Inside the "Cult-Like" Summer Camp Where Women Say They Had to Hug Their Abusers

Published Apr 29 2021 at 5:40 PM GMT
  • Courtesy of Lynsey Doe and Brian Wimer/Estey Bomberger LLPAt the Association for Research and Enlightenment"s long-running summer camp in Virginia, established 90 years ago by a self-described spiritualist and clairvoyant, campers are told they'll experience 'a different kind of vacation.
  • Sprinkled among hiking, swimming, and other traditional camp activities, A RE encouraged campers to participate in unconventional pastimes, like massage trains that resembled a conga line of male counselors and young girls, hugging circles, and learning 'body-mind-spirit' resources.
  • During the "Liberated Underwear Movement," underage campers would run through the rural grounds in their underwear.
  • On "Goddess Night", girls would be expected to strip naked and run through a field while male staffers and fellow campers cheered them on.


  • Published Apr 29, 2021 5:40 PM GMT