Project Hope Podcast podcast show image

Project Hope Podcast

Jennifer French



Listen, download, subscribe

S2 Ep. 4: Ashlen Hilliard on her life & career that led to her role as a cult intervention specialist with People Leave Cults.

Ashlen Hilliard is a cult intervention specialist helping families with loved ones in cultic or high-control groups or relationships through her organization, People Leave Cults. She completed her MSc in the Psychology of Coercive Control in early 2022 and conducted research on the relationship between reproductive coercion, psychologically abusive environments, and the extent of group identity in a sample of those who have left cultic groups. Ashlen has previous experience working for multiple non-profit settings in the field of cult recovery. Most recently, this has included working as Director of Events for the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA). During that time, she facilitated workshops, webinars, and conferences for those in touch with multiple aspects of the cult phenomenon including therapists, former members, legal professionals, media representatives, academics, and others. Prior to her work with ICSA, she worked as a case manager in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the non-profit Holding Out Help, where she was involved on the front lines of helping individuals leaving diverse polygamist communities out West. She currently enjoys living in Portland, Oregon where she is a volunteer co-organizer of the Spiritual Abuse Forum for Education (SAFE) Meetup for those who have left or are considering leaving high-demand religious groups in the local community. Find Ashlen on social media at: Email address: The Spiritual Abuse Forum for Education (SAFE) is a regular meetup in Portland, Oregon for those who have left or are considering leaving high-demand religious groups. Ethical Standards for Thought Reform Consultants Article: Exit Counseling and the Decline of Deprogramming Cultic Studies Review, Volume 1, Number 3, 2002, 249-291 Research Presented by Ashlen Hilliard, MSc Psychology of Coercive Control: Understanding Reproductive Coercion and Cults in a Destructive Group Setting:  Warren Jeffs FLDS documentary we referred to called, “Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey”. Our podcast features a beautiful song by Jaia Suri called, “Leaving the Cult”. Subscribe to Jaia Suri on Spotify and access the song here: If you feel moved to support Jaia’s music, please join her Patreon subscribers at: Jennifer is a cult and religious recovery counselor. She is certified in a specialized approach working with survivors that is research-based and rooted in the work of Dr. Gillie Jenkinson. She has a Masters in the Psychology of Coercive Control and functions as an expert witness in such cases. Jennifer is also a research associate at Salford University.  For more information, please visit her website, Follow Jennifer on social media at: Facebook: Instagram: YouTube: If you would like to be on the Project Hope Podcast or have any inquiries regarding the show, please email,

Project Hope Podcast RSS Feed

Share: TwitterFacebook

Powered by Plink Plink icon