People Who Were Born Into Cults Admit The Moment They Knew They Had To Get Out
As children, our educational and cultural influences are determined by our parents. But sometimes our family can be in an unhealthy environment and as children we're trapped there as well.
Reddit user sweaterobsessed asked "Children born into cults and (who) left, what was your "Oh, sh**!" moment?"
Here are the stories of people living in a bad situation as children, but who made the decision to get out and what was their final straw.
The moment when I asked myself, what, fundamentally, the difference between my church and North Korea was.
My thoughts went something like this:
We sing songs about allegiance to the Supreme Leader.
We have pictures of Supreme Leader in our house.
We ascribe supernatural events to Supreme Leader.
Supreme Leader can do no wrong.
One day, we will invade false Korea, Jesus will come and kill all our enemies. Sometime soon, as of last century week.
Leaving church Best Korea? Where will you go? Horrible things outside!
People who leave Best Korea are evil traitors!
Take extra time out of your day to serve Best Korea (the church).
Anyway, I highly recommend this as a thought process as to whether or not a part of religion is bad- if via substituting nouns it sounds like something out of North Korea, or from a true external perspective (hard to do) it seems strange, it probably is. That's how I left.
A Loving God
I grew up in a church that was one compound and a bulk order of kool-aid away from being a cult. They mostly focused on the end times and how much and when to tithe.
For me there were two (last straws), the first when the preacher preached a sermon on how god doesn't care about how good or evil you are. Only if you believed the correct things. The second was when he preached a sermon about how babies, children and yes even the mentally disabled go to hell. Unless of course they believed the correct way. Of course as he put it most of them were in hell. The idea that god is all knowing and all loving and tortures babies and the mentally handicapped for eternity was abhorrent to me.
In the Cult, job descriptions and qualifications include scriptures. My father wanted a job and one of the requirements was that his children respect him and fear the Lord. But he only had one child at the time.
He was told he would not get the promotion until he had another child, and my mother was accosted several times being told she was selfish, a hellish woman, worse than Eve. She had several panic attacks and finally struck off to find a psychiatrist and renew her use of the anxiety medication she was on before my father made her stop taking them.
Once I was conceived, my father was promoted and they were transferred to what was at the time the USSR. My brother was left with...honestly I don't know who, and my parents won't tell me, but they left for the remainder of her pregnancy. Against medical advice, they flew back to the US and I was born in Illinois. For the next five years we were left with strangers who were ranked highly enough in the Cult to take care of the children of my Father's ranking, until we were assigned secondary parents.
I was shunned for dating someone that wasn't white. They gave me bible verses to "support" their claims that it wasn't right. The bible says that God is love. If I can't love someone, then they're not reading the same book that I am. I left, half of my "friends " wouldn't speak to me anymore.
I don't think I ever truly believed, but the moment that was cemented for me was when the I had the unfortunate experience of going on a mission trip to Cambodia. Long story short two teams from the church I had previously attended were sent, for the first two week the teams were sent to different locations. During this time we helped the local communities and it was actually pretty nice, normal prayer sessions etc etc.
However during the last couple days of the trip both teams met up and stayed in the same location. It was then that stories from the other team about being possessed by the devil, spiritual enlightenment, tongues (becoming a vessel for god to speak through) and being struck down by the love of god were mentioned by the other team. Keep in mind till that point our team just had your good ole regular fashion prayer sessions.
Surprise surprise later that night when both teams held a joint prayer session, members from my team started hysterically yelling, crying out for god, passing out on the ground and it was at that moment when I realized that it was all bullshit and pretty much mass hysteria mixed in with an enlightenment measuring contest.
I was at a yearly conference at a megachurch in my state when I was 15. There were fog machines and laser lights during "worship" and the power mysteriously went out as we took communion, which was an obvious indication that God was in our favor instead of just an overloaded circuit or someone pulling the plug. That's around the time I realized that you can trick anyone into believing anything and started doing research. Officially denounced the church when I was seventeen and had seen enough.
When I read a book about our sect that told its actual history even though the leaders always said it was created in the time of Jesus and passed down over the millennia in the same form.
