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?
We are in a fragile place right now when it comes to bringing children into this world.
Not everybody is meant to be a parent.
In fact, many people should never be one.
So I find it commendable how many of us acknowledge that and chose not to procreate.
Redditorucinangel wanted to everyone to vent about why children are a "no thank you" in their book of life. They asked:
"What is the biggest reasons why you don’t want children?"
I have never wanted children. Best decision ever. But y'all do you if you feel differently. How do we feel?
Restless3. Taking a lot of napsGiphy
"I like sleep too much."
"I took two naps today.. definitely couldn't do that with kids."
"I don’t want to be a parent."
"This is reason enough."
"I am a parent. One of my friends told me she didn’t want kids and said she hoped she hadn’t offended me by saying so. I said absolutely not, no one who doesn’t want to be a parent should be one. It’s an unquittable job. You have to want it for the long term."
"I don't want kids because they're expensive and I don't have any free time. I have yet to break it to them though. Maybe after soccer practice tonight."
"I miss having free time. I can't hang out with friends last minute after work because I have to pick up my kid and feed her and get her to bed."
"It can really wreck you physically and emotionally. Even if it's an easy pregnancy, your whole body/hormonal makeup changes wildly. People act like it's 9 months of sitting in a field, making flower crowns and serenely stroking your growing belly."
"Nah bro, it's mood swings, having your guts kicked from the inside, your hair changes, eyesight might change, all kinds of crap I had no idea about until my friends started popping out kids. Like I knew it was intense before, but I had no idea how intense."
HOT AF!!Cool Down Season 2 GIF by FriendsGiphy
"A two person income with no children is too sexy to pass up on."
Kids are EXPENSIVE! I like $$$ too much as well.
Shut UpGrocery Store Reaction GIF by TravisGiphy
"All that noise… hurts my head."
"I'm barely capable of taking care of myself, so I definitely shouldn't be responsible for a child. I also think it would be a crime to make a child using my DNA."
"I commend this sentiment so much, and I wish more people would follow. My brother is 40 years old and never had kids, simply stating he knows he wouldn't be capable of taking care of them. There's so many unwanted kids in this world because people don't think this through before having them."
"I got a cat and the amount of anxiety and panic I regularly have over being responsible for an animal that doesn't need to be taught to walk is nuts."
"I don’t even have any pets, but I watch my sisters dog and a friends cat every few weeks, and the amount of time I spent staring at them when they’re sleeping to make sure they’re still breathing is too high."
"I grew up poor so u bet ur a** I'm enjoying my money not having to worry about diapers and baby formula."
"I feel this so much. I was the kid who never had the money to go to the movies or the concert or whatever it was my friends wanted to do. I make decent money but am so stuck in poverty mindset I'm terrified to spend it and I genuinely don't feel like I will ever feel financially stable enough to feel comfortable supporting a kid."
Best ideasSacha Baron Cohen Thumbs Up GIF by Amazon Prime VideoGiphy
"Wouldn't make a good parent. I'm 56. I don't see myself changing my mind on this one."
"My older brother got a vasectomy at like 27, no kids. He knew it was a very good idea. I actually agreed (I have three myself, he, ummm, probably wouldn't have been a killer dad). They're not for everybody, and you have to really spoil 'em if you expect a decent nursing home someday."
Kids aren't for everybody. That is truth and that's ok.
When visiting any place for the first time you want to do your best with the locals and the culture.
You're a guest.
Whether it's someone'e home or if it's as vast as the scope of the entire country.
You want to experience all you can while being respectful.
So let's discuss hitting up America for the first time.
RedditorPraglikwanted to share some must knows for the people whole and visit our land.They asked:
"Americans of Reddit, what's something anyone visiting the US for the first time absolutely must know about or be aware of?"
Welcome to America. A few beginner rules...
No MoneyBribing Season 3 GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"Do not under any circumstances try to bribe a cop depending on where you come from that might seem odd but trust me you will get in trouble if you try."
"Don't get out of your car if you're pulled over by the police unless directed to do so. Police here take their own safety very seriously so they may see someone quickly getting out of the car as a sign of aggression. Coupled with the fact they carry guns and generally don’t have a track record of deescalation, it’s possible you might get shot."
"Drinks come with ice by default."
"And refills! Soda is cheap as hell. No one's coming to pour it into a glass for you, it's made on the spot and you can have as much as you want."
"And everybody wants to put lemon in them but they never wash the lemons you have to ask specifically for no lemon in your water."
"If the price says for example $5, you need to be aware that is $5 plus taxes."
"Plus extra recycling taxes on plastic water bottles in certain states (like California) So that pack of water bottles listed for $3 will cost over $5 after taxes."
"That’s literally false advertising. If a product is advertised (say on television) at a certain price, that’s how much you pay."
