Cults

Cults Podcast

Mystery. Manipulation. Murder. Cults are associated with all of these. But what really goes on inside a cult? More specifically, what goes on inside the minds of people who join cults and leaders who start them? Every Tuesday, Greg and Vanessa (co-hosts of the podcast Serial Killers) explore the history and psychology behind the most notorious cults. Cults is part of the Parcast Network and is a Cutler Media production.

E68: “Fellowship of Friends” - Robert Earl Burton
In 1970, his fellowship began with just two members huddled around a dining room table in Northern California. But within a few short years, Burton’s influence would reach across the globe, preparing thousands of members for an apocalypse. And while their eyes were turned towards the heavens, he stole their children behind their backs.Sponsors!Quip - Quip starts at just $25 and if you go to GetQuip.com/CULTS right now, you can get your first refill pack for FREE.Torrid - Go to Torrid.com and use Promo Code ...

E67: “Kashi Ashram” Pt. 2 - Joyce Green
What started as a mission preaching tolerance and empathy, quickly turned sour when rumors of drug abuse and financial impropriety started to swirl. The majority of what we know about Kashi Ashram surfaced during a bitter divorce between the ex-public relations director of the group, and his wife, who was serving as a monk in the group. Parcast News - Be sure to check out Parcast’s first fictional crime show MIND’S EYE at Parcast.com/MindsEye!Sponsors!Calming Comfort - Go to CalmingComfortBlanket.com and us...

MIND’S EYE, Parcast’s First Psychological Thriller!
We have a holiday gift for you… Parcast’s first fictional crime show AD-FREE! In Mind’s Eye, a serial killer is back and homicide detective Kate McClay fights against psychology, unsolved crimes, and even her own family... The scariest monsters are those hiding inside our own minds. Continue the story of Mind’s Eye NOW by listening to the next episode - “Lost Forever.” Search and subscribe to MIND’S EYE anywhere you listen to podcasts, or at Parcast.com/mindseye. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit mega...


E66: “Kashi Ashram” - Joyce Green
What do Julia Roberts, Ivanka Trump, and Arlo Guthrie all have in common? They were all financial backers of the charismatic housewife turned cult leader, Joyce Green. She founded Kashi Ashram in 1976 in Sebastian, Florida and began community service projects to help the LGBT and HIV-positive communities. Controversy would eventually strain Kashi Ashram, turning some of Joyce’s closest allies against her.Sponsors!Calming Comfort - Go to CalmingComfortBlanket.com and use Promo Code CULTS at checkout to recei...

E65: "Freemasonry" Pt. 2 - The cult that built America
Masonic ideals helped shape one of the most powerful nations in the world. The Declaration of Independence was signed by at least nine Freemasons. Yet, the secret society has long been associated with political controversy, witchcraft, and even murder. If you liked this episode, leave us a nice review! It really helps new listeners find the podcast!Sponsors!Audible - For a limited time, you can get 3 months of Audible for just $6.95 a month if you go to Audible.com/CULTS or text CULTS to 500 500. Caffé Mons...

E64: "Freemasonry" - The cult that built America
One of the oldest secret organizations in the world that dates back to centuries.  The movements developed by the Freemasons changed the course of history. Originally founded as a working union, it evolved into one of the most exclusive international clubs controlling world politics. Sponsors!Caffé Monster - Available in Mocha, Vanilla and Salted Caramel. Caffé Monster: Chill it down, Shake it up, Enjoy!Kopari - Go to KopariBeauty.com/CULTS to make the safe switch today, and save $5 off your first order whe...


E63: “The Way International” Pt. 2 - Victor Paul Wierwille
A disgruntled pastor of the Evangelical and Reformed Church creates his own religious group in 1942 after claiming he received Biblical secrets dating back from the First Century AD. By 1980, The Way International was one of the largest and wealthiest cults on Earth. Despite it’s tremendous growth, Victor Paul Wierwille’s paranoia and institutionalized methods of control ultimately led to the cult’s demise.New Shows!Parcast Network - Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe to our new podcast Assassinati...

E62: “The Way International” - Victor Paul Wierwille
After creating a live radio show in 1942 to broadcast his sermons, an out-of-work preacher from Ohio was quickly throw into the spotlight of an international spiritual movement. Through his hypnotic Power for Abundant Living (PFAL) course, Wierwille bought the Way International to a large farm in Ohio during a time of revolution in the 1960s. “The Teacher” appeared to be devoted to God, but actually wanted sex, money, and control.Sponsors!Caffé Monster - Available in Mocha, Vanilla, and Salted Caramel! Caff...

JFK Pt.1 – Assassinations, A new Parcast Podcast!
Hi Cults fans! We hope you enjoy this AD FREE sneak peak episode  of our new podcast, Assassinations, where we examine history’s most dramatic deaths. If you enjoy this episode and want to listen to part two right now, subscribe to ASSASSINATIONS wherever you listen to podcasts!"Loner. Drop out. Marine. Defector. Husband. Father. Lee Harvey Oswald was all of these things, but on November 22 1963, he came to only be known as the man who killed President John F. Kennedy."...


