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Woman debates telling friend she married a 'cult leader'. 'They started a community'.

Woman debates telling friend she married a 'cult leader'. 'They started a community'.


Finding religion can be a freeing, revolutionary experience for many people... depending on the practice. And many sceptics ask, where's the line between enlightenment and mind control? Or between discipline and abuse?

A worried friend came to Reddit after some disturbing warning signs that may even signal it's too late for an intervention. Here's the post with top comments:

'WIBTA (Would I be the A-hole) if I tell my childhood friend that I'm almost certain she married a cult leader?'

anaccount-94 writes:

My (26F) friend married her (28M) husband back in 2018 and since then they've started a 'community'.

I was all for her discovering a religion that worked for her, until she started to say she couldn't listen to her favorite music genres anymore because they weren't 'Godly' or 'Religious like'.

She used to go out in jeans, flannel, a tank top, and sneakers until she met her husband.

He told her God fearing women don't wear those types of clothes and that she needed to only wear skirts and dresses and dress like a proper religious woman.

I bet they can't they even be above the knee.

This past month they've started a community fund to go and convert people in different cities across the globe. They told people if they had 'God in their hearts' they would donate to their $14,000 trip they planned to go to New Mexico and Las Vegas.

That's a lot of money to take to the gambling capital of America.

It's literally her, her husband, and their followers all going to just two cities to convert people.

So, WIBTA (would I be the a-hole) if I tell her I'm almost certain she married a cult leader?

Here's what Reddit had to say...

SheepherderThen9073 comments:

Your friend's choice in a spouse is none of your business. Stay out of it.

OP disagrees:

Even if he's made her change everything about herself and made her join a cult? And it is my business since she told me who I could and couldn't marry. Lol

Ok_Humor592 says:

While not your cup of tea, this is her choice, 'Cult' delves into an idea of being coerced to join, forced to stay. For all we know this might just be a strict Christian Group much like that family Duggars.


I mean, all their followers were coerced into joining their 'community'.

Ok_Humor592 rebutts:

Yeah I have heard people say the same thing about Catholics as well. My point being, her life, her choice, no need to insult her.

Larechar agrees but also, doesn't:

YWBTA (You would be the a-hole), however, sometimes being an a-hole is warranted.

OP responds:

I just don't know if it would do any good to tell her.

Missepus suggests:

Tell her of your concerns, but do not antagonize her. She may need you when the time comes to get out of this situation.


I would never antagonize her, I miss the old her, but I would never be mean.

Opening_Assignment12 is brutally honest:

She might be too far gone at this point, honestly and truly.

OP replies:

I honestly think so too.

Supernoven gives advice from first hand experience:

I spent the first 25 years of my life in a cult before clawing my way out, so I can say with ample experience -- there is very little you can do at this point. It's been over 4 years. She is too invested. But that doesn't mean it's hopeless.

Being a cult believer is like the worst aspects of both substance addiction and an abusive relationship. From her perspective, the emotional and spiritual high, the feeling of overwhelming love and belonging, are addictive. But so are the intense feelings of potential loss and disconnection if she even just doubts.

Even if she undergoes psychological and emotional deprivation or torment, to her, it's worth it to chase those highs and avoid those lows.

Using the 'c-word' will absolutely drive her away. You will activate all her internalized psychological defense mechanisms justifying her group's righteousness. She absolutely will cut you out of her life if she feels you're threatening her belonging with the group, or her husband will demand it.

The best thing you can do is be there for her in a non-threateningand supportive way. There's no guarantee she will ever start to draw away from the group and her husband. But if and when that happens, she will need someplace to land, and she'll be lucky to have you.

In the meantime, educate yourself on cult social dynamics and psychology. In academic circles they are more often called high-control groups, to avoid the stigma associated with 'cult'. Sorry I don't have any specific resources, but they aren't hard to find.

And they get clinical.

I also recommend learning about cognitive dissonance. That's the mental conflict between a strongly held belief and contradictory observable evidence.

For example, if a cult believes 'we are good and righteous and no one else can be as kind and loving as us', observing a non-cult person being truly kind and selfless can be important contradictory evidence.

Small instances of cognitive dissonance build on each other and increase the mental energy required to maintain the cult beliefs. Over time it can lead to a crack in her mental armor. The important thing is not to directly challenge her worldview. Hope that helps. I wish you good luck, understanding, and the patience of a goddess. I'm so sorry. NTA for wanting to talk to her about it.

Looks like there's no easy solution here.

It's easier than people think to get wrapped up in something like this, so the major A-hole seems to be her husband.

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