We should all be aware of the Tnevnoc cult!
"This paper will attempt to demonstrate that what is currently termed the “cult menace”(particularly as it relates to recruitment, socialization and social organization) is not a novel development on the American religious scene. On the contrary, throughout our history the appearance of new religious movements has aroused very similar fears and accusations. Specifically we shall examine the recruitment and indoctrination practices of the Tnevnoc Cult
, a communal, sectarian group affiliated with a large and powerful international religious organization. Both the Tnevnocs and the larger parent body were targets of social repression in America during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Since we are concerned primarily with recruitment and socialization in relation to contemporary charges of manipulation and mind control, we shall focus only on the parallels between the Tnevnocs and such contemporary groups as the Unification Church and Hare Krishna, not on larger traditions or parent bodies of the groups of either era. The Tnevnocs no longer are as visible or as controversial as they once were due to a gradual trend toward accommodation both by the movement and by powerful institutions within American society. However, as we document in the ethnographic composite which follows, many of the recruitment and socialization practices of even the accommodated twentieth century Tnevnocs were rigidly segregated by sex and our data deal only with the female Tnevnoc component, we make no claim to generalize to the entire movement.
Like their modern-day counterparts in the current “cult explosion,” such as the Unification Church and the Divine Light Mission, the Tnevnocs made a point of attempting to recruit members when they were still in their teenage and young adult years. This age cohort, Tnevnoc leaders recognized, was the least encumbered by domestic and occupational responsibilities, and its members were, not surprisingly, highly susceptible to idealistic, altruistic appeals. Much of this recruitment was openly conducted in schools and on campuses. On the basis of limited contacts with cult members, young girls were induced to commit themselves totally to the cult. If the cult succeeded in gaining control over them, it subjected them to such thorough indoctrination that they became totally dependent on the cult and in many cases lacked the will to free themselves from it...."
Of course, Tnevnoc is "convent" spelled backwards.