Cult Survivor Backed for Telling Sister She Was Just Like Kidnapper Dad

A woman who is a cult survivor has been defended by the internet after she snapped at her sister, telling her she was just like her father who kidnapped them as kids.

Published to Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole forum, a woman under the anonymous throwaway account u/throwaway378768 shared her story to get opinions of the "AITA" community—which has over 4 million followers. The popular post has over 7,000 upvotes and 400 comments.

The original poster (OP) began her post by explaining that she and her sister's parents divorced when they were kids. Their mother got full custody of them due to their father, who was "not a good person."

Cult survivor snaps at sister Reddit
A cult survivor is backed for calling out her sister in a post going viral on Reddit. Prostock-Studio/iStock / Getty Images Plus

She reveals that her father kidnapped her and her sister, "From 4 to 16 I lived with her and our father in a cult. It was your run of the mill Christian cult. Homeschooled, forced to dress modestly, any type of independence is seen as sinning....etc. when I was 16, the cops finally arrested him and we were reunited with our mom.

"The first few years of freedom were wild, we finally got to grow as individuals, experience normal life and face our traumas in therapy. My sister became a tattooed, pink haired career woman. I went to college, worked for a couple of years, met a good man and decided that being a [stay-at-home mom] is what I really want."

She wrote that if someone saw her, they would think she was "embodying" what they were taught as kids in the cult, which she deems to be false. She enjoys dressing in "feminine clothes," taking care of her child, husband and home. She confirms that she is "equal" in her relationship with her partner. She writes that she has changed since leaving the cult just as much as her sister has.

She wrote, "My sister on the other hand doesn't think so. She takes every opportunity we meet to try and 'save' me. She tries to convince me to leave my husband and my kid, pushes me to get a job, tries to force me to go clubbing with her, tried to force me to get 'makeovers'...etc.

"I finally had enough yesterday, she made a dating profile for me on Tinder, and she has been chatting with a guy and had set a date already. I was furious. So we got into a screaming match that ended up with me telling her: you are exactly like dad, you are both trying to change me to fit the idea of what you think I should be. She was shocked, didn't say anything and just left. Her partner told me that she had an anxiety attack and is ramping up her therapy sessions," she concluded, writing that she feels bad for what she said.

Newsweek reached out to u/throwaway378768 for comment.

Newsweek has published several articles regarding a conflict between siblings including a man who refuses to babysit her sister's kids ever again, a sister who was slammed for a "prank" on her brother's partner that almost caused a breakup and a woman who excluded her sister from family vacations for being religious.

What is a cult?

A cult can be defined as "a group or movement held together by a shared commitment to a charismatic leader or ideology," according to tennessean.com. Infamous cult leaders include Charles Manson, Jim Jones and David Koresh.

Per verywellmind.com, here are some warning signs of an organization that could be a cult:

  1. Absolute authoritarianism without accountability
  2. Zero tolerance for criticism or questions
  3. Lack of meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget
  4. Unreasonable fears about the outside world that often involve evil conspiracies and persecutions
  5. A belief that former followers are always wrong for leaving and there is never a legitimate reason for anyone else to leave.
  6. Abuse of members
  7. Records, books, articles or programs documenting the abuses of the leader or group
  8. Followers feeling they are never able to be "good enough"
  9. A belief that the leader is right all the time
  10. A belief that the leader is the exclusive means of knowing the "truth" or giving validation.

Redditors' Responses

"[Not the a**hole] What you said is exactly right. She wouldn't listen to you before. Sometimes it takes a verbal slap in the face with reality to get through to someone," u/letsdoitforthememes wrote, receiving the top comment with over 10,000 upvotes.

"Definitely [not the a**hole]. It sounds like you are happy and secure in being who you want to be. It's not your fault that she can't see or accept that. It almost feels like she is overcompensating for the lifestyle you had growing up, while you've found your middle ground," u/HerbertMcDerbert said, "For her to create a Tinder profile for her happily married sister (and even chat up guys as you) is wrong on so many levels & crosses so many lines that I can't even find the proper word for my disgust."

"[Not the a**hole]. You decide what you want to do with your life. Not your father, and especially not your sister. It was a big reality check that you delivered, but sometimes tough love is what people need," u/TheOtherMe83 commented.

"[Not the a**hole]. Your sister is trying to force her views of what a woman should be, just like your dad did. You found yourself. You have set yourself up for success and have created the life you want, not what someone else is trying to force on you. I'm hay you were able to work through your trauma and find your voice," u/SheepherderWild3578 explained.