Former cult member Ginni Thomas may have returned to old habits with a QAnon-backed conspiracy theory

Clarence Thomas, Virginia Thomas

Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas sits with his wife and conservative activist Virginia Thomas while waiting to speak at the Heritage Foundation on October 21, 2021.Drew Angeler / Getty Images

  • Ginny Thomas, wife of Judge Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court, is a former cult member.

  • Her history as an anticult activist casts doubt on her consistency with conspiracy theories like QAnon.

  • A cult expert told insiders why Thomas was involved in a far-right conspiracy theory.

Ginny Thomas, wife of Judge Clarence Thomas of the US Supreme Court, 2020 election Promote conspiracy theories about fraudulent voting.

Thomas, a temporary member of Lifespring — Controversial group Was part of “Human Potential Movement” — Surprised many who once knew her before becoming an anticult activist. Far right conspiracy Some say that groups like QAnon have cult-like qualities.

Nonetheless, Steven Hassan, who turned from a former cult member who worked with Thomas during her anti-cult era to a cult expert, told insiders that she wasn’t surprised at her involvement in the far-right conspiracy movement. ..

“Ginny Thomas belonged to a cult. Anyone who has participated in a cult is vulnerable to other cults without proper counseling and homework,” Hassan said.

Transition from Thomas cult member to anti-cult activist

Founded by John Hanley Sr. in 1974, LifeSpring is a training program to teach members “confidence, self-esteem, reduced work stress, increased control of life, and a range of more positive and enjoyable events and experiences.” We held a seminar.According to “their life” Website of the dissolved group..

Thomas became involved in the 1980s. But shortly thereafter, the group was controversial when reports of unpleasant practices and the deaths of several trainees, according to a 1987 article. Washington post Thomas discussed how the group kept her from loved ones.

After being “deprogrammed”, she eventually left the group and became a passionate anticult activist in the 1980s and 90s.

“I think she was a lawyer in Washington, DC at the time and worked for a Republican. She was very connected,” said Rick, a cult expert familiar with Thomas’ work during her rebellion. Alan Ross-told the insider on the day of the cult.

“She helped people who are part of the Cult Awareness Network connect them with people in Washington’s politics,” Ross added.

In March, a video distributed on Twitter showed Thomas talking about his experience leaving Lifespring at a 1986 Cult Awareness Network event in Kansas City, Missouri.

“When you leave the cult, you have to find a balance in your life as long as you are involved in fighting or exposing it,” said Thomas. “And from another angle, understanding yourself and what inspired you to join the group, and what are the unanswered questions you still need to answer?”

QAnon becomes a conspiracy du Jules

Thomas’ acceptance of the QAnon-style conspiracy theory puzzled many who knew her as an anti-cult activist. she is”Deep state” when Her ally was not hired by the Trump administration And made some written attempts Overturn the 2020 elections. In a text message to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, she said Trump Watermarked mail ballot Track fraudulent votes and their politicians Was arrested It was sent to Guantanamo Bay.

Ross told insiders that he believed QAnon was a cult. The important difference is that QAnon doesn’t have a strong leader.

“In my opinion, QAnon is a cult, but there are exceptions. It is usually the most identifiable element of a destructive cult, an omnipotent and ubiquitous charismatic leader to be worshiped. Q remains anonymous, “Ross said.

QAnon flag

Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

However, Ross states that Thomas’s anti-cult movement is in line with her long-standing political views, so it should be seen separately from its current conspiracy theory. I believe there is.

“In my opinion, Genie Thomas’ involvement in Lifespring in the 1980s has nothing to do with her current politics. Thomas had nothing to do with her time in Lifespring, before, during, and. Later he was always a very conservative Republican, “Ross said.

“I’m sorry to say that the text message she sent, some of the conspiracy theories she believes, and the majority of Republicans may agree.”

Since 2017 QAnon has moved to the forefront of conservative discourseForm a community of people who believe in unfounded secret wars and unfounded plots.

according to Poll in December 2020 According to NPR and Ipsos, 17% of the U.S. population believes in primary QAnon theory “A group of Satanist elites who commit child sexual abuse are trying to dominate our politics and the media.”

Thomas Conservatism and Her Cult Past

Thomas grew up in a stubborn Republican family in Omaha, Nebraska. Throughout her adult life, she was very conservative, including the Tea Party movement and the more fringed Groundswell she founded in 2013 after consulting with Steve Bannon, who later became Trump’s chief strategy officer. I had a relationship with a group.

Now she is deeper into the political realm, spitting out far-right rhetoric and conspiracy, usually in favor of Trump.

“Ginny Thomas believes very deeply. It’s not a product of brainwashing. It’s the belief she had sincerely before entering Lifespring many years ago, the same belief she had when she married Clarence Thomas. ., Someone who shares those beliefs, “Ross said. “That is, she is who she is.”

Ross also says that Thomas’ current advance into conspiracy theory should not undermine all the useful work she has done as an anticult activist and all the people she has helped.

Hassan said, “Parliament is brainwashed, cult, [and] QAnon. “How can a very intelligent and educated person come to believe?” He added that it is important to educate people about the conspiracy.

“I’m not on the phone [Ginni Thomas] The stupidity or madness the media does because I know she is overly influenced by these beliefs. She is a very intelligent and educated person, but her brain has been hacked, “he claimed.

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