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Amy Barrett Is in a Group That 'Speaks in Tongues' - Page 2

The media spotlight falls on a 'charismatic community' called People of Praise
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2020 3:00 PM CDT

  • Group pledge: People of Praise members make a pledge to the group after showing their devotion for about six years. The group's website says members can leave at any time and adds that "our covenant is neither an oath nor a vow, but it is an important personal commitment." But some former members have told the National Catholic Reporter that the group brainwashed members and clung to a "Jamestown mentality and dominance," per America.
  • A cult? Indeed, former member Coral Anika Theill told Reuters that People of Praise was a "cult" in which women are subservient to men and anyone who thought independently was "humiliated, interrogated, shamed and shunned."
  • 'Heads': Spiritual advisers known as "heads" either make "big life decisions" for members or give them "direction on important decisions," depending on the media report. In 2017, the New York Times reported that those decisions include "whom to date or marry, where to live, whether to take a job or buy a home, and how to raise children." The Guardian reports that married women like Barrett include their husbands as "heads."
  • No 'control': But Craig Lent, a People of Praise leader in 2017, told the Times there was nothing "nefarious or controversial" about the group. "We don't try to control people," he said. "And there's never any guarantee that the leader is always right. You have to discern and act in the Lord."
  • Atwood: Confusion has bubbled about whether the group inspired Atwood's dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale. Newsweek claims it's true—and Atwood has said that a "Catholic charismatic spinoff sect" inspired the book—but Vox reports that another group called People of Hope actually sparked Atwood's imagination.

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