Lost Connections[rebelmouse-image 18348030 is_animated_gif=
"Cult" generally refers to a social group identified by extreme devotion to religious, spiritual or philosophical beliefs or a common interest in a particular person, object or goal. The public is fascinated by cults, their aftermaths and their survivors. But what about those left behind by cult members?
Reddit user LilMissMuppet asked "Redditors who have lost a friend or family member to a cult, how did it happen?"
Here are first hand accounts of people who have dealt with cults and the toll they took.
Widespread[rebelmouse-image 18348031 is_animated_gif=
I lost my entire family. On my father and mother's side. Almost the entirety of people I grew up with and knew. As if I was never born. Raised Jehovah's Witness.
Just because the "religion" is prominent in our society does not discount the fact that it is by definition a cult.
Weight Down Ministries[rebelmouse-image 18348032 is_animated_gif=
I lost an aunt and cousin to Weight Down Ministries. It's run by this woman named Gwen Shamblin. A real nut job. She lives in Franklin, Tennessee, in this huge mansion where she broadcasts live church webinars multiple times a week. People all over join in and host these "church gatherings" at their homes. They get you in by introducing it as a weight loss program. Simple. Lose the weight quick and easy and never gain it back. Eat what you want!! So you go wow this sounds great! Then they slowly introduce the Bible and she'll preach to you through online videos, then you get recruited to a church in someone's home near you where the service lasts for FOUR hours. So anyways, my cousin and aunt got sucked into this and now they moved away to live in Franklin, TN where they worship every breath this Gwen Shamblin woman takes. Everyone that joins ends up marrying someone else inside the cult. My cousins sister wasn't allowed in her wedding because she wasn't part of the cult.
Fanatical Devotion[rebelmouse-image 18348033 is_animated_gif=
Most people wouldn't consider Southern Baptist a cult, since it's pretty mainstream where we live, but the degree to which my father embraces it, and the amount of time, effort, and money he puts into it, I think it's reasonable to call it cult-like.
His parents raised him in it, but I remember as a very young kid that we didn't go to church as much as we would later. Once a week, and sometimes we'd miss a week and it wouldn't be a big deal.
He got back into it when his dad died, and then doubled down when his mom passed several years later. He started forcing us to go to church two, sometimes three times a week. Those losses had a profound effect on him and I guess he just really, really wants to buy into the idea that he'll see his parents again.
Can't really blame him for that, I guess, but it has put a considerable strain on my relationship with him. Especially lately, since he's made friends with this guy who is even more fundamentalist than my dad is, and he's been bringing this guy around the house.
This guy, there's no other way to say it, he's just straight up crazy. My dad is passionate about his beliefs; this guy is fanatical. The kind of person I'd be worried might blow up an abortion clinic or something. (I had a conversation with the guy shortly after the Vegas shootings, and he all but came out and said those people deserved to be shot for just going to a sinner's hellhole like Vegas.)
Pastor's Kid[rebelmouse-image 18348034 is_animated_gif=
I was in what I personally deem as a cult. They had a ruse of being a very "hip" non-denominational Christian Church. You may know of them - the pastor wears jeans and high fashion button-up shirts, the band plays alternative christian rock, there's a coffee shop, etc. However, I think the church sort of morphed into that in the ...15 years I attended, to become more appealing. This church had helluva lot of layers - and as the kid of the associate pastor of the church (My dad was the right hand man of the main pastor), I pretty much knew all of the layers.
I had been going to this church since I was 4, and from that point forward my family had become extremely devout. We were there nearly every night of the week - bible studies, 3 sermons on Sunday, 1 sermon on Wednesday, worship practice, babysitting, events, list goes on an on. One summer, I couldn't have been older than 9, I spent every morning cleaning the church (still can't remember why I was required to clean the church so much...but it kept me there all the time) At 11, the church opened up a school - that literally was just a money sucker. When I say money sucker i mean $2,000 dollars per school year roughly (possibly more, later down the road), for you to learn and re-learn the same subjects, because once you got to a certain point in education, they'd make you re-do it, because there was no point in you learning anything else (you were just going to end up being a church pawn anyways!). We'd pledge to the christian flag, the bible, and american flag every morning & had hour long bible study lessons. We had to memorize so much scripture, and would be tested & re-tested on these scriptures we were supposed to know by heart EVERY Friday. If we got in trouble we sometimes would be assigned lines, which usually was also a scripture verse.
Anyway, this church bred loyalty - and anyone who left would suddenly have a seriously terrible rumor spread about them, to make it seem like whoever DID leave had some type of mental breakdown or they were a "wolf in sheep's clothing" the whole time. It was pretty messed up, because one minute I would have a friend I thought I would have for life, and the next minute their mom would suddenly leave and the rumor would be "oh she married a Muslim man and converted or that they were stealing money or just whatever they could come up with. This was always MOST unsettling when a church "great" would leave (people who had been there for 10+ years and were heavily involved in ministry.)
