Those sexually abusive priests in the Roman Catholic Church might be just the tip of the iceberg in the perils associated with joining a religion. Perhaps that entity "religious organization" is so potentially toxic that it should carry labeling describing possible emotional side effects. Not doing that could get the group sued for failure to warn.
Middle-aged Westerners don't wander into a Buddhist Center in downtown New Haven, Connecticut, near Yale, because we are thriving. If we were in great shape, we would be out jogging or taking in a film on Netflix. I entered in great pain. I exited months later in worse shape. An abused child, I perceived myself bullied by the "middle management." They were not the top brass. Instead they had gained enough responsibility to push around the lost. They pranced around in long gray monk robes, with various colored markings for their level in the organization. Not much different than the gowns Roman Catholic priests wear.
There was what I perceived as verbal abuse, under the guise of shaping up the karma of those on meditation cushions. I reported that to the head, who goes by the name of Guiding Teacher and is based across the river in New York. For a while it stopped. Middle management was spiritual peaches and cream.
Then one middle manager seemed to single me out. He had been looking frayed. Compassion is one of the values of that Buddhist group. But the hell with that. On the way out of the center forever, I sent a full report, framed in my best legalese, to the Guiding Teacher.
Filing a legal complaint, as we all know, stirs up even more emotional havoc. So, that's not likely. My fantasy is to make a huge warning label and slapping it on their building. It could read: Beware flawed human beings in monk robes. But maybe that isn't necessary. On the last Sunday I sat meditation there I was the only one there. On the last Wednesday, I was one of two. The toxicity might have been picked up by others who also fled.