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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.
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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. 

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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.  

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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. 

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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"...

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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. . . .

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

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

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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.
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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.
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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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