LOS ANGELES - T. S. Eliot said, "April is the cruelest month." He meant it in the tragi-poetic sense of spring, the beginning of life, being the beginning of the suffering and sorrows that is an inescapable component of existence. The ultimate cruelty of life is death. In recent weeks I have lost two people - Nobu McCarthy and Fred Okrand -- who played important roles in my life.
Nobu McCarthy was a lovely actress and a good friend. She played opposite me in my very first paying TV engagement, a role in the famed live television program "Playhouse 90" in 1958. I played a defeated Japanese soldier who returns to war-ravaged Japan only to discover that his betrothed, the character played by Nobu, had fallen in love with a GI with the American occupation forces, played by Dean Stockwell.
Nobu herself had only recently arrived from Japan as the bride of an American GI whom she had met and married in Tokyo. Her television role closely paralleled her own life. But she was untrained as an actress and halting in her command of English. Rehearsals were an arduous struggle for her. At first, Nobu's stunning beauty was what struck me. But as I got to know her better during rehearsals, I was impressed by her grit and will to grow as an actress. She worked with determination from first reading to dress rehearsals, and, by air-date, she was nervous but ready. Nervousness just made her that much sharper. She turned in a beautiful performance.
A few months later, we were again cast together, this time as lovers in an episode of "Perry Mason." She was wonderful. With diligence and determination, she continued her study, and, ultimately, transformed herself into a fine actress. And we became good friends. We saw each other often socially. But we didn't work with each other again until the early 90's when we did Philip Kan Gotanda's play "The Wash" in New York and Los Angeles. Again, we played lovers - but now as senior citizens. Nobu played a woman trapped in an unhappy marriage; I played a lonely widower. What a joy it was playing her lover in the autumn of the character's lives. It was bliss just being on stage with Nobu. She was now a consummate artist, as well she should be. She had a collection of distinguished achievements both on stage and on film. She had been much lauded for her moving performance in the television drama on the internment of Japanese Americans, "Farewell to Manzanar."
Nobu had added another dimension to her career as well. She had become a teacher and a cultural leader. She taught drama at California State University at Los Angeles and at my alma mater, UCLA. When the East West Players, America's oldest Asian American theater, was in turmoil in the early 90's, Nobu stepped in as Artistic Director and brought it stability and balance. Thanks to her efforts, East West Players today is a solidly established and respected theater company in Los Angeles. Nobu was playing a leadership role in the cultural life of the community.
I last saw Nobu two months ago at a press conference called by the lieutenant governor of California to announce the funding of a program to make video copies of her television film "Farewell to Manzanar" available to schools in California for educational purposes. Nobu was glowing with happiness. This program combined the two passions of her life, one as an artist and the other as an educator. It was wonderful to see her in such good high spirits.
Shortly after that press conference, Nobu flew to Brazil to work on a film on location. The next time I heard of Nobu was a phone call notifying me of her passing in Brazil.
* * * *
The other immeasurable loss is Fred Okrand. He was an attorney and an extraordinary fighter for justice who also had a unique Star Trek connection. His son, Marc, is the creator of the Klingon language.
I didn't meet Fred Okrand personally until Marc and I became friends during the filming of Star Trek III, The Search for Spock. But I knew of Fred Okrand since childhood. My father had talked of the attorneys who stood against the wind and challenged the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Fred was one of the few. He had been a principled, courageous, and lonely voice during that time of war hysteria. A lifelong advocate of civil liberties, he later became the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union. Honored frequently for his work, Fred is the holder of the Justice Award of the Japanese American Citizens League and was named Lawyer of the Year by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. The ACLU also presented him with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Through Marc I got to know Fred, not only as an iconic fighter for justice, but as a whimsically rugged individualist as well. His most striking idiosyncrasy was in his clothes. He wore checkered trousers with wildly contrasting sport shirts or pale pastel pants with colorful Hawaiian shirts. He was clad in his office as if he were on a golf course. And he literally whistled while he worked. With his round, smiling eyes beaming out from behind large, round spectacles, Fred exuded an irresistibly elfin charm. Facially, Marc is the youthful spitting image of his father, but in attire, Marc is much more restrained. In contrast to his father, Marc is downright drab. When at work, however, Fred was a single-minded workaholic. He preached, practiced, and wore on his body the freedom guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Throughout his illness, Fred never stopped working. At the time of his passing, he was co-counsel on another extraordinary class action lawsuit that went back to the unfinished business of World War II internment camps. Mochizuki versus U.S. is on behalf of over two thousand Japanese Latin Americans who were uprooted from their homes in Latin America and forcibly brought to and imprisoned in American internment camps during World War II. Japanese Americans had received apologies and redress from the U.S. government in 1988 but Japanese Latin Americans had not been included. Fred was continuing their battle for justice at the time of his death. Most fittingly, his memorial service was held in the stately Aratani Central Hall of the Japanese American National Museum. Fred Okrand's legacy is as strong and as magnificent a pillar of the U.S. Constitution as those elegant white marble columns at the entrance of the United States Supreme Court.
