Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Aunt Jenna in a Cult

My family seems so incredibly normal.

While visiting my parents I tried to wile away the hours with conversation, which was hard because we're so normal there wasn't much to talk about. So my thoughts naturally arched out to extended family. Hummmm....not so normal. Actually everyone of my aunts and uncles has been married twice. That is kind of cool, not 'normal' (actually I guess my parents are the odd ones out still being married).

The think is NO ONE ever talks about these kind of things. Whole secret lives that everyone used to have shared with someone who seems to have disappeared and hopefully didn't leave any kids behind to remind us of them.

"So Mom, what was Aunt Jenna's first husband like?"

-"He was rich, and tall."

"How did they meet?"

-"They were in a cult together in the seventies"

"holy shit! Like Charles Manson?"

-"No, I think their leader was L. Ron Hubbard"

"woa, he is totally famous, I heard that scientology was even weirder back in the day"

--Dad interjects, "no, it was Eckenkar, that was the cult"

You would think my parents would have some gentler way of referring to my aunt Jenna's foray into new age spirituality...but no, they just shrugged and nodded, she was in a cult.

-"that is where she met her second husband too"

"they were all in the cult together?"


I wondered if my parents ever tried to free my aunt from the mind control, or what they would say to her in the seventies at my grandparents house when they would all meet for Christmas. What do you give someone in a cult for Christmas? Don't they already have everything they need or are allowed to own? Maybe my parents just considered her a lost cause, which seems pretty cruel on their part, so I decided not to ask them how they reacted to aunt Jenna's cult life.
So I tactfully asked,
"Where is her first husband now?"
-"he's dead"
"Oh my God, is that why they aren't married?"
-"no, he was murdered after they separated. He liked to gamble and he was a slum lord."

I was amazed you could do things like that and still be in a cult.

-"Some of his slum tenants tried to rob him. They kept beating him trying to get him to tell where he hid all his money. When Jenna heard how he died she said he was a stubborn man."
"they killed him?"
-"he refused to talk so I think they beat him to death" she said in a tone that implied he was pretty stupid or must have been on heavy drugs or whatever, it was mostly his fault for dying like that.
"did she go to the funeral?"
-"I think so."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

woah! eckankar is based in chanhassen, minnesota, where paisely park is. they have a big temple.

my dad said that when he was in college he found out that his dad had had a previous wife.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:50 PM  
Blogger Julia Miller said...

Sarah, I don't understand your basis for "normal"

10:07 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

paisley is the Prince Palace in Minnisota, also in the same town as the huge Eckenkar temple.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sarah im in love with you. ive been trapped in a rich family's house for 5 days in managua. i can't leave because everything here is "dangerous" and someone is probably waiting to kidnap me the second i step foot out of the giant gate. i have sat in basically the same position for 5 days. today i remembered your blog! god bless you!

10:07 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

Who do I know trapped in Nicaragua? Why are things so dangerous there?

10:28 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home