Getting out – what does this mean?
For many, getting out simply means leaving their respective group and environment with the attempt to retire to a civil lifestyle. It is not uncommon that, without professional help, the person (the “exiter”) still clings to hateful beliefs and does so for a long time, if not forever. Even though this (first) step should be welcomed and encouraged, it should not be the final outcome. Without acquiring the ability to feel empathy and unconditional love, an exiter can not be classified as a former or as being reformed. To achieve this, the exiter needs to go through a process we call the “deradicalization process. Radicalization does not happen overnight, neither does deradicalization. To quote the roman poet Ovid: “Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.” And just as the exiter’s opinions have formed through persistence, so do we have to be persistent and patient in the deradicalization process.
To get out means not only to get your head out of the hate, but also to get the hate out of your head.