ServiceMusic Video Mv GIF by Lady GagaGiphy
"Plus tip, if it’s served to you."
Tip. Tip. Tip. And tip properly. 20%.
Eat Updiner dancing GIF by Justin TimberlakeGiphy
"24 hour Diners. According to stuff I read in Reddit, our diners are legendary. ETA: I’m American and I eat at them a lot. I was just surprised how much visitors from other countries love our diners so much."
"I think it’s really funny that the CA DMV official drivers manual says, 'do NOT make eye contact with another driver, this will make them MORE angry.'"
"If you screw up while driving put your hand up as a way to say sorry/my bad to the other driver. It diffuses situations because it shows them you didn’t mean to do that. Many times drivers think something was intentional when really it’s just human error."
"I live in SoCal, and the Los Angeles area has the most brutally aggressive drivers I know. Sure, other countries like Vietnam etc. are a free for all, but Los Angeles drivers literally want you dead."
"The CD is not free, never accept something from someone on a street."
"People will follow you around and thrust the CD (usually their mixtape) in your hand and then as you’re walking away with a CD you didn’t even ask for they start telling you you need to pay for it and then they refuse to accept the CD back so they make you pay for it or they keep harassing you. Happened to me in Venice beach."
"GO TO NATIONAL PARKS!"
"But be respectful! Our parks are beautiful, but often dangerous! Stick to set paths, look up local wildlife, and get an idea of common dangers. A park in the northeast will have drastically different dangers than Utah. And always have plenty of water with you. States often have very gorgeous state parks, too."
break the chainApplebees GIFGiphy
"Do not eat exclusively at chain restaurants then go home and talk about how American food sucks."
So much to do and see. What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.
The world is full of crazy people.
It feels like that more and more as I meander in my local shopping center.
But a little crazy I can deal with.
I want to discuss the people who leave an imprint of fear.
The people who lack empathy, remorse... and a soul.
You met many of those?
Redditor playmesomethinnice wanted to see who would fess up and discuss the person or persons that leave us shook.They asked:
"What type of people are you scared of?"
No SenseSeth Meyers Lol GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"It's a bit hard to categorize, but for me it's people who can't be reasoned with."
"Like flat earthers. I met one in the wild last summer and it was the weirdest experience. My friend slept with him anyway and I'm still mad at her for it, like don't reward him????"
"People who are manipulative liars. Who get you to care about them and then play the victim just to watch you suffer."
"This. It scarred me so much I lost faith and trust in humanity. I was not the target but I’ve seen it with my eyes on a dear friend of mine."
"Had an ex who lied about having cancer and a twin sister who died in a car wreck, makes no sense to me we were in high school at the time lol."
"There is an odd category of people who seem to be able to get away with anything they do. May it be with their looks, skills, wits, power and everything in between. Them. I'm afraid of them."
"My ex husband is this type. I witnessed him get away with crimes, and not just get away like not get caught... like he got caught, went to court, and somehow convinced the prosecution and judge to drop all charges. It was at that moment I knew real fear from that man."
Lacking in Brain
"The dangerously stupid. F**king up and hurting others but come out unharmed to sheer luck."
"Oh like my father in law who was torching weeds right by his shed that then caught fire and spread to an electrical box, deck, tree, and outdoor bar and then laughed about it cause 'I did something just like this at our old house too.'"
CertainHappy Daffy Duck GIF by Looney TunesGiphy
"I don't remember who said it but, 'It's not the people that are unsure that bother me, it's the people that are so certain that scare the hell out of me.'"
It's all about sanity levels. Or lack thereof.
HIMDrunk On One GIFGiphy
"The drunk guys at bars that always have that stare."
"People with a short temper."
"I would add people with a short and unpredictable temper. Those kinds of people who can be totally fine one second, then you do something that doesn't even cross your mind could be 'wrong' and suddenly they're yelling at you. People who explode at seemingly random stuff, no consistency, and particularly at moments you wouldn't expect."
"That's the worst. I'm not particularly used to being yelled at and I'm also rather non-confrontational, so I just don't know what to do when someone does yell at me when I'm absolutely not expecting it. Those people scare the sh*t out of me. I'm constantly on edge when I'm around them and I always feel like I have to walk on eggshells."
"People who refuse to take responsibility for their mistakes."
"They think it keeps them out of trouble, failing to recognize it causes so much more trouble for them in long run. A former friend of mine seems to have their brain constantly working on writing excuses for everything (to the point they can't keep their owns tory straight much of the time)."
"With the idea that any decision they make has to be the fault of others. They convince themselves that their every move was beyond their control and they were forced into it by others and then if they still suffer consequences they think it just means they are the victim of injustice. Tragically failing to realize they effectively deprive themselves of any control over the decisions."
"People who who are unwilling to accept the limits of their knowledge."
