When I joined my cult, Angel’s Mandate, back in 2009, it was with the carefree attitude that every cult-loving girl has: This is fun! What a great community! I am really learning how to empower myself with these principles!
But that soaring vision all came crashing down when last week during a moonlit chant, I thought to myself, Wait, this seems a little… culty.
Sure, I knew from the beginning that I was technically joining a cult, but it wasn’t like a cult cult. Angel’s Mandate is so female-centric. Seriously, it’s almost entirely women, aside from our leader Jean Paul, who formed the group after he had visions of a better society while WWOOFing on a Hawaiian bee farm. Sure, Jean Paul refers to us all as his wives, but you have to understand that according to our beliefs, he means that as a term of respect, and most of the time it feels more like we’re all sisters, if anything. It’s not like I’m slowly losing my own sense of self or anything. Haha! That would be so weird.
But in spite of all that, I couldn’t help feeling last week like, Yeah, this is sort of a cult, isn’t it? I can’t lie. We did sign all our earthly possessions and property over to Angel’s Mandate Ltd upon joining. We do honor Jean Paul’s authority to make all decisions for us in what we consider the best interest of our welfare. And we do operate under a point-based system of salvation levels, whereby we are expected to inform upon one another in the event of “sinfractions,” and we gain purity money based on our work output at the communal garment-making bee, which we can spend at the Angel’s Mandate cafeteria, which we also work at.
I know, I know–it just dawned on me how culty all that sounds.
I get how this probably looks from the outside. People would probably look me and think, “You cut off all contact with all your friends and family and even mentioning them within Angel’s Mandate warrants capital punishment similar to the practices of medieval torture?!”
I guess that does make this cult a cult… technically. But when I look around me, most of the time what I see is a group of people that have learned to love one another without all the restraints, expectations, and “rules” of capitalist society. A group that’s learned how to put the greater good above personal good, even if it means learning how to silence your own emotion through a daily practice of “group smile.”
But yes, I’m realizing now, I guess this cult is a cult. People were right in calling this a cult when I told them I was joining “a cult but the good kind of cult” just seven years ago. But it’s my cult. My cult family. Even if I have been forced to give up several precious boy babies over the years, leaving them anonymously at local emergency rooms. Oh my God, I see it. I see it now. I sound really culty. Fuck. This cult is definitely a cult.