Humorously calling himself “a retired cult leader,” Gary Blankenship has moved to a temporary home in West Virginia and has no intention of drawing attention like he did in St. Agatha earlier this year, according to the Sun Journal of Lewiston.
“The show’s over,” said the 36-year-old Blankenship, who added that he and his family want to live a quiet life away from the spotlight after leaving Maine in March, according to the Sun Journal.
Blankenship was the subject of Facebook gossip about his group’s activities, and public perception about his community was not helped by stories about Blankenship featured in the Sun Journal highlighting fears that he was leading a cult.
Blankenship denied that, saying he wants to form a community of like-minded people who can offer one another support and camaraderie at a Main Street home in St. Agatha that he rented. Blankenship vacated the home as part of a settlement agreement of a lawsuit filed by his then-landlord in mid-February, according to the Fiddlehead Focus.
“Where I’m going next, they’ll be no one but me, my wife and my daughter,” Blankenship said. “I don’t want to be a public figure. I just want to be a simple man.”