Everyone is looking for a tribe; for a community, a group of people who will understand you and nourish you. So when we are on that search we sometimes make a few wrong turns that lead us to groups we have to escape and run screaming from. Groups of fanatics (Cults) are dangerous and more often then not people find themselves accidentally involved.
Redditor u/relatee asked people who were caught up in some drama an important life question.... Former cult members of Reddit, at what moment did you go, "oh f**k, I'm in a cult"?
I'm a Material Girl!Giphy
One of the leaders said that we shouldn't watch any TV or read any material that wasn't published by the church.
I said, "well I just like road and track magazine, I don't think that's anti religious." He replied, "that material will cause you to lust after material things and you shouldn't read that."
It was at that point I knew I had to get the hell out of there. GasLOLHAHA
When the high lama snapped a crying toddler on the side of the head to get him to shut up, then demanded that children be kept out of earshot, a thousand yards away. Great compassion my butt.
(Not to mention he got drunk every night while he taught. Not to mention he said Westerners lacked the discernment to judge and choose their own teachers.) tyinsf
Let's be friends....Giphy
Was accidentally in a religious cult. I would see how the pastor would treat non members and members that didn't comply with what he wanted and I would think "I hope he doesn't start acting this way towards me" he would berate people, gossip, expect us to stay at his house until late hours, forbid us to hang out with non members, and he even asked me to move in there when I already had my own place.
I noticed it was a cult when I told them I was hanging out with an old friend and they preceded to ask why was I doing that and that they were my friends.
I came to a service that following Sunday and the pastor sees me and says "I had a message I was going to preach, but I'm going to preach a different message today."
The whole service was pretty much him talking stuff about me and making rude jokes. I knew this sermon was about me when he kept referencing the "person" hanging out with other people and saying it was sinful and of the world. I never felt so embarrassed in my life with everyone laughing at me. I sat that entire service just embarrassed.
Once I left, several of the members attempted to contact me with a few of them trying to "go to the movies" with me at midnight when they knew damn well the closest movie theatre was an hour away and what movie theatre shows movies at midnight.
After I stopped going to that church a few of the members completely stopped talking to me despite us being "friends" still can't believe that happened to me. Tito_Santana
Watching my Grandma, who is the matriarch of my extended family and our family's glue, struggle to pay tithes AND offerings every week, regardless of how much of a difference it would have made to her vs our rather large church. My Grandma paid for her meds in change on a Monday and while I watched our preacher get into a brand new, black and chrome Yukon Denali the Sunday prior and it didn't make sense. tchallathe2nd
Leah Remini for the win...
A couple of things....
When I found out about the Australia Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Specifically case studies 29 and 54. Watching a governing body member (1 of 8 leaders of Jehovah's Witnesses), Geoffrey Jackson, lie, reword questions, avoid direct answers and get thoroughly beaten by a lawyer on Biblical interpretation I was like, "oh crap." I started my escape and doctrinal research.
The "oh damn!" and bawling, lots of bawling as a mid 30s man, came after watching episodes 5 and 6 of season 1 of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. The first 4 episodes I saw similarities. Episodes 5 and 6 I saw things that I had had happen in my life. Getting ad hominem attacks from my mother, sister and brother-in-law, which from watching the show I expected would come, gave further proof of Jehovah's Witnesses being a doomsday cult.
Research whatever it is that you are in. Especially if born in to a religious belief system. wyofan87
I was actually in a church that transformed slowly into a cult. They just slowly started doing more and more miracle things and being open more and more days open with encouragement to be there for those days. Tithes became incredible important and the priest family became more and more important.
I left but I heard some insane things happened after I left. I was lucky as I came from a really complicated low socioeconomic background when I moved for uni there wasn't much fight for me. KettleLogic
Had an accident when I was twelve that injured my back. Sitting hurt. I convinced my mother to allow me to walk around during the multi-hour long services in the library/overflow room downstairs that had a speaker blaring whatever was going on at the pulpit. In that library was all the original cult publications from eighty plus years previous. No one ever paid any attention to them but I was a voracious reader. They were into some wackadoo crap at the beginning that totally contradicted the current teachings. (pyramid power, numerology...) I never said anything because it was a closed society and questioning meant total shunning but from that point on I was aware that it was all garbage and I spent most of my time planning my escape.
