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Kai Anderson is a local Michigan suburban cult leader. He is a character in Cult portrayed by Evan Peters. He is the main antagonist of the season.

Background

In 2014, Kai returned home after getting a degree in religious studies. His father, who is a lawyer was injured in a motorcycle accident and was paralyzed from the waist down. This caused him to abuse his wife and accuse her of an affair. He is also seen verbally abusing Kai.

Kai states that before the accident his father was firm but fair with them and his mother. One night Kai hears muffled arguing and gunshots. He finds that his mother, no longer able to stand the abuse and accusations, has shot his father she then turns the gun on herself and pulls the trigger in front of Kai. Clearly in shock, Kai calls his older brother, Dr. Rudy Vincent, who convinces Kai that the best course of action is to cover up the murder-suicide. He reasons that they will have to sell the house and that their sister Winter will not be able to finish college due to loss of their parents' income. He has also just started his practice and doesn't want to explain to clients that his parents murdered each other. After locking pinkies, they put their parents' bodies in bed, cover them with lye, padlock the door and leave them to decompose.

When Kai asked what he should say to Winter, Vin tells him to wait and tell her when she returns home for Thanksgiving. When Winter returns home she is understandably upset that they have kept their parents' deaths from her. She threatens to turn them in but Kai uses Vin's logic on her saying who will pay for Vasser. Three years later and the bodies are still in the house. Kai admits to Beverly that he still talks to his mom. Despite their status, he still talked to his mother's decomposing body, usually holding her hand. He also talked to the corpse of his father, still blaming him for what happened and that he gets pleasure from watching him decompose. He promises his mothers rotting corpse that he will become something for her. [1]

On Election Night, Kai walks in on a bound Gary Longstreet urging him not to scream too loud in his current predicament lest he attracts the wrong kind of attention. Kai manipulates and riles the humiliated man up and convinces him to sever his own hand with a saw so he'd be able to cast his vote. Kai accompanies the injured Gary to their local voting booth. He watches with some amount of glee as Gary shouts: "Welcome to Trump's America, motherfuckers!".

After Election Night, Kai begins drawing all kinds of people to him. He requests Harrison Wilton as his personal trainer and calls him strong. Kai is quick to point out the humiliating aspect of Harrison's work situation: being constantly humiliated by his boss, Vinny, for being gay. He wins Harrison over by advising him to reject labels and promises to always be there for him no matter their differences. After Kai's first session with Harrison, Kai masturbates in the gym shower and lures Harrison in to watch him. As his sessions with Harrison are ending, Kai notices that his trainer sounds a lot like Vinny. When confronted Harrison almost tearfully admits that his life is in tatters, that he's nobody going nowhere. Kai convinces his first devotee that 'nowhere' is the ideal jumping off point. That night Kai assists Harrison in murdering Vinny and disposing of any evidence linking them to the crime. Meadow walks in on the pair of them dismembering Vinny's corpse. Kai is able to sway Meadow to his side by praising her artistic abilities (designing eerie ghoulish clown masks) to the sky.

Kai becomes interested in news reporter Beverly Hope. He discovers that after repeated live 'pussy grabbing' taunts Beverly assaulted one of her hecklers and was forced to seek psychiatric counseling. He catches the frustrated reporter slashing a rival's tires and advises her on how to do it more efficiently. Kai invites Beverly to dinner and impresses her by accurately stating her problems. The aspiring leader next explains his philosophy to Beverly and offers to make her his spokesperson and partner. Realizing that as a reporter Beverly requires proof, not just words Kai requests a few days to deliver said proof. After having seen footage of her hated rival Serena Belinda's gory demise, Beverly realizes that Kai made it happen. The rage-filled reporter seeks Kai out and proclaims she's ready to believe in him. Kai hugs Beverly close and once again promises her an equal partnership. [2]

Personality and Appearance

Prior to his parents' gruesome deaths, Kai appeared to function normally and was, by society's standards, an average teenager. After witnessing his mother and father's murder-suicide, and then the Biblically-motivated violence of Pastor Charles, Kai snapped and became mentally unstable, obsessed with the lust for power. By the events of Cult, he is 30 years old and has shoulder-length hair dyed blue, which he sometimes ties back in a bun. He appears to be very muscular, and has a lean build sporting toned abs and biceps. He is fair-skinned, and frequently switches between the attire of a cult leader and, when in the face of the public, the suit of a professional councilman.

Kai is obsessed with the concept of fear, and aspires to use it to manipulate people. He states in his speech that his desire is to release chaos to achieve change, suggesting he is delusional. He is noted for holding the mentality that "not everyone can be saved", and that in order for the world to flourish and regrow, "the world should be burned down to rebuild another one".