It was a Sunday, Sundays we'd usually go during the day and afternoon. But after the first part, when my parents sat me down they told me that we were leaving. I recall being sad because I was playing a game with my friends, at the time I was confused.
My friends that I grew up with ignored me like I didn't exist, I felt like everything I knew was gone. Later on I slowly pieced together what went on there was not normal.
I noticed the manipulative tactics such as showing us graphic videos of people dying and being ripped up because they didn't follow God. They made us have no TV to isolate us, but there's more.
But it was very difficult leaving. It felt like my entire life was a lie, and everything I had learnt for 12 years was taken away and I was left clueless as ever and couldn't relate to anyone.
Luxury Off Poverty
I'm from Mexico. I was raised Catholic, doing my first communion, going to mass almost every Sunday. However, the first time I saw a very poor old lady giving $300 Pesos (About $15 USD and keep in mind this is a lot of money for a poor person in Mexico) to the church just to see the preacher spend that money on luxury (I had been to that preacher's house and it was very luxurious), I was done with it. Never trusting any sort of religion again. None of them. The way they mess with the people that honestly believe in them is not correct.
Profit for Prophets
When my church built a $1.5 billion shopping mall using its "investment" money.
Gotta make a prophet somehow.
Had a very intelligent friend, she also grew up in this cult. I remember her telling me one day how much she was struggling in science class because evolution made sense to her, but she knew it conflicted with her faith. She was in tears over it, saying that she needed to block it out.
Not quite cult, but when the pastor started talking about how God was sending Hurricane Katrina and all these mass shootings as punishment for legalizing gay marriage and not praying in schools, that was it for me.
When I was 19 and by orders of the pastor, my mom took my bedroom door off the hinges. They were doing everything in their power for me not to leave the church. She would do random searches and pat downs to see if I had any communication to the outside "world". There was so many signs that I started seeing when I got older (I was raised into the religion) - but I was terrified to leave due to the shunning, the fear and being ashamed of "leaving the truth".
Also, my mom didn't want me to go to a therapist even after knowing I was having panic attack's because she was afraid that the therapist would take the "fear of god" out of my life.
Lack of Faith
When I realized I had this deep, deep feeling that nobody would ever love me if I left the religion because the religion f'd me up in lots of ways. And also feeling like nobody would ever love me if I stayed because deep down I didn't believe.
Runaway, Never Look Back
My brother and I grew up in a cult family. Not specifically naming anything, but has since disbanded to my knowledge though some of y'all might know which town this happened in. Picture this: a rural town, middle of nowhere with only a handful of people. It was made very clear that outsiders weren't welcome and we obviously didn't get many guests, the ones that stumbled upon it were lost....the town looked creepy as shit so they cleared out fast. Contact to the rest of the world was nonexistent, and we didn't have access to anything - no news, tv, etc. Here are some of the worst things that are burned into my memory...
People got sick frequently but weren't permitted to see a medical professional outside of the cult, but the "doctors" in the cult were absolute quacks. Education was handled by leaders and whoever they appointed.
My older brother really liked dragonflies and other insects. Our dad would capture them and force him to pluck the wings off as a sacrifice.
I had a romantic relationship with a teenage boy in the cult. I became overly paranoid because it was against our religion to be engaging in same-sex relations. For a long time I thought I was going to die since he disappeared one day with no warning. I still have no idea what happened, if he got out by ditching in the middle of the night like I did or if he was killed.
The night I left I kept going until I found a paved road, was picked up by a young man and I can still picture his pickup clear as day. I told him I ran away from home but nothing else, and he didn't pry so we just kept driving. He made small talk, I mostly listened, but eventually I confessed I didn't have any plan or place to go. He suggested the military since he had a friend in it who could help me, plus that'd get me on my feet. I enlisted.
It was like being five again for many years afterward. I had to relearn a lot because what I had been told in my childhood was centered around the cult's beliefs, and my education was severely lacking for my age. I was considered an eighteen yr old in 5th grade. My time was spent drifting between homes and jobs and friends, never stayed in one spot for too long. I didn't feel connected to any identity since it wasn't like I had papers to say who I was.
