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Quote of the Day:
'Victims gradually lose their ability to make independent decisions and exercise informed consent.'
- Dr Margaret Singer


My encounter with 'Kenja'.
(Name withheld)

I wasn't so much as recruited into a cult. The cult enveloped me.

From 1975 to 1976, I saw my father die slowly and painfully. The death of a parent at a young age makes one reflect on life and its meaning. It made me see my life with a new sense of urgency, that I had only one chance to follow the path that was right for me. That was critical in my decision to drop out of architecture at UNSW so I could find myself.

So, I was taking my gap year, but not a backtripping trip through India, an internal journey to find my path. For me, it was acting. I went to see a play called Ready for Men at the then Stables Theatre in Kings Cross with my mother. My mother, who can talk the hind legs off a donkey, got talking to another woman in the audience who just happened to be the mother of one of the actresses in the play. This actress turned out to be Jan Hamilton.

Being a starry eyed 19 year old, I was very impressed by Jan and jumped at the opportunity to do a clowning workshop with her. I did the workshop and I was hooked, thinking it was a great way to develop as an actor.

So, there I was attending clown classes at the Pilgrim Theatre in Pitt Street in Sydney, (it's still there) and after most classes this 'magic man' - as Jan would refer to him - would turn up and talk to us.

This man was not a magic man at all, in fact he was a Scientologist and his name was Ken Dyers. Slowly, but surely, Ken's talks grew in length and importance and in no matter of time, Ken's 'communication and energy' classes were the main event and Jan seemed to defer her work to his. In fact she gave up a promising career as an actress.

I was only really interested in Jan's work. I remember clearly the arrogant youth that I was then thinking 'I don't need this, I'm really OK.' Ken's work was hinged on the individual's surrender to the thought that they were not OK and they needed help. Help from Ken. So, why did I stay? The people more than Ken or Jan were why I remained for so long. Especially my first girlfriend who tragically is still in Kenja.

In a while, the classes changed venue from Pitt Street to George Street and it became a business with its full-time processors wearing faux business dress and recruiting people from the streets for the Tuesday night lecture. I shudder to recall it. It became Kenja.

Disclaimer: This page is about groups, organisations or movements, which may have been called "cults" and/or "cult-like" in some way, shape or form.  But not all groups called either "cults" or "cult-like" are harmful.  Instead, they may be benign and generally defined as simply people intensely devoted to a person, place or thing.  An account from one person must be read as that; ideas could have been taken out of context or have been misunderstood.  Also, practices may change over time, or between one centre and another.  CIFS encourages readers to research widely before forming an opinion.  Information from one single source would need to be judged against other sources and one's own personal experience.  Therefore, the discussion or mention of a group, organisation or person on this page is not necessarily meant pejoratively. 
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