from work and saw that the old beautiful home that had been there was now a pile of rubble. The figure of the lady, thankfully was left untouched. I ran back to my apartment, grabbed my camera, and took a bunch of photos. This was the best of the bunch. It struck me as a symbol of survival. Amid the destruction, she still stood. I felt as if my escape from the cult I’d been in was reflected in this photo. I kept writing … eventually Undertow was constructed.

    | Reply

    Thank you. My friend and I attended the workshop in Ft Myers and really connected with your story. I finished reading your book within a couple of days off returning home. Keep up the good work, it helps those of us trying to find out way.

    • Charlene L. Edge
      | Reply

      Hi Elizabeth!
      I remember you well. Thanks so much for posting here and for reading my book. I’m deeply grateful to know that it helps people like you who are comrades in cult survival (or abusive church survival).
      Wishing you peace and healing and whatever else you seek in life. Hope our paths cross again.
      Warmest wishes,

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