"I hate that my limits are there. I want to know more. And I wake up in the middle of the night wondering about James Joyce books and the NASCAR jeopardy questions I don't know."
"My boss hates me but said I'm the only person who is the best on all the machines. I suck at people, but I'm the machine whisperer. I'm the skinny *itch who can tell an autoclave to behave. A DSD to suck it up Sally. I'll even help the front desk with Bob Marley printer."
"Because he be jamming, not my job, but I have a personal vendetta against that machine. I fixed a Gameboy that was sitting in water for 2 weeks. Nintendo does make them good. Yet, I cannot for the life of me can't use an automatic car. Stick or nothing."
Be Scaredthe exorcist father merrin GIFGiphy
"Be scared of the man who has nothing to lose. Be very scared."
"With money diminishing more people are feeling trapped and in a corner."
I believe I've met all of those people. God help me.
There are just some people who need a good, spiteful talking to.
The amount of poor behavior I witness on the daily is astonishing.
How are we like this in these modern times?
Instead of serving shame, we're serving justice for improper deeds.
Be a better human.
Redditor ValenFrost wanted to share what people need a little bit of bad spotlight. They asked:
"What do you think people actually deserve to be shamed for?"
I shame anyone who doesn't use a turn signal.
GrossBasketball Wives Ugh GIF by VH1Giphy
"Leaving pee on the toilet seat when you have guests."
Stay with the truth...
"Knowingly spreading lies about someone."
"My life was legitimately destroyed by someone knowingly spreading lies about me. I’d been in a new town just a few weeks. It’s been almost 10 years and I still can’t make friends and my kids still have issues with their friends being allowed to hang out with them over it. All over something that never happened."
Don't Toss It
"I remember when I was a kid this guy in a 7/11 threw trash on the ground and another little girl looked at him and said 'you're littering' in that you're in trouble voice. And the guy just said something along the lines of 'I'm an adult, it's ok.'"
"Ummmm so I’ve had a work training that I planned, for MONTHS, and we already had to move the training once because of an internal work crisis. The training was moved to today. It's in an hour."
"This morning alone, 4 people have asked me to move it and they’ve known the training date for months. It’s so disrespectful. Moving the training from our previous date was a $500 fine, and if you can’t make it, that’s on you. Your poor planning does not constitute an emergency on my behalf."
First Be Betterlady bird self centered GIF by A24Giphy
"Selfishness that harms others."
"I think most of us do in some ways. Hopefully people might decide to try harder at minimizing the harm we do while surviving and entertaining ourselves and others."
Humans really need to be better.
Wait your turn...Looking On Line GIF by HULUGiphy
"Trying to skip a line."
"A lady came up to me once, asking to skip 30 people in line to buy a banana for her crying daughter at Disney, and I told her I can't speak for all 30 people behind me."
"Especially a traffic line where it is going one way and you get every other 15 vehicles behind that will go to the middle lane just cut in line to wait behind even more traffic."
Not Always Right
"Being entitled and treating customer service workers badly."
"I work in a restaurant and my boss will argue with you and kick you out if you don't behave, downright telling people they are the worst people are so surprised every time they get told to leave after insulting a staff member."
"I dealt with this hard during the early days of the pandemic at Gamestop. When we got crappy no-mask customers when I was working with my friends, we would be rude right back and borderline harass them out of the store. The next several customers would always praise us for not taking s**t. Everyone hates crappy customers, including other customers."
"Finding the fault in others while ignoring the same fault in yourself."
"An unfortunate truth is that a lot of adults stop emotionally maturing when they’re still children. When we’re kids, we can’t really imagine that there are adults who are less mature than us, but it’s actually depressingly common. Something stunts their ability to mature and then they’re just stuck with the emotional maturity of a teenager."
"They develop physical skills just like everyone else, and seem to live successful lives. They have careers and homes and families. But they also can’t connect with people on a deep level, lack the ability to introspect (so they can’t handle any criticism of themselves), and they can’t grow as people. It’s very sad."
“what the hell dude?”
"I watched someone try to run over a cat with their car in the Walmart parking lot, like 3 times. It was 2 am and they were speeding and swerving trying to hit the cat. Poor thing was running away terrified. I got out of my car and shrugged at them like 'what the f**k dude?' and they drove off."
"Tried to give the cat food and be nice to it but it wouldn’t come near, I think it’s just going to be terrified forever."
"Edit: I don’t understand it at all. I can at least conceptualize evil for the sake of personal gain, but what do you get from trying to murder a cat? It’s evil for the sake of evil and it’s freaking sick."
SavageOn Air Dj GIF by The Mowgli'sGiphy
"Listening to music from their phone without using earphone in a public place."
Well all of those people deserve a little shame. Some... A LOT of shame! What is wrong with people?