How does an intelligent, educated, reasonable individual get duped into being under the abusive control of a religious cult? It happened to John Huddle, and his book details the journey that led him, his wife and his children to a physical, spiritual and emotional prison where they lived under constant control of the cult’s leaders.
I was particularly interested in reading his story, Locked In, because this could occur in any family. I know from personal experience because someone very dear to me in our own family was in a cult for many years and may possibly once again be entangled in one at this time. We do not know for certain because she has cut off contact with our entire family with a silence that has now reached a sixteen year anniversary.
Reading John’s story gave me a clearer understanding about the insecurities that the members experience regarding leaving the organization. They are made to feel that they cannot survive the world outside of the affiliation and “protection” of the group. The cult's way is the only way.
While one might think that it would be easy to simply walk away, no one knows the level of brainwashing that occurs in these cult environments unless they have experienced it or have been told about it by someone who lived it. When my loved one was actively involved, she shared with me tales of sleep deprivation and mind control. She was told whom she should marry within the group and blindly obeyed without question.
In most religious cults, Scripture is twisted by the leaders into convenient “rules” that no one can object to, dispute or dismiss. Other members are charged with being watchful to insure that everyone follows the cult policies.
In Locked In, John Huddle exhibited great courage in revealing the details of his own experience in this mysterious realm. A special thank you to him for providing personal insight into this topic that is typically shrouded in secrecy. Many blessings to him!
Happy New Year to all, and I look forward to seeing you soon.
Mary Anne Benedetto