When I rolled out of bed this morning Bob asked “Are you getting up already?” When I saw that it was only 6 am, I gratefully dropped back into bed to snuggle. “Happy Anniversary,” he said as I slipped into his warm arms. I was aghast! I had forgotten that today was our 25th wedding anniversary! And I was touched that he had remembered. Weeks earlier, we had determined that our upcoming trip to France was both our family vacation and our anniversary celebration, so we did not make any big plans. Turns out he had nearly forgotten too - but we both agreed that we had to do something today. We quickly ditched most of our responsibilities for the day and decided to go up to Top Notch for a massage and spa day. Ahh…
Chatting with Sylvia, my spritely, strong handed massage therapist, I paused (as I often do when someone asks me what I do), when she asked what I would be speaking about in France. As I settled onto the warm table resting my forehead into the soft white face cradle, I said succinctly “Cult Awareness”. “Oh! That’s a busy topic these days!” she replied. I giggled. I love her response and in a different setting, would have asked her about her perspective on cults.
Yes, indeed. Cults are a busy topic these days!
In three weeks, I will be presenting a talk about Mind Bugs (see Nov 2016 post) and many social and neurological conditions that make it incredibly easy for smart people like you and I to fall into cults of all kinds – soft, hard and otherwise. I am thrilled to be presenting at the annual conference for the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) in Bordeaux France of all places. I am told that there are some excellent beverages in that town that I look forward to sampling!
When I am not preparing for this presentation, I am also….drumroll…. WRITING A BOOK! I am so excited to be fully engaged in this creative and cathartic process. In addition to offering an understanding of current cultic dynamics while weaving in my personal experience, my book aims to challenge the shaming silence that our society has imposed on millions of individuals who have been influenced by cultic dynamics. It is my greatest hope that it will speak loudly, clearly, and gently to those who have suffered quietly for years or who are just beginning to recognize their circumstances.
I will be sharing sections of my book in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned!