These forgotten children: get out of seven and rebuild

The book preceded by Marie-Claude Barrette follows the documentary Religious cults: forgotten children aired a few months ago on illico, and in which Lorraine Derocher had participated as a researcher. People who lived their childhood in sectarian communities told their story and their testimonies were complemented by comments from industry specialists..

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In These forgotten children, Lorraine Derocher explains the phenomenon of cults and the role of parents in sectarian communities and provides many explanations on this little-known topic. She invites parents to be “religiously responsible” and indicates how to deal with people who have left these communities.

The testimonies presented in this book are moving and show all the distress of people who grew up in these sectarian communities and lived “a childhood in captivity”.

Mose J. Gingerich shares his experiences inside and outside an Old Order Amish community. Jordan Vilchez escaped the Jim Jones Cult massacre in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978, but lost his family members there. Annie Pelletier was “barred” by Jehovah’s Witnesses at the age of 19. Their testimonies invite reflection and action.


“We’re really talking about children here. Not many people talk about children. We often talk about leaders, we will talk about atrocities, etc., but here we are talking about children “, comments Lorraine Derocher.

“I think what you have to remember is that you have to challenge yourself in the face of this problem. The guiding thread of the book is: what can we learn from those who lived their childhood in sectarian communities. This is really the question I have tried to answer in the book. And I am the spokesperson for these people who collaborated. “

Lorraine Derocher reminds us that there are indeed cults in Quebec.

“We have no statistics. If we summarize very briefly, a sectarian group is a group that opposes the values ​​of society. Of course, there are various degrees. There are some that are totalitarian, there are some that are completely closed and others that are a a little more open, but they still develop a sectarian spirit. There are some in Quebec, they are everywhere. I can’t give you figures, but I can tell you that there are a lot of grown-up children – people from those backgrounds – I work. on this problem for 17 years and I can’t stop. “

“There are young people who are taken ill. There are young people who need help. Perhaps this is also the message I am trying to say: we must challenge ourselves individually and collectively. “

M.myself Derocher recalls that young people who come out of sectarian groups are in difficulty, are not well equipped and are in great need of help.

“These are children’s prisons. These are young people who are very isolated from society. He adds that there are young people who go out and stay in touch with the community to help other young people go out. ”

♦ Lorraine Derocher is an expert in youth protection intervention in a sectarian context.

♦ He is a member of the Center for Research on Children and Families (McGill University) and an associate professor at the University of Sherbrooke.

♦ He has published several reference works, in particular an intervention guide.


Lorena Derocher

How many children are there in the sects? How many sects are there? How many times have I been asked about this! In fact, there are too few statistics on cult groups to answer these questions. But what I also know is that there are a few in the four corners of the globe. It is enough to read the newspapers to see that almost everywhere there are sectarian movements of all kinds in which children are raised. What I also know is that more and more teenagers and young adults are leaving their communities and trying to expose their experiences to the world. What I also know is that society is not ready to welcome them. “

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