I was puttering around the house a few days ago and the TV was on in the lounge, but I wasn’t paying attention. In among doing random things in the sitting room, I listened to what was being said on the TV where a group of people who escaped from what they said were cults, were being interviewed.
Listening to their experiences within the cults, I got to thinking about my recent relationship.
This may sound cynical, but I could define my last relationship as a cult where I was the only member and my ex-girlfriend the supreme leader.
I have done little research into cults and how they function, but reading over the years has given me a reasonable idea on how to identify a cult before I get drawn into it. Or can I?
Foremost is the undying admiration of the leader of a cult. In my relationship, I loved my ex-girlfriend in the same manner. I thought about her and my heart would beat faster. I spoke to her on the phone and my day would become better. The words she used to make me believe she loved me drew me deeper and deeper into her cult.
I could never get her to admit any wrong doing the entire eighteen months we were together. This even when her own family tried to point out what she was doing was wrong. She blocked her entire family across all social media platforms until they found a gap to apologise to her. Then what did she do, she recruited them to confuse me even more. They were to tell me how wonderful she is.
Not only that, she had shown my messages out of context to her family, friends and pastor and had them against our relationship. Manipulation of the truth to gain people on her side. Another cult characteristic? She convinced her male friends to converse with me on social media to tell me how pathetic I am as a man. Shaming and guilt.
She was never accountable to her family or anyone. She was the law and there was to be no dissent. When I asked questions she didn’t like, she stayed at her mother’s or her boyfriend’s house.
When we separated, she told me she was sleeping with her ex-boyfriend the entire time we were together. I knew this, but never acted on it. When I said anything to her she would tell me I am repulsive to her and she didn’t enjoy making love. Shame and guilt again. Another cult characteristic?
It seems the major aim of any cult is to financially exploit its members. If this is true, then I was in a one man, one supreme leader cult.
When you are in love and furnishing a house, you expect your girlfriend to be honest about where she is spending money. She lied about everything concerning the money I was sending her. She spent most of the money on herself, her family and gambling.
Little was bought for the house, and the first day I walked in and asked her where half the stuff is she bought, was the day she walked out on me. Again, she felt I wasn’t worthy of an explanation and she could do whatever it was she wanted to do without consequence.
From my reading of cults, when you escape, the cult members will do anything in their power to destroy your name if you say anything negative about them. You must suffer horrible consequences.
I didn’t escape from my cult. When she realised her lies and manipulation were up, she waited until I went back to work across the border and did what she had been intending to do all along.
She went into my house and took everything. Furniture, cutlery, crockery, plants, food; everything.
I was left with a toilet roll which came in handy as when I walked into an empty house, I shat myself.
Can we call an emotionally abusive relationship a cult, as we have been conned by our abuser into believing how wonderful they are.