cults Inside The Purple People House, The Freaky, Stand-Offish Sex Cult In Northern California  

Anna Lindwasser
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You may have heard of the "Purple People," a Lafayette, CA, group that lives in purple houses and travels in purple limousines. If you live in the area, you may have even seen them. But who are the Purple People anyway? They're actually a highly controversial group called Lafayette Morehouse that has been labeled a sex cult

Is Lafayette Morehouse a cult? Its connection to sexuality is inescapable; its members teach sexual practices and techniques, and even used to offer college degrees on the subject. As for the cult designation, that depends on who you believe. Some claim that residents are free to come and go as they please, and that Lafayette Morehouse is simply a community that encourages pleasurable living. Others say the group uses coercion and mind control to keep people closed up behind purple doors.

You can come to your own conclusions after reading these stories about Lafayette Morehouse. But be warned: this list has plenty of explicit content.

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Photo:  Lafayette Morehouse/via YouTube

They Staged A Public Demonstration Of A Woman Having An Orgasm


The most notorious story about Lafayette Morehouse concerns their public display of a woman having an orgasm that lasted for three hours. If this seems shocking or inappropriate, bear in mind that while the event was open to the public, it took place on fairly remote Morehouse property.

During the 1976 demonstration, a woman named Diana lay on a gynecological table in view of the audience while Lafayette Morehouse founder Victor Baranco stimulated her genitals. Though there were rests, including cigarette breaks, Diana claimed she was able to sustain an orgasm for three hours through the sexual techniques she'd learned in the commune. These techniques mainly revolved around appreciating each moment during the sexual act for what it was, without expecting it to look or feel a certain way. 

According to Diana, when the demonstration ended, audience members immediately started having sex. Every woman on the premises, and most of the men, apparently got to experience orgasm that night. 

Diana is still a member of Lafayette Morehouse, and she teaches courses such as Fundamentals of Sensuality and Expansion of Sexual Potential.

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They're Not Purple, But Their Houses And Their Cars Are


The "Purple People" are not actually purple. However, much of what they own, including their homes and their cars, is purple. The bold color is intended to help people who enter their grounds understand that they are entering an unusual space. One source claims that purple was chosen specifically because it was the favorite color of Suzanne, founder Victor Baranco's first wife.

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Photo:  Lafayette Morehouse/via YouTube

They Engage In Polyamory And Group Sex


If an organization has a reputation as a sex cult, it's usually because they engage in some unusual sexual practices. Most residents of Lafayette Morehouse are engaged in coursework about sexuality, but the research reported on in these classes often draws on sexual activities performed within the group. 

While some residents are celibate or monogamous, some engage in casual sex, polyamorous relationships, and group sex. For example, founder Victor Baranco and his first wife, Suzanne, have been reported to engage in all three. In at least one case, the activities were performed with a student who was attempting to learn to experience sexual pleasure more deeply through hands-on experience.

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Photo:  Lafayette Morehouse/via YouTube

They Believe In Responsible Hedonism


Lafayette Morehouse values hedonism, or the pursuit of pleasure and self-indulgence. Many of their teachings center around experiencing as much pleasure as possible. However, they also emphasize doing it responsibly. Their courses emphasize not only seeking pleasure for oneself, but also ensuring that other people are experiencing pleasure, too.

Founder Vic Baranco puts it another way: 

"It's like a boat. The woman is the steerer and the man is the motor. And once you can relax, men, and settle down into slavery in the motor room – what a gas! They take care of you sexually, feed you and clothe you. They take care of all your creature comforts and all you gotta do is shovel coal."