New York City pharmaceutical heiress Annabella Rockwell claims her mother paid a “deprogrammer” $300 a day after believing her daughter had been “brainwashed” into attending an elite liberal college exclusively feminine that left the young woman “totally indoctrinated” and separated from the parents who raised her.
“I left school very anxious, very nervous, very depressed and sad,” Rockwell, now 29, recently told The New York Post. “I saw everything through the lens of oppression, prejudice and victimhood. I came to school as someone who saw everyone the same. I came out looking for injustice where I could and automatically assuming that all white men were sexist. My thoughts already they were not my own.”
Rockwell, a former competitive figure skater who grew up on the Upper East Side, told The Post that she was initially thrilled to attend Mount Holyoke College, a $60,000-a-year institution for women in rural Massachusetts, in 2011. .
Unlike other freshmen, she said she did not participate in the “mold chop,” an initiation ritual intended to disregard gender roles by cutting her hair. However, in her junior year, Rockwell told the Post that she noticed a change in herself after taking a Gender Studies class.
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“This professor is talking to me about patriarchy,” Rockwell said. “I barely knew what the word meant. I didn’t know what I was talking about. I wasn’t someone who was into feminism. I just knew that I felt like I had always been free to do what I wanted. I never experienced sexism. But I was told that there’s the patriarchy, and you don’t even understand that it’s been working against you your whole life. 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.”
It was then that she said that her relationship with her mother, whom she once considered her best friend, changed.
“I felt like I had to show her how she was wrong and expose her and do that to everyone who wasn’t seeing things right,” Rockwell said. “Teachers fostered alienation [from parents] and even offered their houses to stay. They’d say, like, don’t go see them, come stay with us for the holidays. Most of my classmates also believed all these things. If you didn’t, you were ostracized.”
Her mother, Melinda Rockwell, told The Post that she believed her daughter had been brainwashed. She admitted that during a heated argument at the family’s home in Palm Beach, Florida, she threw a vase out of a window in anger over what had become of her daughter. In addition to her expensive “deprogrammer,” she also enlisted the help of her daughter’s former tennis coach, Scott Williams, but was warned that it could be seven years before Annabella reverted to her old ways of thinking. .
“It was like walking a tightrope,” said Melinda Rockwell. “I couldn’t push too hard or I’d lose her, but if I let her go, I felt like I might never see her again. It was as bad as trying to get a kid off the streets who’s using heroin. Everyone’s so sure it won’t happen to their son, but it will happen. [Professors and older students] tell the students they are special, it’s like they are anointed, then tell them how oppressed they are and what victims they are and how they have to go out into the world and be activists to stop the oppression.”
Another former Mount Holyoke College student, 29-year-old conservative activist Laura Loomer, spoke to The Post about campus culture, saying she left after just one semester of her freshman year due to bullying.
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“The whole 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] they were designed to be these elite institutions for women at a time when places like Harvard only accepted men. But they are no longer places for ideas and debates and a complete education. They are centers of indoctrination.”
“If you send your son there, you are signing him up to hate patriarchy and white people and the founding capital of our country,” he added. “It is a bastardization of higher education in order to arm naive young women in order to promote a toxic agenda.”
Annabella Rockwell, who worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign after graduating in history, acknowledged her mother’s “relentlessness.”
“If my mom hadn’t kept nagging me and given up, I know where I would be right now,” Rockwell told The Post. “Mount Holyoke found her match in my mom. If it wasn’t for her, I’d probably be living in Massachusetts, working for some super-progressive politician, dating people I had nothing in common with except ideology, and drinking everything.” time. And she would make me miserable. But I would be too stubborn to look in the mirror. He had to be very humble to admit that he was wrong. And that everything they told me was so hypocritical.”
He also said that his views began to change during the 2020 George Floyd protests.
“My social media was an echo chamber of everything I had been taught at Mt. Holyoke,” Rockwell said. “Everyone had the black square and it was all ‘no justice, no peace.’ But I was starting to think, ‘Why are we burning down companies in the name of empowerment? How does this help blacks? It just doesn’t make sense.’ It just started clicking right then and there about how hypocritical it was.”
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Rockwell, who now raises funds for the conservative advocacy group PragerU, said it was not his intention to smear other classmates, acknowledging that they were all “young and impressionable” in a college environment where “diversity of opinion was never allowed.” .
Fox News Digital reached out to Mount Holyoke College for comment on Sunday, but they did not immediately respond.