E61: “Church of Satan” Pt. 2 - Anton LaVey
The rapid rise to power and fame went to Lavey’s head resulting in followers abandoning him and a loss of control over the Church. How did the Church of Satan fare after his death in 2001? The results will surprise you. Sponsors!Calming Comfort - Go to CalmingComfortBlanket.com and use Promo Code “CULTS” at checkout to receive 15% off the displayed price.Kopari - Go to KopariBeauty.com/CULTS to save $5 off your first order when you subscribe!Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

E60: “Church of Satan” - Anton LaVey
He is known as the real-life incarnation of the devil and would be responsible for spreading satanism into the mainstream during the 60s and 70s. Anton LaVey would go on to publish the first Satanic Bible which continues to influence people all over the world today. Sponsors!Caffé Monster - Available in Mocha, Vanilla, and Salted Caramel. Chill it down, Shake it up, Enjoy!SimpliSafe - If you’re interested in Home Security, visit SimpliSafe.com/CULTS.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adcho...

E59: “The Church of the Last Testament” Pt. 2 - Sergey Anatolyevitch Torop
In an attempt to gain freedom from the government, Vissarion’s followers disregarded their material possessions and built a remote village for their God.  Sponsors!Parcast - Be sure to rate, review, and subscribe to our new podcast Kingpins!Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


E58: The Church of the Last Testament - Sergey Anatolyevitch Torop
This traffic cop turned cult leader got his followers to believe he is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Sergey would go on to start the religious movement known as the Church of the Last Testament. Subscribe now to our new podcast HOSTAGE, featuring the riveting story of Patty Hearst's abduction by the Symbionese Liberation Army.Sponsors!Kopari - Go to KopariBeauty.com/CULTS to save $5 off your first order when you subscribe! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

E57: The Kirtland Cult Pt. 2 - Jeffrey Lundgren
Through skilled eavesdropping, Jeffrey Lundgren convinced his followers that he could read their minds. What would happen when the "murmurs" he heard indicated that some of his followers were having second thoughts?Sponsors!Caffé Monster - Available in Vanilla, Mocha, and Salted Caramel.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

E56: The Kirtland Cult - Jeffrey Lundgren
He believed that he could talk to God and that he alone could bring about Zion in Kirtland. All he had to do was gain complete control over the members of his cult.Sponsors!Netflix - Starring Dan Stevens and Michael Sheen, Apostle premieres October 12th, only on Netflix.SimpliSafe - Go today to SimpliSafe.com/CULTS.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


E55: Mankind United Pt. 2 - Arthur Bell
After being shut down by the FBI, Arthur Bell returned and established a tax-exempt church that would allow him to extort his followers for millions. As they lived in coarse conditions, Bell would live a lavish lifestyle funded by his members.Sponsors!Caffé Monster - Available in Vanilla, Mocha, and Salted Caramel.Kopari - Go to KopariBeauty.com/CULTS to make the safe switch today, and save $5 off your first order when you subscribe!Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

E54: Mankind United - Arthur Bell
Imagine only working four hours a day, four days a week, eight months a year. On the heels of the Great Depression, Arthur Bell used his charisma to convince people to follow him and join Mankind United. He promised that a group of wealthy, good people called the Sponsors would create a Utopia for anyone who joined, only the Sponsors wouldn’t offer the program until Mankind United had reached 200 million members. Then his cult spread like wildfire.Sponsors!Parcast - Sign up for the Parcast Monthly Newslette...

E53: The Hernandez Brothers' Cult
The Hernandez Brothers Cult was founded by Santos and Cayetano Hernandez in the early 1960s in a small, northern Mexico village. What started out as a simple scam for power and money from uneducated villagers descended into blood orgies and human sacrifices after the brothers hired a sex worker to impersonate a Goddess.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


E52: Lumpa Church Pt. 2 - Alice Lenshina
By 1960, the Lumpa Church was the most influential religion in Zambia and seen as a political threat by Prime Minister Kenneth Kaunda. To avoid escalating violence, the Lumpa Church moved out of the villages to establish new settlements, but Kaunda demanded they return. When they refused, Kaunda destroyed the settlements and murdered its residents.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

E51: Lumpa Church - Alice Lenshina
After a life-changing vision turned her into a prophetess, Alice Lenshina rose from one of the minor tribal houses of Zambia to become the founder and leader of the Lumpa church, one of the most powerful organizations in the entire country. At its height, it had over 150 thousand followers, until it became too big a political threat for the government to ignore.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

E50: Sahaja Yoga Movement Pt. 2 - Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
Sahaja Yoga continues to prosper with more than 30,000 members worldwide despite allegations of child abuse, tax evasion, and harassment from ex-disciples. How has the cult managed to remain so strong and what role did the death of Shri Mataji play in that success?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


