An insider’s account of free-love, group-sex cult

Inquirer News Service, Aug. 12, 2002
http://www.inq7.net/lif/2002/aug/13/lif_22-1.htm

Real victim

How do cults recruit members, make them abandon their own families and submit themselves to the will of cult leaders, including sexual submission?

I’ve been fascinated and intrigued by the way cults control the minds and emotions of their members, but never really had a chance to look closely at this aspect, until I had a recent encounter with a real victim of one.

Maria Victoria (not her real name) e-mailed me, asking if I knew anybody in the Philippines who had studied cults. Most of what she had read about them were written by foreigners. I referred her to a well-known professor of anthropology in UP, but what she was interested in was the aspect of mind control exerted by leaders on their victims, and not their history, philosophy or activities.

She said she was undertaking this search “as part of my own healing, as I was a victim.” She also said she wanted to help others by exposing the real nature of these cults.

When she came to my office last week, I wondered how a highly intelligent and Christian-educated person like her could be duped into becoming a member of a foreign-based religious cult that advocated free love, group sex and other weird practices.
[…]

“I wanted to serve God and help save the souls of others,” she told me. “They represented themselves as Missionaries of God. They preached the Bible and said everything they did was based on the Bible.”

“How come you never suspected something was wrong even though you were being asked to have sex with different men?” I asked.

“Oh, that sex aspect didn’t come until much later, when we were fully indoctrinated into their own interpretation of the Bible. Everything we did was justified with a quotation from the Bible. We were made to believe everything we did was in accordance with the will of God.”

“Exactly how did they do that?” I asked.

“We were made to memorize certain passages in the Bible. For example, we were told our duty in life was to love one another and that we should even lay down our lives the way Christ lay down his life for us.”

“We were told that nothing was wrong in the eyes of God, and they would quote 1 Cor. 6:12, ‘All things are lawful into me!'”

They interpreted the Bibilical passage, “Love one another,” to include sex or physical love.

They were also asked to memorize Rom. 12:1 “Present your bodies as living sacrifices unto God,” and so on. “And after months of such indoctrination, we were willing to believe anything the cult leaders told us to do.”

Members were separated from their family and friends. They were forbidden to interact with non-members, or even to read newspapers. “They controlled our wills and minds by asking us to write everything we did and thought every day. They would read everything, and then we are told when we deviate from the norm or the rule of the group.

“We were made to recruit others through feminine flirtation, including using sex or going to bed with a prospective member.”

She said male members never had it so good because they could have any woman they desire to go to bed with, and nobody would refuse or decline them.
[…]

“So, how did you get out?” I asked. She said she got out not because she felt there was anything wrong with what they were doing but that she fell in love with a British guy who was a former supporter of the cult.

“But he didn’t know about the sex part until I told him.” He helped her get away from the group.

But even if she had been out of the group for many years, she was still with them emotionally. She did not feel she was sexually exploited and abused. And when she finally realized that, the feeling of guilt, embarrassment and remorse never left her. It was only after she met a foreign therapist, who was familiar with victims of cults, did she come to understand what really happened to her and to do something about it.

“Is the group still active in the Philippines?” I asked her.

“Yes, they are still around, but very low-key. They are afraid of publicity. I couldn’t even find the old members anymore,” she replied.

“I thought they were disbanded and expelled by the government from the Philippines?”

“The foreigners, yes. They transferred to Thailand and Japan. But the group is still operating in the Philippines up to now.”

“That’s scary,” I said.

“That’s why I want to expose them to warn others,” she said.

She read everything she could about cults on the Internet and, thus, began her long journey to recovery. She is planning to write a book about her experience with the cult where she promised to reveal everything that happened to her, especially the sexual exploitation. That should make a best-seller.

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