Imagine living in isolation without money, TV, cars, or contact with your family. That's what Dr. Phil's guests say they were forced to do in a bizarre religious sect.
A Mom in Mourning
"In 1997, Stacy had been there about a year, a year and a half. All contact had been cut off. All letters were coming back. No phone calls. Nothing. I had this overwhelming feeling that she needed me," Paula recalls. "I got a hold of the sheriff down there. He said, 'I'll take you out there. I wouldn't go by yourself if I were you.' He went up to the door, knocked and he asked for Stacy. She came to the door, and I started to shake. When I looked at her, her eyes " they're glassy, like, expressionless. She said they had changed her name to Gracious River. The last day of the visit, Stacy said, 'Mom, you can come back, just let us know and please bring Wendy. I'd like to see Wendy.' And that's the last time I saw my daughter."
Soon after her visit, Paula received an ominous phone call from Stacy. "She said, 'This is Gracious River. I'm calling to inform you to never contact me again. You're no longer my mother. This is my family now.' And she hung up the phone," she recounts. "I've tried to go back, twice, and was not allowed to see her."
Since that trip, Paula hasn't been able to get over her daughter's devastating dismissal. "Sometimes at night, I'll go outside and look up at the sky, at the moon, and it makes me feel closer because I think well, if I can see the moon, she can see it too," she reflects.