Cult Zombie Reading Project Part 2–Saved by Gossip

So, I’ve read through memoirs of Scientologists, escapees from Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints polygamists, Hare Krishna, Pentecostals, and some nice Mennonites. Now I’m down to Moonies. Interestingly, Kindle has almost nothing to offer and I’ve had to send away for books on-forgive me-Amazon.

I’m reading Gordon Neufeld’s memoir, and one paragraph just jumped out at me. Gordon describes the quick eviction of a couple of potential marks who threatened to turn the tables.

He had managed to recruit the two young backpackers to spend a week on a Moonie farm in Boonesville,CA. One seemed less susceptible than the other, so the men were separated so the group could work on the more likely convert. There was a strict rule against private conversations such as these guys managed after everyone else went to sleep.

It seems the two had been discovered by a Boonesville staff member while they were discussing their doubts and they were immediately told to collect their things and leave. Heartbreak and Rage-Ten Years Under Sun Myung Moon by K.Gordon Neufeld p.49

The poor guys were dropped by the highway and left to hitchhike back to civilization. Pretty tough treatment from the group that had been ‘love bombing’ them.

In the 70’s, feminist consciousness-raising groups would have conversations that ended in– “That happened to you? It happened to me too. I thought I was the only one who felt like that. I thought it was my fault.”

This is not victimology. This is awakening to reality. The power of these conversations is the reason that two guys comparing notes on the Moonie farm were so dangerous that they had to be removed immediately before the fire spread.

Gossip is the weapon of the women, the servants quarters, the kitchen, the cubicle. Often destructive, but sometimes life-saving. This ‘tell-all’ culture can be wearing, but who would want to be a loyal true-believer in groupthink gone bad?

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