Expert: Cult discovered on Saratoga Lake

By Scott Salad

Published April 24th, 2016

SARATOGA— A renowned authority on sinister religious groups believes a cult is operating on the shores of Saratoga Lake, and he's warning parents of young adults to be on the lookout.

Stanley Alan Roper — an American de-progammer and cult expert who rose to prominence during the Branch-Davidian crisis in Waco, Texas in 1993 — said he witnessed while driving around Saratoga Lake in April “organized cult-like activity involving large numbers of young people.”

“This particular faction has members that range between the ages of 18 and 22. They row in synchronized formations, urged on by a leader, or 'savior,' who carries a whistle and a clipboard," said Roper. “I haven't determined if this particular sect is benign or homicidal in nature. They seem relatively peaceful and they're definitely health conscious, but so was the Heaven's Gate UFO cult that committed mass-suicide in the late 90's.”

Roper said he's observed “a remarkable degree of ‘group think,’” which he defined as a “strict adherence to policies handed down by those in authority.” And, based on wording printed on their identical, high-end apparel, Roper believes the cult calls themselves The Thoroughbreds.

“I've been observing The Thoroughbreds for about a month now and what I've found is a bit troubling,” Roper said. “There's a strong sense of exclusivity, or an ‘us-versus-them’ mentality, fostered by leaders for the purpose of subjugating submissive, low-ranking members. This is what's commonly referred to as a persecution complex, and it's a highly effective method of suppressing individual will.”

When asked whether his department was aware that a cult could be targeting area college kids, Saratoga Springs Police Chief Chazz Funderbunk hesitated at first, then scoffed at the idea.

“Huh? Wait, are you talking about The Skidmore College Crew Team?” Funderbunk asked. “You are, aren't you? The Thoroughbreds. That's their mascot name. Ha ha! Very funny. You got me.”

Skidmore's Athletic Director Denise Poochy reacted similarly.

“Our crew team operates out of the boathouse on Fish Creek near Saratoga Lake,” said Poochy. “They practice a few afternoons a week and have meets on weekends. If that's who we're talking about, then I wouldn't frame it as 'group think' or an 'us versus them' mentality. It's more like teamwork and the spirit of competition.”

“Call it whatever you want,” countered Roper. “But if The Thoroughbreds aren't a cult then neither was The Manson Family.”


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