There are many strange things on TikTok, but a possible cult takes the cake as the most outrageous. Members of The Garden commune have been active on the app, and it has raised some concerns.
TikTok is a fun app filled with all types of video content from millions of users from all over the world. As a result, a few strange pieces of content pop up on user’s ‘For You’ pages from time to time.
TikTok users took note of users promoting a free-living commune which raises some suspicions. Now we are taking a glimpse into the TikTok famous free-living commune in Tennessee that many suspect is a cult.
The Garden is a free-living commune on a 21½ acre plot near the border of Tennessee and Kentucky. This commune has been providing off-the-grid housing to inhabitants tired of modern living for 12 years.
The Garden community was started as an extension of the Rainbow Gathering movement by Patrick Martion. The movement consisted of a group of people who met and lived in remote places for weeks at a time.
“I had this vision where we’d get this land, I’d put it out there on the internet and let people know what we were planning on doing, and that people would flock to it,”
Says Patrick Martion
The Garden was an extension formerly named ‘Shut Up and Grow It’ and spread a message of living off the land. Records present Martion as the sole owner of the land purchased for $52 000 in 2009.
Since January, several TikTok users began noticing videos of people inviting them to join a commune. About featuring a woman with dreadlocks, a red-headed man, and another with a teardrop tattoo shared this message.
“You’re welcome to come at any time and leave at any time,”
Says TikTok User TreeisAlive
Their TikTok videos offered an overview of the “low impact” lifestyle at The Garden. The TikTok videos showed a glimpse of the commune’s impressive compost and recycling system to attract like-minded individuals.
Unfortunately, the TikTok promotion of the commune has backfired as the growing attention has been skeptical. While many have accepted the invitation, others question whether the commune is actually a cult.
While inhabitants of The Garden commune deny that they are running a cult, many think otherwise. Plenty of TikTok users expressed their concern about how the commune targets young and vulnerable audiences.
The commune advertises itself as a safe space for people who are not accepted in mainstream society. There are no background checks, which can entice those who consider themselves misfits, especially young people.
“They’ve essentially doxed themselves on a volatile platform that a huge large young audience like TikTok, it’s kind of wildfire waiting to happen.”
Says TikTok User Renne Worly
Experts have warned on the possible dangers of the commune since it does have some cult characteristics. However, the inhabitants still deny it and have closed the commune to the public after receiving threats.