From high-flyer to sex slave: Cults that prey on successful women

HD88RX SMALLVILLE, Allison Mack, Aaron Ashmore, 'Bride', (Season 8, episode 160, November 20, 2008), 2001-2011. © Warner Brothers

Helen Zuman was 22 years old and an idealistic Harvard University graduate when she joined Zendik Farm, a community in North Carolina that focused on the arts and the environment. Most of the 55 members at the time were in their 20s and 30s, too, and seemed, she says, ‘so healthy and vibrant, and knew what they wanted in life’. 

An aspiring writer, Helen was keen to develop her craft at the farm. ‘But when I got there, I was expected to do physical work all the time. Art was reserved for people who were higher up the food chain, and it was incredibly hierarchical,’ she says.

There is a fundamental desire to say, ‘What was wrong with that person?’ but it is often just a normal life blip 
Dr Alexandra Stein

The child of divorced parents and inexperienced in relationships, she was drawn to the strict dating practices at the farm: dates had to be requested through an administrator, who would issue a written permission slip if the request was approved. ‘But each affidavit was for one night only. And anyone who formed a long-term relationship could expect it to be broken up,’ Helen says.

The person controlling the relationships was Arol Wulf (who died in 2012), then the recent widow of Wulf Zendik, the poet and bohemian environmentalist who had founded the farm in the 1960s. According to Helen – who joined six months after he died – Zendik reportedly had sexual relationships with every female member of the group…..Click Here To Keep Reading

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