Is The Midnight Club’s Paragon a Real Cult? What is the Hourglass Sign?

Although Netflix’s ‘The Midnight Club’ has eight main characters, only one among them serves as the audience surrogate, Ilonka. Ilonka is diagnosed as having thyroid cancer. Ilonka searches the internet for a cure after doctors give up on her. She discovers about Brightcliffe hospice and the story of Julia Jeyne who apparently recovered completely. Ilonka, hoping for similar results, convinces her foster father that she should be admitted to Brightcliffe Hospice. Brightcliffe has lived on the sprawling estate for many years. It belonged to Paragon cult in the 1940s. We have the answers to your questions about whether Paragon is actually based on a real religion. SPOILERS Ahead.

Is Paragon a Real Cult or a Fake?

‘The Midnight Club’ is based on the 1994 namesake book by Christopher Pike. We first learn about Paragon from Ilonka’s description of Brightcliffe. Mark, the nurse practitioner, ushered Ilonka and her foster dad inside. He stated that the house was built by Stanley Oscar Freelon and Vera Freelon in 1901. It was used as a halfway house during the Depression Era. Paragon took control of the property.

Paragon was established in 1931 by Regina Ballard. This woman, who had lost her husband and son to pneumonia and polio, is featured on the show. Paragon was founded by her as a new-age philosophy of health. It evolved to something more. Regina was heavily influenced from the ancient Greek religion. She began worshiping the five sisters to healing: Panacea Hygeia Iaso Aglaea and Aceso. Regina started using the name the last goddess as her alias over time. Four other women were part of the group that fulfilled the roles for the four goddesses.

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Image Credit: Eike Schroter/Netflix

Under Regina’s leadership, Paragon delved deep into the Greek faith, going as far as performing ritual sacrifices. Regina’s daughter, Athena, became increasingly worried about her mother’s behavior. She escorted the other children out of her mother’s house and called police. The authorities discovered that all of the adult members were dead except Regina. After Regina’s death, she was taken to a mental facility. Julia reached out to Regina years later in hopes of curing her terminal illness.

Paragon isn’t based on any real-world cults, but as the show indicates, there were quite a few of them in the 1930s and 1940s, including I AM Sect, Silver Legion, and the Psychiana Movement. The Silver Legion was, however, largely a Nazi-symathizing and facist operation in America. The founders of I AM Sect are Guy W. Ballard, a mining engineer, and his wife Edna.

What’s the Hourglass Sign?

Paragon members considered the hourglass symbol to be time. Paragon iconography for the hourglass was very different to the one associated with the device, which is often symbolic of death. The paragon hourglass’ top was blacked out to indicate that the sand has fallen from the top. They believed the hour glass could be turned time and again.

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Image Credit: Eike Schroter/Netflix

This suggests that Regina and her followers believed they could reverse time and heal any illness. The Paragon hourglass was used to mark the entire Brghtcliffe property as well as themselves. In one of the final scenes of the season, we see an hourglass symbol on Dr. Stanton’s neck, which implies that she is none other than Athena.

Read More: Sandra dies or is she cured in The Midnight Club [Spoiler]

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