When I finally publicly called bull six years later I lost everyone and everything. Life sucked for a while but 10/10 would do it again.
Don't answer the door when Jehovah's Witnesses come knocking especially if you have children! They're hiding tens of thousands of pedophiles in their ranks! Fn weirdo doomsday fools. loudmouthedmonkey
I used to practice kung fu at what was basically the most McDojo place ever. On top of all the usual money grabbing bull! The grand master changed his title to something like His Celestial Holiness and started getting his students to travel to the woods to build his temple.
Heaven's gate cult in the late 90's targeted me because I was obsessed with Star Trek. My best friend growing up, her family was part of it. I spent almost two years with them Before I was brought to a meeting. It was scary as hell. They all killed themselves a few years after. No one believed me for 16 years. That part messed with me the most. mtheorye
When I was told i couldn't ask questions. I was 14.
All that did was make me ask more questions.
I ended up at the public library reading up about cults. (This was in the 90's). o2bjody
The Sacred Lamb...
When I was told that proceeding in a ceremony and receiving a gift that was a religious rite of passage to adulthood would require me to take upon myself certain sacred obligations, and that I could not know them beforehand. I could either leave then in front of my family or essentially sign a blank check to swear any oath required of me later on.AhhhGreat
Too Much Gospel!Giphy
When the church spent more time talking about how we should bring people out to church than they actually talked about the gospel, I decided it was time to go. thudly
Yep! Joined a "youth group" that turned out to be a Jesus cult in high school. I should've noticed how important recruiting was to them (considering the kids who recruited me were very proud of their accomplishment), but one of the first tip offs that something was awry was when they covered a wall in paper with a red brick pattern and we were encouraged to write the names of our friends from school who needed to be "saved" on the wall so everyone could pray for them and reach out to them about coming to youth group.
When I quit they showed up at my house to try to convince me to come back. They had over 100 members from my high school alone (and I think around 400 in general). Cat_Island
For me it was when, after almost a decade of being raised in and working for them, i got fired by them. The reason being I had watched a Chris Rock video, and this was reported by one Cult Leaders many spies he apparently had in each department (found this out after a lot of digging once i had become disillusioned). He decided it was proof that i was not pure in Christ and had to be removed from the "flock of christ."
The idea that something so innocent as a comedy youtube, could be a "grievous sin against God" as he put; struck me as beyond ludicrous and awakened a very cynical part of me. And so the journey of searching for truth began.wittyusernamefailed
No hitting the streets!
I was part of a "cult" church when I was invited soon after I started attending school at UF. Since I was looking for a church to attend, this worked out great
I was invited by a real nice guy and started attending every service, getting to know everyone and making great friends. The services seemed to be a bit extreme, a little too "fire and brimstone" but I decided to ignore that and focus on what I agree with.
I started getting a little uncomfortably when they tried to make me recruit people on the street, but I really felt uneasy when they said I shouldn't hang out with my friends that followed other religions and even family members, because they're not "good influences."
Despite all of this I kept going mainly because of the people there. It wasn't until my sociology class did a unit on cults and how they work, being nice and friendly and then trying to separate people from their friends and family so they won't be persuaded to leave.
After that I decided to stop attending services, although I stayed in touch with some people. It's a real shame because most of them are born again Christians and don't know that a real church isn't like that. They're great people, just lead by the wrong person. RageAndWar
Not the KKK!!!!Giphy
Obligatory not me but my friend's grandfather was a farmer growing up, think 1940s or 50s. It was kind of a remote town, but he would talk to other farmers and buyers when he went down to the market. One day, an acquaintance of his tells him that they're having a meeting with whole bunch of other farmers and farmhands and that he should come and join. My friend's grandfather, thinking it's some sort of farmer's alliance, is like "sure, why not."