I had a job as a mover for a while and that's where I met my long term boyfriend. Currently I live with him and just try to take things one day at a time.
I don't know what happened to my parents, but they're probably dead. I haven't seen my brother since that day I left. I have no way of contacting him if he's alive and I don't even know where he'd be.
End of Days
The pastors got involved in the prepping movement. Suddenly there was this huge focus on the end times. One day she starts tearing into me about not stockpiling more food. The pastors had joined a Multi-level marketing scam for dried food. Most of the members were dirt poor, but suddenly God wants us all to buy expensive prepper stuff.
No Boys Allowed
I knew a guy born into a fundamentalist Mormon sect on the Montana/Idaho border.
His "oh shit" moment was his 18th birthday when his dad and the other men kicked him out of town and told him never to come back.
They keep the girls and marry them off to the other men in town. But boys gotta go so they don't take the precious girls.
My aunt, uncle and their ~5 kids were in a cult in the 80's/90's. They were faith healers and the leader basically preached that if you got sick it's because you didn't love god enough. Their "oh shit" moment was when the cult leader died of gangrene. They immediately founded their own church after the cult disbanded though, so they definitely still have some weird beliefs.
8/21/2011 + 1
I was raised in the Family Radio apocalyptic Christian cult. I guess the biggest "Oh SHIT" moment was when the world didn't end on May 21, 2011. My whole life was building up to that day and I had no other purpose.
...and then May 22 came and I figure out how to live in a world that I was taught to reject.
When my mom said a relative had "educated himself right out" of our religion I realized that something you can educate yourself out of might not be the source of all truth and enlightenment after all.
This is a big thing for Jehovah's Witnesses. They're encouraged not to engage in higher education because it "destroys faith."
Perhaps if learning to reason and understand science destroys their faith, maybe that faith is not well founded.
If you love something it's supposed to be forever right?
Well, if you're one of my regular readers, then you know better by now.
Gamer Growth<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTcxMjc5NS9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0ODY1MjUyNn0.LCdZuF69tUjDp_EeoDirNlRMO9TMBqf5vFxb11aQv4o/img.gif?width=980" id="bcc64" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ca5c03e094bc984bbd3359126d4ee6ad" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="459" data-height="620" />Video Games 80S GIFGiphy<p>Video games. </p><p>For most of the first 25 years of my life I loved games. And then one day I sort of just said "why?" </p><p>And have really touched any in the last 7 years and haven't had much of a desire to. </p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp4tcpn?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">thesheep_1</a></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp4tcpn?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"></a>As much as I enjoy video games...I find as I get older...I have less time for it. Other priorities take place and before I know it...not much free time.</p><p>It also doesn't help that gaming companies that I grew up with...are now corporate asshats and not the 'revolutionary' icons they once were (looking at you Blizzard)...the constant 'made for multiplayer online'...f*ck that shit. (looking at you Rockstar).</p>
7 or 8 Other Things<p>Playing guitar. </p><p>I've played for 20 years and for the first roughly 13 years I could sit and play pretty much all day every day. When I went back to college and started taking my education seriously I started losing interest. </p><p>I still pick it up and play but I haven't written any new music in well over a year and most of the time there are like 7 or 8 other things I prefer doing instead.</p><p> There were certain people that I collaborated with a lot and some of them still play music and some of them don't but I moved far away enough from them that collaboration wasn't as easy. They were all people I knew in Orange County, CA but then I moved to Los Angeles after college and now I live in Idaho. </p><p>There is this one guy in particular that I used to play music with the most. Him and I always kind of understood each others' visions for a piece of music pretty well and just generally really understood how the other approached writing music. </p><p>He still writes and records all of the time and he's considering moving out here. If he does I wouldn't be surprised if that ends up being the push to get me really into playing again.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp4dqtg?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">tim_to_tourach</a></p>
