Photo by Chewonki Semester School / CC BY-2.0
In a long overdue move, the state of Pennsylvania has officially designated pre-orientation program PennQuest as a cult.
PennQuest, which is a school-sponsored activity at Penn, is one of the stranger cults out there. As part of their activities, Penn students take freshman on hikes through the Pocono Mountains, as the freshmen are encouraged to partake in unusual tasks ranging from pooping while holding hands, to playing a “game” where cult members lick gross objects.
From the very beginning of PennQuest, leaders force new recruits to sing songs and participate in chants professing their love for the cult. Over the course of the trip, leaders drill the songs into recruits’ heads so much that the recruits end up singing the songs of their own accord. After the indoctrination is complete, members are expected to carry a branded water bottle to demonstrate their loyalty to other members.
PennQuest leader Emma Stinger said the designation made sense. “PennQuest is absolutely a cult. Have you heard the type of shit we do?" she said, adding that the state recognition did not surprise her. "Honestly, I have no idea how we weren't an official cult already."
Governor Tom Wolf said Pennsylvania was aware of PennQuest for a long time, but was only able to get it recognized as a cult recently. “We were well aware of the activities of the PennQuest cult,” he said. “Now that they’re an official cult, we can begin to crack down on their extremely confusing activities.”