"We've been there. Now we educate

others and help them move on." 


Frances is a Certified Academic Coach/Counselor at her own practice FreeChoice in the Netherlands. She was born into a destructive group with a Christian background and left in 2004 with her husband and their two children. Frances has helped many former members to reclaim their lives.

Frances has written magazine articles about the influence of cult behavior on identity development and the dark side of religion. Between 2011-2018 she has co-hosted a support group for former members of destructive groups and relationships – OwnFreeChoice Praatcafe.

Since 2015 she has been part of the Open Minds Foundation. She regularly speaks at Universities and national and international conferences, such as the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), Studiecentrum Bedrijf en Overheid (SBO) in the NL and Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN). 

Counselor, Educator

Frances Peters


The mother of three children, Rachel is a family therapist who specializes in high-demand groups as well as marriage and family therapy. In the last three decades she has helped hundreds of people to escape from indoctrination. Rachel attended Boston University and USC, and wrote the book Now I Know: Kids Talking to Kids about Divorce. She has consulted with Fox Searchlight, Universal, National Geographic television, CNN, and Hulu. Rachel is a member of the International Cultic Studies Association and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Among other charitable works, she has raised funds for AIDS research and is a board member for the Solar Cooker Project, an initiative that raises funds to bring solar cookers to refugees in Sudan and Darfur. She also runs support groups for former members of destructive groups.

Educator, Licensed Therapist

Rachel Bernstein, LMFT, M.S.Ed.


Lee is a retired Social Counselor with twenty years experience in private practice, specializing in trauma counseling, sexual abuse, domestic violence, addictions, homelessness and cult/spiritual abuse issues.

She was a member of large faith based destructive group for 22 years before leaving in 1985. Lee was the founder of the Centre for Incest Healing in Montreal and former Coordinator of the Compulsive Coping Behavior Program in Winnipeg. Since her retirement, Lee has assisted survivors of cultic groups, moderated on discussion forums, and written extensively online to help survivors of various kinds of abuse.

Social Counselor, Blogger

Lee Marsh, TAS, B.A.


Katharina Meredith holds a BA in Psychology, and is a published author with a focus on outreach and education. From age 10 to age 20, she grew up in a small New Age commune, where she was separated from her parents, cut off from the outside world, taken to three different countries and helped build a time machine. The time machine never worked, and the guru eventually went to jail for child abuse.

In the fall of 2019 she will pursue her PhD in community psychology, studying extremist groups. She offers psycho-education via video conferencing, conducts annual workshops in Atlanta, USA and Berlin, Germany, and is a support group facilitator for victims of interpersonal violence.

Besides the Open Minds Foundation, she has worked with the International Cultic Studies Association and the Women’s Resource Center in the USA and a refuge organization and InfoSekta in Switzerland. She does outreach at schools and speaks at universities and other functions.

Support Group Facilitator, Educator, Coach

Katharina Meredith, B.A.

Ruben Ortiz-A872jpg.jpg

Ruben Ortiz Jr. is a Transitional Specialist and Social Media Manager, who is also an activist educating and helping others transition out of high-control groups. Before starting as the Social Media Manager for the Open Minds Foundation, Ruben Ortiz spent thirteen years working as a Career Transition Manager for Job Corps covering the states of New York and New Jersey. His team helped at-risk youth transition from their residential life on the Job Corps campus to their lives outside of Job Corps, placing them in jobs, helping them find opportunities to further their education, and helping them with other needs.

Public Relations, Activist

Ruben Ortiz