From religious cultist to online porn vixen

What began as a young boy who was brought up in a racist community's quest for a Christian truth, culminated in the birth of a leaderless, yet extremely devoted cult, which eventually forced the same young boy and his wife to flee their hometown and settle in a small Northern Cape town. Suki and Brandon Brandt  are a small town Northern Cape couple five years into recovering from religious cult indoctrination, which left deep emotional scars. The couple say they have years of damage to undo, as they try to overcome their past of believing in a racist and oppressive...
What began as a young boy who was brought up in a racist community's quest for a Christian truth, culminated in the birth of a leaderless, yet extremely devoted cult, which eventually forced the same young boy and his wife to flee their hometown and settle in a small Northern Cape town.

Suki and Brandon Brandt  are a small town Northern Cape couple five years into recovering from religious cult indoctrination, which left deep emotional scars. The couple say they have years of damage to undo, as they try to overcome their past of believing in a racist and oppressive interpretation of the Bible.

Soon after they started dating when Suki was a mere 15 year sold, the pair cut ties with their families to move to a town of like-minded believers. Suki believed her purpose in life was to bare children and serve as a devoted wife to Brandon.

From searching for truth to preaching fear and hate

It all started with Brandon, who was raised in a Christian home, in a conservative Afrikaans family.

His upbringing was also steeped in racism, mostly encouraged by his father who was, according to the couple, an angry and abusive man. The father not only filled Brandon's mind with fear and hatred of other races, but also with the fear of a harsh, punishing God who favoured only those who walked a certain path.

Brandon ended up taking these early life philosophies to their (il)logical extremes, finding solace in Biblical research and interpretation. This lead him down a rabbit hole of conspiracies and extreme interpretations and soon, Suki and friends of the teen couple began to look to him and others who though like him for wisdom.

They soon left their families in search of a town more welcoming of their extreme beliefs. A small, Western Cape dorpie where their faith and numbers grew. It was there where they met members of larger, more influential far-right groups, who further indoctrinated the group into believing that they were on the right path.

One of their primary beliefs was of the danger and inferiority of black people and other races.

In their eyes, white people were God's chosen children, much like the beliefs shared by other notorious right-wing groups locally, with whom they interacted, and who Suki still refuses to speak about for fear of retribution. The often met with these infamous right wing religious groups, one of which espouses the belief that former President Nelson Mandela's death would usher in a spiritual war between black people and white people. It was a day which Suki particularly feared to the point of panic.

"Because there was no leader, I think it could have been more dangerous because people were often doing their own thing and what they believed was the right thing to do… I often compare it to the Nazis and it does sound a little bit out there,  because I mean it ended up with this belief of being a superior race, a chosen people… But and that's why it could have been dangerous and it could be dangerous for the people that are still in there," she laments.

A Damascus moment

It wasn't until the birth of their child in 2014 that the pair's perspective slowly began to change.

According to Suki, their decision to leave the cult was cemented in 2015 when they were confronted with a strict interpretation of scripture that states a disobedient child must be sent to the elders of a community for punishment. This Old Testament-inspired rule meant punishment could even be escalated to banishment. According to Deuteronomy, the elders could even go as far as stoning disobedient children to death.

This was a turning point, as they could no longer reconcile their beliefs with concern for their daughter, lead them to questioning more of the rules of their cult.

This ultimately lead to them making a break, and escaping to a small Northern Cape town, where they still currently live and work.

But the process of letting go of long-held beliefs is not easy, and the struggle to escape their past remains.

"For me to have left the religion was a big deal and not at all easy. It causes so much anxiety to realise that most of your life was just a massive lie" Brandon says.

"I gave my all to this religion and to find out that nothing was real was such a shock. And to then return to the world, and redefine who you are and discover yourself again, is a massive undertaking. Many things change… Like gender roles.

"Our specific roles have changed completely since leaving the religion. It is no longer a case of the woman being subservient to the man. It's more of a partnership and we are each other's equals. I no longer rule her and she's no longer just a subservient wife."

And despite the massive turnaround in their lifestyles, it has remarkably also brought the couple closer to their family. Whereas the community and his father's racism was what drove Brandon toward religious extremism, the couple say now that they have become more enlightened, so have those close to them, with Brandon's dad even making overtures toward reconciling with his son, and bidding his own prejudices farewell.

The birth of the 'open minded' porn couple

"What we believe now is totally opposite to what we believed back then, We are the most open minded people that you will ever meet," Suki explains.

Trying to rebuild a life for themselves, they have found a career path very much in line with their new liberal ideals on things of the spirit.

The couple are now raking in tens of thousands of views of their content on multiple channels, and making a healthy additional income from producing pornographic videos, and celebrating their newfound sexual freedom.

Also read: South African OnlyFans creator talks about earning R130K a month from being nude

Suki stars alone in most of the videos, with the comments sections usually showing that the Afrikaans community loves people doing it in their taal.

"(Brandon) was encouraging me to try it a year before I tried it. It was he said I could do very well. We were at this point very sexually liberated and we have a very open minded relationship we allow each other a lot of sexual freedom."

Though they have a significant following, Suki remains modest, saying they are not porn star, since they are "only just starting out" in the industry. And though she won't reveal how much they are earning, it does contribute to the household.

One of the channels her content is on boasts that their top models earn upward of $40 000 (R669 158) per month, while South African models have also spoken about how catering to international audiences have allowed them to earn between R50 000 and R150 000 monthly.

Simnikiweh@citizen.co.za

** Not their real names

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