Doodle Depression<p>Drawing. I loved to doodle and try and draw whatever popped into my head. Even tried learning new styles to try out but eventually that feeling just slowly died. Drew a few things from a tutorial video a few months back, but that's about it. Pretty depressing honestly.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp4toaj?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">staying_golden1</a></p><p>I used to love drawing and painting too, and aced AP art...but now I look at a blank piece of paper and have zero inspiration. It's sad.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp56g4c?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">5leeplessinvancouver</a></p>
Happier As A Hobby<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTcxMzAyNi9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NTkyODk4MX0.NqAZGKUzeyNvYYFqY5h32ZwX6G8_nCpvrUqassfwhN0/img.gif?width=980" id="14cae" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e2689d2cc698153626ad28e3b2c491c9" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="480" data-height="400" />Nervous Season 6 GIF by Paramount+Giphy<p>Sewing. </p><p>Loved it as a teen. Made my own grad dress, won an award and a scholarship for my skills. Tried it as a job and it just killed any and all desire for it. </p><p>It stopped being fun. It stopped being a creative outlet for me. </p><p>It's really sad, cuz I had skills. I've tried to pick it back up in recent years, but I just can't seem to care like I did back then.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp4vl5q?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">alabardios</a></p><p>Same with knitting for me, which I picked it up as a hobby. Parents realized that I could make useful stuff and tried to push me into selling it. I <em>never</em> want to turn this hobby into a job; it would kill off all the benefits of being a relaxing way to pass the time.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp4z7dt?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ladyoffate13</a></p><p>Are you me? Working in the fashion industry is such a goddamn soul suck. I'll probably never go back. I hoped to get my creative inspo back after a sabbatical but it's been almost 4 years since I quit my job and I've barely touched my sewing machine (except to make a handful of masks for a few close friends and family last year). </p><p>I hate when people find out I sew and ask me if I can make them something...</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp5hylq?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">sxeoompaloompa</a></p>
Reading Used To Be FUNdamental<p>I was an avid reader since kindergarden up till uni. After that life just got in the way and I never picked up any books for the past 10 years....?</p><p>Still reads to my kids tho. Just, I don't have the energy to read mine.</p><p><span></span>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp5cls6?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">shfaeman</a></p><p>As child, schoolboy, and student I used to absolutely devour books. I always had one in my pocket or bag.</p><p>From Dumas to Dickens I lived in those pages and had travels, adventure, and experiences that still remain clear and potent for me all this time later. When the demands of later adult life made this impossible I felt the loss keenly.</p><p>I found that an Audible account was the solution, I can fit books into the interstices of my day, and a good unabridged reading doesn't leave you feeling dissatisfied.</p><p>It'll never be the same as the the intense personal connection I had with books from my days as a true reader. But it suffices for these years until I can again.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp5eqai?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">DrNecessiter</a></p>
Like Prostitution<p>Writing. I always thought it'd be a passion I'd have for life, but in the past year or two everything I've tried to write has been sh!t. </p><p>Slowly I've stopped even trying.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp4oxed?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Without_Mystery</a></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp4oxed?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"></a>"Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money. " -- Molière </p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp555at?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">tamsui_tosspot</a></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp555at?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"></a>I have been writing since I was seven, got a BA in English, and thought for sure I'd be a famous writer someday. </p><p>I very gradually wrote less and less over the years and now I am almost fifty and can barely muster inspiration to to churn out so much as a short poem. Looking back I tend to wonder if it was passion or if it just happened to be something I was good at that earned me praise and that validation is what fueled my motivation. </p><p>Now I don't care what people think of me so much so I just watch Netflix instead.😃</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp64j3t?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">AmyKeeBee</a></p>
