Jump to content

All Episodes Talk: Where Drinking the Kool Aid is Optional

The first episode had me hooked.  Nxivm, with it's celebrity members, claiming to just be a self help group, so insane.  When they got to the slavery stuff I was just floored.  It was a pyramid scheme of torture.

For much of the second episode about the Jehovah Witnesses episode I found myself thinking, how is this different than the Catholic Church.  Then they started talking about the prison ministry and how they'd basically take sex offenders that they converted in prison and then let them into their congregation like nothing happened.

Edited by meatball77.
2

Share Post


Link to post

Nxivm - the gal who was branded and had brought in over 2000 people! 

My husband was born and raised Jehovah's Witness. His whole family is still in the group with his brother an elder. I asked him if what he thought his brother would do re the child abuse allegations and unfortunately, he doesn't have a clue how his brother would react.  So sad. 

0

Share Post


Link to post

Since the news broke about Alison Mack I have been fascinated by the NXIYM.  It seems a lot of people can’t figure how women would allow themselves to be branded.  The way I explain it is that cults don’t start with branding that where they end.  

1

Share Post


Link to post

The branding didn't seem as crazy as the slave stuff.  Branding is not that much different from a tattoo.  The slave stuff, that's insane. 

3

Share Post


Link to post

The Jehovah Witness episode really didn't go into the cult part much, more just the cover-up of child abuse.  I agree with @meatball77 that I'm not sure how this is different than the Catholic Church.

I had never heard of NXIVM until the news broke of Allison Mack being arrested.  They didn't talk much about the beliefs of the group, it sounded a bit scientology-esque to me.  I also can't remember how the group name is pronounced, so in my head I call it "nexium"...

1

Share Post


Link to post

I am of the age that should know of the children of God "religion" but I have never heard of it. Ugh & barf. How can so many adults think pedophilia is ok? Crikey my brain is boggled.  I hope the survivors continue to help each other.

as with Leah Remini's survivors of scientology, how do they afford such nice homes when it sounds like their formal education was so awful?

2

Share Post


Link to post
1 hour ago, rhys said:

I am of the age that should know of the children of God "religion" but I have never heard of it. Ugh & barf. How can so many adults think pedophilia is ok? Crikey my brain is boggled.  I hope the survivors continue to help each other.

I'm also sort of amazed that Children of God/The Family International isn't more well known. In part I think that is because the leader left the U.S. pretty early on. River Phoenix (and his siblings) and Rose McGowan had parents who were in the cult.

I read a book several years ago, Jesus Freaks, focused mostly on the very sad story of Ricky Rodriguez who was mentioned in the episode last night. So horrific.

Also, there was a Law and Order episode (S. 15, "Sects") that is clearly based on Children of God. In the episode, they are called Children of the Divine and the cult leader is a woman.

2

Share Post


Link to post

I was just floored by the Children of God.  The guy saying that he was told to have sex with a child to put her in line. . . how is this twisted group not well know.

1

Share Post


Link to post
On 6/4/2018 at 2:06 PM, hilaryvm said:

The Jehovah Witness episode really didn't go into the cult part much, more just the cover-up of child abuse. 

I think that was more of the "...and Extreme Beliefs" part of the show.  Aren't they consider more of a sect, not a cult?

I'm wondering if they'll do an episode on the United Pentecostal Church (definitely not the same as standard Pentecostals).  I'm guessing Jonestown *could* be an episode.  But is there anyone left to speak with from the cult?

1

Share Post


Link to post

Probably, they didn't go on much about the faith, although the weirdness there was mentioned.  The outrage was over the ignoring the sexual abuse.  Which seemed bad until this week.

The could have done an entire season on the horrors of this group encouraging child sex.  The scarf dance.  So horrible.

2

Share Post


Link to post
On 6/6/2018 at 3:38 PM, GalvDuck said:

  I'm guessing Jonestown *could* be an episode.  But is there anyone left to speak with from the cult?

A&E did a 3 or 4 part mini-series on Jonestown earlier this year. There are a number of survivors who left before the massacre, including someone who I believe was present at the airport when the congressman was ambushed.

3

Share Post


Link to post

There are a few survivors around. Julia Scheeres wrote a book about it a few years ago, A Thousand Lives. She interviewed a lot of survivors. Its excellent, by the way!

1

Share Post


Link to post

What is with these people (cult members) just sending their kids away.  Sending their kids away at 8 and 10 and then basically having nothing to do with them after that.  Not even knowing (or caring) where they are?  We saw it in Scientology, in this cult, and in the one last week.