I will miss deeply the two wonderful people who passed away in recent weeks. But their legacies will always be with us to remind us of their magnificent work during the time they shared with us. Two beloved lives well lived, productively lived and importantly lived. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it. That is one of the wisdoms of life that people are always throwing around. It can be especially true when meeting your idols, finding your dream job and searching down blood relatives you knew nothing about. The DNA discovery craze has been all the rage the past decade or so. Everyone is running around contacting family they never knew they had. That can be quite the Pandora's box of family secrets and scandal.The outcomes have been all over the place. Though one of the best led to the discovery of the Golden State killer so that's a win.Redditor u/VideoFork wanted to know who would be willing to give up some salacious tea about their blood tie discoveries by asking..... People who have taken an ancestry DNA test and accidentally uncovered a family secret, what was it?
It's Me!<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTQ5ODc1My9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMzY1NzM4NH0.sljm7MeMIsDj2e_K6sGigmvoPQn8W8GdgWqO650hayo/img.gif?width=980" id="2ca35" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="19bedcd39bc2172fa2b04579ff146e3a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="480" data-height="269" />Alexa Bliss Reaction GIF by WWEGiphy<p>I am the family secret, family discovered their brother/cousin/son and his wife had 3 children and gave them all up for adoption - after matching with me through a DNA test.</p><p>They were shocked to say the least, but we're all pretty close now. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwvgo/people_who_have_taken_an_ancestry_dna_test_and/gjqj1mm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"> _orange-soda_</a><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwvgo/people_who_have_taken_an_ancestry_dna_test_and/gjqj1mm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">_</a><span></span></p>
That Type of Guy<p>My aunt discovered that her mother cheated on her father and she was a product of that affair, meaning she was actually only half-siblings with her 4 siblings.</p><p>The rub was that my aunt's husband was married before he married her. The woman he was married to is the daughter of the man involved in the affair. So no one knew this, but my uncle got divorced and then married his ex-wife's half-sister. I guess he has a type. </p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwvgo/people_who_have_taken_an_ancestry_dna_test_and/gjqq9ar?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Herd_That</a></p>
Zulu Forever<p>I was adopted and always knew I was adopted. My parents told me that I came from a family that had already had all of their kids. They lived several towns over. I was a surprise.</p><p>Three years ago my wife decided to take some DNA tests. I figured what the heck? Maybe I'm part Zulu warrior. That'd be cool.</p>
The Line<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTQ5ODc1NS9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNjA1ODQ0MH0.lKWcUjFW9D6Apy82iY-9dIK1XxgD5EvJXabfisHYnq0/img.gif?width=980" id="e2253" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="27752de2a06fc055814c254bf91ec9eb" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="480" data-height="468" />ramsay bolton creepy smile GIF by Game of ThronesGiphy<p>Found out I have a different father. My dad also took a DNA test at the same time and found out his father, of 52 years, was not his biological father either.</p><p>As it turns out, I come from a line of bastards. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwvgo/people_who_have_taken_an_ancestry_dna_test_and/gjqnsw9?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Benevolent_Burrito</a></p>
Bad Mom<p> I was given up for adoption by my bio mom and none of her family knew about me. However, i was not her first or last child. I was her second of 4 kids. My older half brother (we all have different dads. I don't know who mine is and i don't think bio mom does either) was adopted by my bio moms parents. Her whole family found out about me when i found her when i was 19 and went to visit. </p>
