There is a particularly interesting group of humans on the planet.
They go by the name Deer Tribe Metis Medicine Society.
They are a cult, but they don’t think of themselves that way.
It’s easy to see why.
They aren’t marrying off 14 year old girls to old men with dozens of wives.
They aren’t committing mass murder by requiring followers to drink cyanide-laced flavor aid.
They (usually) aren’t doing anything illegal.
But they are huge appropriators of First Nations’ ceremonies and traditions.
They operate an extremely weird secret sexual society called the Lodge of Amenti where women are instructed to have sexual intercourse with randomly assigned partners in bizarre “ceremonies.”
And they have every one of their followers convinced that what they are doing is extremely healing and beneficial for the planet.
It Started With A Sweat Lodge
Like many others who find themselves involved in a cult, I was going through a difficult time in my life.
I was finishing up an embarrassing liberal arts master’s degree.
I was facing the reality that the education I had just spent $50,000 dollars on had zero value in the marketplace.
I was also dealing with the emotional aftermath of a traumatic upbringing. Fibromyalgia, PTSD and depression were majorly impacting my life on a daily basis.
And then a friend invited me to a special event.
She described it as a Native American Sweat Lodge.
I was told it was a sacred, ancient healing ceremony. I was told it offered physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and sexual awakening.
And without giving it much thought, I decided to attend.
I Drank The Kool-Aid
That one event changed the course of my life for the next 10 years.
Gradually, I stopped hanging out with my friends.
They were starting jobs in other cities, getting married and having babies.
Meanwhile, I was attending meditation classes, full moon pipe ceremonies, trance dances, breathing circles and “spiritual” talks.
I was becoming part of a new community of welcoming people who seemed to “get me.”
And it felt absolutely wonderful.
Suddenly my life had meaning. It no longer seemed to matter that I had a master’s degree and struggled to find a decent-paying job.
I started to believe, because I was constantly being told, that I had an important mission to fulfill on the planet.
They called it my Sacred Dream. And I could learn ancient magical practices that would help me generate all the resources I ever needed to live out my full potential.
I couldn’t imagine being any happier.
For A While My Life Seemed To Improve
It was easy to think I was getting involved in something good.
They used words like “free will” and “individuality” and “creative originality” and “spiritual illumination.”
They were teaching me how to be confident.
The skills I learned helped me get jobs and deal with my emotional issues. I met the man I would later marry and we received guidance and coaching that would supposedly help us maintain a “co-empowered relationship” for the rest of our lives.
A lot of what this group teaches is just repackaged psychology 101. It’s the same spiel used by every personal development program on the planet.
Life has pain, but healing is possible. If we discover the root cause of our pain, we can set ourselves free. All we need to do is take self-responsibility for our healing and be willing to learn from our mistakes. We need to eliminate self doubt and negative thoughts and negative emotions. This is how we can expand our consciousness. Which will bring you riches. Feel worthy and deserving and the universe will send you all kinds of abundance.
They use these abstract concepts to draw you in and make you believe you are benefiting from incredibly enriching information.
If you knew the details of my childhood, you would understand why all of this was so appealing to me.
And it was the first time I was hearing stuff like this. So naturally, I thought I had stumbled across a gold mine.
Soon Their Thought Reform Programs Completely Took Over My Mind
Like many cults, these folks were masters at using things like intense breath work, heat, fasting, dancing and meditation sessions to induce trance-like states in participants.
There’s nothing wrong with these kinds of activities.
But they do lower a person’s critical defenses. They suppress the analytical abilities of the conscious mind.
And this is how they effectively indoctrinate their followers.
We didn’t do drugs. We didn’t use alcohol. We didn’t even smoke weed. It never once occurred to me to question their motives. I had no idea there were hidden agendas at work.
I went along with their belief systems and life philosophy. I kept up a rigorous daily routine of constant self-examination, meditation and exercise. All in all, I ended up giving them close to $60,000 dollars for my “personal development training.”
My Breaking Point
There is a metaphor in the cult recovery world called the “shelf breaking moment.”
When you’re in a cult, there are all kinds of red flags. Even though you see them, you learn to ignore them.
So, a little thing happens and you put it on a shelf. You forget about it and carry on, because what else are you going to do? Group think is powerful and the leaders who are “mentoring” you assure you that absolutely nothing is wrong.
Then something else happens and you put that on the shelf. And you keep putting these little things on the shelf. This goes on for weeks, months, years or even decades. And the shelf gets heavier and heavier.
But eventually, the shelf breaks.
It’s what I call the “oh sh%t, I’m in a cult!” moment.
My shelf began cracking in 2020. For the previous 7 years I had been attending their “sacred sexuality” workshops called Quodoushka. I had been told these would help me recover from sexual abuse I had experienced earlier in life.
Unfortunately, these workshops are exploitative and damaging. They are taught by unlicensed teachers who are completely brainwashed.
My fibromyalgia resurfaced. My PTSD got worse. And my marriage was on a lifeline.
Then, the whole world shut down because of Covid-19.
Including my cult.
I could no longer attend my cult’s re-indoctrination events. Covid-19 had removed that option. This, it turns out, was my path to freedom.
Time away from the cult gave me time for influence-free reflection.
It gave me time to invest in other activities. Such as visiting family for the first time in a decade.
And I started to get my mind back.
I Got Out
My husband and I left for good in 2021. It’s honestly been a rough, confusing and expensive road to recovery.
Healing is a mysterious process. It doesn’t follow any rules.
But I’m learning to forgive myself. What helps the most is to accept and feel all the feelings and remind myself that everything I learned I can use to help others.