‘I went to Edinburgh Fringe for fun however ended up in a cult for 20 years’
A younger lady who travelled to Scotland for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival ended up becoming a member of a gruelling cult for 20 years, sporting white and following a strict meditation regime.
Anthea Church, a former trainer hailing from Tunbridge Wells, first turned conscious of the Brahma Kumaris throughout a go to to Edinburgh in 1980 after graduating from Oxford University, EdinburghLive stories.
Originating from India, Brahma Kumaris is a “religious motion“, or cult, that believes people are souls fairly than our bodies and follows an intense programme of meditation.
Anthea advised Kent Online that though she thought they have been fully bonkers, she had been taught at Oxford to deconstruct each principle.
She continued: “We spoke about the soul and then completed a meditation. It was a spiritual experience that I could not argue with.
“My mother rang up the BBC and said ‘my daughter’s been kidnapped’.
“They were absolutely traumatised. They didn’t really talk to me about it, they obviously thought it was very weird, but loved me throughout.”
Some of the principles of Brahma Kumaris encourage full celibacy in followers, early morning meditation and sporting white garments to symbolise purity.
People concerned within the cult should persist with a lacto-vegetarian food plan and bathe or bathe after each bowel motion.
To comply with her beliefs, Anthea would proceed to work in her instructing job, however set her alarm for 3.30am to slot in her “punishing” routine.
Anthea added: “In the primary ten years I used to be blissful and glad to be freed from the mundane facets of life.
“Later on I could not sleep in any respect.
“It became very difficult to get up. The whole thing unravelled for me because it was just too hard to sustain that routine.
“I’d go to bed relatively early. You were expected to continue with your professional life, or some would surrender to the whole thing and not have a job.
“They would just work to keep the community going.”
In 1997 she moved out of the shared residence when she was promoted to move of English at a faculty in Kent. She mentioned: “I keep in mind the day I left and I had all my possessions in a single automobile. Lots of people who left both fell in love or began to assume that the teachings weren’t proper.
“I didn’t think I was leaving – I just thought I was getting a new job. I would go back to London sometimes and still participate in their teachings. However, I was extremely tired and not well. I started to gradually distance myself.”
Athena’s third novel ‘Liftman’ is impressed by her ordeal, and is out now.
She added: “Part of me felt like I used to be betraying that group by writing that story.
“I do scrutinise and show the dangers of it.
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