Not sure what they thought was going to happen at the university, but okay.
Beth Pensky, a 54-year-old single mother from New Jersey who now lives in Florida, never tells anyone that she’s estranged from her only son and daughter.
“I lie all the time,” said Pensky, who told The Post her kids have rejected her because they’re “woke” and she is not. “I can’t tell anyone I don’t have a relationship with them. I had so much shame about it. It looks awful for me and makes me feel terrible so I lie.”
But her attitude changed when she — and a number of other mothers — read a Post story in November about Annabella Rockwell, a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College who claimed she’d been “totally indoctrinated” into hard-left ideologies at the school and had to be deprogrammed.
“I saw Annabella’s story and my life turned upside down,” Pensky said. “I realized I wasn’t alone and I saw what happened to her was similar to what I think happened to my kids. I never even considered trying to find a deprogrammer. I didn’t know they existed. But I think it’s too late for me and my kids. They won’t even talk to me.”
A Manhattan mother of five daughters told The Post she saw their indoctrination into gender and race ideologies start at Dalton, one of New York City’s poshest private academies — and worsen when her girls went to colleges. Most of them went to Ivy League schools.
“The emotional stress is unbelievable,” said the mother, who did not want to be publicly identified. “I consider myself a Democrat and a liberal but it doesn’t matter. I’ve had fights with some of my girls just because I wouldn’t get myself a Rainbow pride Starbucks cup. The cup itself became this huge battleground. Apparently it matters what cup you hold.”
The mother said two of her daughters have tried to estrange themselves from her because they’re critical of what they see as her lack of political correctness and disinterest in gender and race ideology.,
“We actually would be estranged if it weren’t for me giving up,” the mother told The Post. “I keep coming back to the battlefield. I wanted a deprogrammer but didn’t know where to get one so I try to do it myself.”
K. Yang, 36, a former activist for trans and gay rights in upstate New York at one point identified with “they/them” pronouns. But she said she deprogrammed herself before becoming a full-time deprogrammer in 2018 — and is now busier than ever.
In addition to her website, StopFemaleErasure, Yang has a website called The Deprogrammer and runs a YouTube account under the handle “The Deprogrammer” and works with parents and their children individually.
Yang often leads anti-gender ideology protests at gender clinics and prisons, as well as at the National Monument in Washington, DC, and outside the United Nations. A typical YouTube video of hers is titled “Blurred Lines: The Agenda to Confuse Children About Sex & Gender.”
“A lot of these parents are completely bewildered,” Yang said. “A lot of them noticed a marked difference in their children’s behavior. Then all of a sudden ‘she’ identifies as ‘he.’ A lot of this is like a cult except parents don’t realize their child is being indoctrinated — not from an old-fashioned cult that takes you away somewhere but through schools and their devices. This is happening to kids everywhere, even those with a robust family life.”
Tennessee-born Ted Patrick, now 92, was well-known and often controversial in the 1970s and 1980s as the “father of deprogramming.” He helped hundreds of parents deprogram their children after getting them out of cults like the Moonies, the Hare Krishnas and the Children of God. He got into the work, he said, because his own son had joined a cult.
The problem, he told the Washington Post in 1979, was naivete: the college-educated ignorant, Patrick called them.
“That’s how they get these kids into these cults, ’cause they don’t know better!” Patrick said at the time. They haven’t seen the hard-core life! Man, I grew up with my daddy running numbers and the bootlegger in the apartment downstairs.”
Patrick, who lives in San Diego, told The Post that he still helps parents — and that deprogramming work is more in demand than ever. He claims to have deprogrammed more than 2,600 people in his career.
“It’s worse now than it was then,” Patrick said of the 1970s. “But parents are more scared and weak than they were then. You’ve got to get these kids alone. I’ve snatched people from Yale. I deal with the mind. You have to go into the mind, into that container, and bring the real person out. Once you get the person out you have to get the person thinking again — thinking like a critical thinker.”
Another mother named Dorothy, who did not want her last name used, also recognized her struggles with and near-estrangement from her 27-year-old daughter when she read The Post story about Rockwell.
The two had long been close but when her daughter went to a prestigious college out West and began taking gender studies and women’s studies, everything changed.
“Reading about Annabella was the first time I connected the dots to everything that had happened with my daughter,” Dorothy said.
Dorothy said they have been estranged off and on since her daughter’s sophomore year in college, with the young woman once refusing to go to Thanksgiving dinner with the family because she said they were celebrating “Columbus’ genocide.”
“She had what she called ‘an awakening’ and became very angry at me and her father,” Dorothy said. “It was a big personality change. We are conservatives so [political leanings] became a huge problem. We were not allowed to visit her on campus. She went on a mission to convert her brother against us. She told him that he should be against us because we’re conservatives and that we all should be against men.
Basically, this stuff has gotten too extreme for Gen X liberals.
It’s an extreme cult.