E49: Sahaja Yoga Movement - Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi is the founder of the Sahaja Yoga Movement, a form of meditation meant to help practitioners unlock an inner awareness. She began with good intentions, as an activist in the Indian independence movement of the 1940s. As she gained a reputation for healing the sick, she grew in prominence as a spiritual leader. How did this spiritual role model turn into the leader of a cult? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

E48: Church Universal and Triumphant Pt. 2 - Elizabeth Prophet
Elizabeth Clare Prophet was the charismatic leader of the Church Universal and Triumphant who had no problem recruiting members. Not even her incorrect prognostication that the world would end by nuclear war in March of 1990 could shake her members’ devotion. But could their faith withstand the public disillusionment and exit of the cult by her own children?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

E47: Church Universal and Triumphant - Elizabeth Prophet
When Mark Prophet died suddenly of a stroke in 1973, Elizabeth Clare Prophet usurped his position as the leader of Summit Lighthouse, and changed its name to Church Universal and Triumphant. After several visions and messages from her masters, Elizabeth Prophet declared to her followers that the Apocalypse was approaching rapidly. Would they believe her narrative, and follow her into underground bomb shelters to avoid humankind's impending doom? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


E46: Raëlism Pt. 2 - Claude Vorilhon
Raël recruited members through his media appearances. The more appearances he made, the more books he sold, and the more followers he got. Controversy over sexual practices at Raelian events crossed the line for some, and drove interest for others. But what would his members do when they learned of his quest to make human clones? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

E45: Raëlism - Claude Vorilhon
While on a nature walk in his native France, 27-year old Claude Vorilhon saw a small, alien spacecraft land in front of him. A four foot tall affable humanoid named Yahweh emerged and told Vorilhon to relay the encounter to all mankind —  who will be judged for eternity based upon their reaction. But, who would believe him without any proof?Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

E44: Order of the Solar Temple Pt. 2 - Joseph Di Mambro
Joseph Di Mambro and Luc Jouret founded The Order of the Solar Temple. They told their followers that the world would end in 1995, but if they killed themselves, they would be reborn on the star Sirius. Then one night in October of 1994, 48 members of the Orders of the Solar Temple died across two continents. How were Di Mambro and Jouret able to convince so many followers to die for something they likely knew not to be true? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...


E43: Order of the Solar Temple - Joseph Di Mambro
Joseph Di Mambro was no stranger when it came to new religious movements. He had joined a few of them as a young adult, and when he decided to start his own, he had a hard time getting followers. With the help of Luc Jouret, the two founded The Order of the Solar Temple. Their goal was to unlock the secret knowledge of the universe, but it ultimately would lead to their deaths. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

E42: Leopard Society
For the past 150 years, members of the Leopard Society in West Africa dressed in leopard skins and brutally murdered over six-dozen victims. The murders were so gruesome that at first, it was speculated actual leopards caused these deaths. It was later discovered that these killings were part of a cannibalistic ritual that involving the distillation of an elixir from the boiled blood and organs of the victim....

E41: The Narcosatanists Pt. 2 - Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo
Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo founded the Narcosatanists in Mexico City in 1985. He was able to keep his few but loyal followers by his side as he murdered victims in the name of ancient gods. But the killing of an American college student would ultimately lead to the end of the Narcosatanists and the demise of Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo. ...


E40: The Narcosatanists - Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo
Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo spent his early life training in the mystical religions of Santería and Palo Mayombe. Those close to him placed no value on the lives of those who didn’t subscribe to the religions. As he got older, this philosophy would play a large part in his founding of the Narcosatanists. ...

E39: The Moonies Pt. 2 - Sun Myung Moon
Sun Myung Moon's church used a well-practiced set of tactics on each prospective cult member. Once inside the cult, members fell deeper into church's doctrine. What were these tactics and what made it so difficult for members to leave? ...

E38: The Moonies - Sun Myung Moon
Sun Myung Moon was the son of farmers who converted from Confucianism to Christianity when he was about 10 years old. As he grew older, he became so devoted to his religion that he founded his first church, Kwang-Ya, in his mid-twenties. A decade later, he would found the Unification Church and develop it into a multi-billion dollar global business empire. ...


E37: Oneida Community Pt. 2 - John Humphrey Noyes
John Humphrey Noyes’ Oneida Community practiced polyamory long before the free love movement of the 1960s. But his pioneering community had a darker side to it. We’ll uncover the alarming practices intended to serve the perverse sexual needs of Noyes and the community leaders, including a sexual initiation policy for young children, a eugenics program, and incest. ...

Welcome Trailer!
Mystery. Manipulation. Murder. Cults are associated with all of these. But what really goes on inside a cult? More specifically, what goes on inside the minds of people who join cults and leaders who start them. Every Tuesday we take a psychological approach to analyzing a cult and its founder. Cults premieres Tuesday September 26th. Here is a sneak peak. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...

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We now offer our complete AD-FREE archives of episodes six months or older on Stitcher Premium! To get a free month of Stitcher Premium, go to StitcherPremium.com/PARCAST and use the promo code PARCAST. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices...