Trigger Warning: Mentions of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence
Since my sudden return home in July, I was unable to share the truth about what happened… But abuse ignored is abuse perpetuated, and I will not remain silenced.
Last year I was trafficked to a foreign country by, for want of a better word, a cult.
I was blindfolded and transported to an unknown location while every fibre of my being was screaming at me to get out.
I wasn’t kidnapped; I was deceived and coerced.
I wasn’t held captive in a dark chamber, physically tormented or malnourished.
I was held captive in my heart and mind, psychologically traumatized, stripped of my sovereignty and starved of my ability to critically reason.
I was held in a house for 8 days, entirely cut off from society, ferociously gaslighted and subjected to intense manipulation and coercion tactics.
To avoid unnecessary triggering of anybody reading this, I’ll spare the details of what I observed and experienced in that house.
I escaped without being physically subjected to heinous sexual abuse at the hands of a manipulative, narcissistic man claiming to be a “spiritual guide,” but thousands do not… and while my own trauma is confined to the emotional and psychological dimensions, the same cannot be said for countless others.
I still struggle to reconcile the memory of myself collapsed and hyperventilating on the floor of a budget hotel room after I fled. Nobody knew where I was and I was sworn to secrecy under ominous vows, bound in a knot of isolating silence wrapped in fear. For months afterwards, I felt so trapped in my fear that I had the physical sensation of my tongue being tied to the back of my throat.
And still I stayed silent…
This is just one aspect of the deeply rooted structures that rob us of our right to speak out against abuse by creating the illusion of safety only through suffering in silence.
I learned the hard way that sexual violence is rife all around us; not even the benevolently inspired are spared the risk of hijack by the ego, and just because someone studies, writes about and disseminates authentic teachings about yoga, spirituality, meditation and religion (perhaps even in good faith, initially)… does not necessarily mean that they themselves embody all of the qualities of an enlightened being and are without any predatory desires, whether emotional, financial, spiritual or sexual in nature.
….Capturing only the surface of a much deeper and more convoluted ‘story’ …this is my truth.
I am now sharing my elements of my story in information about cults on my Instagram page @cultawareness_