Bethany Joy Lenz, renowned for her role as Haley James on the popular teen drama series "One Tree Hill," and more recently as a Hallmark actress, has courageously opened up about her past, revealing a decade-long involvement with a cult.
This unexpected disclosure was made on the "Drama Queens" podcast, hosted by her former co-stars, Hilarie Burton Morgan and Sophia Bush, along with guest Michaela McManus. In a candid and somewhat haunting revelation, Lenz stated, "I was in a cult for 10 years.
That would be a really valuable experience to write about." Her statement suggests a journey that not only included a decade within the unnamed cult but also an intense period of recovery and self-discovery in the years following her exit.
Lenz's Struggle for Truth-Telling
While the idea of delving into her past experiences and crafting a narrative around them seems appealing, Lenz admitted feeling the weight of responsibility to "get it right." She voiced concerns about potential legal and personal ramifications, as people are still connected to the unnamed cult.
These factors, she concedes, complicate her ability to freely narrate her experiences. In spite of these challenges, Lenz remains a passionate writer and artist, frequently expressing herself through songs and other creative mediums.
She hinted at potential future projects, raising the curiosity of her fans and followers. Beyond her stint on the podcast, Lenz previously opened up about her spiritual journey in a poignant Instagram post following the death of theologian and preacher Tim Keller.
She honored Keller's immense influence on her life and thanked him for helping her reconstruct her faith amidst a tumultuous time. She wrote, "The only reason I’m still a Christian today is because, 10 years ago, after many years of faith being used against me as a tool of manipulation, Tim Keller taught me how to re-build my faith using reason and logic." She praised his compassionate and rational approach to faith, which allowed her to retain her spiritual identity while simultaneously rediscovering a sense of wonder and mystery in her beliefs.
Through Keller's teachings, Lenz found the strength and confidence to regain trust in her faith, ultimately falling in love with a version of Jesus she had never known before. Her journey led her to find solace and freedom, pulling her out of despair and leading her towards a path of healing.
Her heartfelt tribute to Keller ended with an expression of gratitude for her journey and the transformative impact Keller's teachings had on her life. "I will forever be grateful for the day I walked into Redeemer Presbyterian church on the Upper East Side in 1999," she concluded.