https://open.spotify.com/episode/7u7BqnT9sY6sXFXw83gOSr?si=83hCMz7KSMKrBNPhE2WoZg

Religious Texas Commune — Part 1: “The Most Beloved”

Was I in a Cult?

Liz Lacuzzi & Tyler Measom

Transcript

Dr. Tamara MC: And he like knocked on a door and a woman answered and she said, I’m so happy you’re here. We’ve been waiting for you. My father was just so happy and he kind of gave me like his little side hug and said, said, you’re going to be fine. Have a good summer. And he closed the door and left and I was alone in a new house with new people.

And I didn’t know what I was doing there.

Tyler Measom: This is Was I in a Cult? I’m your host, Tyler Meesom.

Liz Lacuzzi: And I’m Liz Iacuzzi.

Tyler Measom: You know, on our show, we give survivors of cults a platform to tell their story the way they experienced it.

Liz Lacuzzi: And like many traumatic events in life, it can take some time before one is ready to publicly speak about it.

Dr. Tamara MC: My name is Tamara.

And I have not told my story for over 30 years because I wasn’t ready.

Tyler Measom: Tamara came to us finally ready to speak. But given the specifics of her situation, there is still a lot of fear for her in the telling. Fear of severe repercussions.

Liz Lacuzzi: But the fact that she is finally ready to openly share is truly incredible.

And we are honored that she chose us as a platform to tell her story.

Tyler Measom: And because of the breadth of her story, we made it a two parter.

Liz Lacuzzi: The mic is yours, Tamara.

Dr. Tamara MC: So I was born in Tucson, Arizona in 1972. My grandparents came to the United States in the early fifties. Both of my grandparents lived through the Holocaust, which is a beautiful story. They actually both survived because when their town was invaded, they were separated almost immediately. And then four years later, after the Holocaust, they both not only survived, but my grandfather found my grandmother.

Liz Lacuzzi: And then he knocked her up.

Dr. Tamara MC: I guess, yeah, he knocked her up pretty quick. Cause I think she got pregnant almost immediately with my mom.

Liz Lacuzzi: And when her mom was a young adult She was working

Dr. Tamara MC: in the Upper West End in New York City as a waitress, and she met somebody there and the person said to her, Hey, why don’t you come to Arizona?

She ended up quitting college, quitting her job, and then flying to Tucson with a suitcase and leaving her her whole life in New York behind. And after she arrived, the guy was not at the airport.

Liz Lacuzzi: Dick move, bro.

Dr. Tamara MC: Dick move.

Tyler Measom: But perhaps the sweltering weather of Tucson enticed her.

Liz Lacuzzi: Because she stayed anyway.

Tyler Measom: And Tucson is filled with available men. I mean, everyone knows that.

Liz Lacuzzi: Who does? Who knows that?

Tyler Measom: I’m actually not quite certain, but I do know that it ranks as the 14th best city to be a single person with Seattle being ranked as number one and way down at the bottom at number 182 is Warwick, Rhode Island.

Liz Lacuzzi: Warwick, Rhode Island. Lovely beaches, but no one to take long walks on them with.

Tyler Measom: But, Tamara’s mother took advantage of Tucson’s swingin single scene and shortly after arrival, she met a man. One who would become Tamara’s father.

Liz Lacuzzi: So perhaps, it was meant to be.

Dr. Tamara MC: And they were into the same music, and sort of the same 1960s hippie lifestyle.

And I think that the two of them just felt really connected over that. They did not get married. They were flower children who did not believe in the institution of marriage. They didn’t have any children except for me. I was their only child. So I grew up in an all Adobe home, which is very unique to Tucson, Arizona, which is like made of mud.

And so it was like a 1920s Adobe. And our home was in the shape of a circle. Every room was connected so you could like run in a circle around the entire house. And it was a really small home. It was only a one bedroom. My dad, he was a mechanic for a while. We didn’t need a lot of money. We didn’t have a lot of money.