All Of The Above<p>Everything here. </p><p>Playing guitar, writing, video games, I guess I just lost it all. </p><p>I'm not in my teens anymore when everything was so deep. I'm just going through the motions of life as a mid 30 year old. Working, and going home and repeat. </p><p>The friends have narrowed down to about 1, the job is tolerable at best. I'm drunk now so that's why I'm spilling. I can't find something that gives me that spark but I'm hopeful for the future.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp56130?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Omegawolf83</a></p><p>Dude aside from the drunk part and hopeful about the future. Are you me?!??!?!😲</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp56130?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"></a>Like for real, I lost interest in writing first, then gaming, have one good friend, work then home, mid 30's... duuuude. And to be honest, losing interest in so much stuff, has had me question if I'm secretly depressed, and just don't know it or what?</p><p><span></span>-<a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp691ww?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"> LurkingAintEasy</a></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp691ww?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"></a>It's been years since I legitimately looked forward to anything or enjoyed something for any decent period of time.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp5224v?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Linchey1</a></p>
Hostile Hostels<p>Staying in hostels. </p><p>I still love travelling and meeting people, but I just can't do the hostel life anymore. I'd much rather have a nice, private bedroom and my own bathroom.</p><p>Part of me still dreams about just saving up some money and doing it all over again, but I know I'd be switching to hotels in about 2 days lol</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp50yh4?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ObjectivePassenger9</a></p><p>This. I loved it when I was 22 and could meet people and hang out with them, It was a great way to meet interesting people, make fun memories, and see a new city. </p><p>But now? F*ck no. </p><p>If I stay in a hostel now, I have to have a private room and bathroom because I am not f*cking around with other people.</p><p>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp56w24?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">FreddieGregg</a></p>
SCUBA Men<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTcxMzUxMC9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY3MDIxMTU0Mn0.zSPRheHDiYwiAdCk9Edsfg8Q_pmmwoJaWuQdBX053wg/img.gif?width=980" id="ac33d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6b3ab59b62d0c3646b51e77406dc76c1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="470" data-height="264" />Under Water Swimming GIF by Outside TVGiphy<p>I fell out of love with SCUBA.</p><p><span>Firstly I live in England so the waters are somewhat different to the Red Sea. </span></p><p><span>But when I did do SCUBA, either in England or abroad, I realized a large part of SCUBA is spending time on boats with middle aged men with marital problems who still, <span>nonetheless</span>, need to keep reminding me that they are better than me. </span></p><p><span>Hence the marital problems, I'm sure.</span></p><p>I always thought it should be an easier and more pleasant experience.</p><p>I'm a casual, by the way. I really don't have the inclination to get up early on a Sunday and look at 4 non-descript fish in the English Channel (which I've done, by the way.) </p><p>Plus I'm not very good at bragging so this excludes me from 95% of on boat conversations.</p><p><span></span><span>I would, however, like to rock up to Jordan or the <span style="font-size: 14px;">Caribbean</span> and just say "Look I'm here for a week or so. Lets do 5 dives but I <span style="font-size: 14px;">haven't</span> done it for a while, so can we spend some time on the first dive working on my bouyancy?" </span></p><p><span>I've tried this a couple of times only to get to the dive shop to find out its being run by an English couple. And if there's one thing worse than a middle aged man with marital problems, its an expat middle aged man with marital problems.</span></p><p><span></span>- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lu5gek/what_did_you_think_youd_always_enjoy_doing_until/gp5c2xf?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">random_username_94 </a></p>
Burgers, fries, peanut butter. Apple pie, hot dogs, cheesesteaks. American food is a big part of our daily lives, but it's not normal for everybody around the globe.
When was the first time you tried sushi? Or the first time you had curry? Have you even been able to try escargot? The world is full of so many fascinating foods, and some of those foods are American--especially to non-Americans.
