How do you deal with family-in-law that's in a cult?
June 15, 2014 8:30 AM Subscribe
Short version: my fiancé's family is involved in a cult. He left the cult while in college, but they don't know. Most people don't know, except me and a few other friends. He hasn't told his family that he left, and he says he never will. My question is, what do we do when/if they want us to be more involved in their lives, without either getting involved in the cult or letting it slip that we're not part of it?
posted by anonymous to Society & Culture (43 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
"Don't rock the boat" is all well and good in most situations. People rarely come out and challenge your beliefs in day-to-day conversation. I'm looking for pointers dealing with awkward situations that might arise, e.g.:
-They want to babysit the kids when the kids are old enough to tell them "Mommy and Daddy say that's not true, it's just something people say to feel better"
-They want to visit, and possibly stay at our place, bringing along people from the cult that we're not comfortable having over ("But we're family, right?")
-They want us to attend some cult-related event
-They straight-up ask if we're doing some cult-related activity or hold some cult-related belief
I respect my fiancé's decision not to tell them, because there's no getting through to them or changing their minds. He's tried broaching counter-cultural ideas to a few close family members, with very bad results. They're not bad people, and they're not stupid either, but they believe that they know the truth, so apostasy doesn't make sense to them.
Are there any mefites out there who have had experiencing dealing with family members (or family-in-law members) that were/are in a cult? If so, how did you deal with it? Are they going to find out anyway, no matter what we do? What is the healthiest approach to these conflicts when they arise?