These Former Cult Members Now Help Others Escape

Cults can get super weird. They can be abusivedestructive and even life-threatening. They can also be endlessly fascinating

A social group characterised by their extreme belief or reverence towards a particular leading figure or object, cults aren’t by definition dangerous. But, history has taught us time and again that people who believe violence is an act of love, or that they’re the chosen one to lead the otherwise doomed humanity, or that their leader is actually an alien, probably have issues that need resolving. 

In a world full of distress and disease, getting sucked into a cult that offers peace and the promised land is surprisingly easier than it seems. What is not easy, though, is getting out and helping others get out too. We spoke with some cult interventionists and deprogrammers on how they help people break away after having broken away themselves—and the repercussions the work has on their lives.

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NXIVM Sex Cult Slaves Speak Out: ‘It Was New, It Was Edgy, and It Was Good’

The saga of the DOS sex cult founded by Keith Raniere, called NXIVM within the larger organization, continues as former members of the secret sorority have come to the defense of their master, as reported by Frank Parlato, who broke the story of the sex cult. Eight women who were part of the DOS secret club, which required blackmail material from their pledges and branded women near their genitals, have come out with a written statement of support for the ideology that sent Raniere and billionaire heiress Clare Bronfman to prison for trafficking women and girls. Allison Mack is awaiting sentencing and facing forty years. The women posted their defense online.

We were driven by curiosity, vision, and a desire to challenge social conventions in exchange for increased self-awareness and self-esteem. DOS, which stands for Dominus Obsequium Sororum (Master, Allegiance, Sisterhood), was an experiment in its infancy. It was new, it was edgy, and it was good.

The eight women in the “first line” of DOS (seven of whom were co-founders) were mentored, yes, by a man, but not by just any man, a man with whom these women had built a combined 100 years of trust, friendship and collaboration.

It is incorrect to believe that we, a group of educated, intelligent, and financially independent women were driven by fear and faulty assumptions, and it is even further absurd to believe we were manipulated by an abusive, power-hungry patriarch. Yet, this is the role society has cast for us: that of hapless, unwitting victims who need to be saved from our own choices. Alternatively, we are seen by the general public as “brainwashed” followers who can’t think for ourselves and who are complicit in heinous crimes. Neither of these views is accurate, but understanding the truth is neither simple nor easy.

The binary narrative of “victim/perpetrator” is uninformed and reductive, and offensive to all the adult women who chose to participate in DOS, even the ones who have retroactively withdrawn their consent. It is also disrespectful to victims of actual crimes like human trafficking, none of whom receive the type of fame and opportunities that the so-called “victims” of DOS have enjoyed. While everyone is entitled to feel how they want about an experience, past or present, we believe that objective reality is still significant, if not essential, when discussing events with such damaging repercussions.

Of course, these eight women appear to have been some of the founding members of this cult, which victimized many women, according to Sarah Edmondson, who says she was told she was getting a tattoo that turned out to be a brand instead. She also claims she had no idea the brand was Mack’s and Raniere’s initials and that no one knew that Raniere was the head of the group. Edmondson told her story to the New York Times and wrote a book on the subject.

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FBI Files on the Church of Scientology

Developed by L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology is a religion that offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature and one’s relationship to self, family, groups, Mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the Supreme Being. Scientology addresses the spirit—not the body or mind—and believes that Man is far more than a product of his environment, or his genes.

Below, you will find FBI files related to Scientology, as released via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

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NXIVM Sex Cult Leader Keith Raniere Sentenced to Spend the Rest of His Days in Prison

The leader of a New York-based sex cult called NXIVM (nex-ee-um), which branded itself as a self-help group for elites, was sentenced in the Eastern District of New York on Tuesday to life in prison. Through his defense lawyers, Keith Raniere, 60, maintained until the end that he is not sorry for his conduct because he will one day show that he is not a sex-trafficker, abuser of women, possessor of child pornography, racketeer, extortionist, identity thief or obstructionist.

The NXIVM founder—known as “Vanguard,” “Master,” and “Grandmaster“—was found guilty in June 2019 on all criminal charges against him. Raniere and elite co-defendants like Seagram’s heiress Clare Bronfman (a NXIVM bankroller) or Smallville actress Allison Mack (a top recruiter) are all being punished for their roles in the conspiracy. 

