Joyous Birth - A Political Cult?

2014 UPDATE: Abusers can, will, and do, latch onto whatever they can find to justify their distorted perspective of their own victimization while blaming the real victim. If your abuser is using this material as such, please read this (Abusers and their allies). If you are someone whose partner has left them and you blame JB, please read this too (Abusers and their allies).

First of all, perphas the most important statement I will make is this.

Legitimate groups have nothing to fear from people reading critical information about them. On the other hand, cult groups engage in a destructive type of "damage control" where members are encouraged to destroy, discredit and refuse to entertain the validity of said information. Attacks on character are common especially if said characters are dissenters and are not toeing the party line.

If Joyous Birth is a legitimate non-profit organisation, there should be no problem with the public reading my critique of Joyous Birth and its leadership. I view Joyous Birth as a cult group because my experiences match information I have read on cults. This entire narrative as per the please read this before continuing.... is a narrative of MY experiences, my thoughts, my perspectives, my journey. It is my opinion.

Furthermore, I acknowledge different people will have different experiences of Joyous Birth. People who participate in the community on the "fringes", dipping into the forums as needed usually do not get enmeshed in the trappings of the cult group. Not every forum participant could be considered a cult member, and in line with the misconceptions about cults, cult members are NOT sheeples. Many cult members are intelligent, skilled, educated individuals capable of free thought. As a former cult member myself, I laughed off and dismissed the notion that I was a part of a cult. I viewed myself as owning my own ideas and perspectives, an intelligent freethinking woman not some brainwashed sheeple.

How wrong I was. It was fallacious to dismiss the critique of others that Joyous Birth was a cult based on my views of what I thought cults were, and what I thought it meant to be a cult member. This notion was encouraged and reinforced by other cult members including the leadership of Joyous Birth. Under the guise of being critical thinkers, we discredited and refused to entertain the validity of the idea that we were a cult. The people accusing us of being cultish were just disgruntled and unenlightened "muppets" who had beefs and bones to pick with us for our uncompromising political views.

Leaving Joyous Birth put me in a better position to critically evaluate the organisation for its level of "cultishness". I read up on cults and the psychological impact on cult members as well as ex-cult members. It was surprising how similar the parallels were with domestic violence and the behaviours of manipulation, coercion and abuse. Not to mention parallels in psychological damage, recovery, and trauma. It was a hard pill to swallow, but swallow it I did.

Now here I am with what I think is sufficient time passed between the circumstances of my leaving the organisation, to speak out about my experience of Joyous Birth as a former admin. Allowing time to pass was important to me as I did not want my critique to be dismissed as a "former disgruntled member stirring shit". I see this as a matter of public interest, given the impact this organisation has on Australian women seeking community and information on homebirth.

I have also observed over the years, how different people have come to their own realisations about the goings on and have made their own decisions about the level they chose to or not to participate in Joyous Birth, amidst pain and hurt. It shouldn't have to be this way.

Continue on in. Turn the page.



Narratives of My History Herstory.

Narrative, n. A spoken or written account of connected events; a story.

Please read this first before continuing...!

Inane Drivel ~ Fuck Skool Yo. - the beginning of my unschooling journey at 16 yrs old.

Seven Years in Me - my experiences of domestic violence

Breaking Free - a short story based on fact, names changed

Confessions of an Ex-Lapdog - on cults and recovery.

Joyous Birth - A political cult? - exploring cultish aspects

Growing Into Me - the transition from child-me to adult-me.

Shae - single mothering by choice.

A Recalcitrant Pity-fest - realisations of the hardships of deafness.

Thrice October - A tumultuous progression.

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copyright © Lisa Morgan 2007-2012