Glenn Close discusses trauma of growing up in a cult: “It was really awful”

She said the experience has contributed to the dissolution of her three marriages

Glenn Close has recalled the trauma she experienced as a child growing up in a cult.

Speaking on the final episode of Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry’s mental health docu-series, The Me You Can’t See, the actor discussed her upbringing in the religious group, Moral Re-Armament.

“From when I was seven to when I was 22, I was in this group called MRA, and it was basically a cult,” Close explained (per Oprah Daily). “Everybody spouted the same things and there was a lot of rules, a lot of control… It was really awful.”

Developed by American minister Frank Buchman’s Oxford Group, MRA was founded in 1938 on the idea of the “Four Absolutes” – absolute honesty, purity, unselfishness and love. In 2001, the movement was renamed Initiatives of Change.

Close said the trauma she experienced being raised under the cult’s beliefs has contributed to the dissolution of her three marriages.

“Because of the devastation, emotional and psychological of the cult, I have not been successful in my relationships and finding a permanent partner and I am sorry about that,” she said. “I think it is our natural state to be connected like that. I don’t think you ever change your trigger points, but at least you can be aware of them and maybe avoid situations that might make you vulnerable, especially in relationships.”

Close, who now lives in Montana, said she finds comfort and companionship with her sisters, Jessie and Tina. “I’ve come back to my family,” she explained. “I’m connected to them, when I used to be a whole country away from them for all of my career.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Close discussed mental health and its impact on her family, including the her sister Jessie’s bipolar 1 disorder and her eldest son, Calen Pick, being diagnosed as schizophrenic.

You can watch The Me You Can’t See here.

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