People raised in 'cults' reveal incidents that made them want to flee

‘I got punished for being sexually assaulted’: People who were raised in ‘cults’ recall the triggering moments that made them realize something was horribly wrong with their upbringing

  • Reddit user u/Havok1717 started the conversation on the ‘Ask Reddit forum last week, with the stories ranging from disturbing to heartbreaking 
  • One person revealed that their mother told them that she would choose to spend her last moments with their cult leader instead of them 
  • Some responders insisted the religious sects they were born into were cults while recounting how they reached their breaking points
  • A former Jehovah’s Witness claimed they left the religion because they were told they couldn’t speak to their younger sister anymore 

People who were raised in cults and extremely strict religious sects have opened up about the first time they realized something was horribly wrong with their upbringing.  

Reddit user u/Havok1717 started the thought-provoking conversation on the ‘Ask Reddit forum last week, asking former cult members to recall the moment they started questioning their beliefs.  

The stories ranged from disturbing to heartbreaking, with one person detailing their mother’s intense devotion to their cult leader.    

Looking back: Reddit users who were raise in a cult have revealed the moment they realized something was wrong with their upbringing (stock image)

Sharing:  Reddit user u/Havok1717 started the conversation on the ‘Ask Reddit forum last week, with the stories ranging from disturbing to heartbreaking

‘After watching The Day After in the 80s, I asked my mom if we knew the nukes were coming, who would she rather spend her last moments with me or the cult leader, she choose him,’ the Reddit user wrote. ‘I came up with my own survival plan after that.’ 

Another former cult member shared: ‘When I was five and the leader, who claimed to receive messages directly from God, accused me of doing something I knew I had not done.’  

Someone else revealed their shock after being told ‘that, if a [woman] was going to be raped, it would be better for her to kill herself than risk having her “blood lineage” tainted.’ 

Meanwhile, one person revealed that they ‘became the villain’ when they had to leave the cult for their ‘own mental health.’   

‘When confiding in my college tutor she was horrified to learn even a fraction of what I had grown up with,’ the Reddit user added. ‘She was the main encouragement I needed to gtfo when I did.’

Some responders, many of whom claimed to be former Jehovah’s Witnesses, insisted the religious sects they were born into were cults while recounting how they reached their breaking points.   

‘My first hint that something was wrong was the amount of control exerted in our day to day lives,’ one ‘ex-Jehovah’s Witness wrote. ‘No beards, no long hair for men, no tattoos or piercings, no shirts with “edgy” artwork like band shirts or shirts with skulls, no entertainment they don’t approve of, etc.’

The person explained that other members are ‘trained to report you to the elders’ if you don’t follow the church’s guidelines.  

‘What really tipped it over the edge for me though was their doctrine that all non-witnesses deserve to die at Armageddon by god’s hand, simply for not being witnesses,’ the person added. 

Another former Jehovah’s Witnesses claimed the religious sect tried to turn them against their sister.  

Wake up call: Many people recalled being isolated from friends and family who weren’t a part of the church they were in

‘The “Elders” told me that I could no longer speak to my younger sister anymore because she was in “bad standing” with the organization,’ the person explained.

‘She’s the only family I have left. They made her out to be this monster just because she wasn’t actively going to church. That’s when the glass shattered for me.’

The Redditor later shared an update saying they are still close with their sister and don’t have any regrets about their decisions.   

Someone else said that they started to doubt their religious beliefs after losing a friend in a tragic accident in middle school. 

‘I was 12 years old and my classmate from school died in a car accident. We were as close of friends as I was allowed to be with someone who wasn’t in the cult. I asked my mom if I would see my friend in paradise (afterlife) and she said no because her parents weren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses,’ the person recalled. 

‘Then and now, I couldn’t believe that an innocent 12-year-old wouldn’t get a shot at everlasting life because of her parents. It was definitely the biggest crack in my ideology that only grew as I got into my teen years.’

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