Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis


Best Senior Thesis in Literature

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Kevin Moffett

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This thesis is a novella told from the perspective of a young woman named Mea. The story seeks to inject dark humor and absurdity into the loneliness and ennui exploited by cult recruitment. Mea recounts the tale of her young adulthood characterized by self-sabotage and poor decision-making. Dabbling in substance abuse, working an unfulfilling job, and dating a man she doesn’t love, Mea receives a reality check when she doesn’t get invited to her college best friend’s wedding. Grappling with the prospect of ending up alone, Mea meets a couple who recruits her into their cult, the Xanadu Crew. Centered around Ancient Astronauts, earth-dwelling Luciferians, and humanity’s return to the cosmos, their doctrine models those of other UFO religions, namely Heaven’s Gate and Scientology. With her personal life falling apart outside of her membership in the Crew, Mea faces the decision of whether or not to abandon her old life completely. That is until a random character from her past offers her another way out.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.