A Little South In Your Mouth<p>Proper Jambalaya from Louisiana</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Heiminator/" target="_blank">Heiminator</a></p><p>Gumbo, jambalaya, and a real authentic muffaletta should be your top three. A GOOD shrimp po boy is a good one to add to the list as well.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/DocHoss/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">DocHoss</a></p>
The List Goes On And On<p>I really want to have some American pancakes with the bacon and maple syrup! I just recently discovered iHop is a pancake restaurant!!!! A restaurant......for pancakes?!!</p><p>Oh and a hotdog from New York street vendor with "everything".....whatever everything is and then a pretzel for later.</p><p>Some runners up that I'd like to try: twinkies, egg nog, Mac and cheese, a full thanksgiving dinner experience, key lime pie, pumpkin pie, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Mountain Dew</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/surebegrandlike/" target="_blank">surebegrandlike</a></p>
A Nommy Dessert<p>Pumpkin pie. I don't think I'd like it, but I'd like to try it.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Gooner1798/" target="_blank">Gooner1798</a></p><p>It's my favorite pie! It has a pretty great flavor, just sweet enough with a nice soft texture. You absolutely have to put a dollop of whipped cream on top before eating though.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/abe_the_babe_/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">abe_the_babe_</a></p>
Variations On A Theme<p>A Philly cheesesteak.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/FairyBread10/" target="_blank">FairyBread10</a></p><p>Trust me, they are NOT all made alike</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Maximum-Recover625/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Maximum-Recover625</a></p><p>Word. As someone who lives in Philly, it's amazing to see what ends up being considered a "Philly Cheesesteak" on menus around the country lol. Even here in Philly we gatekeep what a legit cheesesteak is lmao.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/MikeyMortadella/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">MikeyMortadella</a></p>
A Smoky Lil Treat<p>Texas BBQ</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/gurren975/" target="_blank">gurren975</a></p><p>Smoked brisket is insanely good when done well. I've just started smoking my own during covid (because why not?) and it is so yummy! Brisket Mac n Cheese was seriously unhealthy but phenomenal..</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Punkinsmom/" target="_blank">Punkinsmom</a></p>
Uniquely Artery Clogging<p>Corndogs. I have never seen it in my country. I never got the chance to eat it when I was in the USA. So I really would like to try it. </p><p>Specially since I saw an episode of GMM where Rhett talks about how much he loves corndogs.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/badthoughts87/" target="_blank">badthoughts87</a></p>
Combo Plate<p>One of those whole hog bbq pulled pork and slaw burgers</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/SmashYaGash/" target="_blank">SmashYaGash</a></p><p>Yeah, that's definitely an eastern North Carolina meal.</p><p>Western NC does smoked pork shoulders (or Boston butts as some call them). Eastern NC is where the whole hog comes from - historically speaking, it's the oldest style of regional barbecue in the country, beating out the colonization of Texas by almost a century.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/LongPorkJones/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">LongPorkJones</a></p>
They're After Me American Cereals<p>I was literally Googling American sugary cereals last night, making my mouth water. </p><p>All these amazing things my husband and I would love to try - Reese's Puffs, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch... What are they?! Must.... Taste.....!</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/ArtNorvelle/" target="_blank">ArtNorvelle</a></p>
Expanding On Fritos<p>I had Fritos once. OMG we have no equivalent. I don't know if they are illegal here or what but I could sense instant attraction pure nommynom.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/qarrmeh/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">qarrmeh</a></p><p>Three words: Frito. Chili. Pie. It's just three basic ingredients: Bag of Fritos corn chips, a can of Hormel chili (or equivalent of homemade chili, which is better), and shredded cheddar cheese. Mix, bake at 350ºF for like 20 minutes or until everything is hot and the cheese has melted, serve. Top with salsa if you'd like.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/PatrickRsGhost/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">PatrickRsGhost</a></p>
Corn In A New Way<p>Grits.</p><p>I've heard it mentioned in movies for years, and I've always wanted to try it.</p><p><span></span><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Fred_Perry/" target="_blank">Fred_Perry</a></p><p>Be aware that there are two distinct factions of grits:</p><p>Grits with butter, pepper, salt, and maybe cheese.</p><p>Grits with butter, brown sugar, and maybe honey or syrup.</p><p>If you go into it expecting one, but get the other, you'll be surprised. People will fight over which is better or 'the right way', despite the fact that they're both delicious. Personally, I mix it up, with butter, pepper, sugar, and honey. That way I'm always an outcast, but at least I have good food.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/MedusasSexyLegHair/" target="_blank">MedusasSexyLegHair</a></p>
Unfortunately, it's no secret that people are becoming the victims of human trafficking all around us.