So I finally hit a point where I decided to leave the church for good at 20-21. So I left, but I basically lost everyone on my way out. Everyone judged me about what happened. I know they spread rumors that my dad was stealing money, but that didn't concern me, because I realized, despite losing all of my friends, this life was already better.
Some of my old church friends had tried to scold me saying "you know better"...it made me sick. I see how much time & money they put into this church. Most of them are HEAVILY in debt, because that church made your wallet HURT. And There's always SOMETHING going that kept you there 5-6 days a week. AND they were so ISOLATED. I never noticed this until I left. but the church did the whole rumor bull, to keep you from talking to people "outside". It's sickening and depressing and a cult in my eyes.
Ansarullah Bangla[rebelmouse-image 18348035 is_animated_gif=
I've lost a friend of mine to 'Ansarullah Bangla' an offshoot of ISIS in Bangladesh. It was back in 2014.
He was a computer science student but most importantly a poet. He is one of the most amiable persons I've ever met. We used to hang out a lot in our hometown since he was one of the few of same-aged friend I had back then. We were tremendous dreamers and very lazy workers.
Till this day, I just try to make sense of the murder and the aftermath. He, although was an atheist, never ever loud about his belief system since atheists are always shunned in our country. All of his very few blog posts are either poems or short stories. He was never active on social platforms too. If anyone knows his belief or disbelief they do by personal attachments. So when I learned about the murder I've never suspected the actual cause can be his belief system. Someone sold him, someone close. Maybe a friend from University. A facebook page of Ansarullah Bangla claimed that they killed him for 'practicing atheism in personal life'. They attacked him in his apartment, barred two of his friends, butchered him, stabbed him right into his skull, he died bleeding, instantly.
This death has given me some subtle ideas about death that was not present even a year before when my father died. I understood, life is not fair and anyone can kill you for no rhyme or reason and that is exactly why I have to shout out my ideas no matter what is the cost. Before that event, I was a pro-death nihilist and afterward a life-savoring nihilist.
Life goes on. Yet, he left a mourning girlfriend who still mourns, some friends who don't eat certain foods that are favorites of his. It's a death I can't get quite accustomed to.
People's Temple[rebelmouse-image 18348037 is_animated_gif=
My parents told me when I was younger that they knew (casually, not like best friends or anything) married couple that joined the People's Temple in the Bay Area.
They didn't go to Guyana. However, Jones had left some people behind to take care of the property. Approximately a year after the mass suicide the couple disappeared. Nobody knows if they decided that they wanted some grape Flavor-Aid too or if they were "disappeared" against their will.
Fundamentalist[rebelmouse-image 18348038 is_animated_gif=
Not exactly a cult, but my aunt became a born again Christian and joined this crazy fundamentalist church. Within a few months months she had married a man she met there and pulled her kids out of public school and enrolled them at the church's tiny private school. The church doesn't allow women to cut their hair so she quit her job as a hair stylist. She started wearing ankle length skirts and made my cousin do the same. My cousin wasn't allowed to wear normal clothes. When we went on our annual beach vacation, my cousin couldn't wear a bathing suit, she had to wear knee length board shorts and a tee shirt.
Joining that church completely changed my aunt's personality. She used to be a really cool person, she would take me and my cousins to do all kinds of fun stuff when we were kids. I remember her being my "fun aunt". She was also a talented painter and extremely creative. She doesn't paint at all now. She became completely submissive to her new husband, who is super manipulative and a compulsive liar. I don't think she's being physically abused, but she's not allowed to leave the house alone. She can only go places with her adult son or her husband. My mom tried to convince her to leave and now she is banned from talking to my mom on the phone unless her husband supervises the conversation. He works from home, so he is literally always around micro managing her life.
Joining that church also changed my cousin's life. She was probably about 12 or 13 when this all happened. She wasn't allowed to cut her hair and she was only allowed to wear full length skirts and long sleeves. They wouldn't let her see her old friends, she was only allowed to associate with people from church. We lived in different states, but we were extremely close and she used to come visit my family several times a year. Those trips stopped. I could only see her when we drove out to where they lived, and even then she wasn't allowed to be unsupervised with my mom (who was deemed a bad influence because she called my aunt and her husband out on their B.S.). It was really hard on my cousin.... She ended up legally emancipating herself at 16 and moving in with our grandparents. It was an ordeal.... The church "school" she had been going to was unaccredited and essentially useless, so she had to repeat a lot of high school online.