Friend's grandpa goes to the meeting and is a bit confused when it's not about farming at all. It's a KKK meeting. He has an "oh crap, I'm in a cult," moment, but waits till it's over because he doesn't know what will happen if someone sees him trying to leave. Meeting ends. He goes home. Dude tries to invite him again and friend's grandpa nopes out of there. Cometstarlight
Can't handle competition?
"remember not to browse apostate websites in case they weaken your faith."
Shouldn't truth stand up under scrutiny?
Show them the $$$!
My parents were in this religious cult that always ask for crazy amount of donation. It even send families out to pioneer for the religion. We were one of the family.
Then coming to Canada and we had financial/immigration issue. The organization immediately distanced us. Only then did we realize this was not what we thought it was. The way they motivated people was like any cult I have heard of.willchen319
Get thee back Satan!Giphy
When I realized I was afraid of doing outside research on the religion (cult) I was raised in. I was afraid I'd be allowing Satan to control my mind. Once I did research it I realized that for so many years I thought I was thinking for myself but I was really just being controlled and told what to think and do. And then it further intensified the realization I was in a cult when my whole family turned their back on me and started shunning me because I stopped believing in their nonsense. Koaliawa
Our Greatest Callings....
When I realized ever since I was a kid I had been railroaded towards getting married and having more kids in the organization. Every thing I was every taught was how to be a good wife with sewing and quiet journaling and crafts with no encouragement for my dreams of being a scientist.
Once when I was ~14 I said to a leader that I didn't want kids and wanted to be a scientist, and I remember the exact words: "Well, when you decide you do want to have kids remember that that's the greatest calling you can have." When I got older I did some research and compared it to the "approved resources" I found a lot of lies and cover ups they taught and found the truth disgusting. Nightthunder
When I wasn't good enough. It wasn't enough that I showed up, paid money and contributed to the group—there was always this hint of disappointment that I couldn't bring in more people, through subtle hints like, "You can bring other people if you'd like! We'd love to be able to save your loved ones," to, "Why don't you ever bring people in? Your loved ones deserve to be saved!" And people who were social and outgoing were described as the most desirable people to invite into the church. My pastor straight out said, "We aren't going for the loners you see sitting alone at lunch. We need to go for the social kids with groups of friends all around them. It's our goal to save as many people as possible so we need to go for them!" Decadent_Grool
That is all crazy scary. Have any of you had any run-ins with cults?
When visiting any foreign country, one should always be familiar with the laws and customs of the land.
After all, what might be generally accepted on your home turf, might be frowned upon, if not illegal, elsewhere.
For that matter, even locals might need a refresher course on what they can and can't do while at home.
A recent Redditor was curious to hear what tourists and locals alike should avoid doing in the USA, leading them to ask:
"In the United States, what should you never do?"
Stay out of the skies!
"Don't fly a drone in Washington, DC."
"The whole D.C. Area is a no fly zone."
"It's a federal offense."
"Just don't do it."- PeytonCarrK
Cops can't be bribed.
"Don't try to bribe cops when you get pulled over."
"I had some Argentinian friends immediately pull out their wallets and start pooling their cash when they got pulled over once.'
"Fortunately someone in the car noticed and told them to put it away immediately."- PeytonCarrK
"Don't pay off the police."
"My dad has friends from several third-world nations where it is common practice to give the police some cash when you are pulled over."
"However, if you try to bribe a police officer here, you'll get into a lot of trouble."- JohnASmiley
Know your rights.
"Everyone, including foreigners, has the right to be silent and have a lawyer when being questioned."
"Don’t say anything."
"Also, even if you speak English fairly well, ask for an interpreter."- WickedLilThing
Enjoy all that nature has to offer... carefully!
"Don't wander off in the national parks."
"It's very real wilderness and you can get lost and die out there."
"This includes going over railings you aren't supposed to, or off trails."
"People have died accidentally falling into a steam geyser that looked like normal water, mauled by animals or left to the elements."- AlphaOhmeganational parks GIF by Visit The USAGiphy
Allow plenty of time!
"Expect consistency at TSA in airports."- WickedLilThing
Some terminology doesn't translate...
"If you’re from England, they’re called cigarettes here."- Yung_Onions
Make sure your license is up to date.
