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Glenn Close: My years in a destructive cult

Actress Glenn Close lived in a ‘destructive’ religious cult from the ages of 7 to 22. Picture: AFP
Actress Glenn Close lived in a ‘destructive’ religious cult from the ages of 7 to 22. Picture: AFP

BEFORE Glenn Close became a Hollywood star, she spent 15 years as a member of a religious cult known as the Moral Re-Armament (MRA). But the 70-year-old insists her traumatic childhood helped her become a better parent to 29-year-old Annie Maude Starke.

"You're totally pulled up from what your roots were, what you love, and your family is pulled apart," Close recalled to Closer Weekly this week. "It was very destructive."

Close said her controversial past has made her determined to give her daughter a stable and loving upbringing.

"She's wonderful and makes me incredibly proud," explained Close. "I'm also proud that I have a great friendship with her father [producer John H. Starke], and when she turned seven she was living in the same house that she was taken home to when she was born, and we still have that house."

Back in 2014, Close told The Hollywood Reporter she was just 7-years-old when her father, a Harvard-educated doctor, joined MRA, a group founded during the late 1930s. The publication added it was led by Rev. Frank Buchman, who was recognised as a "violently anti-intellectual and possibly homophobic evangelical fundamentalist."

"You basically weren't allowed to do anything, or you were made to feel guilty about any unnatural desire," said Close at the time. "If you talk to anybody who was in a group that basically dictates how you're supposed to live and what you're supposed to say and how you're supposed to feel, from the time you're 7 till the time you're 22, it has a profound impact on you. It's something you have to [consciously overcome] because all of your trigger points are [wrong]."

Close said her experiences in the cult made her determined to give her own daughter, fellow actor Annie Starke (pictured here), a more stable upbringing. Picture: AFP
Close said her experiences in the cult made her determined to give her own daughter, fellow actor Annie Starke (pictured here), a more stable upbringing. Picture: AFP

Close wouldn't reveal how she manage to leave MRA at age 22, but she did share how her memories impacted her over the years.

"I would have dreams because I didn't go to any psychiatrist or anything," she said. "I had these dreams, and they started with betrayal, a sense of betrayal, and then they developed into me being able to look at these people and say, 'You're wrong. You're wrong.' And then the final incarnation of those dreams was my being able to calmly get up and walk away. And then I didn't have them anymore."

This story originally appeared on Fox News and is republished here with permission.

Topics:  celebrity glenn close movies



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