The happy news is that my cousin finished high school, went to college, and now she's happily married to a great guy. Shes totally normal and super cool. My aunt is still in the church, but honestly now that my cousin is free from all that, I don't care. I kind of hate her for what she put her daughter through. It definitely really hurts my mom though. She was super close to my aunt their entire lives, until she joined this church. Now they have basically no relationship. Their phone calls and visits are supervised by her husband. All she ever wants to talk to my mom about is converting her and saving us from going to hell, even though my mom is a Christian and goes to a normal church every Sunday. It's really sad, I feel bad for my mom. Especially since their other sister passed away suddenly a couple years ago, my mom has been pretty lonely. She tells me sometimes she feels like she's lost both her sisters.
Disfellowshipped[rebelmouse-image 18348039 is_animated_gif=
I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness and grew up with most of my family being a part of the religion. When I was 10, my mother left the church and then was disfellowshipped (shunned) for having my sister out of wedlock. I was told that I could not associate with her after I became an adult, and that started me on the path to leaving this "Christian" group. I later on, at age 23, after not attending church for close to five years, also was disfellowshipped for having a child while single. This meant that everyone in my family besides my mother and half-sister could no longer talk to me. My father, stepmother, stepbrother, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends.... all of them gone. It can be emotionally devastating. My mother took her own life exactly two years ago today. I have a beautiful son, incredibly supportive and loving husband, and a new family that has helped to start healing those wounds. If anyone who is going through a similar situation ever needs a listening ear, there is a huge community (including myself) out there who can aid in the healing process.
Older Brother[rebelmouse-image 18345996 is_animated_gif=
My older brother joined a cult. He had a huge drinking problem most of his life, and drug problems in high school. He joined the Coast Guard after high school, but he was getting into trouble at work, coming in hungover all the time, not really caring about his job. One of his superiors, despite the trouble at work, really cared about him and wanted to help him. He recommended that my bro start going to church. So he did and it really turned things around for the better. My family and I were all so proud of him, he was really happy for the first time in a long time.
And then it just progressed from there, what first seemed helpful started to get out of control. The cult that he's in he found online. Obviously they don't outright say they're a cult, my bro saw it as an online community that supported his religion, made him feel like he had others to talk to. At first we just thought he was taking this whole religion thing too seriously, but then he went AWOL for one of their meet ups/functions. He ended up getting discharged from the military and then he began calling my parents less and less. He moved to the city where the cult is based out of and got some job using connections from the church. Him and I were still close and we called/emailed a few times a week. Starting before his discharge from the CG, in just about every conversation he would bring up doomsday, punishment, and hell. Eventually he began telling me that God told him that he can't change me, and that unless I decide to accept Jesus as my savior, he could no longer contact me.
We haven't talked in years, I was the last one he cut off. He still talks to our biological dad once every few months. My brother told my dad that God spoke to him through prayer and told him he's still got a chance to save my dad. I honestly think he's just too afraid to completely let go of his old life and entire family, and that's why he still keeps contact with my dad. He gets updates on me through him, but I've come to terms with the possibility of never seeing my brother again.
After his discharge from the military, he met a girl from the cult and they have three lovely children. Seriously, they are ADORABLE! My dad sends me pics. While I don't agree with his beliefs and being cut out of his life hurt a lot.. I am happy that he's content and he found somewhere he feels he belongs.... he seems like a great father.
India[rebelmouse-image 18348040 is_animated_gif=
I don't know if it was an actual cult, but after my cousin did a legit "teach in Asia" program she decided she was in love with Buddhism and joined a temple in Thailand (haven't gotten to the cult stuff, bear with me) whatever that meant. Then after a couple of months there she went to India. About six months there and she decided to come home.
But she was still in love with the temple life, so she joined a group in the US working with Tibetan monks? She was always a little loose on the details. Then one day she up and leaves everything behind to study Tibetan (language) somewhere in Vermont and then before we know it, they have sent her back to India.
The group in Vermont is the shady part, because my cousin was advised not to talk about who they were, where they were, or how it all worked. She was completely out of touch by modern means for six months, and only sent some letters with no return address and a very robotic format of "it is so wonderful here! Everything is beautiful" etc etc.
Then about two months after she had been in India she leaves the group and contacts us to say everything is okay, but she is staying in India. Because she met a boy. Who does happen to be a Tibetan refugee, so there is that!
Anyway, they got married, came to the us once they could get him a passport (took about two years) and now they are happily living in the US. She still won't talk about what happened, though her husband has let slip that something shady was going on, he also won't say what.
Former BFF[rebelmouse-image 18348043 is_animated_gif=
I had this friend growing up and we were the best of friends. Our summers were spent sleeping in my parents camper, swimming, jumping on her trampoline. We would ride our bikes around town and did everything together.
