Revelations that Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has been one of the biggest and most influential proponents of Donald Trump's election theft conspiracies has stunned some of her former associates who remember her work opposing cults in the 1980's.
Thomas has been under increasing scrutiny over texts she sent to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows imploring him to listen to fringe lawyers pushing legal strategies that would have allowed the former president to remain in the Oval Office. Then, last week, it was reported that she had been emailing GOP lawmakers in Arizona to "Stand strong in the face of political and media pressure,” and overturn Joe Biden's win in their state.
In the new NBC report, Allan Smith and Alex Seitz-Wald cite a recent report about Ginni Thomas' involvement with the Lifespring cult decades ago about which Jane Mayer of the New Yorker wrote, "Her parents helped get her a job with a local Republican candidate for Congress, and when he won she followed him to Washington. But, after reportedly flunking the bar exam, she fell in with a cultish self-help group, Lifespring, whose members were encouraged to strip naked and mock one another’s body fat. She eventually broke away, and began working for the Chamber of Commerce, opposing 'comparable worth' pay for women."
According to Smith and Seitz-Wald, people who knew Thomas back then are appalled by seeing her go down the election fraud conspiracy rabbit hole.
"It’s difficult to reconcile Thomas then and now, four people who worked with her at the height of her anti-cult activism through the late 1980s said in interviews. After she spent years trying to expose cults, these people found Thomas’s efforts to promote outlandish plans to overturn the 2020 results, particularly the text messages and emails in which she referenced false election conspiracies that originated in QAnon circles on the internet, surprising. Democrats and Republicans alike have said QAnon supporters exhibit cult-like behavior," they wrote.
According to former "deprogrammer" Rick Ross, who knew Thomas years ago, "Ginni Thomas was out there active in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s and then she really went a different path," while admitting she should be given credit for her previous efforts against cults.
“I think Ginni Thomas probably feels that Lifespring is something that she understands and can break down and that QAnon is something entirely different,” Ross added. “My impression is that she’s just an extremely conservative political activist. And that she’s very anti-anyone on the left. Speaking as someone who has done more than 500 cult interventions you can’t deprogram someone’s sincerely held beliefs.”
Another associate who didn't want to give their name over safety fears, told NBC, "Here is Ginni Thomas sort of getting sucked into the basically equivalent of a cult again."
“Some of the team that did her intervention has stayed in touch with her over the years,” recalled another associate from her anti-cult days. “But she became progressively this level of right-wing. This is off the scale for me.”
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