I was part of a ‘cult’ and didn’t know it. Then something just didn’t make sense

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Why are we still drawn to cults and cult-like groups, and should we be doing more to protect people from them? Watch Insight episode Cult Following on Tuesday 30 April at 8.30pm on SBS and Nobody actively seeks out a cult. Instead, they look for a group of like-minded people, a sense of belonging and a purpose.It took me three years to realise that I was a prisoner, that I had fallen prey to a gradual process of coercive persuasion and influence.

One day I woke up and realised I was ensnared in the clutches of a destructive, manipulative and extremist group.

It all started in 2019, shortly after I arrived in Melbourne from Zimbabwe at 19 to study sports science.

I was full of hope and ambition; I saw Australia as my chance to make something of myself. My family saw the move as an investment in my future.

I had a deep passion for football, having represented my national team at the under-20 level back home, and was excited about the possibilities that lay ahead.

Alongside my sporting ambitions, in my life. I wanted to find a church community in Melbourne.

A man sits on the grass in the park with a football.
Othniel Chisi started attending weekly Bible classes. Before long he was going three times a week, then more. Source: Supplied


One day, I met a friendly and bubbly young woman at my university and we spoke about

the Bible

. She told me she had a mentor who could answer all my questions and we should meet her.

Content retrieved from: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/insight/article/i-was-embedded-in-a-cult-and-didnt-know-it-then-something-just-didnt-make-sense/9ledguy02.

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