Growing up my parents always sent me to church, Sunday school and bible camp. She never went to church and would kinda make fun of me for not being allowed to have Saturday sleepovers. She had a lot of doubt but I didn't really care. She was my friend and if she didn't believe in God then whatever, who cares, let's watch Blossom!
Then her mom got sick. They kept her illness very private but it became obvious. She lost a ton of weight, stopped working and slept a lot. Around this time my friend's family joined a church. It was called New Life Church.
My best friend got super into this church and she would invite me to their youth group and it seemed ok. We would eat chicken burgers and and watch sister act 2. One day she asked me if I wanted to have a saturday sleepover and attend Sunday service with her family. My parents were ok with it because they assumed it was like normal church.
It was no normal church. It was a new wave Christian church and their minister was a faith healer. I mean people speaking in tongues and he would perform healing ceremonies. People would come up to him and he would use his palm to smack them on their foreheads and they would shake on the ground. He told people that he could use God's power to heal cancer.
It was scary and the people attending fully believed that this man could save them. On the way home from the service my best friend's mom asked me what I thought. I was honest and said it was weird and nothing like my church. She asked if I would go back and I said it wasn't the right fit for me.
After that my best friend was not allowed to hang out with me. If her mom saw her talking to me around town she would yell at her. My best friend told me that it was because her mom said I didn't have a pure Christian heart.
Her parents ended up putting her in the church's private school for a few years and by the time she came back we were in high school and she was far gone.
Her mom died when we were about 19. Her dad left the church but she did not. She met her husband and they have 2 adorable children but she is in so deep.
I miss my best friend and I am sad that church took advantage of them and gave her mom false hope.
Mother[rebelmouse-image 18348044 is_animated_gif=
So I got out when I was 20-21. And by got out I mean was demonized and disowned by my mother. Who then married the cult leader after he divorced his wife "for having an affair". Cult leader's wife was my ex-step-grandmother (long story, my mom's not great at picking men). But she's still in it now and won't talk to me, though she did try to make me see the error of my ways a couple months back (I'm in my early 30s now). Apparently the cult leader is dying of cancer to the mouth, which is incredibly appropriate.
Anyway, once he dies I'm hoping to be able to slowly talk sense into her again.
Hollywood[rebelmouse-image 18348045 is_animated_gif=
A friend of mine told he how she lost her friend to Scientology. It was more or less because they were residents of Hollywood and would walk down Hollywood blvd every day to go school. They'd pass the recruiting center every single day and pay no mind, but one day her friend decided to go in. She said after high school, her friend dissociated with her after realizing she wasn't going to convince her to join.
MLM[rebelmouse-image 18348046 is_animated_gif=
Does losing someone to an Multi Level Marketing cult count?
Not only lost a friendship, but had to unfollow all their posts. I can't answer their calls, texts, or messages because it's all about me "being on their life changing team" and "supplementing my income" even though my spouse and I both own our businesses, love our jobs, and don't need supplemented income.
If you're reading this and in an MLM think about the friendships you have had with people for many years. Don't throw it away for the small chance you will actually make good money.
I had a similar experience with a high school acquaintance selling Mary Kay; she reached out to a handful of us inviting us to a "girls night in at her house" and admitted she wanted to show us some Mary Kay samples but no pressure to buy. I felt bad cause I knew through the grapevine and she and her husband were struggling financially, so I figured I'd go and maybe get a lotion.
We follow the GPS instructions and it straight up leads us to a warehouse where about 20 Mary Kay consultants and 10 of their higher-ups are waving women inside, and casually blocking all the exits. Each consultant had invited 5-10 people, and if you tried to leave, one of the higher-up ladies would corner you, while another blocked the exit, and give the spiel about how if you didn't want to order anything today you could just host your own party another day - just give them the date and time. I said I wasn't interested 5 or 6 times before I just caved and bought the cheapest thing available.
The really crappy part is that they know full well that they've put you in a situation you can't get out of without being incredibly rude and confrontational (in front of a couple hundred witnesses) and that most people would rather avoid a scene like that. I blocked her on social media and never talked to her again.
Cruises[rebelmouse-image 18348047 is_animated_gif=
My step aunt, uncle, and their daughter are Scientologists. My step uncle had a drug problem when he was younger and Scientology said they could help him. Surprisingly enough they did and he got clean but he got roped in. He and his family work for them now. His daughter works on the cruise ship they have. They seem pretty normal but they occasionally send us DVDs to try and convert us. Also when my rather wealthy Grandpa died they wanted to take some of his possessions to sell to Scientology.
