Glenn Close has opened up about being raised in a “cult” and the negative impact it’s had on her life.
The Oscar-nominated actor appears on The Me You Can’t See, a new documentary series co-created by Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey, where she spoke candidly about her childhood.
Close’s father, Dr William Taliaferro Close, joined conservative religious group Moral Re-Armament in 1954, when Close was seven.
He became so caught up in his beliefs that he moved the family to the group’s headquarters in Switzerland. She remained part of the group for 15 years until she pursued her acting career in Virginia.
“I was in this group called MRA and it was basically a cult, everyone spouted the same things and there’s a lot of rules, a lot of control,” she said in the first episode of the mental health series.
“Because of how we were raised, anything you thought you’d do for yourself was considered selfish,” she continued. “We never went on any vacations or had any collective memories of stuff other than what we went through, which was really awful.”
Close said that she believes her experience was a “trauma”, which has affected her “psychologically”.
“It’s astounding that something you go through at such a young stage in your life still has such a potential to be destructive,” she said.
“I think that’s childhood trauma, because of the devastation, emotional and psychological, of the cult.”
Close, who has been married three times, added: “I have not been successful in my relationships and finding a permanent partner and I’m sorry about that.”
The actor has never spoken about how she left the organisation, but has previously been open about the nightmares her experience left her with, and the therapy she sought to overcome them.
Founded by the Reverend Frank Buchman in 1938, Moral Re-Armament was centred on the belief that changing the world begins with change in the individual.
Lady Gaga also appeared on the Apple TV+ series, revealing that she was raped at 19 by a music producer who “dropped [her] off pregnant on a corner” following months of abuse.
You can contact the Samaritans helpline by calling 116 123. The helpline is free and open 24 hours a day every day of the year. You can also contact Samaritans by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The average response time is 24 hours.
In the US, you can contact Mental Health American on 1-800-23-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour hotline