Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Your Turn

Have you ever been recruited or asked to join a cult?

72 comments:

cc423 said...

When I was in high school, I was asked if I wanted to have some sort of personality test at the mall. Turned out it was Scio... my friend was like this is a cult right in front of them and they lost their shit so we skedaddled.

sandybrook said...

The jehovahs Witnesses came a knocking on my door all the time when I lived in NY. Two fucking Mormons did the same thing here 2 years ago, when they weren't sneaking up behind me I the street on their bicycles.

Unknown said...

When I moved to Nevada, I was asked to join several different militia groups.

Rosie riveter said...

Yes, Amway. I worked in a coffee shop in the farthest corner of Spokane right before you get to n.idaho and the owners of Amway came in every morning, each in their own Lexus SUV. I didnt know who they were until they gave me tickets to an event. I went and He was like a rockstar to these people, it was crazy. But I didn't join because it's stupid.
Extremely nice people though

filmfanb said...

freemasons count? then yes

Donna said...

I'm old enough to have been accosted by Hare Krishna's in airports back in the day.

+1cc423 lol. Similar story. 1970s. I was 12 and my stepsister was 11, we took the bus from Mercer Island to downtown Seattle. Shopping at Nordstrom and lunch at Bartell's. Walking down 2nd Avenue to get to bus stop in front of JC Penny's for ride home, and we were told what great smile's we had by a woman who approached us on the street. She asked if we had heard of Dianetics (no, we hadn't) and invited us into an office building and up an elevator. She sat us down with some pieces of papers that had phrases she asked if we could identify with. We were like, WTF, this is so boring, and we left back to the more provincial environs of M.I. Good times, 1970s, good times.

Glue said...

One of my old roommates from college in Europe ended up moving near me in the USA years later. His girlfriend got him into Scientology and he tried to get me interested. I couldn't even get through the first chapter of Dianetics and after a while, he just stopped talking about it altogether. As far as I know he dumped the girl (saying she was PSYCHO) but continued on in Scientology and I think even moved to Clearwater. Haven't seen him since.

Interesting tidbit: He was one of those guys who was always looking for the next "get rich quick" scheme. And no, as far as I know (from mutual friends) he's still not rich yet.

Glue said...

@filmfanb Tell me more! I'm dyin' to know about those secretive "masons" -- they are so hush hush and it's driving me crazy bc I want to know what goes on in those buildings behind closed doors that they are so deathly frightened to reveal anything.

Thorne said...

Do Christian megachurches count? If so, nearly daily.

TommyWantsHisMommy said...

Typicals jehovah stuff every once in a while. Always nice people..just have my own beliefs.

ToobisTheZebra said...

Yes, they were called the LACC (Los Angeles Church of Christ, a division of the International Church of Christ .) They were classified as a pressure group before shutting down

Jimbonius said...

WTF, I've never been asked to join a cult! Am I not good enough or something?

Village Guru said...

Yes. One of those Indian guru cult guys worked for me once. They had some really weird beliefs and things they had to do, like turn over your paycheck to them. Sorry, but no can do.

J said...

When I first moved to the Bay Area many years ago I looked at lots of apartments and roommate situations. Looked at this place on Divisadero near Page (basically Haight-Ashbury) which seemed pretty like it could work... then the guy who was showing me around took a phone call and I looked more closely at the pictures on the wall and they were all devil-worship shit. So no thanks.

Then I saw another place on maybe Fell/Octavia next to the old freeway ramps. House was spotless as was the guy showing me the room (i.e., potential roommate). Again, when I had a moment alone I saw that he had a diploma proudly tacked to his door showing he had reached some sort of grand-master status in the Moonies. Again, no thanks.

As a kid from Hooterville, I was somewhat freaked out by these encounters. But I found a tiny studio in Marin, $225/month (lol), and it was off to the races.

Vita said...

A fellow teacher trapped me after school one day with a brochure about this great networking and self-improvement society that she belonged to. They were having a seminar on building self-esteem and projecting confidence, etc. I was flipping through it thinking it sounded like my worst nightmare, but said it more politely. It might just have been a club, but there was a lot of gibberish about life changing experience, satisfying friendship, etc that was a bit much.

Uhhhh... said...

I was in Crossroads as a kid, definitely very cult-ish

Jennifer said...

Does it count when the Jehovah's Witnesses knock at your door?

Sagan said...

@filmfanb - the Free and Accepted Masons don't solicit for members. You have to approach them about joining. Same with their Shriner (now 'The Shriners' - formerly the 'Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine' [AAONMS]) bretheren. Their former name used to make me laugh like a lunatic, reminded me of an old Don Ameche/Burgess Meredith movie "Oddball Hall". My dad didn't appreciate it much, seeing as he was both a 32nd Degree Mason and a Shriner.

My college alma mater didn't have fraternities/sororities, but had Eating Clubs, that you had to pledge and initiate through. I was already a conservative fish in a liberal sea, so the attempts to get me to join a specific EC was the closest I'd come to cult recruitment.

Hanniam said...

@Sagan’s got the right about the Masons. It’s not really that big a crazy secret deal. I get the impression the secretiveness is to keep it “special” rather than fear. All the Masons I’ve known have been thoroughly decent human beings.

As for the question... got a lot of Mormon recruitment back in the day. The odd weird cultish evangelical recruitment. Quite a few self-betterment pyramid schemes. Hari Krishnas... and a few others I didn’t notice trying to recruit me at the time because I was just that naive a teen. Good thing I had protective friends and deep suspicion of being a follower.

Glue said...

@Sagan. you made my heart melt w/ the mention of Don Ameche and Burgess Meredith. They were such shining gems in the acting/comedic world. I miss actors like them.

Trapped said...

Yes Disney some producer flew into where we live to see if they could take us back to wok on Disney.
My daddy looked at that man and said I will never let my twins do nothing for Disney, he's a child molester
Invited him out the front door and told him to never ever come back..

Wendy22 said...

Yeap, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult. Avoid them. My Mother got sucked in to it....awful.

Rob Horine said...

Nope. But I do have a weird Scio story.

About 10 years ago the Co$ opened a storefront in Louisville, "Scientology Louisville". It was in the Cherokee Triangle neighborhood. Well about 3 years in walking past it, people started to notice that the front yard was growing out of control. The weeds were about as high as 5 feet. It didn't get cut until Co$ sold it and the new owners whacked those weeds. Now it's a taco place.

hothotheat said...

Yes. KKK count? I live in the south. More than once I've received invitations on my car to their next meeting.

.robert said...

I find the KKK one hard to believe. They barely exist, a couple of thousand in the whole country and most of those are Federal agents or informants.
I used to travel a lot and every time I would return from overseas I would get jumped on by Hare Krishnas at the airport. I guess they could tell I was exhausted (I could never sleep sitting up on the plane) so I was their prime target or something.
Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons really are not trying to convert you so much as fulfill their requirement to proselytize, if that makes any sense. They are still annoying.

BRAD PITT said...


Here in ireland there is a political party that operates like a cult

Their leader Gerry Adams had to step down after it was exposed that he covered up sex abuse

They came to my home looking for a vote and when i refused they called me a "fucking retard"

-B said...

One of the most hottest girl I have ever seen was interested in me and I was madly in love with the idea of getting with her. Turns out she was very much into being a JW and it spun my head. Almost fell for it...I still to this day wonder if it would have been worth it. lol

EmpressQueen1966 said...

several times I have been invited, but turned them down after hearing them explain things.

RobertaJoan said...

You are not hanging close enough to a Scientology Center. Find a park within 4 blocks of a Center and hang onto your hat! You will look one way and suddenly they are there beside you. You will know it's a Scio-drone: the curiously unformed features is a dead giveaway. That plus the shiny, shiny eyes. I'm surprised they don't gnash their teeth.