"If you come from a walkable country don’t come here expecting the same."
"There are some areas with good public transportation and bicycle/pedestrian friendly streets but for the most part, especially outside of cities, the areas are designed to accommodate cars more than anything else."
"The reason a lot of Americans drive everywhere is because, depending on where you live, we have no choice."- The_Cars93Dog Driving GIFGiphy
Wait for instructions.
"Get out of your car and approach the cop when being stopped by a cop unless told to."- hildrash
Whether your'e waling down a street in a foreign country, or the street you've lived on for your entire life, it's always wise to be on guard and aware of your surroundings.
Not to mention, obey the law.
Who doesn't love a good joke?
And one needn't be a professional comedian to always have a joke in their back pocket to make people laugh.
Particularly as there are certain types of jokes which are almost always guaranteed to elicit at least a tiny chuckle.
They could be knock-knock jokes, "little johnny" jokes, and of course the "yo mamma" jokes.
Though always teetering on the boundaries of good taste, the possibilities of jokingly insulting the mother of a friend, or foe, are endless, and more often than not, hilarious.
Redditor nobody-and-68-others was eager to hear the funniest "you mamma" jokes people have ever heard, leading them to ask:
"What are the best “Yo mama” jokes you got?"
Yo mamma's so fat...
"yo mamma so fat she wakes up in sections."- LolCoca
"Yo mama so fat when I had a threesome with her I never met the other guy."- 1nzlocky
"Your mama so fat, her memory foam mattress wish it could forget."- cuirboyFat GIFGiphy
...How fat Is she?
"Yo mama's so fat she outweighs the needs of the many."- BenefitsCustardbatch·
"Yo mama’s so fat that every time she turns around, it’s her birthday."- Amphibutter·
Yo mamma's so ugly...
'Yo mama so ugly, criminals break into her house just to close the curtains."- Cap_the_pro
"Yo mama so ugly your dad wakes up with morning wouldn't."- lukeedbnash
"Yo mama so ugly, her portraits hang themselves."- SolHalcyonthe emperors new groove hangover GIFGiphy
This could have so many meanings...
"The earth was flat until they buried yo mama."- jaymo54
Fat AND Ugly?
"Yo mama so fat, when she goes on a diet, the stock market drops."
"Yo mama so ugly, she threw a boomerang and it refused to come back."- SophisticatedOtaku
Needless to say, not all jokes are to everyone's taste.
Something to keep in mind when sharing these jokes with others.
Particularly with, "yo mamma", or anyone else's...
Societal norms gradually change over time, and it's not until a generation looks back and notices just how far they've come.
One of the major differences people from earlier generations find fascinating is how things were much more rigid compared to current times.
Curious to hear examples of this, Redditor FCFSDeals asked:
"What’s now weirdly acceptable in 2022 that was not acceptable growing up in your generation?"
Prior to cellphones, calling protocol was vastly different once upon a time.
Answering The Call
"Not answering the phone. When we only had landline phones (yes long time ago), there was no ringing phone that went unanswered. Now we screen or just plain ignore calls until we are good and ready to deal with it."
"Also, no one expected to reach you at any time, 24-7. I miss those days."
"But there was phone etiquette: no solicitation calls; no polls; and nobody called after 9PM unless someone was in jail or the hospital."
Appearance guidelines seemed to have shifted between generations.
"People have already said tattoos, but body piercings also exploded in popularity. It used to be girls could get their ears pierced, and that was it. When I was in high school, some guys started doing the one earring look and tongue, nose and bellybutton piercings were starting to become popular."
Comfort Is Priority
"Wearing sneakers to work at a fortune 100 company."
"At the beginning of my career it was suit and tie, then business casual and now I wear stan smiths, jeans and an untucked polo in the most senior position of my working life."
"I worked for the US Senate in 2009 (in a totally non-political job for the Senate Curator). I wore clothes from Hot Topic on the Senate floor. Some days I wore old jeans with holes in the knees if I knew I'd be climbing ladders to clean artworks. One of the women on the team had a full chest tattoo and made zero effort to cover it up because no one cared. The day I met Senator Inouye to discuss what paintings he wanted in his office, I had on trainers."