This is the first group without a major sexual abuse problem.  Now I'm sure it's there (kids being sent away from home as tweens is just asking for problems) but not the big problem with this group.  Instead we've got labor trafficking and starvation. . . .

2

Share Post


Link to post

This series has been very interesting to me. It's amazing how many parents just send their kids off. 

2

Share Post


Link to post

It never ceases to amaze me how gullible some people are.

1

Share Post


Link to post
On 6/3/2018 at 3:44 PM, meatball77 said:

The first episode had me hooked.  Nxivm, with it's celebrity members, claiming to just be a self help group, so insane.  When they got to the slavery stuff I was just floored.  It was a pyramid scheme of torture.

For much of the second episode about the Jehovah Witnesses episode I found myself thinking, how is this different than the Catholic Church.  Then they started talking about the prison ministry and how they'd basically take sex offenders that they converted in prison and then let them into their congregation like nothing happened.

 

I was surprised to hear about Jehovah's Witnesses as I know a lot about how far their beliefs are skewed from away from true Biblical theology, but one thing which they do teach is sex outside of marriage is wrong, and they very much emphasize good character, so I was somewhat surprised at the cover up. This appeared to be more of a condoning than went on in the Catholic church, which seemed to me more face saving than condoning, but I could be wrong looking in from the outside. I had never heard of NXVIM and was totally blown away by that.

Edited by renatae.
0

Share Post


Link to post
On 6/14/2018 at 6:47 PM, meatball77 said:

What is with these people (cult members) just sending their kids away.  Sending their kids away at 8 and 10 and then basically having nothing to do with them after that.  Not even knowing (or caring) where they are?  We saw it in Scientology, in this cult, and in the one last week.

This is the first group without a major sexual abuse problem.  Now I'm sure it's there (kids being sent away from home as tweens is just asking for problems) but not the big problem with this group.  Instead we've got labor trafficking and starvation. . . .

I was really shocked and saddened by this. Really, these kids were slaves. I also could not get over their parents just sending them off and not keeping in touch. It was one thing to see Scientologists take their children with them into the cult and gradually lose control, as that's typical operating procedure for a cult, but just sending them off on their own with no contact? Shudder.

After the segment talking about how they, the United Nation of Islam, were basically into child trafficking, the camera cuts away to a church steeple with a cross on top. What sort of subliminal tomfoolery was that?

Edited by renatae.
4

Share Post


Link to post
On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 3:36 AM, renatae said:

I was really shocked and saddened by this. Really, these kids were slaves. I also could not get over their parents just sending them off and not keeping in touch. It was one thing to see Scientologists take their children with them into the cult and gradually lose control, as that's typical operating procedure for a cult, but just sending them off on their own with no contact? Shudder.

 

On ‎6‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 6:53 AM, Guatemama3641 said:

This series has been very interesting to me. It's amazing how many parents just send their kids off. 

We talked about this in Abnormal Psych in college.  Cults tend to prey on the downtrodden, and cast-offs of society.  Jim Jones preached racial equality in a time where that just wasn't done.  Whether his intentions were good at the start, or he was just looking for people he could control remains to be decided.  He set up shop in low income areas and offered some nice outreach programs to get people in.  But when you have people in your control who may have grown up with nothing and had horrible upbringings, the chance to have your children live a better life than you did is enticing.  And they had no reason to not trust their "leader".  You're dealing with parents who aren't operating on "normal" levels.  

5

Share Post


Link to post
10 hours ago, funky-rat said:

But when you have people in your control who may have grown up with nothing and had horrible upbringings, the chance to have your children live a better life than you did is enticing.  And they had no reason to not trust their "leader".  You're dealing with parents who aren't operating on "normal" levels.  

I definitely agree about the parents feeling their children would have better lives, especially with the two brothers who said the only thing happening in their neighborhood was gangs. So I wasn't surprised their parents let them go, but I was definitely surprised they did not make any effort to keep in contact. I have to wonder if the cult did not convince them that it would be best for the children not to hear from them, using some sort of twisted logic. So sad.

1

Share Post


Link to post
On ‎6‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 1:15 AM, renatae said:

I definitely agree about the parents feeling their children would have better lives, especially with the two brothers who said the only thing happening in their neighborhood was gangs. So I wasn't surprised their parents let them go, but I was definitely surprised they did not make any effort to keep in contact. I have to wonder if the cult did not convince them that it would be best for the children not to hear from them, using some sort of twisted logic. So sad.

