I’ve been traveling a lot the past few months. I’ve seen old friends and made new ones. I met up with a friend, Claire, who visited me a few years ago. She had remembered, but I had forgotten, that we had talked about cohousing. I was excited to move there in the future and she knew all about it. Her mother had helped form one. Now I”m kicking myself – I should have asked to speak to her and get more details of what it is really like. Her mother left because of divorce, selling the assets, etc. She lives nearby and stays in touch and still has friends there.
Then yesterday I made a new pal. I was over at an old friend (actually Rob who is in the Italy book in this blog). He had a friend named Jesse over for drinks.. They asked me to tell them my story of woe. I didn’t really want to, trying to leave it behind but I did a quick summary.
Both times, when I told the story yesterday and when I told Claire why I left, they both immediately said, “That sounds like a cult,”
Basically, the groupthink is one reason I left. The group went one way, a pretty dark direction which these pals agreed with me – not a reasonable way to think. I stood up to it and the focus was on me instead of the underlying issues. So, it did feel like a cult.
Any group can become toxic. Any group can become cult like. That’s why I will try to shift from my experience which is now officially over as a homeowner of cohousing, and share what I have learned in my research about cults (which verify what did happen, that the atmosphere was toxic and you were not allowed to question).