My grandmother, after I was born, as soon as she found out, basically packed up her whole life and moved right next door to us so that she could watch me. So I grew up with my grandmother my whole life. So because of that, I think our home always had the Holocaust sort of in the background. My grandmother after the Holocaust was not religious, but she definitely identified as Jewish.

My father grew up religious.

Liz Lacuzzi: Tamara’s father was raised Jewish. When Tamara was young, her mother didn’t consider herself religious, but

Dr. Tamara MC: Being Jewish was very important to her and is very important to her. So my mother had met some friends when she was in graduate school and they were going to Europe for the summer backpacking.

And my mother, she decided that she was going to go backpacking with him. And she asked my father, my father was like, no, he didn’t want to go. And he offered to watch me for the summer. That is probably the summer that I most remember in my life.

Tyler Measom: So it was going to be a magical daddy daughter summer.

Dr. Tamara MC: I was only five years old.

We didn’t have babysitters, so I was with them all the time. My father loved to camp and he loved to hike. And, like, loved to go through streams and rivers and whatever he could walk through. And I just remember being so small and my legs were so small that he’d, he’d often put me on his shoulders and walk with me.

And that’s like one of my favorite memories with my father is like sitting on his shoulders.

Tyler Measom: But her father seemed to want something more than just the peace and love of the 60s.

Dr. Tamara MC: He had been reading lots of religious texts. He was just ready to find something that fit the way that he thought and the way that he believed.

He originally met the people in a spiritual bookstore who invited him to the community center.

Liz Lacuzzi: Intrigued enough, Tamara’s father decided to go to a meeting. Just check it out.

Dr. Tamara MC: So I guess the community center wouldn’t be a traditional community center. It was just like two old Southwest desert homes that needed a lot of care.

And I was walking with my father as I always did. And I was holding his hand and. As soon as we got there, some women came up to me and they took my hand and they said, you’re going to come with us. And I kind of looked at my father and he looked down at me and he also was maybe a little bit confused at that time, but the women said, don’t worry, we’re going to take good care of her.

And at that point, some men took him and kind of enveloped him. Like all of a sudden I didn’t see my father. I just saw like a swarm of men. And they came and they took him and then I was quickly taken off with the women. And I then went to a special area where it was all women. We immediately began praying, I believe.

And the prayers lasted for a very long time. So I would, I was just kind of watching the women and they would kind of tell me to do what they were doing. And they were then speaking in a language that I didn’t understand. But then we came together. And then the women were praying behind the men. And so I couldn’t necessarily see my father still, but I was in the back with the women, so I could still hear what was going on.

It was probably five hours.

Liz Lacuzzi: After that long day, five year old Tamara and her father drove back to their Adobe home.

Dr. Tamara MC: We had a VW baby blue van with curtains that my grandmother sewed because she was a seamstress and so we were in the van and I said, Daddy, I really like those people. And I said, I want to be with them more.

I had grown up with such a tiny family and That all of a sudden, I felt that I had community, the swarm of women that were kind of, not necessarily doting on me, but they were in charge of me. My father thought that he found his home. And so he wanted to go every day. He became integrated incredibly quickly, like within a week, probably, I mean, it was super quick.

Tyler Measom: And that one meeting turned into, well, a lot more.

Dr. Tamara MC: We were going to meetings every night. Seven days a week, most of the day, and maybe we go home at about 10 or 11 o’clock at night, wake up the next morning and rejoin. And then I got used to, okay, my father is going to hold my hand and walk me up the courtyard, but then I’m going to be separated from him.

And then the women would take over and I would be with them for the whole day. Sometimes we would even go before sunrise to pray, and then we might have stayed the whole day, like all of the daylight hours. I mean, immediately there were many rules that stood out to me. We couldn’t wear shoes. We had to leave our shoes outdoors.

The way that we ate, we had to eat with a certain hand. We had to wash our hands in a certain way before eating. I wasn’t allowed to speak to any of the men and we weren’t allowed to show a strand of our hair. By the end of the summer, I was like, okay.

Tyler Measom: You know, for most of us, learning a second language in high school or college wasn’t exactly a high point in our academic careers.

