How could this happen to a bright young woman?
By any measure the story of Josephine Herivel, rescued from the clutches of a Maoist commune in London, is a remarkable one.
She was a child prodigy in music, educated in Belfast and the daughter of a gifted code-breaking father who later went to London and then cut herself off from her family.
How could such a bright young woman find herself in the clutches of an organisation for decades in one of the great cities of the world, unable or unwilling to escape?
How could she not see through the cant of the organisation's leadership and the ruination of her own life?
We may never know what sort of brain-washing she was subjected to.
But her story is a chilling warning of how people can be controlled by those with sinister motives.