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Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center

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Title: Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center  
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Subject: Paul R. Martin, Opposition to new religious movements, Jim Siegelman, The Family Survival Trust, Institute for Religious Research
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Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center

Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center
Type non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation in the United States.
Industry residential counseling center
Genre Psychology
Founded 1986
Founders Paul R. Martin, Ph.D.
Headquarters Albany, Ohio,
United States
Key people

Paul R. Martin, CEO
Barbara Martin
Larry Pile

Ron Burks
Services treatment of individuals exposed to abusive religious groups, organizations, and cults
Website Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center

Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center is a Christian countercult movement-affiliated residential counseling center claiming to specialise in the treatment of individuals who they evaluate as "having been abused in relationships, cults, situations of trauma, and by destructive therapeutic alliances resulting in emotional betrayal and/or physical harm".[1] Founded in 1986 by Dr. Paul R. Martin and his wife Barbara, it is located in Albany, Ohio.

All of the staff are Christian, and "former members of cults".[2]


Wellspring claims that it has treated more than 500 former cult members from the United States and nine foreign countries since the retreat opened in 1986 [2]

It also offers educational, consulting, and family support services. Several of its staff members are published authors, and Wellspring is also an informational resource to national and international media to raise awareness about coercive persuasion and its treatment.[1][3][4]

Wellspring has been praised by Christian countercultist Dr. Ronald Enroth, in his best-selling book Churches That Abuse, as well as in the follow-up book, Recovering From Churches That Abuse.[5][6] In the latter he wrote, in part:

Wellspring exists because recovering emotionally, restoring a loving relationship with God, and re-entering society are not easily accomplished on one's own. The accounts in this book reveal how tortuous the path to recovery can be without professional, caring help. The tragedy is that for the victims of spiritual abuse, the options are disappointingly few. Not many programs are especially equipped, as Wellspring is, to treat victims of spiritual abuse.[6]


Prominent staff include Dr. Martin, executive director and CEO, Mrs. Martin, and Larry Pile, cult researcher and archivist, all former members of Great Commission International, now known as Great Commission Association. Other staff include Stephen Martin; Ron Burks, associate clinical director, who has appeared on a segment of The Montel Williams Show as an expert; and Liz Wells, a former PBS television personality who gave her life to a cult before her recovery at Wellspring.[3][7][8]


Jeffrey Hadden said former Wellspring clients have told him the retreat uses some of the very thought-reform techniques it attributes to cults[2]


  1. ^ a b "Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center". Retrieved 2007-03-17. 
  2. ^ a b c "Cult Exit". The Dayton Daily News. May 7, 2000. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Raised in a Cult". The Montel Williams Show. Season 10. February 28, 2002. CBS Paramount.
  4. ^ Jim Phillips (November 24, 2004). "'"Counselor fights for freedom of cult victims 'one mind at a time. The Athens News. Retrieved 2007-03-17. 
  5. ^  
  6. ^ a b  
  7. ^ Michael Sangiacomo (December 23, 2001). "Wellspring: Helping ex-cult members shed guilt and embrace freedom". The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2007-03-17. 
  8. ^ "MyOwnMind – Cult Recovery and Support Groups". Retrieved 2007-03-17. 

External links

  • Official site, Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center
  • Dispelling the Myths by Dr. Paul R. Martin
  • The Other Side of Discipleship by Larry Pile
  • Thought Reform in Cults and Abusive Relationships by Larry Pile, Ron Burks
  • Choosing a Church After a Painful Experience by Larry Pile
  • Join Us: The Movie Documentary featuring Wellspring
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