I am very confident that the parents were either told that the children were doing important stuff or training, and couldn't be disturbed and/or gave them "updates" on what they were doing that had vague information.  I remember seeing on a cult show once (but I can't recall which cult - maybe Scientology) where the parents got newsletters complete with photos of what their kids were doing, but the photos were staged, or generic, and didn't actually show their kids.  The newsletters said the kids were having fun and doing good stuff, but in reality they were doing forced labor and living in horrible conditions.

1

Share Post


Link to post

We didn't hear much about what this group believes did we?  Just that they're descendants of the Moonies.

Super crazy about the machine guns.  Those photos of everyone looking all fancy and posing with their weapons.

0

Share Post


Link to post

I find cults fascinating so this show is right up my alley. If anyone is interested in podcasts there’s a great one called “Cults” that delves into a all sorts of well known and lesser known cults. They just did one on the Moonies, which was good background to have before this week’s episode. 

2

Share Post


Link to post

The Twelve Tribes are yet another scary "We own you" group picking and choosing among scriptures and going to extremes, especially about, again, obeying the uber controlling leaders. But I have to say when Elizabeth Vargas reacted to some actual scriptural quotes (and not the extreme actions or interpretations of the cult with regard to them) with utter disdain, it really put me off. She can be grating at times.

I hope the subject is able to have contact with her siblings in the future. One of the saddest moments was when the father told her he thought she would be better off dead than not obey him and his cult.

4

Share Post


Link to post

The beatings.  OMG

Then CPS stepped in but didn't do things right so they got all their kids back.

The cafes on college campuses for recruiting is creepy.

3

Share Post


Link to post

SO, as far as the Twelve Tribes goes there wasn't mention about whether the young adults had arranged marriages with other tribe-sters or were allowed to pick their own spouses.  There was just a mention of encouraging building the next generation. It sounds like they do recruit so I imagine they have some new blood once in awhile.  How could someone who was raised "normally" (if that is even a thing) believe this saga of the Twelve Trives being the only ones who would be saved when they know about other cults that have crashed and burned.  It is different if you were born to it, 

1

Share Post


Link to post

Have enjoyed this series. Have a fascination with FLDS, so really liked last epi. Did not know about many of the FLDS members being evicted and former members buying property. Norma was smart and articulate, but her blind devotion to Warren Jeffs is unsettling. So since he is the prophet he can rape children? Not no, but hell no. Short Creek will be no longer be FLDS in 10 years or less. Hope former members can rebuild the community.  

3

Share Post


Link to post

Norma was stubborn. I understand that they believe the land is God's but what makes them any different owning it then the ex-members. And considering that the one guy's father was a prophet too, I don't understand why they don't want help with giving their people places to work, and help? Just so stubborn, they could build the town back up but are refusing and sitting there waiting for The Turd to return and to what? At the rate they are going nothing is going to be left, but it is ok for them to buy the land and build and shit but no one else can. I just can't with their reasoning. 

4

Share Post


Link to post

I was worried that there would be nothing that I hadn't seen before in the FLDS episode but Norma was something else.  The blind devotion just floors me

3

Share Post


Link to post

I really liked that we saw Norma and her story.  Also, it seemed to me that she was speaking from a rather privileged position (relatively speaking).  While she was raised in that cult, she was allowed to go to college and then came back and picked who she married at a "normal" age.  While yes, he does have a bunch of other wives, she doesn't appear to have been subjected to all the horrible things we know went on with very young girls.  Interesting too that the practice we see in many cults where you have to disassociate with former members/non-members has become such a problem for the current members, since now they have lots their homes, jobs, etc.

2

Share Post


Link to post

The FLDS is not unlike a lot of these cults in that when it started it was off but not as crazy but then got more and more controlling as the years went on.  Norma apparently had a pretty normal life, obviously her grandkids aren't. . . .

0

Share Post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, meatball77 said:

The FLDS is not unlike a lot of these cults in that when it started it was off but not as crazy but then got more and more controlling as the years went on.  Norma apparently had a pretty normal life, obviously her grandkids aren't. . . .

I wonder if she truly ' sees ' that.

1

Share Post


Link to post

I really liked Norma for the most part.  But there is some serious disconnect that she, an educated woman, can't see the issues with what she was saying.  But like others, I did appreciate seeing her side of the story.  I had heard of the evictions and apostates moving in through news articles and frankly thought it was great.  But there are always two sides to a story and I do feel sorry for families who lost their lands and homes. 

2

Share Post


Link to post

I am obsessed with the NXiVM cult in large part because I was such a big fan of Smallville and Allison Mack.  I find the entire situation so surreal.  

0

Share Post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now