Kai tested as a genius when he was a young child and was invited to join Mensa, but declined because, according to him, he was also very troubled. This would appear to be true, as Kai has demonstrated all the signs of a sociopath: he is extremely manipulative and charming, is devoid of a moral compass or a conscience, and has absolutely no feelings of empathy or remorse towards other people. He appears to lack fear, as evidenced by when he harassed several Latin-American workers on the street in order to intentionally be beaten by them, employing Harrison and Meadow Wilton to record the inciting violence as a means of furthering his political agenda, which revolved around gaining the racially motivated fear of the public. Despite this, he is described by his sister as having severe paranoia - a fact supported by Kai's exceeding detachment from reality and inability to distinguish between what are his hallucinations or actual people, including seeing and communicating with visions of other cult figures in history, such as Charles Manson.

His harassment towards ethnic minorities and the LGBTQ community are incisive elements for him being perceived as a racist and homophobe, although it is not entirely clear whether he is actually biased against them, or just exploits pre-existing prejudices and tensions to create chaos in the surrounding environment. He is, however, openly misogynistic, viewing women as inferior to men, and holds the belief that they are incapable of holding places of power and importance in society. Despite this, he has displayed a sexual interest in both males and females, though it is unclear if he is actually attracted to them or just uses sexual orientations as a means to further entrance others into following his deranged viewpoints. He intentionally masturbated in front of Harrison Wilton in a gym shower as a means of attracting him to join his cult, and later shared a one-night-stand with Detective Samuels for the same reasons, who he was able to convince that "sex with men is better than with any woman"; additionally, he describes Samuels to his sister as being "quite attractive".

Kai may be aroused by the concept of incest, as he attempted a threesome between himself, his sister, and Samuels as a means of giving birth to a "Messiah baby". After Samuel's inability to become aroused by the situation and his sister's refusal to partake in the act, Kai has since come to believe that his son is Oz Mayfair-Richards (per the influence of Ally Mayfair-Richards, who has fed him this lie as a means of self-preservation).

Story

Kai was watching the 2016 election alone in his basement and was delighted by the news of Trump's victory, while his sister Winter was devastated by it, having worked for Clinton's campaign. Kai went to Winter's room to gloat about the win and they proceed to lock pinkies.

Later, Kai attended a city council meeting, which Mr. Chang serves on, about security for the local Jewish community center. Kai states his objections, talking about using fear to control people, though the council disagrees with him and the motion is passed. Kai is later seen harassing a group of Hispanic men on the streets by filling a condom with his urine and throwing it at the men while yelling racist slurs. The men beat Kai up while an unknown person records it. [3]

After his vicious beating Kai, wearing a suit and an endearing armbrace is interviewed by various reporters in front of city hall, as he intends to propose himself as a city councilor. The Trump supporter is quick to point the finger at those 'dangerous illegal immigrants' for his mishap and further stokes the fires of ignorance and hatred. Later Kai just happens to show up at Ally's newly fortified house. Sensing that she's very uneasy he does his best to augment the woman's sense of unease even more. [4]

Kai shared a moment of kindness with Ally as she was attacked by protesters outside her restaurant, stating how he took care of her as promised. Subsequently, Kai recruited both Meadow and Harrison Wilton, performing the pinky ritual with each of them individually. The young man spurred the couple to reveal their deepest fears and desires, but not before unleashing his own anger on Meadow, accusing the woman of wasting his time. [5]In Episode 11 Kai Anderson is sent to jail as Ally Mayfair-Richards submitted Kai to the SWAT team. Kai recruited a fellow inmate and used him to simulate himself and escape prison. Kai then visits Ally Mayfair-Richards at her senate campaign, only to be shot by Beverly. [6]

Notes

Quotes

  • Kai: "The revolution has begun."
  • To Tom: "There is nothing more dangerous in this world than a humiliated man."
  • To Ally: "Enjoy your latte, bitch."
  • To Winter: "What fills your heart with dread?"
  • To Winter: "What's the thing that scares you the most?"
  • Kai: "Vote Kai Anderson. Vote for the man who can take your fear away. They're out there."
  • To Harrison: "A man with no label has an allegiance only to what is right."
  • To Harrison: "Pain is a call to action. Pain is essential, just like anger is. Take pain in one hand and anger in the other. Use them."
  • To Beverly Hope: "Slashing tires? You should be pulling out a knife and slashing their fucking throats."
  • To Ally Mayfair-Richards: "I'm building a real army, of real men. We will get out and we are coming straight for you."
  • To Gary: "It's not what you've done, it's what you're about to do."

Gallery

References

  1. Episode: Holes
  2. Episode: 11-9
  3. Episode: Election Night
  4. Episode: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
  5. Episode: Neighbors From Hell
  6. Episode: Great Again
  7. TV Line.com, Lena Dunham, Emma Roberts' Cult Characters Revealed, More AHS Scoop
  8. Ryan Murphy on Instagram: AHS Season 7: Red, white and blue clue
  9. Ryan Murphy reveals a concept-art for Kai and Ally

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