Does Ginni Thomas’ Cult Past Explain Her Interest in QAnon and 2020 Election Conspiracy Theories?

Dr. Steven Hassan, a cult interventionalist, told Inside Edition that she may have escaped one cult and is now interested in another.

UPDATE: In a previous version of this report, we incorrectly stated that Dr. Steven Hassan “helped deprogram Ginni Thomas” from the Lifespring cult. Dr. Hassan says he was not involved in any deprogramming of Thomas that might have occurred.

Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has been outspoken about her interest in the QAnon and her belief that the election was stolen from Donald Trump.

As newly unearthed footage showed the Nebraska attorney — who said she attended Donald Trump’s “Stop The Steal” rally on Jan. 6 before it turned violent — speaking about her departure from the now-defunct Lifespring, experts are wondering if her past is what prompted her controversial viewpoints today.

“Is Ginni Thomas under Donald Trump’s sway? She’s under the spell of either a person who is controlling her or an ideology that’s cultic, like this belief that God wants Donald Trump to be president,” cult interventionalist Dr. Steven Hassan told Inside Edition.

Hassan was the one who first shared the 1986 video of Thomas addressing a cult awareness group about her departure from the now-defunct Lifespring. He had also been the one moderating the talk with Thomas that day.

“She was horrified she had gotten taken over and wanted to help others,” Hassan explained. 

In the speech she made just one year before becoming married, Thomas explained her struggle to escape Lifespring. “I want to expose Lifespring,” she said. “I want to keep other people from going through that experience.”

Before dissolving in the mid-1990s, Lifespring claimed to have 400,000 members. It was founded in 1974 and purported to help people gain self-confidence and control over their lives, but according to former members, some of those so-called exercises included having to disrobe and ridiculing each others’ body fat, the Washington Post reported.

Thomas said in the video, “I guess I was struggling with not going overboard and fighting a cult, but I know that’s important to.”

Hassan could be heard then replying, “That’s great, part of you wants to help others, but part of you needs to take care of yourself."

However, Hassan's views and beliefs on cults have been widely discredited by other social scientists, according to a spokesperson for Ginni Thomas, adding that many of them say his theories have long been proven false.

Others, including Fox News’ Laura Ingram, say Thomas and her husband are being unfairly targeted for political reasons. 

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