That one time....<p>Not me, but a friend never knew who his father was (mom had a weekend fling in college and never contacted the guy after) and his wife helped him use ancestry.com to try and track him down. My friend reached out and the guy was obviously surprised, but flew across the country to meet him. They have a great relationship now, the dad attended his wedding, and they try to get their families together a couple times a year or so. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwvgo/people_who_have_taken_an_ancestry_dna_test_and/gjqktaz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">djsquidnasty</a><span></span></p>
What a Man....<p>My FIL was married to at least 2 women at a time. Nice guy but a man wh*re, and I think he just didn't want to let each woman down when she got pregnant and/or started bringing up marriage. My MIL says that he was already married when they got married, but we also know that he has a child 3 months younger than my husband and the woman and child both go by FIL's last name (and that's NOT the woman MIL claims he was married to when he married her). So he might possibly have had 3 wives at the same time. My husband has upwards of 10 half siblings from his dad. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwvgo/people_who_have_taken_an_ancestry_dna_test_and/gjr84gq?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"> froglover215</a><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/froglover215/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"></a><span></span></p>
You're Fired....<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTQ5ODc1Ni9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MTA2NjA0MH0.kpHQWgXjSP8hxHVaDe5maZQGTHHhd2DlzaCBqwtVnrs/img.gif?width=980" id="8a9c4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="620ba7ae18cc58755d9e361353870552" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="500" data-height="500" />howie mandel omg GIF by America's Got TalentGiphy<p>My wife is adopted (but found her bio mom) and did one of the genetic tests. Someone matched with her and asked if she knew such and such a name. She found out her bio dad wasn't married to the bio mom.... it was her boss. oops. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwvgo/people_who_have_taken_an_ancestry_dna_test_and/gjqj7me?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">valeyard89</a><span></span></p>
A Favor<p>My male cousin did one and found a female cousin we did not know about. He reached out to her and apparently our deceased uncle was good friends with her mother. Mom wanted a baby so uncle got her pregnant simply as a sperm donor.</p><p>Female cousin lived a few blocks away from my grandmother. She had met her a few times going around selling Girl Scout cookies or something. My grandmother had no idea that she was buying cookies from her granddaughter. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwvgo/people_who_have_taken_an_ancestry_dna_test_and/gjqfjd4?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">OrangeTree81</a></p>
The 3<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTQ5ODc2NC9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMDE5Mjg3M30.gMlgHaRpi1efaYHD_iS54zuuSsPF993mzwlC9QXSwww/img.gif?width=980" id="5f143" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="123c601ee6bc6e6cbfa7352dc022088f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="499" data-height="281" />Angry Siblings GIF by Party of FiveGiphy<p>On the flip side - my dad used to say my mom slept around and none of the 3 of us were his kids. Welp, thanks to the test, we know all 3 of us are! </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kzwvgo/people_who_have_taken_an_ancestry_dna_test_and/gjqm347?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">sparklypiggy</a><span></span></p>
The problem with history is we never get to see how any of it turns out until long after the fact. Who was right? Who was wrong? Was 2020 the worst year of the current century? We'll never live long enough to know the answers to these questions (except that last one, because, come on, this past year was horrendous) but the following entries have people already breaking down some well-known historical lies.
