I’m no longer calling him the Messiah

I’m no longer calling him the Messiah

There’s a line I use when I describe a particularly scarring moment in my adolescence – “The Messiah said I was bad.” In many ways this accurately captures what happened. A dear friend of mine was caught in a desperate situation, and in order to protect herself – to...
Hi I’m Lisa, and I’m a cult survivor

Hi I’m Lisa, and I’m a cult survivor

Those were the words I said. It felt good – and weird – to say them. I followed it with, “I’ve sat in many chairs in many rooms to introduce myself in the past, but I’ve never used those words before. ‘Hi, I’m Lisa, and I a cult survivor.’” I attended an ICSA...
“At least he had f—–g consistency!”

“At least he had f—–g consistency!”

I have the greatest book club on my block. It literally is up and down the block, which makes it very easy to get to (and makes excuses like, “I don’t even have time to pop in for a few minutes” quite lame). Perhaps driven by me and my memoir – and therefore love of...
Does the fear ever go away?

Does the fear ever go away?

That’s the question I was asked. “Does the fear ever go away?” It was an inquiry on my website from an ex-Moonie. I get them periodically. I love getting them. I devour them as soon as I notice they’re there, and then I reread them a few more times. My next step is...
The horror of extremist beliefs

The horror of extremist beliefs

Last week hundreds of couples toting (I believe unarmed) AR-15 rifles attended a “Blessing” – a ceremony sanctifying marriages – in Newfoundland, PA. This ceremony was conducted by an offshoot of the Unification Church – the Sanctuary Church – that is led by one of...