Mexico[rebelmouse-image 18348048 is_animated_gif=
She wasn't permanently lost, but my aunt joined the Children of God in the 70s. She was down in Texas doing student teaching and one day her roommate called my grandparents to say she hadn't seen her in a couple days and was pretty sure some people took her to Mexico.
My grandparents immediately drove down to Mexico, hired a cult deprogrammer, and rented a house near the cult compound. They basically blew as much money as they could afford, but never saw her before they had to give up and go back home.
A little while later, my aunt called home to tell her parents she was getting married. They told her to wait until spring break and they would come down for the wedding, but she said she couldn't. A few months after that, she brought her new husband to the US to meet the family.
They're still married today and I basically just learned about the whole thing like 6 months ago.
Ohio[rebelmouse-image 18348049 is_animated_gif=
Here in central Ohio, we have a cult called Xenos. They market themselves as a Christian home church group. In reality, you will be pressured into moving into a home where you share a room with others of the same gender in order to prevent premarital sex and masturbation.
You will be forced to shun all non-xenos friends and family you have. It's pretty baffling how people keep falling for it. I lost a friend to it years ago. Haven't heard from her since. I saw her at the store once a few years ago and she refused to even acknowledge my existence.
College Days[rebelmouse-image 18348050 is_animated_gif=
Two of my college housemates went out one evening to buy cigarettes, and came back converted to Scientology. One eventually got out of it, but it took years. The other, I have no idea.
It was like a horror movie about pod people taking them over.
The worst part about Scientology to me is the time you lose by involving yourself in it. Members can spend 18 hours of their day being "audited." Children are separated from their parents for months at a time, essentially erasing the familial relationships. It seems that the children learn to never trust anyone, or be loyal to anything other than their "religion." They're told that it's their responsibility as a Scientologist to rat out anyone who says something that even slightly opposes the church's beliefs. If someone reports you to the church, you're required to go through the "auditing" process for hours and hours at a time, at your own expense. It's BONKERS.
Budapest[rebelmouse-image 18348052 is_animated_gif=
A family friend of mine was a prominent young chess player (a grandmaster --- not a grandmaster, an international master with a GM norm) who, at a stressful crossroads in life, basically had a nervous breakdown at a tournament in Budapest and went outside and somehow came into contact with a cult. He's been there for a few years, within a couple weeks he withdrew all the money from his bank account and asked his family to not contact him. Apparently they later were allowed to and he spoke broken English and was more comfortable in a Hungarian language. I'm pretty sure that when they talked to him it was in person in Budapest in a public space with a translator/caretaker with him. They said that he seemed more comfortable in Hungarian, he didn't seem to remember American slang that he used to use, and generally body language and all just didn't seem like himself.
...one of the smartest guys I knew.
Jonestown[rebelmouse-image 18348053 is_animated_gif=
I had two cousins who went to Jonestown. I was born 2 years after their deaths, so everything I know is a kind of family lore. They were my Dad's best friends, and he rarely talked about them, but my mom was pretty open about it. The following is me paraphrasing what my mom has told me about them getting involved in the People's Temple.
They joined in San Francisco. It began as a utopian community, which followed the teachings of Christ. They gave literally everything they had away. Blankets, food, whatever the group had, they would give away. At the time, communes were common, so what they were doing, moving in with a bunch of like-minded people, didn't seem that odd. To their family, it seemed like an idealistic hippy community.
Then they started asking for money. Always under the guise of feeding the poor, or something like that. It didn't begin with asking for money because Jim was the second coming. Their parents sent all the money they had, but my cousins just kept asking for more. Eventually this was how he isolated his members from their family. If the family kept giving money, then the members could keep in touch. If the money dried up, the family was blamed, the members were cut off from contacting them.
My parents were living in Seal Beach at the time. My mom says the first time they noticed the cousins seemed a bit strange was when they cousins were on a mission trip with Jones. I believe he was preaching at the Crystal Cathedral, and he brought a bus of his followers down. It rained. Like one of these rare downpours in SoCal. The bus didn't have a windshield, so everyone was just getting soaked. So Jones walked up to the front of the bus, held out his hands and spoke, "Storm, stop!" And the rained stopped.
So that was the story my cousins told my parents that was the first sign my cousins had been brainwashed. I asked my mom what her response was, and she said, "we just laughed. It was so ridiculous. We had no idea what was coming, no one had heard of a cult."
By the time they left for Jonestown, my dad says he knew he'd never see them again, but at the same time he was shocked when it happened. We have letters from their time in the church all the way up to in Jonestown, so you can read their progression into brainwashing.
In the end, Nancy freely took the Kool aid, Ronnie was injected with cyanide. Their deaths have been ever present in my family.