Probably Should Drop This Stereotype Soon<p>That France surrenders at everything. France has the highest count of victories tho.</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kvsurz/what_are_some_historical_lies_that_people/gj06pto?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">sly_vixen</a></p><p>Hell, just under Napoleon alone, the rest of Europe had to ban together to fight France off 5 times, and they were close affairs at that.</p><p>For most of its history, France was pretty darn good at winning.</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kvsurz/what_are_some_historical_lies_that_people/gj0r02s?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">badcgi</a></p>
He Was My Idol...<p>Salieri and Mozart actually got along quite well. If they did have a rivalry, it was merely professional.</p><p>Salieri didn't promise his chastity to god, or if he did he didn't follow through because he got married and had kids.</p><p>Salieri didn't have to manipulate the emperor to earn favour with him. He was a well respected composer, and one of the richest men in the country at the time.</p><p>Amadeus is a great film, but it's a good thing that it doesn't start with "based on a true story". At least it's honest... I'm looking at you Braveheart!</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kvsurz/what_are_some_historical_lies_that_people/gj12145?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">epsonabcdefg</a></p>
This One Comes Up Quite A Bit<p>That Napoleon was short, he was of average height by those times. </p><p>French just used the different scale of measurement.</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kvsurz/what_are_some_historical_lies_that_people/gj0egvj?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">Tallandstrong170</a></p>
Selling Your Own BS<p>Hitler didn't become a monster because he was kicked out of art school.</p><p>He was a neckbeard bouncing around Vienna filling his head with all sorts of bullsh-t "philosophy" and well on his way to becoming a monster when someone suggested that he look into an art and architecture program at some school. He made a half-a--ed application which was denied and he continued to sell little paintings to get by while he read all his crazy books. He trumped up the kicked out of art school story in Mein Kampf.</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kvsurz/what_are_some_historical_lies_that_people/gj0azt0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">Thirty_Helens_Agree</a></p>
A Classic Naming Mixaround<p>That Iceland was named Iceland by the vikings to try to try to trick colonists into not colonizing when in fact the reason is that when the first people landed on iceland it was winter and the viking that named it saw a lot of ice and promptly named it as such</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kvsurz/what_are_some_historical_lies_that_people/gj0ge82?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">PickyIcky1234</a></p><p>Are you sure you aren't confusing this? The story I have heard is that Greenland was named that way to trick colonists into sailing there and wasting time and resources.</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kvsurz/what_are_some_historical_lies_that_people/gj0ho20?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">Kitlun</a></p>
The Transition Of Ages Is Not So Cut And Dry<p>That the Roman Empire fell in 476 AD and then it was the dark ages.</p><p>In reality, a peasant living through 476 probably wouldn't have realized they were living through the end of one age and the start of another. The beginnings of feudalism had already started back during Diocletian's reign, barbarians warbands and barbarian roman troops had been a fact of life for generations. The barbarian king who deposed Augustulus still considered himself a rightful representative of the Empire, etc. In some ways, the fall of Rome was sudden and traumatic (the population of Rome itself absolutely cratered in the 400's, after all), but it was really more of a gradual, centuries long transition than a fall.</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kvsurz/what_are_some_historical_lies_that_people/gj0bta9?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">bigblindmax</a></p>
Simple Solution To Simple Problems. All You Have To Do Is Look.<p>"NASA spent millions on developing a pen for space. The Russians used a pencil." [suggesting NASA isn't very intelligent]</p><p>They were perfectly correct to make a pen for space. A pencil would have released loads of tiny graphite particles during use, which would float around and interfere with electronics.</p><p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kvsurz/what_are_some_historical_lies_that_people/gj17jtl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3">wombey12</a></p>
Maybe Not The "Hottie" In The Way Modern Society Would View<p>That Cleopatra was some sort of otherworldly beauty who mesmerized every man she met. Ancient historians were more impressed/scandalized by her intelligence and ability to manipulate as easily as she breathed, and it wasn't until centuries later than she began to develop this reputation as a sexy seductress. <br></p>
Sounds Like The "Nikola Tesla" Of Ancient Libraries<p>Almost anything involving the Library of Alexandria.</p><p>No, the Library of Alexandria was not the sole repository of knowledge in the ancient world. There were many other great libraries such as the one in Pergamum as well as many, many other collections.</p><p>No, we did not lose countless important works that could only be found there. The Library worked on copying works, and any important writings could easily be found in other libraries around the world.</p>
I have always had a fascination with cults. As you can imagine, I've read a fair amount of books on the subject. Helter Skelter, which tells the story about the Manson murders and was written by the lead prosecutor on the case, is highly recommended. Raven, a deep dive into The People's Temple and the notorious Jim Jones, is another stellar read. Films on the subject, including the recent The Endless, are well worth the watch.
But what makes people join these cults and what would get them to leave?
After Redditor theotherweatherguy asked the online community, "Former cult members, what made you realize you were in a cult and that you had to get out?" people shared their stories.
