This last week, I’ve been fortunate to speak with Gillie Jenkinson’s group of former members of high-control groups, and Rod and Linda Dubrow-Marshall’s Master’s students. Inevitably, both talks centered on my involvement with Scientology, but we also spoke about the preventative approach of the Open Minds Foundation.

Hope Valley CounselingGillie is a former member of a high-control Bible-based group who trained as a counselor and obtained a PhD for her research. She is a warm and delightful person, who welcomes former members from a broad spectrum of groups. She and her husband Tony run retreats and offer education that helps former members to overcome their traumatic experiences and regain their autonomy. Their practice is Hope Valley Counselling.

Rod and Linda began the first Master’s course in the psychology of coercive control last September at Salford University (Salford is part of Greater Manchester, in northern England). I cannot over-emphasize the importance of this new course: Rod and Linda are among the few people who recognize that the dynamics of all abusive relationships have features in common.

Rod and Linda bring together research into domestic abuse and all forms of high-control groups – from the many types of cult to human trafficking, pedophile grooming and radicalization.

As a board member of the International Cultic Studies Association, Rod is also an organizer of the Radicalization Awareness Network’s conference in Rotterdam on the 25-26 April, sponsored by the European Union. The conference will focus on speaking with former members in an exit-setting.

This year, Salford University will be accepting international students onto the course in the psychology of coercive control. The Open Minds Foundation supports this splendid initiative and urges our readers to visit the course website.