Reflecting on the experience of speaking up and sharing my New Kadampa Tradition story on YouTube

Some of you might have seen my videos on the channel ‘Thriving after leaving the New Kadampa Tradition’. (So many in fact, that at the International Cultic Studies Association conference people are greeting me with the phrase ‘Hi Survivors and anyone else who might be watching this’). Some of you also might have seen that the videos are no longer available to view.

It has been an intense, emotional, profound, authentic and deeply healing few months. As well as the most frightening and abusive of my life.

The guilt that I felt, not speaking up about my view, came from a sense of responsibility as a clinical psychologist to share my concerns about exploitation and psychological abuse. In the end, I couldn’t cope with my own silence any longer.

Sadly, the British Psychological Society social media guidelines state that a Psychologist should not use social media for whistleblowing. So, I felt I had to take them down. I then found that I felt significantly less exposed and safer without them available for all to see. Feeling safe is one of the most important conditions for recovery from trauma. The whistleblowing process alone itself is a trauma, and so I must make self-care my priority now. The report says everything I want to say for now, albeit in a less engaging medium.

I don’t regret what I did. I know I triggered a lot of people to feel painful emotions in speaking my truth. I agree with a good friend of mine when she said ‘the world needs more authenticity that includes pain’. Having the survivors of the NKT and similar groups validate my experience, my emotions, and share their own experiences, was incredibly powerful. Thank you all so much. It also allowed me to feel confident enough in my perception and intuition to write the psychological report. I never could have done that without everyone’s support. Thank you also to the academics, who I am now meeting at the ICSA conference. It has been so grounding, warm and validating (my derealisation has now completely gone).

Myself and other professional members of ICSA are discussing potential collaborations using video, to focus more generally on the concepts covered in my report in future. So after my (long) holiday, these should be uploaded on the NKT survivors channel. So see you in the winter months (well I might not see you, but you might see me).

Thank you for reading 

Michelle

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