Every country, city, town, and region can be the site of abduction, where a vulnerable person is groomed to be free labor or the victim of predatory sex
Missing Things<p>"I had a loved one pulled into the sex trafficking industry as an adult. So, I can offer a couple pointers for spotting adults who are being sold as sex workers."</p><ol><li>"Missing shoes. It's hard to run away in a city barefoot. Blisters are a dead giveaway."</li><li>"Not carrying a cell phone, identification, or the purse or wallet to put it in. Their pimp likes to hold these hostage to prohibit contact with the outside world and to make it difficult to purchase long distance transportation."</li></ol><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lreopg/people_who_help_fight_human_trafficking_what_are/gomxb1t?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">LoneQuietus81</a></p>
Trust Yourself<p>"I worked as front desk for a hotel, had a couple of experiences with this."</p><p>"Look for groups of 2-3 where one person does all of the talking, specifically when the other(s) look scared, are overly covered, cringe when the talker is speaking, or look under the influence of something."</p><p>"Ensure you get ID from all parties when you suspect something is going on, note down their room number and names given, trust your gut, what we call a 'gut feeling' is a combination of millions of tiny factors you might not knowingly be aware of, tiny details like hitched breathing, microexpressions, specific lying tells, environmental factors, etc."</p><p>"These all add up and let your subconscious mind make connections that your general mind might not. Trust that feeling if you suspect something is wrong, and contact the police to inform them of a suspected human trafficking issue."</p><p>"Both times my gut told me to call it in I ended up regrettably being correct."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lreopg/people_who_help_fight_human_trafficking_what_are/gommblj?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">tsavong117</a></p>
Memorized Lines<p>"Where I live, human trafficking is a big problem and there was a huge bust at a hotel not too long ago."</p><p>"Usually hotels, motels, and airlines are trained to look out for signs of trafficking. Red flags include those who are very scared or nervous around specific people or talk like their following a script."</p><p>"Those who are targeted usually come from broken homes or poor countries with the promise of a better life or how all of their problems can be solved by doing X. It can also include being showered with expensive or luxury gifts as a start of the luring in process."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lreopg/people_who_help_fight_human_trafficking_what_are/gom77wi?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Kevin-W</a></p>
Prevention<p>"Here in Spain we get a lot of women from eastern Europe and sub saharan Africa, some pay for their trip to europe this way, some are blackmailed and some are lured offers of jobs like cleaning, or low level administrative jobs (secretaries, paper pushing) and end up on in a roadside brothel."</p><p>"If you´re a young woman in a poor area of eastern europe and you get a offer for a easy job in germany, france, spain or the netherlands. be VERY suspicious."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lreopg/people_who_help_fight_human_trafficking_what_are/golqok8?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Aevum1</a></p>
Litmus Test<p>"My sociology professor told us if we ever see a child at a motel/hotel , make sure to say hi to them , and you can pretty well judge by their reaction if they're safe or not"</p><p>"also it's a bit harder to do as a man"</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lreopg/people_who_help_fight_human_trafficking_what_are/gom5b4a?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Ok_Act_1214</a></p>
The Thine Line Between Slavery and Labor<p>"Most of human trafficking is not the movie kind. It's more the kind where an ethnic restaurant brings over a cook from their home country and they have to work unreasonable hours to pay back for the trip."</p><p>"Or maybe it's a maid or a construction worker who works below minimum wage and can't have their passport back."</p><p>"So look for people who work long hours at sub-legal wages."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lreopg/people_who_help_fight_human_trafficking_what_are/golbrvq?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Pontus_Pilates</a></p>
Nifty, and Significant<p>"There's an app you can download called TraffickCam."</p><p>"Any time you stay at a hotel, upload photos of your room. Those photos are incorporated into an artificial intelligence algorithm that helps identify locations of trafficking victims via background details."</p><p><span></span>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lreopg/people_who_help_fight_human_trafficking_what_are/gomc6g8?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">m31td0wn</a></p>
The rule of thumb when eating fast food is very simple: put on the blinders, enjoy the meal, and try not to do it too often.
But what if you work in the kitchen?
In that case, there's simply no escaping a complete understanding of the several horrors that each assembled burger or french fry encounters on its way to that front counter.