RHOC’s Elizabeth Lyn Vargas: I Was ‘Molested’ While Growing Up in a Cult

RHOC’s Elizabeth Lyn Vargas: I Was ‘Molested’ While Growing Up in a Cult


Elizabeth Lyn Vargas is continuing to speak out about growing up in a “religious cult.”

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During the Wednesday, December 30, episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Elizabeth received support from costar Braunwyn Windham-Burke after the newbie experienced a panic attack stemming from a discussion regarding her upbringing. “From zero to 13, I was raised in this religious environment,” she explained in a confessional. “My grandmother was the head of the religious cult and my father was one of the main preachers as well.”

The Missouri native continued, “As a young girl, I knew something was wrong with what was going on in this church. We couldn’t wear anything else but this uniform. We couldn’t eat anything but what they made us or what they shot. We couldn’t leave the ranch — we were stuck on a commune. We couldn’t even go to a hospital, they knew how to control every single person on that property.”

Elizabeth said she felt she needed to “hide” her pain over the years, noting that it was “easier to live in a fantasy world of happiness than live in my reality of depression.” Braunwyn, 43, replied that her castmate’s upbringing “puts everything into perspective” and she also apologized for being “petty” toward her in the past.

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Later in the episode, Elizabeth dug deeper during a conversation with Braunwyn, Gina Kirschenheiter and Kelly Dodd amid their Lake Arrowhead trip. She explained how her family got “kicked out of the church” after she confessed what was going on behind closed doors.

“I went through a situation as a young girl that no one, no woman, should ever go through — no girl should have to go through,” she shared with the ladies. “We were in a church environment and all this s–t hit the fan, and I told my neighbor what was happening inside the church and the FBI came to shut the church.”

When Gina, 36, asked whether she was “molested,” Elizabeth revealed that “many men” in the church abused her.

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In an episode that aired earlier this month, Elizabeth opened up about the “very religious situation” she was raised in. She explained how she was told to “not open my mouth or tell the truth” about what was going on.

“I grew up in complete fear, anxiety, anguish,” the Bravolebrity said in a confessional. “It was very, very hard for me. I was always scared for my life because we were beaten so bad, that I thought for sure I was going to die one day of it.”

In a promo for the upcoming episode of RHOC, Elizabeth’s brother claimed he was almost beat ‘to death’ by cult leaders because he was dyslexic. “[They thought] I was possessed,” he told his sister.

The Real Housewives of Orange County airs on Bravo Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.

If you or someone you know has or is experiencing sexual abuse, call RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

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