Liz Lacuzzi: I think I got kicked out of French class at least 10 times in high school for having my textbook open next to me.

Tyler Measom: For me, now that I’m older and have traveled internationally, I kinda wish I’d have paid a little bit more attention in Spanish class.

Liz Lacuzzi: Yeah, it’s annoying being that American that’s always like,

Uh, excuse me, do you speak Spanish?

Which is why I’m now learning Italian using Babbel, the language learning app that sold more than 10 million subscriptions. It’s an addictively fun and easy way to learn a new language.

Tyler Measom: I’m learning French so that when I get back to Paris, I won’t look like such a fool.

Liz Lacuzzi: Idiot.

Tyler Measom: That’s idiot in French, isn’t it?

Liz Lacuzzi: Oui, you imbécile!

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Liz Lacuzzi: And the best part about it is Babbel’s expertly crafted lessons are built around real life. You learn how to have practical conversations about travel, relationships, business. Why is there a random man sleeping in your hostel?

Tyler Measom: So no more learning silly phrases like, Hello, is the library open on Sunday?

Liz Lacuzzi: Right now, when you purchase a three month Babbel subscription, you’ll get an additional three months for free.

That’s six months. For the price at three, just go to babel.com and use promo code in a cult.

Tyler Measom: That’s B-A-B-B-E l.com Code in a cult.

Liz Lacuzzi: For reasons we respect and understand, Tamara has asked us not to name the group she was in so that she can tell her complete story freely without fear of repercussion.

Tyler Measom: Unfortunately, some cults are more dangerous than others.

Liz Lacuzzi: So back to the story. Like many cults, this group aimed to recruit people who can be of value to the mission.

Tyler Measom: And Tamara’s father was no different.

Dr. Tamara MC: There was always publishing and writing going on, and that’s something my father has done throughout. So I think that they I immediately recruited my father to be writing and doing some portion of that. My father was just a really good asset. Like they brought in a really smart guy.

Liz Lacuzzi: And once they realized his value, they were not going to let him go.

Tyler Measom: And soon the group took over his life.

Dr. Tamara MC: I didn’t have any time alone with my father. He also grew very separate from me. And stopped acting like a daddy to me, and he very much fell in line to that, like, his daughter wasn’t supposed to be with him because there was also kind of this rule that like children aren’t supposed to be with their parents.

So he started like holding back affection and like holding back like all the ways that we used to be together in terms of him being more daddy like. And I was also told that I couldn’t call him daddy. I had to call. him another word that’s, again, a translation, but the translation is father of. And at that point he said, don’t call me daddy anymore.

The leader was actually not in the United States at that time. So when we initially joined, we hadn’t met him, but the plans were that he was going to come back to the United States. And so I remember several weeks, like all the hype of he’s going to be coming. The leader had already had several books out that my father had been reading, so my father was quite excited about it.

And then I do remember soon after the leader came, I don’t know if it was the first day or how many days in, but I was walking in the courtyard with my father and I was holding my father’s hand. And he walked up to, to us, to my father and to myself and the leader put his hand on the top of my head and he said, you are the most beloved and that’s your name, Beloved.

And the leader said that he could just see it in me that I was the most special child that would ever join the community. I don’t think my dad and mom were effusive in any way and would have ever said anything like that to me. So it was the first time I heard that. And I was just, I wanted to please this leader.

My mother was still in England when all of this was happening. It was over a three month period. All we received from her were postcards and we couldn’t respond because she was always traveling like every few days. She doesn’t know at this point, she doesn’t know anything. When she came home, my father told her that he had converted to this new religion and that he found his way of life and that he wanted her to convert to.

And her reaction was, what she says was, hell no, like, I am not doing this, like, no way. My mom came home and suddenly had a daughter who her father is now calling by a new name and he has a new name and he required my mother to call him by that new name as well. And she was like, no, I am not, like, I gave her the name Tamara, that’s her name.

And so my mom called me Tamara and he just continued to call me this new name and I think it infuriated my mother, but there was nothing she could do. My father, I think, spent a couple months trying to convince her, but there was, there was no way that my mother was going to convert. And I think eventually he said that he had to move out of the house.

