Cult Brainwashing

Last night, I was held captive for almost two hours by Elizabeth Olsen’s arresting portrayal of a young woman who had escaped an abusive cult. Martha Marcy May Marlene is an excellent independent film that centres around a young adult who is confused and paranoid after having spent over a year with a crazy but cunningly convincing cult.

Two things really got to me about this film.

1) How easy it was for these predators to suck in vulnerable youngsters.

The charismatic leaders offered runaways the “unconditional love” and “support” they had been denied throughout their childhood. They then cleverly laced their hippy cocktail of freedom, sharing, nature and love with their sinister views on sex and death.

2) The lead role isn’t played by a stick insect.

We may find the cult’s brainwashing dangerous but what’s just as scary is how we, as a society, have been brainwashed into thinking that skinny is beautiful and that curves must be lost, or at the very least, hidden.

The star of this film is gorgeous but she’s also curvaceous. She’s not overweight but she’s big for an Olsen (Mary-Kate and Ashley are her older sisters). I’m not used to watching movies starring meatier heroines. It got me thinking: If all our leading ladies had bodies like hers, we’d aspire to having more natural, feminine figures.

Don't tell me she's not a stunner!

So, why don’t we stop being so impressionable and cease falling victim to society’s dictates on fashion and desirability? Society is the dark and manipulative cult that’s trying to make you forget what’s important in life and who you really are. Don’t be afraid to walk away. And always remember that you are magnificent just for being you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain

Images: http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/Yuf36xrF9DU/Elizabeth+Olsen+Martha+Marcy+May+Marlene+Photocall/OxqcVRoB1TR/Elizabeth+Olsen; http://favim.com/image/24088/

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6 responses to “Cult Brainwashing

  1. Very true. Many aspects of our lives are decided for us by the media and other powers (i call them powers because there are a few people at play when deciding the society “norms”). After coming out of this mentally abusive relationship with the “powers” it can be a struggle to find yourself and your unique inner beauty and worth, but Ive already gone through my journey and I still continue to fight the urges to conform but I always tell myself that “Your soul shines through, a good person inside is actually physically noticably beautiful on the outside”

  2. Thanks for the comment, Elysia. Glad to hear your positive views on the topic. Keep it up!

  3. I have done a bit of research into the world of cults, just because I found it hard to understand how anyone can get sucked into them. But it is very scary stuff. The more I read, the more scared I got. Horrible!

  4. Q: How come there are no jokes about Jonestown?
    A: Because the punch lines are too long!

    All joking aside, I agree with what you said about curves. The United States and Europe could take a lesson from Latin America. Curves still seem to be in style there.

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