Comedy is in a very tricky place right now.
There is so much to NOT laugh about in this world.
In truth, many of us have forgotten how to laugh.
And certain jokes that are told, make people afraid to laugh.
So what do we do?
We tell inappropriate jokes apparently.
Let's hear some...
Redditor CrewCreation wanted to hear some "risky" comedy. So they asked:
"What’s the best morbid joke you know?"
***WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SENSITIVE MATERIAL. PROCEED WITH CAUTION!***
I can't think of anything hilarious at the moment. Make us LOL.
LadyShocked Oh No GIF by Yêu LuGiphy
"I have this friend, love him to bits, but his wife has a tendency of just constantly showing everyone pictures of their son at every social event. At the start it was understandable, but now I'm just like 'Lady, it's been two years; they're not going to find him.'"
"Not the most morbid but I love Anthony Jeselnik’s story about his neighbor who has Alzheimer’s. 'One of my next door neighbors is a 90 year old man suffering from Alzheimer’s. And every single morning at 9am he knocks on my door and asks me if I have seen his wife.'"
"'Which means that every single morning at 9am I have to explain to a 90 year old man suffering from Alzheimer’s that his wife has been dead for quite some time. Now I’ve thought about moving. I have thought about just not answering my door in the morning. But to be honest, it’s worth it… just to see the smile on his face.”
"Why can't orphans play baseball? They don't know where home is."
"Why can't orphans play tennis? They get confused when they hear love."
People who make comedy are evil. LOL.
The DarknessThat 70S Show Reaction GIF by LaffGiphy
"Dark humor is like food; not everyone gets it."
"A Holocaust survivor dies and goes to heaven, where she meets God. To break the tension she tells God a joke about the Holocaust, but God doesn’t laugh. The lady shrugs and says 'I guess you had to be there.'"
“'I guess you had to be there' is a common expression used when someone doesn’t laugh at a joke. It means that the comedy may not translate without the context of the situation."
"In this case the Holocaust survivor is saying it, meaning that during the Holocaust God was nowhere to be found. It’s not really a joke about the Holocaust, but the absurdity of belief in a benevolent God. Hilarious right?"
"How many dead babies does it take to fix a light bulb? More than 3 cause my garage is still dark."
I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Because I don't know what it says about us as people if we laugh. Oye.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
Life can change in an instant.
It can always change for the better.
Just ask any lottery winner.
Sadly, life can also take a turn for the worst and leave people shattered beyond repair.
Watching someone's life fall apart in a short amount of time is difficult.
You have to wonder if there really is such a thing as karma, bad luck, or Voodoo.
Redditor OkImagination5852 wanted to hear about the times we've been witness to personal disaster. They asked:
"People who witness a person's life crumble in a single day, what happened?"
I have lived through a lot of bad days. But thankfully they've been one disaster at a time days. So I guess I'm lucky.
"A friend of a friend had his entire family killed overnight. He was from my college and was home visiting his family. His parents, siblings, and extended family were all there together. One night, while they were all asleep, his father got up, took out a gun, and went on a shooting spree. He then killed himself."
"Everyone except this guy died on the spot. When my friend visited him at the hospital, the guy was still in shock. He had no idea why his father did that. This was more than a decade ago, and I have no idea how he's doing now."
The IRS Called
"Knew a guy who had a nice house, wife, 3 kids. Machine shop in his garage, Snap On tool truck, sign out front, great mechanic. Never incorporated, didn't pay taxes on his business, cash only. Took nice vacations, bought a boat, then a camper. Five years later, the IRS came. I don't know what they estimated he owed but they seized everything. He lives alone in a trailer now."
2 at Once
"My mom’s dad and dad’s mom both died on the same day. Completely unrelated. We were pretty messed up for awhile. It was 2010. Mom's dad had emphysema (lifetime smoker) and was pretty sick for a few weeks. I was in college at the time and came home to be with him, because we knew he was about to pass. Dad's mom was in the nursing home, as she had had a stroke and also had dementia (she often thought I was my dad, she thought we were in the 70s, etc.)."
"She took a turn for the worst, and so my dad left the hospice my grandpa was at and went to be with her. The towns they were in were about an hour apart, so I stayed behind with my mom to comfort her when her dad passed. A few hours go by, and he passes peacefully (huge thanks to the hospice workers for their respect and grace during this time)."
"Within an hour or so of his passing, we get a call from my dad saying that his mother had passed as well. It was a terribly dark day in our family, and the next couple years for me in college were pretty much a blur. Thankfully, things got better in time and we are all doing well now."
She lost everything...
"Her husband left her after previously persuading her to remortgage their house to save his business and he's already made her take multiple credit cards out in her name. She lost everything. He did it the week after their youngest turned 18 so he wouldn't have to pay child support. He'd obviously been planning for years."
a black sheep...