The Mormons at your door can be amusing. Have a chat with them. Ask them questions they can't answer until you join the cult of Moroni. Watch out for the sealings with the dead, being pulled thru the veil, the apron with the fetching pop over hat, the polyester undies with the hole in the crotch, and the ultra-secret hand signs lifted directly from the Freemasons. They will defend this silliness until the end of time.

Judgement Day is going to be quite the surprise.

RobertaJoan said...

Uh. No. After the sex runs out? Triple no.

NancyFromNebraska said...

@sagan
"eating club"?

Kimberley said...

Yes, the Moonies in the 1970s. Manchester, England. My then husband got chatting to a man who invited us to a free movie screening (it was 'To Kill a Mockingbird.) Anyway, we went back to his house, lots of people there and they tried to get us to join the Moonies. We left, but this man used to stalk us. They gave up after a while.

Sea Hag said...

Does the U. S. Navy count?

DavidHowesCREBroker said...

When I worked Film/TV in Hollywood.

Sorry, Scio.

I still don't hate my Dad!

RIP, Dad.

Cate said...

Yes! Right after college, I worked for a small publishing house in their publicity department (me and another person). The company was owned by a married couple, who became sucked into a cult. They wanted all of the employees to join too - at which point, I quit. It was the mid-1980s and I was only making ~10k a year. Screw that noise! Group was called Gentle Wind.

MaeGinger said...

I have gotten a couple of emails on IG from random people asking me to join the Illuminati.

Flashy Vic said...

The occasional Mormon, but they never pressed it and left politely when I just told them, "Sorry, not interested." So not exactly been pressurised into anything.

Elle Kaye said...

My friend and I were at The Whiskey in the Mondrian Hotel back in ‘96 and some guy was chatting us up. He was supper engaging, funny, interesting and then he dropped the bomb on us...Scientologist. Barf. He didn’t exactly come right out and recruit but he was 100% working up to it.

Meredith said...

I generally dislike organized events, people doing the same thing, and commitments in general, so that would be a no for me...

The closest I got was a couple of invites to sororities

Velvet said...

Opus Dei tried twice to lure me. Didn’t work.

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Debutante said...

We had a small Jehovah's Witness church right around the block from us. The entire congregation was black, I believe. I just thought it was a religion like any other. I still do. They would come to our door pretty regularly on a Sunday and we would just say no thanks and they were polite and cool with that.

Oh, I did pressure my Dad to buy a children's storybook from them once because I was always a big reader. He told them he wasn't interested but I begged him PLease, DAD ! So he bought the kid's book from them.
FYI, my family were Italian Catholic immigrants. LOL

Amartel said...

EST, back in the day when I was a kid in high school.
I'm not a joiner so my immediate reaction was to run away.

J said...

Princeton has eating clubs. Other schools may also. Get meals there and also go to parties, etc.

zerooptions said...

I am a cult

Pogue Mahone said...

I sort of potentially saved my hubby from Scientology; we were walking down the street and he sees a sign "Free Personality Tests!" and I saw it also said "Dianetics" which I know is code for Scientology. So he starts to head in and I had to pull him out, saying, "What are you doing? That's Scientology!"He had no idea; he just saw a free personality test. He could have been recruited unknowingly into a cult!

Max Power said...

Just like George Costanza, I apparently haven't been deemed worthy, and it pisses me off!

Guest777 said...

No, thankfully. Although my sister in laws family got messed up with that 'fishing' cult. Awful horror stories.

Aquagirl said...

I met a bunch of JW’s randomly, on a boat. One of the woman had bought an I-pad with her (it had an orange cover) and wanted to show me photos of where they lived. She also invited me to lunch there and I gave her a hard ‘no’.

Gator said...

Dahn Yoga, they're very similar to the Moonies years ago. I just wanted yoga classes, & it was so scary how pushy manipulative the woman was, I knew something was up, so I googled them. Not good, and glad I never fell for it.

taurus1987 said...

yes heterosexuality

MountainMama said...

The Rainbow Girls in the late 60's earliest of 7000"s maybe. My mother slapped that shit right out of my mouth and said no way are you joining that cult. Not sure if they are or if they are not but certainly I was never to have first hand knowledge.

