Arjan van Dijk
Founder & Trustee, Open Minds NL
Arjan grew up in Holland as the son of a Christian minister. At age 17, he joined the evangelical movement, studying theology at an evangelical Bible School, which turned out to be a four and a half year stint in a high-demand group, with many cult-like practices and the constant use of undue influence. In 1993, he left the movement, and since 1995 has worked as a trainer/Counselor specializing in personal and business development. Arjan teaches classes to inoculate members of religious groups from radicalism and extremism. He counsels people who have left high-demand groups. Together with Frances Peters, Arjan started Dynamiek – a website and database on manipulation and group pressure. Arjan is often consulted by the press and government organizations on cult-related issues.
Together with NL Confidential and other government organizations, Arjan is building a Dutch legal and aid network to prevent and address abusive behavior in religious groups.