Tyler Measom: And so, because her mother wouldn’t convert to her father’s newly found religion, they broke up.

Liz Lacuzzi: And where does he move? Into the community center, of course, along with many other members.

Tyler Measom: So, Tamara was

Dr. Tamara MC: Mostly with my mother. And then sometimes my father would take me with him. My father, with time, became more and more separated from me.

In his eyes, I was almost like a woman. And men and women weren’t supposed to be together. And so he began to see me very differently.

Liz Lacuzzi: Because this new religion had already taken hold of his critical thought.

Tyler Measom: And it was dictating his life.

Dr. Tamara MC: One of my next memories is my father came into my bedroom. And I love stuffed animals.

So I was sitting on a big teddy bear that I had and my father sat me down and he said that he was leaving and that he wasn’t sure if he was ever coming back. And I just remember he then walked out of the room and we had a screen door and I remember the screen door. Slamming behind him. The leader had decided in the middle of the night that the community had to go to a new place.

Everybody was told that they had to leave immediately that day. And so they all got in cars and caravan, whatever cars they had and just left. There was nothing left in Arizona. And like Atlanta was the new fertile ground for this community.

I remember wanting my daddy. I just went into complete shock. I stopped talking completely. I really didn’t know what to think anymore. I’m not sure how many months later I was just in the house playing and I just remember hearing a banging on the screen door and I remember like going out and like opening it up and my father was standing like right in front of me and I hadn’t seen him in months and I was so excited and I was just hugging him and I’m like, you’re home, you’re home.

Okay. I have my daddy back. getting back to normal, everything’s going to work out. And then he left like immediately, almost in the same way.

Liz Lacuzzi: For the next couple years, Tamara’s dad followed the group around where the leader said to go, he would follow.

Tyler Measom: And Tamara didn’t see her father at all during this time, but eventually the group ended up in Texas.

Liz Lacuzzi: And when Tamara was seven years old, she went to visit her father for her winter holiday.

Dr. Tamara MC: My mother walked me up to the gate, put me on a plane. I remember crying that first time. And it’s one of the only times I kind of remember crying, but because I just didn’t know why my mommy wasn’t with me.

My dad would greet me and he was not even like my dad anymore. He had grown like a long beard and he wore this hat on his head and he dressed different and he wore wooden beads around his neck. His voice had changed, the words he used had changed, he stopped speaking in English a lot of the time, he, he just wouldn’t even really look at me.

Like I would get off of the plane, like he would just kind of give me like a shoulder hug because he wasn’t supposed to touch me. And there was a woman at the airport with my father. My father said to me, this is my wife, this is your step mom.

Liz Lacuzzi: Wow, uh, good to see you too, daddy and mommy.

Dr. Tamara MC: And I didn’t know how to deal with it.

And we just had, we lived an hour away from the airport. And so we had this long drive and after we got to the place, he walked me into this house and standing in the doorway were these two kids and my dad said, this is your sister and your brother.

Tyler Measom: Tamara’s new step mom and step siblings were all, of course, part of the religion and living with the group.

Dr. Tamara MC: He put me in a room with my siblings. We didn’t have beds or anything, we were just like sleeping on the floor in kind of like a house with a whole bunch of people. And that Christmas holiday, my dad and step mom actually ended up leaving. And so I was completely alone with my new sister, who was a year and a half younger than me.

And my brother, who I think was only two or three years old at the time. This is horrible. I don’t even know how I’m saying this story.

Liz Lacuzzi: And where did her father go? On his honeymoon, of course. With her new stepmom.

Dr. Tamara MC: There was like nobody really in charge of us. My little sister had grown up in the community, so everything was not, was much more familiar to her.

And when we were left alone, she was so brave and so strong. And we would just lie in bed together and I would just be shivering, I was so scared, I didn’t know what to do. And she would just take a brush and brush my hair until I would fall asleep. So she was really, she was just my little angel in my life at that point.

Tyler Measom: Meanwhile, Tamara’s mother still had no clue what was going on.

