Here’s another personal cult and cult-exit story. Among those who would learn much from listening to the interview is anyone who derisively thinks, “once a fundamentalist, always a fundamentalist”. I can relate to much of what addressed here. No doubt can many others — especially the discussion on rebuilding one’s life after the cult.
From the introduction of ABC’s program Conversations:
Serafina was born as a baby named Miriyum into a religious cult on New Zealand’s South Island.
The cult leader was a charismatic but abusive man named Douglas Metcalfe, who claimed to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.
The members lived together at ‘Camp David’, growing vegetables and reading the Book of Revelation.
For Serafina, the cult was her family and she looked forward to the day they would take part in the final battle against the forces of Satan.
When she was a young woman she was released to attend technical college on the condition she still wore her headscarf.
While she was at Polytech, revelations about Metcalfe and his adultery and abuse of young girls began to emerge, which eventually saw the cult collapse.
But leaving Camp David for a life without religious rules was more complicated than she could have imagined.
It’s a 49 minute conversation