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Bethany Joy Lenz Explains How 'One Tree Hill' Saved Her From Being in a Religious Cult

Bethany Joy Lenz Explains How 'One Tree Hill' Saved Her From Being in a Religious Cult

Bethany Joy Lenz will open up about her experience in a religious cult in her new memoir that is on the way.

The 42-year-old Hallmark Channel star is opening up about the memoir in a new interview and revealed how being on One Tree Hill saved her from her life in the cult.

“It was the entirety of my time on One Tree Hill,” Bethany told Variety. “I got involved in something that seemed very rote. I grew up in a Christian home where Wednesday night Bible studies were very common. I think that there’s a lot of people that can resonate with that. And I just went to another one. I moved to a new state, moved to a new city, and I went to another Wednesday night Bible study and that’s all it was to me. But the friendships seemed deeper, more vulnerable somehow, as time went on. The person that was brought into the leadership position was sociopathic and most of us who were involved were in our early 20s.”

Bethany also talked about the cast and crew knowing that she was in the cult.

Keep reading to find out more…

“It was open with them — it was the whisper behind the scenes, like ‘You know, she’s in a cult.’ For a while, they were all trying to save me and rescue me, which is lovely and so amazing to be cared about in that way. But I was very stubborn. I was really committed to what I believed were the best choices I could make,” Bethany said.

She continued, “Legally, I don’t think they’re allowed to be called cults, they’re ‘high demand groups.’ The nature of a group like that is isolation; they have to make you distrust everyone around you so that the only people you trust are, first and foremost, the leadership and then, people within the group if the leadership approves of them, and isn’t in the middle of pitting you against each other, which happens all the time also. It built a deep wedge of distrust between me and my cast and crew.”

“As much as I loved them and cared about them, there was a fundamental thought: If I’m in pain, if I’m suffering, I can’t go to any of these people. So you feel incredibly lonely. But a lot of the people in that group lived there, and were in it day after day. So in a lot of ways, One Tree Hill saved my life, because I was there nine months out of the year in North Carolina. I had a lot of flying back and forth, a lot of people visiting and things like that, but my life was really built in North Carolina. And I think that spatial separation made a big difference when it was time for me to wake up,” she added.

If you missed it, watch the first teaser for Bethany‘s next Hallmark Channel movie, A Biltmore Christmas.

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Bethany Joy Lenz