Glenn Close revealed she spent several years of her childhood living with a religious cult, separated from the outside world. The six-time Academy Award-nominated actress was candid about her history with a cult known as Moral Re-Armament. Her father, renowned surgeon William Taliaferro Close, joined the cult when she was seven years old and moved his family to Mountain House, the cult’s main headquarters. “You basically weren’t allowed to do anything, or you were made to feel guilty about any unnatural desire. 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 seven 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],” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
Glenn, who severed ties with the cult in 1970, said the experience haunted her in her youth during college. “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,” she recounted.
She also spoke at length about her father’s work in the Congo in the mid-1970s, where he played a role in stemming an outbreak of the Ebola virus, as well as her decision to forgive him for introducing her to MRA in the first place: “Forgiveness is probably the most revolutionary concept there is right now in our world. Because without forgiveness, you just perpetuate what has been before. You [have to] say, ‘It’s going to stop with me.'” ~Kelly Townsend