Bronfman, Mack and others, unlike Raniere, entered guilty pleas and avoided sex crime charges; Bronfman was sentenced to nearly 7 years in prison, while Mack is still waiting to be sentenced. Raniere chose to fight the charges and lost. Now he’s been sentenced to 120 years in prison.

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The Cult of Masks

Masks have become a belief system. The cloth mask has become the symbol of a cult movement, whose advocates consider themselves endlessly virtuous, and whose members become enraged at the thought of an individual defying their supposedly righteous demands.

Today in America, membership in the mask cult requires complete and total trust and confidence in the mask, because we are still left with a paper-thin body of evidence that masks do anything positive to slow the spread or prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus. It doesn’t matter if you wear a surgical mask, a cloth mask, or even a bandana, any face covering suffices to show that you are a member in good standing with the mask cult. 

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Woman, 24, lured on Tinder date by ‘cult’ couple who cut her body into 14 pieces

A ‘cult queen’ found guilty of brutally murdering and dismembering another woman who was lured on Tinder could be sentenced to death.

Bailey Boswell, 26, and her 54-year-old boyfriend Aubrey Trail, who claimed to be a vampire, strangled Sydney Loofe, 24, and then chopped the victim’s body into 14 pieces.

Miss Loofe’s remains were later found in bin bags scattered on the side of rural roads in the US state of Nebraska.

Boswell’s trial heard that the couple told other dates they controlled a coven of witches, – with Boswell being the ‘queen’, they gained supernatural powers by killing people, and had made videos of torture and murder.

After less than four hours of deliberations, jury on Wednesday found Boswell guilty of first degree murder, improper disposal of human remains and conspiracy to commit murder.

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The Covidian Cult

One of the hallmarks of totalitarianism is mass conformity to a psychotic official narrative. Not a regular official narrative, like the “Cold War” or the “War on Terror” narratives. A totally delusional official narrative that has little or no connection to reality and that is contradicted by a preponderance of facts.

Nazism and Stalinism are the classic examples, but the phenomenon is better observed in cults and other sub-cultural societal groups. Numerous examples will spring to mind: the Manson family, Jim Jones’ People’s Temple, the Church of Scientology, Heavens Gate, etc., each with its own psychotic official narrative: Helter Skelter, Christian Communism, Xenu and the Galactic Confederacy, and so on.

Looking in from the dominant culture (or back through time in the case of the Nazis), the delusional nature of these official narratives is glaringly obvious to most rational people. What many people fail to understand is that to those who fall prey to them (whether individual cult members or entire totalitarian societies) such narratives do not register as psychotic. On the contrary, they feel entirely normal. Everything in their social “reality” reifies and reaffirms the narrative, and anything that challenges or contradicts it is perceived as an existential threat.

These narratives are invariably paranoid, portraying the cult as threatened or persecuted by an evil enemy or antagonistic force which only unquestioning conformity to the cult’s ideology can save its members from. It makes little difference whether this antagonist is mainstream culture, body thetans, counter-revolutionaries, Jews, or a virus. The point is not the identity of the enemy. The point is the atmosphere of paranoia and hysteria the official narrative generates, which keeps the cult members (or the society) compliant.

In addition to being paranoid, these narratives are often internally inconsistent, illogical, and … well, just completely ridiculous. This does not weaken them, as one might suspect. Actually, it increases their power, as it forces their adherents to attempt to reconcile their inconsistency and irrationality, and in many cases utter absurdity, in order to remain in good standing with the cult. Such reconciliation is of course impossible, and causes the cult members’ minds to short circuit and abandon any semblance of critical thinking, which is precisely what the cult leader wants.

Moreover, cult leaders will often radically change these narratives for no apparent reason, forcing their cult members to abruptly forswear (and often even denounce as “heresy”) the beliefs they had previously been forced to profess, and behave as if they had never believed them, which causes their minds to further short circuit, until they eventually give up even trying to think rationally, and just mindlessly parrot whatever nonsensical gibberish the cult leader fills their heads with.

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