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International cult awareness day 2023:my Jonestown

The Jonestown cult massacre: 18.11.78. The coercion, thought reform and isolation leading up to it: more than 20 years for some of those victims.

In the cult I was in (image 1 me in 2018) there is no town or community; however there are ashrams, yoga schools and retreat centres all over the world.  

There is systematic indoctrination and thought and character reform which leads people to do, say and think things they never would have before. To damage themselves, to lose themselves, to sell themselves. Some of them do Everything the cult leader tells them to.

My Jonestown bears no comparison to the original, no comparison to the scale of atrocities we are currently seeing around the world, but it is atrocious. And it does matter. 

My Jonestown is  the woman who is told that, unless she agrees to sleep with the Guru, she is an outcast; she can’t attend any of the camps or activities that everyone else in the cult does.

My Jonestown is the women who abandoned their child to be brought up by relatives or strangers, who had an abortion, on command of the Guru. 

My Jonestown is the innocent member’s daughter who came out of university to go straight into modern slavery, under house arrest doing illegal and degrading work; literally selling her body to the organisation.  

It is the 40 year old woman who talks and acts like a child, hasn’t seen her family or friends in years and has nothing outside the cult. 

It is the bright and talented young people who are told that their input in the world is meaningless if it does not belong to the organisation. 

It is the cult survivors with ptsd, it is the fear I feel of things that I need not anymore. It is the time, and life, lost. 

My Jonestown can be stopped. Many Jonestowns can. But, like all abuses of power, in order for them to be stopped they must be heard, seen, acknowledged, and challenged.

Jonestown could happen to any one of us after many years of manipulation and abuse of power.

Please, use your voice to educate, to stand up for the rights of all & to challenge those who abuse their power. No more Jonestowns.

If it feels like the space/moment for you to share your stories of cult survival, pls do ❤️

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