Dr. Tamara MC: She would call me and always ask me, how are you doing? And I’d say, I’m fine. Are you having a good time? Yes, I’m having a good time. And that was the extent of it. I just went back and just tried to survive in school, but I didn’t feel part of school at all.

I don’t remember learning anything in second, third, fourth grade. I remember I was supposed to do my assignments and do homework, but my mom could have cared less if I did homework, I just didn’t do anything.

Liz Lacuzzi: And soon this became her life. Splitting her time between mom and dad, Arizona and Texas.

Dr. Tamara MC: I would fly to my dad every winter holiday for over a month.

And then I’d fly to him for the whole summer.

Tyler Measom: And then live with her mother for the school year.

Liz Lacuzzi: It was essentially two completely different lives. In Arizona, she was going to public school and hanging with regular public school kids.

Tyler Measom: But in Texas, she was living with this uber religious group, fully immersed in their way of life.

Dr. Tamara MC: It was a very different setup. In Arizona, where the, we’re in a desert, we have Um, Saguaro cacti, we’re dry, it’s brown, we have these bright blue skies, and you can see at like a 360 degree view, it’s always sunny. And in Texas, I just remember getting out of the plane, and it was green, and there was trees everywhere, and I couldn’t see my way out, which really scared me.

And so I just felt very, very claustrophobic. And that’s the way I would feel every time I came to Texas, was like I was stuck and I had no way to escape. The trees were like, they became almost like the ones that were holding me in. Like I, I just had this real aversion to trees. I still don’t like them like the desert.

They still scare me.

Liz Lacuzzi: But as a young child, it was hard for her to understand what was truly going on.

Tyler Measom: To her, it was just life with dad amongst trees. And life with mom in the desert.

Liz Lacuzzi: She never felt truly part of either world because her life was so splintered.

Tyler Measom: And after four years of living this double life, she had grown an attachment to her new brothers and sisters in Texas.

They were her family now.

Liz Lacuzzi: And until now, they had all been living with the group in a house in San Antonio.

Dr. Tamara MC: But When I came back, the next time, we went to a whole different house. In a whole different community.

We moved onto what we call the farm. That was this 250 acre farm that really didn’t operate like a farm, but it was just called that, but this property, it was very large. And there was lots of land and there were very big buildings. The leader had built it from the ground up. So in this commune, it was built almost like a school, but not a school that you would ever really see, but there was rooms that were built around a courtyard and all of those rooms then became bedrooms.

So my father and stepmother had a room across the courtyard, and then I slept in a separate room with my siblings, my four siblings. There was two main buildings and they were quite far apart. And so I’d have to walk between them. And we had to make this walk like before the sun came up. So often at four or five in the morning.

And the children, like me and my siblings, were alone on this walk. And we were always, had to be careful of snakes, and we didn’t have proper shoes, we would be wearing plastic flip flops. We lived within a gate. There was only one way in and one way out, and it was locked. And so, the only people that could come in would be people who we knew were coming in.

And we had communal bathrooms, and we had communal kitchens, and we slept together, and we prayed together, and we ate together. Most of the people in the community, the adults were in polygamous marriages.

Liz Lacuzzi: Some of our listeners thought they’d figured out the religion by now, but then we just threw polygamy in there and now they’re like, damn it, I gotta go do more research.

Tyler Measom: Yep. Now they’re all saying Mormon. It’s Mormon. It’s not Mormon, folks. Trust your gut. Trust your gut.

Liz Lacuzzi: Is it Mormon, Tyler?

Tyler Measom: It’s not a part of Mormonism.

Dr. Tamara MC: We have lots of people who have come from all over the world that are now living here. They were drawn in by the leader, who I’m not going to name. So the leader was a multimillionaire and he had got into business really early in life and sold those businesses and then brought all of that money to the United States and decided that he was going to build like this utopian community.

Which was that farm that I lived on. There were many new community members, like a hundred to 150 adults and children. He only wanted them to study religion and spirituality. So he wanted to support everybody so that they would be able to do that. People were not allowed to work outside, which meant that nobody had any money.

