Lauren Drain became an Instagram model after she was banished from the Westboro Baptist Church. She turned into a fitness model and anti-hate campaigner.
In an emotional Instagram post, she details how she was brainwashed as a teen by the ‘heinous’ ideology of the Westboro Baptist Church. The organisation were responsible for picketing funerals of soldiers and the like.
Writing on Instagram, Lauren said: “Yes, that’s a younger me standing on the American flag & holding up heinous signs while at a picket (possibly that of a fallen soldier).
“I was maybe 15 at the time, brainwashed & indoctrinated into one of the most hated cults in America if not the world. Yes, I am extremely ashamed, remorseful, apologetic & embarrassed for my actions as a brainwashed teen.
“We all have a past, different chapters of our life & this one was mine. I have lost my entire family to this cult – but thankfully I have gained a true life outside of it.”
She then goes on to say how her life has changed and how much better she feels for campaigning against the hate promoted by her family’s church.
She continued: “In the last 12 years since I have escaped I’ve gone on to write a New York Times bestselling memoir that’s helped many understand why the cult does what it does & how children are brainwashed into the ideology. I have gone on countless national TV shows denouncing their ideology & expressing remorse.”
She has started a new campaign called NOH8, which intends to educate the public on how to counter protest. Also, she has kick-started ‘The Safety Net Project’, which helps other young members escape, what she calls, ‘the cult’.
Truly making a difference, she has personally helped almost a dozen young people leave the WBC.
She confirms she is still a Christian, explaining: “However, in my opinion religion of any kind is a personal choice, full of personal values, definitions & views that should stay just that, personal.
“I don’t think anyone should judge or persecute another human being or any group of individuals based off of those personal, chosen, beliefs. I am against any & all forms of violence, discrimination, bullying or bigotry directed at someone else for any reason.”