Yellowjackets Episode 2 Reveals a Chilling Real-Life Cult Connection

“It’s heliotrope, it’s not purple.”

Yellowjackets has always had cult vibes. From the first glimpse of the Antler Queen, it’s very obvious that the power of belief would have a huge role in the lives of the survivors, and Season 2 has doubled down on that with the introduction of Simone Kessell as Adult Lottie. Lottie has channeled her traumatic experience in the woods (and the inpatient treatment she received after rescue) into a cult — or rather, an “intentional community.”

But immediately, it’s clear this cult isn’t a purely fictional entity — it owes inspiration to one of the most insidious American cults.

When Natalie was kidnapped by Lottie’s cult members, she wakes up handcuffed to a bed. While she does make a few attempts at escape (where she sees what looks like someone being buried alive) she eventually resigns herself to living on the campus for at least as long as it takes to figure out Lottie’s whole deal, or at least her role in Travis’ death.

Lisa brings Lottie (or, rather, “Charlotte”) a smoothie while dressed in heliotrope in Yellowjackets Season 2 Episode 2.

When we finally see the cult members, they are surprisingly wearing exclusively purple. “It’s heliotrope, it’s not purple,” Lottie says. “We make the dye ourselves, from the flowers used to treat wounds.”

If you’re a lover of cult documentaries, this surely sparked comparison with Netflix’s 2018 documentary Wild Wild Country. The documentary followed the rise of Rajneeshpuram, another “intentional community” in Wasco County, Oregon. The group’s leader, Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh, decreed that the members should only wear the colors of the sunrise: yellow, orange, red, and purple. Curiously, the congregants would usually wear orange and red with deeper purples usually worn by Rajneesh’s right-hand-woman, Ma Anand Sheela.

Rajneeshpuram members wave during a driveby from Bhagwan Rajneesh, in his signature Rolls Royce.

Matthew NAYTHONS/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Curiously, the opposite is true of Lottie’s cult. While everyone is dressed in different shades of heliotrope, Lottie wears an orange dress with a purple pashmina over it — differentiating her from her followers but still sticking within the Rajneeshpuram color scheme.

If Lottie’s cult is anything like the Rajneeshpuram, things could get very dangerous. In order to keep non-members from voting in local elections, Rajneeshpuram purposefully infected salad bars at multiple nearby restaurants with salmonella, leading to hundreds of people falling ill.

Could Lottie’s cult also resort to unusual tactics against those who oppose them? They seem to be living pretty peacefully wherever they are, but where Natalie goes, chaos tends to follow, and there’s no way Lottie would go down without a fight.

We may not know exactly what Lottie’s group is up to, but we know now that she served a role in Travis’ death, the tragedy that’s haunted Natalie since the beginning. Surely there’s something darker afoot: If Rajnesshpuram proved anything, it’s that there’s always more than meets the eye with these sorts of insular communities.

New episodes of Yellowjackets premiere Fridays on the Showtime Anytime app and Sundays on Showtime.

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