Chrissy Stroop grew up in a cult and had to learn survival skills as a child while spending time in the wilderness.
Stroop’s mother taught her and her sisters how to survive in the Angeles National Forest, including how to find food, water, and shelter, and how to avoid dangerous animals. Stroop also learned how to be vigilant and aware of her environment, as well as how to freeze in dangerous situations. Despite the skills she acquired, she struggled with dissociating from nature and her own body due to the cult’s teachings. Stroop discusses the patriarchal nature of the Field, where boys were taught to dominate each other, and physical superiority was valued. The cult’s leader, the Grandpa, had ultimate authority and decided who was obedient or not. Ultimately, Stroop learned to feel safe in nature because the rules were simple and predictable, unlike the chaotic and unpredictable cult environment.
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