20°C / 22°C
  • Sun
  • 17°C
  • 5°C
  • Mon
  • 16°C
  • 5°C
  • Tue
  • 16°C
  • 4°C
  • Wed
  • 18°C
  • 5°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 6°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 7°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 22°C
  • 11°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 23°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 18°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Sun
  • 18°C
  • 3°C
  • Mon
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Tue
  • 18°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 22°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 14°C
  • Fri
  • 24°C
  • 13°C
  • Sun
  • 18°C
  • 11°C
  • Mon
  • 18°C
  • 11°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 18°C
  • 14°C
  • Fri
  • 26°C
  • 14°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 8°C
  • Tue
  • 26°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 16°C
  • Fri
  • 28°C
  • 13°C
  • Sun
  • 17°C
  • 11°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 11°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Fri
  • 25°C
  • 14°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 8°C
  • Tue
  • 18°C
  • 7°C
  • Wed
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 7°C
  • Sun
  • 16°C
  • 3°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 4°C
  • Tue
  • 18°C
  • 3°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 20°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 4°C
  • Sun
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Tue
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Thu
  • 23°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 24°C
  • 6°C
  • Sun
  • 17°C
  • 11°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 23°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 22°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 28°C
  • 14°C

How this SA woman rebuilt her life after 10 years in an American cult

It took three kids, an arranged marriage and 10 years within a secretive American cult before Lesley Smailes returned home to SA.

cult-sister-book-coverjpg

Lesley Smailes was only 18 years old when she left her home in Port Elizabeth to embark on a gap year – something that wasn’t all that common back in 1983.

As she left her mother’s parting message was simple – don’t get married, and don’t join a cult. But that’s exactly what she did.

"There was a subconscious rebellion that kicked in and I went and did exactly what she told me not to do. " said by 'Lesley Smailes, author of Cult Sister'

It would be 10 years before Lesley made it back home to South Africa, a completely changed woman and mother of three, after an arranged marriage and 10 years within a secretive religious cult.

Smailes says she had a traumatic childhood after surviving rape and her father's murder at young age.

"I was a very traumatised adolescent when I left home. I was also quite rebellious. " said by 'Lesley Smailes, author of Cult Sister'

"I never did go to university, I entered into the school of hard knocks; life itself. " said by 'Lesley Smailes, author of Cult Sister'

After arriving to visit family friends Boston, New York, she says she was seduced into joining a secretive religious group of "brothers and sisters".

"We traveled a lot.. When we were in a city, different members of the group would live together in a house or in the woods. " said by 'Lesley Smailes, author of Cult Sister'

"It was very small group, run by Jim Roberts... He told me a brother had offered to marry me. " said by 'Lesley Smailes, author of Cult Sister'

"I think Thomas had been praying for a wife for many years. When I came along, he saw this as his answer. " said by 'Lesley Smailes, author of Cult Sister'

"The elder approached me. It was an arranged marriage. I wouldn't encourage anybody to enter into something like that. " said by 'Lesley Smailes, author of Cult Sister'

Cult Sister is the story told in her new book about how she lived with an infamous American cult, and found the courage to come back to South Africa.

**Take a listen to the moving story: **

Timeline

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

comments powered by Disqus