"My cousin was in a motorcycle accident with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend died. She broke her back. When she was in the hospital she learned she was pregnant. It's been 16 years and we're still trying our best, she took an all too familiar path of drugs, burning bridges and more pregnancies."
"At this point she's fairly stable and clean as far as I know but a bit of a black sheep. Her mother has custody of all one of her kids. She has her youngest and seems to be doing good by her, but who knows. It's been hard on everyone, especially her mother and her brother."
Well this is the stuff of nightmares. I'm grateful for every moment I have alive.
Several lawsuits are filed...
"Here is multiple lives ruined in an instant. A friend was over at some other people house, drugs were involved. They had been playing with a gun. My friend points the gun at a girl, pulls the trigger and shoots her in the head. Girl dies, friend gets locked up until he turns 18. Parents at the house get arrested because they knew what the kids were doing. Friends mom goes into a depression and ends up getting evicted from her house. Several lawsuits are filed."
"It was me... got in a car accident and suffered a traumatic spinal and brain injury that I had no chance of surviving... a 7 vertebrae spinal fusion, yrs of physical and mental therapy... 18 yrs later and the pieces, though many forever gone, are finally coming back together."
A Bad Night
"He trashed his fathers vacation house with an axe before setting it on fire, stabbed the neighbor nearly to death, stole their car and then crashed it into a cop car so bad the cops were injured. He also got his girl pregnant, so once he is out of prison they're gonna start a family."
"Pregnant friend found out husband (43) was having an affair with young woman (19) who was a volunteer at their ecolodge. Friend had 'dangerous' pregnancy and had to spend a lot of time in bed. This betrayal destroyed their marriage, split the little town where they lived and caused two employees to quit because witnessing the affair going on was just too painful."
"She had a beautiful baby girl (to go with her other two girls, lol) and after the breakup was clinically depressed. Worked hard and got a divorce (she had a great lawyer); got the business back on track; beat her depression and now is planning a great vacation trip with her girls."
"Meantime, Dad has generous visitation but just 'hasn't gotten around to' buying a car seat so he can pick up the baby and for a long time asked my friend, 'Can you drop the girls off at my Mom's?'"
Lost it All...
"Recently, I know of a guy that had borrowed all his family’s life savings for the most part to participate in the whole game stop stock thing happening… he lost every penny of his money (credit card advances), and his parents retirement, and every other dime he could get… it makes me sick to even think of it."
Well those are A LOT of bad days. Good luck to all of you.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
Those who are wealthy have the luxury of acquiring the best of the best–whether it's dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant or status-identifying clothing from Chanel or Yves Saint Laurent.
But even the rich have their limits when it comes to frivolous spending before casting judgment on friends or colleagues.
Curious to hear examples of this, Redditor Sasquatchfl asked:
"Rich people of Reddit, what's the craziest/most unethical thing you've seen people in your circle spend money on?"
Expensive experiences were a priority over prized possessions.
"An ex worked for Dell in the late 90s/early 2000s. He was pretty high up and there were lots of partiers in his work circle. Went to a party hosted by one of the dellionaires and there was a body sushi girl. I don’t know what was paid to her, but it was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen."
"Paid a group of homeless guys to only use the bathroom on a competitors business. Eventually bought that place for a massive discount."
Let's Work Out
"My mother woke up one morning and said she felt she was way too fat and she wanted to get a treadmill. The treadmill wouldn’t be a problem, but then she saw where it would be and didn’t like the lighting. Fast forward 2 months later there’s a 40k outdoor gym built and connected to the house. She hasn’t used it once."
Taking A Leap
"Travelled with a bunch of ex 'friends' all fairly wealthy."
"First trip to SE Asia together and as an ex-local I was a de-facto tour guide (despite not being there in over a decade)"
"They somehow found and offered a bunch of kids diving off cliffs to jump for spare change."
"They increasingly challenged each other to land their coins as close to the cliff base and small surrounding rocks for the kids to dive for."
It's about the finer things in life.
Expensive Party Gag
"A 3k ouija board from Gwen Paltrow's store. I didn't even know it was a thing until the dude brought it out. I really wanted to cut it up and see what it was made from. Looked nice don't get me wrong but the thing is basically a party gag. For 3 grand, it better summon a demon that's all I'm saying."
"$600 USD for a candle."
It's not always about the things you acquire.
"I know a guy who went to get a new drivers license and had to pay ~$100k in back parking tickets, then joked about it after."
"Apparently he couldn't get a permit to park in front of his house, so he just did anyway, and accepted like a $200 fine everyday."