HouellebecqGurl said...

If selling Avon counts, then yes. They hit me up numerous times in the 80s.

As for serious groups or religions, no. Anytime anyone has ever even tried to start in that direction I bluntly tell them don't bother w/the spiel.
It's all a facet of my general misanthropy & dislike of joining things.

sh!t4bra!nz said...

My parents made me join the Baptist church when I was 6. I left the cult at 16.

Scandi Sanskrit said...

lmao Jimbo!

I haz sad too.

These stories are crazy!

Scandi Sanskrit said...

DOes higher education count? I went to law school.

HeatherBee said...

I refuse to join any cult that would have me as a member!

Scandi Sanskrit said...

Are the Masons really that secretive, tho? I mean it didn’t seem that secretive in “Line of Duty” (awesome show, by the way).

Sekrit said...

Amway

GentleBreeze said...

I live in Scio central (Clearwater area) and am heartened to hear how many folks are recognizing scio as a cult.

rabbit said...

The Moonies were the worst. They stalked people, politicians, for years.

B. said...

Lifespring!

Littledrunkinhooker said...

I live in The mid west and I too have had brochures for the kkk left on the windshield of my car. I lived in a very mixed neighborhood so it was a what the f@ck moment for me. Shit still happens.

Sd Auntie said...

JW and I argued for about w hours and he gave up. and yes they are a cult.

rednoir said...

When I was 21 and travelling Europe I was hit on by Children of God all the time. Especially in Amsterdam. My travel agent warned me of this.

Thot Crimes said...

We used to eat at a Hare Krishna's temple when we went surfing at 1000-steps by Laguna Beach, Ca. I have a bunch of their stuff around my house as I type this, but I never joined, and they never asked. We'd also see them at Grateful Dead shows in the parking lot, and stop by for a quick cup of grey veggie goo, and a few rounds of "hare hare krishna krishna" while "tripping the light fandango," so to speak.

momo said...

I spent evacuation from Katrina with members of SGI, and it was totally bizarre. They- at least the ones we met - chant for "things" using Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō (南無妙法蓮華經). To me, the coolest thing about Buddhism is you can do it anywhere, no dogma etc. These folks chanted five times a day in the middle of a national disaster. Bells ringing the whole nine yards. We were asked to leave right after the storm, not knowing if we even had a house, because we didn't want to participate.

Also, when I had my first child my husband worked at one of the most famous restaurants in the world. One of the family members who were politically prominent as well as rich, asked my husband if he wanted to make some extra money. He said yes, of course, thinking it would be outside catering or the like. Guy showed up at our apt. with a white board and two other guys and I said right away IS THIS FUCKING AMWAY???? I left the room and let my husband deal with them. I couldn't believe it. They were one of the most prominent families in the state. In fact, one was AG at the time.


Manuél Bun said...

I remember being at a Woolworth's pet department with my brother when I was preteen age and a couple of older teens/young adults started acting extra friendly & chatty, even offering to buy us one of the hamsters we were looking at. They must not have known that our mother was in a different department of the store because she hated the smell of the pet section, because she came out of nowhere screaming at them and threatening them. She later told my brother and I that they were Moonies trying to recruit the two of us. I always had a healthy distrust of over-friendly, older strangers as a teen since that incident.
I also remember there being Hare Krishnas around the Boston Commons chanting and dancing, while some handed out cookies and literature. I was always too weirded out by them to eat any of the cookies though, and none ever tried to recruit me :^(

James Howlett said...

I was one of the kids shipped out of the Branch Davidians before the fire.

Hanniam said...

@James: you have just won the post. And I don’t envy you it.

splatford said...

Creed bratton tried to recruit me

YummyBoogers said...

Does getting hit up by random girls asking me if I have ever tried It Works or Thrive shakes count as an attempt to be lured into a cult? Because if so, then I sadly have been bugged to "join" several.

Multi-level marketing companies with their independent sales reps are THE WORST.

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