Ann Lee from Manchester was a female cult leader. She was a Quaker who, after all four of her children died whilst young, rejected sex. Forming the Shakers, so named for their ecstatic dancing which led to hysteria and hallucination, she became known as Mother Ann for reflecting the feminine aspects of God.
Moving to America in 1774, the Shakers grew to six thousand, but her rejection of sex led to persecution, Ann being branded a witch. Dying in 1784, she began to appear in Shaker meetings and headed a number of spiritual entities who appeared to the sect. Today, only one tiny Shaker community remains.
(c) Anthony North, Feb 2007