For A Successful Election
"Not me, but I know a guy who crowd funded (read: threw a bunch of money into, then solicited more at a flea market) $80,000 toward his friend's DA election campaign. The guy won. So far, this has paid back at least $120K in avoided legal fees. I know some rich people. Most of them are more boring than you think. Hell, most of them drive Hondas, Toyotas, and Nissans."
The Lance Corporal
"I was stationed with a Lance Corporal who was wealthy beyond means after selling some of his patents. He owned and piloted four helicopters. Lived in a palatial waterfront house in Jacksonville, NC."
"The cheapest one cost 400K. That's the one he trained on. The most expensive was about 1.2 million. That's 1.2 million 1981 dollars. The two he's got now are about 5 million each."
"Had a floating landing pad out back moored to his dock and another landing pad in the back yard. Kept two helicopters and a Rolls inside his custom-built hangar at Norfolk International Airport."
"He drove a pair of Rolls-Royces. He also toyed with a 900K Miami-Vice type speedboat. He also housed and transported his squad to Camp Lejeune and back in a custom mini-bus."
The dude was very giving and lived a very clean life. He'd fly us to Norfolk, pickup the car and we'd do our shopping and eating. Hop in a chopper and return home. He'd fly his fire team down to Miami on weekends. He kept a Limo there and wore a chauffer's outfit and did all the driving.
He bought a full-service and licensed pub in Northern Ireland. He lives there with his wife. Does a lot of charity work there. We still keep in touch."
When there's plenty of money going around, there's no need to worry about a single thing.
That peace of mind is a luxury in itself.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
When marriages or relationships fall apart, infidelity is not always the cause.
Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor Liam_Tang asked:
"People who've divorced, aside from adultery, what were the irreconcilable differences that ended the marriage?"
You think you know a person when you walk down the aisle.
These Redditors were in for a rude awakening.
"My wife divorced her ex for many reasons, but the final straw was when she went out of town for a few days, and when she got back he had not fed or given water to the dog. The dog lived a long and happy life after that."
Obsessed With A Crush
"Not me, but I had an old coworker that divorced his wife for spending their entire savings on candy crush and games of the same type."
"ITT: Intimacy (sex/romance), beliefs (religion/spirituality/politics), kids, and I haven’t seen it yet but it’s coming: finances."
"The big four. You REALLY need to discuss these things in detail BEFORE getting married."
Physical violence is a legit reason for people to peace out of a relationship.
"She threatened to hit me with a hammer."
Hitting The Bottle
"She became an abusive alcoholic. It was sad but I had to get out."
Emotional pain is too damaging to recover from.
"She told me as we stood in front of the judge ending our 7 year marriage, 'I never loved you, I just wanted kids.'"
Can't Fix Angry
"She was beautiful/smart but an angry angry person. I thought I could be sweet to her and 'fix' that. Heh. She kicked the crap out of me emotionally. Wife II has been a walk in the roses for 32 years now :)"
A change of heart is worthless if comes too late.
"We Could've Had A Nice Marriage
"He could not understand that my wants and needs were as important as his wants and needs. We tried to make it work for 7 years. During that time, for things that were really important to me, I tried explaining logically, asking nicely, begging, crying, yelling, passive aggressiveness... cycled back through all of these options multiple times."
"(If I knew something was important to him, I would do that. For example, he was really into sports, so I went to all his events, even though that is not at all my thing.) When I finally threw up my hands and told him it was time to get a divorce, he suddenly panicked and said 'What can I do? Do you want me to do half the chores? I'll do it! Do you want me to get a job? I'll do it! Do you want me to buy you presents for your birthday? I'll do it!'"
"So, in other words, he could have been doing that all along, but just couldn't be bothered. That made me so angry. We could have had a nice marriage that we both enjoyed, but no, by the time he saw the light, that ship had sailed."
"We are both happily remarried now (to different people) and I joke that his new wife owes me a thank you note. It was his experience with me that taught him to listen to her and take her needs seriously."
"What Can I Do?"
"My ex was exactly like this. I didn't marry him but when I told him let's break up, he went all like, what can I do? Let's get engaged, let's look at houses, etc. Basically all the pre-marriage topics that we should be discussing about after being together for 7 years."
"I got so angry and straight up told him it's too late... I don't need you anymore."
As much as a couple wants to stay together, unforeseen circumstances can eventually tear people apart.
Very few people can maintain healthy long-distance relationships.
When a new job opportunity takes a significant other away, would you begrudge them for wanting a better position to earn more money? Or is it better for them to reluctantly turn down the opportunity so they could stay with you? Do either scenarios breed resentment?
These were questions I've often asked myself with past relationships, and my answers varied depending on the person I was with.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.