Amy Coney Barrett’s Ties to People of Praise Spell Trouble for America

The secretive Christian sect has its fair share of secrets. This shouldn’t have been one of them.

Valentine Wiggin
4 min readJun 24, 2022


People clad in blue, white, and otherwise neutral casual clothing reading books
Source: Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett was found to have ties to a cult called People of Praise in 2020. When this news came out, many people were not surprised that Barrett was part of this group. Having lived with the founder Kevin Ranaghan, Barrett’s confirmation as a Supreme Court justice has had many Americans concerned about how separation of church and state continues to erode.

Based in the Midwestern United States, People of Praise is a secretive Christian sect that many people describe as a cult. As a “charismatic Christian community” made of various denominations, this organization unites a wide range of Christians seeking communal support.

People of Praise has established schools in impoverished areas in the Midwest US, such as the Trinity Schools in South Bend, Indiana, Falls Chruch, Virginia, and Eagan, Minnesota. In addition to that, they grow food on an urban farm. People of Praise has also been credited with (supposedly) lowering crime rates in the areas they helped.

Despite the apparent good that People of Praise has done in their local communities, more and more scandals have unfolded and made their way to outsiders. Ex-member Cynthia Carnick witnessed founder Kevin Ranaghan performing various sexual acts on his wife in front of their children and other adults. In addition to that, another former member, Colette Humphrey, had to forfeit control of her financial and romantic life.

Once Ranaghan decided that he and Humphrey were “in common” financially, Humphrey handed over her paycheck. This allowed Ranaghan to have full control over how she spent it. After gaining financial control of Humphrey, Ranaghan decided when and who she should date. This makes People of Praise rife with potential for financial abuse.

Not only does People of Praise allegedly control its members’ paychecks, it maintains dominion over its members’ minds and bodies. A Democracy Now interview with Coral Annika Thiell, another former People of Praise member, reveals how People of Praise psychologically abuses its members.



Valentine Wiggin

Death-positive, sex-positive, and LGBTQ-affirming Christian. Gen Z. I hate onions. She/her