"My mother realized..."<p>My mother realized there was something wrong when our head minister publicly called her a wh*re, because she was one of the few women who WOULDN'T cheat on her husband with him "in the name of Jesus." She left, taking us (the kids). My father, the husband she refused to cheat on, stayed in the cult for a couple more years.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyivtx/former_cult_members_what_made_you_realize_you/gjid2hf?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ufonyx</a></p>
"After this got to be too much..."<p>I was born and raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Got married to another witness when I was 19. Around age 23, I started questioning the intense level of control they have over our smallest choices: What we wear, look like, what we watch or listen to, who we spend time with, etc.</p><p>Things really started falling apart when my cognitive dissonance was reckoning with the fact that I've worked with several hundred non-witnesses, and they were every bit as intelligent, compassionate, and loving as the best witnesses I knew, yet the Organization taught me that non-witnesses were selfish, horrible people, and they were all going to die at Armageddon (which has been constantly and urgently imminent for the last 150 years), I'll drop a link to some of their quotes regarding this in case you're curious.</p>
"I felt insulted..."<p>They told me I devoted too much of my time studying instead of praying/proselytize/going to gatherings/so-called 'family time.' I even explained that I study because I want to one day contribute to the alleviation of poverty in my country. They confronted me one day. They said that studying is more important to me than God, that it would be better to save myself a seat in heaven, and that all I could do is pray for God to provide for the poor. </p><p>I felt insulted because they were Americans and it seemed like their privileged life blinds them from how humiliating it is to not be able to eat. I personally know how many generations that have passed that have prayed for poverty in our country to end. After that exchange, I was so shaken with disgust from what I just heard. It was then that I decided I should get out. I'm a spineless coward, so I composed a letter detailing my leave and handed it to them rather than confront them directly.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyivtx/former_cult_members_what_made_you_realize_you/gjhteya?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Kablaaw</a></p>
"When they told me..."<p>When they told me I couldn't leave and if I did defy them and leave, I would be excommunicated.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyivtx/former_cult_members_what_made_you_realize_you/gjgjp7f?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">_chaos_control</a></p>
"By the time they let us go home..."<p>In the early 2000's I went to the Church of Scientology as a 20-year-old. My dad was an Evangelical pastor and I was really turned off of Christianity (still am, even more now). I had heard that Scientology was kind of crazy but hadn't heard anything about what we now know their beliefs to be. When I first went, I really liked the idea behind how they viewed it as "tech" and not really religion. They start you off slow and you don't necessarily get into doing auditing right away (unless you have a bunch of money). I also ended up working there to pay for my classes since I was a poor college student. I actually really liked the people there and had a good time for the most part.</p><p>After a couple of months of spending a few days a week there, going to classes and working, I got past the intro classes. That's when the crazy started to show itself. I remember having discussions around how basically, you have to follow what Hubbard said to the letter. Well I'm a bit of a free thinker and that didn't sit well with me, but they would just respond with "Well that's how his 'tech' works!".</p><p>A week or so after our discussions around following things to the letter, they had a big event. I don't really remember what it was for, but it ended with trying to sign people up to go on a Scientology "cruise." If you couldn't afford it, you'd have to join the Sea Org and work your way through. Being as it was a pretty expensive cruise (more than normal since you were paying for the classes too), they were having a hard time getting people to sign up. They had a quota they had to hit for the meeting and wouldn't let us leave until they met their quota. So they'd hound people in the audience (maybe around 40 of us) until someone would finally relent and sign up. Then they'd do it to someone else.</p>
"They control everything..."<p>A friend from the same church explained it to me when I was young. They control everything from our money, marriage, thoughts, actions. But growing up in such a church makes it feel normal, you know? I couldn't question it.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyivtx/former_cult_members_what_made_you_realize_you/gjgnedd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">eggstoasty</a></p>
"When I realized..."<p>When I realized that forcing everyone to legally change their last name, not leave the building, not take pictures and not say certain words was not normal, dude. Also the mandatory viewing and the evening classes for those inexperienced in the cult's niche (paranormal).</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/kyivtx/former_cult_members_what_made_you_realize_you/gjh8qgp?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">MR_System_</a></p>
"I left when my partner..."<p>I was in an offshoot of AA for drug addicts called DAA. They treated the AA big book as gospel and they encouraged absolute control from your sponsor (mentor). You had to tell them every grisly detail about your life. They refused to allow people to take mental health medicine.</p><p>The group took up all of my time and spent hours trying to go to NA meetings to recruit people. They saw Bill Wilson as almost godlike. At the top of the organisation in London was a figure who subtly placed himself as the cult leader, and took advantage of young newcomers.</p>
Liars are not the kind of company we seek to keep.
But bad liars can be entertaining enough to have around long enough to expose them.