The desire to help is a significant motivation for most members of authoritarian cult groups. They may want to save people so they can go to heaven, or create a heaven on earth; they may sincerely believe they can make others rich, healthy or wise – but their intention is genuine. The leaders may be cynical predators, but the followers are usually motivated to help.

After leaving an authoritarian group, it is a let-down to find that not only are the leadership’s intentions corrupt, but that you are now in a world that seems to lack high purpose or ideals. You may have spent years trying to lead people to a better life, only to find that your efforts were in vain.

Some former members become demotivated. They can even suffer from chronic fatigue disorder, depression, or other mental and physical maladies resulting from trauma; a lack of clear purpose in life only makes the problem worse.

The best way to overcome these difficulties is to find motivation again: it is vital to find a genuinely good cause, something you feel passionate about. There is a unique feeling of satisfaction in helping others overcome – or even avoid – the trauma you experienced.

If you want to protect others from the lures of human predators, and save them from the disappointments you have suffered, the Open Minds Foundation may be the right cause for you.

At Open Minds, we offer preventative medicine to proof people against destructive groups and relationships. As the old saying goes, we believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You can help by tweeting about us, by linking us to your Facebook page, or by making a monthly donation. We’re also happy to receive blog posts and ideas to improve our website or our outreach program.

So, we may not usher in the Kingdom of Heaven or ‘Clear the planet’, but we can help the next generation to be far less susceptible to manipulation, and that is a worthy cause indeed!

What do you think about this article? Do you agree? Have you read Jon’s new book? Do you have a story about the desire to help that you’d like to share? Would you like to help Open Minds help others? We’d love to hear from you!