Especially if the leader was charismatic. Then one's whole personality becomes absorbed into that framework.
[What happens if you pull all the hardware out of your computer? It does not work anymore. Same here. This is why people hang on to false beliefs even after they know the beliefs are wrong.]
People leave sometimes from a cult and go into worse things.
My approach is to look at what I think was a proper framework while I was there [Yeshivat Mir in NY.] and even though I can't be there right now, to at least try to be learning Torah and keeping Torah as much as possible in the most straight no nonsense fashion possible.
What is the way of Torah? To be honorable, truthful, trustworthy, capable, strong. It is to be the type of man you would want to be with you in a survival situation. Not what cults are made from.Cults are about making people think they have all these virtues by means of serving their leader and the cult. Service to the leader is what makes a man a man in a cult. It is the opposite of Torah.
To escape from cults the best thing is to learn Jewish Philosophy of the Middle Ages. Philosophy has a drawback of not being able to postulate positive values but it does save from negative values.
To learn Jewish Philosophy from the Middle Ages however requires a bit of background. That is the Pre Socratics Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus. But there is also a need to supplement them with Post Middle Ages. And this part is hard. The idea of learning philosophy after the Middle Ages is on one hand dangerous because philosophy went off into post modern and other crazy directions. I had to do a lot of work to sift through it all and find the strands of sense.
Briefly, after the Middle Ages philosophy got divided between England (the Empiricists) and Europe the Rationalists. Kant came along and made a compromise. But his solution was unsatisfactory so the German idealist came along to continue the work of Kant. It is this strand of thought that is important as a supplement to Jewsih philosophy of the Middle Ages,
[Jewish though after the Middle Ages got off track into cults.]