Are you, or is someone you know, in crisis? Please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for 24/7, free and confidential support from a trained counsellor (Australia only).

For non-emergency situations, please contact the Olive Leaf Network for confidential assistance and referral to support services

Who We Are

Friends, former members, and citizens working together to support leavers of high-demand religious groups.

The Olive Leaf Network

Here at the Olive Leaf Network we are all former members of high-demand religious groups, including the PBCC (Exclusive Brethren) or we are friends and relatives of former members. 

We are personally aware of the challenges faced by those who leave high-demand religious groups, and we share a passion for supporting leavers in their transition out of the group and integration into wider society.

We are old and young, Christian and agnostic, straight and gay, rural and urban. Some of us have been out for decades and others are more recent leavers. Some of us have material resources to share and others share from their abundance of experience, wisdom and friendship.

In many countries around the world, loose networks of former members, friends and relatives have operated to support leavers. A helping hand, a bed for a few days, phone calls of friendship; it is often the little things that help to rebuild a life traumatised by excommunication, religious trauma or disaffiliation.

The Olive Leaf Network is a consolidation of those networks, as we respond to an increasing number of people around the world who are leaving high-demand religious groups.  Whether you would like to join our network or to receive support, we would love to hear from you.

A note on the language used on this site:

  • We use terms such as ‘excommunication’, and ‘disaffiliation’ to describe the process of being made to leave, or choosing to leave, a high-demand religious group.  Various groups have their own terminology for such events, for example the PBCC (Exclusive Brethren) traditionally have used the term ‘withdrawn from’ or ‘shut-up’;  but as these group-specific terms are usually unknown by wider members of society we tend to use ‘excommunication’ and ‘disaffiliation’ instead.
  • We use the names ‘Exclusive Brethren’ or ‘PBCC’ (Plymouth Brethren Christian Church) interchangeably.
  • We use the term ‘high-demand religious group’ to describe any group that allegedly places high demands on key areas of member’s lives.  We broadly categorise these five areas as a member’s educational and employment opportunities, their relationships and resources, and their lifestyle choices. Please read ‘What is a High-Demand Religious Group’ for more.

Get In Touch

We’re here to help! Please send us a message using this form, or go to our contact page for more ways to get in touch.

Please be reassured that all communication with the Olive Leaf Network will be held in strict confidence. Your personal information will only be shared with others beyond our network with your permission, unless you or others are in danger, in which case we will inform relevant authorities.