Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The invisible handcuffs of psychological captivity

Recent news has proved that the Government are keen to stamp out this type of abuse in the UK.

I certainly was very aware of these invisible cuffs whilst amongst the Hales exclusive brethren.

Yet again we can only ask the Hales exclusive brethren/PBCC. to formally conduct a thorough audit (via an independant body) of detriment and harm caused by their Church.


  1. The phrase “invisible handcuffs” is one that I never heard until the Lambeth/Brixton case, but it aptly expresses a concept that is probably new to the law enforcement agencies. I think the phrase will stick. To ex-members of a cult, the phrase is new but the concept is very much part of our experience.

  2. There's a lot of interest in this case in the UK at the moment. The news media have identified one of the alleged victims and it's reported that when she joined the collective/cult she had to cut herself off from her birth family, who were loving and did their best to contact her.

  3. Invisible handcuffs are made of several components. The components most often mentioned are fear, family and finance.

    Another important part of the shackles preventing escape is the knowledge that those who have escaped in the past have often been denounced, ostracised and abandoned by all their friends and relatives, often in a coordinated, collectively imposed manner, leaving them totally isolated. Many would like to escape but cannot face that prospect.

    Another component often overlooked is the control of information. If children are deliberately deprived of the kinds of information that they need to make an informed choice, then they can’t choose what is in their own best interests. If they are not allowed to find out what other churches are like, or other religions, and are not allowed to read critical discussions about their own and other traditions, then they can easily be deceived into thinking that remaining in their sect is the only possible choice. If their education is restricted to certain subjects of study or restricted to a particular level, then they can be prevented from acquiring the skills necessary to make a critical evaluation of their options. And if they are not taught what their human rights are, they will not be able to exercise these rights.

    It is clear from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child that any of these restrictions violates a child’s rights, and in my opinion these restrictions of information and education are a particularly grave violation of their rights. I regard these invisible handcuffs as morally worse than steel handcuffs, because it can take years to unlock them.

  4. There are parallels between this Brixton collective/cult and the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.

    Members handed over money to the cult and were prevented from having normal relationships with their own families.

    Chairman Mao was called their 'Beloved'.

    The cult leader thought he had some sort of divine status.

    Sound familiar?