So we had, like, my father had almost no money. We just had to be completely dependent on the leader for everything.

Tyler Measom: But that didn’t mean that her father didn’t have to work.

Liz Lacuzzi: He was doing free labor, of course, working nights and weekends for the Leader’s Publishing Company.

Dr. Tamara MC: My father was the main editor, the main writer.

At this point, my father was really non existent in my life. He was traveling all over the world doing work for the community, for, like, the Leader. I don’t know what he was doing. So he would be gone for months, like, he really was not part of my life at that point.

Liz Lacuzzi: Jesus, dad of the year award over here.

Tyler Measom: Give him the mug.

Dr. Tamara MC: Like, as kids, we were living our own lives. My siblings did not go to public school. None of the other children did. They were supposed to be homeschooled, but homeschooling was completely sporadic and rarely happened. My sister, who I love dearly, she didn’t even know how to read, and so I like had to teach her how to read like when she was nine, like, I took care of her a lot, and then she took care of me in her own way.

My other siblings are kind of in the background, it’s my main sister who I always speak about. But the second I would get off the plane, she would call me by my name and she would be like, you have to tell me everything, everything. And she would say, do you have a boyfriend? Did you kiss a boy? You know, she would just ask me like so many questions.

Like what movie did you watch? Did you watch TV? What do you watch on TV? What book did you read? Tell me all about the book you read. I had to tell her the whole story because we weren’t allowed to read books. We had no outside media. We had nothing other than religious books. She, we never had a television, so she had never watched television.

Liz Lacuzzi: But even though Tamara got these brief reprieves from the group,

Dr. Tamara MC: I was a rule follower, and I was very obedient, and I was very sweet, and I smiled. My stepsister, like, would break every rule. She had no interest in this community. She had no interest in, like, trying to please anyone. She was born in, and she didn’t believe in any of it.

She’d always tell me that she was going to run away, and she always would beg me, take me to your mom’s. I want to live with your mom. My heart just broke all the time because I wanted her to leave because I knew how much she wanted to leave. And I was not physically beaten or rarely physically beaten, but she was beat probably daily, multiple times a day because she was So strong willed and would not bend to fit what anybody said, like she did not care.

She would often just take out a piece of her hair and like pull it from her scarf and put it out front like that, like just right in front, like right on her forehead. Just a tiny piece of hair. And she knew that when she walked out the door she was going to get beat for that. But she was willing to do it because that was important to her.

So yeah, so there was corporal punishment that was community wide. Any adult could, could discipline a child. The kids could be punished for not having the right face or for not smiling. A child could be punished for laughing, for skipping, for running, for speaking. For dressing what they would consider inappropriate, like if we weren’t wearing socks.

Images that wouldn’t leave my mind is like watching the other kids get beaten, and there was nothing I could do. When something happened, we just had to stop and freeze. The men were horrible. They used to walk around like carrying canes, like these special wooden canes that they would make. And they’d wear these really long robes and put like turbans on their head.

They’d wear different belts. It’s like according to like the level of where they were within the community.

Liz Lacuzzi: No, this isn’t a martial arts cult, but that may or may not be a future episode.

Tyler Measom: And this group wouldn’t be a cult without a pecking order.

Dr. Tamara MC: So the hierarchy in the community was actually really set.

The leaders were at the height, height, and it was then all the men and then all the women and then like the. Babies, like zero to three. And then the boys, and then the lowest level was the level I was in. Girls from nine until whatever age. Because we were the most dangerous. We had the most restrictions.

Our lives were the worst of everybody in the community. No freedom. We had no freedom.

Liz Lacuzzi: But Tamara was a slight exception. She did have some freedom, but it of course came when she went to live with her mother in Arizona. where she was just a regular preteen in the early 80s going to school and watching TV.

Tyler Measom: Which, for me, meant wishing I was Magnum P. I. The guy had everything. He had a Ferrari. It wasn’t even his. He just borrowed it. He lived in Hawaii. He had cool shirts. He got to solve crimes. He had a great mustache. I mean, really? For a kid in the 80s, that’s all you really wanted?

