Raw and inspiring, Unapologetically Glorious is the memoir of a woman breaking free from the past and societal-imposed standards on her own terms and in her own way. Above all, this is a love letter to the woman Kelly Thiel was, the woman she is, and the woman she is becoming.
In 2017, while much of the country watched the press unveil the inner workings of NXIVM, Kelly Thiel was grappling with what this revelation meant about herself. As an unsuspecting, ancillary piece to the NXIVM puzzle she often thought: how could I have been so naïve? How could I have enrolled so many people? How could I have not seen the red flags? Kelly’s unashamed and unapologetic questioning of herself reveals how simple it is to become enmeshed in a cult, to be faced with hard truths, and how to fight like hell to take back control of her destiny.
The process Kelly describes is purposeful and calculated and preys on the desire all of us have: a place to feel at home, a place to call home. In her search for home, Kelly shows how cults look like a friendly hand saving you from drowning, when really, they’re what’s holding you underwater. You alienate yourself of the identity you’ve built, scramble to recruit others to survive, and retrain your brain to explain away the incongruities. Kelly’s is a story that is uniquely hers, even as it is one that many women and survivors of trauma can call their own.