Pharma heiress had to undergo deprogramming to exorcise ‘woke’ indoctrination from elite college

When a young heiress to a pharma fortune gets to graduate from an exclusive, $60,000-a-year college, you’d think the world would be her oyster, but according to Annabella Rockwell, 29, her mother had to fork out $300 a day for a deprogrammer to help her unlearn much of what she was taught at the all-women’s Mount Holyoke in Western Massachusetts.

Rockwell, who minored in politics, says the woke indoctrination she received at Mount Holyoke led her to drink and temporarily drove a wedge between her and her mother, Melinda, whom Annabella had previously considered her best friend, the New York Post reports.

“I was so excited about going to this renowned, respected school in Massachusetts,” Rockwell told The Post. “I literally arrived there bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I was just so happy.”

Mount Holyoke, in her junior year, introduced the former competitive figure skater to Gender Studies and the “patriarchy,” and, according to her, “totally indoctrinated” her into thinking she was the victim of oppression.

“This professor tells me about the patriarchy,” she said. “I barely knew what the word meant. I didn’t know what she was talking about. I wasn’t someone that into feminism. I just knew that I felt I had always been free to do what I wanted. I never experienced sexism.”

“But I was told there’s the patriarchy and you don’t even understand it’s been working against you your whole life,” she explained. “You’ve been oppressed and you didn’t even know it. Now you have to fight it. And I just went down this deep rabbit hole.”

By the time she graduated in 2015, Rockwell says she’d been “brainwashed.”

“I left school very anxious, very nervous, very depressed and sad,” she said. “I saw everything through the lens of oppression and bias and victimhood.”

“I came to the school as someone who saw everyone equally,” she continued. “I left looking for injustice wherever I could and automatically assuming that all white men were sexist. My thoughts were no longer my own.”


Her drinking problem began while at the school, which she says had a shocking drinking culture, with freshman campus rituals aimed at challenging traditional gender roles. One such ritual — one which Rockwell avoided — had girls cutting off their hair in a “MoHo chop.”

Melinda told The Post that the daughter she had been so close to penned a “horrible manifesto” as soon as she graduated, in which she accused her mother of treating her like a “wind-up toy” and a “doll.”

Annabella then claimed her mother never loved her.

Using tactics out of what most psychologists would agree are pulled from nearly every cult’s playbook, Rockwell says Mount Holyoke alienated her from her mom.

“I felt I had to teach her how she was wrong and expose her and to do that with everyone who didn’t see things correctly,” Rockwell said of her behavior towards Melinda. “The professors encouraged alienation [from parents] and even offered their homes to stay in. They’d say, like, don’t go see them, come stay with us for the holiday.”

“Most of my classmates believed all this stuff, too,” she revealed. “If you didn’t you were ostracized.”

The fearless conservative activist, Laura Loomer, had her own experience with Mount Holyoke where, as a freshman in 2011, she was bullied by her classmates and professors over her right-leaning views.

After one semester — and an “I Hate Laura Loomer” thread on an anonymous college chat board — Loomer had had enough and left the school.


“The entire culture there revolved around hating men and being a lesbian,” Loomer told The Post.

“Mount Holyoke and all the Seven Sisters [schools, including historically women’s colleges Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Smith, Radcliffe, Vassar and Wellesley] were designed to be these elite institutions for women at a time when places like Harvard just took men,” she stated. “But they’re no longer places for ideas and debate and a well-rounded education. They’re centers for indoctrination.”

“If you send your kid there you’re signing them up to hate the patriarchy and white people and the founding stock of our country,” Loomer continued. “It’s a bastardization of higher education for the sake of weaponizing naïve young women for the sake of advancing a toxic agenda. Basically, the college says they’re all about progressivism and equality but there are a lot of mean girls of all ages there.”

While Loomer escaped the “mean girls,” Rockwell stayed, and the experience turned her into someone her mother no longer recognized.

“She was no longer the Annabella I’d known all her life,” Melinda said. “This girl was the most bubbly breath of fresh air to everyone. She lit up a room. But the light was stolen from her at that school. It was extinguished. It was no different than if she’d been taken away by the Moonies or the Children of God.”

As you do with victims of a cult, Melinda hired a deprogrammer to save her daughter. At $300 a day, Melinda was warned it could take up to seven years to undo the damage.


“It was like walking a tightrope,” Melinda said. “I couldn’t push too hard or I’d lose her, but if I let go I felt I might not see her again. It was as bad as trying to get a child off the streets who’s on heroin. Everyone is so sure it won’t happen to their child. But it will. [Professors and older students] tell the students they are special — it’s like they are anointed — then they tell them how oppressed they are and what victims they are and how they have to go out in the world and be activists to stop the oppression.”

Her daughter appreciates her mom’s efforts, crediting her ongoing “relentlessness” with helping her to leave Mount Holyoke, woke ideology, and the Democratic Party behind.

She is now a registered Republican and a fundraiser for PragerU, an advocacy group that uses videos to promote conservative values.

Speaking to the organization’s founder, Dennis Prager, Annabella, who for a time worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, said she would be “miserable” were it not for Melinda’s persistence.

Now living in Florida, Rockwell said, “If my mom had not kept harping at me and not given up I know where I would be right now. Mount Holyoke met its match in my mother. If it wasn’t for her, I’d probably be living in Massachusetts, working for some super-progressive politician, hanging out with people I had nothing in common with except ideology and drinking all the time. And I’d be miserable. But I’d be too stubborn to look at myself in the mirror. I had to really humble myself to admit that I was wrong. And that everything I was told was so hypocritical.”

Still, the former student doesn’t want to smear her old classmates, even though most of them, she believes, would look down on her now.

“They were young and impressionable. It wasn’t fair to anyone that there was so space for discourse,” she said. “While I was there the school preached all the time about how diverse it was. But diversity of opinion was never allowed.”

Melissa Fine


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