Bethany Joy Lenz Names Cult She Was in for 10 Years

After revealing last year that she was a part of a cult for a decade, Bethany Joy Lenz is finally naming the group she joined at the time.

When unveiling the cover for her upcoming memoir Dinner for Vampires on Thursday, the cult that the One Tree Hill actress joined was also identified: A church covenant called The Big House Family.

More from The Hollywood Reporter

“Being a writer has been a great, private joy in my life since I was about 12,” she shared on Instagram. “This isn’t the first book I thought I’d write, publicly, but as difficult as this subject matter is to untangle, I’m grateful I get to share my story, my way. It’s a story of forgiveness and a roadmap to how manipulation works, with heartache and humor along the way. We all make mistakes and I hope Dinner for Vampires reminds you that, no matter what weird roads you’ve gone down, you’re not alone.”

Publisher Simon & Schuster describes the upcoming memoir as one that chronicles Lenz’s “secret double life in a cult.”

The publisher’s description reads: “An only child who often had to fend for herself and always wanted a place to belong, Lenz found the safe haven she’d been searching for in a Bible study group with other Hollywood creatives. However, the group soon morphed into something more sinister — a slowly woven web of manipulation, abuse and fear under the guise of a church covenant called The Big House Family.

“Piece by piece, Lenz began to give away her autonomy, ultimately relocating to the Family’s Pacific Northwest compound, overseen by a domineering minister who would convince Lenz to marry one of his sons and steadily drained millions of her TV income without her knowledge,” the publisher’s description continues. “Family ‘minders’ assigned to her on set, ‘Maoist struggle session’-inspired meetings in the basement of a filthy house and regular counseling with ‘Leadership’ were just part of the tactics used to keep her loyal. Only when she became a mother did Lenz find the courage to leave and spare her child from a similar fate.”

In an appearance on Southern Living’s podcast Biscuits & Jam last year, Lenz had opened up about being a part of a cult throughout the duration of her time on the teen drama, as well as the support she received from her co-stars when she walked away from it.

“I was a smart person. I was a good actor. You can’t be a good actor without being smart,” she said. “You can’t dissect a script without being able to assess things. But I had a big blind spot in my life — and everybody does — and mine was something that I was going to have to work out on my own.

“I feel like a lot of the people there, whether consciously or subconsciously, knew that just their presence and being an encouragement and letting me know that they still loved and cared about me in spite of the fact that I was a little weird, that made a big difference. It made me feel like there was safety when it came time for me to leave that group,” she continued.

Dinner for Vampires releases Oct. 22.

Best of The Hollywood Reporter