Benefits Of Letting The Hair Down
"They realized that they can't erode wages and expect us to look like we're on Mad Men at the same time. Allowing long haired freaky people has made them sh*tloads of money over the years."
Hair Coloring & Tattoos
"Any type of hair coloring would result in serious trouble at school. I also remember tatoos being frown upon as being found mostly on people that got out of prison."
The advent of the internet was a huge game changer, and rules were made up as we went along.
The Bandwidth Situation
"2 people using the internet at the same time."
Phones In The Classroom
"Middle/high school students being allowed to have their cell phones in class. Being caught with our cell phone when I was a high schooler was an automatic detention etc."
Consequences Of Having A Phone On Campus
"I graduated in the late 90's, and the president of my class got expelled one week before graduation for having a phone on campus. It was in his car, and this was after hours. It rang and a teacher heard it. They made an example out of him. He lost his admission to West Point."
"Now my 8th grader finds it super unjust that her science teacher makes all the kids put their phones in a box at the front of the room during tests, and feels super justified in never ever giving up her airpods to that sort of thing."
When I was a cast member at Disneyland in the early 2000s, we had to abide by the strict, clean-cut appearance guidelines required of all cast members–with different rules applying to each respective gender.
Men, for example, were not allowed to wear jewelry or have visible tattoos. We also had to maintain the length of our hair to not exceed past a certain length, and sporting facial hair was a major no-no.
Now, the "Disney Look" has changed, allowing all cast members to reflect their personalities through “gender-inclusive hairstyles, jewelry, nail styles and costume choices; and allowing appropriate visible tattoos," according to the Disney Parks Blog.
To the Mouse, I tip my hat for these awesome changes.
As a kid, I remember being obsessed (like obsessed) with David the Gnome and his fox Swift. I was tuned in daily to watch the adventures, get all misty eyed for the hurt animals the gnomes saved, and sobbed in abject wonder when the gnomes finally lived all 400 years of their gnome life and transitioned into the trees that make up the woods they live in.
The trees are their ancestors, y'all! The treeees! They protect the trees because they're family. Trees grow intertwined because they were so in love when they were gnomes.
Fam! This show was everything ... except memorable for other people because I was in my 30s talking to someone from another country before I met the first person who remembered this show.
Which, honestly, is kind of insulting to gnomes and trees.
Reddit user itchellFamily1045 asked:
"Which show do you think you're the only person who remembers it exists?"
It was David the Gnome for me (which I found out originated in Spain and was much more popular in France than it was in the US. Apparently, I was a Euro-trash hipster as a child), but let's take a look at what got Reddit.
Classic Wheel Of Fortunewheel through the years GIF by Wheel of FortuneGiphy
"It's funny how nobody seems to remember the early seasons of Wheel of Fortune with host Chuck Woolery. You didn't win any cash. You had to choose prizes from a selection of things set up in a room-like fashion."
"They still had the prize room with sajak for a while I believe. Camera would just pan across the room and the winner would try not to pick the stupidest things. Cause the items all had fn price tags on em and you'd only have the $ amount you won. Infuriating"
"A broyhill coffee table!!"
"Always ending up with the porcelain dog statue cause it was all you had left after buying expensive items."
"I still think about the episode where everyone who stayed young, slept in Tupperware, and when their lids got taken off, aged overnight."
"One of my favorite moments on the show had Marshall and Simon hanging out in Simon's room, one night. Through the walls you can hear a man and a woman laughing lecherously."
"Marshall: 'It sounds like your mom and dad are having a party'."
"Simon: 'Mom's not home'."
"It was a great weird kids' show, but some of the gags they managed to sneak in were hilarious."
"I work w a dude whose daughter was on that show, We were just randomly chatting and he was telling me how she had done some modelling/acting when she was little"
" 'you probably dont know the show but...'."
" 'like hell i dont that show was great'."
"Early edition- get tomorrow's newspaper today"
"I loved that show! What a concept!"
"Omg omg omg"
"Quality 90s tv, right there. A warm-fuzzy show."
Herman's Headtalking marge simpson GIFGiphy
"Anyone remember Herman’s Head?"
