How did they grow?

December 30, 2004

Some cults have a long shelf-life, but sometimes you wonder how they survived a week in existence. I have no other comments to make on this news story from Reuters. I just can’t figure out how and why they stayed together for so long. Good food?

The super-reclusive, 280-person German cult Villa Baviera, holed up in Chile since 1961 and worshipping of former army nurse Paul Schaefer (now age 81, with whereabouts unknown), broke into the public eye in a November Reuters dispatch describing how most members have finally, after four decades, come to realize that they were mistaken in their belief that Schaefer is God’s messenger on Earth. The cult lived frozen in time, with few modern conveniences, wearing clothing from the 1930s, and in total obedience to Schaefer, who had imposed many idiosyncratic policies, including an ironclad no-intimacy rule.


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