last night i had a nightmare that i was a part of some cult that resembled scientology. the whole thing took place in a kind of compound that reminded me of the christian summer camps my dad sent me to when i was a kid. there were different buildings, like lecture halls and cafeteria-style dining rooms, and people coming and going to and from each of them. it was sort of like a college campus, i suppose. i don’t remember the cult actually trying to make me do anything or even espousing any particular beliefs but i knew that i wasn’t allowed to leave, and that there were hidden cameras and microphones everywhere so i couldn’t talk to anyone about my plans to escape. i also couldn’t trust anyone there so it’s not like i could have chatted about that stuff anyway. so i kept thinking, even if i escape, they’re going to track me down and take me back, or even just drive me mad by stalking me and making me feel vulnerable. it was surprisingly terrifying. i woke up scared, and can still feel the terror lingering in my mind now. it’s funny because whenever i’ve read or seen shows about cults and how helpless people feel when they want out of them, i’ve always thought they were being babies. but if it feels anything like it did in my dream, if they feel like the rest of their lives are going to be full of fear and distrust of everyone around them even if they manage to physically escape, then i can totally understand how paralyzing that would be.
the best solution is probably to not join a cult in the first place. “an ounce of prevention,” or whatever the old saying is.