Liz Lacuzzi: You had me at mustache, Tyler.

But as soon as the school year ended It was right back to the commune.

Dr. Tamara MC: I completed seventh grade. I was 12 years old and it always happened that the day after school, like school would end on one day and then the next day I would fly to my father’s. So I didn’t even have a day of the summer to be by myself.

And so my mom put me on the airplane. I went to my dad’s and arrived at our compound and my little sister was there. And I was happy to see her. And she immediately escorted us into our room and we would huddle together. And she would again, ask me, you have to tell me everything, everything that happened, and I was just really happy to be with her.

Liz Lacuzzi: But this time, things were a bit different.

Dr. Tamara MC: The next morning when I woke up, my dad said to me, We’re leaving. Pack up your bag. You’re going somewhere else to live for the summer. And I begged him, can I please stay here? I don’t want to leave. And my little sister begged him, please, please don’t make her go.

She just got here. I just packed up my bag and I got in the car and it was just my dad and me. And he said that I was going to live with the leader for the summer. My dad just said, can you imagine a greater opportunity than getting to live with like the person that is most God like in the world? Like I was the one.

I was so special.

Tyler Measom: She was beloved after all.

Liz Lacuzzi: But of course the leader didn’t live on the compound with the rest of the commoners.

Tyler Measom: Oh no. He and his multiple wives, well

Dr. Tamara MC: They lived on this like lavish estate, like on this whole hill. So, we drive an hour, we get to hell. There’s a gate, there’s an intercom. Press the intercom and like said, we’re here, whatever, and then the automatic gate magically opened and we were allowed in the gate.

Jade closed behind us and we just went up, it’s like a really steep hill and there’s houses along the way, but we just like went midway up and we parked and he like knocked on a door and a woman answered and she said my name and she said, I’m so happy you’re here. We’ve been waiting for you. This is just going to be a beautiful summer for you.

I had seen her before cause she was the leader’s wife. She had already had her eyes on me for all these years, so they were almost like grooming me for this moment. They’d kind of come in and out of my life all the time and just touch my head and tell me how great I was. She assured my dad she’s in good hands.

She’s fine. And this was the leader’s second wife, and she’s British. So she has, and she comes almost from like royal blood, like she came from a super rich family before she married like our leader. So she’s really educated and it’s like you would just be like, Oh wow, who is this woman? Like, she’s a queen.

She acted like a queen. And so my father was just so happy and he kind of gave me like his little side hug and said, said, you’re gonna be fine. Have a good summer. And he closed the door and left. And I was alone in a new house with new people and I didn’t know what I was doing there.

Tyler Measom: And you will find out just what exactly Tamara was doing there.

Liz Lacuzzi: Next week.

Dr. Tamara MC: I had fallen asleep and then I heard a knock and I didn’t know what to do. But then like within another few seconds, I heard the glass door open and somebody was standing there. I was completely alone. And when this person came into my room, I didn’t know what they wanted.

I didn’t know why they were there.

Tyler Measom: Thank you, everyone, for

Liz Lacuzzi: listening. And thanks to our wonderful supporters on Patreon. Your contributions truly do. Help us create amazing and important stories like this one.

Tyler Measom: Special thanks to Madison Green, who came in at the highest level of our Patreon.

Liz Lacuzzi: She is assured a first class seat on the spaceship to Arcturus.

Tyler Measom: Was I in a Cult? is hosted, written, and produced by myself, Tyler Meesom.

Liz Lacuzzi: And myself. Self. Liz Izzi, production and editing by the very hardworking, late night editing, late night never sleeper. Kristen Veril,

Tyler Measom: sound design and mixing by the weekend worker, Rob Para,

Liz Lacuzzi: and additional editing by the moonlighting, Emily Carr

Tyler Measom: Poke.

Don’t forget to rate and review. It helps.

Liz Lacuzzi: It does. And thank you again, Tamara, for your bravery in speaking out. The true way to silence cults is through your loudness. So brava, brava, Tamara.

This is the end.

Tyler Measom: Gotta get that last word in every time, don’t you?

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