"It had the woman that does the voice for Lisa Simpson and the woman that went on to play Ross' exwife on friends was one of the characters in his head."
" It has 2 Simpsons voice actors- Yeardley Smith and Hank Azaria. I seem to remember that they were offered the roles- and maybe the whole show existed? - because they didn’t want to be ‘just’ VA’s, and FOX wanted to placate them."
"That’s a real show?? They reference it on 'only murders in the building'.”
"I came for this one too!"
The Garry Shandling Show
"The Gary Shandling Show. No, not the Larry Sanders Show - Gary Shandling Show. Even the theme song breaks the fourth wall."
"This is the theme to Gary's show, the opening theme to Gary's show. This is the music that you hear as you watch the credits. We're almost to the part of where I start to whistle, then we'll watch It's Gary Shandling's Show."
"Yeah, Garry Shandling and Tracey Ullman are pretty much tied up in my memory."
"Best theme song EVER!"
"My partner LOVES the theme to that show! Plays it in the background every now and then, it's a riot!"
"Mid-2000s show on Fox that was apparently too weird even for Fox. I think they canceled it halfway through the 1st season."
"I have the DVD. Excellent show that I still toss in every once in a while."
"The producers had planned out some storylines all the way to S3. The S2 cliffhanger was supposed to be Jaye being sent to the mental hospital where she had helped put away some guest stars, including the woman who tried to kill the therapist with gift store items, and the boy who bought the russian mail order bride."
"Bryan Fuller's early work."
Mary Hartman Square
"Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman"
"I remember watching this with my dad and my sister after the 11:00 pm news. I was in like 6th grade. That's what happens when there's no mom around. 😂"
"Her husband fell into a vat of paint thinner at work, and he needed to have plastic surgery over every inch of his body, so he requested to look like Tab Hunter."
"I thought her husband drowned in a bowl of soup. Maybe her first husband? That show was trippy af"
"Her neighbor's husband. The clip is on YouTube."
"Spin off of a spin off or Mary Tyler Moore as I recall, right? Wasn't Rhonda the first spinoff?"
"Not a spin-off. Mary Hartman was a very bizarre show for its time, a parody of a soap opera. Louise Lasser played Mary, and she was this weirdly detached character surrounded by crazy drama and violence. I think it might have been the first place I saw Martin Mull."
"Terranova, ran for like a single season then disappeared"
"I loved that show! So annoying they didn’t get a second season."
"I was a young kid when it aired on TV so i dont remember much of it, but I recall it being a recurring topic with my mom every now and then"
"oh god I’m old. I thought it was only a few years ago. I just looked it up and it was 11. Excuse me while I go get an AARP application."
"It’s that old?! Holy sh*t, grab me an application too, please. It seriously felt like just a couple of years ago."
"Karen Valentine was probably the cutest girl ever on a tv show. I used to love when she would be on the original Hollywood Squares."
"She was the only reason anyone watched that show."
"I loved that show! My mom, my sisters and I would watch that show every Friday night. The cast was really good — Karen Valentine was a really cute and bubbly teacher, and Michael Constantine was great as the high school principal"
"Yes! I swear this was the first one I thought of! And Under the Umbrella Tree!"
"If you have the Paramount streaming app, it's on there!"
"Spicy, salty, sour, sweet, bring us something good to eat!"
"I’m in my late thirties and still vividly remember the Christmas special episode where Magellan gets lost in the woods."
"Eureka’s Castle was the jam!"
"*Worms going err errrr ER err ere rrr*"
Let's talk about the shows nobody remembers but you.
Are they those early childhood favorites? Or maybe a teen-drama that only got one season before Netflix pulled it, crushing your hopes and dreams of resolved plotlines about a teenage ghost band who died of poisoned hot dogs and the incredibly talented, but heartbroken, young singer who gives them a new lease on life, love, and music?
No that is not a joke and YES I am still angry about Netflix not giving Julie and the Phantoms a second season.
Maybe it's a soap opera you think you remember watching with your mom, but maybe it was a fever dream?
Whatever it is, we want to hear about it.