With the recent arrest of Lawrence Ray, leader of a sex cult that traced its origins back to a dorm at Sarah Lawrence College, parents and officials in the State of New York are calling upon lawmakers to regulate the state’s burgeoning sex cult industry.
“We’ve gotta get our arms around this thing,” said one state senator, “it’s like the wild west out there. These self-help sex cults are springing up right and left, and hardly anyone’s paying a damn bit of attention.”
The latest revelations come just months after Keith Raniere, leader of the Albany, New York-based Nxivm sex cult, was convicted last June on multiple counts of racketeering, forced labor and sex trafficking.
“What you have here with the Cult of Larry, is a situation where just about anybody with a smartphone can start a cult these days,” said Det. Jim Gordan of the Westchester Police Department. “You set up an account on one of these apps like CultFindr or Gulliblr, and within minutes, you can find cults in your area, or you can start your own cult and have some highly suggestible submissive doing your laundry, running errands, draining their bank account, or turning tricks. The app will facilitate all financial transactions, including bypassing the members bank account and depositing all earnings directly into the cult leader’s account.”
“This isn’t your grandparents hippie free-love cult, or utopian back-to-the-earth commune,” said the senator. “Those guys spent years attracting potential members and grooming them. Now, you just log in and take your pick. We need training and certification for anyone wanting to start one of these cults, and we need a mandatory 72-hour waiting period for anyone wishing to join, during which the potential member will receive education and counselling.”
Some question whether the Lawrence Ray example even fits the definition of a cult. According to Dr. Marion Culpepper of the State University of New York, “Highly persuasive, manipulative people are everywhere. Pimps have been around for centuries. Only when a group of privileged, east-coast undergrads at one of the most elite colleges in the country gets sucked in by a two-bit hustler does it suddenly become a cult.”