Alex’s experience with a cult · Victor Wynne

Victor Wynne

Alex’s experience with a cult

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I was working in the startup culture and for those unfamiliar, it was basically advanced college dorm life. Odd smells, odd hours, odd daily tasks, waking up with new people on the couch. God I miss those days.

One of the startups, I was working with the techs – developing UNIX based networking tools and building out database concepts. It was a great bunch of guys and we got really tight in the communal house.

One of the guys was a little quirky but harmless. He often found himself plagued by hangers on, etc. You likely know the type of person – sort of spiritually uncertain? He would swing from whatever diet fad there was, constantly seeking out the new forms of self-help. Let’s call him Frank. He accidentally brought me very close into a cult.

I don’t mean an MLM or a larger dominant religion. I mean the ‘give us all your money for these pamphlets and no one eats the color brown’ kind of cults. The ones that everyone knows exist but we mostly hear about through documentaries or extremely random King of the Hill episodes.

Frank outranked me in this startup. He was basically the highest ranking nerd in our pile and we had to go through Frank to get stuff approved/done/etc. He was a nice enough man, but he decided the group really needed to attend a seminar he had come back from. It was great, he said, it was just so introspective and helpful. We dismissed him but he was persistent.

Eventually he got one of the original owners to go with him to their “in home” visit/discussion, and sure enough he thought Frank was right and we all needed to go. No worries, the company would pay for everything.

This entire story is harrowing to read. 🤯