Real Housewives of Orange County star Elizabeth Lyn Vargas opened up about her traumatic past to the RHOC cast during Wednesday’s episode.
The women have accused Elizabeth of not being honest in the past, but in this episode, Elizabeth bares all.
She revealed that she was raised in a religious cult called Faith Bible Tabernacle Church.
“From zero to 13, I was raised in this religious environment,” Elizabeth said in a confessional. “My grandmother was the head of the religious cult and my father was one of the main preachers as well.”
Elizabeth has opened up about sad things in her past like living in poverty and her sister’s heroin addiction, but this is the first time she is opening up about her full backstory.
Elizabeth initially opened up about her traumatic past to castmate Braunwyn Windham-Burke while they were going on a walk in the woods during their girls’ trip to Lake Arrowhead.
“As a young girl, I knew something was wrong with what was going on in this church,” she told Braunwayn.
So what exactly went down in the Faith Bible Tabernacle Church?
Elizabeth explains life in the Faith Bible Tabernacle Church
Elizabeth explained that life in the church cult was intentionally restrictive.
“We couldn’t wear anything else but this uniform. We couldn’t eat anything but what they made us or what they shot,” she continued emotionally. “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.”
She insinuated that plenty of abuse went down at the church.
When Gina Kirschenheiter asked if she had been sexually abused, she replied, “Yeah, bad…By many situations.”
Additionally, in a confessional interview, she revealed she was physically abused “beaten so bad” that she was convinced she was going to “die one day of it.”
However, all of the abuse she endured at the church, she told Braunwyn, “Religious abuse is the worst kind of abuse.”
The church was shut down by the FBI.
Elizabeth revealed that she was the one who had the church shut down by the FBI when she was younger.
“I told the neighbors what was happening inside the church and the FBI came and shut the church down,” she told Kelly Dodd, Gina, and Braunwyn.
She explained to the women how she accidentally had the church shut down.
“We all lived in the church compound. There’s a little tent in my front yard, and the neighbor was a little boy and I had a crush on him. And he came over and got into my tent. And I said, ‘Oh yeah, well these people do this,'” Elizabeth said in reference to the molestation she endured.
“I never knew any different. I thought that’s what they did to kids,” she continued emotionally.
“He went to his family, his family went to the police, the police went to the FBI, and the next day, they shut the church down,” she explained.
She explained that her father was extremely disappointed in her and told her, “You just lost a father. I hope you know that.”
She admitted that she still takes care of her mother and family after all the abuse she endured because she felt like she betrayed her family by having the church shut down.
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.